Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Order of the Secret Monitor

from the book
Highways and By Laws of Freemasonry
by Rev John T. Lawrence

Library #: M00_LAW
Location: LoR

Publisher: A. Lewis

Published year: 1924

Pages: 295

This is a very interesting and withal a very little trodden by-way of Freemasonry. The bond of brotherhood is based upon obligations of a kind which go further into human nature than any other in either the Craft or any of the concomitant orders. He who acts upon his Craft obligations will hold out his hand to help his brother out of the mire, but he who acts upon that of a Secret Monitor will hold out his hand when he sees his brother about to fall in. The legend narrated during the admission of candidates is the good old story of the friendship which existed between David and Jonathan. This friendship was all the more remarkable because King Saul, the father of the latter, hated David with almost unequalled intensity, and on more than one occasion sought his life. Meetings of the two friends therefore were attended with considerable risk, and it became necessary to devise some form of warning which should convey information to David without necessarily enlightening anyone else. The whole story can be read in I Samuel xx. 18, &c.; and in accordance therewith it is the duty of obligation of every Secret Monitor to convey notice of impending danger to his brother, and even to warn when he appears to be embarked upon a wrong course of conduct likely to entail disastrous consequences. In saying all this no obligation of secrecy is violated, for the ritual is published by authority, and being copyright, copies are deposited at the British Museum and are, therefore, not inaccessible to the profane. The first references to such an association are to be found in a code of rules of government found in Amsterdam in I770. What the history of the Order was in Holland is not known. It did not become an effective Masonic tie until the period of the civil war which devastated the United States about sixty years ago. Dr. I. Zacharie, the first Grand Supreme Ruler of the Order as established in England, had a very adventurous career during the stirring period referred to. In his medical capacity he was constantly in the camps of both parties to the strife, and had frequent opportunities of seeing how Freemasonry could ameliorate even the horrors of civil war, when brother's hand was against brother's instead of being clasped in it. The degree of the Secret Monitor, which had been carried to the New World by Dutch immigrants, appeared to Dr. Zacharie to afford the means of cementing a closer fraternal union than even that which held together the Craft. It had existed up to the period under reference in a somewhat slipshod manner, with no organisation and with no ceremonies. The neophyte was simply taken "aside," and the several secrets communicated to him.

The Order in England dates from 1887. At the time of writing, of the conclaves which have been warranted, about one half are to be found in foreign parts - India, Burma, the West Indies, South Africa and Australia. The Sun, therefore, never sets on the Order. Its register contains many distinguished and illustrious names, such as F. A. Philbrick, Thomas Fenn, Shadwell Clerke, W. W. B. Beach, C. F. Matier, Frank Richardson, the Earl of Euston, Lord Halsbury, and the Earl of Warwick. Such names are quite sufficient to prove that the Order is highly esteemed by those who are most highly esteemed in the Craft.

Brethren who have taken any of the degrees worked under the authority of the Council of the Allied degrees, will have noticed that that body has extended its protection, and invested with its authority, a degree of the same name as that we are considering. This has been already referred to in a previous chapter, and it may be well to state once more, to prevent any misunderstanding, that the members of the degree, though under quite distinct jurisdictions, are in harmony and are permitted to extend to each other complete fraternal recognition.

The government of the Order is vested in a Grand Council, which is composed of Grand and Past Grand Officers. This body holds two statutory meetings annually, besides such as may be convened at short notice for the transaction of emergent business. The powers of the Grand Council are extensive, more so than those of the Board of General Purposes; for behind the latter an appeal to Grand Lodge is always a possibility. Analogous to Grand Lodge, there is in the Order we are considering Grand Conclave, which meets annually for the Investment of Grand Officers, and apparently for the development of the social side. This body is of democratic constitution, for in addition to all official members, i.e. past and present Grand Officers, past and present rulers and deputy rulers of Provinces and Districts, every private conclave sends up five representative members, in addition to the one or two Grand stewards it may elect, and plus all past Supreme Rulers of conclaves. Apparently it has no executive powers except of confirmation, but may make recommendations to the Grand Council. Those who framed these constitutions have, of course, had in their minds the fact that the majority of the conclaves, owing to geographical reasons, could never be actually represented at any meeting of the Grand Conclave, and therefore, to secure anything like continuity of procedure, all executive power must necessarily be entrusted to a body easily accessible.

Grand Officers are styled Right Worthy, and Very Worthy, and in addition the head of the Order is Most Worthy. Provincial Grand Officers, who in foreign parts are, as in the Craft, described as "District," are Right Worthy and Very Worthy. Private conclaves are governed by officers as follows: the Supreme Ruler, who is styled Worthy, the Councillor and the Guide, a Treasurer, Secretary, and Steward,'not more than four "Visiting Deacons," Director of Ceremonies, Guarder, and Sentinel.

The Visiting Deacons are officers peculiar to this Order, and there is nothing exactly analogous in any other branch of Freemasonry. What their duties are is well described in the following circular which is sent out officially to every Supreme Ruler of a private conclave immediately on registration, and is besides ordered to be given to every Visiting Deacon when invested.

The principles therein laid down go far to prove that quality rather than quantity is sought for in every extension of the Order. To this circular we have prefixed Article 68 of the Constitutions, and after reading these extracts no one will deny that a brother who seeks admission as a Secret Monitor must have formed and lived up to a very high ideal of Freemasonry.

Article 68 runs as follows :-

In as much as the peculiar characteristic of this Order consists in giving friendly monition and warning to its members in time of danger, and in affording support and assistance to them in time of sorrow and distress, it is expressly enjoined on the Visiting Deacons as the chief duty of their office to search out and warn any brother who may be exposed to danger, whether secret or apparent, and to visit those afflicted with sickness or sorrow, or who have fallen into adverse circumstances, or may otherwise stand in need of fraternal help and consolation.

A statement that this duty is specially recognised as a distinguishing feature of the Order shall appear on the by-laws of every Conclave; and the officers of every Conclave shall be specially charged at their appointment and installation to see that this fundamental principle of the Order be practically carried into effect during their term of office.

The following is a copy of the Circular :-

The Grand Visitors in a recent report to the Grand Council refer to an occasional failure, on the part of Visiting Deacons of Conclaves, to appreciate the real gist and principle of this Order as administered by our Grand Council, which in their opinion merits the attention of all Supreme Rulers and other Officers.

They point out that the fundamental principle underlying all the teaching of the Order, with regard to the duties of Conclaves, may be summed up in an affirmative reply to the old question, Am I my brother's keeper? And that the function imposed upon Visiting Deacons at their appointment - "to search out and visit, &c., &c," - is that of Officers selected to discharge, on behalf of the Conclave, this duty of keeping in constant touch with the rest of the Brethren (if deceased, with those depending on them) and of conveying to the Conclave, at its periodical meetings, the tidings of their welfare, or should Providence so will it, their illfare. The Grand Visitors think that such a reply to the usual question as "I have nothing to report, Supreme Ruler," should certainly NEVER BE HEARD, or, if heard, should be taken as an indication of the Visiting Brother's utter want of interest in the Conclave or the Order, as well as a distinct falling short in the execution of the charge imposed upon him at his investiture. The Grand Visitors think that exceeding and very special fitness in some other direction could alone justify the promotion of any Visiting Deacon who should habitually so neglect his duty.

The Grand Council adopted this report, and ordered a Circular on the matter to be prepared and distributed to all Conclaves. The existence of four Visiting Deacons in each Conclave should prevent the duty from becoming burdensome to anyone, and it is desired that a Bro. Visiting Deacon should be a welcome sharer of his brother's joys, and a cheering comforter in his (or his dear ones') griefs. A visit from such a discreet Official should never be resented by any Brother, while to a young or perplexed member, or, to one who "stands in slippery places," such a visit may bring a blessing unspeakable.

I am, Dear Sir and Worthy Brother,
Yours truly and fraternally,
--- G. R.

N.B. - You are particularly requested to see that a copy of this circular is handed to every newly appointed Visiting Deacon at his investiture.

There is a Benevolent Fund, organised almost as a separate order. It is in three divisions, each of which selects its own general, treasurer, scribe, and as many almoners as may be desired. The first or lowest division, described as the "left wing," is composed of guinea subscribers, and the funds are devoted to education, either by direct grant, or by collecting votes in the Masonic Institutions. Girls and boys are dealt with by separate "columns." A total subscription of ten guineas, which may be accumulated whilst in the lowest division, qualifies for membership of the "right wing," and the funds go to the relief of sickness and support during convalescence. An honourable career in the right wing, that is a personal subscription of five guineas after reaching the highest rank, qualifies for membership of the centre wing, which has the care of the aged, and may make grants to brethren in distress or may purchase voting power in the Benevolent Institutions of the Craft.

Bearing a relation to the Order of the Secret Monitor, analogous to that which the Royal Arch bears to the Craft, is the Royal Order of Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord. Members meet in consistories. Secret Monitors are eligible who have been admitted to the second degree (Prince), and are members of the Benevolent Fund. Membership being considered a badge of honour combined with merit, all its degrees are conferred without fee, expenses being met by a collection at every meeting, which is virtually a subscription of 2s. 6d. for each member for each meeting. There are three grades of membership, and the numbers are limited. In addition to the grading, members are classified as active, supernumerary and honorary. The legend of this Order is found in Joshua ii., verse 18 supplying the key.

The Order of the Secret Monitor possesses its own phraseology. Its lodges are "conclaves." Members are "inducted" in the first degree, "admitted" to the second, and the "Supreme Ruler" is "commissioned." In the Order of the Scarlet Cord members are "elected," "chosen," and" promoted," &c., to the several degrees.

We may conclude this notice by referring to a somewhat singular provision. In the Craft we are familiar with the Installing Master and the Lodge Secretary, who exercise these functions year after year, until they grow grey in the work and conceive they have a freehold in the office. And it is admitted that this feature of Lodge government; whilst it may have its conveniences, is not generally commendable, nor does it ultimately make for Masonic efficiency. But in the Order of the Scarlet Cord it is highly commendable. That is to say, the brother who is always ready to perform the duties of "Guide" or conductor to the candidate in each grade, and who actually has taken the place of the officer whose real duty it is, and who has been granted a dispensation liberating him may, when this has happened frequently, receive a special commendation endorsed upon his certificate, and is ipso facto entitled to promotion to a higher grade if otherwise qualified.

The Order of the Scarlet Cord is governed by "the Court," which consists of all the members of the sixth grade. These are Knights of the Order and are addressed as such. The fifth and fourth grades form "The Camp," and anyone who is conversant with the Wars of the" Maccabees" finds little explanation needed when he takes up membership of these "Camp" grades. There is little paraphernalia, and still less gaudy clothing, in these Orders.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Victorian GM on Sunday Night Safran

M.W. Bro. Vaughan E. Werner talks about Freemasonry in general on the ABC Radio show Sunday Night Safran. 25/4/2010

The 5.5mb Quicktime audio file can be accessed by clicking here.

Information regarding the Order of Rainbow Girls mentioned in the interview can be found here. (Webmasters note: I could not find websites for any of the Assemblies here in Australia.)

From the shows website:

Sundays at 9pm - In 2009, JOHN SAFRAN and FATHER BOB MAGUIRE escaped unscathed from a near sacking and public crucifixtion. In 2010, they continue to be provocateurs with their weekly radio ramblings on Sunday Night Safran.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Crowning Glory of Freemasonry

by W.Bro the Rev. Joseph Johnson, P.A.G.Chaplain
circa 1927

The philosophy of Freemasonry is to prepare, educate and train its members for the higher relationships of life. In so doing it demonstrated its faith in mankind and in return invites confidence, trust and loyalty. It believes that the humblest life launched on the sea of humanity has within it the slumbering forces of noble manhood waiting only for the sympathetic touch to rouse and stimulate the innate qualities of the soul.

Masonry invites none to join its ranks but it embraces men of all creeds, colour and conditions. By the practise of the spirit of charity, the toleration of varied ofttimes opposite creeds, and by a universal bond of of brotherhood it brings and holds together men of every country and nationality, who otherwise would have remained apart, but who by means of Masonry meet on the level and separate on the square.

Masonry is not a religion in the ecclesiastical or theological sense. It creates no church, administers no ordinance and has no ministerial or sacerdotal class. It is an ally of religion, indeed the most powerful auxiliary to religion we know, but it is in no sense a substitute for it. Religion is at the foundation of Masonry and fundamentally it is spiritual. It teaches the essential spiritual truths on which all region is based - faith in God, love to man and hope of immortality. Religion builds civilisation and Masonry works on the civilisation built. The one supplements the other.

Masonry does not seek to usurp the place of the Church. It aims rather to aid and support all the ethical teachings of the Church. A man should not be less but more religious through his association with Freemasonry, for it instils and enforces the sacred duties of brotherly love, relief and truth, and inculcates all mutual duties and obligations of man to man in the relationship of life.

The vitality of Masonry is not due to exalted patronage or to social influence. It is due to the moral effect of its teaching, to sense of duty by which its members are animated and sustained in ungrudging and unwearying devotion to every good work. Masonry may be likened to a mighty stream penetrating every hill and mountain, gliding over plain and valley, bearing on its beneficent bosom the abundant waters of love and charity for the needy, and for widows and orphans of Brethren in all lands. This ever flowing stream vitalises every man who seriously participates in it, and the result is seen in men living more deeply, more bravely and consistently, and in their being drawn closer together in mutual goodwill and service. It cannot be otherwise so long as Masonry instructs its members in the active principles of universal beneficence and charity, and bids them solace to their fellow creatures in the hour of affliction.

In the shaping and moulding of character Freemasonry makes a valuable contribution to the life of the modern world. It really exists for this and when it has succeeded in implanting in its members the great cardinal virtues of friendship, morality, and brotherly love, supported by an unswerving faith in T.G.A.O.T.U. before whom all Masons must humbly bow, and sends them forth to live after this manner before their fellow men, then it has accomplished a great task and made a supreme contribution to the life of the world. He who learns these lessons will not only walk humbly before God, but will express his Masonic character in an inflexible fidelity to his country`s ideals and laws, for Freemasonry is rooted deeply in the sterling rule of patriotism; and will give himself in a ready and helpful service to his fellowmen in so far as he can do without detriment to himself and those dependent on him.

Freemasonry also makes for friendship. Friendship-fraternity is indispensable in human life. Friendship should be simple, sincere and reliable. As "iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" are words credited to Solomon in the far distant past but they are still true and pregnant with meaning. Cicero said "They seem to take away the sun from the world who withdraw friendship from life, for we have received nothing better, nothing more delightful." One of our great English poets says:-

"The friends thou hast and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel."

Freemasonry promotes friendship and the kind of friendship the world is craving for, a friendship that means a better spirit of concord and harmony between nations, a deeper fellowship between communities, and a more warm hearted sympathy between individuals. If there must be another war, let it be a war against ignorance, selfishness, sinful indulgence and greed, and led by spirit and teaching of Masonry, victory will be assured.

Freemasonry is a life to be lived, not a formality to be perfunctorily observed or a set of empty creeds to which lip service is given. It is a life grounded on religion, organised in mortality, mellowed by good fellowship, humanised in charity, dedicated to service, and must ever stand for the love of God, the dignity and worth of man and for realisation of true brotherhood.

The glory of our ancient landmarks can never be preserved better or be more enhanced than when we as individuals are giving ourselves in obedience to our God, in patriotic devotion to our country, and in deeds of service to our fellowmen. Let us not forget that the crowning glory of Freemasonry is not in its forms and ceremonies, but in the sterling character it seeks to implant in the lives of its members. Masonry does not measure men by the standards of knowledge, eloquence or wealth but by their character and service. It delights in the development of a fraternity of great hearts, of Brethren who are never knowingly rude, selfish, resentful, never glad when others go wrong, but always courteous, generous, eager to believe the best, ever ready with outstretched hand to lift the fallen, cheer the disheartened, and to give relief and comfort to those in distress. This is the surest way to secure "Peace on Earth" and "goodwill among men."

"We are building every day
In a good or evil way;
And in the structure as it grows
Must our inward self disclose,
Till in every arch and line
All our hidden faults outshine.

Do you ask what building this,
That can show both pain and bliss -
That can be both dark and fair?
Lo! Its name is character.

Build it well, what e`er you do!
Build it straight, and strong and true!
Build it clean, and high, and broad -
Build it for the eye of God!"

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Reading Masons and Masons who do not Read

By Albert G. Mackey
published in 1875

I suppose there are more Masons who are ignorant of all the principles of freemasonry than there are men of any other class who are chargeable with the like ignorance of their own profession. There is not a watchmaker who does not know something about the elements of horology, nor is there a blacksmith who is altogether unacquainted with the properties of red-hot iron. Ascending to the higher walks of science, we would be much astonished to meet with a lawyer who was ignorant of the elements of jurisprudence, or a physician who had never read a treatise on pathology, or a clergyman who knew nothing whatever of theology.

Nevertheless, nothing is more common than to encounter Freemasons who are in utter darkness as to every thing that relates to Freemasonry. They are ignorant of its history -- they know not whether it is a mushroom production of today, or whether it goes back to remote ages for its origin. They have no comprehension of the esoteric meaning of its symbols or its ceremonies, and are hardly at home in its modes of recognition. And yet nothing is more common than to find such socialists in the possession of high degrees and sometimes honored with elevated affairs in the Order, present at the meetings of lodges and chapters, intermeddling with the proceedings, taking an active part in all discussions and pertinaciously maintaining heterodox opinions in opposition to the judgment of brethren of far greater knowledge.

Why, it may well be asked, should such things be? Why, in Masonry alone, should there be so much ignorance and so much presumption? If I ask a cobbler to make me a pair of boots, he tells me that he only mends and patches, and that he has not learned the higher branches of his craft, and then he honestly declines the offered job. If I request a watchmaker to construct a mainspring for my chronometer, he answers that he cannot do it, that he has never learned how to make mainsprings, which belongs to a higher branch of the business, but that if I will bring him a spring ready made, he will insert it in my timepiece, because that he knows how to do. If I go to an artist with an order to paint me a historical picture, he will tell me that it is beyond his capacity, that he has never studied nor practiced the computation of details, but has confined himself to the painting of portraits. Were he dishonest and presumptuous he would take my order and instead of a picture give me a daub.

It is the Freemason alone who wants this modesty. He is too apt to think that the obligation not only makes him a Mason, but a learned Mason at the same time. He too often imagines that the mystical ceremonies which induct him into the Order are all that are necessary to make him cognizant of its principles.

There are some Christian sects who believe that the water of baptism at once washes away all sin, past and prospective. So there are some Masons who think that the mere act of initiation is at once followed by an influx of all Masonic knowledge. They need no further study or research. All that they require to know has already been received by a sort of intuitive process.

The great body of Masons may be divided into three classes. The first consists of those who made their application for initiation not from a desire for knowledge, but from some accidental motive, not always honorable. Such men have been led to seek reception either because it was likely, in their opinion, to facilitate their business operations, or to advance their political prospects, or in some other way to personally benefit them. In the commencement of a war, hundreds flock to the lodges in the hope of obtaining the "mystic sign," which will be of service in the hour of danger. Their object having been attained, or having failed to attain it, these men become indifferent and, in time, fall into the rank of the non-affiliates. Of such Masons there is no hope. They are dead trees having no promise of fruit. Let them pass as utterly worthless, and incapable of improvement.

There is a second class consisting of men who are the moral and Masonic antipodes of the first. These make their application for admission, being prompted, as the ritual requires, "by a favorable opinion conceived of the Institution, and a desire of knowledge." As soon as they are initiated, they see in the ceremonies through which they have passed, a philosophical meaning worthy of the trouble of inquiry. They devote themselves to this inquiry. They obtain Masonic books, they read Masonic periodicals, and they converse with well-informed brethren. They make themselves acquainted with the history of the Association. They investigate its origin and its ultimate design. They explore the hidden sense of its symbols and they acquire the interpretation. Such Masons are always useful and honorable members of the Order, and very frequently they become its shining lights. Their lamp burns for the Enlightenment of others, and to them the Institution is indebted for whatever of an elevated position it has attained. For them, this article is not written.

But between these two classes, just described, there is an intermediate one; not so bad as the first, but far below the second, which, unfortunately, comprises the body of the Fraternity. This third class consists of Masons who joined the Society with unobjectionable motives, and with, perhaps the best intentions. But they have failed to carry these intentions into effect. They have made a grievous mistake. They have supposed that initiation was all that was requisite to make them Masons, and that any further study was entirely unnecessary. Hence, they never read a Masonic book.

Bring to their notice the productions of the most celebrated Masonic authors, and their remark is that they have no time to read-the claims of business are overwhelming. Show them a Masonic journal of recognized reputation, and ask them to subscribe. Their answer is, that they cannot afford it, the times are hard and money is scarce. And yet, there is no want of Masonic ambition in many of these men. But their ambition is not in the right direction. They have no thirst for knowledge, but they have a very great thirst for office or for degrees. They cannot afford money or time for the purchase or perusal of Masonic books, but they have enough of both to expend on the acquisition of Masonic degrees. It is astonishing with what avidity some Masons who do not understand the simplest rudiments of their art, and who have utterly failed to comprehend the scope and meaning of primary, symbolic Masonry, grasp at the empty honors of the high degrees.

The Master Mason who knows very little, if anything, of the Apprentice's degree longs to be a Knight Templar. He knows nothing, and never expects to know anything, of the history of Templarism, or how and why these old crusaders became incorporated with the Masonic brotherhood. The height of his ambition is to wear the Templar cross upon his breast. If he has entered the Scottish Rite, the Lodge of Perfection will not content him, although it supplies material for months of study. He would faster rise higher in the scale of rank, and if by persevering efforts he can attain the summit of the Rite and be invested with the Thirty-third degree, little cares he for any knowledge of the organization of the Rite or the sublime lessons that it teaches. He has reached the height of his ambition and is permitted to wear the double-headed eagle.

Such Masons are distinguished not by the amount of knowledge that they possess, but by the number of the jewels that they wear. They will give fifty dollars for a decoration, but not fifty cents for a book. These men do great injury to Masonry. They have been called its drones. But they are more than that. They are the wasps, the deadly enemy of the industrious bees. They set a bad example to the younger Masons - they discourage the growth of Masonic literature -- they drive intellectual men, who would be willing to cultivate Masonic science, into other fields of labor -- they depress the energies of our writers -- and they debase the character of Speculative Masonry as a branch of mental and moral philosophy.

When outsiders see men holding high rank and office in the Order who are almost as ignorant as themselves of the principles of Freemasonry, and who, if asked, would say they looked upon it only as a social institution, these outsiders very naturally conclude that there cannot be anything of great value in a system whose highest positions are held by men who profess to have no knowledge of its higher development.

It must not be supposed that every Mason is expected to be a learned Mason, or that every man who is initiated is required to devote himself to the study of Masonic science and literature. Such an expectation would be foolish and unreasonable. All men are not equally competent to grasp and retain the same amount of knowledge. Order, says Pope - "Order is heaven's first law and this confess, Some are, and must be, greater than the rest, More rich, more wise."

All that I contend for is, that when a candidate enters the fold of Masonry he should feel that there is something in it better than its mere grips and signs, and that he should endeavor with all his ability to attain some knowledge of that better thing. He should not seek advancement to higher degrees until he knew something of the lower, nor grasp at office, unless he had previously fulfilled with some reputation for Masonic knowledge, the duties of a private station.

I once knew a brother whose greed for office led him to pass through all the grades from Warden of his lodge to Grand Master of the jurisdiction, and who during that whole period had never read a Masonic book nor attempted to comprehend the meaning of a single symbol. For the year of his Mastership he always found it convenient to have an excuse for absence from the lodge on the nights when degrees were to be conferred. Yet, by his personal and social influences, he had succeeded in elevating himself in rank above all those who were above him in Masonic knowledge.

They were really far above him, for they all knew something, and he knew nothing. Had he remained in the background, none could have complained. But, being where he was, and seeking himself the position, he had no right to be ignorant. It was his presumption that constituted his offense. A more striking example is the following: A few years ago while editing a Masonic periodical, I received a letter from the Grand Lecturer of a certain Grand Lodge who had been a subscriber, but who desired to discontinue his subscription. In assigning his reason, he said (a copy of the letter is now before me), "although the work contains much valuable information, I shall have no time to read, as I shall devote the whole of the present year to teaching." I cannot but imagine what a teacher such a man must have been, and what pupils he must have instructed.

This article is longer than I intended it to be. But I feel the importance of the subject. There are in the United States more than four hundred thousand affiliated Masons. How many of these are readers? One-half - or even one-tenth? If only one-fourth of the men who are in the Order would read a little about it, and not depend for all they know of it on their visits to their lodges, they would entertain more elevated notions of its character.

Through their sympathy scholars would be encouraged to discuss its principles and to give to the public the results of their thoughts, and good Masonic magazines would enjoy a prosperous existence. Now, because there are so few Masons that read, Masonic books hardly do more than pay the publishers the expense of printing, while the authors get nothing; and Masonic journals are being year after year carried off into the literary Academia, where the corpses of defunct periodicals are deposited; and, worst of all, Masonry endures depressing blows.

The Mason who reads, however little, be it only the pages of the monthly magazine to which he subscribes, will entertain higher views of the Institution and enjoy new delights in the possession of these views. The Masons who do not read will know nothing of the interior beauties of Speculative Masonry, but will be content to suppose it to be something like Odd Fellowship, or the Order of the Knights of Pythias - only, perhaps, a little older. Such a Mason must be an indifferent one. He has laid no foundation for zeal.

If this indifference, instead of being checked, becomes more widely spread, the result is too apparent. Freemasonry must step down from the elevated position which she has been struggling, through the efforts of her scholars, to maintain, and our lodges, instead of becoming resorts for speculative and philosophical thought, will deteriorate into social clubs or mere benefit societies. With so many rivals in that field, her struggle for a prosperous life will be a hard one. The ultimate success of Masonry depends on the intelligence of her disciples.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

In search of Light

from the introduction to the Book titled "Symbolism of Freemasonry"
by J.D.Buck, 1896

In its ritualism and monitorial lessons Masonry teaches nothing in morals, in science, in religion, or in any other department of human knowledge or human interest, not taught elsewhere in current forms of thought, or by the sages of the past. In these directions it has no secrets of any kind. It is in the ancient symbols of Freemasonry that its real secrets lie concealed, and these are as densely veiled to the Mason as to any other, unless he has studied the science of symbolism in general, and masonic symbols in particular. In place of the term Mystic Masonry, the term Symbolic Masonry might have been used alone, but just here lies the whole secret, a profound mystery, and few Masons up to the present time have had the interest or the patience necessary to such investigation. This is a fact, and not intended as either a criticism or a reproach.

If lacking a knowledge of the profound meaning of masonic symbolism, and its transcendent interest and importance, Masons have allowed the whole organization not only to fail in all real progress, but to degenerate, that is indeed a reproach.
The number of individuals admitted to fellowship in the various degrees cannot atone for such degeneracy, but on the contrary it rather emphasizes it.

The author of this book is perfectly well aware that such a treatise will not be popular with a certain class of Masons. They are almost certain to regard it with contempt and to undertake to frown it down. They will make the statement, which is perfectly true, that no such meaning has before been explained to them, and that no such philosophy is found in the monitorial instructions of the Lodge. The author can not, therefore, be justly accused of revealing any of the secrets of the Lodge unlawfully. The most profound secrets of Masonry are not revealed in the Lodge at all, They belong only to the few.

This again, if admitted as a fact, will seem an injustice. But these secrets must be sought by the individual himself, and the candidate is debarred from possessing them solely by his own inattention to the hints everywhere given in the ritual of the Lodge, or by his indifference to the subject. If he prefers to treat the whole subject with con-tempt, and to deny that any such real knowledge exists, it becomes evident that he not only closes the door against the possibility of himself possessing such knowledge, but he also becomes impervious to any evidence of its existence that might come to him at any time. He has no one but himself to blame if he is left in darkness.

On the other hand, there is a large and increasing number of persons among Masons who really desire more light; who are satisfied that there must be other and profounder meanings behind the ritual and ceremonies of the Lodge. Some of these have taken the hint and Journeyed Eastward in search of Light.

The play made upon the word, light, in the Royal Arch, and in almost every other degree; the three greater lights, and the three lesser, ought to teach every intelligent Mason that Light, and the trinity, or triangle of lights, have a profound meaning, or else that the whole ritual is a meaningless farce. Aside from all interest that any individual Mason may find in the subject for his own enlightenment, it is obviously his duty, while preserving unaltered the usages and land-marks of the order, to advance the interests and fame of Masonry itself by every just and benevolent means in his power.

The names that are honored in the traditions of the Lodge and in the history of the Order, belong to those who have thus achieved enduring fame, and they are held aloft in the ritual of the Lodge as worthy of all emulation. But, shall neither the present nor the future add anything to this roll of honor? or, if need be, to the list of martyrs? Are the days of noble deeds past with Masonry forever? and the need of self-sacrifice and devotion altogether a thing of the past?

There was never greater need than at the present time: never so great an opportunity as now for Masonry to assume its true place among the institutions of man and to force recognition by the simple power of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, based upon philosophy such as nowhere else exists outside of its ancient symbols.

If the majority of Masons do not realize the true significance and value of their possessions, there is all the more need for those who do to speak out, even in the face of discouragement and detraction, and do their utmost to demonstrate the truth.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Preparing to be Master

from the book titled "The Master`s Book"
by Carl H. Claudy

Library #: M14_CLA_2
Location: LoR
Publisher: The Temple Publishers
Published year: 1935
Pages: 122
Edition: 20th
Donated by: S. Broad
Condition: fair

The greatest honour comes to any brother with his elevation to the Oriental Chair of It Masonic Lodge. Few Wardens but look forward with mingled pleasure and anxiety to that day when in their hands will be placed the gavel of authority. He who early prepares to be a Master in more than name only arrives in the seat of authority with some confidence.

The wise Warden does not wait until elected Master to become familiar with the official books of his Jurisdiction; the Proceedings of his Grand Lodge; the book of Masonic low-it has many names, such as Code, Methodical Digest, Ahiman Rezon, Constitution and By-laws, etc.; the Manual in which is printed all that may lawfully be put in type of the ritual and ceremonies of the degrees, and most especially the by-laws of his own Lodge.

A Master is not only leader of his Lodge, but a member of Grand Lodge, in which august body he represents his Lodge. Familiarity with the Grand Lodge procedure, questions pending, legislation enacted, etc., gives him a perspective and enables him to act with intelligence and understanding. In the Proceedings of most (not all) Grand Lodges is the report of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence, under which apparently misleading title an official reviewer summarizes the activities of other Grand Lodges. The Master who realizes that he is not only an important cog in his own Masonic machine, but an integral part of a world-wide Freemasonry, early grasps the real importance and responsibilities of his position. Study of the Proceedings gives a perspective on the activities of Grand Lodge, with special reference to its charity, whether exercised in Masonic Home, Orphanage, Hospital, Foundation, outside relief or other form.

To be Master of a Lodge is quite different from being president of a club or society. The Master is called upon to decide questions of law and practice which he cannot leave to his brethren; the honor of leadership carries also the responsibility. That his decisions be wise and just, and of such a character as will draw commendation, not condemnation, from Grand Master or District Deputy, he must know the laws of his Jurisdiction, his own powers and limitations. He can obtain his knowledge only from a faithful study of book of Masonic law.

In some Jurisdictions only the Master may confer the Master Mason's Degree; in many may empower either his officers, a Past Master, or a well qualified brother to fill the East during the ceremonies of the three degrees. Never will the Master get the best co-operation in putting on a degree if he him- self cannot "do the work." The Master who knows his ritual can lead; he who will not "learn the 'work" is in a poor position to criticize faulty performances by others. Hence, an early study is important.

The degrees of Freemasonry are among the beautiful ceremonies of the world. They should be inspiring, uplifting, heartening, lovely to hear. If they fall short of perfection the Master is responsible-aye, even if he have only inefficient helpers, his is the responsibility.

Both Lodge and Master owe service to those elected to receive the degrees. The elected candidate has signed his petition, answered the questions, paid his fees, stood his investigation, come when called, submitted to proper preparation. Now his brethren-to-be are so to induct him into the mysteries that he may desire with all his heart to become "a good and faithful brother among us." He is entitled to a degree which will impress him; he has a right to hear the grand old words so spoken that they will make a deep and lasting impression on his mind. What he sees and hears should convince him of the age, the dignity, the importance, the solemnity of the Ancient Craft.

All this is a Master's work. The wise Warden lets no time go by before preparing himself for those busy days ahead, and regards dignified degrees, well put on, as important both to Lodge and candidates.

Few assets are more valuable to a Master than friends. In Freemasonry, as in the profane world, the art of making friends is encompassed in one phrase: "to have friends we must be friendly." Millions of men are so at heart; cold of exterior from no better cause than shyness. Many a man wants to tend his hand, wishes to say a cheery word or greeting, desires with all his heart to be "one of the fellows," ... and does not know how.

Yet it is so simple! For the root of personal shyness is fear of laughter-and laughter, like thunder, has yet to hurt anything living! The shy brother need only assure himself: "I will not be afraid of something which cannot hurt me - I will not think my brethren are more critical of me than I am of them - I will not waste time and strength wanting and not doing, when to say a cheery word and put out my hand needs but a muscular effort!"

Friendliness begets friendliness. The brother who is cordial will find hands springing out to meet his; will see smiles begetting smiles; will learn that genuine interest in a brother produces real interest in him. The Warden who leaves the West for the East interested enough to know all regular attendants by name will enter his year of responsibility with an asset than which there is no greater for the leader of a Lodge.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Masonic Obsessions!

by an "Old P.M."
circa 1928

It is a strange thing that Freemasonry at once an institution universal in its scope, unifying in its aims, and uplifting in its ideals; should have in its followers men who are strangely obsessed with one idea of its purposes.

Masonry itself in all its aspects may with some become an obsession but I have noticed that in such cases the principles and tenets of the Craft are invariably used to emphasise the principles and practices of highly mundane action. In such cases the obsession is of value, and tends to the solidarity of human effort and advancement. So far, good, and if all the devotees of the Craft were so minded we should be in greater measure than we are a force for good, a greater support to all those endeavours which are animated by a great and generous desire for the good of others, and indeed for the advantage of humanity at large.

But the obsessed ones discount the value of the Craft universal, and hamper its fullest activity and influence. The reason for this is these Brethren are afflicted by myopia of the intellectual variety and can only see one object, not at a time but the same object at all times. This object, they cling to, nurse, fondle and parade with a vigour and enthusiasm worthy of a better cause! They do as Freemasonry is said to have done two centuries ago "taken a run" but without the saving grace of running themselves out of breath. Their influence and example are not of, or for, the best. The limit the activity of others and tend to create in some the lack of interest, indifference, and inattention discernible on many hands. Freemasonry is not to be "cribb`d, cabin`d and cofin'd" but it is, and must be maintained broad and deep and glorious.

It may be said that while this latter is the view and aim of wise Master Builders, all cannot attain to their perfection. That it is better to do one thing well, than to make a poor attempt at doing several things unsuccessfully. But this is a fallacy. All Freemasons of whatsoever rank and attainment are builders - they must go on building, not with one stone but many, not at one part of the building but throughout its whole course.

The evidence of the existence of Brethren obsessed by one objective is not far to seek nor is it needful to go into many details on the subject. It mat be said that there are but few such, and their presence may act as a spur to others. True, there may be few of them, but even so there are too many and their spurring only directs the spurred into a similar course of action and not into any wide or general progress. Besides Freemasonry is not effective if a spur is needed for it is necessarily slow and gradual in its movement, and takes the lii1e of least resistance being founded on love, patient, kind and long suffering.

Let us look at a few examples where these principles may well be substituted for the spur. Take Ritual, it is no doubt one of the most difficult subjects to deal with, being a well-ridden, over-ridden hobby horse to many. Your enthusiast loses no opportunity of correcting others, and of advertising, supposed superior virtues and powers of his own pet mount, which would rapidly become like "Uncle Tom Cobley's Grey Mare" if everyone invited took a seat on the proferred saddle.

Apart from essentials as to which I say nothing, I suppose there is not, never was, and never will be, anyone set form crystalised, unaltered or unalterable applicable to the whole Craft. One too often hears ritual enthusiasts correct the officers on words in open Lodge and at times even corrections from several different quarters. Oh, what a lamentable state of affairs! It would be like having a correctional committee who mistook the place and occasion for a Lodge of Instruction. There is ample room for patience, and broadmindedness here.

The Dinner which in many places succeeds the Lodge is an opportunity for a hobby horse rider to display his powers. He may be an authority on a good menu which by the way I have never yet found has ever been satisfactory to him. Or he may be a judge of fine wines, their bouquet and flavour, and remains unsatisfied with what is provided. There are other directions in which he may direct his prancing steed, and dictate to others what they ought, or ought not to do or have. The verbose speaker to, or after, a toast is much the same. He forgets, if he ever realised, that "Dinners were meant for eating and not talking." He winds out a speech of twenty minutes, or longer, duration while a five minute good speech would have a greater and more lasting effect on the minds of the hearers, than a twenty minute poor speech. I am entirely on the side of moderation and temperance in all things.

There are other directions where a broader view of things should be taken. The specialist in the use or demand for, the full titles and prefixes, and indications of rank. In their proper place and on proper occasions this is commendable, but Brother is a comprehensive and fraternal term more often than not. The stickler for wearing all the emblems, badges, and jewels he possesses might well revise his views and actions in accordance with a recent pronouncement by authority. The wearing of Masonic collars at dinner, the still too frequent "challenging" in general, and in particular without regard for the rank of the challenged Brother all need attention to prevent the spread of individual fads and practices. The most enjoyable Masonic Dinners I have experienced are those where these things are entirely taboo.

There are other directions too where the broad view should be taken, where symbolism, and exposition of principles should be carefully restrained and much in the conduct and conversation between Brethren be carefully watched. But I have said enough I think to indicate some directions where Brethren can and should widen their sphere of activity, of thought, or of practice. Where these should be tempered with fraternal feeling for others, where the real principles and tenets of the Craft as a whole and not in one particular, may be exhibited and carried into effect so that the "stately and superb edifice" may continue to be erected on the true foundation and be perfect in all its parts and honourable to the Builders.

Why Should I?

by Bro. "P.Q."
circa 1928

Why Should I? I must explain that I am not making any breach of confidence in the remarks which appear in this article, for not only was a free consent given to the opinions expressed by the speaker, "if you think it will do any good to help men like myself." Moreover, the opinions are not those of one but of several who have been to me lately to know my advice on the question of becoming a Freemason. I have, therefore, at least mentally brought applicants into an entity as regards position in life, mentality and sincerity, and I found it odd that their views and difficulties might be summed up in the phrase " Why should I?"

In each case the enquirer came of his own accord to get my opinion because I was known to be a big Mason, although they were unable to describe how or why I was entitled to that description. Anyway, they had the ordinary sources of information, they were right and partly wrong. "Ah!" said he, "that is why I have come to see you". I have found that the scraps of information were generally wrong. "Quite so," I said, "that is because the people you gone to know probably less, and it is a case of blind leading the blind, and even where your informant member of the Craft (that is our name for Freemasonry) he has probably got a wrong idea of what entitled to tell an enquirer, and so puts him off by a sort of cloud of ignorance or mystery.

"If I ask you to tell me now, what would be your reply, based on actual experience or sound information, what would you tell me?"

"Oh, I think it must be a jolly good thing, because it raises such a lot of money, according to the papers, the purpose of magnificent schools for children and pensions for old people."

Another enquirer said that may be very true, but the money is spent only on Masons or orphans of sons, and "I reckon they ought to spend the money on any deserving case outside what you call the Craft."

I said "That is where your information is short, but could only fill that up if you were a Mason. But are not the schools and pensions which cost voluntary subscriptions of Masons running into £300,000 a year sufficient cause for admiration?"

"My word, yes!" said the first man, "for while I was on my holiday I saw a magnificent lifeboat which I was told was one of several given and maintained by the Masons, and you must have seen the other day that the Freemasons gave 1,000 guineas to the Lord Mayor's Fund for the distressed areas and on many other occasions for different purposes."

"That's all very well, but you must remember that Freemasonry is not a benefit society where you pay so much a quarter for certain benefits which are sure to come at sickness or death. All the benefits in this respect are free and voluntary. If you are left with an orphan, it by no means follows that you can get the child into a school, or if you are old and worn out (you don`t look it, now), you have no right to a pension except for the generosity and goodwill of the members.

Now what does all this suggest to you, or what is there left to help to obtain a good opinion of the Craft? You have to pay a subscription which is managed by other people on what is known as the principles of the Craft, and as you can't be expected to know exactly what these are till you are a member and have gone through the whole of the ceremonies I cannot very well explain them at length, but this I can tell you, that what I have said about the freedom of its generosity is at least a reason for thinking that Freemasonry means love towards its members, the desire to help them in distress, and one other point, a straighter dealing between Masons and the ordinary man. Is think that enough, but there, you see there is much more be told, and if this is not enough, I must tell more later."

"Here! but are there not fees to pay every year else how could it carry on?"

"Good man! these fees go in administration of Lodge and to Grand Lodge, and for printing and the like; some pay the cost of dinners or part of them and in keeping up a private Lodge benevolent fund. Apart from these fees the contribution to the schools, etc., are quite voluntary."

"Hold on a minute. What has that Freemasons` Hospital and Nursing Home in the Fulham to do with all this charity?"

"Oh, that is purely the outcome of the generous feeling of many Brethren who found not many years ago that there was not a hospital in London Masons could be exclusively treated for reasonable fees. It was formed by a good many Masons years ago, and has proved so beneficial that it is not large enough, and will have to be rebuilt in the suburbs to hold about 120 ordinary patients beside nursing home patients, all of whom must be Masons, children or near relations of Masons.

"There now! Go away and think about the answer your own question."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Lodge Name

from the book "Sidelights on Freemasonry"
by Rev. John T. Lawrence

EVERY Lodge has a name and a number. The choice of the latter is a matter with which the Lodge has nothing to do, but the former is the concern of the Lodge, and it is only due to the Lodge to suppose that it received as much consideration as everything else affecting its welfare. When lodges were few and far between, and the light of Freemasonry was only dimly visible from one beacon to the next, it was easy to ring the changes on a few names replete with real or fancied Masonic significance.

Of the lodges on the register, about three hundred were in existence at the beginning of the last century. To be accurate, at the time of the Union, the last Lodge warranted was No.339. Of these, one hundred and one met in London and seventeen in foreign parts, and there remained two hundred and twenty~one for all England and Wales besides. There was not much chance, therefore, of one Lodge interfering with its neighbour by reason of similarity of name, and consequently such designations as Friendship, Charity, Fortitude, Unanimity, Hope, Fidelity, Perseverance, Peace, Philanthropy, Faith, Integrity, Rectitude, Temperance, Honour, Harmony, Tranquillity and the like, flourished freely.

For the curious it may be of interest to note that at the time of writing there are sixteen lodges called Unity and eight Unanimity, which means the same thing; eighteen Harmony, eight Benevolence, seven Philanthropy, seven Charity, seven Sincerity, eight Peace, five Emulation, four Honour, twelve Fidelity, eleven Hope, sixteen Friendship, thirteen Perseverance, six Faith, six Industry, eight Prudence, seven Fortitude, seven Loyalty, and eleven Concord, besides others bearing similar names; illustrating public and domestic virtues of different kinds. That is to say, two hundred and nine in all, of which one hundred and eighty-one were warranted before 1856, which shows that this style of nomenclature has had its day.

Perhaps it may be considered Pharisaic to make this somewhat exclusive claim to the possession of a particular virtue, and possibly our Brethren feel unworthy to label themselves so distinctively; or, more likely still, it is owing to the large number of friendly societies which have sprung up during the last half-century which favour this style of designation.

Several of the above lodges possess a combination of two or even three of these names, and others strongly emphasise the virtues they live to illustrate, such as Universal Charity, True Friendship, Perfect Unanimity, and the like. Some combinations are rather curious, such as Fortitude and Old Cumberland, Somerset House and Inverness, and they represent amalgamations.

In the absence of reference to Masonic sentiment or virtue, our forefathers were in the habit of procuring some celebrated person stand in as godfather. Shakespeare, Pythagoras, Burns, Milton, Socrates, Clive, Nelson, and Wellington are among those whose names are enshrined and kept green in the warrants of some sixty-five lodges. This number, it should be said; excludes those lodges named after some one living at the time of the warrant.

Local associations have, of course, had much to do with the choice of these worthies. Thus Wyckliffe is very properly commemorated at Lutterworth, Charles Dickens at Chigwell, Sir Francis Drake at Plymouth, King Harold at Waltham, where the hero king was buried, Sir Isaac Newton at Cambridge, Wolsey at Hampton Court, Gooch at Swindon, Homer at Smyrna (the poet's reputed birthplace), Hereward at Bourne, and Canute at Southend-on-Sea.

It was reasonably to be expected that Masonic dignitaries would not be forgotten, and thus we have fourteen lodges dedicated to the Earl of Zetland, nine to the Duke of Sussex, thirty-six to the late Grand Master, and four to the Marquis of Ripon, whilst seven lodges have taken the name of the present M.W.G.M. since his accession to that office. In 1863 Lodge Rose of Denmark was very suitably warranted with relevance to the marriage of the Prince of Wales, and H.R.H. the Princess of Wales stood godmother to some eighteen other lodges about the same period. Her late Majesty Queen Victoria has given her name, to sixteen lodges.

The practice of calling a new Lodge by the name of a person still living, however distinguished, is one which needs to be discussed in all its bearings. In some cases no exception can be taken. For instance, there are lodges which bear the honoured names of Kitchener and Roberts, Lathom and Gould, but the names thus immortalised are those of persons whose reputation has been made in public capacities. If it be desired to do honour to the private virtues of some well known local personage, it must be remembered that the Lodge may long outlast any recollection of the very name of such person. He may have merited the esteem and affection of those about him, but it certainly seems hard upon posterity-which, after all, has never done us any harm that we should burden it with a perpetual charge in the shape of the payment of our debt of gratitude. In one district abroad there are no less than eighteen lodges, Chapters, &c., out of a total of forty-one, that bear the names of purely local worthies.

With regard to this practice, one suggests with great diffidence that the party concerned, if still living, may live long enough to "break his record" and cause the Lodge to regret its name, and perchance ask to have it altered, or to be erased, and start again. It is the practice of many Grand Masters, to refuse to grant a warrant to a Lodge. proposed to be called after the name of a living person.

To call a Lodge after the name of the place in which it meets displays some lack of inventive power. One Lodge the writer once visited is called by the name of the terrace at the end of which the Lodge premises are situated! and a good many are called by the, name of the sign of the licensed house in which the meeting's are held, and if of historic value there can be no objection.

In some cases the old Roman name of the town has been hunted but by some brother of classical attainments, and the result has been to incidentally to give a fillip to the appetite for historical research in the neighbourhood. Thus we find Lodge Olicana at Ilkley; Eboracum at York, Lindisfarne in North Shields, Beaudesert at Leighton Buzzard, Cestrian at Chester, Cornubian at Hayle, Claro at Harrogate, and Vitruvian, Ross.

There are, ten lodges "Light." One of these, No. 2721, is London and all the rest meet in India, and for the most part possess a geographical qualification; e.g. "Light in Tirhoot," "Light in the Himalayas." A very ambitious name is "Light of the Craft," No. 362, meeting in Jubbulpore.

The "Stars" are very numerous in the Masonic firmament as in the celestial, There are sixteen of them; and all but two are, abroad, these being "Star in the East" at Harwich, and the "Star" at Greenwich. Of the rest, the greater number are connected with the four cardinal points, e.g. there are six "Stars in the East". Apart from these and not so readily traceable in the year-book are such names as "Morning Star," "Rising Star," &c.

St. John has stood godfather to no less than forty-two lodges, and two hundred and forty lodges in all are dedicated to various Saints, the whole calendar apparently having been ransacked.

And it is not surprising to find eighty-nine lodges whose names have the word "Royal" prefixed. Seeing what an effect upon the imagination is produced by the old T.I. Mother Lodge of Kilwinning, it is not surprising to find the name of the cradle of Scottish Masonry incorporated into the names of some forty other lodges, distributed in all parts of the globe.

Some curious names are "Inhabitants," "Noah's Ark," "All Souls," "England's Centre," "Nil sine labore," "Silent Temple," "Sun and Sector," "Parrett and Axe," "St. George and Corner Stone," and "Strong Man," among doubtless many others.

Of names of real Masonic significance there are comparatively few. There are in this country three lodges named Ionic, five Doric, and four Corinthian, a King Solomon, three Lewises, a Perfect Ashlar, Abiff; a Pentalpha, Keystone, Pentangle, Square and Compasses, Sun Square and Compasses, Three Grand Principles (3), and Three Pillars - that is to say, not many more than a score; or about one in a hundred. Abroad there are three Corinthian, one Doric, two Hiram, one Ionic.

Local history often solves the problem of what the new Lodge is to be called. Robin Hood at Eastwood, the seven Abbey Lodges, Athole in the Isle of Man, Border City at Carlisle, Camalodunum at Malton, Caradoc at Swansea, Dorothy Vernon at Bakewell, Eleanor Cross at Northampton, Hotspur at Newcastle, Hengist, Horsa, and Rowena at Bournemouth, Humphrey Cheetham in Manchester, Ivanhoe at Sheffield, Limestone Rock at Clitheroe, Merlin at Pontyridd (the reputed birthplace of the bard), Rose of Raby at Staindrop, and William of Wykeham at Winchester are all names to be highly commended. Peveril of the Peak at New Mills is also worth noting. If the Three Graces at Haworth refer to the three Sisters Bronte that Lodge must be included, but the date, 1831, does not suggest the association, for the Sister's Bronte were but schoolgirls at the time. Moreover, neither prophets nor prophetesses have any honour in their own country.

The lord of the manor or some neighbouring historic property often suggests a name. Thus we find Londesborough at Scarborough, Eastnor at Ledbury, Bute at Cardiff, Wentworth, at Sheffield, Wharnecliffe at Penistone; Talbot at Swansea, and Sir Watkin at Mold. Current history and even current politics are sometimes studied with this object. The year 1902, which witnessed the Coronation of our present Sovereign, was responsible for one London, five country, and two foreign lodges being called Coronation, whilst three other lodges gave expression to a similar feeling of loyalty by calling themselves after the king's name. Class lodges are responsible for many new departures in nomenclature, but these are referred to in a separate chapter.

To continue our analysis; the Lodge rejoicing in the longest name is possibly that one in Karachi, Lodge Khan Bahadur B. Rajkotwallah, No. 253I. When the hearty good wishes of this Lodge are conveyed to another, which one of its members may be visiting, it generally happens that the Secretary of the Lodge visited does not trust his memory, but asks to have it put down on a piece of paper.

The Middlesex Imperial Yeomanry is a fairly good mouthful, but it possesses the advantage of a familiar ring which the other lacks; so does the Incorporated Society of Musicians. On the other hand, there are six lodges which altogether only trouble eighteen letters of the alphabet between them. These are the Oak, the Rye, and the Ivy, all London lodges, and the Dee, Lyn and Era.

There are thirty-eight lodges whose names run to but four letters each. On the whole, the palm for brevity may be given to Lodge Dee. One other name of dignified proportions is the Premier Diamond of the Transvaal.