The President's Corner From the Editorís Desk
Laurels and Darts Letters to the Editor
Old New Orleans Ritual for Masonic Burial The Glory and Travail of a Bygone Era
Questions on Hawaii The George Washington Masonic National Memorial
The Philalethes Society Paves the Path The Charge to an Entered Apprentice:
An American Asks Why Only In England THE ILLEGITIMATE BROTHER
Masonic Forum Book Reviews
Through Masonic Windows
The Journal of Masonic Research and Letters
WEBSITE URL http://www.freemasonry.org/psoc
Nelson King, FPS Editor
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Forrest D. Haggard, FPS President
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Robert G. Davis FPS 2nd Vice President
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LIVING PAST PRESIDENTS
Robert V. Osborne, FPS
Robert L Dillard Jr. FPS
Allen E. Roberts, FPS
John Mauk Hilliard, FPS
Wallace MacLeod, FPS
The President's Corner
by guest writer Robert G Davis, FPS
From the Editor's Desk
by Nelson King, FPS
Darts and Laurels
Letters to the Editor
The Foulhouze Memorial Ritual of 1851
by Norman D. Peterson, MPS
The Glory and Travail of a Bygone Era
by Herbert G. Gardiner, MPS
Leadership: The Philalethes Society Paves the Path
by Allen E Roberts, FPS
The Charge to an Entered Apprentice: its evolution and revolution
by James E Twomey
An American Asks Why Only In England
by Howard R Stewart, M. D., MPS
The Illegitimate Brother: An Unpublished Letter of Thomas Dunckerley
by Paul Rich, MPS
by Charles S Guthrie, FPS
Through Masonic Windows
by Allen E Roberts, FPS
ON THE COVER
This month's cover features the George Washington Masonic National Memorial above Shooter's Hill in Alexandria, Virginia, home of the new Masonic Leadership Center sponsored by the Philalethes Society. It is the "Lifeline to the Growth of Freemasonry" throughout the world.
The President's Corner
by guest writer Robert G. Davis, FPS
You've heard the story. It's been told time and time again. But it's worth repeating today in the context of Survival.
In the late 1800's a miller discovered that the square and compasses was not protected by a trademark, and he decided to use it as a logo for his own brand of flour. The Masons of that state brought suit to stop him. Since there was no clear precedence to guide him, the judge in the case ordered a survey be made of a sample of the population to determine if the square and compasses were so well known to be associated with Masonry that the Craft had a claim on the symbol in equity.
As a result of that survey, it was determined that more than 80% of the nonMasons, in that state knew the symbol and knew that it stood for Masonry. The miller was not allowed to use the symbol.
It was a wonderful testimony of the public's recognition and image of Masonry. And yet, today, some of our most recent survey information suggests that less than 10% of the non-Masonic public can identify the symbol.
What happened to make such a difference?
It didn't happen because society changed, or our culture suddenly went awry. It happened because we changed how we practiced Masonry. Little by little, we withdrew into our tiled recesses - like a snail into its shell. We stopped being social with the outside world. We abrogated our charitable works to others.
We stopped practicing Masonry outside our lodges.
Perhaps we thought it no longer mattered. Many of the traditional ways in which we had been visible, in which we had earned the respect of the community, were no longer available.
You see, before government was so big, everyone knew the Masons. We were the ones who went on Saturday morning and cut the grass on the widow's lawn. We found orphans and provided them a good home in the Masonic orphanage. In fact, we were one of the largest private providers of housing for the homeless child in the nation. Everyone knew we did that, and appreciated that we did that.
But the state begin to put children in foster homes. And the widow moved to a condo in Florida.
We decided it was enough that we only confer degrees. That was a tragic decision for Masonry; to become almost "invisible" on the outside.
Today, many communities don't know anything about us at all - except perhaps that we appear cultish and secretive, and are inwardly focused to the point that they have lithe reason to respect us as an organization.
Of course, it doesn't have to be that way. We can change.
Maybe it's time we "old heads" got out of the way and gave our younger brothers the reins to make our lodges known and understood again Ė and then roll up our sleeves and work right along side them.
After all, only Masons can educate the public about Freemasonry - what we stand for - what we teach and believe.
If the public is to know about us and respect us, we must give them that knowledge, and a reason to give us that respect. To do that, we must frequently invite them to our lodges and tell our story often; and most importantly, greet them on their own turf - out in the community where we all live, work, and make a difference in the world.
If we do, we will recapture the respect we once had - in the same way we got it in the first place - by EARNING IT!
"By their works ye shall know them,' is as true today as it was two thousand years ago.
It is time that we begin that work.
Make plans to attend
The Philalethes Society
Assembly / Feast / Forum
The Date: Friday, February 16, 1996
Hotel Washington - Washington, D. C .
The Time: 6 p.m. sharp
Lance Brockman, Ph. D.
Department of Theatre and Arts
University of Minnesota
- Awards / Charters for new Chapters
- Installation of Officers
- Accomplishments of Society to date
- Report of Forrest D. Haggard, FPS President
$29 prior to February 1, 1996
$35 at the hotel until Noon on the 16th
Send checks to:
The Philalethes Society
P.O. Box 70 Highland Springs, VA 23075
Ladies are invited
From the Editorís Desk
As I look back on 1995, I am amazed that it has gone by so quickly. The old adage that time flies is so true.
We as a Society have made great progress this year, we have once again had an increase in membership, [but we should have 50,000 members], we have forged ahead into the wonderful world of Masonic Cyberspace. Our Website on the Internet http://www.freemasonry.org/psoc still attracts 1500 -1800 people a month. This site has attracted new members from as far away as Italy, Brazil, and New Zealand. If not for this Internet site these new members would never have heard of our Society, let alone become members. In fact if it were not for Online Masonic Communications, the New Chapter UD in Scotland, would never have been formed.
This year we have truly become International, we have published articles and letters by Masons from Australia, Canada, England, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Scotland and the USA. Articles from The Philalethes have been reprinted in Masonic publications all over the free world.
I look forward with great anticipation to the ensuing year, and wish each and everyone of you, good health and best wishes for 1996.
Missouri Masons Make
On a clear bright Fall day in late September, 18 Masons and their wives descended on historical little Missouri River Town of Weston. Masons and their wives from Canada, England, France and the United States, had been advised to visit Weston, to sightsee, shop and to find out a little of history of what life must have been like in the early days of Missouri.
Imagine our delight when we parked the cars on Main Street, directly across from the local Masonic Temple. A couple of the more adventurous Masons asked at the local Chamber of Commerce if anyone knew of anyone who could open the Lodge Room for us. Within a couple of minutes a Past Master of Weston Lodge No. 53 A.F. & A.M. arrived at the Chamber of Commerce office, and proceeded to take us on a tour of the Lodge building. Shortly another Past Master showed up and the tour continued. Our sincere thanks to those Missouri Masons, who not only welcomed us with Brotherly Love, but who contributed so much to our visit to the Town of Weston.
WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN?
Not too long ago a Masonic District decided to have a 3-year project to raise funds for good charitable works. For two years they raised funds for a children's cancer camp, and for the last year they raised funds to buy a fully equipped vehicle for a disabled Brother. They raised more than $40,000.00 in just 10 months to buy that specially equipped van. For three years a member of that district, transcribed every donation, every dollar, every tax receipt number for them into a computer so that they would have complete records of the Districts activities. Records that were given to the District regularly. Finally the day came to present the new van. It was a great day, the sun was shining, the press was there, the event was even recorded for TV, speeches were made by Past and Present Grand Lodge Officers who congratulated one another, and thanked each other for doing such a great job. The Mason, who had spent three years transcribing the District's records attended the presentation with his wife. The Mason who for three years faithfully and zealously recorded each and every transaction, was proud of his Districts accomplishments. It is a shame that the Past and Present Grand Lodge Officers who had congratulated one another, and who had thanked each other for doing such a great job, did not feel it was necessary to thank the Mason who had worked so hard for them. The Mason's wife was appalled, she knew how much time and effort that he had spent transcribing all those numbers. She now wants to know why he was so foolish to work so hard for people who would not even thank him. This District has now lost a good hardworking Mason. Once again we have not only shot ourselves in the foot, but this time we have even taken careful aim when we have fired. When will we ever learn?
Laurels and Darts
Laurels to The Jerry Marsengill Chapter, The Philalethes Society for hosting one of the best if not the best Semiannual Meetings of the Society. A very special thanks to Robert and Paula Tomlinson for their never ending hospitality
Laurels to The Cornerstone Computer Chapter Members and their wives, from Canada, England, France and the USA, [27 in total] who came to Kansas City a day early so that they could go to dinner with each other. These Members, who normally only "talk and see" each other on their computers, took time from their busy schedules to be with each other. This is the power of modern communications
Letters to the Editor
Dear Bro. King:
In "Another Look at Memorization" (The Philalethes, Volume XLVIII, number 4) Bro. H.E. Struble seems to be indicating that the only way for a Brother to attain Provincial or Grand Rank, and therefore become a leader in the Craft, is by being a first class ritualist.
This, certainly in my Constitution, is patently not the case and should it be true in Bro. Struble's Constitution, I would diffidently suggest that this is the area which requires reform, not the performance of our ritual. I know of many senior Brethren in my own Constitution who were poor ritualists or indeed never took a major part in any ceremony. As an example, a Brother may choose to take on the duties of Secretary or Treasurer for a number of years, do the mandatory year as, say, Senior Warden, be installed in the Chair and then appoint Past Masters to actually perform the ceremonies. There are also many Brethren who are appointed to Provincial Rank who have never performed in a ceremony or been through the Chair of a lodge.
There are many ways to serve as a Freemason and the fact of serving and the desire to serve should be the determining factors in selection for higher office, not the fact that one is blessed by the Great Architect with a good memory.
The modern ritual has grown from roots which include the Passion plays, still performed in many areas of the world. I would not presume to equate our ritual to the Passion plays of today, but can certainly compare the efforts required to perform the ritual correctly to those exercised by amateur dramatic societies. In like manner, the participants of a degree ceremony should want to take part and, most importantly, enjoy doing so. The concept of bringing pressure to bear on a Brother to do something he has no wish to do should be totally alien to all members of the Craft.
In my own Lodge we give junior Brethren the opportunity to take part, without any pressure, perhaps explaining the Working Tools or a similar, small portion of a Ceremony. If they decide that they don't like the work, that's fine; there is certainly no coercion of any kind. The Brother concerned may find he likes acting as, say Social Secretary, arranging social events, or as Almoner, looking after the needs of the sick and needy, or as Charity Steward, liaising with the various charities, etc. What ever he chooses, wherever his inclinations and abilities take him, he is still serving and being a part of the whole and therefore eligible to be selected for higher office.
Bro. Struble says "After we have accepted him... we drop him because he doesn't pass the memory test". I can only say that Bro. Struble's Constitution appears to me harsh and unfeeling and, to be frank, missing the point. If it is thought that good memorization is a necessary qualification for membership of the Order, I would suggest that it were better to select candidates with this in mind, thus avoiding the haemorrhage of members they must be experiencing. If, instead, the rulers of Bro. Struble's Constitution consider that our candidates are accepted into the Lodge without money or valuables, to make the point that we want the man, not the trappings, they could perhaps then look at the assets they are discarding in a new light.
I am not much more than half Bro. Struble's age and still heavily involved in the rigours of earning a living, in the field of computer technology. Yes, I'm used to high speed communications, fast retrieval of data and all the other trappings of modern life but I can still appreciate the beauty of the ritual and want to stretch myself to perform it well, for the candidate, the Lodge and the visitors. It takes a commitment to do this, but Freemasonry is about commitment; to attend, to learn and to serve. By adjusting the disciplines of the Fraternity to suit the changing face of modern life, I consider that you are adjusting the T square to fit the job.
Sincerely and fraternally,
The Text and Exotic Symbolism of an Old New Orleans Ritual for Masonic Burial
The Foulhouze Memorial Ritual of 1851
by Norman D. Peterson, MPS
One of the most interesting phenomena of Freemasonry is the variability of the ritual across state, national, and linguistic boundaries. Kent Henderson states " There are in excess of one hundred different Craft rituals in use in the regular masonic world". Examples of variations in ritual are found in the differences among Webb ("American") work, the 20 or more British variants, and the Ecossais work, to be encountered in this article. These rituals consist of both the private and public ceremonies of the Craft. The latter include installations, funeral and memorial services, and corner-stone layings.
The three Ecossais Craft degrees have been associated with the Scottish Rite, and are equally as legitimate as the other systems. The Ecossais work is the most widely used within Grand Lodges where Romance languages are used. This form of work is still used by lodges under at least three American Grand Lodges.
The purpose of this article is to present a very expressive, but little-known, antebellum funeral service of Ecossais origin. This ritual, intended for Blue-lodge use, was published by the now-extinct James Foulhouze Supreme Council operating in Louisiana in 1851.
This funeral service differs greatly from that familiar to most North American Freemasons and, therefore, will be of particular interest to many Masonic students. This ritual features a variety of intriguing symbols, many of them not encountered in Masonry as most of us know it.
Most of these symbols are interestingly, and well, explained in the ritual. Among these are water as a symbol of truth and purification, wine as a symbol of strength, and milk as a symbol of brotherly love. Other symbols include the extinguished candle, expressive of the conclusion of material life. The ritual calls for display of the lodge banner, draped in mourning. Although not described in any of the Foulhouze rituals, the banner of a lodge of this kind is described by Albert Pike, as follows:
"The Banner of the Lodge is to be of white silk, edged and fringed with blue. On one side, embroidered or painted in blue and gold, the Square and Compass [sic], emitting golden rays; and on the other the Blazing Star of five points, with the Hebrew letter Yud in the centre. Over the Square and Compass, the motto Maconnerie oblige, and over the Blazing Star the words, in Hebrew, Yarat Alohim, meaning 'Reverence for Deity'. The banner should be square, each side measuring about 30 inches; and it should be attached to a light staff with a spear-head above. "
Not explained in the ritual are the symbols described as appearing "on the Cenotaph". A cenotaph is defined as an empty tomb or a monument. These symbols or emblems are (1) the all-seeing eye surrounded by a serpent, (2) a skull from which a butterfly is seen to emerge, and (3) an inverted torch held by an angel. The butterfly is widely interpreted as representing the departure of life or the soul from the mortal part of man. The inverted torch captures the imagination but is not readily interpreted.
Let us now proceed to this unusual funeral service itself, as it was presented in 1851. For the most part, we retain the original peculiarities of wording, spelling, and abbreviation in this ritual. [Comments and emendations are occasionally inserted in brackets.]
The Funeral or Memorial Service
Emblems and Furnishings for the Service
Lodge room hung in black, skulls, cross-bones, tears, flowers, etc. Coffin in the centre. If he [the deceased] was a Master, the feet are turned to the South; if a R., feet are to the West. His jewels, apron and [working] tools are placed symmetrically on the Coffin.
A. Emblems on the Cenotaph:
(1) All-seeing eye, surrounded by a Serpent.
(2) Skull from which [a] Butterfly seems to take its flight.
(3) A reversed [inverted?] torch, held by an Angel.
B. Emblems on the Altar:
(1) A pot of incense. .
(2) Vase [pitcher?] of water, as a symbol of purification.
(3) Vase of wine, as a symbol of Strength.
(4) Vase of milk, as a symbol of Love.
C. Other emblems and symbols:
(1) A tripod of burning flame as a symbol of Gratitude, Wisdom & Hope.
(2) A basket of flowers, as a symbol of Faith.
(3) The banner of the Lodge, hung or covered with [black] crepe [crepe].
The Venerable Master opens the Lodge in the usual form, except [for] the Battery which is muffled and accompanied by the words - Mourn! Mourn! Mourn!
The visitors are then admitted. The Venerable Master pronounces a discourse relative to the occasion, the ceremony and the merits of the deceased.
Venerable Master. Brother First Surv., where is our Bro. N?
Answer. He wanders in darkness.
Master. Can we withdraw him from that darkness?
Answer. The regions to which he has gone are unknown to us.
Master. Will he not be restored to light?
Answer. The Grand Architect of the Universe towards whom his soul has taken its flight, and by whom alone it is guided, will lead him to the Temple of eternal Light and Truth.
Master. What is our duty towards the mortal remains of our Brother?
Answer. His body is due to the earth, from which it was taken, and unto the earth, passively and reverently, must we restore it, confiding in the wisdom and mercy of the Grand Architect.
Master. Have we then lost our Brother forever?
Answer. His visible body leaves us, but his name, his memory and his mind will be with us, time without end.
Master. Brother Secretary, inscribe on the record of this Respectable Lodge that on the day of (month), A. D. (year), N. returned unto his Creator, and that with due respect his brothers have consigned his body to the grave.
Master. Brother First Surv., what marks of honor do we owe our deceased Brother before consigning his body to the grave?
(1) The symbols of Faith in his regeneration, which are the Flowers we place on the Altar.
(2) The symbol of Strength, by the libation of Wine.
(3) The symbol of Truth and Purity, by the Water of Purification.
(4) The symbol of Love or Amity, by the offering of Milk.
(5) The symbol of Memorial Piety, by burning Incense on the Altar.
Mxxxxx [word(s) not legible] all the Brethren rise. Let us pray.
Oh, Thou, Grand Architect of the Universe, light of life, in Thee do all things live and move and have their being. Material light and darkness unto Thee are xxxxxxx (indistinguishable?), for Thou knowest not only the secrets of life, but also those of death. We rely on Thy infinite and eternal presence. May our Brother N be with Thee as he was with us, and may his death teach us to prepare ourselves to join him in the midst of the host of immortal souls which dwell with Thee and behold Thy face. Amen! Amen! Amen!
Flame In The Tripod. Venerable Master descends, and after lighting the Flame in the Tripod, says: Sovereign Arbiter of Nature, Thou hast, in Thy wisdom, caused the end on earth of our brother, and Thou hast put a term to all of his misfortunes and sufferings. Thou hast delivered him from oppression and hast consoled his virtue. Thine infinite power and wisdom bath disposed all things, so that nothing cloth perish, and so that our souls cannot be annihilated, any more than the matter in which they dwell on earth. We thank Thee, fervently, for the conscientiousness of the great arid consoling truth which Thou hast made so evident, that we may calmly see the approach of death, and hope while we look upon this Coffin.
Candle Extinguished. The Venerable Master, takes a Candle, and says: Brother N. thy brethren call thee. Answer us. (This is repeated several times. After the call, the Venerable Master extinguishes the Light.)
Master. Our brother is deaf to our voices. As the flame of this Candle, he was full of life, and like unto it, he gave forth light among us, but a breath has extinguished it, and his light has gone to the source of all thought. In vain do we call him. Let us, therefore, proceed to render a final homage unto our brother, and may he, in the regions where now he dwells, be aware of our affectionate sentiments and sorrowing accents.
Flowers. Master and officers cast flowers on the coffin, and Master says: Though the sombre [sic] emblems of death hang upon these walls and surround this Coffin, though we weep, [for] this departed brother and behold the decomposition of his body, let these flowers, which we cast upon his grave, remind us that in the bosom of destruction regeneration begins, that from death springeth life anew; that life is but a journey in the midst of eternity, and he who hath lived well has nothing to fear.
Wine. Master and officers make Libation of Wine, and Master says: May the strength which sprung unto form and body, out of vegetable matter, follow and return with our brother unto the Grand Architect of the Universe, and continue to serve the purposes of Omnipotence.
Water. Master and Officers pour out Water, and Master says: May truth of spirit and purity of conscience justify this brother before the All-Seeing Eye, and may he stand approved by the Grand Architect who gave him this body to serve the designs of Infinite Wisdom.
Milk. Master and officers pour out Milk, and the Master says: May the kindness of heart, our departed brother displayed to all men, the Charity of his life, give him a title to the boundless Mercy and Love of the Father of all.
Incense. Master and officers burn Incense, and the Master says: May the soul of our brother ascend to the throne of God as the sweet perfumes of this incense rise to this dome or roof, and may the Grand Architect receive him in the Grand Lodge of Heaven, where none but the just can be admitted.
Master. Brethren, the moment has arrived when we must follow our regretted brother to the last abode of the body, but dispair [sic] not, as do those who confound their existence with that of the beasts who perish in dissolution, for the mind of man, which is the image and breath of God, himself, is one and indissoluble.
The procession is formed.
Arrived at the grave, the Master or Orator makes an appropriate exhortation.
The Master closes the tomb, while the brethren cast branches of Acacia or evergreen into it or upon it.
When the tomb has been closed the members return to the Lodge, and it [the Lodge] is closed.
1. Kent W. Henderson, Masonic World Guide, 1984 pp. 35-39. See also "Seven Doors to Freemasonry", California Freemason, March 1992, p.4.
2. The Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scotch [sic!] Rite of Freemasonry, in and for the Sovereign and Independent Stated of Louisiana. This funeral service comprises pp. 91-94, concluding an Ecossais ritual for the three Symbolic degrees, printed in 1851 bye. H. Keefe & Bro., 57 Gravier Street, New Orleans, sealed and authorized by Louis Defau, Grand Secretary.
3. The banner of a Scottish-Rite, or Ecossais, Symbolic Lodge is illustrated and described in Albert Pike's Book of the Lodge (1872, pp.41-42). Pike actually shows the words, Yarat Alohim, and the initial, Yud, using a Samaritan alphabet rather than Hebrew.
4. Among other possibilites, Mackey interprets the serpent as symbolizing eternity, but adds that it does not normally appear in Ancient Craft Masonry. When placed in a circle, Cirlot identifies the serpent as Ouroboros, representing time, continuity of life, and the cyclic patterns of nag ture (J. E. Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols, Philosophical Library, N.Y., 1962, p. 235).
5. J. E Cirlot, A Dictionary o/Symbols, Philosophical Library, PLY. 1962, pp. 33-35.
6. We conjecture that the inverted torch is still alive with flame, but that the flame is sputtering and confused, and producing considerable smoke.
7. In the first two degrees of the Foulhonze ritual, as is typical of Ecossais work, the presiding officer is referred to as Venerable Master. In the Foulhouze third degree. he is referred to as Most Respectable Master (p.63) or simply as the Respectable Master (R. M., p.64). The orientation of the coffin depends on the rank of the deceased. If he is a past master, or "Respectable Master", the coffin is placed with the feet to the west. Otherwise, as a Master Mason, he is placed with his feet to the south.
8. Cenotaph (Latin, from Greek, kenos empty + taphos burial, tomb). Likely intended to list the emblems to be in place at the grave site.
9. Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.
10. Faith, Hope and Love, represented by the flowers, tripod, and milk.
11. In the first two degrees of the Ecossais work, the presiding Master is referred to as Venerable rather than Worshipful This is often also true in the Third Degree.
12. At all levels, the Scottish Rite uses symbolic batteries, distinctive for each degree and executed with the hand-claps, gavel, swords, feet or rods (" The Scottish Rite Version of the Three Degrees of Craft Masonry", Transactions of the American Lodge of Research, New York, Vol. 18, 1989, p. 165). Although an essential feature of each degree, it appears from usage in print, that these have not been regarded as esoteric. The applause or batteries for the Symbolic degrees are:
First degree 3
Second degree 3 & 2
Third degree 3, 3, 3.
Past Master or "Ex-venerable" 4.
13. The gavel(s) are muffled by wrapping or covering them with cloth or other material, or perhaps by using some soft material instead of the usual gavel block.
14. In Ecossais lodges and in the Romance languages, the Senior and Junior Wardens are generally referred to as the First and Second Surveillants (Surv.).
15. N: name of deceased brother.
16. Genesis 3:19.... till thou return unto the ground; for out of it west thou taken . . . and unto dust shalt thou return.
17. This answer makes reference to the four symbols described earlier as being in readiness on the altar, as well as to one of the other emblems, the basket of flowers. It also summarizes or introduces the last five elements used by the Venerable Master in honoring and memorializing the deceased brother.
18. Acts 17:28. For in him we live, and move, and have our being . . .
19. Genesis 32:30 (. . . for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved). Job 33:26 (...and he shall see his face with joy...). I Corinthians 13:12 (For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face . . .). [Compare Exodus 33:20.1
20. Omnipotence and Omniscience.
21. Anticipating the modern scientific theory regarding the conservation of matter.
22. Takes "a" candle, not "the" candle, implying that there is more than one candle (three?) available to the Venerable Master. The candle is apparently already lighted. The ritual does not make clear whether or not these candles are laying on, or standing beside, the altar.
23. The Master takes from the altar, in turn, the wine, water, and milk, as symbols of strength, wisdom, truth, purity, love, mercy and kindness. Finally he offers the incense as a symbol of memorial piety.
24. Genesis I :26-27. And Elohim (God) said, Let Us make man in Our image. . .
25. Genesis 2:7. And Yahweh Elohim (the Lord God) formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
The Glory and Travail of a Bygone Era
by Herbert G. Gardiner, MPS
Unlikely as it may seem, the first official function to be held in the only royal palace that exists in the United States was a Grand Masonic Banquet. Before you challenge the author's credibility in making such a statement, permit me to explain that the event took place 113 years ago in the Kingdom of Hawaii, when it was known to the Western World as the Sandwich Islands. This occurred sixteen years before the United States annexed the Republic of Hawaii, and fifty-nine years before the Empire of Japan attacked the U. S. Military Bases on the Island of Oahu of the then Territory of Hawaii, on Sunday, December 7, 1941.
The Early Lodges
Our story begins in the days of the Hawaiian Monarchy during the reign of King Kamehameha III, (Kauikeaouli), who ruled the Island Kingdom from June 6, 1825, to December 15, 1854. During his reign Lodge le Progres de l'Oceanie No. 124 Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (A.A.S.R.) was founded on April 8, 1843, under the Supreme Council of France, and Hawaiian Lodge No.21 Free and Accepted Masons was chartered on May 5, 1852, under the Grand Lodge of California. These were the first two Lodges to be warranted in Hawaii, and they are presently on the register of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Hawaii. With the founding of these Lodges, Freemasonry became firmly established in Hawaii.
The Royal Connection
The association between Freemasonry and the Hawaiian Monarchy started with Prince Lot when he was raised in Hawaiian Lodge in 1854, and became the first Native Hawaiian to become a Freemason. He later became Kamehameha V. Prince Lot was followed into the fraternity by his younger brother Prince Alexander Liholiho, later Kamehameha IV, who was the Master of Lodge le Progres de l'Oceanie in 1859, 1861 and 1862. Next came John Owen Dominis, the Prince Consort of Lydia Kamakeaha, older sister of King David Kalakaua, and later Queen Lilituokalani. Dominis was the Master of Lodge le Progres de l'Oceanie in 1863, 1864 and 1868. He was followed by Prince William Pin Kalahoolewa Leleiohoku, younger brother of King David Kalakaua who was raised in Hawaiian Lodge in 1874. The Prince was followed by his brother-in-law, Archibald Scott Cleghorn, Governor of the Island of Oahu, and husband of Princess Likelike, the younger sister of King Kalakaua; Cleghorn was raised in Hawaiian Lodge in 1873. The next member of Hawaiian royalty to join the Craft was David Kalakaua who was elected Master of Lodge le Progres de l'Oceanie for 1876, about a year and a-half after being elected King of Hawaii in 1874.
'iolani Palace Is Built
David Kalakaua had not been King very long when he made it known that he wanted a new palace. He considered that the one he was living in had been neglected and was dilapidated, and definitely unfit for a King. During the legislative session of 1878, funds were authorized for a new palace.
Wednesday, December 31, 1879, the forty-fifth birthday of his wife Queen Julia Kapiolani, was selected by King Kalakaua to lay the cornerstone of the new Royal residence, 'Iolani* Palace. The brethren of Lodge le Progres de l'Oceanie No.124, and Hawaiian Lodge No.21, were invited by the King to conduct the ceremony.
The cornerstone laying ceremony of 'Iolani Palace was conducted in the Masonic tradition, and included the participation of His Majesty King Kalakaua, who descended from the dais and gave the cornerstone three sharp raps with a gavel. The Freemasons in attendance responded with Grand Public Honors. The working tools used in the ceremony were made of wrought silver expressly for King Kalakaua. At the completion of the ceremony, the King donated the silver working tools to his Lodge. Lodge le Progres de l'Oceanie has maintained the tools in mint condition to this very day One hundred and fifteen years later, on November 11, 1994, the same silver working tools were used by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Hawaii, in laying the Cornerstone of the Memorial Building of the Hawaii State Veteran's Cemetery at Kaneohe, on the Island of Oahu. The story of the Silver Working Tools is a chronicle in itself.
The Grand Masonic Banquet
Even though the new palace was not completed, it did not deter His Majesty King Kalakaua from honoring his Masonic brethren with a "Grand Masonic Banquet" at 'Iolani Palace. On Wednesday, December 27, 1882, the King hosted the first official social function held at the newly erected palace. In addition to a few sojourning brethren, King Kalakaua had the guest list made from the rosters of Lodge le Progres de l'Oceanie and Hawaiian Lodge, about 120 brethren attended.
The banquet was a tremendous success. The brethren of the two Lodges enjoyed themselves immensely in the ultimate expression of fellowship and camaraderie at this wonderful event sponsored by King Kalakaua, their brother, their patron, and their Sovereign. The mundane cares of the day were brushed aside, politics, business and even affairs of state were left outside with the dress swords. This was an evening for fellowship as it had never been experienced in the Kingdom before, and it was a night that would live in the hearts of the brethren for the rest of their lives.
The music was provided by the Royal Hawaiian Military Band under the direction of its renowned conductor Heinrich Wilhelm Berger, better known as Henry Berger, or "Kapena Hanale Berger" as he was called by the Hawaiians.
Brother David Dayton, Orator of Lodge le Progres de l'Oceanie called the brethren to order for the first toast of the evening. His toast was as follows: "Worshipful Masters, Wardens and Brethren - -It being obligatory on members of Lodge le Progres to drink several toasts on this occasion, before doing so, I will inform you that the cornerstone of this edifice, the Palace, was laid by the Masonic fraternity on December 31, 1879, by request of His Majesty Kalakaua, King of the Hawaiian Islands. And now, my brethren, His Majesty King of the Hawaiian Islands, and Past Master of Lodge le Progres de l'Oceanie, has become our host, honoring us with the first festival in this edifice. My brethren, I will invite you to charge your glasses and drink the first regular toast of the evening, His Majesty the King and the Royal Family" This was followed by the first selection played that evening the national anthem, "Hawai'i Pono'i" (Hawaii's Own). King Kalakaua wrote the words and Henry Berger rearranged an anthem from his native Prussia, entitled "Hail to Thee in Your Wreath of Victory" (Heil Dir im Siegerkranz), which in turn was based on " God Save the Queen." "Hawai'i Ponoti" is still played at many State and civic functions throughout the State of Hawaii.
During the course of the festivities, the brethren toasted the Supreme Council and the Grand Lodge of France, and the Band struck up a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise. In a following toast to the Grand Lodge of California, the Band played The Star Spangled Banner. Shortly before midnight the last toast of the evening was concluded in part with the following: "...It is that portion of the charge wherein the novitiate is taught that Freemasonry is so esteemed as an honorable order that even monarchs have, at times, exchanged the scepter for the trowel to join in our mysteries and aid in our labors. To this fact is due in no small degree the prosperity in Hawaii of an order that bears upon its active roles the name of one whom we greet tonight as Sovereign, as host and as brother. " The brethren then joined hands and accompanied by the Royal Hawaiian Military Band, sang "Auld Lang Syne." And so the highly enjoyable Grand Masonic Banquet ended on a note of joy and good fellowship. It was the first and the last Masonic function to be held strictly for the Craft at 'Iolani Palace.
Pomp and Splendor
During the years that King Kalakaua was the reigning Monarch of Hawaii following the Grand Masonic Banquet, 'Iolani Palace was aglow with glittering festive State affairs, banquets, and balls; all in the finest royal tradition of the times. His court was the equal of any foreign court in pure pleasure and elegance. The Royal Hawaiian Military Band under the direction of its renowned director Henry Berger was always on hand to entertain the guests. During the reign of King Kalakaua, and with his encouragement, the Band became a Hawaiian cultural institution and famous worldwide. To top it off, the finest food was served at the banquets, and dining at 'Iolani Palace was always a special treat. Here in this tiny kingdom, located in the middle of the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, dwelt a King whose royal court life was pure delight to his subjects and to his visitors alike, who had come from around the world. Except for its smaller size, King David Kalakaua had created a court that rivaled many European courts in splendor, entertainment, and sheer joy to behold. Many sojourning Freemasons enjoyed the hospitality of their brother, the King, at 'Iolani Palace.
The Monarchy Teeters
King Kalakaua's reign has often been referred to as the "Golden Age of the Hawaiian Monarchy " However, it was also a turbulent period. Although the great maritime powers like Great Britain, the United States, and France agreed that Hawaii should remain an independent nation they did not hesitate to become involved in the internal affairs of the tiny Island Kingdom. Frequently their actions were dictated not so much by what transpired in Hawaii, but by events that occurred in other parts of the globe involving their respective national interests. King Kalakaua's entire reign was one continuous struggle to keep his little Island Kingdom free of foreign domination. Politics was always a favorite subject for discussion in Honolulu.
Upon the death of King Kalakaua on January 20, 1891, seven days after he had been made a Noble of Islam Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in San Francisco, his sister, Princess Lydia Kamaka'ea (Mrs. John Dominis) ascended the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 29, 1891 as Queen Lili'uokalani. During her short reign the Court which had formerly been the scene of magnificent royal splendor, no longer had the brilliance and gaiety of the Kalakaua years. A somber mood seemed to permeate the Court atmosphere, almost like a portend of dark days ahead. Seven months after Lili'okalani became Queen, her husband John O. Dominis died. With his death, Lilituokalani not only lost her husband, but Freemasonry lost one of its most active and dedicated members, and the Hawaiian Kingdom lost a confirmed royalist and a stabilizing influence on the Monarchy.
The political situation became very strained as the Queen tried to make drastic changes in the Constitution that would grant the ruling Monarch considerably more power than was provided under the existing Constitution. This further polarized the two major political groups. One group being the Royalists who supported the Monarchy, and the other group being the Reform Party, also called the "Missionary Party" by the Royalists because many of them were descendants of the original missionaries who came to Hawaii from New England. They were also known as the Annexationists since many of them wanted Hawaii to be annexed by the United States. The Reform Party consisted primarily of business men, and planters who had developed a thriving economy for the Island Kingdom.
After participating in such a festive evening at 'Iolani Palace none of the brethren who attended the Grand Masonic Banquet could possibly dream that within a decade, their King and brother Freemason would die in a hotel in San Francisco of Bright's disease, his sister Queen Lilituokalani would be deposed, the Hawaiian Monarchy would vanish, and the Islands would be ruled by a Provisional Government, which would be followed by the formation of the Republic of Hawaii.
The Kingdom Vanishes
In spite of the volatile politics of the times, it was simply not in the scheme of things for the men who dined at their King and brother's festive board, to suspect that any of them would ever take up arms against a brother Freemason to defend the Monarchy in Hawaii, or to support a Provisional Government, or even more remote, to uphold a Hawaii Republic. Yet, unbelievable as such scenarios may have been on the night of the Grand Masonic Banquet at 'Iolani Palace, these events did in fact subsequently take place.
Some historians (political correctness aside) tell us that there were individuals on both sides of the issue who were not beyond reconciliation, and had the more moderates in both camps prevailed, a compromise could have been reached that would have retained a Constitutional Monarchy. But this was not to be, for certain elements on each side stood firm; some men wanted to eliminate the Monarchy in any form, and have the United States annex Hawaii, while Queen Lili'uokalani adhered to her guiding principle of "onipa'a" (remain steadfast). On January 17, 1893, Queen Lilituokalani the eighth and last Monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom, was deposed and the Provisional Government acquired the reins of power. The Reform Party which also-included the Annexationists had taken over. The Kingdom of Hawaii was gone, it had vanished!
Later in the following decade a major turn of events occurred, which totally eclipsed the Hawaiian Monarchy, the Provisional Government, and the Republic of Hawaii. On August 12, 1898, Hawaii officially became a part of the United States. However, the Republic of Hawaii continued to exist for another two years until the U.S. Congress provided Hawaii with a territorial government on June 14, 1900. Forty-six years after the issue of annexation was first raised in the U.S. Congress in 1852, Hawaii was annexed by the United States. The royalists were despondent and the annexationists were jubilant.
Neither of the two Lodges nor the Scottish Rite Bodies were involved in the power politics of the period, and remained aloof from the political intrigues of the annexationists and the royalists. However, there were Freemasons who were active participants in one camp or the other. Some prominent Freemasons were confirmed royalists and fully supported the Monarchy, and others were active reformists who felt that Hawaii's future was with the United States. The role of some of these brethren in the political and military events during the period beginning just prior to January 17, 1893, when Queen Lilituokalani was deposed, and the annexation of Hawaii by the United States on August 12, 1898, is an interesting story.
The Spanish American War
The year 1898, ushered in certain events which occurred thousands of miles away from Hawaii's shores, but nevertheless had a profound influence on the actions of the United States which in turn became a factor in the annexation of Hawaii. Trouble had been brewing between the United States and Spain over its harsh rule of Cuba. On February 15th the U.S.S. Maine was destroyed and sank in Havana harbor with the loss of 268 American lives. On April 22nd the U.S. North Atlantic Squadron blockaded Cuba, and a state of war existed between the United States and Spain. On May 1st the U.S. Asiatic Squadron under Commodore Dewey attacked and destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay, and blockaded Manila. On August 13th Commodore Dewey and General Merritt unaware of a peace protocol, attacked Manila and the Spanish forces surrendered the Philippines.
The Philippine American War
On December 10th, the Treaty of Paris-officially ended the Spanish American War. Spain reluctantly agreed to cede Puerto Rico and Guam to the United States and sold the Philippines to the United States for $20,000,000, while Cuba was granted independence. This angered the people of the Philippines, and on February 4, 1899 fighting erupted between the U.S. occupation forces and the Filipinos, and the war with the Philippines began. Many American Freemasons fought against Filipino Freemasons. A large number of Filipinos who fought in the uprising against Spain and later did battle with the United States, were Freemasons. Probably the most prominent being Emilo Aguinaldo.
When Hawaii was annexed by the United States, it was during an age that was swept by the tide of imperialism. France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan and Russia were all on the prowl and were assiduously establishing colonies or spheres of influence in the Pacific and in Asia. The Philippines had been under the rule of Spain and Catholic clerics for 300 years. A sizable German Naval Force was in Manila Bay when Commodore Dewey arrived. The United States did not seek to establish a colonial empire anything like that of the British, Dutch and the French, and later Germany and Japan. Neither the jingoism of "Manifest Destiny" nor Brother Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" (referring to the United States and the Philippines) were the real motivating factors behind the United States acquisition of Hawaii and the Philippines. Many Americans strongly believed and with good reason, that unless the United States firmly established itself in the Pacific it would be overwhelmed economically and militarily by the major powers. Revisionist history aside, subsequent actions particularly by the Empire of Japan, and to a lesser extent by the major European powers, at one time or another attempted to restrict the economic activities and influence of the United States in the Pacific and Asia.
1898 and Beyond
During the Spanish American war the United States began to awaken to the strategic and military value of Hawaii. In 1898, both Hawaii and the Philippines became part of the United States. In December of 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack on Hawaii and the Philippines, and occupied the Philippine Islands until the American Armed Forces and Filipino guerrilla units recaptured the Islands in 1945. As promised, the Commonwealth of the Philippines became a free and independent country in 1946, and Hawaii was granted Statehood in 1959.
It is beyond the scope of this brief essay to explain the causes of the downfall of the Hawaiian Monarchy, or why some Freemasons were strong royalists and others were avowed annexationists, or the reasons for the acquisition of the Philippines by the United States.
*Vocabulary, 'Iolani. Royal Hawk, a symbol of royalty because of its high flight in the heavens. Name of the Palace.
Allen, Helen G. "Kalakaua Renaissance King" Mutual Publishing, Honolulu, 1994.
Agoncillo, Teodoro, "A Short History of The Philippines" Mentor Books, 1969.
Clemens, Roy H. "The Cornerstone of the Palace" Honolulu Masonic Public Library, 1979.
Friends of 'Iolani Palace, "Centennial Cornerstone Commemoration Ceremony, Honolulu, December31, 1979." Schweizer, Niklaus R. " Hawaii and the German Speaking Peoples" Topgallant Publishing, Honolulu, 1982.
Gardiner, Herbert G. "The Silver Working Tools" The Philalethes, August 1993.
O'Toole, G.J.A. "The Spanish War An American Epic-1898 " Penguin Books, 1984.
Gardiner, Herbert G. "Freemasonry In Hawaii And The Monarchy" A presentation made to Schofield Lodge F.& A. M., at Schofield Masonic Temple, Wahiawa, Hawaii, May 30, 1995.
Prange, Gordon W. "At Dawn We Slept" Penguin Books, 1981.
Pukui, Mary K. & Elbert, Samuel H. "Hawaiian Dictionary" University of Hawaii Press.
Questions on Hawaii
What is the only Masonic memento in the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor?
After months of negotiations, the General Grand Council, Cryptic Masons, International, presented a plaque to the Memorial on July 9, 1983. It reads: "In memory of the more than 2400 brave Americans who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941
When was the Grand Lodge of Hawaii instituted?
On May 20, 1989 the Grand Master was elected and the Grand Lodge officers "unofficially installed." The official installation took place on July 1, 1989. For years the Freemasons of Hawaii were under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of California. It welcomed its daughter into the fold of world-wide Grand Lodges.
From Allen E Roberts book "Masonic Trivia and Facts.
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial
The memorial owned by all the Freemasons of the country, that honors the leader of the Founding Father of the United States of America, becomes the home of the
Masonic Leadership Center
"Lifeline to the Growth of Freemasonry "
To develop future leaders, and assist the leaders of today.
Masonic Leadership Center
101 Callahan Drive
Alexandria, VA 22301
The MLC is a non-profit corporation.
What's available now:
- Proceedings of Conference of Grand Masters
- Proceedings of Conference of Grand Secretaries
Transactions of the:
- Northeast Conference
- Midwest Conference
- Proceedings of other Conferences
- Builders magazine
- The Philalethes periodical
- Short Talk Bulletins of the MSA
- Various leadership programs of some Grand Lodges
Volunteers to read, catalog, and review books, Transactions, and so on.
Contributions of Masonic leadership material
Leadership: The Philalethes Society Paves the Path
by Allen E. Roberts, FPS
For more than three decades a few Freemasons have pleaded for the establishment of a clearing house for Masonic leadership material. That's all it amounted to - talk. Now, thanks to the small International Research Society called "The Philalethes Society," the talk has turned into action!
A Masonic Leadership Center: the Lifeline to Growth is now reality!
For more than 50 years Masonic educational conferences have been held throughout the country. Most of these have featured papers by the leading educators and leaders within the Craft. They have given the Masonic world step by step accounts of excellent programs for developing leadership. They have shown our Lodges and Grand Lodges how they can develop dedicated Master Masons.
What happened to this information? Who learned what had been proposed?
The wisdom imparted by the knowledgeable men was, usually, circulated among the participants of the various Conferences. In rare cases a few of the successful programs were developed for use in other jurisdictions, but far too much of the information was buried and never again saw the light of day. The long hours, the money, the thinking, the work that went into the planning and execution were lost. The ax that started as a crude stone, then sharpened and improved with a handle, went back to its crude stage. As with the wheel, it continued to be reinvented. The money, effort and man hours shared in these conferences were expended over and over again.
The few within Freemasonry who were aware of the wasted money and time, pleaded for a central clearing house. They envisioned a center where the excellent proposals of the past and present could be readily available. In this depository information could be obtained, analyzed, then modified for their specific use. Good leaders know that no one agenda can fit every situation. Even within a state, conditions and people have different needs. But - the wheel doesn't have to be reinvented - it can be improved!
Now Freemasonry has an opportunity to save thousands (even millions) of dollars, and an uncountable number of man hours!
On August 12, 1995 a Masonic Leadership Center became a reality The Executive Board of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association unanimously approved a proposal to permit the Center to operate within the Memorial. The Board agreed with the far-sighted proposal presented to, and supported by, Donald M. Robey, MPS, PGM, Virginia, Executive Secretary of the Memorial Association.
The Center will be supervised by Paul M. Bessel, MPS, an attorney, dedicated Master Mason, and Librarian at the Memorial. He has turned what was a fiasco into an outstanding library, with all of its books cataloged and listed on computer. Leadership and programming information will also be itemized and reviewed for ready reference and disposition to any interested Masonic leader.
Want to know what Virginia did in the 60s, Georgia in the 70s and DC in the 80s to assist the Wardens of their Lodges to be better Masons? The Center can provide the answer. Want to know where you can find and study the principles of management and leadership? The Center will provide several sources. Want to know what any Grand Lodge did to further the cause of Masonic education during the past 50 years? The MLC can send you reams of material. The prospects are unlimited.
Several interested Freemasons have volunteered to help. They will use a program developed by Paul to index Proceedings, Transactions, books and other leadership material. They will include brief reviews of the indexed material so it can be readily selected.
Little can be accomplished without sufficient funding. The money for the minimum equipment has been contributed by The Philalethes Society. As the value of the MLC becomes widely accepted, it is expected that many of the Grand Lodge and appendant bodies will gladly support its endeavors. It is a non-profit corporation and is expected to be tax exempt. It will be managed by a Board of Directors made up of Master Masons dedicated to assisting the leadership in the Grand Lodges, Lodges and appendant bodies of the United States and the world.
The Center is only days old, but much information is already available. Everyone interested in the Growth of Freemasonry is urged to support the efforts of the Masonic Leadership Center located in the Masonic Memorial to George Washington, the many who made the United States of America a reality.
The Charge to an Entered Apprentice:
its evolution and revolution
by James E. Twomey
The charge given to an entered apprentice comes after a significant and somewhat bewildering series of events. (1) Perhaps the most important of these is the removal of his cable tow - that symbol of our distrust of the profane world - and the symbol of our immediate goodwill towards a new brother. The obligation (his word) is considered stronger than rope.
If Freemasonry is an "Order" (2) (i.e., a way of life) then rules of conduct are
By WILLIAM PRESTON,
PAST MASTER OF THE LODGE OF ANTIQUITY
ACTING BY IMMEMORIAL CONSTITUTION
The man, whose mind on virtue bent,
Pursues some greatly good intent
With undiverted aim;
Serene, beholds the angry crowd,
Nor can their clamours, fierce and loud,
His stubborn honour tame.
THE TENTH EDITION,
WITH CONSIDERABLE ADDITION
PRINTED BY A. STRABELL, PRINTERS-STREET
FOR G. AND T. WILEIS, NO. 57, PATERNOSTER-ROW
required; however, the obligation fails to provide the specific, positive actions required of the new member. This is the purpose of the Charge: it consists of statements which list the duties and behaviors we expect of a Freemason if he is to be one of us.
As a sign of respect, writes Mackey, (3) the candidate stands before the Master of the lodge and is admonished to do and think certain things. C.C. Hunt's Masonic Concordance clarified this a little when he defined the Charge as an "address to the candidate reciting the duties which becoming a Mason has imposed upon him." (4) These duties are straight forward and hardly need to be interpreted here. Yet, there is much to be learned from the Charge that can help us better understand the evolution of Freemasonry Clearly, the institution does evolve (though it may prompt the raising of a few eyebrows to say this!). Indeed, it must. As older members leave the lodge and newer men take their place, they will bring with them their specific needs and views. Moreover, the institution spread geographically and subsequently altered both linguistically and culturally. Even the simple phrase "cable tow" demonstrates this fact. There is no English translation other than "rope-pull", itself. (5)
So, the thoughtful Mason observes ritual and asks himself, "Why?" What purpose does or did that serve? Who wrote it? Who changed it? What truth statement is it making? Are the statements relevant today? These questions will be directed towards the "Charge" given to an Entered Apprentice (E.A.) after his first formal contact with Masonic ritual.
The Ancient Charges
Prof. Wallace McLeod, the only North American to have presided over the prestigious A.Q.C. "lodge of research" in England examined the existing "Gothic" constitutions (those parchment scrolls and codices from the late Middle Ages which contain the mythical origins of the Craft and its code of ethics). He derived from these the source from which most of them must have stemmed, and translated it into modern spelling calling it the "Standard Original" version (c.1520). (6) This would have been read aloud, not to an entered apprentice in his early teens, but in all probability to a new fellow of the craft or when a dispute arose. McLeod cites three possible uses of these documents: 1) Constitutional rules; 2) Charters; 3) Ritual monitors. (7) Whatever the overall purpose, the "Charge" portions are straight forward: do this and do that. Here is how they were approached within the ancient document.
...and also to them that be here we will declare the charge that belongeth to every true Mason to keep. For in good faith, and ye take heed thereto, it is well worthy to be kept for a worthy craft and a curious science. (Chapter 2).
Then follows the lengthy, traditional history of Freemasonry from Noah to Euclid. Later, and most interesting, is Euclid's charge in Chapter Ten:
And he gave them a charge in this manner.
1. The first was that they should be true to the King and to the lord that they served.
2. And that they should love well together, and be true each one to other.
3. And that they should call each other his Fellow or else his Brother, and not servant nor his knave, nor none other foul name.
4. And that they should truly deserve for their pay of the lord or Master that they serve.
5. And that they should ordain the wisest of them to be Master of the Work, and neither for love nor great lineage nor riches nor favour, to set another that bath little cunning to be Master of the lord's Work, whereby the lord should be evil served and they ashamed.
6. And also that they should call the governor of the work 'Master' in the time that they work with him.
7. And other many more charges that are too long to tell.
8. And to all these charges he made them swear the great oath that men used at that time. And ordained for them reasonable pay that they might live honestly by.
9. And also that they should come and assemble together every year once, how they might work best to serve their lord for his profit and their own worship. And to correct within themselves if they had trespassed.
And thus was the Craft grounded sheer. And that worthy clerk gave it the name of Geometry; and now it is called in this land Masonry.
The text then continues the history of the Craft from David in Jerusalem to St. Alban in England. Who, tradition says "Give them charges, as you shall hear afterwards" (14.8). The listener had to wait until chapter 19 to hear the nine "Charges General" followed by chapter 20's listing of twenty "Charges Singular." Here is an example of the first:
And also ye shall be true each one to another; that is to say, to every Master and Fellow of the Craft of Masonry that be Masons allowed, ye shall do to them as ye would they should do to you (19.3), and an example of the second type:
And also that no Mason shall play at hazard or at dice, nor no other unlawful games, whereby the Craft may be slandered (20. 12).
These charges, or instructions for proper conduct and thought, were reorganized by the first major "accepted" Masonic author, Rev. James Anderson, (8) in the first printed Masonic hand book entitled The Constitutions of the FreeMasons (London, 1723). (9) Anderson followed the example of the manuscript constitutions and begins with the mythology of the Craft and by "The Charges of a Free-Mason" which were to be read at the making of new brethren or whenever ordered by the Master. He put his charges under six categories or headings: 1) God & religion, 2) Civil authority, 3) Lodges. 4) Officers, 5) Management, and 6) Behaviors. Some of these are derived directly from the Gothic constitutions and some were his own innovations (especially #1). (10) Coming back to our study of the modern E.A. Charge, a few phrases from Anderson's charges can be found in it; however, it is important to note that Anderson has no "short" Charge to be read specifically to an Entered Apprentice. Thus, the modern charge given to an E.A. was never transcribed by a medieval cleric and was not created by an early 18th century one, either.
The ancient RECORDS of LODGES
beyond Sea, and of those in England, Scotland,
and Ireland, for the Use of the Lodges in LONDON:
TO BE READ
At making of NEW BRETHREN, or when the
MASTER shall order it.
The General Reads viz
I. OF GOD and RELIGION
II. Of the Civil Magistrate Supreme and Subordinate
III. Of Lodges
IV. Of Masters, Wardens, Fellows, and Apprentices.
V. Of the Management of the Craft in Working
VI. Of Behaviour, viz:
1. In the Lodge while to constituted
2. After the Lodge is over and the Brethren not gone.
3. When Brethren meet without Strangers, but not in Lodge.
4. In Presence of Strangers not Masons
5. At Home, and in the Neighbourhood
6. Towards a Strange Brother
The first printing of a separate, short charge occurs in a pamphlet published by James Roberts (11) in 1722 - a year before Anderson. He is a defender of the fraternity. The "Charge [that] belongeth to Apprentices" appears on page 20 of that work, and is dated by internal evidence around 1660. It contains ten points, of which three would later become part of the original E.A. Charge:
I. You shall truly honor . . . the King
V. You shall not maintain any disobedient Argument with your Master, Dame, or any Free-Mason.
VI. You shall reverently behave yourself towards all Free-Masons, using neither Cards, Dice, or any other unlawful Games, Christmas time excepted.
A complete reading of this charge is much like a present-day obligation (i.e., cheating, fornication, etc.). However, the modern "Charge" has origins elsewhere: the rise of the Masonic ritual pamphlet.
The "pocket companion" was a small, thin booklet containing the essentials of Anderson's Constitutions together with new songs, a list of previous Grand Masters, etc. The first was that of W.[illiam] Smith published in London, 1735/6. According to Denslow, (12) Smith was a Dublin bookseller of Scottish descent. In his Free Mason. Pocket Companion, he duplicates the six headings of charges in Anderson without giving him credit (which explains why his book was banned by Grand Lodge in London), but he adds something new: "A Short Charge to be given to new admitted Brethren." (13) This appears to be the "Standard Original" of our present-day E.A. Charge. Although different, many of our phrases can be detected wholly, or in part, in the old one. Below, is the charge as first written by Brother Smith:
To be given to new admitted
YOU are now admitted by the unanimous Consent of our Lodge, a Fellow of our most Antient and Honourable SOCIETY; Antient, as having subsisted from times immemoriaI, and Honourable, as tending in every Particular to render a Man so that will be but conformable to its glorious precepts. The greatest Monarchs in all Ages, as well of Asia and Africa as of Europe, have been Encouragers of the Royal Art; and many of them have presided as Grand Masters over the Masons in their respective Territories, not thinking it any Iessening to their Imperial Dignities to Level themselves with their Brethren in MASONRY, and to act as they did.
The World's great Architect is our Supreme Master, and the unerring Rule he has given us, is that by which we Work.
Religious Disputes are never suffered in the Lodge for as MASONS, we only pursue the universal Religion or the Religion of Nature. This is the Cement which unites Men of the most different Principles in one Sacred Band, and brings together those who were the most distant foam one another.
There are three general Heads of Duty which MASONS ought aIways to inculcate, viz. to God, our Neighbours, and ourselves.
To God, in/never mentioning his Name but with the Revential Awe which becomes a Creature to bear to his Creator, and to look upon him always as the Summum Bonum which we came into the World to enjoy; and according to that View to regulate all our Pursuits.
To our Neighbours, in acting upon the Square, or doing as we would be done by.
To ourselves, in avoiding all Intemperances and Excetics, whereby we may be rendered incapable of following our Work, or led into Behaviour unbecoming our laudable Profession and in always keeping within due Bounds, and free from all Pollution.
In the State, a MASON is to behave as a peaceable and dutiful Subject, conforming chearfully to the Government under which he lives.
He is to pay a due Deference to his Superiors, and from his Inferiors he is rather to receive Honour with some Reluctance, than to extort it.
He is to be a Man of Benevolence and Charity, not sitting down contented while his Fellow Creatures, but much more his Brethren, are in Want, when it is in his Power (without prejudicing himself or Family) to reIieve them.
In the Lodge, he is to behave with all due Decorum, lest the Beauty and Harmony thereof should be disturbed or broke.
He is to be obedient to the Master and presiding Officers, and to apply himself closely to the Business of MASONRY, that he may sooner become a Proficient therein, both for his own Credit and for that of the Lodge.
He is not to neglect his own necessary Avocations for the sake of MASONRY, nor to involve himself in Quarrels with those who through ignorance may speak evil of, or ridicule it.
He is to be a Lover of the Arts and Sciences, and to take all Opportunities of improving himself therein.
If he recommends a Friend to be made a MASON, he must vouch him to be such as he really believes will conform to the aforesaid Duties, Ieft by his Misconduct at any time the Lodge should pass under some evil Imputations. Nothing can prove more shocking to all faithfull MASONS, than to see any of their Brethren profane or break through the sacred Rules of their Order, and such as can do it they with had never been admitted.
This is the primary source for lines 1-6 and 10-30 (pg. 67) and lines 1, 2, 6-15, and 20-27 (pg. 68) of the modern charge as used in the jurisdiction of Wisconsin. Of course some rearrangement of words has occurred over the years (and as we'll see, over the ocean), but the fact remains that of the 57 lines of the modern charge, nearly 50 can be attributed to one man who published his favorite - probably his own! The charge as used in the jurisdiction of Wisconsin (14) is printed below.
"As you are now introduced
into the first principles
of Masonry, I congratulate you on being accepted into this Ancient and Honorable Fraternity - ancient, as having subsisted from time immemorial; and honor. able, as tending, in every particular, so to render an men who win be conformable to its precepts. No institution was ever raised on a better principle or more solid foundation, nor were ever more excellent rules and useful maxims laid down than are inculcated in the several Masonic lectures. Many of the greatest and best men in ad ages have been encouragers and promotors of the Art and never deemed it derogatory to their dignity to level themselves with the Fraternity, extend their privileges and patronize their assemblies."
"There are three great duties which, as a Mason, you are charged to inculcate, to God, your neighbor, and yourself. To God, in never mentioning His name but with that reverential awe which is due from a creature to his Creator; to implore his aid in an your laudable undertakings, and to esteem Him as the chief good. To your neighbor, in acting upon the Square, and doing unto him as you wish he should do unto you. And to yourself, in avoiding all irregularity and intemperance, which may impair your faculties or debase the dignity of your profession. A zealous attachment to these dudes win insure public and private esteem."
"In the State you are to be a quiet and peaceful subject, true to your government and just to your country. You are not to countenance disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently submit to legal authority and conform with cheerfulness to the government of the country in which you live."
"In your outward demeanor be particularly careful to avoid censure or reproach. Let not interest, favor or prejudice bias your integrity or influence you to be guilty of a dishonorable action. Neither are you to suffer your zeal for the institution to Iead you into argument with those who, through ignorance, may ridicule it."
"Your regular appearance at our meetings is earnestly solicited. At your leisure hours, that you may improve in Masonic knowledge, you are to converse with well informed brethren who will always be us ready to give as you win be ready to receive instruction."
"Finally, keep sacred and inviolable the mysteries of the Fraternity, as these are to distinguish you from the rest of the community and mark your consequence among Masons."
"If, in the circle of your acquaintance, you find a person desirous of being initiated into Masonry, be particularly careful not to give him encouragement, unless you are convinced he will conform to our rules: in which event you may refer him to those who have authority to recommend him to the Lodge that the honor, glory and reputation of the Institution may be firmly established and the world at large convinced of its good effect."
However, there remain three important paragraphs or phrases in our modern charge than cannot be found in the sources we have discussed so far.
Namely, lines 6-9 (pg. 67), and lines 3-5 and 16-19 (pg. 68). These three sections are additions to the early 18th century charge. Why and when were they added? Who changed the pure work? Moreover, Anderson's Universalism, considered by many to be his major contribution to Accepted Freemasonry and which was originally in Smith's version, has been removed. Why?
For the sake of brevity, let us call the first phrase " Institution", the second phrase "Bias", and the third phrase "Mysteries." On the face of it, the first is merely boastful, but it is clear that the other two issues have always been the target of social criticism aimed at the Order. Its alleged tendency to cause a Mason to prefer another member in matters of choice (hiring, promotions, elections, etc.), and its alleged secrecy (which was attacked as early as 1686 by a historian named Plot and in 1738 by Papal decree [the "they must be up to no good or else they would not veil themselves" argument]) seem to be defended by the additions.
One is tempted to conclude that the anti-Masonic hysteria of the 1829-1839 period in New England was the cause for the changes to the E.A. Charge. That is, it was a reactionary change. However, the evidence does not support this. The changes were pro-active and well thought out 50 years before the antimasons were organized in this country.
Let us look at the Charge as printed in several famous Masonic books of the 18th century England for clues to changes within it. The English exposures Three Distinct Knocks (1760) and Jachin and Boas (1762) do not contain anything in the way of a short E.A. Charge. This is not surprising because most scholars believe these to be written by non-Masons who had gained entrance to London lodges by reading the 1730 exposure, Masonry Dissected.
The short Charge probably was used regularly by genuine Freemason's lodges of the day, though. Proof of this can be seen in the "constitutions" of the other Grand Lodge in London at that time: the "Ancients." This organization owes its success to Laurence Dermott whose book Ahiman Rezon (London, 1756) was the second major revival in the Craft. Filled with innovations, we find "A Short Charge to a new admitted Mason" on pp. 35-38 in this text. He retained Smith's version. [Dermott also made this timely footnote to the charge - only read "Appendant Body" for "Lodge" to see its foresight: "Here (referring to the "Vocations" phrase) you are to understand that a Mason ought not to belong to a Number of Lodges at one Time, nor run from Lodge to Lodger or otherwise, after Masons or Masonry, whereby his Business or Family may be neglected . . . for the Attendance and Dues of one Lodge, can never prejudice neither him nor his Family" (p. 37). Later, in Donaldson's Pocket Companion (Edinburgh, 1763) the charge is again unaltered. Likewise, the third edition of the Pocket Companion (London, 1764) has the Smith version intact, as does the Edinburgh (1765) version.
According to William Preston (a printer and tireless Mason) in his first edition of Illustration of Masonry (London, 1772), "A Charge on Masonry To be delivered after the ceremony of Initiation into the First Degree" as he refers to his version, was "Printed by itself in 1769, and inscribed to the honourable CHARLES DILLON, who was pleased to give it his patronage" (p. 191). The importance of this statement is commented upon by Dyer (16):
"It was, of course, this approbation of the regularity by the Grand Master which was important to Preston, for despite the opposition he had experienced, the system he now taught, as indeed he did, and practiced, and encouraged others to practice, had been shown on the highest authority to be regular (p.22)."
The altered Charge is the first item listed in his appendix, together with other "charges and prayers [which] might be considered as the less secret part of the ceremonies" (p. 24). Preston's Charge begins with Smith's first paragraph, and includes the new, boastful "institution" phrase. His optimism runs wild: it is not the "several Masonic lectures" that are inculcated with "excellent rules and useful maxims; "rather, "all persons" - perhaps like Moses and Liberty - exude these when initiated into the mysteries of this science" (p. 192). He omits the second paragraph (i.e., Duties) entirely, but adds a great many new phrases and paragraphs including the very humanistic "Bias" clause and the precursor to the "Mysteries" clause. However, the latter's purpose is altogether different than the modern one; wherein, the knowledge of the "Mysteries" simply separates us from non-Masons. In its earliest form it read:
"Before I conclude, I must recall to your memory the absolute necessity of keeping inviolable every particular instruction of this solemn charge; (p. 198)
Thus, the addition of the "Mysteries" phrase was at first internal. That is, the candidate was to keep to himself the specific points of the charge he had just heard. Point IV of Roberts' (1722) E.A. Charge may have been the germ of this Preston addition: " You shall not disclose . . . what is to be concealed.'' (17) Furthermore, Preston removed the "Universality" phrase: Anderson's creed of toleration. In short, Preston altered the Charge radically, and felt that he could change it because the innovations had come from the mouth of a Grand Lodge officer during a speech. Smith's original Charge had 77 lines, while Preston's version had swelled to 200. A zealous and intelligent man, he sought to improve upon the existing lectures; in short, he sought to make the institution equal to his boast about it.
The first American Ahiman Rezon (Philadelphia, 1783), retains the original Smith version of the charge with one noteworthy alteration: " The greatest monarchs, and most exalted heroes and patriots" have been members. This is a wonderfully lucid example of how the Charge is altered after its early boasts proved true. Here, the formation of the American Republic, and the prominent role which Freemasons played in that cultural and political upheaval seemed to warrant an anonymous change to the pure work. The American interest in the "York Rite" would do the same.
In 1797, Thomas Smith Webb, a printer and bookseller in Albany, New York (18) published his Freemason's Monitor; or Illustrations of Masonry and placed the "Charge at Initiation into the first Degree" amid the E.A. ritual, not in an appendix as Preston had done. From Preston, he takes the entire first paragraph intact and makes it optional! He restores the second paragraph on the three great duties, the "Bias" phrase is maintained, another long Preston addition to "benevolence and charity" originally a short Smith phrase, had been made optional as has a Prestonian paragraph on one's behavior in lodge, and most importantly, the "Mysteries" phrase is there. Clearly, Webb wanted to shorten, reorganize, and standardize the ritual work in the U.S. The proof of this can be found in his treatment of the "Charge at Initiation into the first Degree" which he had reduced from Preston's 200 down to 111 lines in his first edition, becoming shorter until by the 10th edition of 1818 the wording is almost exactly that of the present day Charge.
In his preface to the 10th edition Webb admits, "The observation upon the first three degrees are many of them taken from Preston's Illustrations of Masonry with some necessary alterations.'' (19) William Preston, an Englishman, published his landmark book in 1772. It first American edition was issued in 1804 (after Webb had published), so we can conclude that Webb used an English edition of Preston. So, it is largely to Preston that we owe the three major thematic additions and single most important deletion to the E.A. Charge.
Webb, however, is the one who reduced the Charge's length by omitting the benevolence and charity paragraph, the Constitutions paragraph, the Behavior in the Lodge paragraph and the study of "the liberal arts and sciences" phrase, leaving a mere sixty-five lines to the Charge. To sum up, what Preston gaveth, Webb tooketh away!
The Charge was also greatly shortened for propaganda purposes in the 19th century by the American anti-Masons. In 1829, Rev. David Bernard expanded Morgan's Light on Masonry in Utica, NY. This was the exposure in response to William Morgan's abduction and was prepared "with the design of securing them from the grasp of Masonic power; advancing the cause of truth and justice . . . " (p.iii). The E.A. Charge had been in print in America for 32 years, so it is unlikely that its corruption was caused by a lapse of memory or inability to locate a printed version.
The E.A. Charge should begin after the second and third section lectures (which Morgan & Bernard also omitted), but their corrupted version begins immediately after the candidate has returned to the lodge "reinvested" as we say. More to the point, their Charge begins at line twenty-five of the current Wisconsin monitor. They left
ILLUSTRATIONS OF MASONRY:
IN TWO PARTS
BY THOMAS SMITH WEBB,
PAST GRAND MASTER OF THE GRAND LODGE OF
A new and improved edition
PUBLSHED BY CUSHING AND APPLETON
off the first two paragraphs entirely There can be little doubt that "exposing" the quality of Freemasonry's patrons and our code of ethics did not fit into their conceptions at truth and justice." From the mid-18th century English to the late 20th century American anti-Masonic movements, this policy has remained unchanged.
To return to our historical survey, in the other two influential Masonic Monitors published in the U.S., Macoy's Masonic Manual (N.Y.: 1859) reprints Webb 10th edition Charge verbatim, while Cross' True Masonic Chart (1846) omits the "Bias" phrase. Both texts retain the "Vocations" phrase as do many jurisdictions today, though it has been removed from the Wisconsin pure work. Indeed, the changes to the Charge are numerous in the U.S.A. Duncan, writing in the late 19th century adds a few moderating words I like very much: "no human institution was ever raised . . . " and "you are to be a quiet and peaceable citizen, true to the government . . . " He also retains the "Vocations" phrase. Duncan does add two paragraphs (21 lines) after the normal charge to be read "If the candidate be a clergyman" (20) meaning, of course, a Christian minister. Moreover, in a monitor used by the Grand Lodge of Nebraska there is an optional "patriotic" paragraph. (21)
Almost by definition, there have always been charges within the Masonic Order. As the order changed from a vocational to a philosophical fraternity, and as the rights and status of an Entered Apprentice increased, the need for a specific charge for that degree was seen by William Smith. His was shorter than both the medieval authors and Anderson had provided. This remained unchanged for 40 years in England.
Then, as the great Masonic "reformer" Preston did with so many things, he expanded the E.A. Charge, while deleting its original statement of religious tolerance. Webb, an American can advocate of the York Rite, revised Preston's version downward over time until, by the early 19th century it reached the stage where it remains in most jurisdictions to date. The data suggests that the E.A. Charge evolved as individual Masonic writers (most of whom were involved in book production) projected their own needs and the perceived needs of the fraternity onto others through the printed word. (22) From this limited study, we may be better able to find consensus upon what facets of the ritual can or should be changed in the future, and how that change can be implemented.
Author's note. I am desirous of seeing photocopies of different versions of the E.A. Charge used throughout the world. Please forward to: James E. Twomey, Masonic Temple, 807 61st Street, Suite 300, Kenosha, WI 53143 USA.
1. The Charge itself is significant. W.J. Hughnan's entry "Freemasonry" in the Encyclopedia Britannica [(Cambridge: University Press, 1910) pp.78-85] begins with the Charge. It is a succinct definition of the duties of a Freemason.
2. Clegg, R. l. Mackey 's History of Freemasonry. (Chicago: Masonic History Co., 1921), pp. 1 and passim.
3. Hawkins, E.L. An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. (New York: Masonic History Co., 1917),p. 143.
4. Hunt, C.C. Masonic Concordance. (Cleveland: 1944), p. 66.
5. Hawkins p. 126.
6. McLeod Wallace "The Old Charges," Ars Quatuor Coronati (99), pp. 120-150. All subsequent quotations from the old charges are taken from this article, except when otherwise noted. Prof. McLeod's "Standard Original" version now appears in the Wisconsin Program - the official educational and candidate posting lessons for the jurisdiction of Wisconsin, U. S. A.
7. McLeod, Wallace The Old Charges. (Bloomington, IL: The Masonic Book Club, 1985), p. 7.
8. Vibert, Lionel "Anderson's Constitutions of 1723," Little Masonic Library. (Kingsport, TN: Southern Publishers, 1946), pp. 159-274.
9. Although I have had the joy of holding the first edition, I have used this practical reprint for research purposes.
11. McLeod, MBC (16), p. 14.
12. Denslow, William R. Transactions of the Missouri Lodge of Research (17), pp. 162. Its better known title is 10,000 Famous Freemasons.
13. This and all future references in the text to title and authors come from the antique editions cited. Special thanks to the former librarians of the Museum of Our National Heritage for their assistance.
14. Wisconsin, Grand Lodge of. Multiple Letter Cipher, 1987.
15. Jackson, A.C.F. English Masonic Exposures 1760-1769. (London: Lewis Masonic Pub. 1986), p. 181.
16. Dyer, Colin William Preston and his Work. (London: Lewis Masonic' Pub., 1987), p. 22. One cannot claim to know ritual without first knowing Bro. Preston, in my opinion.
17. The Old Constitutions . . . of Free And Accepted Masons. (London: J[ames] Roberts, 1722), pp. 20-22
18. Denslow, p. 304.
19. Webb, Thomas Smith The Freemason's Monitor (Salem: Cushing & Appleton, 1818) p. iii.
20. Duncan, Malcolm C. Duncan 's Masonic Ritual and Monitor, 3rd ad. (N.Y. Dick & Fitzgerald 1880), pp. 56-57.
21. Nebraska, Grand Lodge of Monitor and Ceremonies. (Omaha: Omaha Printing Co., 1910) pp.
22. Adams, CC. AQC (45). I was not successful in obtaining a copy of the article on the E.A. Charge, the only one of its kind of which I am aware. Therefore, my conclusions may need modification.
An American Asks Why Only In England ?
by Howard R. Stewart, M. D., MPS
In the 1940s, another American, Harry L. Haywood, asked, "Why did it [Speculative Masonry] grow up out of it [Operative Masonry] in England only, when Operative Masonry had been the same on the Continent as there?" When first I read that in The Newly-Made Mason, I was a neophyte, and its impact was minimal. However, as the years went by, it became a more interesting as well as intriguing question. It is also a good question. The cathedral builders (Freemasons) were an orderly lot and had rules and regulations they dared not bend. They used copies of the Old Charges; they took oaths not to violate the Landmarks; they were undoubtedly speculative in nature; they admitted non-operatives; and they had centuries of time in which to transform from Operative to Speculative Masonry. Yet, in spite of all of that, the transition from a purely operative society to a purely speculative society did not occur in Europe. (1)
The formal organization of Masonry is credited to the formation of the first Grand Lodge of England, often referred to as the "Mother Grand Lodge. " It should have been called the "Grand Lodge of London," since only four lodges participated in its formation, all of which were located in London or the adjacent village of Westminster, and all of which apparently were seeking association mainly for social purposes. Could such an act have led to a world-wide, yet closely-knit society? I suppose so, but I have long felt that this was but a small part of a lengthy experience, the seeds for Speculative Masonry having been planted elsewhere long before 1717. With that view in mind, the working hypothesis for this paper is that the answer lies at the feet of certain intellectuals, the "Hermetic philosophers, " especially those who fled from certain persecution in Western Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I label this an hypothesis because it is, as dictionaries state, an unproven, even ill-supported theory.
What is known is that the island of Britain, isolated by water and usually free of Roman Catholic domination, served as a haven for free-thinking intellectuals including those who fled from oppression in Europe. What is projected is that not only their exodus, but more especially, the reasons for their exodus explain why our formal organization was not born on the Continent, despite a gestational period of several centuries.
So much has been written about English and Scottish Masonry that the less inquisitive might conclude that Masonic activity in Europe was minimal but such was not the case. If you believe the exponents of the transitional theory, i. e., that Speculative Masonry arose directly from Operative Masonry, you are aware that the matrix for a formal organization was in place in Europe by the fifteenth century Recall that Gothic architecture evolved in Western Europe - not England - and that the ancient knowledge so important to our symbolic rituals came first to Western Europe. I would also have you believe that the European Freemasons actively sought knowledge and were receptive to new ideas. Personally, I have been convinced of this since the day I stood in the nave of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris for the first time. My belief in the transitional theory solidified as I stood there in awe. It was so obvious to me that whoever built that magnificent "pile" had knowledge above and beyond that of the ordinary builder of 1163 A.D. The place reeks of spiritual harmony with the aura of association with Almighty God emanating from every niche and vaulted recess.
Prior to the twelfth century, cathedrals had been of medieval design with thick walls, few windows, and low and flat roofs. But, even before the full impact of the Renaissance and the cultural revolution it spawned, the complexities of the Gothic style made it a fine art requiring extraordinary ingenuity and talent possessed only by a special class of builders whose speculative nature was readily apparent in the scope of their structures. We can only ask where did it come from? It is certain that this new and different style of building carried the trade to a higher plane. And the demand was great. Between 1170 and 1270, eighty Gothic cathedrals were erected in France alone. (2)
Of course, cathedrals were erected in other European countries, but our concern is the organizing of Masonry into a solid unit, and in that respect, only France and Germany merit attention. There, the builders were disciplined and laid down rules that resemble modern Masonic guidelines. At one point, Albert Mackey was moved to conclude that "of all countries Germany played the most important part in the history of ... Freemasonry, since it was there that the guilds of Operative Stonemasons first assumed that definite organization which subsequently led to the establishment of Speculative Freemasonry." Few have agreed with Mackey, but one of the associations of builders in Germany, the Steinmetzen, apparently did comprise a strong association that held general assemblies, adopted Constitutions, Codes of Law, and may have established Grand Lodges. However, by the mid-seventeenth century, the German organization had waned substantially and was finally abolished by Imperial Edict in 1731. (3)
In France, an association of builders had developed from the corporations of workers who were considered to be superior to ordinary builders. They called themselves Compagnons de Tour and were members of a larger company, the Compagnonage. For years, they traveled throughout France, erecting many structures.
There are legends connecting them to King Solomon's Temple, Maitre Jacques, Pere Soubise and Jacques de Molay. They were considered to be a mystical association and were not under the protection of the Church. (4)
Of course, it is possible that Mackey was wrong in his assumptions concerning the organization of the Freemasons of the Middle Ages, but I must agree with his conclusions as to their makeup:
They consisted mainly of architects and skilful operatives; but - as they were controlled by the highest principles of their art, were in possession of important professional secrets, were actuated by deep sentiments of religious devotion, and had united with themselves in their labors, men of learning, wealth, and influence - to serve as a proud distinction between themselves and the ordinary laborers and uneducated workmen, many of whom were of servile condition.
To say the least, the European Freemasons were not ordinary and uncouth ruffians. Men such as these were capable of establishing a solid and lasting organization, but the times were not right, and the catalyst was either missing or inactive. (5)
From whence had these artisans come and from whom did they receive their knowledge? Propagation by apprenticeship can be assumed, but who trained the first master builders? At times, we seem to forget that man has always been an intelligent being and has kept up with the times, accrued knowledge and expanded it as the need arose. Obviously, someone had to be first--someone who possessed innate ability - in short, someone who was both operative and speculative. The history of mankind's progress, derived from physical necessities and spiritual aspirations, tells us that such people have always been there.
What if the legends of the Dionysian Artificers' migration from Phoenicia to Rome are not legends at all? What if a mighty stream of artisans flowed through Rome to Lake Coma and from there northward to fill Europe with stately cathedrals? What if Italian Greek, French, Flemish and German architects formed together and traveled from country to country building for God, and as their fame spread, were sent for by England where they implanted their Masonry. There are many theories, but none proven. At any rate, these special builders, the Freemasons, left their mark, and many of their structures still stand as monuments to their special abilities. Their patrons were kings, and noblemen as well as prelates joined them in their efforts. Their apprentices studied the liberal arts under the tutelage of the clergy at construction sites and no doubt were trained in the spiritual nature of things. (6)
Yet, Speculative Masonry did not originate in Western Europe, and again the question arises - why? By the start of the sixteenth century, all of the necessary ingredients were in place. At that time, however, European society was in a state of flux with religion at the center of the maelstrom. The Roman Catholic Church remained the dominant factor, but the cultural revolution spawned by the Renaissance had evoked a new outlook on religion which raised questions concerning the organization and teachings of the Church. Martin Luther in Germany and John Calvin in France leveled attacks on fundamental Catholic doctrines with resulting agitation of the Catholic hierarchy. In sharp contrast, a tolerance for differing beliefs and opinions was present in England, especially when a Protestant occupied the throne and many political and religious dissidents would ultimately seek refuge there. And they just may have carried our answer to England with them. (7)
For centuries, the major force in Western Europe had been the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinals and bishops were omnipotent and accumulated great wealth. The Church had powers of appointment and control which heretofore had been enjoyed only by monarchs. Human nature being then as it is now, the wealth resulted in the moral decline of many clergymen, and this precipitated attacks on the Church accusing it of departing from Christian ideals. However, despite these flaws, the Church remained the "perfect society" with powers of control over all its subjects and the sanction of punishment over the disobedient, and this left little room for free-thinking intellectuals.
With the Renaissance came newer and freer thinking, and charges of heresy skyrocketed. Any belief contrary to Church canon was an unpardonable sin. For centuries, Europeans lived in terror of the Inquisition, while England suffered only twice - first, during the reign of Edward II in the fourteenth century and again under " Bloody Mary" in the sixteenth century. Both monarchs were Catholic.
Despite its punitive nature, to say that the Church was totally opposed to the Renaissance would be unfair. On the contrary, it welcomed the changes in several ways. New principles of government were introduced. The invention of the printing press made possible the rapid dissemination of information. There was general enlightenment, and by the end of the fifteenth century, Western Europe had passed into a new age. But then, in 1517, the Protestant Reformation shattered the unity of Christendom, and during the religious wars that followed, the situation again was grim. By that time, several schools of Hermetic philosophy existed in France and Germany as well as in England. The activities of the adepts were by necessity subterranean with their knowledge known as "hidden knowledge. " In Protestant Germany, this hidden knowledge was promoted as a weapon against the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire. It was this movement that Francis Yates called the "Rosicrucian Enlightenment." (8)
As the seventeenth century began, the Rosicrucian teaching was flourishing in Protestant Europe, and its acceptance in England was enhanced in 1603 when James VI of Scotland became James I of England, thus uniting both countries under one Protestant king who viewed the Freemasons with favor. One of the larger centers for Hermetic or Rosicrucian thought was located at the court of Frederick V of Germany, a Protestant. In 1617, Frederick was crowned Emperor of Bohemia, an act that precipitated the Thirty Years War. This was the most devastating war fought prior to the twentieth century Catholic armies overran Germany threatening Protestantism with extinction. As a result, many intellectuals fled to the relative safety of England where some would join the `'Invisible College" at Oxford University, organized in 1648 by Dr. John Wilkins, a former associate of Frederick's court. During the English Civil War and Cromwell Protectorate that followed, the Invisible College remained just that - invisible. Then in 1659, its meetings were moved to London, and following the restoration of Charles I to the throne in 1660, it threw off its shrouds and became the Royal Society In time the Royal Society became the main conduit for Masonic thought. Thomas and Henry Vaughn, Henry More, Thomas Cosworth, Isaac Newton, Chevalier Ramsey and Dr. John Desaguliers, as well as others, were members. According to historian Christopher Nicolai, several Royal Society members joined the Masons Company of London and assumed the title of Free and Accepted Masons. Of course, Nicolai could have been wrong, but whatever happened, Rosicrucianism, the Royal Society and Masonry became almost indistinguishable. (9)
Before drawing conclusions, it would be unfair not to mention another persecuted group who fled Western Europe during the throes of the Inquisition. These were the Knights Templar whose story constitutes one of the theories of origin of Speculative Masonry The Knights were soldiers - not philosophers - but they did travel in the Middle East where they were almost certainly exposed to the ancient knowledge. Several attempts to link the two organizations directly have met with little success. However, enough have believed in a connection to make the story one of the durable legends. For this, we can thank Chevalier Ramsey, both for the legend of origin and for subject material for Scottish and York Rite Degrees. (10)
One can only imagine the confusion among the Templars, when, after being lured to France to plan a new Crusade, Philip the Fair ordered their arrest and immediately began their hideous torture for confessions of heresy. Refusing to confess, their Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, went to the stake on papal order. The Templars were a religious body who owed allegiance to no one except the Holy Father. When he turned on them, chained them, beat and murdered them, he broke their link with God. Today, it is difficult to realize that in fourteenth century Europe there was no pathway to God except through the pope. Many Templars hid out and looked toward Britain where Edward II did not respond to the arrest order until a papal bull was issued. In Scotland, the papal bull was never published. This made Britain very attractive to men fleeing from the wrath of their church. Many went to Scotland where they joined or "hid" among the companies of operative Masons. What this had to do with Speculative Masonry remains to be seen, but one contemporary, John J. Robinson, who conducted an exhaustive research of the subject, became so convinced of a direct connection that he issued this dogmatic statement:
There remained no reasonable doubt in my mind that the original concept of the secret society that came to call itself Freemasonry had been born as a society of mutual protection among fugitive Templars and their associates in Britain, men who had gone underground to escape the imprisonment and torture that had been ordered for them by Pope Clement V.
And, although I do not agree with Robinson, who can prove him wrong? (11)
In summary, I have attempted to show that the ancient knowledge and the advanced 'secrets' of the building trade came to Western Europe long before advancing to England and fell into eager and receptive hands. In fact, all the necessary ingredients were there, but formal organization did not occur. No doubt, there are several reasons for this that we may never know, but topping the list has to be fear of political and religious persecution which later caused many intellectuals, especially the Hermetic philosophers, to flee to England.
In addition to his dogmatic statement concerning a Templar origin for Speculative Masonry, Robinson also said this:
The answer lay in what has emerged as the true purpose of Secret Masonry, the mutual protection of men at odds with church and state, particularly when the state religion was Roman Catholicism.... Then came a time near the beginning of the seventeenth century when science and mathematics began to take hold of men's minds, to stir their imaginations, and to invoke new theories, new experiments. (12)
If Robinson had not been speaking of the Knights Templar, I could almost agree with that statement. There had been a new wave of 'enlightened' thinking which was intolerable in Europe but acceptable in England. And, in time, the sciences did take hold of men's minds, stirring their imaginations, and invoking new theories and experiments. Meanwhile, the numbers of non-operative members steadily increased until they outnumbered the operatives. Then, when extinction was feared and the desire to perpetuate the society became urgent, a formal organization emerged.
1. H.L. Haywood, The Newly-Made Mason (Richmond, Va: Macoy, 1973), 22.
2. Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (1966), 3: 1247-8; Encyclopedia Americana (1958), 6: 54-9.
3. Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia, 1: 402.
4. Ibid., 1:234-6.
5. Ibid., 2:974.
6. Wallace McLeod, The Grand Design (Highland Springs,Va.: Anchor Communications, 1991),18-9; Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia, 2: 1046-9.
7. Deed L. Vest, Pursuit Of A Thread (San Antonio, Tx.: Watercress Press, 1983), 164; Encyclopedia Americana, 23:367-73.
8. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, The Temple And The Lodge (New York, N.Y.: Little, Brown and Co. 1989), 144.
9. Ibid., 144-5.
10. Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia. 2:829-32.
11. John J. Robinson, Born In Blood (New York, N.Y.: Evans & Co., 1989) xiii-xix, Howard R. Stewart, "Hermetic Influences On Freemasonry, " Transactions of the Texas Lodge of Research, to be published.
12. Robinson, Born In Blood, 242.
THE ILLEGITIMATE BROTHER
An Unpublished Letter of Thomas Dunckerley
by Paul Rich, MPS
Recently from an English manuscript dealer I was fortunate enough to come into possession of an original and unpublished letter of Thomas Dunckerley (1724-1795). Dunckerley is of course a very great figure in eighteenth-century Freemasonry, but he is also notable as the illegitimate son of King George II of England (1683-1770).
The letter, dated 1 November 1753, which is to an unnamed patron, expresses gratitude for the help he has already received in his career and asks for an additional favor. It may have been written to the fourth Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773) or Sir Robert Walpole (1676-1745), both of whom probably knew of his parentage and took an interest in Dunckerley.
Dunckerley's mother, Mary Bolness, was employed in the household of Walpole, who of course became prime minister of England. It was there that she met the Prince of Wales, later George II. Mrs. Walpole, who evidently felt partly responsible for the affair, helped to arrange the marriage of Mary to Adam Dunckerley, who took advantage of the preferment given him for the favor but soon deserted her.
It was only on his mother's death in 1760 that Dunckerley learned of his royal parentage. As a boy he received no help from the prince, nor did his mother, and he had entered the navy as a youth. (There is a reference to him as an able seaman in 1742, when he was seventeen, but that was probably not his first posting.)
Dunckerley explains in the letter that he is the gunner of HMS Tyger, a British warship stationed at Portsmouth. He has now the chance to replace a Mr. Port, who is gunner on HMS Duke and is about to retire. By winning promotion from his present post on Tyger, which is a 60-gun ship, to Duke, which is a 90-gun ship, he will gain an additional thirteen pounds a year in wages, which will enable him to better support his family and children.
His service on the Tyger ran from April of 1753 to March of 1754. He was not posted to Duke, but did secure a post with HMS Vanguard, where in 1755 he became Master Gunner. At the time of writing the letter Dunckerley may have been contemplating initiation into the craft, because he took the three degrees all on 10 January 1754. He joined the Royal Arch in 1754. He became a Masonic enthusiast immediately, and was involved in shipboard lodges as well as with lodges in Canada. He was finally recognized by the royal family in 1767, when George III granted him a pension from the secret service list and he was given a flat, first in Somerset House and later in Hampton Court Palace. This enabled him to pursue what amounted to a fulltime career in Masonry, much of which was
I devoted to being provincial grand master of most counties. He took a great interest in the Royal Arch and Knights Templar, using his skills as an organizer to revive chapters and encampments and reorganize the degrees.
The letter raises a number of intriguing questions. It would be interesting to know about other Masonic associations with the ships on which he served, and whether it is possible to further tie the letter to events in Portsmouth in the 1750s. To conclusively establish the identity of Dunckerley's patron would be of considerable value. Dunckerley's life would reward any Masonic scholar interested in the eighteenth century Brother Henry Sadler produced a biography in 1891 and Ron Chudley wrote a small study (Thomas Dunckerley, Lewis Masonic, London, 1982), but a full length and fully researched biography is lacking.
Dunckerley opinions about the Craft appear in an address he gave at the dedication of a new lodge room in Plymouth in 1757 and which was printed and sold by a London publisher. In The Light and Truth of Freemasons Explained, he writes: To attempt a decription of this stupendous fabrick may seem presumptuous in me, who have been so few years a Mason; but as you, my Brethren, were pleased to request something of this kind, give me leave to assure you that I am truly sensible of the honour . . . Truth, as it is a divine atribute, so is the foundation of all Masonic Virtues. It is one of our grand Principles; for to be good men and true, is part of the first great lesson we are taught: and at the commencement of our Freedom we are exhorted to be fervent and zealous in the pursuit of Truth and Goodness. It is not sufficient that we walk in the Light, unless we do the Truth also. "
Brethren will be interested in my disposition of the letter. With accompanying material I donated it to the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where I am a fellow. Naturally I made copies, but in my opinion original material on Freemasonry should be adequately housed in properly maintained archives. The fun is not only in finding something unusual, and in writing about it, but in making it available under controlled conditions to others.
Share your Masonic knowledge with Freemasons from all over the world. You can do this through the Masonic Forum on CompuServe, where the Philalethes Society's Cornerstone Computer Chapter will be found. For an introductory membership dial -800-524-3388, ask for representative 378.
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by Charles S. Guthrie, FPS
Hunter, C. Bruce. Beneath the Stone: The Story of Masonic Secrecy. Richmond: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., 1993. xxxiv, 378 pp. Illus., Index, Bibliog. $20.50.
This book is another attempt to explain the origin, progress, and present state of Freemasonry. The author notes the legendary meeting at York in 926 A.D. The Gothic Constitutions are considered, as is the Regius Manuscript and Anderson's Constitutions. He appears to accept the transitional theory of the origin of the institution and couples it with the idea that surviving Templars in England and Scotland joined such lodges as may have existed in the fourteenth century.
Quite a bit of space is devoted the origin, progress, and suppression of the Knights Templar. They were organized originally as poor soldiers to help guard pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. Eventually accountable only to the Pope, they formed an organization to help take the Holy Land from the Infidel Moslems during the Crusades. Over about two centuries they became very rich and powerful; so much so that they eventually excited the jealousy of both kings and Popes, who accused them of various corruptions, heresies, and immoralities.
When the Templars were finally suppressed early in the fourteenth century, Hunter believes that some of them fled to England and Scotland and entered such Masonic lodges as then existed. At the time these lodges had few secrets outside building techniques, which they guarded closely. With the coming of the Templars, and finally with the general ideas, first of the Renaissance and some time later of the Enlightenment, "gentlemen" Masons, i.e. aristocratic men, joined early lodges as honorary members for the sake of association with the master architects who supervised the building of cathedrals and other magnificent structures of the middle ages. It was a matter of pride on the part of the aristocrats to associate thus with the skilled architects. Then, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries they brought with them a commitment to the new ideas of men like Galileo and Newton.
These gentlemen exploited the symbolic potential of the operative masons. To do this, they ". . . used the remnants of a thousand years of history to assemble a body of symbolism." They did this with allegory and the symbolism of stonemasons' tools to present moral laws.
Thus, the gentlemen Masons took the organization into "teaching people how to conduct their lives and how to approach their Creator." The gentlemen Masons sought knowledge and used a quest for knowledge as a symbol for their inquiry. The Templar and the Masonic traditions blended. The modern Freemason has inherited the legend of Hiram and a substitute word. "That word is the most secret of all his secrets. "
Although the thesis of the book appears to be to show what the secrets so carefully guarded by Masons then and even now may have been, in places the book is somewhat vague about this. Hunter says ". . . Masonic secrecy is much more than a single word or a slightly irregular handshake. It is an integral part of the history and symbolic fabric that made Freemasonry unique among fraternal organizations. "
The most interesting part of this book is the account of early British and European history from pre-Roman times through the Crusades (including the part the Templars played in them) to the twentieth century. This is reinforced by a chronology from 1000 B.C. (the time of the biblical King David) to the twentieth century A.D. Included in this is the history of the various ideas that have come to distinguish modern Freemasonry. And throughout, there is a concern with secrecy. It seems to this writer that the author is content to let the individual Mason determine for himself what that secret is and why it is important. Indeed, the whole Masonic experience, from the first inclination of the candidate to petition for membership, throughout his Masonic initiation and life afterwards, may be the secret most prominent.
Regrettably, for a book that displays such wide-ranging research, thought, and synthesis, it contains many typographical errors-and some word usage that may puzzle the reader at first. But then, everyone who has ever written or edited anything knows it is almost impossible to eliminate all of these.
It is a book well worth reading and should be in the possession of interested members as well as in both Masonic and public libraries.
Baigent, Michael and Richard Leigh. The Temple and the Lodge. New York: Arcade Publishing Co., 1989. xiv, 306 pp. Illus., notes, bibliog., index. $22.95.
The Temple and the Lodge represents the efforts of two non-Masons, Baigent and Leigh, to make a "wholly historical" examination of the origins, evolution, and development of Freemasonry. They also consider the influence of the fraternity on the culture of both Britain and the United States. They cover the centuries from the beginning through the eighteenth century. They consider such questions as the alleged corruption of Freemasonry; whether it has sinister purposes; whether it interferes with honest government; and whether it is inimical to Christianity.
They conclude that "the current controversy concerning Freemasonry [in both England and America] is a storm in a teacup, a number of non-issues or spurious issues inflated far beyond the status they actually deserve" (xi-xiv). Apparently the authors decided to write this book after accidentally discovering what they believed to be a Templar chapel and graves with Templar emblems and a Masonic square in a remote location on the western coast of Scotland. It is their opinion that after the dissolution and extreme persecution of the Knights Templar by Philip the Fair and the Pope in 1307, some of the Templars made their way to Scotland. Here they offered their services to Robert the Bruce, and some of their principles ultimately found their way into Freemasonry.
Baigent and Leigh stress the drama of Hiram Abiff, which they believe existed for centuries before it was finally revealed in exposes of Masonic work in the early eighteenth century, and in particular by the French poet Nerval in 1851, who claimed to have heart the legend in the Middle East earlier in that century.
As to the origins of Freemasonry, in its present form, Baigent and Leigh believe it came into being in 1717 with the organization of the Grand Lodge of England. There were pre- existing lodges here and there, apparently descendants of the early operative lodges. However, it is historical fact that at least one individual lodge (Kilwinning) was in existence in Scotland as early as 1598. No doubt some were also scattered over England and Ireland by or before 1717.
This book says nothing about the Antients' Grand Lodge. It would seem that in a work considering the influence of Freemasonry upon culture, this Freight well have been done.
Baigent and Leigh believe that a Templar connection with Freemasonry may have existed as early as 1689, and that it was bound up with supporters of the Stuart dynasty in England after they were no longer in succession to the throne.
Also considered is the coming of Freemasonry to North America and its alleged influence on the American Revolution and the establishment of the Constitution.
Daring the past few years, several writers have tried to show a Templar origin or influence for Freemasonry. Robinson in his Born in Blood and his Dungeon, Fire and Sword; Baigent and Leigh in this book; and Hunter in Beneath the Stone all believe that Freemasonry, if not organized by exiled Templars, was at least influenced by some of their teachings. It all goes to show that no one really knows exactly how or when our gentle Craft began, or what it originally consisted of. Where, when, why, and how: these questions remain a puzzle. Insofar as this reviewer is concerned, he is struck by the fact that objective non-members of the Craft find nothing evil about our organization despite the rantings of those who through ignorance or malice or desire for gain condemn it. Freemasonry probably began with the skilled architects in the operative lodges, picked up various strands from other sources, including the ideas of the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and Templary, and continues to work for the good of mankind today.
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The Philalethes Society - P. O. Box 70 - Highland Springs, VA 23075-0070 Rev 1995
Through Masonic Windows
by Allen E. Roberts, FPS
Exciting strategies are taking place within the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite. Under the dynamic leadership of Robert O. Ralston, MPS, immediate and long range projects are underway. One of the most important is the establishment of a "Long Range Planning Committee." This is a major committee every organization should promote (but I prefer "Team" instead of "committee" for many reasons). The NMJ has also adopted a plan The Philalethes Society put into effect almost ten years ago - enclosing dues cards with the bill. It has saved the Society thousands of dollars. Another recommendation is under consideration: the acceptance of petitions without a ballot! Personally I have long felt - and said - that a Master Mason comes under the jurisdiction of his Lodge; no appendant body should subject him to another ballot. When I proposed this in the 60s in my Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons it was, as expected, defeated. Let's see what happens in the NMJ.
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Prince Hall Affiliation of the Scottish Rite and the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction have agreed to mutual recognition. The Northern Light tells us the Supreme Council resolved to set this in motion last year. The two Grand Commanders met in January in Lexington, Massachusetts. They determined to place this proposition before their respective bodies. The Prince Hall, NMJ, approved recognition in June; the Supreme Council, NMJ, did the same at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in October. This applies in those jurisdictions of their respective Valleys where "the Grand Lodge has extended recognition." It will take affect as other Grand Lodges mutually recognize each other. An excellent step toward putting Brotherhood into action.
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John M. Cunningham, MPS, has been awarded the GLESP MEDAL, "the highest homage rendered by the Masonic Grand Lodge of the State of Sao Paulo. " He was recognized for his Masonic wisdom, high intellectual talent, his work for the Grand Lodge and his support for the Shriners' hospitals. He has long been a leading philatelist. His support for The Philalethes Society has been unfaltering. We congratulate John for this recognition.
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Living Truth Ministries of Austin, Texas, has become a subscriber to The Philalethes, and we welcome it with open arms. It joins eight others (that we know about) that doesn't particularly care for the principles taught in Freemasonry I should amend that statement; five of them reversed their earlier position. They have seen through the ludicrous fabrications of the swindlers, in the name of "religion," who steal from the unwary.
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Freemasons are free everywhere - or are they? They aren't. In fact some Grand Lodges in other countries make it a Masonic offense to reveal the identity of another Freemason! Unbelievable - but unfortunately true. On the Masonic forum an American Mason doubted what some foreign Freemasons claimed about the need for secrecy. Several others set him straight. One said: " My boss told me that if he found a Mason in his company, he would fire him immediately " Others, now proudly proclaiming their membership, have retired, or are in positions where they no longer have to fear the opposition. Actually, this occurred in an agency in this country where I was the "second in command." A new "boss" was appointed, and soon made it clear he would remove all Masons as soon as he could. He did! Reminds those of us who know the work of the anti-Masons in this country today, and of the persecution that took place from 1826 to '36. It's also well to consider what can happen if the same type of bigots gain control in this, and other democracies.
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Colorado, Wyoming and Ohio are three of the latest Grand Lodges to recognize Prince Hall Masonry Mutual recognition is on the agendas of several others. The Brotherhood of Man is spreading!
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The latest episode in the saga of the arch-enemy of Freemasonry. In his own words, Dr. Larry Holly, told his church:"...I prayed that God would make me a dangerous man for Jesus. . . " And that "the thing blocking revival in his church...is Freemasonry." That idiotic statement may be the reason he was told to leave the Baptist church in Beaumont, Texas. He widely spread those (and other) words. He also is reported to have told those who are interested that no Southern Baptist Church in his town will accept him as a member. Is he reaping what he is sowing?
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Leadership! Is Freemasonry Really Interested? We'll soon learn the answer. The Philalethes Society, the small International Research Society, has opened the door. It granted the "start-up" funds for a long talked about Masonic Leadership Center. Because of the dedicated efforts of some of its members, particularly Paul M. Bessel, MPS, and Donald M. Robey, MPS, it is already functioning at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial at Alexandria, Virginia. Congratulations to the Executive Board and members of the Society. (See the story in this issue. )