The Philalethes

December,1959

Volume XII   Number 6

Contents
 

 Be of Good Cheer                                                                      A Blueprint for Co-operation in Masonic Education

 The Christmas That Was Different                                              THE MEANING OF INITIATION

 Chat and Comment                                                                    'DAD' LAND DIES SUDDENLY

 A Cornerstone and Independence                                               A Proficiency Examination For Applicants

 Ancient, Free and Accepted Architects                                       History of Phoenix Lodge No. 8, A.F.&A.M.

 The V.S.L. in New Light                                                            RECOMMENDED MASONIC READING

 A Distinguished Visitor to U.S. Shores                                        Notes, Queries and Information

 Time Measures
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Published bimonthly at

Franklin, Indiana

By

THE PHILALETHES SOCIETY

JOHN BLACK VROOMAN, F.P.S., Editor, P.O. Box 402, St. Louis, Mo.

DR. WILLIAM MOSELEY BROWN, President, Box 276, Elon College, North Carolina

ELBERT BEDE, First Vice President, 2316 N. E. 42nd Avenue, Portland 13, Oregon

DR. CHARLES GOTTSHALL REIGNER, Second Vice President, 4035 Belle Avenue, Baltimore 15, Maryland

CARL GREISEN, Executive Secretary, 401 Masonic Temple Omaha 2, Nebraska

RONALD HEATON, Treasurer, 728 Haws Avenue, Norristown, Pennsylvania

PUBLICATION COMMITTEE

A.L. WOODY, F.P.S., 3502 Wesley Avenue, Berwyn, Illinois

EDWARD J. FRANTA, F.P.S., Langdon, North Dakota

LAURENCE R. TAYLOR, F.P.S., c/o The Indiana Freemason, Franklin, Indiana

----o----

Be of Good Cheer

by CHARLES S. McGINNESS, M.P.S.

Guest Editor

THERE IS A NEW DAY DAWNING.

"The unlocked secret of the atom has shed an eerie glow upon the first rays of the morning light. In it men look upon one another and toward the unfolding hours with mingled hope and foreboding."

That is the opening paragraph of the preface to a recent religious book. It was written by a Yale University Ph.D. who is now an associate professor of World Christianity at one of our leading southwestern universities.

He has voiced what is on the lips of almost every thinking person. The cold war and other circumstances of the world today have made us both awestruck and confused. Sometimes we get just ''plan scared"!

Who can blame us? The import of what our scientists tell us is enough to make the stoutest heart stand still.

This comes at a time when we are supposed to be enjoying the greatest prosperity of all recorded time. We have everything including so much leisure time that we find difficulty in spending it wisely. We just "never had it so good" in material well-being.

Despite all this show of good times, living becomes more complex and more difficult and the problems of living apparently are not easily solved. Suicides and murders multiply. Death on the highway is an everyday slaughter. In the rush of "living it up" we become so confused about real values of life, that we either forget or do not know how to teach our youth those values, and they steal cars and beat up innocent people just "for the heck of it."

And one cannot find seclusion any place. The cold war, if it got hot, could easily implicate men, women and children in far off Siberia or on top of the North Pole. Already the secluded people of Tibet have felt the influence of "power politics" and the North Pole has become the center of world travel and traffic control.

Every issue of the daily paper, or the newscast on our TV seems designed to stir up our confusion and cause us to wonder just what the end will be. Nation after nation is being pushed this and that way by diplomatic and economic forces that are applied to "bring them into line." The grasp for power, for prestige, for position, for domination is to be found everywhere. It has gotten into our labor unions, our cities, even our churches and our schools.

It is small wonder that the people are confused, that they have let go the convictions which our fathers held, and that they are now groping for understanding. We have lost our way and we need a Moses.

At a time like this, the words of our Saviour seem particularly appropriate, "Be of good cheer; be not afraid." He said it when all the world seemed about to cave in on Him. If ever a man could have justified despondency, He could have, for everything that He had tried to accomplish seemed about to come to naught. Even the twelve who had been so intimate were to scatter and one of them was actually to "sell Him out." Even then, He could say, "Be of good cheer; be not afraid."

Our time is not A.D. 33 yet in some ways it is similar. Certainly, we need some kind of assurance. We need the courage of our convictions, an ability to answer the question, "In whom do you put your trust?" and believe what we say when we answer.

We stand in awe of the rocket that is propelled by an atomic thrust into orbit around the earth, and we throw out our chests with pride of our accomplishment when we are able to hold that satellite in orbit for two months or two years. Perhaps it is time that we looked at the sunrise and came to the realization that that same old round Mr. Sun has been peeping over the eastern horizon every morning at a prescribed split second for the last million years or so.

When we stand spellbound at the splitting of the atom, perhaps we should look with Julia Peterkin into the muddy pool, and take notice that "The drops of water in the slimiest puddle know when the temperature reaches the freezing point; and without the slightest hesitancy, but with the most powerful insistence, they step up into ice crystals which are as lovely and perfect as the purest flakes of snow."

No one has yet devised a way to plant a grain of corn and reap squash or beans, or even succotash. No one has yet brought forth a combination of atoms or molecules which will produce love, pity, reason or even the slightest virtue or passion.

No one has yet produced an egg that will hatch the species of the animal that laid it.

One of the first words that a Mason hears is the word trust. Isn't it time to commence to really believe what we profess in regard to our trust? Can we not alleviate most of our present-day worries and secure for ourselves a "peace of mind," if we will just sit down and believe what we heard in the second degree lecture? Can we not emulate Moses of old and reflect on his experience at the burning bush?

Perhaps if we had a firm belief in the things that we profess to believe, we could better control our children.

It is time that we understand that there really is a God who somehow manages our destinies, and that for the most part, the end result is good. Even if we are lost, He knows where we are going. It is written many times, Be of good cheer: be not afraid.

----o----

A Blueprint for Co-operation in Masonic Education

by JOHN BLACK VROOMAN, F.P.S., Editor

AS WE COME to the end of another year, it becomes prudent to take inventory, check our assets and make proper plans for the future. This is good business practice.

In contemplation of drawing a blueprint by which Masonic Education can be adequately planned and executed, it is first necessary to put our own house in order, and when that is done, look further into conditions existing in Masonry, by which Masonic Education may be given that intelligent and factual assistance which is so necessary to its life.

The officers and members of the Philalethes Society have been working diligently together, to the end that the aims and purposes of the Society may be made manifest and active.

Our trouble has been, I am afraid, that no one has definitely planned and executed any one particular project to its ultimate end. The necessities of making a living, keeping up with other fraternal and civic duties, and the affairs of church, state and politics, have prevented a "campaign" by which the Philalethes can be made a unit of action and stability. This cannot be done by wishful thinking alone.

Noting the several specialized activities and functions of the Society, there is none which can be separately projected. They are all a part of the whole plan for which the Society was formed in 1928. They must be actively and scientifically made a part of the activities of the communities in which its members are located. To isolate and segregate Masonic functions to draw into a shell from which nothing constructive can emerge.

A chain of activity must be established by which The Philalethes magazine can publish material prepared by individual members who have been able to attend THE MASONIC WORKSHOP, and other meetings of the Society, and who, in turn, will be inspired to participate in and stimulate activity in the CERTIFICATE OF LITERATURE contest. It is a "round-robin," with one segment of activity following and fitting into the other - without this synchronizing of effort and activity, we cannot hope to have a well-planned and helpful program and activity.

Through the columns of "Notes, Queries and Information on Items of Masonic Research," it has been hoped that members of the Society, as well as other interested Masons, might make their problems known, and in so-doing, avail themselves of the hope of finding satisfactory answers to their questions from members of the Society. Unfortunately, this has not been the case.

 

The Philalethes Society has, at the present time, approximately 500 members, and many subscribers and other readers of The Philalethes magazine. New blood is needed. The Society needs contributions of money for dues, literary contributions, talent for activities; in fact, we cannot stay in one place, we must progress or go backwards.

Brother Elbert Bede, First Vice President of the Society, as Chairman of the Membership Committee, has been working hard to interest Masons in the work of the Society. He has, as of now, had but little help. We need to supply him with names of interested and active Masons who would be as glad to join in our work as we would be to have them take up our burden. Bede cannot do this job alone. He has asked, in a recent letter to the membership, that every member send him names of those who might be interested in joining in our work.

Have you, as a member, sent in some names?

When we get more members, with more money made available - for carrying on our work, and with more and greater activity on the part of interested Masons taking a greater share of our activities, we will progress - but not until then.

Having set our own house in order, and having solved some of our own problems, it behooves us to take another inventory - that of how best we may serve Masonry.

Masonry, like Caesar's Gaul, is divided into many parts. The chain of authority descends from the sovereign Grand Lodges, through the Lodge, the individual Brother, and in intricate interweaving, to groups and organizations, each of which functions by consent of the governing body.

As a general pattern we can say, in Masonic Education, that most Grand Lodges, especially those which sponsor a program or plan of Masonic Education, have several well-recognized divisions of activity.

 

It has not been too long ago that Masonic Education as it is now recognized, was a nebulous and most impractical matter. The Grand Lodges of Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Kansas, and others, have formulated a plan of imparting the facts of Masonry to members in a definite and well-organized plan. Usually, this is under the direction of a Committee on Masonic Education, though it may also be under other auspices.

Many states now have organized Masonic Lodges of Research, with functions of investigation and study, with fine Transactions and with pamphlets and brochures designed to carry out the function of imparting Masonic information in an intelligent and factual manner.

Yet other means have been formulated for the teaching of Masonic tradition. Conferences like the Midwest Conference on Masonic Education, the Rocky Mountain Conference, the Northeast Conference, with a large number of states co-operating and pooling their talents and resources, hold yearly meetings at which topics of Masonic interest are discussed and at which plans are made and perfected for mutual help and assistance. These, with others, are the forerunner of even greater cooperation.

Briefly stated, however, the fly in the ointment is not in the heart of Masonry, it is in the human members who are so seriously trying to bring perfection to pass.

Much has been written about "pooled effort." Certainly Masonic Education would benefit by a closer co-operation.

The active unit in imparting Masonic Light and knowledge, in most Jurisdictions, is the Committee on Masonic Education. Its functions, its plannings and its execution of this important project are supreme within the state because it is distinctly a function of the Symbolic Lodge.

In order to implement the efficiency and scope of such a committee, a greater interchange of ideas and activity between the committee and other Masonic groups should be effected.

Again it should be emphasized that the Committee on Masonic Education as set up by the Grand Lodge is sovereign - it belongs to the Grand Lodge!

But there is nothing to prevent any other interested and active research group from offering its services in order to do a better job. We have mutual responsibility to make better Masons of our members. To do this we need the help of every Mason and Masonic group. It cannot be done without that help.

Every Masonic research and study group, especially those functioning within the borders of a state, should make an honest and unobtrusive effort to help the Committee on Masonic Education to do its job in the best possible way.

It must be definitely understood however, that such an offer must be to assist in but not intrude upon the activities of the Committee. The offer must be diplomatic and sincere.

In imparting Masonic Light and knowledge, there seems to be a thread of continuity and plan of action. The individual Mason who is interested in research, looks first to his Symbolic Lodge, then to his local or state Masonic Library, next to the Committee on Masonic Education and the Lodge of Research for means of gathering data and putting it into proper form.

Some enthusiastic Masons are able to attend the many aforementioned Masonic conferences held in different parts of the country as well as the many meetings in Washington, D.C., during "Masonic Week" in February - all these can furnish much help in gathering data and doing Masonic research.

Contact is the key to success in Masonic research and study, and co-operation among the key Masonic groups is the answer to the problem of better results.

----o----

The Christmas That Was Different

by the REV. IRA GRAGG, 33d, (St. Louis, Mo.)

A sermon preached at the Masonic Home of Missouri, St. Louis, December 28, 1958.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE between the Christmas that is and the Christmas that was. Christmas was different when it started. Many are now yearning for the old-fashioned Christmas. What we should yearn for is the original Christmas.

The stores were not open then . . . the stable was.

The mother had no gift for the Baby's birthday. Unless her gift was nurturing love. The father had no gift for the Baby's birth night. Unless his gift was protecting love. Their gifts were not wrapped in attractive packages. The mother's nurturing love was given by soft arms, the father's protecting love was given by muscular arms.

Nor was there a tree for the different Christmas; the tree came thirty-three years later, hewn into rough arms and stripped of branches and leaves. There were no lights on that tree; instead, a life was given on it. At the crib for the day of his birth, there was their gift of love. At the cross for the day of his death, there was His gift of light. The Christmas that was different gave light to the darkness.

Two thousand years before radio, there was a night when God broadcast to the world. That night, it was not a station-to-station but a person-to-person hookup.

The Light of the World was born; not a bulb, but a baby.

The hope the Prophets held became the hope the Apostles had. The birth night took fading hopes out of mothballs and gave them into hands holding lights. The gloom in all the accents of dark untruth is replaced by the glow of the Christ Light that is shining in our darkness.

The Christmas that was different gave warmth to coldness.

All pride that is cold melts in pain. All snobbery that is ice thaws in sickness. Cold hearts cannot rebel against the warmth of the Christmas gospel, and Scrooge is the total witness to that. Tiny Tim is the picture of the eternal child-heart that holds the likeness of the kingdom of heaven. The warmth of the stable is the resource that comes to grips with the cold tragedies that intrudes into our days. The difference that Christmas made is seen in the difference a letter makes. Piety is cold, being only the frozen devotion that pretends at the real thing. Take the letter "e" out of piety for the word pity, and you have the essential mood that belongs to Christmas Eve. Gory is cold, being the description of the cold field of war and the cold bodies strewn upon the field. Add the letter "1" to gory for the word glory, and you have the essential tone that fills the sky at night - glory to God in the highest.

 

Five letters spell the words force and faith. Force is the cold of the keeper of the inn and the king in the palace. Faith is the warmth of wise men on the road and shepherds abiding in the field watching their flocks by night. There isn't much difference in the words, but what difference there is becomes the distance between the cold heart in the palace and the warm hearts in the field.

The Christmas that was different gave strength to weakness. This night, most people are tired out from shopping. That night, those people were tired out from searching. Humanity was actually down to its last gasp when the new life came. It was a tired-out world into which the tireless Christ came.

We are showing little improvement in the record with our exhaustions and frustrations. By every recognized rule of our modern afflictions, Joseph could have had a heart-stroke and Mary could have had a nervous breakdown. But, these two persons were moved by what Horace Bushnell said is the only relic of Paradise left us - marriage. The man and the woman started a family, and, married to each other, married themselves to the strength of character and honor that produced the strongest power the world has known. That power came to expression in the life of their son.

We know him as Jesus of Nazareth.

The Christmas that was different gave life to deadness.

Love actually came to life in hate-deadened hearts. Giving actually came to life in self-seeking hearts. Good will actually came to life in hardened hearts.

When the trees are lighted, it is hard to be dead to the spirit that fills the air.

Let us go back to the beauties

That are pocketed deep in our past.

The joys we relinquished with childhood

But which hauntingly linger and last.

Let us return to the Christmas

That remains with the children of time.

The Christmas of wonderful wishes

Of stardust and snowdrift and chime.

----o----

THE MEANING OF INITIATION

The whole meaning of initiation is, of course, an analogy of the birth, awakening and growth of the soul; its discovery of the purpose of life and the nature of the world and the condition in which it is to be lived. The Lodge is meant to represent the world as it was thought to be in ancient times, with its square, flat surface and canopy of sky, its dark North and radiant East, its centre, and altar of obligation and prayer. Our initiation also symbolizes our progress from the darkness of ignorance to the light of moral truth and spiritual faith. From the lonely isolation suffered by so many, it opens the gates to a new world of friendship and happiness; and on those who will earn them. it bestows favours and privileges unobtainable elsewhere.

- Adapted from the article in Masters and Past Master's Lodge No. 130. New Zealand, September 1950 be A. B. Cane-Williamson

----o----

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

----o----

Chat and Comment

News, achievements and items of interest about our

Fellows and Members - Discussion and comment on

Mutual Topics.

- Pfan Mail and Observations -

BROTHER CARL R. GREISEN, F.P.S., Executive Secretary of the Philalethes Society, is the newly elected President of the Masonic Relief Association of the United States, succeeding William E. Yeager, M.P.S., who was last year's President.

 

HARRY X. COLE, M.P.S., was the Grand Orator of the M:W: Grand Lodge of Illinois at its annual communication held in Chicago the first part of October.

A copy of this oration may be obtained from Brother Alphonse Cerza, F.P.S. (Life), 130 Akenside Road, Riverside, Illinois, for the asking.

 

THE USUAL NUMBER of our members have been on the sick list, and we wish them quick recovery - among the latest of such, is Brother Herbert A. Gast, M.P.S. (Missouri), who suffered a broken leg.

GILBERT KINMONTH, M.P.S., is the newly elected Second Vice President of the Louisiana High Twelve Clubs, having been installed into that office after the annual convention.

A LARGE DELEGATION of friends and Masons was present at Kansas City, Kansas, on the evening of November 28, to see Brother Arthur H. Strickland, M.P.S., receive his fifty-year emblem from the Grand Lodge of Kansas. A Past Grand Master, and past presiding officer of the bodies of Kansas, Brother Strickland devoted much time to the service of his Brethren.

BROTHER ALBIN C. ANDERSON, M.P.S., was elected and installed Grand Master General of Convent General of the Knights of the York Cross of Honour of the United States. York Cross is an organization in which Masons who have presided over all four bodies of the York Rite, Chapter, R.A.M., Council, R.&S.M., and Commandery K.T., are honored for this service.

WILLIAM R. DENSLOW, M.P.S., writes: "In looking over the October issue f The Philalethes. I came across your story of the reprint of 'Vigilante Days and Ways,' by N.P. Langfort. By a strange coincidence I have just bought an original set of this (the original in two volumes) in excellent shape. The most valuable part of my purchase is that the set was given by the author, N.P. Langfort, to the famous Western painter Frederick Remington, and both volumes have the latter's bookmark "

. . . THIS ISSUE was made great for me," writes Robert H. Gollmar, M.P.S., "by the article ('What Is Law') by (Roscoe) Pound; he is one of America's great Masons.... I wish some Mason would or could write a book on the great Masons of today. I feel that some such book would have appeal to Masons, and would help to end that nagging question that bothers some of them: i.e., are the Masons of today second class, or are they the leaders as they were in Revolutionary times. . .

 

BROTHER YALE R. BUTLER, who is with Brother Laurence R. Taylor, F.P.S., at the Indiana Masonic Home, and who marks up The Philalethes magazine copy, reads proof, and is in close touch with all the material appearing in our magazine, writing about the matter of Lodge attendance, has the following to say:

"This is an anniversary for me - 34 years ago I came to work here (at the Indiana Masonic Home), as Linotype instructor. In one way or another I have handled a lot of Masonic copy and I can't see why the boys get so 'het up' about membership. It has always fallen off and then gained, and I think if they would take a good look in their first Proceedings they would find some help. Just to confuse the confusion a bit more, I often wonder if those so concerned with apparent lack of interest, falling attendance and some of the other problems, ever consider the possibility of not giving the newly made Mason something to do; of not putting the 'oldtimer' on a committee every time he comes to Lodge . . . during the last 34 years scores of Masons have told me, 'I'd go to Lodge more often if they didn't give me something to do every time I went' . . ." Now there, Brethren, is something to ponder. Maybe we can get a bit of discussion going in these pages, and be helpful one to the other.

BRETHREN, BEGIN TO THINK about your new officers for the coming triennium. This is election year, and it is necessary to nominate and elect new officers during 1960. More about this important matter in a later issue of the magazine.

----o----

'DAD' LAND DIES SUDDENLY

DE MOLAY LOSES LEADER

"DAD" LAND IS DEAD! Frank S. Land , founder and Secretary General of the Order of DeMolay for Boys, died after a short illness at a hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, where he had been taken to fight what was thought to have been a common cold. Pneumonia developed, and he died November 8, 1959.

Too much has already been written about the civic, fraternal and social activities, and it is not the purpose of this small tribute to review them. It is with deep thanks and appreciation for his work in Freemasonry, especially in DeMolay, and his belief in, and care for youth, that we wish to cause and think.

Frank Land was a philanthropist and a leader. He was one who believed in the human race as being fundamentally good and upright. He translated this faith into practice in the founding of the Order of DeMolay for Boys, in which uprightness and character meant more than wealth and social position. It was his belief - often expressed - that the youth of today are the citizens of tomorrow, and he planned his youth movement on that theme, and made DeMolay the outstanding spearhead in the fight against juvenile delinquency. As Imperial Potentate of the Shrine he exemplified the tenets of Brotherhood.

Frank Land will be loved by posterity and missed sorely.

----o----

A Cornerstone and Independence

by ALPHONSE CERZA, F.P.S. (Life)

ON JULY 4, 1959, the cornerstone was laid for the extension of the East Central Front of the United States Capitol, at Washington, D.C. This extension had been considered for a number of years and a commission had been appointed to accomplish the project. Hon. Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of Representatives, was one of the prime movers to bring this about and he was the chairman of the committee.

Significantly, Independence Day was selected as the time for laying the cornerstone because this day symbolizes the perennial spirit of freedom which prevails in the United States. This was truly a ceremony for all the people to observe and to take a part. But there was one discordant note connected with the affair which stands out as a red beacon light of warning for all Americans. While it was a sidelight to the project, it is worthy of careful consideration because it illustrates a danger that is growing within our gates and which may eventually destroy our way of life. Let us examine the matter.

In preparing a program for an event such as this one, invitations are sent to various representative groups to take part. On this occasion Hon. Sam Rayburn, as chairman, extended an invitation to the Roman Catholic leaders to take part. The Chancery Office of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., refused the invitation stating that "we simply do not feel that a Catholic priest could participate by giving a benediction for a ceremony in which the Masons perform quasi-religious rites." The Catholic Standard, the official newspaper of the diocese, severely criticized J. George Stewart, the Architect of the Capitol, for permitting the Masons to take part in the ceremonies claiming that Freemasonry is a "religious group"; it asked why one group was favored over others in a ceremony which belongs to all the people. It never occurred to the newspaper that his church leaders had been invited, there was no discrimination, and that they had elected to stay away. A few days before the ceremony Luke E. Hart, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, of New Haven, Connecticut, made a formal protest to J. George Stewart and sent copies to some leaders in Congress.

The ceremony is set forth in full in the Congressional Record of July 13, 1959, pages A5980 to A5985. It may be summarized as follows: J. George Stewart opened the ceremony by asking the Reverend Frederick Brown Harris, Chaplain of the U. S. Senate, for the invocation. Hon. Sam Rayburn was then introduced, and after a few remarks, he presented President Eisenhower who made a short talk stressing the importance of the Capitol as a symbol of American liberty; and he stressed that the laying of the first cornerstone for the building was done by President George Washington. At the end of his short talk he used the following inspiring words:

"Finally, we gather on the Fourth of July, as our forefathers did at Independence Hall, more than ninescore years ago, to emulate them as they pledge their common adherence to basic principles, and their common obligation to uphold these principles regardless of differences of opinion, even of policy.

"So long as we never waver in our devotion to the values on which these men began the building of the Nation, no differences of partisan policy or partisan feeling can cause America to falter on her upward course."

The cornerstone was then laid using the gavel and trowel which were used in 1793 by President George Washington, dressed in Masonic regalia, to lay the first cornerstone; and also used by President Fillmore in 1851 in laying the cornerstone of the Senate and House wings of the same building. Upon the completion of this part of the program President Eisenhower departed.

The Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia then proceeded with the Masonic ceremony,. with Most Worshipful Reuben A. Bogley, Grand Master, presiding. The Grand Chaplain, the Reverend Edward Gardiner Latch, gave a prayer, addressed to the "Eternal God." Various records of historical interest pertaining to the project were deposited in a case and placed within the stone. The Masonic ceremony was continued with the use of the various operative tools. There was no reference to any religious dogma, creed, or the mention of the name of the Deity given by any religious denomination. The Masonic ceremony was public and is set forth in full in the Congressional record.

The benediction was given by the Reverend Bernard Braskamp, the Chaplain of the House of Representatives.

It was reported in certain newspapers that on August 19 the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus, by resolution, demanded the dismissal of J. George Stewart, as Architect of the Capitol, for "granting to the Masonic Order the privilege of laying the cornerstone of the east front extension" of the Capitol.

 

What lesson can we learn from this incident? This cornerstone and Independence Day, 1959, bring to the front a problem which will re-appear in the days to come. It is fitting that we face it here and now as Americans and Masons.

From time immemorial cornerstones have been laid with some ceremony; there are a number of Biblical references of the matter. The Masonic Fraternity for hundreds of years has taken part in ceremonies of laying cornerstones for public buildings. These have been public affairs, nonpartisan, and nondenominational. Tradition supports the participation of the Craft in the ceremony for the extension of the Capitol. The first cornerstone was laid by Brother George Washington, with Masonic ceremony, clothed with a Masonic apron, attesting to the world his membership in the Craft. When the cornerstones were laid for the wings in 1851, the Craft again took part, and the same gavel and trowel used by George Washington were used by President Fillmore.

The Roman Catholic Hierarchy of Washington in answer to this claim of tradition stated that times have changed. What is meant by this is not known. Surely, the American way of life symbolized by the Capitol, and the Fourth of July, as well as the basic principles pronounced at the ceremony are the same. These noble principles can best be promoted by a full participation of all Americans, including our Roman Catholic friends and neighbors.

The Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church was invited to take part. They refused to participate. It might well be construed that the hierarchy of this church is not in sympathy with the principles of Americanism; which is supported by history and tradition. It is to be noted that three clergymen took part in the ceremony; they found no difficulty observing the Masonic ceremony because it is clearly not a religious service. The reader is invited to write his Congressman for a copy of the Congressional Record cited above; read the matter and judge for himself.

The great leaders who helped found this country of ours were Masons. Washington, Franklin, Paul Revere, John Marshall, John Hancock were all Masons. The immortal Washington expressed his high esteem for the Craft when on August 22, 1790, he addressed a letter to King David's Lodge, in Newport, Rhode Island, which stated: "Being persuaded that a just application of the principles, on which the Masonic Fraternity is founded, must be promotive of private virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be happy to advance the interests of the Society, and to be considered by them as a deserving brother." And in the year 1792 he sent a letter to the Massachusetts Grand Lodge containing the following words: "the grand object of Masonry is to promote the happiness of the human race "

 

It can be said that Freemasonry and Americanism are in complete harmony. Each is based on the same fundamental principles: freedom of thought, freedom of religion, separation of church and state, free public schools, and the dignity of the individual. The Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has certain political aims which are basically opposed to these principles. We need go no further to establish this than to read the "infallible" pronouncements of one Papal Bull, namely, Humanum Genus, dated April 20, 1884, denouncing Freemasonry, democracy, free public schools, and all things that are the foundation of our beloved American way of life.

In every age and in every place where the hierarchy has succeeded in imposing its will the people have suffered, progress has stopped, and totalitarian rule has taken hold. We need point to only two illustrations in the current picture. Spain, under Franco, dominated by this political organization with a religious cloak, has stopped progress and eliminated freedom. In Colombia, at our very door-step, this hierarchy has used the influence of the church to crush religious freedom with force. Significantly, in both countries Freemasonry is not permitted.

The enigma of the Roman Catholic Church can be understood only if one considers that this organization has a dual aspect. The friction between this church and others does not arise because of the religious beliefs, or ceremonies, or practices of the devoted members in and out of the clergy class but rather in the determination of the hierarchy to impose its political and social views on the rest of the community. The mystery disappears when one recognizes that the leaders of this church are acting not only as clergymen but as politicians and social minutemen.

 

Thinking men and women resent this sort of activity under a religious cloak. Serious minded and thinking Roman Catholics are much disturbed by the dual character of the organization. They must find it hard to be faithful to the church of their choice and to the country in which they live and love as true Americans. One example, comes to mind. In the June issue, of the year 1952, of the Reader's Digest, Thomas Sugrue, an American Roman Catholic, who wanted to be true to his church in matters of religion and faithful to his country in matters pertaining to politics said:

"It is not the religious activities of a denomination or sect which causes other denominations or sects to regard it with suspicion, these, under our law of religious freedom, are respected and admired. It is the secular activities of a denomination or sect which sets the others to eyeing it with askance."

He might have added that the hierarchy has gingerly evaded the admonition of the Gentle Carpenter when he said: "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (R.S.V., Matt. 22:21.)

One interested in the documented details of lurking dangers of this political organization operating under a religious cloak is invited to study Paul Blanshard's, American Freedom and Catholic Power (1958 edition); and Blanshard's, Communism, Democracy, and Catholic Power; also Conrad H. Moehlman's The Wall of Separation Between Church and State.

It has been truly said many times that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." Unless Masons actively call attention to these matters to the rest of the community and vigilance is established, I am afraid that future historians writing the history of this era will state that in our great concern for the Bolshevist menace we overlooked an insidious movement within our gate, burrowing at our very foundation, while hiding behind a religious cloak of respectability.

 

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A Proficiency Examination For Applicants ?

by ALEX HORNE, M.P.S. (California)

IT HAS NO DOUBT occurred to many thoughtful observers of our present-day Masonic scene that a large percentage of our petitioners for the degrees of Masonry take them without the slightest conception of what Masonry is all about. We do expect of the applicant, it is true, that he should have formed a "favorable opinion" of the Institution, as the prime reason for his application, and that he should have a "desire for knowledge" and the wish to be serviceable to his fellow-creatures, but the circumstances under which these "Interrogations" are put to him generally leave him no alternative but to answer in an affirmative manner, whatever the real situation may be.

 

The "favorable opinion" of the Institution can of course be taken for granted: no one joins an institution of which he has an unfavorable opinion. But the fact remains that in the vast majority of cases, the applicant approaches Masonry with only a very faint idea of its basic principles, its underlying history, and its guiding ideals. It is true that the members constituting the examining committee of a particular applicant, if they should happen to be capable of expressing themselves correctly and at length (and that is probably not always the case), may have given the applicant during the course of the examination, some inkling of what the Institution stands for, in the broad ethical sense; and in one case I know of, an applicant actually took the trouble to look up the article on Freemasonry in the Encyclopedia Britannica, but that is no doubt an outstanding case of intellectual curiosity and personal initiative that is not often encountered and cannot be expected to be often duplicated.

The question I would like to raise at this time is whether the situation is a healthy one from the standpoint of the institution, or beneficial from the standpoint of the applicant who eventually becomes a member thereof.

In analogous situations outside the Craft, an applicant for admission (let us say) into some Faith other than the one he happens to have been born into, is generally required to undergo a more or less rigorous period of study as a preparation to formal admission into that Faith; catechumens they used to call them, in the early Christian church. But we have nothing comparable in Masonry - outside, perhaps, of a little pamphlet that some Jurisdictions may use, and which the applicant may or may not take the trouble to read, let alone assimilate, and as to which he is never examined.

 

We have nothing of a more positive nature which could give the applicant an adequate idea of the step he is proposing to take, while at the same time giving ourselves an opportunity of judging how effectively or otherwise he may have absorbed that idea. We have no adequate course of preparation for the applicant - once he has become a "candidate" - whereby he can become effectively indoctrinated with the basic principles of the Order, with its underlying history, and with some conception of its organization and of its purposes, so that he might approach the Degrees of Masonry in a smaller degree of intellectual and spiritual darkness, and with a mental soil tilled and prepared to some extent so that the seeds that are to be implanted in the course of the degrees can have a better chance of falling on fertile ground, to sprout into more reasonable expectation of fruition.

Once the candidate has started on the road of our "progressive science," it is true that we do have in our system a set of Proficiency examinations for the purpose of ensuring that he knows the rudiments, at least, of one degree before he is permitted to take the next higher step. But could we not have an analogous Proficiency Examination for the applicant who has not yet taken his first step, to make sure that he is at least in the proper frame of mind and spirit to take that step, and is armed with at least a rudimentary knowledge of the Craft and its organization, its background in the past, its purposes in the present. and its hopes for the future?

Such a Proficiency Examination need not necessarily be - and probably should not be - a formal recitation from memory of a set "lecture. " It could be the merest informal testing of an applicant to ensure that he had diligently read and understood that which had been given him to read and absorb. And the material given him for such preparatory purposes need not be - and preferably should not be - profound or complex or pedantic, but could be a simple statement of the history, the principles, and the purposes of the Order, in the light of the best talent that each Jurisdiction can muster out of its intelligent and gifted membership, and approved by the highest authority within its governing body.

 

Such a Proficiency Examination for Applicants - if a particular Jurisdiction chose to adopt the program - could very well be held in the Lodge room, while "at refreshment," and an examination of this sort would certainly have the added advantage of providing the membership with a good opportunity of becoming acquainted with its prospective addition to the ranks. The central idea would be that this applicant would not be allowed to come to the door of the preparation room in comparative darkness, but - under the guidance of a competent coach suitably selected for such a purpose - would really come "duly and truly prepared, worthy, and well qualified."

This suggested program of instruction and subsequent examination for applicants is sure in the case of many to raise the cry of "innovation!" - that "bad word" in the Masonic dictionary. But "innovation" or no, such a program, if diligently and intelligently carried out, has the promise at least of producing a generation of candidates that would come into Masonry with some understanding of what Masonry is or attempts to be; a generation of candidates who are put in the right way at the very beginning of their promising journey, properly stimulated and inspired to pursue that journey with all the intelligence and spirit that they may possess. Such a program might have a reasonable promise at least of producing a generation of "intelligent Craftsmen" without leaving that production to fitful chance or capricious circumstances or the treacherous passage of time.

A program such as this of course is not the product of a day. It may take much study and thought and discussion to arrive at the conviction that it is at all necessary or advisable, and - after a particular Jurisdiction had accepted that conviction - more study to work up a suitable body of material for such an "applicant's proficiency." But "the longest journey begins with a single step," as the Japanese are fond of saying, and we can take that first step by an earnest and intelligent discussion with our fellow-workers on all the pros and cons that surround this suggestive journey into the future. In time, if the idea has any merit at all, it is sure to bring about the right result.

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Ancient, Free and Accepted Architects

by HARRY W. BUNDY, F.P.S.

THE RITE of "Ancient, Free and Accepted Architects" is based on a geometrical system evolved in 1859 by Henry Pelham Holmes Bromwell (August 26, 1823 - January 9, 1903), who became Grand Master of Masons in Illinois in 1866. A Grand Lodge of the Order was organized in Charleston, Illinois, on March 1, 1862, known as King David's Grand Lodge, F.& A.A., it taking its name from its only subordinate Lodge at the same place - King David's Lodge No. 1. In 1879, Bromswell moved to Denver, Colorado, where the Grand Lodge was moved, the first meeting in Denver being on June 9, 1879. The last meeting was held (in Denver) on March 6, 1883.

Although individuals had received the Select Architect and Most Excellent Architect degrees at the hand of Bromwell previously, King David's Lodge No. 1 was not formed until the day the Grand Lodge was formed and issued it a charter. During the twenty-one years the Grand Lodge operated the following are the only Lodges mentioned in the minutes:

March 1, 1862, King David's No. 1, Charleston, Ill.; August 26, 1868, King Solomon's No. 2, Washington, D.C.; March 2, 1870, King Hiram's No. 3, Springfield, Ill.; February 1, 1871 (*), Hillsboro No . 4, Hillsboro, Ill.; April 7, 1874(+), Pentalpha No. 5, Denver, Col., and March 16, 1878(++), Triangle, Los Angeles, Cal.

(*) The minutes show that on this date "Pentalpha Lodge" in Hillsboro, Illinois, was formed but all subsequent references to this Lodge are to "Hillsboro Lodge No. 4."

(+) The minutes of March 2, 1875, in a report to the Grand Lodge, show that this Lodge, when under dispensation, met first on November 29, 1873, as "King Melchizedick's Lodge, U.D.," and that the charter for "Pentalpha Lodge No. 5" was the name given to it by the Grand Lodge. The report says the charter was dated April 10, 1874, but the meeting at which it was granted was on April 7th.

(++) There was a dispensation for a Triangle Lodge at Los Angles, California, on March 16, 1878.

There were twenty-two "Annual Meetings" and nine "Special Meetings" of the Grand Lodge. Twenty Annuals and two Specials were held in Charleston, Illinois, and the remaining two Annuals and seven Specials were held in Denver, Colorado. The few who attended the Grand Lodge were those of the local Lodges. The average attendance in Charleston was 7.5 and in Denver 7.2 members.

The Grand Master Architects were:

1 - H. P. H. Bromwell 1862 - 1870

2 - S. Sevinson. 1871

3 - W.W. Fisher 1872 - 1873

4 - W.E. Genther 1874 - 1876

5 - S.B. Walker 1877 - 1878

6 - H.P.H. Bromwell 1879

7 - E.H. Collins 1880 - 1881

8 - Wm. B. Byers 1887

9 - Frank Church 1883

10 - George B. Clark (*) 1958

(*) December 29, 1958; see below for details.

The meetings of the Grand Lodge were as follows:
 
No. Present Date Grand Master Architect
1 3 Mar.1, 1862 H. P. H. Bromwell
2 4 Mar.18, 1862  
3   Aug.8, 1865  
4 8 Mar.6, 1866  
5 6 Aug. 28, 1868  
6 11 Mar.2, 1869  
7 8 Mar.2, 1870  
8 9 Mar.7, 1871 S. Sevinson
9 6 Mar.5, 1872 W. W. Fisher
S 8 Apr.9, 1872  
10 8 Mar. 20, 1973  
11 8 Jan. 6, 1874  
12 7 Apr. 7, 1874 W.E. Genther
13 8 Jan. 20, 1875  
14 8 Feb. 23, 1875  
15 8 Mar. 2, 1875  
S 6 June 25, 1875  
16 8 July 22, 1875  
17 7 Mar.6, 1877 S.B. Walker
18 5 Apr.1, 1877  
19 8 Mar.16, 1878  
20 9 Mar.4, 1879 H.P.H. Bromwell
S 6 June 9, 1879  
S 10 June 9, 1879  
S 9 May 12,1880  
S 9 May19, 1880 E.H. Collins
S   June 7, 1880  
S 6 July 5, 1880  
21 12 Mar. 7, 1882  
S 10 July 29, 1882 Wm.N.Byers
22 10 Mar. 6, 1883 Frank Church
Note: It is obvious from the above that the headings are without meaning as, for instance, in one year four Annuals were held. Also the Grand Master Architect and other officers were sometimes elected at Specials.

The Grand Lodge had fifteen officers, all prefixed by Grand, as follows: Master Architect; Senior Architect; Junior Architect; Master Overseer; Senior Overseer; Junior Overseer; Master Deacon; Senior Deacon; Junior Deacon; Secretary; Treasurer; Marshal; Master of Ceremonies; Orator and Tyler.

The name of the Rite was taken after the only two degrees existing in 1862, but, although a third degree was added on May 26, 1875 (Royal Architect), and a new constitution was adopted June 25, 1875, the name was not changed, although there was discussion about it. This is a similar situation which exists in most of the Grand Councils of Royal and Select Masters. The name was based on the two degrees conferred in the early years, but when the Super - Excellent Master degree was added the name originally adopted was retained.

 

Actually, the "Rite" was Bromwell surrounded by a few Brethren interested in his geometrical system. Following his death on January 9, 1903, a ponderous volume called Restorations of Masonic Geometry and Symbolry was published, in 1904, by the Grand Lodge of Colorado, of which Bro. Frank Church, the then last elected Grand Master Architect, was a Past Grand Master.

As the years passed Brother Church obligated several into the Rite, including Raphael M. Hosea, Henry F. Evans, George B. Clark, William W. Cooper (Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Colorado) and Charles L. Young, all of Colorado. Also Clarence Brain of Oklahoma and a few others. Several attempts to revive the Grand Lodge resulted in failure. Upon the death of Bro. Frank Church the records and archives came into the custody of Bro. Henry Falls Evans and upon his passing on September 7, 1945, they came into possession by order of Brother Evans, of Bro. George B. Clark of Denver. The latter deposited them with Bro. Harry W. Bundy, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Colorado, who has been obligated into the Rite with power and authority to obligate capable Masons into the Order and, with them, to revive the Rite by an election of officers.

On December 29, 1958, Brother Bundy called together Bros. Ward K. St. Clair, Harold V. B. Voorhis and Wendell K. Walker in the Masonic Temple, 71 West 23d St., New York, N.Y., and obligated them into the Order. With the authority invested in him, Brother Bundy opened the Grand Lodge (holding Brother Clark's proxy - this making a constitutional quorum) when Bro. George B. Clark was unanimously elected Grand Master Architect and Harry W. Bundy the Grand Secretary. It was agreed that the other officers would be elected at a meeting to be held in February 1959 in Washington, D.C. Nine additional Brethren were suggested for membership but it was agreed that the Grand Lodge be not larger than fifteen members - that is, enough to fill all of the offices - and no more.

It was moved and carried that Brother Bundy confer with Brother Clark concerning the Brethren to be invited and be present in Washington to be obligated. Also, if it would be his idea that at the meeting of the Grand College of Rites of the U.S.A., that we then officially turn over the Rite to that body to retain its custody.

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History of Phoenix Lodge No. 8, A.F.&A.M.

Fayetteville, North Carolina

by WILLIAM L. RAMSEY, M.P.S. (N.C.)

NO ONE KNOWS the origin of Phoenix Lodge No. 8 for it is veiled in mystery. The first Grand Lodge of England was formed in 1717 and at that time seven or more Masons could meet and organize a Lodge. In 1736 the Grand Lodge of Scotland was organized, and it is likely that there were several Masons in the group that settled in Campbellton (the first name of the settlement) in 1737.

These Scottish Masons wishing to continue their Masonic work, no doubt, organized a Lodge and continued through the years, taking the name of Union Lodge, which name it held when it issued the call for the first convention to organize - the Grand Lodge of North Carolina which was to be held on June 24, 1787, in Fayetteville. There were not a sufficient number of delegates attending the convention, and the convention adjourned to meet in Tarborough the following December 9, 1787, at which time the Grand Lodge of North Carolina was formed. The Grand Lodge of North Carolina convened in Fayetteville on November 17, 1787, Sat which time, Union Lodge presented a petition that its name be changed to Phoenix. (The change has never been explained.) Phoenix Lodge is the third oldest Masonic Lodge in North Carolina having continuous existence.

 

In 1793, the ground upon which the present building stands was donated to the Lodge by Brother James Hogg, a devoted Mason and a man of means, who took a prominent part in the affairs of state. He also gave the ground upon which the first courthouse was erected, now occupied by the Confederate Monument.

Phoenix Lodge was incorporated by the General Assembly of North Carolina in 1799. Its charter is as follows:

CHARTER OF PHOENIX LODGE No. 8

An Act to Incorporate the Phoenix Lodge No. 8. in the Town of Fayetteville. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by authority of the same,

That the Master, Wardens and Members who are present, or in the future may be, of the Phoenix Lodge, No. 8, in the Town of Fayetteville aforesaid, are hereby constituted and declared to be a body corporate, under the name and title of the Phoenix Lodge No. 8, and by such name shall have perpetual succession, and a common seal, and may sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, acquire and transfer property, and pass all such by-laws and regulations as shall not be inconsistant with the Constitution of this STATE or the United States. Passed 1799.

Men of prominence in the early history of Cumberland County have been members of the Lodge. Such as James Porterfield, John Winslow, Edward Windslow, Duncan McAuslan, Samuel Merly, David Anderson, Robert Donaldson, John Louis Taylor, John Sibley, William Cochran, Wm. Barry Grove, Duncan McRae, Wm. S. Meroney, Eseck Arnold, Rufus King and A.M. Campbell.

In 1825 Phoenix Lodge was visited by the Marquis de Lafayette in whose honor the Town of Fayetteville was named. He was greeted by Robert Strange who was the Master, as well as the Commander of the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry which acted as the Honor Guard in the reception of the Marquis, and it was very pleasing to Lafayette to see Robert Strange in such an exalted station. The Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Company was organized in 1793 and is the second oldest military company having continuous service in the U.S.A.

Phoenix Lodge has furnished four Grand Masters of Masons in North Carolina. James Louis Taylor, who was a member of the legislation from 1792 to 1794. In 1798 he was a Justice of the Superior Court and in 1818 was Chief Justice of the Superior Court. He was Grand Master in 1802, 1803, 1804, 1814, 1815, 1816, 1817.

 

John A. Cameron, a member of the legislature from 1812 to 1814. United States Consul to Vera Cruz and United States Judge in Florida. He was Grand Master in 1820 and 1824.

Robert Strange, was a member of the legislature from 1821 to 1826. Judge of the Superior Court and in 1836 was elected United States Senator. He was Grand Master in 1823 and 1824.

John Huske Anderson, was Grand Master in 1927 and rose to receive most of the honors that Masonry has to confer. He was a General High Priest of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. At the time of his death, 1948, he was Grand Secretary Emeritus of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina.

Another distinguished son of Phoenix Lodge was William Rufus King, who was Vice-President of the United States, dying in office April 20, 1853.

The first Lodge building was erected in 1793, and the members had an eye to the mental and moral training of the young, and to the intellectual enjoyment, not only of themselves, but of the citizens generally, providing ample space for a commodious school room and theater.

In 1858 this building, which had served as a Lodge room, theater, as well as a place of worship, was demolished due to the ravages of time, it being unsafe to use. A new building was erected, to which an additional two wings were added in 1949, which is used every day by the various Masonic bodies of Fayetteville, such as its daughter, Creasy Proctor Lodge No. 679, organized 1946; Phoenix Chapter No. 2, Royal Arch Masons, whose organization (1815) antedates the organization of the Grand Chapter of North Carolina (1822); Fayetteville Council No. 27, Royal and Select Masters, Palestine Commandery No. 20, Knights Templar; White Shrine of Jerusalem; Order of DeMolay; Eastern Star; Rainbow Girls and others who helped rebuild this beautiful Temple.

In the immediate past decade, Phoenix Lodge No. 8 has been honored by three of its Past Masters who have received further honors. C. Wallace Jackson, 32d, Past Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of North Carolina, serving 1953; present Grand Warder of the Grand Commandery, Knights Templar of North Carolina; Thomas Gorrell Slate, 33d, Past Grand Master of the Grand Council, Royal and Select Masters in North Carolina, serving 1953; William Lee Ramsey, 32d, K.C.C.H., Past Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of North Carolina, 1952.

There are many other members of Phoenix Lodge No. 8 who have lent distinguished service, but, through lack of space we will not be able to record their achievements. However, James Evans McDavid, a member of Creasy Proctor No. 679 (daughter of Phoenix Lodge No. 8), who was its first candidate for the degrees in Masonry, is the Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters in North Carolina, in 1959. Phoenix Lodge has a heritage; each of its members is proud of the place that it has taken in the life of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina, and the nation. And in the years to come, may it always be strong in its service to take its rightful place in shaping the destinies of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the United States of America.

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The V.S.L. in New Light

by T. CHRISTIE INNES, M.P.S. (Ohio)

A FAMOUS ARTIST of the 15th century," Philip Gillon tells us, "once painted his interpretation of Solomon's immortally remembered but destroyed Temple. Since the Bible gave measurement in cubits, the length of a person's fore-arm, the painter artfully included in his picture a man leaning on a window-still, so that the meticulous could check the realism of his dimensions. Apart from the exactitude of the scale, however, his Temple was a typical Renaissance church, staggeringly, but of course in no way related to architecture in Israel nine and a half centuries before the birth of Christ."

But our author assures us, "It is no longer necessary to imagine the buildings of the Biblical ages in terms of the present: archaeology has created a means of reconstructing homes and temples of people living during the different eras of the Book." (Land of the Bible, I. 5, May 1959.)

 

A real revolution has in fact taken place in our modern knowledge of the V.S.L. Too few people yet know the f acts however. And what I began with my first book in 1937 (Thrilling Voices of the Past) I would be happy to continue in 1959 in this brief survey!

Three powerful and very radically different witnesses are hereby called to testify!

1. Dr. Werner Keller, one of Germany's foremost journalists in the scientific field, published in 1956 his best-seller called, The Bible As History: A Confirmation of the Book of Books, published by Morrow & Company, New York. He tells us in this well-written, beautifully illustrated book of 452 pages that he "went to the sources" himself, "in the libraries of many lands," and "collected all the hitherto scientifically established results of investigations." And he found that the events in the V.S.L. are "historical facts, and have been recorded with an accuracy that is nothing less than startling" (p. 24). And he concludes his Introduction thus:

"In view of the overwhelming mass of authentic and well-attested evidence now available, as I thought of the skeptical criticism which from the eighteenth century onward would fain have demolished the Bible altogether, there kept hammering in my brain this one sentence: The Bible is right after all." (p. 25.)

2. Nelson Glueck, President of the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, Ohio, one of the greatest living authorities on Biblical Archaeology, produced in 1959 his greatest book so far, Rivers in the Desert: A History of the Negev, 302 pages of exciting information published by The Jewish Publication Society of America. And here is his phenomenally important and authoritative declaration:

The purpose of the Biblical historian and archaeologist is, however, not to 'prove' the correctness of the Bible. It is primarily a theological document, which con never be 'proved' because it is based on belief in God, whose Being can be scientifically suggested but never scientifically demonstrated. Sacred Writ was concerned in its entirety with setting forth and underscoring the uniqueness and universality of Gad as the Source of all being and the Father of all mankind, whose wisdom was supreme, whose word was law, and whose imperatives were the mortal mandates of human conduct. Saga and song, legend and fact and folklore were woven into the text to illustrate and emphasize this central theme.

Those people are essentially of little faith who seek, through archaeological corroboration of historical source materials in the Bible, to validate its religious teachings and spiritual insights. The archaeological explorer in Bible lands must be aware of the fact that as important as the Bible is for historical information, it is definitely not primarily a chronicle of history, as we understand that term today. It is above all concerned with true religion and only secondarily with illustrative records. Even if the latter had suffered through faulty transmission or embellishments, the purity and primacy of the Bible's innermost message would not thereby be diminished.

As a matter of fact, however, it may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible.

And he refers incidentally (p. 71) to, "The wonder of the accuracy of historical memory in the Bible," which indeed is his basic underlying theme!

3. Professor William F. Albright has just retired from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, indisputably the world's leading living orientalist. The long list of honorary degrees from world-famous institutions of higher learning in many countries abundantly testifies to his foremost standing, not to mention his numerous books and over 800 distinguished articles. And what does he have to say about this most honored and terrifyingly neglected V.S.L.?

 

Just this - "In the center of history stands the Bible . . . Thanks to modern research we now recognize its substantial historicity." And he recounts the various subjects which "have been rescued from the critical controversy of the past generation, and appear again in the clear light of history." Moreover he emphasizes that "By history I mean the record of man's entire past . . . in this essay the term history will not be used in a metaphysical sense."

Says this scientifically trained researcher and linguist, "To sum up, we can now again treat the Bible from beginning to end as an authentic document of religious history. . . the Bible towers in content above all earlier religious literature; and it towers just as impressively over all subsequent literature in the direct simplicity of its message and the catholicity of its appeal to men of all lands and times." (The Christian Century, November 19, 1958, pp. 1328 - 1331.)

No wonder Professor Albright says in this same vital article, "few people grasp the significance of the tremendous revolution in our historical knowledge which has been in progress during the past century and a half"!

The Great Light in Masonry shines with new radiance. Let there be light. Let in God's Light!

 

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St. Clair to Conduct Column "Notes and Queries" for Society

Brother James R. Case, F.P.S., who has conducted the interesting column "Notes, Queries and Information on Items of Masonic Research," has given up that job to enter politics in his native city.

For the period in which this fine column has been conducted, it has been a labor of love, and Brother Case must be highly complimented on the amount of work he has put into this project. We owe him a sincere vote of appreciation.

Brother Ward K. St. Clair, F.P.S., one of the outstanding leaders in Masonic research in this country and abroad, has consented to continue this column and to stir up interest in bringing to the readers of The Philalethes magazine, such items of interest and readers to find the answers to their importance as may enable our problems in finding material which is in line with topics of study. It is hoped that our members may make more frequent use of the column.

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RECOMMENDED MASONIC READING

by ALPHONSE CEEZA, F.P.S. (Life), Ill.

Two MONTHS AGO a beautifully illustrated brochure was issued by the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, S.J., entitled Eleven Gentlemen of Charleston. It was written by Brother Ray Baker Harris, F.P.S., a Past Grand Master of the District of Columbia, and for many years the Librarian of the Supreme Council Library in Washington, D.C. These biographical sketches of the organizers of the Scottish Rite are written in the author's well known scholarly and readable style. He is one of the country's most thorough Masonic researchers and has written a most enlightening book.

Of particular interest to readers of our magazine is the announcement that this is part of the material which is to be included in a full-scale history of the Scottish Rite from 1801 to the present time which is in the process of being written by Brother Harris. We will look forward with interest and pleasurable anticipation to read this book when it is published. Since the past performance of this Brother has been masterful, the book promises to be the definitive history of this Rite of Freemasonry. Readers who have any letters, pictures or other material pertaining to the Scottish Rite are urged to communicate with Brother Harris.

 

Each year since 1933 Brother Ray V. Denslow, F.P.S. (Life) has reviewed global events in the Masonic World, and has written a fine commentary under that comprehensive title. This year the report has one hundred pages, including the index, and will satisfy the taste of any reader by virtue of its complete coverage and interest. Copies are distributed to all members of the Missouri Lodge of Research and is also included in the printed Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Missouri.

The October 1959 issue of The Indiana Freemason contains a reproduction of part of a talk given at Evanston, Illinois, some years ago by our late Brother Joseph Fort Newton. It is entitled "The Spirit of Masonry." Words from the pen of our illustrious Brother are always welcomed; he is sometimes described as the golden-voiced orator of the Craft. The article is heart-warming and revealing in many respects. The essence of the talk may be summarized in these words uttered on that occasion: "Any order that toils as Freemasonry toils to promote a sense of the unity of humanity, of the relationship in heart and mind and soul of every living man and every living woman, has a mission benign in behalf of the future of mankind, because this is the spirit of Freemasonry, it grows rapidly in this Republic."

From time to time our readers have asked us to comment on Masonic literature of interest which is not current. This will be done occasionally. Others have been asked to send in reviews of older Masonic books, some of which we will here review.

 

In 1953, the Masonic Service Association, published a valuable little book by our late Brother Harry L. Haywood, F.P.S. (Life) entitled, Well-Springs of American Freemasonry. It is a book of only 156 pages into which he has compressed the history of the forty-nine Jurisdictions in the United States. Two charts prepared in 1939 by Brother George B. Clark showing the genealogy of Masonry in the colonies and the genealogy of Masonry in the United States are also included.

Starting with the state of Massachusetts and ending with the state of Oklahoma, the book cuts through the maze of the evolution of Masonry in each state. No one will appreciate the herculean task of the author unless he recognizes the large amount of conflicting material that had to be read and analyzed to complete this job. The book is a good "first" to learn about American Masonic history. It is good reading for one who wishes to spend a relaxing time by the fire on a cold winter's night.

I appreciate the book for its contents and the accurate work from a skilled craftsman. But the copy I hold in my hand carries with it something of value which cannot be measured with anything in this world. It has inscribed, "To Alphonse Cerza, with affectionate recollections. Roy" To have known "Roy" Haywood is to have been inspired to work diligently in the Masonic literary quarries. Perhaps you will catch some of this spirit when you read it.

Many years ago Brother James D. Carter, M.P.S., wrote a history of Masonry in Texas. A college professor, specializing in history he was well qualified for the task. He completed the manuscript and it made its appearance as a book in 1955, covering the period up to the year 1846. The book is a definitive history of the Craft in Texas during the period covered. Of special interest are the first 181 pages which are devoted to general Masonic history prior to the arrival of Masonry in Texas. This was included in order to show the ancestry of the Craft in that state. This is an excellent early history of Freemasonry, and might well serve as a model state history. It is hoped that the author has continued his labors and will soon present us with a second volume covering the period after the year 1846.

 

The excellent News-Letter, official publication of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, N.M.J., reports in its October issue that a comprehensive summary of the controversy starting to brew on the subject of church and state with emphasis on the national elections next year, is available for twenty cents from the National Council of Churches, 297 Fourth Avenue, New York 10, New York. Ask for the leaflet Information Service of May 23, 1959. The following books are also recommended for reading: E. A. Moore, A Catholic Runs for President; R. M. Miller, American Protestantism and Social Issues; W. Herberg, Protestant - Catholic - Jew; C. Shields, Democracy and Catholicism in America; J. C. Bennett, Christians and the State; and W. L. Miller, The Protestant and Politics.

It has been said that George Washington was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." We, as Masons, can add "and first Freemason of the land." It was fitting in 1952 that the Grand Lodge of Virginia should commemorate the 200th Anniversary of George Washington becoming a Mason in a Virginia Lodge. As a permanent memorial to the occasion the present president of our Society, Dr. William Moseley Brown, F.P.S., was delegated the task of gathering together all facts about George Washington as a Mason in order that a book could be published for the celebration. The result was a 542 page volume, beautifully printed and bound, which is entitled George Washington, Freemason. This book contains all the Masonic information we have pertaining to our illustrious first President. Brother Brown discussed all controversial items by giving both sides of the dispute and states the evidence appearing in support of each view. The index is excellent and the bibliography is comprehensive. The many pictures make the book more interesting. For example, as one reads the story of the Paul Revere Urn with the lock of Washington's hair he can look at a picture of the urn. No Freemason can be without this book. Make inquires of the Grand Secretary Grand Lodge of Virginia.

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A Distinguished Visitor to U.S. Shores

by Alexander Horne, M.P.S. ( Calif. )

THE YEAR 1960 is being promised a Masonic treat in the shape of a Lecture Tour of unusual interest, and in the person of a distinguished visitor from England, W. Bro. Harry Carr, Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, London, the premier Lodge of Research in the world. He has presented some outstanding Papers before this body, and in 1957 was appointed the Prestonian Lecturer for that year, at which time he delivered an impressive Paper on the Transition from Operative to Speculative Masonry. It is his hope to present this important and little known subject before local Masonic audiences on the occasion of his American visitation.

The Prestonian Lectureship, incidentally, is the highest English award in the realm of Masonic scholarship, and the Lecture has been presented annually (with a few exceptions) ever since its establishment about 1818 by William Preston, the Founding Father of our modern Monitor. Brother Carr is also the author of a recently published work, The Mason and the Burgh, a scholarly and fascinating study of Operative practices in seventeenth and eighteenth century Scotland, reflecting and clarifying many "Speculative" practices of the present day.

Brother Carr has already accepted some speaking engagements on the East Coast for the first two weeks in May, and at this writing is free for other engagements subsequent thereto. Lodges, or groups of Lodges, Research Lodges, or Scottish Rite or York Rite Bodies that would like to take advantage of Brother Carr's unusual visit can do so by contacting Brother Alex Horne, Local Secretary, Quatuor Coronati, 2135 - 29th Ave., San Francisco 16, Calif.

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KENTUCKY MEMBERS MEET AT LOUISVILLE

As REPORTED by Brother William S. Conaway, M.P.S., in a letter to the Editor, one of the most successful and interesting Masonic meetings of the year was that of the representative members of the Philalethes Society in and about Louisville, Kentucky, held during the annual Communication of the Grand Lodge F.&A.M., Grand Chapter, R.A.M. and Grand Council, R.&S.M., October 18, 1959, at the Sheraton-Seelbach Hotel.

Wylie B. Wendt, M.P.S., was chairman, and presided over the meeting, and Brother William S. Conaway, M.P.S., acted as Secretary. Fifty-nine registered for the meeting, with several out-of-state guests present.

Everyone was enthusiastic about the meeting, and heartily approved the proposal to hold a similar meeting in 1960.

Papers were read, with considerable discussion by all present, which resulted in a healthy and happy interpretation of several phases of Freemasonry. The papers were, "History of the Royal Arch," by DeMoville P. Jones, M.P.S.; "The Essence of Freemasonry," by William O. Ware, M. P. S., and "Holiness to the Lord," by W.S. Williams, M.P.S. All these manuscripts have been forwarded to the Editor of The Philalethes magazine, for publication.

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OREGON MEMBERS HAVE TABLE LODGE MEETING

THE OREGON MEMBERS of the Philalethes Society held another of their now - popular "Table Lodge" meetings on October 16. 1959, at the Old Heathman Hotel, Portland. Presiding was Brother Elbert Bede, First Vice President of the Philalethes.

A special committee of the group presented a series of discussions on "The Pillars," led by George L. Davis, M.P.S., E. W. Floyd Henderson, M. P. S., and Harold Hulme, M.P.S. Brother Henderson led the discussion after the paper, assisted by Brothers W. Walter Stuart, M.P.S., and Homer Chamberlin, M.P.S. All of those present joined in the discussion.

Henry Bauer, M.P.S., one of the oldest members of the Society in Oregon in point of service, was unanimously elected chairman for the first of the 1960 sessions. A note of humor was added when the waitress asked those present if anyone wanted fish - it being Friday!

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In the middle ages it was the custom to bury the body of a Knight Templar with one leg crossed over the other, and in many monuments in the churches of Europe the effigies of these Knights were to be found with the legs in this position. The posture, of course, alluded to the position of Christ while on the Cross.

- Exchange.

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RALPH DAVIS DIES SUDDENLY

The Philalethes lost an ardent member and fine worker in the death last month of Brother Ralph S. Davis, M.P.S., who passed away after a series of heart attacks from which he never recovered.

Active in the Chicago area, where he lived, Brother Davis was editor of the Cryptic Mason, a publication of the Grand Council R.&S.M. of the state of Illinois, in which he was an active worker. At the time of his death he was Grand Principal Conductor of the Work of the Grand Council.

He made many contributions to The Philalethes magazine, and was also Assistant Editor of Federated Craft, publication of Government workers who are Masons.

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Welcome to New Members

Edward H. Rivers, Grand Secretary Grand Lodge, A.F.&A.M. of Alberta, 330 - 12th Avenue, S. W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Emory C. Gardner, Rural Route No. 1, Hellam, Pennsylvania.

Curtis Burnam Coates, 1084 - 29th St., Ashland, Kentucky.

Louis V. Sylvester, 2572 Vane, Omaha 12, Nebraska.

Kenneth W. Nebinger, R.D. 2, Fox Chase, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Thomas Wagers Todd, Route 3, Richmond, Kentucky.

Samuel Ernest Paris, 831 State St., Bowling Green, Kentucky.

William Vincent, Lynch, Kentucky.

Earl Cline, Franklin, Kentucky.

Raymond Oscar Ramsey, 1009 W. Lexington St., Danville, Kentucky.

Oscar H. Stubbs, 301 Stokesay Ave., Ludlow, Kentucky.

Lee Booth, P. O. Box 7222, Nashville. Tennessee.

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FOR A BROTHER

"A Mason is bound to consult the happiness and to promote the interests of his Brother; to avoid everything offensive to his feelings; to abstain from reproach, censure and unjust suspicion, to warn him of the machinations of his enemies; to advise him of his errors; to advance the reputation and welfare of his family; to protect the chastity of his house; to defend his life, property, and that which is dear to a man of honor, his character, against unjust attacks; to relieve his wants and his distress; to instill into his mind proper ideas of conduct in the department of life which he is called to fill, and let me add, to foster his schemes of interest and promotion, if compatible with the paramount duties a man owes to the community."

- DeWitt Clinton

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Notes, Queries and Information

On Items of Masonic Research

by WARD K. ST. CLAIR, F.P.S.

1959 - No. 6

THE NUMBER OF LETTERS CONTAINING QUESTIONS which relate to matters of fact in Masonic history and biography, seem to justify their treatment in c column separate from the Editor's CHAT a COMMENT, where they have previously appeared.

Our members and readers ore invited to send in material appropriate for use in the new column, especially information concerning research currently under way. The Editor will assist the sponsor of this column, which will be supervised and run by Brother Ward K. St. Clair, F.P.S. but ALL COMMUNICATIONS should be addressed to the mailing address of the magazine.

90 - Wanted by the Library of the Grand Lodge of New York: Proceedings of the Grand Commanderies of the following states for the years indicated:

Arkansas: March 1872, 1875 (original) 1944 and 1947.

California: 1860, 1868, 1949.

Connecticut: 1829, 1841-44, 1846, 1847, 1850, 1862.

Florida: 1935, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942.

Any one who can supply any of these numbers please send them to Wendell K. Walker, Director of the Grand Lodge Library, 71 West 23rd St., New York 10, N.Y.

91 - DeWitt Clinton. Who can furnish proof of where and when DeWitt Clinton was dubbed a Knight of the Valiant and Magnanimous Order of the Temple? The first mention of his name with Templary is in the formation of the Grand Encampment (now Grand Commandery) of the State of New York. This reference contains no evidence of where or when.

92 - Thrice Illustrious Master Degree. In 1874, M. Puissiant Grand Master Christian F. Knapp, in his address to the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Pennsylvania made the following statement: "The York Rite as practiced by us (Penn.) is classified as follows:

Three regular degrees in Lodge.

Three regular degrees in Chapter.

Three regular degrees in Council.

Three regular Orders in Commanderies, and a past officers degree

in each."

Can any one furnish information about the past officers degrees used in the Council and Commandery ?

Craft Masonry as practiced by the United Grand Lodge of England contains no more light than is shed in Craft Lodges in the United States. Statements that you are required to be a member of the Royal Arch degree before you can visit an English Lodge when the Master Mason degree is conferred are entirely erroneous.

English Royal Arch Chapters confer only the Royal Arch degree. There's also a qualifying degree for each of the first three Principals, who correspond to our High Priest, King and Scribe. The Mark Master degree is conferred under the jurisdiction of the Mark Grand Lodge, an independent body. The Most Excellent Master degree forms the first degree in a Council of Royal and Select Masters.

93 - Royal Master Degree. Can anyone produce a record of an earlier conferring of this degree, than that contained in the records of Columbia Council No. 1 of New York City? This record shows the degree was in use on 2 September, 1810.

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Time Measures

Henry F. Parks is the author of the following paragraphs:

Since the beginning of time man has compared and measured everything with which he came in contact. Primitive man was content to compare objects with stones, trees and mountains whose sizes he remembered. He did not worry about accuracy. That had to await the machine age when it became a necessity.

As man became more civilized he began to compare sizes with the length of his step or other parts of his body. These varied with the individual, but all primitive man was concerned with was what related to his own personal needs. Time was practically of no importance though he did develop the sun dial to keep some track of it.

About 6,000 B.C. the Egyptians established and recorded the first standards of measurement. The basic unit of length was the cubit the distance from the point of the elbow, with the forearm bent, to the end of the middle finger of the outstretched hand. In 4,000 B.C. 2,000 years later, the cubit was standarized to 18.24 of our present inches.

The next important unit was the digit, the diameter of the middle portion of the middle finger - approximately 3/4 inch, 1/24 cubit. The span was the length from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger in Pharaoh's outstretched hand - 1/2 cubit.

The relationship of digit and span to cubit still survives in our system of measuring time - 12 hours post meridian, a total of 24 hours each day.

These are obviously divisible by six, a sacred number worshipped by the Chaldeans. So they developed our circular measurement of 360d, the time-division of the hour into 60 minutes and the minute into 60 seconds.

Our foot is generally accepted to be the result of a regal decree by an ancient king whose right foot was about the length of our present 12 inches. The word "yard" stems from the Chaucerian-era words gerde (g pronounced as y) and yerde - both meaning a rod, stick or wand. King Henry I officially decreed its length to be from the tip of his nose to the tip of his thumb with his arm outstretched. This was about 3 times the length of his foot, hence our foot and yard. Retaining the mystical number 6 he established a new standard of length - the fathom, which is six feet. - from "Albany Trestleboard "