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Deputy Grand Master, 1922
Grand Master, 1923-1925.


1923 1924 1925



From Proceedings, Page 1920-630:

Most Worshipful Grand Master and Brethren: Recognizing, even though I have no measure for it and merely sense it, the interest that you all must have in anything that pertains to a cultured society, I want to impose upon your attention for just a few minutes certain possibilities of life which have been revealed by the experience of the past and which are emphasized continually by the experience through which we are now passing. You will pardon a personal reference for just a moment. When I turned to the superior wisdom of our Most Worshipful Grand Master, after he made his request for assistance, and asked him for a suggestion as to the subject that I should present, he took refuge with perfect frankness and simplicity in that oft-repeated and childlike reply, which was perfectly honest, I know. When I said, "What shall I speak about?" He said, "Well, twenty minutes will be about enough." {Laughter.}

So, my Brethren, I cannot share the blame tonight if what I have to say proves soporific rather than stimulating in its effect. And yet, by the grace and graciousness with which he has presented me, I am indeed relieved of all bewilderment and of every particle of embarrassment. His introduction is vastly different from that which perhaps many of you read the other day. I think it was in the Saturday Evening Post. The toastmaster arose and said, "My friends, I have a story to tell you. There was an old farmer down South who drove into town with his mule. The noon hour came and he stopped in the street and gave the mule a feed of oats, a good feed. Then he went and obtained something for himself, while the mule stood there in the sunshine. Finally the farmer came out, hitched up the mule again and said to him, "I have fed you, durn you. Now get up." And then he turned to the next speaker. {Laughter.}

But I can assure you that it is a great help to be gently eased upon your attention, rather than violently thrust upon it, and for this I am indeed grateful, and ever remembering the courtesy of Masonic audiences, even when they are imposed upon by the prosy and the extensive, I am going to ask you to bear with me for a very few minutes; while we consider together the subject:


This subject, in my opinion, is particularly pertinent to this occasion, because we must never forget that the significance of this festival is found in our remembrance of a great personality, which, if I may use the contradictory terms, was gently aggressive. The gentleness of St. John the Evangelist is clearly revealed to us in the passionate regard that he had for that which is, and was, the supreme virtue of human life; and the aggressiveness of that personality is revealed in his lack of hesitation to challenge the dominant philosophy of his time with the great principles of Christian idealism.

As we read the words of St. John the Evangelist, coming to us as they do across the space of the years, we discover that they were dictated by one who had a passionate regard for everything that was clean and everything that was honorable. They come from one who dreamed daringly of the time when the world would belong to the Grand Architect of the Universe, and, my Brethren, such personalities as his cannot die; for even though we are permitted nothing more than merely to conjecture their labors in the grander life of the tomorrow, yet their immortality here is assured "in lives made better by their presence, in deeds of daring rectitude," inspired by their memory and written across the pages of life's story, its inspiration and its explanation.

So, for this hour at least, the claims of reverent remembrance are too urgent to be denied, and we must together follow the guidance of such characters as this great Patron Saint of our Fraternity, and together take the far look. The tasks that occupy your minds during the days, whether the tasks are those of your business or your profession, are worthy of a certain amount of attention, but they are not so worthy that they ought to absorb you wholly. The things that you and I commonly perform in the midst of the day's work are things that safeguard our mere existence. There are other things that give us life. Man was not made for mere existence, any more than the printing press was made to exist. There it stands, a perfect piece of machinery, but it is absolutely useless, it takes up a certain space in the room and merely encumbers that space, until the power is applied. Then it lives and moves and has a being and justifies its place among the mechanical arrangements of the world by its production. Man is exactly of the same sort. A man merely encumbers the society of which he is a part until through the imperative of his spirit he begins to live.

We are continually talking about destiny. The only destiny that I know of is the destiny that is interpreted in a man's work, and that destiny is not fulfilled until his work is a contribution to the common welfare.

You remember what the Trestle Board says concerning dependence as one of the strongest bonds of society. "Mankind was made dependent on each other and he that will so demean himself as not to be endeavoring to add to the common stock of knowledge and understanding may be deemed a drone in the hive of industry; a useless member of society, and unworthy of our protection as Masons." Never did the authenticity of that affirmation have clearer demonstration than it has in this present year of life. "We have come to the discovery of one thing: that we are not only in this world, but we are of it. "We no longer forecast our achievements by our own ambitions, and according to our own skill. We take thought for the ambitions and the wants and the aspirations of our fellow-men and we begin to register anxiety for society even as we attempt to fulfill ourselves. What you and I do, whatever its character may be, is a contribution to that invisible force which plays upon the possibilities of our time and determines the character of the civilization in which we share.

So we are compelled to take the far look; we can't do anything else, because, while it is true that the average man finds it impossible to rise above the general level of his time, yet it is what the average man does, it is what you and I nurture in our souls as the purpose of life, it is what you and I hold within our hearts as the great desire of life that determines what that level of human resolve and accomplishment is going to be. When all is said and done, civilization is the one inevitable democracy. We all have a share in it whether we want to or whether we do not want to. It is not a question of your being willing to do something or unwilling. It is not because you are ready to be useful or useless. It is just because you are here that you have the power to determine what the quality of your life shall be. So civilization is not something in which we merely share. It is a thing that we assist in creating. It is not the intangible atmosphere that sustains endeavor to a certain point of accomplishment, but, in the last analysis, civilization is the soul that dwells within you, that moral and spiritual skill which determines what the extent of the accomplishment is to be. We as Masons, because of the fashion in which we invest our interest in things fundamental, because of our education in anticipating the adventures of wide relationship, ought to be particularly sensitive to this privilege, yes, to this duty of adding something to the common resources of the time in which we live. There are in our Fraternity certain media for the examination of universal association which are denied to men who are outside of Masonry, and unless you and I take advantage of this opportunity of examination, with consequent determining decisions, we are false to the true spirit of true Masonry.

As I look over you tonight, though I do not know you all, I feel, and in fact I know, that there is not a single man here but has some opinion with regard to the conditions of our time. Those opinions are varied, and yet, my Brethren, there is a certain element that is found in all those opinions which identifies them and enables us to gather them together and mass them in one particular category. Do you realize that oftentimes the complaints which we make with regard to the discrepancies of the age, and the pessimistic forecasts in which we delight too often to indulge, come simply because of what we think the present condition is going to do to us, of its promised effect upon the desires and the material advantages that are the mere safeguards of our existence. Do you realize that it is not the ornaments of civilization, it is not the nonessentials of civilization that are being attacked today, but the very fundamental resources of life itself which are in danger. It is not your personal resources interpreted in terms material, but the common privilege of progress that is being assailed by certain passions and tendencies, unrestrained, apparently, that are let loose in the midst of our society, and if you will only realize that, you will find yourselves face to face with one of the most illuminating precepts of experience, namely, that civilization is not self-sustaining. There is only one thing in this universe that is self-sustaining, and that is God. Yet you and I proceed upon the assumption that when society arrives at a certain level it is bound to stay there. We might as well expect a stick that you throw up into the air to remain at the high point of its flight. It will stay there, it is true, if you can destroy the law of the earth's attraction; and society and the well-being of society will sustain itself only when you take personal responsibility out of the scheme of things. That is the only time that civilization will be self-sustaining.

Let us turn to the record of history and there we shall find that we are not the only people nor the only generation that ever have boasted of civilization. There were men, now buried deep in the years that have been, who had an art equal to our own, and a philosophy that was just as searching. They attained a material achievement which even we have not yet surpassed, and yet they are gone. Their names are merely historic and their greatness is only a memory tonight, and we marvel at the decay that came. We wonder why it was that such greatness failed to realize itself and to continue. If we are the men that I think we are, we will consider the possibility of the same fate overtaking us. "If the ruthless hand of ignorance and the lapse of time" are thus able "to destroy so many valuable monuments of antiquity," why should we fail to consider the possibility of our inability to meet and sustain the pressure and strain of the suspicions and antagonisms of the times? If we are the men that I think we are, we will not look to the materials within our possession as the safeguard of cherished ideals and principles. For if the salvation of the age is to be assured, it will have to be found in those fundamental ideals, in that fundamental spirit which has ever been the foundation and the imperative of Freemasonry.

A few years ago there was published upon the front page of one of our lighter magazines a cartoon. I have often referred to this picture, and I shall often refer to it again, I know, because of the effect that it had upon me at the time. In that cartoon there was a great pile of shining golden coin. Halfway up the side a leg was sticking out, upon which I saw a red and white striped pant, bound under a decaying shoe by the cloth. A little further up on one side there was a bony hand sticking out of the golden pile. A little above that, and fallen to one side of a grinning skull that had once been the face of a man, there was an old gray high hat, and on the blue band of it could still be discerned the silver stars. Finally on the top of the pile there was a tattered, weather-beaten American flag, and beneath the picture was this quotation, Where wealth accumulates and men decay." In the background of that picture I seemed to see the faces of many generations, and upon those faces there was sorrow that once again a great people had made the mistake that had been made so often before, and had lost its heritage of greatness, selling it for a veritable mess of pottage. In that picture I read the story of civilization. There we have the record of what it is that destroys a people, of what it is that saves a people. We have there a revelation of the things that menace the life of man, and the things that safeguard life. For here is the great teaching. Civilization has never been destroyed from without, but always from within. That has become axiomatic.

We recall to ourselves the alien attacks that halted Grecian culture, that brought to a sudden end those artistic efforts which resulted in a dramatic and lyric poetry and a philosophy that even yet obtains the admiration of men. We recall the Gothic and Vandal invasions, the onward sweep of barbaric hordes, and there we find the power that brought decay to the prestige of Rome and destroyed her magnificence. We are wrong in our conclusions. Those alien attacks were the conclusion of the matter, but not the beginning. They were the actual effect, and not the cause. Long before those alien attacks came the canker of moral decay and material absorption had eaten away the spiritual fiber of the people and nothing was left to withstand these assaults upon ambition and notice.

In our own day, Prussian civilization, which sought world domination by practices magnificently ruthless, met the common fate of destruction not through the preponderance of the Allied arms, but because its own heart was decayed with the cancer of immoral ambitions and could not function when eternal right challenged the integrity of its purposes.

My Brethren in Masonry, if our cherished possessions, conceived and fostered in liberty, and giving to us that quality of association which is rightly called civilization— if our cherished possessions are ever to be lost, they will be lost not because some sudden power comes among us and takes them away, but because we ourselves give them away, having forgotten what it is that makes a people great. The dangers to individual culture, the enemies of national integrity, are not to be met by great armies or mighty fleets. The safety of any time and the continuance of any people are assured only when the soul of man clothes itself with eternal assurance and walks forth daringly amid the duties and responsibilities of time. {Applause.}

My Brethren, when I consider the place that America is bound to have among the determining forces of the world, when I vision for myself the authority of counsel to which she will be compelled by her own inherent desire to serve mankind, I would that I had the authority to summon every man of you, every man in this land of ours, to a new dedication of himself, for each one stands the custodian of the common welfare, protector of America's soul, the trustee of civilization.

As we attempt to discharge the duties of this position, we cannot afford to make the mistakes which the past so clearly demonstrates in the record of decay and disappearance. We should look upon the present disturbances of life with anxiety, but not with fear for, even as we may consent by our carelessness and extravagance to a disappearance of every cherished element of well-being so also, if we will it, we may preserve and increase every inherited and created factor that is essential to progress.

Here, then, is the vocation that should appeal to every man and to us especially. We are the inheritors of an honorable past, and it is our duty to match that past with a present that is just as honorable. "We may seek to strengthen the social structure by building into it an unusual measure of intellectuality, a remarkable accumulation of material achievement, but, if we close our endeavor there, we fail as men have failed before. The world was integrated intellectually and commercially to a greater extent than ever known when the world war came, but the danger of the situation was annulled only by the heroic crusade of man's soul. Therefore, my Brethren, the present duty demands no investment of anxiety in those attainments or achievements that have so often disappointed, but it requires once more the testing of our moral and spiritual faculties. These, alone, are the substance and safeguard of any civilization. They, alone, constitute the resource from which today's need can be met and furnish the inspiration of that accomplishment which will honor the time to come. Today is not alone in making a demand upon us. Out of the dim distance of all tomorrows, there stretch toward us the hands of those "who have not yet arrived upon the shores of being," appealing for that heritage of honor, truth, and justice which is ours to give, if we only will, and upon which they can rear the nobler structure of a better world. {Applause.}




From Proceedings, Page 1924-74:

Worshipful Master, Members of the Grand Lodge, Members of Norfolk Lodge, and invited guests here represented:

Your Worshipful Master is in one sense an ideal Toast-master, in another he is no Toastmaster at all. When he was introduced, he began with a stereotyped phrase that he was not going to make an address. That showed the genius of a Toastmaster, and he immediately proceeded |o keep his word — that is not like a Toastmaster. I remember once when I was being presented to a body of people, in fact I was being welcomed to a community, and one of my brother ministers started off by saying something like that, and then he proceeded to tell for forty-five minutes the history of a certain portion of the human race. I know your Worshipful Master has all the graces of a Toastmaster. lie can take a small measure of the truth and make it look large. He has the delightful fashion of passing the complimentary remark in such a way that it is accepted at its face value, and for this I am extremely grateful to him.

This is indeed a happy occasion, and while I would like to have the opportunity of speaking at some length, I will leave that for some other occasion because there is more to follow me. If you survive this you may survive the rest, and in order to bring it to you as quickly as possible I am going to be brief.

We, who represent your Masonic Brothers, are particularly happy to be here. It is a joy to participate with a Lodge when it marks the completion of fifty years of its history. I have listened with a great deal of interest to that portion read by the historian recounting the formation of Norfolk Lodge and I hope sometime when the duties of Grand Master are sufficiently light to allow me the time, to read the whole record. But what was given was a remarkably human document. The historian said very little of the finances of the Lodge. He brought to the attention very little of the material things that have marked the fifty years' work of Norfolk Lodge, and in doing that he was very wise indeed; for in presenting the story he depicted to us the very essence of the history. He offered us that which has been vital in writing all history. It was the story of personal achievements.

r was impressed tonight as we stood around the table while the Chaplain invoked the Divine Blessing. I was impressed with the remarkable reverence for the Deity which Masons always display. It would be extremely difficult to find a group of this size anywhere else coming together from the day's work and with many interests occupying the mind, that would stand in the silence in which we all stood tonight before our dinner began while the Chaplain addressed the Throne of Divine Grace. I don't know whether you realize it or not, but that is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Freemasonry, that is one of the secrets of its continuance. The historian indirectly preferred to this when he read you the story of the beginning of this Lodge, when he told you how a little group came together, inspired with a desire for better acquaintance amongst themselves and the Brothers who would come to them. Now that which has distinguished the beginning of Norfolk Lodge is something that is proving the chief characteristic of our great Institution and when tonight you look back over fifty years as an organized body you will find that the explanation of all that has been accomplished, the interpretation and best definition of the quality of achievement that has marked the story of this Lodge.

I was startled when the Worshipful Master asked how many were here who were present twenty-five years ago to see how few there were. A very small percentage of those who are gathered here tonight were present twenty-five years ago — and yet twenty-five years is not a long time, especially in the history of Freemasonry. When you stop to consider, therefore, most of us are very young in the knowledge of the Craft. It takes more than a year, it takes more than ten, it takes more than a quarter of a century to learn all there is to know about Freemasonry.

And this gathering, too, should be an inspiration. It should represent a new and more forceful token. "What the historian has done has been to take from the past certain outstanding personalities and, mixing them together, he has spread them out over a background which Ave tonight can measure ourselves. The past does not mean anything of itself. There is no honor that belongs to you or to me because of a record that has been written, there is nothing in the thing itself, unless we can interpret it and obtain from it that which will constitute a present urge in a time when the world needs us most.

Brethren, the most unobservant, as he looks around him today, realizes that there is more or less of a tendency to depart from certain ancient landmarks of rectitude, to ignore certain signposts marked justice, friendliness, mutual consideration. Our society is troubled with a multitude of ills. Today there is confusion, there are mutual suspicions, there are actual deeds of violence being perpetrated. I do not say that this is true of society in general, but we have enough of this sort of thing to disturb us, and sometimes even the wise, sometimes even those who are most faithful to truth and to brotherliness become discouraged and they ask, "What is worth while? Why not take what you want? Let every man look out for himself." They doubt the reality of brotherhood. Those who make the laws themselves even have these suspicions of goodness and the best of people are sometimes more than disturbed.

[ know of no association in human society that is more able to render to the world today a vital and needed service than Freemasonry. (Applause.) Within our Lodges and the Craft in general is the great revelation of brotherhood, of just and honest dealing; and if we can live together in our Lodges in this spirit of friendliness it can be done anywhere.

It has been said, and I am glad to hear it said, that Norfolk Lodge has wielded a wonderful power in this town, not as a Lodge but through the individual members. That is the way Masonry can work today.

The story of this Lodge is an honorable story. The spirit of this Fraternity has gone out in this direction and ]that direction doing good; and that spirit tonight is your inheritance and mine. It explains the past, and the reality hi it must explain the present or we are not worthy to exist; in the truth of it you have the promise of the future. And I hope that in the days that are to come you will continue the success that you have already enjoyed, that you will be able by your own personality, by your own equipment to make personal contribution to Norfolk Lodge so that by every day that passes there will be added to the story a chapter that is worthy of a place in the record. I °Pe that your years will be many, and rich, not only in members but rich in that creation of service that will offer an example and inspiration to the distant years which are sure to come.

I bring you the greetings of the Brethren of Massachusetts and assure you that they rejoice with you in the satisfaction of achievement that has come to Norfolk Lodge.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XIX, No. 11, August 1924, Page 323:

An address delivered at Old South Church, Boston, Massachusetts, July 4th, 1924, on the occasion of the civic celebration of Independence Day.

Our remembrance of a glorious past constitutes the challenge of this hour. All of us are sensible of the significance of the occasion. It is not mere custom that draws Us together; were it so, our celebration would be without value, a meaningless interlude in the business of living. It is not a conformity to conventional or legalized practice that distinguishes not only this audience but American citizenship, wherever resident, as today they and we celebrate the anniversary of our national beginning. The assemblage, the music, the marching hosts, even the noisy clamor of youth are the productions of an irresistible urge growing out of an ever-living remembrance of men and women, whose devotion to liberty and whose Sacrifices in behalf of her sovereignty remain one of the golden chapters in the record of human striving. Our feet have been guided to this place by hearts passionately grateful to those who achieved the distine-Hon of an unselfish patriotism, and richly Endowed the generations yet to come with the reality of freedom.

There is something deeply reverent, then, in our recollection of those days that marked ■he launching of the most daring experiment Bn governmental administration that the world had ever seen. The auspices attendant upon the movement were not happy. No sympathetic attitude toward its sponsors gave them encouragement; but through the travail of war, through the pains and privations of conflict, a wondrous ideal was given substance. and time has proved its integrity.

Throughout the land wherein the purposes of a bygone generation has been made most substantial, the book of human effort will again be opened today, and from the pages thereof will be read the names of those who have provided an abiding home for man's love of liberty. And who are these, to whom distance, ever increasing, brings no shrinking in size; who remain of heroic stature in spite of the increase and expansion of man's accomplishments? These are the ones who immortalized themselves at Lexington and Concord, who fought the odds at Bunker Hill, who waited, and starved and trudged with bare feet, the snows of Valley Forge. These are the men who had within themselves and represented that indomitable soul that made America. If we could, we would pay them honor in words of deserved praise, but language is here lacking, nor does it lie within the power of even a grateful posterity to add to the lustre with which they have already invested themselves by honorable deed. Yet these pass before us today, a part of the great background against which to behold the proportions of the America of the present.

Did you ever stop to consider that, as we give ourselves to the guidance of memory, not only are we allowed to view the past but the past is permitted to judge us. Today, those who budded their faith into our national establishment stand watch over a people celebrating, in various ways, the beginning of nationhood; and across the unmeasured distance of eternity comes the voice of the past asking this question: "What have you done with the liberty we gave you? How have you used the privileges and duties, the opportunities and responsibilities of the freedom that we bought and paid for? Yes, we have, by the magic of remembrance, called the past back to life, and one of its prerogatives is to judge the use which the generations have made of a rich inheritance. The challenge of those deeds that now form an inspiring memory cannot be ignored. Our celebration of America's beginning compels an examination of her continuance and a determination of the destination at which she has arrived.

A survey shows the limited domain of colonial days changed into a vast empire that stretches far toward the setting sun. A few scattered inhabitants of one blood have become an international mingling of millions. The rude structures of hamlet and village have been transformed into the magnificent buildings of our many cities. Wealth incalculable, industry and commerce most complex have taken the place of meagre resource and simplicity of endeavor. Without exaggeration, we have equalled in a few centuries anything the world has ever seen. But, my friends, is this the measure our greatness? In this accumulation of material, this unique and stupendous arrangement of it, the final analysis of our achievement? Is this the only legitimate return that we can show from our possession of freedom's opportunities? If it is, then our inheritance has been wasted. Liberty has a fairer form than this, a more substantial embodiment else it is but the imagination of the deluded; a disappointing adventure, false in its promise to those whose lives were dedicated to its demands. Thus, as the voice of the past crosses the distance of many years, we echo to ourselves the question it asks: "Is this all?"

The liberty conferred upon a citizen of the United States not only gives him the opportunity but presents to him the duty of doing something more than build magnificent cities and accumulate wealth. The genesis of the great American Commowealth was of such a unique character that not only were the ordinary privileges of material progress vouchsafed the individual, but the deeper satisfactions of a civilization ornamented and furnished with the imperishable principles of honor and justice were guaranteed; and that too not for a favored few to whom the accident of birth had given special advantage, but for all who are fortunate enough to come beneath the shelter of that flag.

In all the story of the world's peoples, the romance of empires as they have come and gone, there is nothing that equals the story of America. Emperors of the past have led their armies in conquest, new kingdoms were established with a consequent development of forms of social and political philosophy. For our country the development has been along similar lines, but the personnel in the adventure were a few ordinary folks, representatives of the average of society, and the imperative of the adventure was not an ambition to conquer but a passion to be free. In listening to the reading of the Declaration of Independence one phrase stands out above the rest, representing the integrity of the foundation upon which America was built. After citing the reasons for the ensuing declarations, the creators of our liberty thus spoke: "Appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, etc." Thus for the second time, the soul of what was to be America revealed itself. For, it is a significant fact, and one never to be forgotten, that the Pilgrims had barely touched the shores of the new world before their hearts spoke to the Deity in terms of gratitude. This one act—a prayer—often forgotten in our contemplation of more startling deeds of national history, is the outstanding fact in America's story. It is an indication of the personal and social philosophy that has brought us progress and distinction. Here was a little group of folks breaking all existing ties; standing before an opportunity rough and rugged in appearance and in character; dreaming of carving therefrom a new and happier association; and, by the one act mentioned, they established the law for all social determinations, they enunciated a principle. It must be fundamental to any form of association that is contributory to the expansion and integrity of civilization.

When we thus consider the fashion in which the forefathers placed their destiny in the hand of God, we catch something of the implications and imperatives of the freedom of which they dreamed, which they achieved, which they transmitted to us. This circumstance, so significant in America's genesis, forecasted the genius that has made our nation the marvel of history; a genius that holds forth the promise of a greater tomorrow unless it is debauched and wasted by carelessness and neglect. When the founders of this nation placed their hopes and faith in the care of Deity, there were predicted two things that have remained vital to our life. There were enunciated two principles both neces sary in any form of government that is conservative of civilization, and especially demanded in a democracy. These two conclusions so boldly acknowledged were, first, "behind all written statutes, there is a law of the spirit, whose integrity and authority are beyond question." Second, "Upon the individual there rests the law of moral responsibility for the welfare of society." Upon such a basis the United States could not have been anything but what she has been. And in the people's observance of the authority of these principles, we read the promise of our tomorrow.

When men associate themselves in political relationships, it is both natural and necessary to formulate rules of procedure; and, the more complicated the relationship, the more multiplied the rules. But, too often the written law is regarded as absolute in its embrace, in itself the entirety of authority. If we will consider for a moment, we find that the written law is a determination of the mechanics of association, the form of personal expression; it has little to offer concerning the spirit of association. There are in human nature sentiments and ambition, the urgings of vice and virtue, for which no authority exists but I lie higher law of the spirit, whose imperative can be made articulate only in part by the enactments of legislatures. When a people forget this, when they lose their sentiments to the compulsion of honor and justice as these principles seek to fashion not the actions but the thought of man toward man, then, instead of contributing to civilization, such a nation wastes the resource of the time. They lose their sense of proportion and read into the statutes what they want to find therein. The law is ignored, its provisions are evaded. Such a people come to the point when they read the law negatively. Outside of its prohibitions, anything is right.

My friends, even with their limitations, because they are within the boundaries of human wisdom, laws in their ordinary form are not mere negations They represent not what one should not do to another, but what one should do for another. As the result of the idealism so substantial in our establishment, there ls become ingrained in our national personality a real capacity for high thought and honorable deed, fundamental factors in a just and harmonious association. Hut that capacity will never be exercised and that association will never be enjoyed until the imperative of the written statutes are interpreted as the positive delineation and definition of the spirit of association as well as its form.

We must never forget that the unsurpassed attainments of hand or mind cannot of themselves be offered as the measure of our progress, or even possessed as a basis of national pretensions. They are valid and valuable only when accompanied by the people's desire to write such laws as shall fairly istribute all duty and protect all rights and privileges; and then, by a desire equally as earnest, to obey them. The law here is not to be worshipped because named law; it is the best expression and most authoritative of the people's faith in universal order, of their recognition of the necessity for men to live together in mutual dependence and with mutual helpfulness, if society and civilization are to be served.

The second predication of our national beginning was the law of moral responsibility encompassing the individual in society restraining his passions, making free his virtues for the benefit of all. When the acknowledgment of this principle was first made upon American soil, certain of its evident implications were forcibly emphasized by the conditions and circumstances that surrounded the Pilgrims. For them, it was work together, fight together, play together or perish. It was a very real compulsion which they felt in their primitively crude and limited environments. This co-operation was the law of their survival and their progress. This is the law of all survival and all progress. We care not what refinements of culture may distinguish our society, the law of individual responsibility making a man's privilege (the offering of his liberty) his duty, and his duty (the measure of his responsibility) a privilege, cannot be removed from among the authorities of a democracy such as ours. When no longer is the authority of co-operation recognized, men lose their freedom. When men arbitrarily set themselves apart from or place them selves above the rest, they fling a challenge in the face of experience, which is quickly answered.

As we view the story of our nation, we find that its genius has ever been the ac cumulated genius of individuals. That is to say: here in America each man has been free to follow the love of his ambition; to exer eise his ability unhindered. Our record is crowded with the names of those who began with nothing but a vision and have attained the rights of accomplishment, leaving deep in a national life the impress of their convictions and tlieir deeds. It is a splendid story. Of it we are proud.

Hut am I wrong in believing that the time is here for a revaluation of our individuality, and a re-measurement of our liberty; lest the one becomes individualism and the other license. Our memory of the fathers of this republic counsels us to scrutinize anew not the reality of our personal freedom (this is assured) but the fashion of its use.

Once again we ask, "For what was this liberty given?" The answer has been made by our citizenship, an answer whose validity is attested by our growth, our continued idealism and worth of purpose. Hut this is the answer of yesterday. What of today?

We may read incorrectly the signs of the time, but 1 believe the hour is here when the American citizen must renew an understanding of his individuality, remembering that his liberty is either restrained or urged forward by the law of moral responsibility which is the inevitable conclusion of all social experience. When men live together, the problem involving harmony, justice, honorable dealing is not how the mass may be controlled but rather how the individual controls himself. The soul of America is today threatened by a diminishing self control. We are forgetting that we do not live alone. The result is that the public business which is everybody's business becomes nobody's business instead of each body's business. The success of a society such as ours depends upon men's ability and will to live together, each contributing something of his own to the common resource of right thinking and just conclusion. This provides the essentials of an authoritative public opinion which in a democracy is the court of final decision; the mysterious yet tangible expression of the mass; faith in the law that lies behind all Haws.

Let us beware lest the trend toward an Honoring of such authority goes on unchecked. It is not the prerogative of any man or group of men in our political establishment to ignore the invitation to consideration offered by opinions differing from their own, nor to claim a monopoly of industrial, political or social wisdom. It lies not within the power of any to demand or to endeavor to compel conformity in determining conclusions. A sound public opinion is not dependent upon an identity of conviction; it is of necessity made up of a diversity of opinions, not in conflict with each other, but each contributing something Bo the final decision through the medium of mutual respect. When we forget this, then walls of misunderstanding begin to rise, separating our citizenship into antagonistic groupings, each concerned with its own rights, each not only intolerant of, but prejudiced against opinions that vary from its own. In such creations of passion and prejudice lies the only power that can sweep America into oblivion.

If the experiences of the past teach anything to us as a people, it is this: if her integrity is to be preserved, if she is to have the assurance of an honorable and orderly future, then America has within her borders no place for anyone, be he native or foreign-born, who refuses to learn how to live with his fellow-citizens. She has no place for anyone who plays upon the passions or prejudice of ignorance to create divisions in our society and imperil the progress and prosperity of our people by a fostering of misunderstandings. We have no words strong enough with which to condemn those who, singly or associated, refuse to subordinate the passions of personal prejudice and ambition for the common welfare. Such, whatever their name or profession, are unworthy of the privileges of American citizenship. In such conclusion we merely make vocal the judgment of those whom memory has today conjured from the past. If the fathers of this republic could speak they would cry out against those who are debauching the liberty so dearly bought, destroying the brotherhood which patriots thought they had confirmed.

We have spoken thus freely, presuming upon your courtesy, perhaps, to be somewhat didactic, because, in this hour of grateful and reverent remembrance we would have you again attentive to those laws of the spirit which explain America's beginning and interpret her continuance. We would that these principles might be so read and understood that our thinking and striving would come within their control, and the life of each citizen be moulded to their demand. For the danger that threatens America is no peril from without, but a danger from within. Yet it is equally true that the salvation of America is not to be sought at the end of the world; rather is it in your hand and mine.

The past is a glorious retrospect, a story of heroic deeds, of high and noble purpose. Our memory of it challenges our spirit to the same splendid adventures in liberty. The unformed tomorrow is ours to make as we will. Dare we do less, dare we be less than the patriots of yesterday? America, our America, invites us into the abiding satisfactions that await those who are free to give themselves to her service.

Before that flag which symbolizes the glory of our country's achievement and is emblematic of the principles and purposes of our national life, we bow most reverently in this hour of consecration to which memory urges us; and like those of a bygone time, we also will place our destiny in the hand of God and dare the tomorrow with the prayer:

"America, America, God mend thine every flaw.
Confirm thy soul in self-control
Thy liberty in law,
. . . May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine.
America, America, God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with Brotherhood
From sea to shining sea."


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXII, No. 3, January 1927, Page 367:

The Moral Lesson

Seldom do we pause to think of the gentle way Freemasonry deals with those who profess a desire to know her secrets and appropriate the riches of power which she is able to confer. Too seldom, in our hurried progress through the Temple she has erected, do we do more than give casual expression to an admiration of its beautiful proportions, which even the dullest must recognize and which the average should reverence.

For here is a structure more than mechanically perfect; it is furnished to the last detail with all the equipment that can be furnished to make a home for man. But it is no home until the spirit of man, attentive to Masonry's invitation, crosses the threshold and dwells amid the gathered offerings of eternal wisdom which constitute the philosophy of our fellowship.

Too often, we are careless of these gifts prepared for us. We allow a distorted sense of value, so easily produced by the competitions of complicated and ever changing conditions, to blind us to worth. We are sensitive to the display of cleverness which is productive of popular success, but slow and hesitant in perceiving and comprehending fundamental principles and reliable rules of conduct. Yet among the attainments of man what can rank with his knowledge of the law which provides him with every legitimate avenue for self-expression as a man, not solitary and aimless amid the vastness of time, but challenged by associations a multitude of his own kind and dignified by a purpose infinite in its scope and in its wonder, a revelation of the mind of God? It is with this capacity of man, to know truth and live it, that Freemasonry is concerned. Its invitation to men considered worthy is urgent, but in its assistence it is remarkably gentle, ever taking into account what seems to be so contradictory to man's genius — namely a seeming inaptitude to recognize and apply himself to the pronouncements and tasks of virtue.

A moment's consideration of the terms in which Masonic philosophy have been builded will emphasize the truth of this observation. There are many degrees constituting the various steps of our progress in the Craft. Beginning with symbolic Masonry, the foundation and heart of the whole system, we proceed through regular graduations and in differing paths through the instruction of the collateral bodies. Forms are all different; there is a remarkable mixture of types, startling contrasts between utter simplicity and dramatic adornment. But when one is done and looks back upon the various lessons taught and the many responsibilities assumed, he sees but one meaning in it all. The fundamental and abiding principle has remained the same however clothed; but one great lesson is taught, whatever the manner of its presentation. From first to last, our gaze is invited in but one direction; our manhood is urged to consecrate itself to one task, to one God. Thus whatever has developed in Masonic forms and groupings beyond symbolic Masonry has its reason for being because it is a reiteration of the lesson that we were first taught; it is a renewed view of that magnificent adventure of co-operative living that was first given to us when light succeeded darkness.

Men do not learn the immaterial things of eternal existence easily. They almost grasp the meaning and then fail, victims of carelessness; forgetful, amid the distractions of the day. But our philosophy is so framed that again and again, we, who might forget, arc reminded. Gentle and kindly is Masonry's attitude toward those to whom have been intrusted its riches, and its insistence in constantly revealing to us the one important achievement of a man is explanatory of its continuance as a vital force in society and justifies our claims of the reliability of its leadership.

And whither does it lead? To what goal does it beckon us? Into what companionship are we invited? What destination is named in those ancient landmarks which determine our career? Well indeed may we ask ourselves these questions and find answers for them if we can, else we fail to understand the meaning of the task for which we, here gathered, are individually and collectively responsible.

Considering the tendencies of men, their proneness to distort values and the consequent mistakes in judgment, let us approach this consideration negatively, first of all. It is easy for men to read in Masonic association certain advantages and privileges which do not exist. Again and again, certain of our fraternity have given testimony to their belief that Freemasonry might well be placed with certain other formal arrangements or groupings that are distinctive in the common labors and associations of men. This position of Masonry, of course, we not only do not admit, but positively deny, and all the force possible must be placed behind the denial.

Freemasonry makes no man acquainted with any short cut to the achievement of power or position; it confers upon no man a knowledge of any program of success, as success is interpreted in terms of common use. The reason is very simple. Our philosophy is not concerned with these things.

Tell me where, in all the instruction which we receive, there is a single mention made of the superior influence a Mason would possess or a position of leadership and domination in the society that would come to him through the medium of this fellowship and its ideas. To the contrary, were we not, even as in the greatest religious philosophy ever given to the world, admonished to cultivate humility, and informed that while distinctions of rank might arise, consequent upon influences either within or without a man, yet we stand upon the same level, and possess no abiding distinction, other than that conferred by unselfish service. Masonry has in it no place for the arrogant; nor are the selfish worthy of the enrichment which its ideals and purposes have the power to give.

Nor is Masonry concerned with programs of any sort. Even where the situation might seem to invite instructions about the form of procedure, nothing is said. There is not the slightest evidence in our history, or present administration to suggest an effort to establish conformity to a given method. I am not called upon to use your voice in making my statements, nor you to use my gestures in making the same pronouncements. We will always react to conditions and circumstances in an individual way. It is not the fashion in which we assume our attitudes toward life that concerns Masonry, but the principles which explain our attitudes. Rightfully she makes this a matter for the pronouncements of her law, for here the dealing is with what is substantial. Methods must forever be accommodating themselves to a new environment or new demand. But ideals and purposes which are expressive of a universal law of truth or justice are unchangeable, themselves the standard to which all things must make adjustment. Therefore, Freemasonry denies to us the employment of expediency as an excuse for action which needs excuse. Endeavor does not obtain its character from the opportunity of the moment. This would be productive of contradictions beyond the power of the most ingenious to explain. It would preclude stability as a characteristic; the authority of law would disappear in an extreme individualism of opinion: and society would be merely chaotic groupings, the parts related in the flimsiest fashion, ready to strike attitudes of open hostility upon the slightest provocation. What a world we would have! How worthless life would be!

Against such a production, our philosophy has ranged itself by insisting upon the reality and integrity of certain rules to whose operation no circumstance is able to prevent an exception. And these rules are the evidence of certain principles which are not the production of human experience. Experience serves as the medium through which they appear, and human wisdom makes them articulate, but the principles themselves are a part of the substance of eternity, they are, as already discovered, the great Order which governs time and molds the fashion of the ages.

Therefore, whither does Masonry, generous toward what seem to be our natural shortcomings, lead us with repeated lesson and constantly present symbol? My brethren, it is to the spiritual. Spiritual values alone lend stability to our philosophy. They serve, as it were, as the background against which the proportions of our pronouncements are clearly defined and the perspective of our judgments correctly established.

To some, this statement would seem to place Freemasonry beyond ordinary consideration, making it the object of study in leisure moments; without the compulsion that is resident in formulas of practical application. The part Masonry has played in the determination of the most practical affairs of men and nations makes such conclusion unwarranted; yet for it there is excuse. It inevitably follows that too common fashion in which men relegate the spiritual to a sphere outside of ordinary affairs, detaching it from all things as though it were peculiar, unrelated, except in the great emergency that we designate as Death.

My brethren, spiritual values, whether correct or not, however clearly or poorly defined, have ever been basic to man's revelation of himself. They are explanatory of the human career both individual and national. In their determinations we find the interpretations of history. If there is a mystery of the ages, there is also an explanation somewhere. The mighty progress which has distinguished the race, the majestic swing of time wherein the marvelous development of life appears piece by piece, are not the fortuitous production of a chance combination of circumstances. The imposition of an eternal law, the control of an infinite order has held the years in balance and compelled even the rebel passions of men to serve the divine purposes of life. The thinking man must acknowledge the presence in his affairs, and in the life of the Vniverse, of a Power to which men instinctively look, only partiallv defined, but within whose wish is the eternal welfare of all things.

It is this toward which Freemasonry directs our thoughts as the ultimate explanation of our presence and a delineation of the duty and responsibility which rest upon us as members of a common society. But the question may well be asked, "Through what medium does our philosophy make spiritual reality evident to us?" Certainly Masonry offers no formal conclusions in the matter. It is unique in that it is free from the usual trappings of dogmatism and finality which commonly characterize organized and formal effort to impress upon man's mind the existence of spiritual values. If we omit the reference to immortality, once and only once does our philosophy postulate the definite and dogmatic idea central to all spiritual considerations. At the very beginning of our teachings, when we are ignorant of all that is to transpire: when we do not even know where and with whom we are, the age-old attitude of struggling but hoping humanity is challenged and we merely make pronouncement of our belief in the Supreme Being. That is all. Definitions, distinctive and peculiar, are left to the individual. We predicate our faith in the existence and authority of orderliness, and beyond that Masonry is not concerned.

We used the word "merely" in referring to expression of our belief. Let us omit it. There is nothing contradictory or questionable even in such expression of faith, even though it lacks formal definition. Our philosophy recognizes the fact, which is too often lost sight of by other institutions engaged in a somewhat similar task, that spiritual adventure is not, and in a very vital sense cannot, be a mass effort. Whatever assistance our consciousness of God may receive, in its establishment from the counsel and advice of others, the reality and imperativeness of it, as well as its extent, is purely social and individual. Masonry therefore seeks no universal and final definition of the spiritual in any its parts, and it has no desire to impose such a thing upon all men regardless of their capacity to understand or their ability to appreciate.

Consequently, satisfied with man's acknowledgment of God as the evidence of an attitude toward the fundamental things of the spirity which should dignify those who unite in a Masonic profession, our philosophy proceeds and through the only medium whereby the eternal wish can express itself to the children of men and teaches us the wondrous lessons which have given distinction and permanence to our association. The medium we designate, the moral. Ours is an institution for the moral instruction of the personal elements which constitute it and when we say this we do not affirm a contradiction of the previously made assertion that Masonry leads us to the spiritual. Rather do we re-emphasize this latter; for, as has been so often said, the only language in which the spiritual speaks to men in a fashion which is understood, is in the terms of those virtues which we have set up as the ideals of the Craft and the great objective in the adventure of each Craftsman.

The noblest adornments of character, the essential equipment of real manhood form the substance of Masonry's offering, and here again our philosophy accommodates itself to limitations which characterize men. It is not in abstract form that virtue is impressed upon us, but rather is it made visible and attractive by forms and symbols. The tools of an ordinary profession serve as emblems of the splendid capabilities of those principles with which we desire to become acquainted. Circumstances common to the life of all serve to reveal the imperativeness of he truth, which is authoritative in the purposes of a Mason.

Thus in simplest fashion the fundamental things of life, and the essential qualities of man are brought within the intellectual reach of each, and they are presented not merely as an adornment of personality but rather as vital instruments for that daily production of labor which makes the story of our careers; and the selection of these moral concepts, Masonry chooses those which are authenticated by experience; which not only have within them the reward consequent upon just dealing and kindly consideration, but also confer that greatest of all gifts — self-respect.

That is to say, the conclusions of Masonry are not mere intellectual onjectures; they are not mere possibilities which may or may not be proved true; such character would make our philosophy a useless plaything,— something to occupy attention in moments of leisure, but not worthy of thought if something practical were at hand. No; whatever dogmatic conclusions Masonry displays are representative of the essential values resident in that moral code by which men live their daily lives. The decisions and the law of conduct which they form are the most practical determinations of life. They enter into the making of our common associations; they play their influence over every circumstance in which we become involved. We make a mistake if we regard Masonic philosophy as a collection of abstractions. For, doubting our own ability to understand them we would pass them by with a glance and refuse the help which the principles, fundamental to our Craft, can confer.

Brethren, the moral precepts of Masonry are not an exclusive production, we have no monopoly of possession. They have appeared to all men out of a universal experience, but Freemasonry is a particular consideration of them. You might say that our teachings make the moral law the subject of exclusive concern, and we specialize, as no other institution, in making them known and operative in individual and associated action. Therefore, we are wrong in our estimate, unless we find in Masonry something more than a happy association, or a formula for the entertainment of our idle moments. We must see it as the constant source of inspiration and of enlightenment as wc seek adjustment to the varying circumstances and various personalities of association.

Thus Masonry furnishes not only formulas for our consideration, an objective for intellectual exercise, but also an inspiration for action, a law to regulate conduct in our inevitable contacts with fellowmen. Here, I believe, we find the secret of the Fraternity's continuance under all conditions, even those least favorable to it. Anything less practical would have disappeared long ago.

Our institution, like all others claiming a determining place in the affairs of life, must conform to the standards which the demands of life have set up. Unless it can prove its worth through contributions to the resources of progress, society has a right to doubt its claims and refuse acceptance of its professions. This test has been met, as history proves, and as the present attitude of society toward our institution attests. Masonry has assisted in producing such a multiplication of personal and individual character that a determining proportion of moral authority has even been available in the moments of decision.

The record of the Craft is not merely the story of a fine ritual and a dignified ceremonial, but rather of men imbued with a consciousness of God, sensitive to moral values and with a passion for the integrity of life. In companionship with these brethren we learn in practical form the significance of our philosophy, and as one by one they leave us the memory of their achievement remains a constant reminder of Masonry's glorious usefulness. By them the world is assured of the integrity of our purposes.

Thus, my brethren, the lesson of our obligation becomes plain and the meaning of our entire association understandable. Our fraternity is not only the happy privilege of companionship; it also offers the duty always resident in human relationships. It presents to us great possibility of personal satisfaction, but it is a satisfaction that comes only when Masonry's imperative law is obeyed. Thus we must perfect ourselves in the understanding of the magnificent scope of philosophy. Whatever else we may read into it, we must never forget that with gentle insistence it displays those ideals and sentiments, which in ultimate analysis, represent the reality of character. Masonry's serious business is the cultivation in each personality of that moral comprehension which, in its ordering of man's actions, makes articulate and authoritative his consciousness of the G. A. O. T. U. This unchanged and unchanging purpose of our philosophy commands our respect and loyalty.

To this end Masonry has been consistently dedicated. In pursuit of this ideal, it has weathered many a storm and today proudly continues with undiminished authority and an ever-increasing sovereignty in the life of man.


From Proceedings, Page 1928-491:

Most Worshipful Grand Master and my Brethren:

The Most Worshipful Grand Master has already explained the significance of my entrance into the active service of the Craft in Massachusetts, and as they say in certain polite circles of entertainment, "that's that" and nothing further need be said.

I feel very humble tonight. For, when the conversation is concerning the "high lights" of the various administrations of those who have served as Grand Master, it seems to me that very little exists in the story of the three years of 1923 and 1925 inclusive which might be so designated. Realizing what your expectancy has been all the evening in respect to the address to which we are to listen, and sharing thai expectancy with you, I will deny myself a privilege which the Grand Master and Past Grand Masters prize most highly. I will confine myself to few words.

We are a modest group, we Past Grand Masters, but even we find the limit of humility. We can stand it when a man takes out his watch and looks at it while we are speaking, but we do object when after looking at it, he puts it to his ear to see if it is going. However, I must abide by your evident wish, but ask your permission to say one thing in the quietness of that retrospect which gives a measure to the service which one renders to a body. There is one thing that stands out most clearly in my mind, it is an accomplishment, and for it I cannot assume responsibility. I give credit rather to those who preceded me in office of Grand Master, and this is done gladly. They rendered a service which was distinctive. Each made a contribution according to his ability, a contribution of a particular character, and as a result of their efforts, there gradually developed in this Fraternity a certain unease. By this I do not mean restiveness, but rather a feeling of unrest which was indicative of a desire to make Freemasonry articulate. In the years which I particularly remember, I beheld the final awakening of this Craft to the realities of our profession to larger hopes. They evinced a new eagerness to do something and reveal the full substance of our Masonic philosophy. I remember with gratitude the Brethren of this Craft as always willing to do what they could to make a success of any helpful endeavor, the correctness of which bad been impressed upon their minds. This Craft displayed itself as being sensitive to every opportunity for service and ibis happy remembrance went far to strengthen one's faith in the dignity of man and to protect one's belief in the integrity of our Institution.

As the Most Worshipful Grand Master said earlier in the evening, it is true "that the attitude which characterizes Masons, determines more than anything else what accomplishment shall do."

I can testify, .Most Worshipful, to the quality of the attitude which our Brethren of this Jurisdiction have and do evince, and for the coming year your faith in it is wisely invested. There is not a Mason within this Commonwealth who will not gladly give you loyal support. There is not one of us in office or out of office who will not faithfully follow you wherever yon may need, when you say "this is well for the Craft."

It is our remembrance of the past that gives us hope for the future and that remembrance, one of the happiest of my life, is the remembrance of men faithful to their duty.

The happiness I have, therefore, tonight in recalling my years as Grand Master, is in the knowledge of the hope invested in men who took it and glorified ii with the substance of reality.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXV, No. 9, June 1930, Page 9:

From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXV, No. 9, June 1930, Page 9:

What Seest Thou?

The simplicity of Freemasonry is perhaps one of its greatest charms; and, surely, it represents its greatest imperative. No particular stvle of life must be created before the principles of Masonry are applicable. Rather does Masonry in its Operative capacity create a certain ypc of life and it does so out of very ordinary, indeed, what we may call average material.

Nor must it be entrusted to a particular sort of man, although we, with reason, do restrict its possesion. We believe that any man of rerage intelligence, who is willing and this is our only qualification) to listen to its teachings, can safely
allowed possession of its principles and the custody of its reputation. For, when attention is given to p instruction, Masonry is found to avc a peculiar genius for adjusting man's ideas, giving balance to his pise of values, and otherwise directly him into the pathway of serviceable and satisfying living.

Yet the profane are of the opinion that there must be something mysterious about our institution, its teachings and its practice. This, perhaps, is a result of our refusal to engage in a constant broadcasting of the essentials of our procedure. Lack of publicity tends to invest anything with quality of the mysterious; shout anything which is common, but with which the mass is not familiar, there is always a measure of wonder. And, sometimes the wonder develops into suspicion, unwarranted, 'tis true, but nevertheless harmful if it becomes active.

Strange to say (yet not strange, when the ordinary law of cause and effect, as experience constantly reveals it, is taken into consideration), wonder seldom becomes suspicion unless those who represent an institution of limited fellowship, such as ours, do or say something which is consistent with their profession.

About the profession of Masonry there is no secret whatever. We have never pretended to possess a mysticism which would set us aside from the average intelligence. We have always been glad to proclaim in literature and public address the principles which were fundamental in the formation of our philosophy. And if this were alone the medium for a general judgment of the simple reality of Masonry, the profane would seldom wonder about us and would never be suspicious. We are an exclusive society. Nobody finds fault with that. If I had my way, I would make it more exclusive still, even though we realize that such exclusiveness always places a group in a vulnerable position; criticism is always more readily invited and misunderstanding always more easily possible.

The offset of this, the absolute preventative, is the character of the practice which distinguishes those who are of the particular selected group which makes a unique or distinctive profession.

Consequently, what concerns us as Masons about Masonry is not what the world believes about us, what its knowledge of our laws and principles, what its understanding of our purposes may be; not that we do not care for the world's opinion—we do. We care for it very much. We want the respect of those who are not of us. We want their confidence in our ideals; we want them to gladly and freely acknowledge the purity of our purposes.

Hut our concern in this respect is of secondary importance because the judgment of Masonry, as pronounced by the world, is an effect of which the cause is the individual Mason.

What should engage our examination is what the Mason knows about Masonry. What are his interpretations of the obligations which he has taken? What reality does he find in the professed purposes of our philosophy? How far does he engage in the operations of the Craft? These are practical matters of vital concern, and when these questions are determined, we need not worry about what the world thinks of US unless the answer is not consistent with what society has the right to expect of a Mason in view of his universally known profession.

I do not wish to be considered either cynic or pessimist and would not waste time in this discussion and the presentation of certain disturbing facts, did I not believe with all my heart in the soundness of our purposes as a Fraternity. Our continued existence and the real glory of the simple human story of brotherly affection which has reflected light upon all life, written in our records, leads to the inevitable conclusion that what we are clinging to and trying to interpret through the medium of many personalities, diverse in characteristics and ability but identical in one spirit of dedication, is real, and that, not we of the select group but society in general would be poorer if we were not here; a great Fraternity; great in members and great in the sincerity of its idealism, lurefore, wc ask the question, "What Seest Thou in Masonry?"

Your first view of the Lodge revealed a strange and somewhat unique arrangement. You saw little that made any great impression. As vou advanced and explanations were given, tools and ornaments, furniture and lights began to take on meaning. You continued vour progress through the various branches of the Craft. A certain proficiency in grasping at least a limited meaning opened up further visits of understanding, and at last you received all the instructions possible1 in the wide variety of Masonic teachings. Then the years of membership began. Hours of repeated contact with instruction already received were yours. And, as you sit down now to survey the road you have come, what is vour conclusion regarding Masonry? What do you see in all this posturing and ritual and ceremony of our association?

Frankly, we would not ask the oiiestion were it not for a variety of things which have occurred during the last few vears which are disturbing in that they indicate either a misunderstanding of what Masonry is or no understanding at all.

Just the other day I received a letter written to the head of one of our collateral bodies which was in itself an indictment of the whole Fraternity, though it was merely a recounting of what one particular body had not done. In forwarding this letter, the Brother who received it appended a note in which he said, "What a wonderful picture ____ has to tell her church friends about Masonry," and I sat and thought, laying this occurrence beside others of similar sort, and wondered what some of our Brethren see in Masonry.

Is it merely an opportunity for good-fellowship, constantly enlarged by every added degree which one is able to take? Is it good business for one to have such a connection? The legal requirements are so few. A mere matter of good standing preserved by the payment of a certain number of dollars annually. Usually a very modest sum. Is not such association, with its meager obligations met, good for one who desires to increase his commercial or professional income by increased business?

I am led to believe that such opinion prevails. It is no credit either to Masons or Masonry, but for once let us be honest.

If this and similar motives urging men to unite with us and continue their membership in the Fraternity are legitimate, then we are not what we think we are. We have been engaged in self-deception. We have been, unconsciously perhaps, engaged in competition with other organizations, which can bring about these results much better than Masonry can. We have wasted our money and our time, and our ritual is mere words and our so-called ideals and purposes are mere inventions, a topic of conversation, but absolutely inoperative and without reality. Our distinction, if we have any under these circumstances, lies in our ability to do the thing so well when we have so little of reality to work with. We have an association with a profession and a promise that would deceive the very elect themselves. I speak rather feelingly, my Brethren, because these are the revelations that I have seen here and there. It does not comprise all or even the majority of our experience. But to find it at all is amazing.

Let me reverse the canvas, putting the seamy side to the wall. Let us look upon the real pattern, the picture that our records describe for us. It is a noble view and it shows man at his best because he is his kindest and most helpful and most loyal to what his heart and soul counsels him.

The exceptions which I have mentioned merely prove the rule, and the catalogue of those who see in Masonry something real is most extensive. An honorable company whose living has not been vain; for, even though the effort was modest, "In the handiwork of their Craft was their prayer, and their deeds were a substantial factor in forming the fabric of life."

Did they look upon Masonry with any selfish wish? Was their relationship to it arranged with any purpose of appropriation under the pretense of giving? Ah! No. For them the Fraternity was not dealing in material stuff, it was not an instrument for catering to any temporary or passing wish. Nor was it a source of intellectual development, splendid as they found the worth and balance of its ritualistic conclusions. It was an association which dealt with intangibles in a very tangible way; which gave to ideals reality without subordinating them to change. It was a fellowship for developing both the freedom and the restraint upon emotions; it mas a school for tb» instruction and guidance of the will.

In other words, to those who have made our history as a Fraternity, a distinguished record of public service, Freemasonry was nothing more or less than an opportunity to develop real Craftsmanship in the exercise of morals.

To phrase it differently, we have always and still do engage in no other business than that of impressing men with the sense of their Divine relationship, and in consequence thereof we proceed to teach them how to live with each other and for each other.

There is not a single degree in the whole line of Masonic teaching which deals with a man alone. It is true the degrees are particularly individual in their instruction, but the lessons taught are always of a man in his associations. The unity of life is constantly emphasized. No such thing as independence is acknowledged. Bather is dependence a fundamental teaching because it is a fundamental law, and while it may seem to reveal man's limitations, it rather emphasizes the one road that leads to distinction in living, namely, the way of mutual consideration and mutual helpfulness.

Fellowship is one of the guiding watchwords; obligation and duty are presented not as a somber task and necessary burden to be done and borne in order that a reward may In earned, but as a privilege to be eagerly sought as the way to joy and satisfaction.

And these are not mere abstractions offered for intellectual consideration and assent. They are taught as real and vital ideas with a place in the common everyday practice of life. And the method of teaching th reality of Masonry is interesting nut only for its results but for the ligh it throws upon what is taught.

We are not invited merely to consider and reflect upon brotherhood We are given the opportunity to ex periment with it and experience its reality.

Charity, whatever its form maj be, either kindly consideration and merciful judgment or relief to the poor and distressed, has, as one might expect, a twofold benefit. Th recipient of such benevolent though or action receives the considerate which his association has vowed en to practice. But he that gives it, ah! he is the one who receives the real enrichment. He has experimented with his own soul and his experience gives him a glimpse of that soul which illumines the full sweep of time and he knows that he has am mortal destiny. 'Tis thus that realize our manhood and sense I divinity resident therein.

This, my Brethren, is Masonry. This is the Masonry for which generations have lived and labored. It has been worth their efforts. It is worth ours. Such a philosophy is distinctive among the codified conclusions of men, because it is instinctive for those abilities of personality which make personality distinguished.

The selfishness of men has not continued the life of our Fraternity but rather the selflessness of men. They have looked upon Masonry and seen only its demand; but that demand was an opportunity for the development of expertness in happy and satisfying living.

I trust that, in Masonry, as you examine it today, you will set same enriching realities.



From Proceedings, Page 1932-202:

Brother Ferrell was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, January 29, 1879, and died at his home in Swampscott, September 15, 1932. Brother Ferrell was a graduate of Princeton University and of the Princeton Theological Seminary. Princeton gave him a Master of Arts degree in 1902. His first pastorate was in Slatington, Pa. His ministerial service was continuous from that time until his death except for the period from t927 to 1931, when he gave his whole time to the service of the Grand Lodge.

Brother Ferrell took his Masonic degrees in Paul Revere Lodge in 1906. He was a Charter member of Baalis Sanford Lodge and its first Master under Charter in 1918. He was Deputy Grand Master in 1922, and Grand Master in 1923,1924, and 1925. ln 1927, on the death of Most Worshipful John Albert Blake, he was chosen Relief Commissioner, assuming at the same time the charge of the departments of Masonic Service and Masonic Education. His service in this important post was of the greatest value to the Fraternity, and it was with great regret that the Grand Lodge released him when the call of his profession became too powerful to be longer resisted and he resigned to accept the very important pastorate of the Second Church in Boston. He was at the time of his death one of the Directors of the Grand Lodge.

Brother Ferrell was a member of Satucket Royal Arch Chapter, Brockton Council of Royal and Select Masters, Bay State Commandery of Knights Templar, and the Scottish Rite bodies in Boston. At the time of his death he was Most Wise Master of Mount Olivet Chapter of Rose Croix.

We mourn not only the loss of a valued and useful Grand Lodge officer but that of a friend whose qualities of mind and heart had endeared him to us all. I cannot do better than quote from the tribute of Dr. Charles E. Park at his funeral: "His was a heart filled with good cheer, a mouth filled with laughter, a tongue which always brought a message of cheer. No man was more able with the spirit. of good cheer to awaken a responsive cheer in the hearts of others."

Eloquent and persuasive in his preaching, he was not less so in his Masonic addresses. Breathing the true spirit of Masonry reinforced by his Masonic knowledge drawn from his experience in high Masonic office, they always inspired the Brethren to wider Masonic vision and more earnest Masonic effort.

From Proceedings, Page 1932-287:

Gone from us a familiar face, a cheery smile, the handclasp of a friend; but memory remains. Now and again, and yet again, upon the silver screen of memory, he lives with us day by day.

And it is not a silent screen. Memory brings back to us voice as well as feature. As we sit musing, we forgather with him again as Christian gentleman, clergyman and pastor; as Master of his Lodge, Deputy Grand Master, and Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts; as the newly installed Most Wise Master of Rose Croix; as Relief Commissioner; as Director of the Grand Lodge; as husband, father, and grandfather; as personal friend; and as Masonic Brother.

M.W. Bro. Ferrell was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, January 29, 1879. He entered the ministry in 1902 and held pastorates at the First Presbyterian Church, Slatington, Pennsylvania (1902-1904) ; Unitarian Church, Natick, Massachusetts (1904-1906); Church of the Unity, Brockton, Massachusetts (1906-1918); Church of the Messiah, MontréaI, Canada (1919-1920); Unitarian Church, Lynn, Massachusetts (1920-1927). At the time of his death he was pastor of the Second Church in Boston (Unitarian).

His Masonic record is as follows: Raised in Paul Revere Lodge, Brockton, Massachusetts, December 18, 1906. Charter Member of Baalis Sanford Lodge, of Brockton, March 13, 1918, and its first Worshipful Master under Charter. He served as Deputy Grand Master of Masons in 1922 and as Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts during the years 1923, 1924, and 1925. He was exalted in Satucket Royal Arch Chapter, of Brockton, in June, 1912, and was Grand Chaplain of the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts from December, 1926, until his death. He received the Cryptic Degrees in Brockton Council of Royal and Select Masters in 1913 and was knighted in Bay State Commandery No. 38, Knights Templar, of Brockton, the same year. The Scottish Rite degrees from the fourth to the thirty-second inclusive were received in the Boston bodies during 1912 and January 1913. After service in various offices in Mt. Olivet Chapter of Rose Croix, he was elected and installed its Most Wise Master on April 15,1932, and was serving in that capacity at the time of his death. On September 16, 1924, in Boston, he was coronetted a Sovereign Grand Inspector General 33d degree, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council.

Among his other outstanding services to the Craft were those as Relief Commissioner of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts from 1927 to 1931 and member of the Board of Directors of the Grand Lodge from 1927 until his death.

He died at his home in Swampscott, Massachusetts, on September 15, 1932, leaving a widow and one daughter, Mrs. Violet Blanchard, and three grandchildren, Virginia, Shirley, and Dudley Ferrell Blanchard.

Deeply and sincerely religious, Dudley Ferrell's God was not only the Grand Architect of the universe, but also a Father rather than a tyrant) and all the world his children. Consequently, Bro. Ferrell never became a hermit or an ascetic. He mingled with his fellowmen, shared in their experiences, understood them. It has been said that "He who would have friends must show himself friendly." Bro. Ferrell had a host of friends. He was the embodiment of friendliness. Gregarious, cordial, sympathetic, he ever carried about him an atmosphere of cheer and helpfulness.

As a ritualist he was superb; as Grand Master he was notably successful as Relief Commissioner he was kindly, sympathetic, and efficient; as a Director his judgment was sound; as a clergyman he was outstanding; as a friend, he was beloved. His death has brought to each of us not only a new recognition of his helpfulness but also a sense of personal loss. While our hearts are burdened with sorrow, it remains for us to turn to the faith of our fathers and his faith that we have not eternally parted.

"Nay, but as one layeth
His worn-out robes away
And taking new ones sayeth,
'These will I wear today,'
So putteth by the spirit
Lightly its garb of flesh
And passeth to inherit
A residence afresh."

Melvin M. Johnson
Harold W. Sprague
Robert G. Rae


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXVIII, No. 8, September 1932, Page 4:

With deep regret we record the death at his home in Swampscott, Massachusetts, of Dudley Hays Ferrell, past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts. He had been ill but a week, and complications which developed rapidly brought the end at 6 o'clock, Thursday morning, September 15th.

Brother Ferrell was born on January 29, 1879, in Cincinnati, Ohio, but moved to Massachusetts at an early age. At the time of his death he was minister of the Second Church, Boston. He was Grand Master in 1923-4-5. His life had been one of activity in good works.

The services of this distinguished Mason embrace a long period of usefulness to the Craft. His labours on behalf of less fortunate brethren will be remembered by many, he having been relief commissioner of the jurisdiction for several years, having in his care the inmates at the Masonic Home in Charlton, as well as many others upon whom the mantel of Masonic charity was cast. That he performed his duties with tact and tenderness is a matter of record and a monument to his name. His Masonic affiliations embraced all the degrees of the York and Scottish Rites up to and including the thirty-third degree.

To say that he will be missed is to put it mildly. Cut off, as he was, in his prime, his passing will be a heavy loss to the Craft hereabouts. A host of friends will mourn him.

Funeral services, largely attended, were held at the church of which he was minister, on Sunday, September 18th, at 2 p. m.

Requiescat in pace.


From Proceedings of the Massachusetts Council of Deliberation AASR NMJ, 1933, Page 43:

Farewell! a word that must be, and hath been —
A sound which makes us linger:— yet — Farewell!

We took our leave of Dudley Ferrell a few short months ago, on a day filled with sunshine and warmth. In the church over which he presided as its Minister were gathered those who knew and loved him, from all sorts and conditions of life, to sit for a brief moment with the body of their friend who had gone to prepare a place for those who believe in Him.

In that company were men, women, and children — all his friends, all the better for his having lived, all touched by the magic grace of his God-given personality, gathered for the sole purpose of paying their tribute of respect to his memory, and to thank God for the blessing of having known and loved him while on earth.There are personalities so outstanding as to strengthen our faith that God would send His ministers among men. Such a one was Dudley Ferrell. It is hard to single out from the full gifts of his life some certain thing that marked the greatness of his character, but it is rather in the contemplation of the full picture that we take delight.

His was an active and overwhelmingly busy life, and being so, he always found time and energy to place at the disposal of all who asked it: but particularly did he rejoice in the opportunity of service to his Masonic Brethren. He found his greatest happiness in these associations, and among his Brethren he found and treasured his closest friends. Of his contribution to Freemasonry, his terms of service as Most Worshipful Grand Master and later as Relief Commissioner of the Grand Lodge were the outstanding monuments. His elevation to the position of Most Wise Master of Mount Olivet Chapter last year was the cause of great rejoicing, for with his consecrated gifts of mind, his brethren felt they now would view in a new beauty and with increased understanding the rituals of our degrees with their lessons of death and immortality.

And yet, are we not justified in the belief that his influence will direct us from above with equal force! For even as we pause for these brief moments to think upon him, we cannot feel that he will walk no more among us, for it seems as though he were only away.

Life to Dudley Ferrell was a happy but deep adventure in service to his fellow men. We can never think or speak of him without the picture coming before us of his ever going out of his way in. the glad service of others.

In the knowledge of men there are recorded but few of the many deeds of kindness he performed; but the company of those whose way was made a little smoother by his effort, whose spirits were lifted by his understanding and encouragement, is beyond our power to number. His was a true genius for unselfishness, a natural skill in friendliness, a capacity for service so great that the hardest labor seemed effortless in the smiling grace with which it was performed.Our sense of loss at his passing is one that will grow upon us more and more as the days pass. We cannot yet grasp the unhappy fact that we shall not look upon his face again until we shall see it in the world to come. But as we pray, let us offer our thanks to God for the joyful privilege of Dudley's life and friendship, and pray that the gentle influence of his life and teaching may endure with us until we, too, are gathered in our Father’s arms.


Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, January 29, 1879
Died in Swampscott, Massachusetts, September 15, 1932

He was the son of Dudley T. and Nattie B. (Hays) Ferrell. Educated in the Public Schools of Iowa, he later attended Monmouth College (Illinois), Tarkio College of Missouri, where he received his Bachelor’s degree, and Princeton University (M. A.) and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Following his graduation, he served in various parishes as their Minister and at the time of his death was Pastor of the Second Church in Boston.

He was married in 1902 to Florence L. Wells, daughter of Frank L. P, and Marion S. (Hunter) Wells, and had one daughter, Violet L. Blanchard, and three grandchildren.

He was a member of Paul Revere Lodge of Brockton (December 18, 1906) and a Charter member of Baalis Sanford Lodge of Brockton, and its Master in 1918.

He held membership in Satucket R. A. Chapter, Brockton Council R. & S. M. and Bay State Commandery No. 38, all of Brockton, and in all the Scottish Rite Bodies of Boston. He was Most Wise Master of Mount Olivet Chapter of Rose Croix at the time of his death.He served as Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts in 1923, 1924 and 1925, and was an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council, 33°, for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States.

He was appointed Grand Prior of Massachusetts Council of Deliberation May 27, 1921, and served until his death.

Curtis Chipman, 32°,
Andrew P. Cornwall, 33°,
T. Frederick Brunton, 32°,




Grand Masters