Contents Page 2, ‘Mark Masonry’ This month’s cover story looks at the Mark Degree, an excellent article explaining the history and origin of Mark Masonry.
Page 5, ‘Behold this Ruin.’ T’is a Skull, the editor takes a look at this old poem used in Masonic ritual, and traces its history.
Page 7, ‘The Portobello Lodge No.226.’ A short Historical sketch about this old Scottish Lodge.
Page 10, ‘The Masonic Encyclopaedia.’ This month we look at the letter, ‘Z’, from Zeal to Zohar.
Page 11, ‘The Old Tiler Talks’, “New Cut Trails”, the tenth in the series from Carl Claudy’s ‘Old Tiler Talks.’
Page 13, ‘The Master’s Wages.’ Have all the wages been paid? Read the real meaning of a master’s wages!
Page 15, ‘Famous Freemasons’. James Grant, the Scotsman who was the first Governor of Florida.
Page 16, ‘The Sword’, Describing the Tiler’s sword.
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Pillars of Freemasonry’ another lecture from the talented pen of Bro. William Harvey. [link]
the Mark and Royal Arch Degrees as well as the "constructive" chair degree.
The marks of the operative masons have been found on stone buildings all over the world and they sometime date back a few hundred if not a few thousand years. However the ceremonies of Mark Masonry, as it is practised to day, probably date from the eighteenth century. There are some recorded dates when Brethren of the Craft were made Mark Mason, but we have no evidence when it was introduced.
Mark Masonry made great progress between the 1780's and the Act of Union of 1813 that, however, recognised only the three Craft Degrees and Royal Arch as part of pure ancient Masonry although it did not prevent the working of the other degrees. The Mark ceremonies continued to be worked during the first half of the nineteenth century but without any official basis or recognition by the Unified Grand lodge and this lack of organisation was soon felt. A Mark Grand Lodge was created in 1856 but it met with strong opposition. Many Mark lodges applied to the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland for warrants, and within one year or two there were about fifty Mark lodges in England, Wales, and the Colonies, all owning allegiance to the Scots Grand Chapter. The Scottish Grand Chapter regarded the English Mark Grand lodge as illegal, but this did not prevent it to prosper. Peace arrived in 1878 with the creation of the present "Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales and the Dominions and dependencies of the British Crown".
Mason marks have been found in the buildings of all civilised countries and they are quite common in English churches, abbeys, etc. However it is also true that they were recorded and organised in two countries only: Scotland and Germany. The Scottish Schaw Statutes of 1598 show how they were registered in this country, and who was entitled to register his mark. Strange enough, not only operative masons were able to do it, but also nonoperative "Accepted" members. Marks were common to many trades. Mark Masonry was practised in Fellow Craft lodges, which worked many ceremonies during the eighteenth century. In those days Mark Masonry had two degrees, Mark Man and Mark Master; they now are combined into one degree in English Masonry but this is not the case in other countries, even if they differ from the old ones. The Mark Man Degree was reserved to Fellow Crafts and the Mark Master was exclusively for Master Masons. More often than not, Brethren receiving the Royal Arch also received the Mark degree. Some Craft lodges worked also
Royal Arch and Mark Masonry were associated from the start. There is no evidence that the "Antients" found the early prototype of Mark Masonry in the Masonry of the early 1700's and that it developed Mark Masonry in parallel with their beloved Royal Arch, despite the opposition of the "Moderns". Probably Mark Masonry came to England from the same source that the Royal Arch with which it was closely associated in its first half-century, and
still is in some places. Both the Mark Man and the Mark Master degrees initially adhered closely to the Biblical account of Solomon's Temple. They were especially popular in Scotland, a very religious country, in which the idea of the mason's mark was well known. In conclusion, even if the basic idea behind the Mark degrees is a thousand of years old, the degrees, as we know them, were invented in the eighteenth century, followed by many changes to reach the form under which we know them to day. The Mark Man Degree is though to be the oldest in Mark Masonry, although the evidence available mention it at the same time that the Master Mark Degree in 1769. The Mark Man degree was opened around 1820's as the Fellow Craft's. The apron worn by the Brethren carried ten mathematical characters, the signature of Hiram Abif and the Mark of the degree. The candidate in his Initiation made an important discovery, was introduced to some secrets, and learned of the trumpet signal used to signal danger at the time of the construction of the first Temple in Jerusalem. The Candidate in the Old Mark Man Degree learned that there were two thousand Mark Men employed during the building of Solomon's Temple divided in twenty lodges. Their duty was to mark the stones prepared by the workmen to facilitate their assembly on the building site. The keystone of King Solomon's arch contained many valuable coins and "the ten letters in precious stone work" became lost, and an ingenious Entered Apprentice made a new one, but the fellow Crafts were jealous, and threw it away. The candidate finds this keystone and is
rewarded for his discovery. This was the procedure followed in the second half of the eighteen century and in the early years of the nineteenth. In the Mark Master Degree, a century or more ago, the Candidate was told of the light house constructed on the top of Mount Lebanon to guide the ancient mariners who were carrying gold, ivory, and precious stones from Ophir for the decoration of Solomon's Temple. The ritual introduces the "link", an idea that went through many early Mark ceremonies, and gave its name to some of them. In the early 1800's, in this degree the link referred to one of the names of the creator "a grand ineffable name". It is said that there were a thousand Mark Masters divided in twenty lodges at the building of the Temple; their job was to control the material brought to Jerusalem to make sure that the parts would fit and they would add their mark on the stones accepted. The Mark Degree to day centres on the rejection of a worked stone that is found, later on, to be essential for the erection of a building. This motif was initially absent from the Mark degree but it appears in many references from the early nineteenth century. The name "Mark" has been used to describe many degrees and does not, alone, indicates the content of the degrees that can be very different many of which are still worked to day even if their content has often changed with time. There does not seem to be any connection between the operative mark and these degrees worked and conferred by the Royal Arch Masonry.
The Mark Mason is under an obligation to receive a Brother's Mark and help him within the limit of his possibilities. He is not obliged to help him it a second time unless he has been repaid. Operative masons' marks are found on the stonework of buildings of the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, etc as far back as 1500 BC. They appear on the stone work of Gothic buildings in England and elsewhere. The reason and meaning of these marks are unclear. Some experts have thought that they were associated with magical and esoteric matters, but it seems more probable that they only had an utilitarian nature, that is, to identify the man who shaped the stone, or to indicate the position in which the stone should be laid. As the number of stone masons working on a big building was large, there must have been some organisation and registration of marks. They are some historical evidences that this organisation existed in Scotland and Germany but the absence of evidences does not mean that it was not used somewhere else. Scottish rules issued in 1598 stated that on admission to a fraternity, every mason had to enter his name and his mark in a register. Something similar was in use in Germany. In the speculative Mark lodges, every brother selects his mark that is recorded in the book of the lodge and also in the General Register Books of Marks in the Mark Grand lodge. These marks generally have a geometrical character and consist of straight lines and angles; curves were rare because they were difficult to reproduce. The rise of Craft guilds in England and other countries
increased the need for Craft marks and not only for the masons. This was even more necessary because most Craftsmen could not read or write and could only leave their mark to identify their work. The marks were applied where they could be easily seen, even after the stone was integrated in the construction. Marks have been thought to indicate also when the stone was worked but this is not certain. Marks were used in other trades too and for the same reasons. Some have been found in China, Persia, Egypt, Rome, etc to identify weavers, potters, goldsmiths, silversmiths, carpenters, joiners, coopers, cloth workers, bakers, etc. Even merchants had to use their marks sometime in England and elsewhere. This was the beginning of the mark of origin that is still widely used to day.
This article on Mark Masonry was sourced from the â€˜Official History of Freemasonry â€“ Part Bâ€™ by Giles Nullen. The cover photograph was taken by the Editor on a day out to Portobello and Joppa in Edinburgh!
Behold this ruin! T’is a Skull Tracing the History. Arguably, one of the most poignant moments of the degree of a Master Mason is when the newly raised Brother stands on the very brink of the grave lit by a flickering light, and sees for the first time the emblems of mortality lying laid out before him. The lecturer pausing briefly for a second picks up the skull and recites; Behold this ruin, 'Tis a skull Once of ethereal spirit full. This narrow cell was Life's retreat, This space was Thought's mysterious seat. What beauteous visions filled this spot What dreams of pleasure long forgot? Nor hope, nor joy, nor love, nor fear Have left one trace on record here. Beneath this mouldering canopy Once shone the bright and busy eye: But start not at the dismal vold— If Social love that eye employed. If with no lawless fire it gleamed But through the dews of kindness beamed; That eye shall be forever bright When stars and sun are sunk in night. Within this hollow cavern hung The ready, swift, and tuneful tongue If Falsehood's honey it disdained, And when it could not praise was chained. If bold in Virtue's cause it spoke Yet gentle concord never broke— This silent tongue shall plead for thee When Time unveils Eternity.
The identity of the author of these beautiful words used in Masonic ritual has been questioned for almost 200 years. Legend has it that a manuscript for the poem was found in the museum
of the Royal College of Surgeons in London near a perfect human skeleton. The attendant who found if handed it to the curator of the museum who in turn sent to the Morning Chronicle to enquire as to the identity of its author. A reward of fifty guineas was offered for information regarding the discovery of the author which proved to be fruitless and from that day until the present time, the origin regarding these lines has remained unknown and the authorship somewhat in dispute. In 1923, the Square and Compass magazine published in Denver printed the poem called “Lines to a Skeleton” and said, ‘The poem was written by Robert Philip of Gormyre Cotage, Scotland. He wrote the verses while watching for body snatchers in the parish churchyard of Torphichen where during the repairing of the church the unearthing of a skeleton suggested the subject.’ It was claimed that Philip wrote the poem in 1826. This article had obviously been reproduced from “Old Favourites – The Family Herald and Weekly Star” Montreal 1898 – second edition – page 121 which stated; The MS of this poem, which appeared in 1827, was said to have been found in the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, in London, near a perfect human skeleton, and to have been sent by the curator to the Morning Chronicle for publication. It excited so much attention that every effort was made to discover the author and a responsible party went so far as to offer a reward of 50 guineas for information that would discover its origin. Notwithstanding this, the author’s name remained a secret until sixty years had passed, when
it was learned that the lines were written by Robert Philip of Gormyre Cottage, Scotland. Toward the end of the year 1826 he wrote the verse while watching for body snatchers in the Parish Church of Torpichen, where, during the repairing of the church, the unearthing of a skeleton suggested the subject. The verses were shown to Dr. John Alford, who procured a copy, and either by accident or intention dropped a copy in the Royal College of Surgeons where they were found. Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations, 1922 (page 687), credits the poem to Anna Jane Vardill and in the Index to Poetry and Rectations published in 1904 it is listed as anonymous. The origin question frequently appears in Notes and Queries, London and in 1891, p481 the authorship is credited to William Wrightson who published the poem in a book in 1868. However, although it is claimed by various sources that Scotsman Robert Philip wrote the poem in 1826, it first appeared in the European Magazine, November, 1816, signed by its author with the initial “V”. The “V” in question was one of the European Magazine’s most prolific contributors and in 1821 the editor of the magazine revealed the identity of the mystery writer as being Anna Jane Vardill, who incidentally was born and spent the early years of her life in Scotland, and whose poems appeared in the magazine between 1811 and 182, and which were almost invariably signed with the letter “V”. But when and why did this old poem make the transition into part of a
Masonic ceremonial? MacKey’s Encyclopaedia states; As a symbol of mortality, the skull, much has been written and when found of suitable service quoted with effect at Masonic meetings. About 1860 Brother J. S. Parvin of Iowa received a copy of a poem entitled Lines to a Skeleton as printed in a newspaper published at Glasgow, Scotland. He was struck with its beauty and used it in his Knight Templar work, he at that time being Eminent Commander of the local Commandery. A similar experience befell Brother Eugene S. Elliott of Wisconsin but brother Parvin is believed to have been first to use the poem as above described and it soon became verse popular and is still generally used. The popularity of the poem has caused it to be paraphrased by several Brethren, Denman S. Wagstaff, New Age Magazine, April 1917 (page 178); Newton Newkirk, .Missouri Freemason, October 29, 1904; and copies of others published by H. D. Loveland, California, Norman T. Cassette, and so on. The poem runs to five verses in total, although the last two are not used in the Lecture on the Emblems as portrayed by Lodge 76 and countless other Lodges throughout the World. However, when the poem is used in a Masonic connection one word has been changed from the original version to make the poem appear even more personal when recited to the Candidate. Behold this ruin, T’is a skull! The original says, Behold this ruin, T’was a Skull! This article by the Editor has been researched and adapted from various sources freely available on the internet.
The Portobello Lodge No.226. Portobello is known as Edinburgh's seaside resort. But back when the lodge was founded in 1808 it was in the throes of becoming a thriving village in which the main industry was glass blowing. A number of freemasons were commuting from their homes in Portobello to their lodges in Edinburgh, but were finding the Stage Coach fair of one shilling, each way, a severe financial burden. Consequently a meeting was held in Portobello and a petition to The Grand Lodge of Scotland was submitted to form their own lodge, which was granted and No. 226 was born in August 1808. The first meeting to admit Candidates was held on the 4th of August 1808 when the first Entered Apprentices were; James Baxter later Provost of Portobello, James Cargill the son-in-law of the ‘Father of Portobello’ Brother William Jameson and five other Brethren. As was the custom of many Scottish lodges of the time, the Lodge met in a public house called the Black Bull in Bridge Street. During the summer months a group of strolling players called ‘The Thespians’ gave performances at the seaside resort., and asked the Lodge for its Masonic patronage, the RWM suggested, ‘that the actors might add to their pleasure at harmony in future, and it might be wise for the Brethren to grant their request.’ This was duly agreed upon and the brethren agreed to attend. The Lodge accordingly made its first public
appearance and with a band at the head marched from the Lodge room to the theatre. After the performance the Brethren returned to the Lodge room by torchlight procession, the first of many to be held by the Brethren of Portobello. In that first year of the Portobello lodge numerous representatives from all walks of village life joined, Teachers, Builders, Shopkeepers and such, but no Ministers, Town Councillors, Policemen, because there was no Church, Town Council nor Police Force, in fact there were no mains water, no gas and no drainage or any corporate body, but there was a Masonic Lodge! Although the Lodge continued to grow from strength to strength during its early years its fortunes were soon to change in the 1830’s, masonry in Portobello stared to decline. The main cause for this turn around is quite surprising, though not unusual in a small village in Scotland. Portobello was now a parliamentary Burgh and the affairs of running the town claimed for the most part the members of the Lodge. The principal meeting place for the town was the Lodge Rooms, and all too soon the principal office bearers were caught up with municipal life and as a result the Lodge began to suffer. The new Town Council was comprised of eight members of the Lodge and what with roads to make, water to install, drainage, a police force to organise and a town to build, it is small wonder that the Lodge began to suffer. In six years, the Lodge records only 11 entrants. This state of affairs continued into the early forties when the Lodge only met
once a year for the first three years of the new decade, and then the books, furniture and other paraphernalia were impounded due to the non-payment of the rent of the Lodge room! The books were not restored to the Lodge until 1851 and the Charter not until 1882, and Portobello Lodge lived a meagre existence until the late 1850â€™s. The Jubilee of the Lodge was celebrated in 1858, the Lodge attended the laying of the foundation stone of the Wallace monument at Stirling. The Lodge were gifted various items of Lodge jewels and furniture and the membership was on the increase once again. However, the one thing that was missing was a proper meeting place. The Brethren were tiredâ€™ of meeting in taverns in the Burgh, which cumulated in the Police raiding a hotel after closing time and discovered several members of the Portobello Lodge still on the premises who had no right to be there as the meeting was finished. This resulted in Police fines for those taking part in the late night session and wholesale resignations of some of the members of the Lodge! The mark degree was worked for the first time in 1873 and whilst all seemed well within the Lodge, soon it would again take another downturn in 1876 when it became dormant. But in 1880 the fortunes would again change, nine members of other Lodges affiliated, and all took an active part in the Lodge and very quickly the Lodge began to experience an upturn in the number of Candidates. There is no doubt that this was the beginning of a new renaissance of the Portobello Lodge which would soon become apparent.
In 1891, a silver snuff horn which had been sequestered in 1843 was returned and in 1893 a Committee was formed with a view of building a Lodge in Portobello, and in September 1896, the Portobello Lodge moved into its own premises. In 1897 the first visit by the Provincial Grand Master is recorded and in the year 1900 the Lodge saw the leadership of a new RWM who soon put a stop to any petty squabbles within the membership, which raised attendance and the return of many of the older members of the Lodge. Younger members were encouraged to take part in the floor rituals of the degrees in open Lodge, a set of Mark office bearers were chosen and the Lodge gradually took its place amongst the best of the Edinburgh Lodges and visitors from the City were increasing at each meeting. The ritualists of this period were commended by the then Provincial Grand Master. The Master responsible for all this was asked to continue in office but had to decline, but promised the new RWM that he would assist him in the ritual work and instruction class, a promise given and kept. The outgoing Master installed all his successors and presided as Master at all the Mark Lodges held since he left the chair. The high level of ritualists in the Portobello Lodge started in 1900 has continued ever since. In 1908 the Portobello Lodge celebrated its centenary, many speeches praising the Lodge were given and received, and in 1911 the Lodge was present at the laying of the foundation stone of the Grand Lodge in George Street. The Great War came and went, with members of Lodge 226 along with
numerous other Scottish brethren making the supreme sacrifice, and soon the town of Portobello lost its individuality when it was amalgamated with Edinburgh. Soon the Lodge was becoming overwhelmed with Candidates, the reason was simple, the initiation fees for the Portobello Lodge were cheaper than that of the City Lodges. A proposal to increase them to closer that of the surrounding Lodges was defeated which resulted in acrimony amongst some of the neighbouring Lodges! All too soon the Second World War emerged, and in the year 1940 appears a somewhat historic minute, ‘At this stage an Air Raid warning was sounded, and it was agreed to adjourn the meeting to the following evening.’ With the wartime conditions, it was agreed that the meetings would be held on the Saturday afternoons, and in 1945 the Brethren took part in a thanksgiving service to commemorate the allied victory, and soon there was a Victory dance held in the Lodge rooms. After the War a new generation of Brethren was developing, younger members began taking the responsibility of office at an earlier age and carried out their duties with the zeal and enthusiastic efficiency which had become the byword of Lodge 226, and in 1953 the Lodge held a grand Coronation Ball in the Town Hall in celebration of the new Queen Elizabeth. In 1954 an unusual event occurred when the last Electric Tram ran from Portobello. The Lodge hired the tram and sold seats on the last journey to the members, the proceeds going to the Church of Scotland Orphanage Fund.
In 1958 the Lodge celebrated its 150th anniversary, a momentous occasion in the History of the Portobello Lodge. The Temple was redecorated, the East wall of which was painted with the Portobello coat of arms and Masonic emblems. One important aspect of the Lodge is the close connection between the Church and Freemasonry, a relationship which can be seen in the early part of the Lodge’s history; ‘On 27th October 1808 Grand Lodge killed two birds with one stone by constituting Lodge Portobello and installing its office-bearers, secondly by laying the foundation stone of the church in Melville Street afterwards the Parish Church of Portobello.’ 150 years later the Lodge marked this occasion by gifting a set of collection salvers to the Church. Thus from the humble beginnings of 1808 when the wind swept the beach of Portobello and its small band of inhabitants had little to offer in amenities, to the year 1958, there have been in the History of the Portobello Lodge, many frustrations, tears and disappointments. Overcoming the difficulties and obstacles of those far off days, the Lodge has progressed, never neglecting the duties they owe to God, to their neighbours and to themselves, ever remembering with reverence the foundation laid by our Brethren in those early years, whose wisdom and foresight have been the rock on which the present has been built. This short history of the Portobello Lodge No.226 was extracted by the Editor from the Portobello Lodge – History 1808-1958. Many thanks go to the Lodge for allowing me to adapt and use it.
The Masonic Encyclopaedia The Letter‘Z’
Zeal Ever since the Revival in 1717, for it is found in the earliest lectures, it was taught that Apprentices served their Masters with "Freedom, Fervency, and Zeal"j and the symbols of the first two of these virtues were Chalk and Charcoal. In the oldest instructions, earthen pan, which see, was designated as the symbol of Zeal; but this was changed to Clay probably by Preston, and so it still remains. The instruction to the Operative Mason to serve his Master with freedom, fervency, and zeal-to work for his interests willingly, ardently, and zealously is easily understood. Its application to Speculative Freemasonry, for the Master of the Work we substitute the Grand Architect of the Universe, and then our zeal, like our freedom and our fervency, is directed to a higher end. The zeal of a Speculative Freemason is shown by advancing the morality, and by promoting the happiness of his fellow-creatures.
Zenith That point in the heavens which is vertical to the spectator, and from which a perpendicular line passing through him and extended would reach the center of the earth. From of old the documents of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite are dated "under the Celestial Canopy of the Zenith which answers to" the latitude of the place whence the document is issued being then given to fill the blank space. The latitude alone is expressed because that
indicates the position of the sun's meridian height. Longitude, however, is always omitted, because every place whence such a document is issued is called the Grand East, the specific spot where the sun rises. The theory implied is, that although the South of the Lodge may vary, its chief point must always be in the East, the point of sunrising, where longitude begins.
Zion Mount Zion was the southwestern of the three hills which constituted the high table-land on which Jerusalem was built. It was the royal residence and hence it is often called the City of David. The name is sometimes used as synonymous with Jerusalem.
Zohar The Hebrew word, meaning Splendor. After the surrender of Jerusalem, through the victory of Vespasian, among the fugitives was Rabbi Simon Ben Jochai, who remained an Anehorite for twelve years, became visionary, and believed he was visited by the prophet Elias. His son, Rabbi Eliezer, and his clerk, Ptabbi Abba, when visiting him, took down his pronounced divine precepts, which were in time gathered and formed into the famous Sohar or Zohar. From this work, the Sepher Jetzirah, and the Commentary of the TenSephiroth was formed the Cabala. The Zohar, its history, and as well that of its author, overflow with beautiful yet ideal mysticism.
Next Month, ‘Numbers’.
"Why, he is one who finds the ritual allsufficient as a source of Masonic light; one who doesn't hold with the higher criticism of Masonic documents and the old charges and constitutions; one who believes in the exact truth of the Masonic legends; one who can bridge the gap between written history since Grand Lodges and the time of King Solomon without a mental effort; in other words, one who has faith without proof in the reality of the continuance of Masonry as a system of morality and philosophy right down from Solomon's time to now!" "Guess I can't use the expression after all," answered the Old Tiler. "Too much of a mouthful."
New Cut Trails OLD TILER, I have made up my mind that there is a fundamentalism and a modernism in Masonry, as well as in the church. And I am a Masonic fundamentalist," began the New Brother. "That's a fine mouthful of an expression," commented the Old Tiler. " 'Masonic fundamentalist.' If I just knew what it meant, now, I'd go spring it on someone." "Don't make fun. This is serious!" protested the New Brother. "Then be serious and tell me what kind of an animal, if any, a Masonic fundamentalist is," begged the Old Tiler.
"Don't you agree that a Masonic fundamentalist is the happier and better Mason than the modernist Mason?" "You ask me if I think the ignorant Mason is happier than the educated one!" returned the Old Tiler, vigorously. "If a cow is happier than a philosopher, I'll agree. But what is happiness? If it makes you happy not to use your mind, to believe legends and fairy tales, I suppose Masonic fundamentalism is your proper, meat. I am not built that way. I have found the real story of Freemasonry, as it has been patiently unfolded from the mists of the dim past by earnest students, a great deal more fascinating than the legendary history. I have loved the legends more as I have been able to distinguish between legend and fact. Santa Claus and Hans Andersen's fairies are much more real to
me now than they were when I was a little boy. "Instead of being a Masonic fundamentalist, I like to think of myself as a Masonic adventurer. And that reminds me of something I cut out of a magazine; maybe you'd like to read it." The Old Tiler produced a well-worn pocketbook, from which he extracted a clipping. "Listen to this and see if it doesn't fit-almost. - He read softly Marie LeNarl's beautiful verse, "The Adventurer." "God, in the name of Jesus' blood and tears, Loose us from slavish bondage to dead years, To dogmas that, encrusted in the mould Of age, no virtue have, save to be old. Lo! A new era has been ushered in. Lo! now the new wine bursts the ancient skin. Then gird us, Lord, dispel our cowards' fears, Give us the daring hearts of pioneers. What though in quest of truth we sometimes stray? Better to seek fresh morsels day by day Than feed, like swine, on husks before us thrown From which the inward nourishment has gone. Better to stray-and struggle back again If we too far surpass our mortal ken Old paths for sheep, but new-cut trails for men!" "Old paths for sheep, but new-cut trails for men," repeated the New Brother, softly, as the Old Tiler finished. "That's rather fine, isn't it?"
"It seems fine to me, whether we speak of religion, or Masonry, or science, or kn6wledge, or politics, or government. That which is good and also old, is not good because it is old, but old because it is good. If it isn't good in itself, we ought to toss it overboard, regardless of its age. To persecute those who think differently from constituted authority is an old doctrine. It was old when the Inquisition made it new. But it wasn't good, was it, just because it was old? Slavish obedience to a king, regardless of right and justice, was an old idea when the Magna Carta was signed; it was older when the Liberty Bell first rang in this country, but it wasn't good just because it was old. "Brotherly love was known long before King Solomon; it is as good today as it was then, but not because Of its age, but because of its goodness. "'Old paths for sheep.' I am no sheep! As best I can, I keep my feet upon newcut trails. But I hold fast to the staff of the Ancient Landmarks, and all that is good in our order; I try to cast overboard the superstition and the slavish adherence to doctrine. I do not, for instance, believe that certain consequences which we agree shall follow failure to keep our obligations are to be taken literally. If William Morgan was slain by Freemasonry in 182-6 (which he was not!) I don't believe it was right, even though it was deserved. Neither did the Freemasons of that age believe it was right. But a Masonic fundamentalist must take such things literally. I do not believe that Solomon established a Grand Lodge, and met, as Grand Master, with two other Hirams, also Grand Masters. Yet I
believe in the essential truths contained in the Solomon legend, and in the essential truth and beauty of the Hiramic legend. "What difference does it make whether George Washington did, or did not, cut down a cherry tree, and refuse to tell a lie about it? Washington is an ideal, an embodiment of truth. If that ideal can be taught to children with a story, then the story is true, whether it ever happened or not. If men are taught fidelity and loyalty and bravery and honor and honesty by the Hiramic legend, it is true, whether it ever happened or not. Santa Claus is true, whether the children's saint be an actual fat old man living in a toyshop at the North Pole, or just happiness in men's hearts. "To my mind the more of the truth we know, the more we value the legends. Therefore, I try to be a student of the real history of Masonry, that I may love its stories, its myths and its symbols the more. No sheep, the new-cut trail is under my feet and will be, while these old eyes can follow it-." The Old Tiler's voice trailed off into silence. "I'm following after, if you'll give me a hand," answered the New Brother, gently. " 'New-cut trails for men!' "
This is the tenth article in this regular feature, â€˜The Old Tiler Talks,â€™ each month we will publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy
The Masterâ€™s Wages WHEN MASONRY was operative, the Fellow of the Craft labored long and earnestly to fit himself to produce his Master's piece, by which he would be enabled to prove himself fit to receive the Mason word - what we know as "the Secret Word of a Master Mason" - that he might go where he would, prove himself a Master and receive a Master's wages. Now that Masonry is speculative only, many who apply and receive the degrees think that the mere possession of the secret word makes them fit to receive a Master's wages, forgetting that it was not the word, but the fitness to receive it, which qualified their ancient operative brethren for a Master's wages. But the speculative Mason can no more receive a Master's wages today than in days of old, unless he be truly a Master. Writing "Master Mason" after one's name does not make one such in the speculative sense. Having one's name inscribed upon the by-laws of a Lodge does not make one truly a Master Mason. Being a Master Mason is wholly a matter of the heart and mind; unless the one be humble, the other eager to learn and willing to study, a man may never truly be a Master Mason-aye, though he take every degree in every Rite and wear a jewel pin for every title he assumes. In ancient days a Master's wages were paid in coin of the realm. They are no less so paid today, but the realm is of the Inner man, not the world of society. The wages received by a Master Mason who has fitted himself to earn them are
paid in that which money cannot purchase. Not by favoritism or influence or high estate can any man win a Master's wages; if he receives them, it is because of what he is, what he thinks, and how he thinks it. From the time a Fellowcraft goes alone to the Altar to make his petition to Deity he stands alone or falls. When he is raised to the Sublime Degree, his brethren and his lodge have done all they can for him; if he is ever to receive a Master's wages, it will he because of what he does for himself. A Master's wages are paid in the knowledge of the human heart; its dependence upon love and friendship, its eagerness to give for the love of giving, its humble hope of receiving for the simple human joy of being beloved. They are paid in knowledge which girds a man in armor through which misfortune, hard times, ill luck, cannot pierce. They are paid in the security which comes from certain knowledge of millions of brethren sworn to your aid and support - and make no mistake about this, my brother; though you may never need to make appeal, though no man spreads his call for help throughout the whole Masonic world, no matter where that call echoes, there will be some who hear and heed. A Master's wages are paid in friends of the heart; friends who make life rich with its fairest treasures. The sentimentalistsings of the friend of his youth. It is true that friendship deepens with time; a common past is the foundation on which many a friendship is based. Freemasonry supplies such a past. Men linked in the Mystic Tie can think, symbolically, of their friendship beginning thousands of years ago! The
friends made in Masonry are of tested steel; there are none better. A Master's wages are paid in the knowledge of closeness to and communion with the Great Architect of the Universe. In the practice of Freemasonry a Master Mason draws close to God. The All Seeing Eye to him is a friendly one. No man spends time in a lodge without having his faith strengthened; in days when mental confusion, doubt, debate and argument undermine beliefs less solidly founded, the firm foundation for simple beliefs which comes from Freemasonry is surely not the least of the coins in which a Master receives his wages. And a Master's wages are paid in strength to endure, in courage to proceed, in hope of the future and in joy in the present. These are wages worth working for! These are coins besides which those of minted gold show themselves to be the dross they are! For these are the wages given to character. Freemasonry gives us wages according to our labor; and if we work faithfully, we may be sure, as in the parable, we shall receive each man his penny. But Freemasonry, like any other institution, pays in a sliding scale according to the worth of the labor given; the Apprentice receives less than the Fellow of the Craft, and he less than a Master. See to it, my brother, that you are a Master in fact as well as in name; so shall you learn the real meaning of the Word by which some day you will travel in a far, far country, where there is neither gold nor silver, and where, indeed, the only coins which can be used are those you here fit yourself to receive - a Master's wages. The Master Mason - 1925
Famous Freemasons James Grant
James Grant (1720-1806) British General and First Governor of Florida under English rule. b. in Ballendalloch, Scotland. He was a major of the Montgomerie Highlanders in 1757. In 1758 he led 800 men to reconnoiter Fort Duquesne, but was surprised and defeated with a loss of 295. He was appointed governor of East Florida in 1760, and lieutenant colonel of the 40th Foot. He defeated the Cherokee Indians in a severe battle at Etchoe in 1761. In the Revolutionary War he commanded the 4th and 6th British brigades at the battle of Long Island in Aug. 1776. In December of that year, Lord Howe gave him command of the British troops in N.J. at a critical period, and the American victories of Trenton and Princeton followed. In 1777 he was made a major general and commanded the 2nd brigade. He fought at Brandywine and Germantown, and in 1778 was detached with a strong force to cut off Lafayette on the Schuylkill,
but was unsuccessful. He defeated Lee at Monmouth and shortly thereafter sailed for the French West Indies in command of the troops in that sector. He was made governor of Stirling Castle and a lieutenant general in 1782, and full general in 1796. While in Florida, Grant, with three others, petitioned the Grand Lodge of Scotland for a charter to establish Grant's East Florida Lodge at St. Augustine. It was also requested that Grant be commissioned as the provincial grand master over the lodges in the southern district of North America. The petition was granted March 15, 1768. In 1771, Grant as grand master, issued a charter to St. Andrew's Lodge No. 1, at Pensacola, West Florida, formed by ten brethren who belonged to Lodge No. 108 of Scottish registry to be held in the 31st Regiment of Foot of the British Army. This lodge continued for ten years until the city and port were captured by the Spaniards in 1781. When Florida was ceded back to Spain in 1783, in exchange for the Bahama Islands, the English settlers abandoned their homes, and the Grand Lodge of the Southern District of North America ceased to exist. d. April 13, 1806.
This bio was sourced from Denslowâ€™s 10.000 freemasons.
Brethren, Iâ€™m always on the look out for items of interest for the Newsletter. If you have written an article, lecture etc, or have come across a piece that you might like to share, or even have an idea for something of interest that the Brethren might like, get in touch and leave the rest to me.
The Sword SWORD, TILER’s. In modern times the implement used by the Tiler is a sword of the ordinary form. This is incorrect. Formerly, and indeed up to a comparatively recent period, the Tiler’s sword was wavy in shape, and so made in allusion to the "flaming sword which was placed at the east of the garden of Eden, which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life." It was, of course, without a scabbard, because the Tiler’s sword should ever be drawn and ready for the defense of his post. The Taunton Lodge in 1850 buried Brother Davey, their Tiler, and at the conclusion of the Church burial service, the Provincial Grand Secretary broke his wand and the Worshipful Master broke the sword of the deceased Tiler, casting the same into the grave with the customary exclamation on such occasions, "Alas, our Brother." This is the editorial answer to a question in the Freemasons Magazine and Masonic Mirror (August 20, 1863, page 1). Sourced from freemasonsy.bcy.ca
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor.
Published on May 31, 2012