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tutions. But we are not prepared to say that the practice at present followed, is the correct one; because we doubt whether innovations, under any circumstances, ought to be sanctioned. The departure from the York, and the adoption of the modern rites, with their mutilations of the ritual, by the Lodges on the continent of Europe, in the latter part of the last century, were such departures "from the original plan of Masonry," that the York Masons of that day did not feel at liberty to acknowledge them. But the evil has since grown to such a magnitude that it is probably incurable; and, if not positively admitted to be regular, the practice of these modern rites is now, by a kind of general consent, suffered to pass without objection. Had more stringent measures been adopted and enforced, when the evil first appeared, it might perhaps have been checked, though this is not certain, in view of the then state of the Fraternity. All that can now be done is to keep the rites separate, and preserve, as far as possible, the integrity of the York Constitutions and ritual. This is not it may not be an agreeable, task; but it should be done.
In conclusion, we will add, that minors cannot, in any of the rites, be advanced farther than the second degree. The third degree is not conferred upon them until after they attain to their majority. The Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, contain the following article on this subject, which we believe to be in conformity with the general usage in the Scottish and French rites:
"ART. 4. The sons of Masons, when presented by their father, or tutor, are dispensed with the condition concerning the age, and may be received when they are eighteen years old.
"But it is well understood that they cannot be received as Masters M.. before they have attained their twenty first year."
That the reader may not be at a loss to understand why such an article is found in the Constitution of any Grand Lodge in this country, it may be proper to state, that the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, if desired, issues. three Charters to a single Lodge, one for each of the three rites that it cultivates and claims to control, viz: the French, or Modern, the Scottish, and the York! And being a Grand Lodge of mixed rites, its first officer is styled Most Worshipful and Serenissime (Most Serene) Grand Master;" the second is "Right Worshipful and Illustrious Deputy Grand Master;" the other officers are "Honorable Grand Wardens," &c. But our object in referring to this body was merely to show the practice of foreign rites in the admission of minors. From the article quoted from its Consti- / tution, it will be seen that the minor must be the son of a Mason, and must be proposed by his father or tutor, when he may be advanced to the second degree, but cannot proceed further until his twenty first year. Does the person referred to by our correspondent, claim to be a Master Mason?
GRAND LODGE JURISDICTION.
Bloomington, Iowa, Sept. 10, 1847.
BR. C. W. MOORE :-Will you, through the pages of your Magazine, please enlighten me and some of my Brethren of this Western region, who have been taught to look to the East for light, in relation to the meaning of the phrases "Masonic jurisdiction," "Jurisdictional limits of Grand Lodges," &c., a knowledge of which I find becomes necessary to enable us to understand much that is published now-a-days on these subjects, and, what is of more importance, to act in reference to the wise maxim, "Do unto others," &c. I had, until latterly, supposed, that the Masonic jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge was constitutionally limited and restricted within the geographical boundary of the State in which it was organised and held its Grand Communications. But I now find not only Brethren advocating, but Lodges and Grand Lodges practising the contrary, a course of procedure on their part, which has resulted in much harm, and if persisted in, will increase the mischief.
I might enlarge much upon this topic, but as I have already done so, in a report which will be published in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, and as it is your views I want, I forbear.
T. S. PARVIN.
Our correspondent is not entirely correct in the view he has taken of the subject matter on which he desires our opinion; or, perhaps we should say, he stops short of the whole truth.
Generally speaking, the jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge in this country, is "limited and restricted within the geographical boundary of the State" in which it holds its communications; but this is not universally true; nor is it true that there is any constitutional provision on the subject. The restriction or limitation, such as it is, is one which the early Grand Lodges in the United States seem to have imposed upon themselves, out of the courtesy and respect they entertained for each other. We have heard it said there was a kind of restrictive treaty entered into between them at the revival of Masonry after the revolutionary war; but we have never met with any evidence of the existence of such a document, and are inclined to regard the statement as without any foundation in fact. But, however this may be, it is indisputably true that a practice has obtained, which, in the absence of any written regulation, is to be received as the settled usage, or common law, on the subject.
What is this practice, and how does it limit the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodges?
We answer, that, as a general rule, the authority and operations of a Grand Lodge, in this country, are restricted to the geographical boundary of the State or territory within whose limits it is located and holds its communications. But this is not unconditionally true; because, it has never been questioned that a Grand Lodge possesses the inherent power to establish Lodges in any State, territory, or country, where there is not already a Grand Lodge existing. Were this not the case, the respectable
Grand Lodge of which our correspondent is the intelligent recording officer, could not have been organised. Other instances will readily suggest themselves to his mind, without our enumerating them.
Neither is the power of a Grand Lodge to establish Lodges in a foreign State, where there is no Grand Lodge existing, affected by the circumstance that there may already be within its borders, regularly established Lodges, deriving their authority from contemporary sources; because one Grand Lodge has no more just or stronger claims to a vacant territory than another. Contiguity has never been urged as a ground for exclusive jurisdiction, though it will generally, and very properly, insure a preference. Neither is it of any consideration that there has been, at some previous time, a Grand Lodge within the State sought to be occupied. The only inquiry is as to the present lawful existence of such a body. This being settled negatively, the territory is vacant, and may be improved as though it had never been occupied. If a Grand Lodge, through its own decadency, fails to improve and occupy its jurisdiction, it loses control over it, and it may be taken possession of by another. It cannot be held in abeyance by the form, after the substance has departed. An opposite rule might forever exclude Lodges from any State or territory in which a Grand Lodge had once been organised.
There is another view in which it has been considered by our European Brethren lawful for two or more Grand Lodges to occupy the same territory. This is where different rites are practised. There are, for instance, three Grand Lodges at Berlin, one working in the York, and the others in modern rites. There are also two Grand Lodges at Paris-the Grand Orient and the Supreme Council. The first originally worked the Modern, or French rite, and the latter the Scotch rite. By the regulations of the Supreme Council, and of the Scottish rite, it is declared irregular for a Grand Lodge to cultivate, or to associate with itself, any other than its own rite. Any Grand Lodge of the Scotch rite which should attempt to do so, would "lose its authority, and even existence." And we are inclined to regard this as a sound position, in a more general sense. If a Grand Lodge wear two faces, one must be false, and the whole thing becomes a cheat. That Masonry cannot be genuine which is composed of a plurality of rites; neither can that Grand Lodge be regarded as pure and regular which cultivates a plurality of rites; for it is well known to every Mason who knows any thing about them, that the various rites differ, not only in the ceremonies, but in the essentials. And we are not prepared to say that there are not other societies, which claim no connection with our Fraternity, that do not bear quite as near an affinity to ancient York Masonry, as some of the modern rites, which are received as Masonic. A Grand Lodge of mixed rites is an anomaly, which can hardly
fail to produce corruption in the formula and schism in the government of the Institution.
But without pursuing this point further, we leave our correspondent to consider for himself how far the European practice above referred to, is to be received as just and conservative in its operation,-asking him to bear in mind that a corrupt fountain must send forth impure streams; and that a diseased limb often endangers the whole body.
MARK MASTERS' LODGES.
Columbus, Ga., Nov. 6, 1847.
COMP. CHAS. W. MOORE,-Dear Sir,-A question arose at the last regular meeting of the Chapter at this place, relative to the propriety of calling the members of the Chapter Companions, in a Mark Master's Lodge, and of the Secretary styling the officers Companions or Brethren, in a Mark Lodge. Also, as to the propriety of transacting business in the Mark degree, such as reading and confirming the minutes of a Chapter of R. A. Masons, and reading petitions, balloting, &c.
Please give me your opinion upon the above, at your first leisure.
E. C. H.
We cheerfully comply with the request of our correspondent. The Mark Master's degree is conferred in a Lodge, which, in this country, is required to be appendant to a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons; but this is, comparatively, a recent regulation. Mark Lodges were formerly distinct and independent bodies, having no connection with the Chapters; and the two bodies have now no other connection than the accidental one that, in the U. States, the first has been placed under the jurisdiction of the latter. This indeed, has, in some measure, destroyed the independence of the Mark Lodges, but it has not changed the character of the Mark degree; nor has it converted Brethren into Companions; that is, it has not made R. A. Masons of them, nor entitled them to the designation appropriate only to R. A. Chapters and the higher orders of Masonry.
The Constitution of the General Grand Chapter of the United States authorises the establishment of Mark Lodges, as appendant to the Chapters, and provides that the first three officers of the Chapter shall be the "Master and Wardens in said Lodges." The title of Companion, technically speaking, does not belong to a Lodge. And in evidence that it is not appropriately applied to Mark Masters, our correspondent is referred to the charges used at the opening of Lodges of that degree, and at the advancement of candidates; which he will find in any of the text books. To the second inquiry, we answer, that, in our opinion, there is a great
impropriety in transacting the business of the Chapter in a Lodge of Mark Masters. In Craft Masonry, it is usually considered irregular to transact any business, properly belonging to a Lodge of Masters, in a Lodge opened on the first or second degree. Surely there would be less impropriety in the latter than in the former case. If the one be irregular, the other is more so. As we have before intimated, there is no connection between the Mark and the R. A. degrees; and there should be as little as possible between the Lodge and the Chapter. Mark M. Masons, as such, know nothing of R. A. Masonry, and ought not to be permitted to know anything of the transactions of the Chapter, until they have been lawfully qualified and entitled to know all about them.
TRIBUTE OF RESPECT.
On the receipt of the melancholy intelligence, announcing the death of Lieut. Col. JAMES P. DICKINSON, his Brethren of Kershaw Lodge, No. 29, Ancient Freemasons, convened at their Lodge Room, in Camden, S. Carolina, and appointed J. M. Cooper, J. B. Kershaw, J. C. West, S. J. Young, and R. L. Wilson, a committee, to give a suitable expression to their feelings, to be submitted for approval on the following Saturday, 23d inst., at which time the committee submitted the following preamble and resolutions which were unanimously adopted:
Whereas, it has pleased Almighty God to remove our Brother, Lieut. Col. J. P. DICKINSON, a member of this Lodge, who died of wounds received in battle near the city of Mexico, after a noble example of that exalted courage and heroism becoming an upright man and Mason,-be it therefore,
Resolved-1st, That this Lodge is plunged in the profoundest sorrow by the tidings of his death, and tender to his afflicted relict, our respectful and fraternal sympathy.
2d, That while his association with us as a Brother, revealed the generous and kindly feelings of his heart, and his career as a member of our Bar, and Representative in the State Legislature, evinced an intellect of high order, his brilliant participation in the glorious campaign of the Palmetto Regiment, and his heroic death in the field, have won for him the highest laurels of military fame.
3d, That we consider these circumstances-this commingling of the laurel with the cypress-with chastened pride, as conferring honor on those associated
4th, That though ours is an institution founded for the improvement of the social condition of man's nature, yet that our Brother, in his gallant devotion to his country, has but fulfilled the charges of the Order with an elevated heroism.
5th, That in testimony of our respect, we will wear the usual badge of mourning on next St. John's Day, and inscribe a page in our record book to the memory of our deceased Brother.
On motion, it was
Resolved, That the committee enclose a copy of the foregoing to his widow, and that it be published in the Camden Journal and the Freemasons' Magazine.