- 1 EDWIN BRADFORD HOLMES 1853-1924
- 1.1 TERM
- 1.2 BIOGRAPHY
- 1.3 MEMORIAL
- 1.4 SPEECHES
- 1.4.1 AT HALL DEDICATION IN NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, JUNE 1894
- 1.4.2 AT HALL DEDICATION IN NAHANT, JULY 1894
- 1.4.3 AT DEDICATION OF BURIAL LOT AND MONUMENT, OCTOBER 1894
- 1.4.4 AT DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALL FOR OXFORD LODGE, JANUARY 1895
- 1.4.5 AT CENTENNIAL OF REPUBLICAN LODGE, FEBRUARY 1895
- 1.4.6 AT CONSTITUTION OF MERIDIAN SUN LODGE, FEBRUARY 1895
- 1.4.7 CHARGE AT DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALL FOR WILDER LODGE, MARCH 1895
- 1.4.8 AT CONSTITUTION OF SPRINGFIELD LODGE, APRIL 1895
- 1.4.9 REMARKS AT DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALL FOR LIBERTY LODGE, MAY 1895
- 1.4.10 AT CORNER-STONE LAYING IN LOWELL, MAY 1895
- 1.4.11 AT CENTENNIAL OF EVENING STAR LODGE, JUNE 1895
- 1.4.12 AT CENTENNIAL OF MIDDLESEX LODGE, JUNE 1895
- 1.4.13 AT BUNKER HILL CENTENNIAL, JUNE 1895
- 1.4.14 REMARKS AT DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALL FOR MARTHA'S VINEYARD LODGE, OCTOBER 1895
- 1.4.15 REMARKS AT DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALL FOR NORFOLK UNION LODGE, NOVEMBER 1895
- 1.4.16 REMARKS AT CORNER STONE LAYING IN DORCHESTER, NOVEMBER 1895
- 1.4.17 AT CENTENNIAL OF WASHINGTON LODGE, MARCH 1896
- 1.4.18 AT CENTENNIAL OF KING HIRAM'S LODGE, MARCH 1896
- 1.4.19 AT CENTENNIAL OF UNION LODGE, DORCHESTER, JUNE 1896
- 1.4.20 AT CENTENNIAL OF HARMONY LODGE, JUNE 1896
- 1.4.21 AT CENTENNIAL OF CINCINNATUS LODGE, JUNE 1896
- 1.4.22 AT CORNER-STONE LAYING IN WORCESTER, SEPTEMBER 1896
- 1.4.23 AT CORNER STONE LAYING IN NEWTON, SEPTEMBER 1896
- 1.4.24 REMARKS AT DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALL FOR DORIC LODGE, NOVEMBER 1896
- 1.4.25 AT CENTENNIAL OF THOMAS LODGE, DECEMBER 1896
- 1.5 CHARTERS GRANTED
- 1.6 RULINGS
EDWIN BRADFORD HOLMES 1853-1924
Deputy Grand Master, 1894
Grand Master, 1895-1896.
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XII, No. 5, February 1917, Page 170:
EDWIN B. HOLMES, Past Grand Master of Masons in Mass.
Brother Holmes was born at North Abington, Mass., January 3, 1853. He received his education in the public schools of Abington and at a commercial college. He came to Boston in early life and secured employment in commercial business. He was faithful and capable and by his marked ability rapidly won the confidence and respect of his employers. In 1878 he became a partner in a large firm engaged in the wholesale Boot and Shoe business. He is still in the same business as a member of the firm of Parker, Holmes & Co. He is also Vice-President and Director of John Hancock Life Insurance Company, and a Director of the Boylston National Bank. He has travelled extensively in our own country and abroad. He has been in Alaska above the Arctic circle. He has hunted big game, taken photographs of many places outside of the usual routes of travel and gives an illustrated lecture of much interest describing scenes he has witnessed.
His Masonic caieer has been extremely active and useful. He was made a Mason in Revere Lodge, Boston, admitted a member May 4, 1875. He served as Master of the Lodge 1886-1887, as Treasurer in 1888 and many years afterwards. He is a member of St. Andrew's R. A. Chapter, Boston Council R. and S. Masters, De Molay Commandery, K. T., of the last he was Eminent Commander 1897-1898. He is a member of the Scottish Rite and was crowned a thirty-third degree Mason September 15, 1896. He is a member of the Royal Order of Scotland. He was president of the First Worshipful Master's Association 1891-1892, and is an honorary member of many bodies. His most valuable service to Masonry has been in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts of which he was Grand Master 1895-1896. He has served many years on the Board of Directors and has had much to do with the financial prosperity of the Grand Lodge. As a director he has won high regard. His large business experience, his mental foresight and his thorough devotion to the interests of the Grand Lodge gives him an influence, and his opinion a power that is recognized as of the highest value.
Brother Holmes is a member of several social and fraternal Clubs and is always interested in every enterprise that promotes public welfare. Brother Holmes is a student in genealogical literature and some years ago contributed an article to this publication regarding the question, "Who hung the lantern in the Old North Church," as a signal, in the revolutionary days. He traces his ancestry to Thomas Holmes of Colchester, England, who was born some time in 1500. His first ancestor in this country was John Holmes, menioned in the Plymouth records as John Holmes, Gent.
From Proceedings, Page 1924-711, Grand Master's Address:
Brethren: There came news to us today that saddened us all, and at this time I regret to announce the passing of Most Worshipful Edwin B. Holmes, a Past Grand Master of Massachusetts, one who through the years has given unstintingly of his time and of his thought to the welfare of the Craft. He was a member of our Board of Directors, he was chairman of the House Committee, he was treasurer of the Education and Charity funds. In all these positions he showed himself a man of skill and a man of devotion. We regret his passing more than we can tell, and yet who is there of us that would question the infinite kindness, or call it anything but infinite kindness, when it bids one come from beneath the burden of mortality, come from within the embrace of weakness into the place and life of light and strength. We bid him godspeed.
From Proceedings, Page 1925-57:
Since the last Communication of the Grand Lodge we have been called to part with one of the most distinguished of our Permanent Members. M. W. Bro. Edwin B. Holmes, senior Past Grand Master, died very suddenly on Sunday, the 28th of December. M.W. Bro. Holmes had not been in his usual health for more than a year, but he attended to business up to the very last, and his condition was not such as to cause any immediate anxiety.
His unexpected passing brought a great shock to his many friends and associates in business and in Masonic circles. M.W. Bro. Holmes was Grand Master in 1895 and 1896. From that time on his services to the Grand Lodge were faithful and distinguished. He was one of the hard workers upon whom we relied for important services which were of the utmost value to the Fraternity, but by their nature were little known or understood except by those with whom he was most closely associated. Immediately upon his retirement from the Grand Mastership he became a member of the Board of Directors where he served for many years, and up to the time of his death was Chairman of the House Committee; the sub-committee which has charge of the care and administration of this Temple. He was also for many years the Treasurer of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust. When one realizes that this Board of Trustees administers some fifty-five separate funds running all the way from nearly a half million of dollars down to one hundred dollars, and that each of these funds is kept and administered entirely separately from the others, each having its own individual investments, one realizes somewhat the importance and complexity of the task. The Grand Lodge suffers the ross of one of its most efficient and devoted officials. The Brethren mourn the loss of a wise counselor and faithful friend.
From Proceedings, Page 1925-176:
Edwin Bradford Holmes, senior Past Grand Master of this Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, died at his home, 33 Winthrop Road, Brookline, on Sunday, December 28, 1924.
He was born in North Abington, Mass., on the 3d of January, 1853. He traced his ancestry back to Thomas Holmes, of CoIchester, England, in the first part of the sixteenth century, whose son John Holmes migrated to this country and is first mentioned in the records of the Plymouth Colony in 1632 as John Holmes, Gent. His great-grandfather, John Holmes, served in the army for eight years during the Revolutionary period and his grandfather served in the War of 1812. His mother's maiden name was Mary Elizabeth Ford.
Brother Holmes was educated in the public schools of Abington and at Easton's Commercial CoIIege in Boston. In 1870 he entered the employ of Coverly, Rogers & Co., wholesale dealers in boots and shoes, as a clerk in the office. In 1872, after the great Boston fire, he was employed by Bachelder & Lincoln, shoe dealers in Dock Square, as clerk in the wholesale department, and on January 1, 1878, became a partner in the firm. He withdrew therefrom on December 31, 1880, and on January 1, 1881, in connection with Horace B. Parker and Edward A. Perkins formed the firm of Parker, Holmes & Co., wholesale boot and shoe dealers, at 141 Federal Street. On December 31, 1888, Mr. Parker retired from the firm and on January 1, 1904, the business was moved to 600 Atlantic Avenue and Mr. Charles A. Perkins and Mr. Edward W. Perkins were admitted as partners. On January 1, 1910, Brother Holmes' son, Edwin P., was admitted as a partner and in 1913 the other interests were purchased and father and son continued. the business thereafter.
Brother Holmes was the first President of the Shoe Wholesalers Association of New England and also the first President of the Shoe Wholesalers Association of the United States, and in addition to his special business he was for years Vice-President and Director of the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company and a Director of the Boylston National Bank, in both of which positions he was widely recognized for his power and personality. Mr. Holmes had traveled extensively both in this country and in Europe. He was an enthusiastic hunter of big game, having tracked them in the mountains of Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and Alaska.
He was a member of the following societies: Algonquin, Exchange, Brae Burn, and Boston Yacht Clubs, the Beacon Society, and the United States Power Boat Squadron.
He was married at North Abington, Mass., January 12, 1880, to Miss Sarah Frances Pratt, daughter of Isaac Reed Pratt and Sarah Williams Ford, and three children were the fruit of this union, Mary Frances, Edwin Pratt, and Francis Bradford.
Brother Holmes' Masonic record was as follows: He received the degrees in Revere Lodge, Boston, in 1875; was elected to membership in that Lodge May 4 of that year; was its Worshipful Master in 1886, and was Treasurer from 1888 to 1894 inclusive. He was exalted in St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter January 3, 1877, and was elected to membership the 7th of February of that year. He received the degrees in Boston Council of Royal and Select Masters and became a member November 22, 1906. He was Knighted in DeMoIay Commandery February 28, 1877, and elected to membership March 28 following; was Eminent Commancler in 1897 and Trustee of the Commandery Fund from 1888 to 1892 inclusive. He received the fourteenth grade in Boston Lodge of Perfection March 25, 1878, the fifteenth and sixteenth grades in Giies F. Yates Council, Princes of Jerusalem, April 12, 1878, the seventeenth and eighteenth grades in Mount Olivet Chapter of Rose Croix, April 19, 1878, and the nineteenth to thirty-second grades inclusive in Massachusetts Consistory, April 26, 1878. He was crowned as an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, thirty-third degree, at Pittsburgh, September 15, 1896. He received the degree of the Royal Order of Scotland at Boston, September 30, 1912.
Brother Holmes received Honorary Membership in Revere Lodge January 3, 1888, in King Solomon's Lodge September 10, 1895, in the Carbon Lodge No. 2910, England, April 21, 1902, in DeMolay Commandery September 28, 1896, and in St. Bernard Commandery June 12, 1907. He was Deputy Grand Master in 1894 and Most Worshipful Grand Master in 1895 and 1896.
In this Grand Lodge he was first elected a member of the Board of Directors in 1887. In 1906 he became a member of the House Committee on which he served most efficiently up to the time of his death. He was a Trustee of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust, having been first elected on March 10, 1892. He was Treasurer of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust, first elected October 13, 1911. As a member of the Board of Directors, and Chairman of the House Committee, as Trustee of Masonic Education and Charity Trust, and as Treasurer of the Board, Brother Holmes' services ended only when he was called from earth.
In behalf of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island he was a member of the Executive Board Triennial Committee of the twenty-sixth Triennial Conclave in 1895 and Chairman of the Committee on Publications. Brother Holmes was a man of marvelous energy, and to whatever cause he espoused he gave of his strength and ability without stint or measure.
His conduct of his extensive business was such as to win the confidence of all with whom he was associated and to establish his well-deserved reputation for integrity. His wide experience equipped him with wisdom in all financial and business affairs and to minute details he gave abundant time and attention. Few men have had the welfare of this Grand Lodge more at heart than he, not only during the term of Grand Mastership, but through the long years that he has served in various capacities. With a weight of responsibilities resting upon him that would have staggered most men his devotion to Masonry was such that nothing that he might do for the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was too great or too small to command his full and conscientious service. His duty as a Director or Trustee he considered a sacred trust and he strove to discharge that trust to the very best of his ability.
He has left a large place vacant in the ranks of those who have been most prominent in the administration of our affairs, and the record of his name among those inscribed upon the tablet that preserves the memory of the men to whose wisdom we owe the erection of this Temple in which we meet, will be supplemented by our personal recollection of our association with him in the promotion of the purposes to which we are dedicated as Masons.
His funeral services were held at his home on December 31, many of the officers and members of the Grand Lodge and delegations from the New England Shoe and Leather Association, the Boston Boot and Shoe Club, and the New England Shoe Wholesalers Association attending. Our Grand Master, Rev. Dudley H. Ferrell, and Rev. Ashley D. Leavitt, pastor of the Harvard Congregational Church, officiated and the burial was at Forest Hills Cemetery.
Our earnest sympathy goes out to the family circle from which he has been parted and we shall think of him as freed from his long struggle with pain and illness and welcomed into the joy and peace of the Celestial Grand Lodge where the Infinite Architect of the Universe presides.
NEW ENGLAND CRAFTSMAN, 1925
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XX, No. 4, January 1925, Page 132:
M. W. Edwin B. Holmes, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts in 1895 and 1896, died at his home in Brookline, Massachusetts, Sunday, December 28th.
Brother Holmes had a long and distinguished career in Massachusetts Masonry, having served with distinction in different branches.
At the time of his death and for many years previously he was a trustee of the Grand Lodge. He was of the old school, deeming it an obligation always to render full service in whatever duty came to him. He will be much missed by a wide circle.
Funeral services, largely attended, were held at his late home, 33 Winthrop Road, Brookline, Wednesday, December 31 at 11 a.m.
COUNCIL OF DELIBERATION, 1925
From Proceedings of the Massachusetts Council of Deliberation AASR NMJ, 1925, Page 43:
Edwin Bradford Holmes was born in North Abington, Massachusetts, January 3, 1853. He was the son of Bradford Reed Holmes and Mary Elizabeth (Ford) Holmes. He traced his ancestry back to Thomas Holmes, who was born in Colchester, England, in the year 1500. The first of the family to come to this country was John Holmes, who is mentioned in the records of the Plymouth colony in 1632 as “John Holmes, Gent.” Brother Holmes's great-grandfather, John Holmes, served for eight years in the Revolutionary Army, and his grandfather, Jonathan Holmes, served in the War of 1812.
After passing through the public schools of Abington Brother Holmes took a course in Eaton’s Commercial College, Boston. In 1870 he became a clerk in the office of Coverly Rogers & Co., wholesale boot and shoe dealers at No. 1 Pearl Street, Boston. The remainder of his life was spent in that business. In 1872, after the great fire in Boston, he entered the employ of Batchelder & Lincoln, and became a partner in the business in 1878. At the end of 1880 he withdrew from that firm to become one of the founders of the firm of Parker, Holmes & Co., a connection which he retained, with several changes in the personnel of the firm, until the end of his life. He was a Director of the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company and was elected vice-president in 1903, serving in that capacity for about twenty years. He was also a Director in the Boylston National Bank.
Brother Holmes was first president of the Shoe Wholesalers’ Association of New England, and also first president of the Shoe Wholesalers’ Association of the United States, positions which showed his interest in trade organization and the high esteem in which he was held by his assocites in business.
He was well known as a club man, being a member of the Algonquin, Exchange, Brae Burn and Boston Yacht Clubs, the Beacon Society, and United States Power Boat Squadron. He was an enthusiastic yachtsman, sportsman and traveler, having spent much time in European travel, and being especially familiar with Alaska.
In 1880 he married Sarah Frances Pratt, of North Abington, and had three children, Mary Frances, Edwin Pratt and Francis Bradford, who survive him.
Brother Holmes early became interested in Masonry, taking his degrees and membership in Revere Lodge in 1875. Appointed to office in that Lodge in 1879, he remained in line until he was elected Worshipful Master in 1886, serving two years. On his retirement from the chair he became Treasurer, and held that office seven years.
Brother Holmes was Exalted in St. Andrew’s Royal Arch Chapter, January 3, 1877, and immediately applied to DeMolay Commandery, in which he received the Order of the Temple on February 28, 1877. He was Eminent Commander in 1897 and 1898. He became a member of Boston Council, R. & S. Masters, in 1906.
In the meantime he had also been interested in the Scottish Rite, receiving the degrees in the Boston Bodies in 1878. He was crowned an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 15, 1896. He became a member of the Royal Order of Scotland, September 30, 1912.
Brother Holmes was elected Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts in 1894, and served two years, 1895 and 1896. He had been elected a member of the Board of Directors of the Grand Lodge in 1887, and his service as a member of that Board, and as Grand Master ex officio presiding over it, was continuous up to the time of his death. He became a Trustee of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust in 1897, and served continuously until his death, being its Treasurer from 1911 on.
Brother Holmes was an Honorary Member of many Masonic Bodies, including a Lodge in London, England.
Brother Holmes’s great and inestimable service to Masonry was rendered as Director and Trustee. To these offices he gave his time, his strength, and his business ability and experience absolutely without stint. As Chairman of the House Committee of the Directors he overlooked no detail and spared no labor. As Trustee of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust his accounts were models of excellence, and his methods were perfection itself. He could not have given more close and devoted attention to the affairs of the Grand Lodge if it had been his own private business.
Brother Holmes’s health began to fail in 1923, and he died very suddenly December 28, 1924. His funeral was held at his residence in Brookline, the service being conducted by Rev. Dudley H. Ferrell, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.
So ended, all too soon, a very honorable and useful life. Massachusetts Masonry has suffered a great loss. It will long bear the imprint of his work. His friends mourn a faithful and useful associate. Peace he |0I his ashes; honor to his memory.
AT HALL DEDICATION IN NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, JUNE 1894
From Proceedings, Page 1894-38:
MR. CHAIRMAN AND CITIZENS OF NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH,— The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Massachusetts is present on this occasion, in response to your invitation and in accordance with a time-honored custom, and has laid "square, level, and plumb," the Cornerstone of the proposed edifice.
Our Fraternity is in sympathy with all that makes for the public good, and is opposed to social disorder and industrial tumult. Whatever is for the social, educational, or moral uplifting of the people, — and brings content, joy and prosperity to our homes, — this Fraternity from time immemorial has approved. Whatever is for the universal good, that helps to educate the masses, that brings the different classes of men to a common ground, that makes for the -betterment of our race, — this Brotherhood gives to it its cordial support. It stands for progress and peace.
The public ceremonies,- which have attended the laying of this Corner-stone have come down to us hallowed by custom and tradition. Through the ages, men have gathered to hold special service at the commencement of a new temple, cathedral, or edifice, and consecrated with corn, wine, and oil, with ritual and prayers, the corner-stone of the proposed structure. In this there has been a recognition of the fact, that these edifices -were intended to serve high and holy purposes,— to be sacred to the highest interests of man, —so to-day we lay this stone, believing that this library building will serve holy purposes in serving the needs and contributing to the pleasure of the people in this town.
In the consecration of this stone we have used the Masonic elements, — corn, wine, and oil. Their use in such service is of the highest antiquity. They were the chief productions of eastern countries, they constituted largely the people's wealth, and David enumerates, corn, wine, and oil among the greatest blessings enjoyed. These elements are symbols of great significance to us. " Wherefore, my Brethren," says Dr.T. M. Harris in his Masonic Discourses, "wherefore do you carry corn, wine, and oil, in your processions, but to remind you that, in the pilgrimage of human, life, you are to impart a portion of your bread to the hungry, to send a cup of your wine to cheer the sorrowful, and to pour the healing oil of your consolation into the wounds which sickness hath made in the bodies, or affliction rent in the hearts of your fellow-travellers."
We bring these elements into this consecration service, as symbolizing the strength, satisfaction, and delight which shall mark the completion of this work. Freely we pour of our symbols upon this stone, freely and abundantly may the blessing of Heaven descend upon the enterprise this day so auspiciously begun.
May this Corner-stone safely rest, a symbol of the permanence of truth and justice.
May the edifice which shall stand upon and over it, pass through its several stages of erection, until the cope-stone of its completion shall be brought forth with "joy and gladness."
May the completed edifice, the Richards' Memorial Library, stand, not simply an ornament to this town, but be the means of great good; may it perpetuate the memory of the virtues of that family whose name it bears, and stand as a monument of filial regard and affection. May its grandest purpose be fully achieved in the continued blessings bestowed upon the present and future generations which shall seek its benefits.
AT HALL DEDICATION IN NAHANT, JULY 1894
From Proceedings, Page 1894-44:
MR. CHAIRMAN AND CITIZENS OF NAHANT: In response to an invitation, extended by the civil authorities of this town, the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is present to lay, in due and ancient form, the corner-stone of a Public Library Building. That duty has been performed, and our Fraternity will regard with interest, the erection, completion, and occupancy of the new structure, whose purpose will be the pleasure and education of the people' who are so fortunate as to reside within the limits of this town. It is one of the smallest, though not the least among the towns of our Commonwealth ; being less than a square mile in area, it is small; but being over seven millions of dollars in valuation,, it ranks among the important towns of our State.
We have just passed the so-called four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. Four hundred years have passed since he discovered islands lying at the southeast of us, but his feet never touched the continent of North America. It is interesting now to note the fact that we look out upon waves, where the Norseman sailed nearly nine hundred years ago, and we tread to-day the same promontory, where the Viking landed in the year 1005 of the Christian era. Thorwold, the brave Admiral from the North, looking out from his vessel upon this sea-washed promontory, four hundred years before Columbus was. born, remarked, "Here it is beautiful, and here I should like to fix my dwelling." His wish was gratified, but not in the sense he desired. This became his dwelling-place, and somewhere, beneath our feet, unless washed away by the restless tide, the remains of Thorwold rest. For, when mortally wounded, he said, "This is my death blow; I desire you to depart as soon as possible, but first take my body to the shore, and, bring it upon the promontory before you, where I had. intended to make my abode. I shall now dwell there forever."
For nine hundred years this promontory has been a known land; voyageurs have repeatedly visited it. They have indicated it upon their maps. "Before Blackstone had made his home at Boston, settlers were tilling the soil of Nahant," and the conquest of a continent had begun.
This therefore is an interesting spot, and the flood of historic memories which rises here makes much more interesting the incident that brings us together here to-day.
Our Fraternity, whose history reaches back into the deepest shadows of the past, shares your pride in the history of this promontory, and rejoices with you that the Indian and his wigwam have passed away, and that homes of comfort, means of education, and the blessings of civil and religious liberty have succeeded them.
Freemasonry is wedded to the public good. It favors whatever helps to make better men, better citizens, and more intelligent communities. It seeks to foster, strengthen, and perpetuate the school, the state, the nation, and every means of moral progress. It is opposed to sedition, tumult, discord, and to every wilful violation of established law, whether by the individual, by a race, or by an organization.
The purposes for which this proposed building stands are in heartiest accord with Masonic teachings. Education and good government are intimately related. Ignorance disintegrates all governments. Free public schools and free public libraries are bulwarks of our free government.
It is eminently fitting that we assemble here to-day to lay the Corner-stone of this Public Library Building, because the structure will stand through the passing years, a means of education, and a bulwark of freedom. Its increasing facilities will multiply the opportunities which lead to more useful lives.
It is no small credit to this town, that since 1872, when the first appropriation for the library was made by the town, until this time, the annual appropriation in its behalf has invariably been made by a unanimous vote, and also that the forty thousand dollars appropriated for this new building were unanimously voted. If the interest of the citizens in this institution shall continue, if, with the same unanimity, it is cherished, the good accomplished, not alone for those living, but for the generations which will follow us, will be beyond our computation.
The Corner-stone of this edifice has been duly tried, and is square, level, and plumb. These are, however, but symbols. In the years to come, the real value of this building and of the institution itself, will be tried by the square of virtue, the level of equal rights, and by the plumb of uprightness. May every trial prove the perfection of the building, and the wise administration of the institution.
May no harm come to the workmen, while from quarry or woods they shall prepare the materials for this edifice and raise them to their appointed places. While the waves shall dash upon this shore, may this building and institution stand, a moral light-house, sending forth cheerful beams into every home. May they be a centre of interest and influence in this town, devoted to noble ends, achieving grand purposes, and may the blessing of the Supreme Architect rest upon them now, henceforth, and always.
AT DEDICATION OF BURIAL LOT AND MONUMENT, OCTOBER 1894
From Proceedings, Page 1894-96:
BRETHREN: We have assembled in this "City of the Dead" to discharge an agreeable and a fraternal duty. We come not to place the laurel of victory on a warrior's brow; we gather not with floating banners and gleaming sabres to honor one, brave on the field, great in attainment, rich with gold, or wise in counsel; but a loftier purpose calls us, — that of consecrating this burial lot and dedicating this monument in memory of our Masonic Brothers, their widows and children, whose remains, — life's battle being completed, — shall find their last resting place in the bosom of this consecrated soil. The stranger Brother from foreign shores, whom fortune or misfortune leaves friendless and dead within our jurisdiction; those of our own mystic circle, unable through friendlessness or want to procure Christian burial, and a stone to mark their graves, may find in this consecrated spot a resting place, where Brethren will perform the rites of burial, and fraternal Christian service be accorded.
Masonry is not a Royal Order; Freemasons are not a titled or privileged class, with whom wealth, learning, or blood is the signet of admission. Masonry regards no man for his outward appearance alone. It is composed of all classes of reputable citizens. Hence the prince and the peasant, the bishop and the layman, the millionaire and the poor, the learned and the unlearned, join in fraternal accord in symbolic labor. The distinctions of sect, class and party have sway on the earth, but; at the Masonic altar men kneel in1 one common worship, feel the force and help of a common truth, and are filled with one common hope. Therefore it occurs that some of our Brethren, poor in this world's goods, but rich in faith, need fraternal relief and will need the last office of Christian burial.
The hope, formerly cherished, has now become fact. The anticipation, so long expressed, has its fulfillment today. Let every Brother, poor, friendless, lonely, banish the anxious load from his mind, for here, by the generosity of our esteemed Brother, under the shadow of this beautiful monument, his remains can be laid by fraternal hands, and here they can rest until mother earth has made them again a part of her own dear self.
The earth teems with monuments to the departed. Pyramids, mausoleums, tombs, monuments, alike teach honor to the dead and care of their remains. Throughout earth's broad expanse, as universal as civilized life, so universal are these monuments in memory of the departed. They were erected to commemorate renowned kings, victorious warriors, famous scholars, distinguished statesmen, discoverers, inventors and others of less renown, but where are the monuments to the poor and friendless? Those, successful in life have graves marked by granite, shaft or less pretentious stone; but what marks the resting-place of the unsuccessful? Who builds monuments out of regard for those whose efforts have produced no material, gain?
I t is therefore without the shadow of a. boast,, that I recall to your minds, that this Monument is for the poor, friendless and unsuccessful. It is dedicated to the memory of worthy Brothers who but for this great, thoughtful generosity might be borne by profane hands to some obscure spot and be buried in an unknown, if not a pauper's grave.
This is the great glory of the day's event. Now none of our worthy Brothers can be so poor as to have nowhere to lay his head when he lies down in the sleep of death. Now the wide ocean may separate a Brother from his Masonic home, his loved ones and kindred may be far away beyond the mountains, a stranger in a strange land he may be, still if he die in our midst, he may be assured that in a known grave, carefully watched over through the passing years, his remains will lie undisturbed.
This Monument is erected because Masonry exists; it is the legitimate outgrowth of principles which are the foundation of our Order. It stands a fitting symbol of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. These principles are manifested in the Mason's heart most strongly toward the cheerless, needy and depressed. He best bears his burden who assists to bear another's. This Monument proclaims that the high and low, rich and poor, constitute one family, who are to aid, support and protect each other. It declares that it is incumbent on Masons to relieve distress, soothe the unhappy, sympathize with their misfortunes, compassionate their miseries, wipe away the tears of the afflicted and bestow funeral rites upon their worthy dead, ever joining, to promote each other's welfare and rejoicing in each other's prosperity.
Grand as this Monument is; beautiful as its sculptured and polished surface is, yet more grand, more beautiful is that spirit of charity displayed by our Brother who conceived and completed this work. It is meet that I should thus publicly express the sincere thanks of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts for this beautiful and useful gift. His charitable works are many, but perhaps in none is, the truly Masonic spirit more signally displayed. This Monument will perpetuate the memory and names of those whose remains will be buried in this Lot, but by this act of kindness, mercy, and charity our Brother is erecting a monument in the hearts of our Fraternity that will last from generation to generation. When marble and granite shall have crumbled to dust, faithful breasts will retain the memory of his unstinted charity. Accept, therefore, beloved Brother,- our sincere gratitude, and be assured that those to come after us, who will be blessed by this day's achievement, will hold in grateful hearts the name and memory of Brother John Hoffman Collamore.
In conclusion: behold this consecrated structure! Translate its polished sides and towering summit! Bear hence with you, graven on your hearts, the lessons that they teach. The square and compasses, the Bible and letter "G," combined, show us the way of duty, peace and happiness on earth; the hour-glass impresses us with truth we learn but do not realize, — too soon "they are all exhausted;" the All-seeing Eye beholds without, within, and "will reward us according to our merits," and the urn, which signifies the repository of all that's mortal, is surmounted by the sprig of acacia, — symbol of the soul which shall never, never die.
"A century hence, some pilgrim on his way
Perchance may pass this consecrated spot,
And as he looks upon this stone will say,
'The humbler ones of earth are not forgot.'
" Our loving deed; O Architect Divine,
In Thy good pleasure graciously approve;
That this fraternal act will ever shine,
A star of beauty in the sky of love."
AT DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALL FOR OXFORD LODGE, JANUARY 1895
From Proceedings, Page 1895-4:
WORSHIPFUL MASTER, LADIES AND BRETHREN: It is with great trepidation that I rise in response to your call to address such a brilliant gathering. The chairman of your committee, W. Bro. Cudworth, wrote to the Grand Secretary that he wanted some of the Grand Officers to speak to the ladies. I never know what to say on a Masonic occasion when there are ladies present. It would give me more pleasure to hear them speak. I should like to hear them express their opinions in regard to secret societies. I remember seeing some time ago a series of letters by prominent women giving their opinions of secret societies, and they agreed without exception that the influence of such bodies tended to good. I do not know whether these women were the members of families of Freemasons, therefore to me it would be particularly interesting to hear what some of you ladies have to say on the subject.
The question has often arisen in my mind as to why women did not organize secret societies as well as the men, and upon investigating the subject I find that in olden times there existed societies composed of women; that mention is made in the Bible of secret societies or the combining for the purposes of common life, and it applies to women alone; but they do not seem to have entered into the spirit of the Club or Lodge life with the same zest that has been displayed by the opposite sex.
But to say a word or two for the benefit of the Brethren. Just before leaving Boston I met Past Grand Master Lawrence, and he wished me to say to you that he remembered with pleasure his visit to Oxford Lodge a few years ago, when he came to talk to you about commutation of the Grand Lodge tax. He appreciated the cordial reception you gave him, and the fact that Oxford Lodge did her part to lift the debt of the Grand Lodge. He sends you his cordial, fraternal greeting, and is pleased to learn you are prospering.and in possession of a new Hall.
I wish also for myself and-for the. Grand Lodge to congratulate you upon the possession of such beautiful, convenient Masonic apartments, upon the pleasant condition of your Lodge at the present"time, and trust that harmony, unanimity and prosperity may abide with you, and that your membership may always comprise the best men of the town. I am profoundly impressed with a sense of the far-reaching responsibility that devolves to-day upon our Fraternity to take into the Order none but the best men, — men of character and ability, who will uphold the principles taught by our symbols. He cannot solicit candidates to join our Order, and it is only by our deportment, by our daily, lives, by our applying the principles of our Order with a personality strong and vigorous in all our actions,vin all our doings, that we can attract the uninitiated, and thereby induce them to knock at our portals.
The Order in this State initiates about two thousand candidates each year, and to-day we number nearly thirty-five thousand Masons. Thirty-five thousand men, good and. true, with their faculties strengthened to the performance of duty, by the patient exercise of the sublime teachings of our Order, scattered throughout the State of Massachusetts, can exert a power which can hardly be realized for that which is best and true.
This town in which you reside is evidently named for the City of Oxford, one of the oldest towns in England. There were first established the colleges of England, there the Societies of Masters and Scholars were first brought together in a common dwelling-place. It has always been noted as one of the greatest centres of learning, and the light and knowledge diffused influence the whole world. So may Oxford Lodge, which bears such a celebrated name, be the expounder of the principles of Masonry, and may her success be as pronounced and the good she does be as wide-spread as the teachings which have gone forth from the fairest city of England.
AT CENTENNIAL OF REPUBLICAN LODGE, FEBRUARY 1895
From Proceedings, Page 1895-13:
Response to the Address of Welcome.
WORSHIPFUL MASTER AND BRETHREN OF REPUBLICAN LODGE: The Officers of the Grand Lodge, here assembled, fraternally acknowledge your brotherly welcome, reciprocate every good wish, and congratulate you all upon the arrival of this centennial anniversary of the birthday of Republican Lodge.
The Grand Officers have come here to-day to join with you in proper service and festivity in commemoration of this happy event. We bring open hands and warm hearts. We bear to you Masonic good-will and fraternal sympathy; we would add whatever we can, by word or act, to make this a never-to-be forgotten anniversary of your Lodge.
During recent months I have had occasion to examine officially many documents of similar nature to the one you have presented to me, and I feel competent to say that this is the original charter granted by the Grand Lodge to Republican Lodge, and that the signature of Paul Revere, Grand Master, is genuine.
There is one fact in connection with this ancient charter which may not be known to you. The petition for this charter, signed by Noadiah Kellogg and others, was presented to the Grand Lodge Dec. 8, 1794, and that Body then voted to grant, and did grant, a charter to Republican Lodge. If the Grand Secretary of that day had followed the same custom as our present Grand Secretary, the charter would have been dated. Dec. 8, 1794, and Republican Lodge would take precedence from that date instead of Jan. 9, 1795. R. W. Sir, as the representative of this Lodge, I again commit to your care this ancient charter, and charge your Lodge to preserve it for the next hundred years with the same care which it has received during the past century.
Accept our sincere thanks for your fraternal welcome. We are here not as spectators but as Brothers ; we share with you the glory and the joy of this day. The mother grasps her child of an hundred years in her strong arms to-day; and her heart beats with tender emotion when she recalls the loyalty, the worth, and the character of Republican Lodge.
Address at the Centennial Banquet.
WORSHIPFUL MASTER: In responding in behalf of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, I would first acknowledge the cordial welcome extended to the Officers of the Grand Lodge, and assure the Brethren that this fraternal greeting has not been wasted upon the desert air. It has distilled upon the hearts of their Brethren, who will bear it hence as a fragrant memorial of the one hundredth anniversary of Republican Lodge. I congratulate you upon the success which has attended the observance of this day.
To say that I am pleased to be here would only be expressing myself mildly. I have enjoyed every moment, and especially the Historical Address of Bro. Finch, which I consider one of the best Masonic Addresses I ever had the pleasure of listening to. Republican Lodge is honored by having so able and distinguished a Brother as a member of the Lodge.
It is a great satisfaction to me to meet so many of the Masons of the Thirteenth Masonic District and partake with them of the bounteous hospitality of Republican Lodge. As I look around these tables I feel that the Grand Lodge has cause to be proud of the Masons of this District. I wish I could grasp each Brother by the hand and thereby cement the bond of brotherhood.
The birth of Republican Lodge occurred at an interesting epoch in our country's history. Then there were fifteen States, instead of forty-four. Our country then comprised 800,000 square miles, instead of nearly 4,000,000. Steam, with its various mechanical uses, the telegraph, the telephone, were alike unknown. But it was an epoch prolific in great and patriotic men. It was the day of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Jay, Livingston; and not unworthy to be named in this connection is the man who, as Grand Master, signed the charter of Republican Lodge, — Most Worshipful Paul Revere. A mechanic, goldsmith and engraver; limited in education, but unlimited in patriotic and Masonic zeal; the messenger of Warren sent to alarm the people; a Lieutenant-Colonel in the army of Massachusetts; Worshipful Master of the Lodge of St. Andrew and of Rising Star Lodge, and one hundred years ago this day Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
On an occasion of this kind one naturally falls into reminiscence, comparison, and history. Since 1794, Massachusetts has given up four-fifths of her territory by the separation of the State of Maine; forty-two thousand eight hundred square miles then constituted the jurisdiction of our Grand Lodge; now it is but seven thousand eight hundred square miles. In this larger jurisdiction there were in 1794 but nineteen Lodges. From Dec. 8, 1794, to Dec. 11, 1797, the term of service of Paul Revere as Most Worshipful Grand Master, twenty-four Lodges were chartered; making-forty-three the total number of Lodges in this greater Massachusetts in 1797. Grand Master Bartlett in his Address, Dec. 11, .1797, said: "Fifty-six Lodges have been chartered in Massachusetts since 1733, of which forty three still retain their commissioned authority, and are considered by the present Regulations as within the immediate control of this Grand Lodge."
Of those nineteen Lodges existing in 1794, four were in the District of Maine, leaving fifteen Lodges within the present limits of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The number of Lodges in this State has grown from fifteen, in 1794, to two hundred and twenty-six in 1894, an increase of fifteen-fold in one hundred years. The population of Massachusetts proper in 1794 was three hundred thousand; in 1894 it was two and a half millions, being an increase of eight-fold. A high estimate of the number of Masons in Massachusetts in 1794 is fifteen hundred; the number reported last year, 1894, is thirty-four thousand seven hundred, an increase.of twenty-three-fold. Hence it appears that the number of members of our Fraternity has increased during the last one hundred years three times as fast as the population.
At the election of Paul Revere as Grand Master, Dec. 8, 1794, Paul Revere himself was not present, and, after his election, a committee was appointed to wait on him to learn whether he would accept. The committee reported his acceptance.
During 1795, the Grand Lodge held four regular Quarterly Communications and three Specials. The feast of St. John the Baptist was celebrated June 24, 1795; twelve officers, five clergymen, and a very numerous and respectable number of the Brethren were present. The laying of the corner-stone of the new State House took place July 4, 1795, and a Special Communication was held December 8, for business.
During 1796 the Grand Lodge held four regular Quarterly Communications and one Special, December 22, for business.
During 1797 the Grand Lodge held four regular Quarterly Communications and three Specials, February 23, June 26, and June 28, for business, and the annual, December 27, for the installation of Grand Officers.
At each and all of these twenty Communications, held while he was Grand Master, Paul Revere was present. This fact confirms our estimate of him. He was faithful in the discharge, of his Masonic duty and loyal to Masonic interests. The number of officers and members of the Grand Lodge present at the twelve regular Quarterly Communications varies from eighteen to sixty-three, the average attendance being, twenty-eight. Now Corinthian Hall is comfortably filled at the Communications of March, June and September, and uncomfortably filled at that of December.
During these three years, 1795, 1796 and 1797, the Grand Lodge held its Communications in Concert Hall, which was in a large, two-story, un-painted building, on the corner of Court, then called Queen, and Hanover streets. The building was erected prior to 1754; soon after it was enlarged and improved, and for fifty years was one of the most noted Halls in Boston. In a hundred years a great advance has been made. Though our present Masonic Temple fails to meet the increasing wants of the Fraternity, yet it may be truly said that Corinthian Hall, where the Grand Lodge now meets, is commodious and beautiful. Its decorations, furnishings, and architecture, combined with the well-known portraits upon its walls, produce an inspiring, restful picture, quite in harmony with the symbols and tenets of our Order.
Six Lodges were chartered or granted dispensations by Most Worshipful Paul Revere, during 1795, his first year in office.
- Republican, of Greenfield;
- Middlesex, of Framingham;
- Evening Star, of Lee;
- Cincinnatus, of Sheffield, now Great Barrington ;.
- King Hiram, of Provincetown, and
- Columbian, of Boston, —-
all of which Lodges are in existence at the present time. At the head of the list stands Republican, of Greenfield.
The name Republican attracted my attention, and I asked myself why that name was selected. The history of important events and stirring times is contained in that word. It does not have the same significance now, but it meant volumes then. The Indian War of 1790, and the French Revolution, intensified the political animosities of the times. Two parties had been formed, Federalists and Republicans. Among the former were Washington, Adams, Hamilton, and Jay; among the latter Jefferson, Madison, Gallatin, and Edward Livingston. On the French question the Federalists proposed neutrality; the Republicans avowed sympathy with struggling Frenchmen, whose fathers and brothers had sympathized with us. The Republicans carried in their breasts the spirit of '76 against the still obnoxious government of Great Britain. Their country first,' last, and always; their country, right or wrong, was their political creed. The sentiment of Republicanism was strong in Greenfield. The spirit of her Revolutionary soldiers hovered over the town and inspired its people.
When the Brethren sought a name for the new Lodge they wanted one that meant something, and, filled with loyalty and stirred to party zeal, they chose " Republican" as the then one important name.
May the spirit of the fathers ever abide with you! May loyalty to our country and to our Fraternity .mark in the future, as it has in the past, the career of Republican Lodge!
AT CONSTITUTION OF MERIDIAN SUN LODGE, FEBRUARY 1895
From Proceedings, Page 1895-23:
BRETHREN: With solemn and impressive ceremony, we have to-day brought into active life "Meridian Sun Lodge," to which we extend a hearty welcome, and bid it God-speed for its future welfare. Within this Lodge-room let harmony always prevail. When you enter the inner door, leave behind the animosities, the dissensions, and the cares of worldly strife.
Set for yourselves a standard of Masonic perfection, to attain which you promise to use your best endeavors. Maintain the principle of love for all your Brethren, faith in mankind and charity for the erring and suffering, but above all things exercise the principle of charity in all its varied applications. Be not narrow in this respect, for if there is any Order in which charity ought to be prominently displayed it is the Masonic Fraternity. Let your ideal in this respect be high. Be not afraid to cast your bread upon the waters, for surely it will return to you. A man who establishes a reputation for charity never fails for assistance if the time comes when he is needy.
I believe in Masons establishing a reputation for looking after their own, and so make it manifest that no Mason need seek assistance outside our brotherhood.
Do not allow your Lodge simply to become a Club for the purpose of a social good time, but rather gain for it the proud position of standing at the head for all that is good and helpful, so that the outside world can see that those who enter your portals receive sympathy in their affliction, strength to meet the trials of temptation, and assistance in the times of need. Here let worldly distractions vanish, and let there abide with you the peace, quietness, and harmony of brotherhood. Endeavor to attain the highest things in human nature and try to bring up the lowest to a higher elevation.
It may be interesting to those present to know something of the history of Meridian Sun Lodge, which was in existence nearly one hundred years ago.
On Sept. 13, 1797, there was presented to the Grand Lodge "a petition from Cheney Reed and others, praying for a charter to hold a Lodge at Brookfield, by the name of Meridian Sun Lodge, and being properly recommended it was voted that the prayer of the petitioners be granted."
The Lodge was constituted Sept. 12, 1798, and the following account was published in the Worcester Spy of that date, a clipping from which is now in the possession of the Grand Lodge. It reads as follows:
"On the 12th inst. the 'Meridian Sun Lodge,' at Brookfield, was publicly consecrated, and its officers installed by R. W. Isaiah Thomas, Esq. (who has a deputation to visit, instruct, etc., the Lodges in the three western Counties of Massachusetts). A sermon was preached on the occasion by the Chaplain of the Grand Lodge, "on the importance of illustrating our profession by our example", and an instructive and interesting Charge was given by the Grand Master. The whole was performed in the presence of a crowded, respectable, and highly gratified audience. After the public services, the Brethren and guests partook of a noble feast, under a most elegant alcove erected and ornamented for the occasion."
R. W. Isaiah Thomas was the editor and proprietor of the Worcester Spy.
The only other information which we have been able to discover is taken from an Address delivered in Grand Lodge by M. W. John T. Heard, Dec. 28, 1857:
"Meridian Sun Lodge, Brookfield, Harris Lodge, Templeton, Eden Lodge, Ware, and Doric Lodge, Southbridge, have had but a nominal existence for many years. Their names are still on the roll of the Grand Lodge, and their erasure can be done only by your authority. In 1854, R. W. Horace Chenery, D. D. G. M. of the Sixth District, made the following indorsement on his Return for that year, in relation to these Lodges: "Charters lost or returned to Grand Lodge."
Bro. Heard continues: "Ascertaining that neither the charters, records, or any other property, of either of these Lodges was in our archives, and that there was no evidence that either of them had ever surrendered any of its effects to the Grand Lodge, I directed D.D. Grand Master Henry Earl to visit the towns in which the Lodges were located, and by due inquiry to determine whether or not the missing charters could be recovered.
"Through his praiseworthy efforts, I am enabled to report that the charter and records of Meridian Sun Lodge were in possession of Bro. Rufus Dodge, a worthy farmer, 84 years of age, who cheerfully resigned his, charge on learning that it was the request of the Grand Lodge that he should do so. No meeting of Meridian Sun Lodge has been held since 1884."
Unfortunately, neither the ancient charter nor the records of the Lodge are now in existence. They were consumed in the fire which destroyed the Masonic Temple in Boston on the 5th of April, 1864.
Had the Lodge not surrendered its charter, in two years from the present time the Grand Officers would have had the privilege of coming here and joining with you in celebrating your Centennial.
The Grand Lodge feels sure you realize the great responsibility which you have now assumed, and that you have not entered upon this undertaking without fully considering its duties and demands; that as members, you will faithfully sustain and encourage your officers by a regular attendance at the meetings, maintain the high character of your membership, conform to Masonic obligations, and aim at the highest standard of Masonic teachings. No member can escape these general duties, which he voluntarily assumes and promises faithfully to perform. The officers of your Lodge share all these, but are pledged to their discharge in a more emphatic manner, and in addition have other and special duties.
The authority of the Master brings great responsibility. His will is absolute in the Lodge, and the duty of wise government, prompt action, cautious guidance, is his. Each officer, in the position he is called to fill, has duties clearly defined by the Grand Constitutions, which he must discharge.
As officers of this Lodge it is your duty to thoroughly learn the Masonic ritual, especially that part pertaining to your particular office. You are under obligations to attend rehearsals. It is your duty in the Lodge and in its work to be dignified, prompt, correct, and courteous, and add to the interest of the Lodge by a genial and earnest demeanor. Extend to visitors a cordial and warm reception, as the fair name of the Lodge might suffer by inattention on the part of the officers toward visiting Brethren. The responsible duty of an officer is enlarged by the fact that whoever wears the jewel of an office represents the Lodge, has official responsibility, and therewith an enlarged duty to faithfully and constantly maintain the high character of the Lodge.
Lastly and chiefly, as Masons we owe a duty to the whole Fraternity, which should constantly remind us that we should practise what we preach, that the principles of our Order should be made manifest in our daily lives, that from the hour of the "North-east Corner," until the sprig of acacia blooms for us, we should delineate upon the Trestle-Board of our lives the important truths which we endeavor to teach in our service. To reach after the high altitude of Masonic teaching, working and living, is the manifest duty we owe to ourselves, to our Fraternity, and to humanity.
CHARGE AT DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALL FOR WILDER LODGE, MARCH 1895
BRETHREN OF WILDER LODGE: The purpose for which we assembled has been accomplished. These apartments have been formally dedicated to Masonic use and to Masonic principles. This beautiful Hall has therefore been set apart as the place of meeting of Wilder Lodge. Here its members will gather at stated times, here a ritual will be repeated, forms observed and fellowships renewed and strengthened.
This thought leads me to ask, — for what purpose does Wilder Lodge exist, or, more broadly, what is the true aim of Masonry? Any society that exists should have valid reasons for that existence. The reasons, for the existence of Freemasonry differ in different epochs. In the age of building, when Freemasons were operative, the reason for Masonry and its Lodges was protection to the working man. It was a Labor Union, in which the builders united for a common end. In the age of Speculative Masonry that reason no longer exists. Freemasonry has other and higher aims. There are many indirect reasons which are incidental to the work of the Order, but there are others direct, primary, fundamental, which should not be lost sight of by the Fraternity. Permit me to suggest a few of them. I shall name them in the order of their importance.
First, man is a social being. He craves society. The Masonic Lodge brings men of diverse temperaments into social relations; it throws down the barriers of church, and creed, and party, and upon a common level introduces one Brother to every other. The formalities of the social life in the world are largely ignored, while in the Lodge-room, large-hearted and whole-souled greetings, free and frank, quicken the social life and deepen the spirit of brotherhood. Nowhere in any organization can there be found a more genial social life, a warmer spirit of fellowship than in a workful Masonic Lodge.
My second reason for the existence of Masonry is in what it does for the mind. The novitiate affirms in the preliminary questions that he has a desire for knowledge. Masonry is a school; it. has as many departments of teaching as a University. The body and its development, the mind and its growth, the heart and its aspirations are all subjects of Masonic care and teaching. If Masons would only traverse the great fields that are spread out before them, if they would but grasp the first truths taught them and with unwearied zeal push on as Masonry points the way, then there would be almost no field of human knowledge which they would not enter, no essential equipment for life's struggle, no fullness of mind they could not attain. Speculative Masonry leads the thoughtful candidate into nearly every avenue of human knowledge, fires his thirst for more and deeper knowledge, leading him to view with reverence and admiration the glorious works of creation and inspiring him with the most exalted ideas of the.perfections of his divine Creator.
My third reason for the existence of Masonry is in what it does for the heart, or for the soul, life, and happiness of men. Man wants heart-rest in regard to moral and eternal matters. He has enough of the visions and discussions in the outer world. When once within the Lodge-room, the lights ablaze, the Book open, the cares and differences of life forgotten, the soul given up to the contemplation of fundamental truths wherein all agree, then there comes to the soul of the thoughtful man a rest, a satisfaction, not found elsewhere. Then, in the portrayal of the tenets of our profession, our souls become wedded to brotherly love, relief, and truth, and by the recital of the cardinal virtues, our souls long to possess them and display them in our words and conduct..
But we receive even more soul-stirring truths than these. As we approach the end of the third lesson, how the anchor and ark proffer a refuge; the hour-glass truly astonishes us; the scythe sweeps before us, and the great truth of immortality fills us with a deathless hope. Surely in the whole compass of vespers, mass and liturgy, there is nothing more ennobling than the truths echoed by these walls; nothing more helpful and hopeful than the service rendered about this altar. Masonry, then, contributes to the development of the mind and the happiness of the soul. It places before men what they need, and strengthens them with the hope of attaining unto a glorious immortality.
Why then does Wilder Lodge exist? It exists for many minor reasons, but chiefly for its social advantages, for its opportunities of mental progress and heart development. It exists to transform men so they will have healthful bodies, clear minds and loving hearts. Its purpose is to prevent and overcome ill, to aid and establish good. These are the lofty ideals of Masonry. These are the truths emblazoned on our universal banner. May Wilder Lodge ever be among the foremost in loyalty to their highest conceptions of Freemasonry.
AT CONSTITUTION OF SPRINGFIELD LODGE, APRIL 1895
From Proceedings, Page 1895-56:
FRIENDS AND BRETHREN: The institution of a new Lodge in our jurisdiction is a matter of great importance both to the Grand Lodge and to the members of the new Lodge. It is with reluctance that the Grand Lodge authorizes the establishment of new Lodges in our Commonwealth. It is done only when the reasons therefor are exceptionally good. We have now 227 Lodges in the State, — one at least in nearly every town of any considerable size. To establish many more is to weaken existing Lodges.
Such a growing, busy city as Springfield presents a most favorable field. The Lodges heretofore existing in your city are large and flourishing. They are wisely managed, do very creditable work, occupy an honorable position in this community, and have prospered beyond the most sanguine hopes of their founders. The establishment of a new Lodge in this city, being fraternally approved by the other Lodges, was heartily approved by the Grand Master. It is a matter of importance to the Grand Lodge that another Lodge in Springfield is placed upon its roll; another power for good added; another ornament to our Fraternity established; another Masonic altar reared at which men shall gather and press onward, — under the beams of our great Light, — toward a better manhood and a better life.
It is a matter of importance to the Brethren who compose the new Lodge. They assume great responsibilities. The establishment of a new Lodge is no easy task. It involves care, patience, labor and sacrifice. It places upon its officers an extra amount of work and calls for increased effort from all its membership. It is a matter of importance to them, because not as individual soldiers scattered throughout the great Masonic Army, but as an individual Company in that Army, new duties devolve upon them. The support of their Lodge, the management of its affairs; the best rendering of our work, the conducting of novitiates through the mysteries of Freemasonry; the selection of only good men and true for our Rites are duties held in common with other Lodges. Yet a new Lodge stepping into the front has all these duties intensified by the fact of its newness and thereby increases the responsibility of its membership.
It is a matter of importance to you, Brethren, that in this thriving city which has such excellent Lodges, whose history and work are alike creditable to the Fraternity; whose peace and prosperity are alike historical; that you should commence another Lodge in its midst. The standard is already set high, and only by studious work, continued sacrifice, and constant devotion can it be carried higher.
Forget not, Brethren, the supreme purpose for which this Lodge has been constituted. A Masonic Lodge has several purposes varying in their value. It. is not possible perhaps to name them in the exact order of their value, yet all are desirable and valuable.
The fraternity or fellowship in a Lodge is one end attained, which does much to smooth the uneven places of busy life: the relief granted to the poor, unfortunate, or afflicted is a virtue to be cherished, and the improvement of the mind by a continued study of the principles of Masonry is a desired end.
But beyond these purposes lies another, which to me is preeminent, the application of this fellowship, this relief, this study to the individual Brother. The great value of our principles is, not in what they clo for a Lodge in its corporate capacity, but in what they do for the individual Brother. The Lodge exists for the Brother, not for itself. Its preeminent purpose is to make a novitiate a Brother,—to make him a thorough man, true, noble, and good. Masonry stands for the best and truest manhood that the-human mind can conceive.
We hear it said that Masonry is not religion. It is true that much so-called religion is not Masonry, but Masonry is religious. A true Mason possesses the essence of true religion. He does unto others as he would be done by, and he tries to love mercy, deal justly, and act honorably with all men.
Masonry does not ignore the celestial Lodge above, nor is it blind to the path that leads to its eternal gates. Its great light directs his steps to the Temple of happiness, and points out the whole duty of man. This is the preeminent purpose, to show man his duty, and to help him do it; to equip man for life's work, and prepare him for immortality.
Brethren, Springfield Lodge has been instituted, its officers installed, and you are now prepared for the discharge of such business as may properly be brought before you. Raise the highest standard; seek the loftiest ideal portrayed in our service. Let not numbers alone, nor exactness of ritual alone, nor precision of movement or work alone be your chiefest aim, but seek so to impress men, so to make our teaching a part of their very life, that they may indeed be men, noble men, God-fearing men, men prepared by the best living and doing below for a seat in the Celestial Lodge above.
REMARKS AT DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALL FOR LIBERTY LODGE, MAY 1895
From Proceedings, Page 1895-62:
WORSHIPFUL MASTER AND BRETHREN: It is a great pleasure to visit this ancient town and participate in the dedication of these new apartments of Liberty Lodge. Accept, Brethren, the congratulations of the Officers of the Grand Lodge, that these apartments are so spacious and complete, and that this Hall is so appropriately arranged and .furnished for the work and service of Freemasonry.
Every occasion of this nature suggests those general facts so intimately connected with it, such- as the purposes of our Fraternity, the principles which it represents, the duties devolving upon the membership, and the prosperity and peace which so abound with us; and each occasion also suggests some other fact, truth or incident, peculiar to itself. On this occasion the fact that naturally arises as peculiar to this place, and one worthy of at least a few moments' consideration, is the name of this Lodge, — Liberty.
Freighted with important truth, that word Liberty arises in our minds; it comes to us revealing the thorny and bloody way which it has pursued. It comes recalling to our minds the suffering and sacrifice- which have been its price; it unveils a history replete with personal prowess and lofty devotion. Liberty has been forced to hew its course through the centuries; it has come by way of the cell, the inquisition, the dungeon, the scaffold, and to-day here in Beverly, Liberty rules triumphant, assuring to all, high.and low, rich and poor, the benign blessings of civil and religions liberty.
The names of our Lodges are significant. Some remind us of the virtues and worth of departed Brothers, as Warren, Soley, Titus, Winslow Lewis; others perpetuate the names of localities, as Springfield, Winthrop, Jerusalem, Mt. Carmel. Some names represent great principles, as Union, Hope, Harmony, Faith, Liberty. These latter names, simple enough in ordinary meaning, acquire an intenser significance, when either is used as the name of a Lodge.. The word Liberty, as the name of a Lodge, signifies more than civil or political liberty, — that is, the possession of natural rights ; more than moral liberty, — having the power of choice; more than religious liberty, — or freedom of religious worship.
Liberty Lodge stands for all these, civil, moral and religious liberty; not only as they concern the members of this Lodge, but as they concern this community, this State, and this country. Masonry stands for Liberty. Every candidate must be a freeman, and after his admission, he cannot remain a true Mason without remaining free. Masonry allows no shackles on body, mind, or spirit. No slave-chains clank at its altars; no mind is curbed in its mental ambitions; no spirit is bound by dogmatic creed. Liberty, not license, is an offshoot from that same divine root and trunk whence Masonry, springs. They come from the eternal fitness of things. Masonry is wedded to those precious principles, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, and truly, as Lafayette declared, "The Masonic Institution in the United States affords an important pillar of support and union to its free institutions and happy form of government." Long may Masonry, Liberty, free institutions, and our Republican government abide to bless all the people.
The name "Liberty," therefore, comes to us with a new significance. It has a personal application to each Brother. In this Fraternity iu which the membership is cemented by the most solemn and intimate ties, our liberty obligates us not only to be loyal to the country and its institutions, loyal to the local government under which we live, but, also, loyal to our homes, loyal to the Lodge, loyal to each and every member, loyal to our own best interests, exercising our liberty to uphold and advance the reputation and interests of every Brother.
The liberty which, as Freemasons, we should cultivate is not only the liberty of possessing something, the right of freedom, or the liberty of doing something, the right of worship, but the larger liberty of being something, of being true men, self controlled, men of sterling manhood and of upright life. Our liberty obligates us to be and to do the best within the range of" human possibilities.
Brethren, you bear the banner inscribed "Liberty." Lift.it higher, press onward at the front of our advancing hosts, and. may victory in this larger, better, truer liberty be yours.
AT CORNER-STONE LAYING IN LOWELL, MAY 1895
From Proceedings, Page 1895-74:
BRETHREN AND FRIENDS: On the eleventh day of October, 1890, the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts held a Special Communication in this city, for the purpose of laying the. Corner-stone of the new City Hall. That building is the seat of the city government. There the chief executive of Lowell presides; there laws and ordinances are enacted for the government of the city.
The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in laying the Cornerstone of that beautiful; edifice, asserted its respect for civil government and its loyalty to duly enacted law. Freemasonry teaches that to be peaceable citizens and obedient to the laws of the country where one resides is a duty incumbent upon all men.
To-day the same Grand Lodge meets again in this busy and prosperous city to lay the Corner-stone of a structure to be dedicated to the worship of God and the welfare of man. The Grand Lodge, the exponent of Freemasonry in this Commonwealth, by its presence, declares its respect for so laudable an undertaking, its belief in God and interest in man. By this service, it asserts that Freemasonry would "lend a hand" to every good work, and publicly affirms its sympathy with, and its belief in, every movement that has for its end the glory of God and the welfare of our race.
On this beautiful day there is something pleasing in an orderly procession, in glittering, regalias, gleaming swords and stately forms. These are not Freemasonry, they are but the shell. Its true worth is not in its numbers, its processions, its forms, its gorgeous robes or its ancient ritual. Its true value lies in the permanence and glory of the principles which it asserts and cherishes. These are not the principles of the atheist, agnostic, inquisitor or mystic, but are the principles enunciated in the Great Light of Freemasonry, the Bible.
Freemasonry, therefore, is social and civil order. Disorder in society is tumult; disorder in the State is rebellion. Masonry teaches obedience to duly established law. It believes in the equality of men before the law, and that all men are by nature possessed of certain inalienable rights, as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Masonry is on the side of the oppressed and the downtrodden. It is opposed to dictators of every name and class, and stands for freedom under the sanction of law.
Freemasonry is relief, charity. It writes its charities on the sands. It does not turn its poor over to the State nor to the almshouse, but strives "to bear one another's burdens." It supports homes and schools in several States of our Union, wherein the poor, aged and orphan find a Brother's welcome. Unmeasured is the stream of fraternal helpfulness which throughout the civilized globe every year is turned into homes, poor and distressed. Masonry is Brotherly Love. Through the fleeting years and in the various conditions of life, Masonry has ever been a constant friend to man. It has revealed a Brother's love in time of distress and sorrow; it has extended a Brother's hand on the tented field and in the shock of battle; in poverty and sickness, in captivity, and even at the stake. Masonry binds men together as they are bound by no other tie.
Freemasonry is toleration. It stands for the freedom of the individual conscience. It advocates the largest personal liberty. No binding of the will, no dwarfing of the mind, but individual responsibility to the Creator for talents received and for their use. Masonry does not tolerate lawlessness, servitude, ignorance, and other ills that debase character and destroy human hope, but it does tolerate the breaking of every chain that fetters the human body, mind or soul. It believes in free men, free schools for the culture of free minds and a catholic faith circumscribing the narrow creeds of Christendom. The path of toleration has been long and sorrowful, but the day of triumph is surely coming, when toleration will be the glad possession of every land.
Masonry stands for truth, belief, worship, religion. The cardinal virtues are its principles. The great truths of the Bible are its foundations. The beatitudes are its delight. There is a simple universal faith in which all sects agree, — the belief in God and in his superintending Providence, — this faith Masonry accepts. This is the grand central thought about which other thoughts revolve. We believe in the great Architect of heaven and earth; we teach and practise the sacred duties of life, and we leave the details of personal belief to the judgment of every Brother.
Masonry thus stands for the present and.eternal interest of the race. Its aim is the upbuilding of men socially, intellectually and religiously, that the day of ignorance, hypocrisy and superstition may cease.
Brethren and members of the Grace Universalist Church: The purpose for which the Grand Lodge came has been accomplished. It only remains for me to wish you abundant success in the erection and completion of your new edifice. May no accident hinder the work, but may the building stand an ornament to your city, while at its altar may multitudes gather, and find the hope of an endless life.
AT CENTENNIAL OF EVENING STAR LODGE, JUNE 1895
WORSHIPFUL MASTER AND BRETHREN OF EVENING STAR LODGE: As Grand Master, representing the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, I greet you upon this Centennial Anniversary.
Accept, Sir and Brethren, for your cordial welcome the thanks of the officers of the Grand Lodge present, who have come to share with you the pleasures of this occasion. We congratulate you upon the advent of this Centennial Anniversary. I also bring to you the fraternal congratulations of thirty-five thousand Brethren in our Commonwealth. The heart and the tongue join in promoting each other's welfare and rejoicing in each other's prosperity.
The past with its sunlight and clouds is gone forever. The century since Evening Star Lodge received its first charter, with all its victories and defeats, its joy and sorrow, is completed. The past we cannot change; the future lies before us. Cherish the memories of the days that are fled, rather as lessons to teach wisdom, and inspiration to nobler deeds. The future, full of promise, beckons us to win a Masonic prosperity and permanence hitherto unknown.
I have taken occasion to have the Grand Lodge Records examined, that I might learn the history of your Lodge. In those days when the spirit and letter were obeyed, it was not customary to write or print an extended record. Hence the histories of all our early Lodges, as collated from the Grand Lodge Records, are very brief. I will read to you a short sketch of what is found upon our Records.
March 9, 1795, a petition from Simon Learned and others was received and read in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, M. W. Paul Revere occupying the East as Grand Master. The petition was referred to a Committee, Isaiah Thomas, Chairman, which reported June 8, 1795, as follows: The Committee appointed on the petition of Simon Learned and others, praying to be erected into a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, under the name, title, and designation of Evening Star Lodge, to meet at Lenox, County of Berkshire, reported that the prayer of the petitioners be granted." The report was accepted and Evening Star appeared above the horizon.
In 1796 W. Wm. Dennison was proxy for the Lodge, and in 1803 R. W. William Little.
In 1804 the Lodges of the State were first divided into Masonic Districts. Evening Star Lodge was placed in the Eighth District, and one of its members, R. W. Caleb Hyde, was appointed the first District Deputy Grand Master of the District.
In 1813 Elijah Northrop, Caleb Hyde, and others petitioned the Grand Lodge, explaining the peculiar situation of the Lodge from 1805 to 1813, and the difficulties under which it labored. Dec. 27, 1819, another member of Evening Star Lodge, R.W. Joseph Tucker, was appointed District Deputy Grand Master, and the following year R. W. Bro. Caleb Hyde was proxy for the Lodge. Soon after, came those years of social disturbance, when the lights on so many of our altars were extinguished. Evening Star Lodge, as did many others, closed its doors, but when the fury was past, relit the altar fires and resumed work.
June 13, 1849, a Committee of the Grand Lodge reported upon a petition signed by Lemuel Bassett, Richard Hunt, Elisha Freeman, Seth Barlow, David Baker, Elijah Thomas, George I-I. Phelps, James Landers, Eli Bradley, and Jared Bradley, in behalf of Evening Star Lodge, asking for a return of its charter and for leave to remove the Lodge to Lee.
The Committee reported that the Charter be returned and that permission be granted to remove the Lodge to Lee. The Grand Lodge accepted the report of the Committee and the recommendations were duly carried out. It is a matter of regret that the Lodge has not in its possession the original charter. It certainly bore the name of Paul Revere, Grand Master. That Lodge is fortunate that possesses the autograph of this eminent Brother. Probably the name of no Revolutionary patriot of Massachusetts is so familiar to our ears, General Warren perhaps excepted; and no man holds a warmer place in the true American heart.
It is evident that Evening Star Lodge has not had an hundred years of clear skies and smooth seas. It has been buffeted by storms, tossed by waves. Another fact is evident: there have been some faithful ones in Lenox and vicinity in each generation of the past century. The fire on the altar has been smothered, but not extinguished. The Evening Star did not sink below the horizon to rise no more. The steadfastness of those venerable Brethren, who are now gathered in the celestial Lodge, is worthy of praise and emulation. Their loyalty to Masonry and their adherence to its principles make possible this Centennial Anniversary.
Strive, Brethren, to imitate them and bring to the altar your best effort to strengthen and perpetuate this Lodge. Be steadfast in upholding it by your presence, your means, your work. With vivid memories of what your fathers did, — of their toil, their sacrifice, their fidelity, — be inspired to new endeavor, and may even a greater success attend you!
Be assured of the abiding interest of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in the welfare of Evening Star Lodge. It is one of the Masonic family in our Commonwealth. In the strength^ health and prosperity of each, every other Lodge is interested. May the dawning century be one of continued prosperity, permanent peace and fraternal concourse in Evening Star Lodge.
AT CENTENNIAL OF MIDDLESEX LODGE, JUNE 1895
From Proceedings, Page 1895-141:
WORSHIPFUL BROTHER: To me is confided the pleasant duty of acknowledging, in behalf of the Grand Lodge, the Brethren of the Fraternity and these friends, your cordial welcome. We all accept your greeting and would by our presence express our interest in Middlesex Lodge, and our desire to be reckoned among those who hail with joy — with speech and song — this centennial day. One hundred years seem a long time, a short time. One hundred years ago Paul Revere signed your Charter. That man, our Brother, then Grand Master, has grown in the affections of the American people, until to-day he stands among, us as a colossus, — the very embodiment of loyalty, zeal and patriotism; and yet the birthday of Middlesex Lodge is so recent that the signatures have not faded from the parchment, nor the Grand Master's autograph lost its rugged, strong character. Preserve this Charter as a most precious heirloom; guard it with constant vigilance; let no fire consume it, nor moth destroy it; that it may be handed down the centuries. to those Brethren who are to take your places in Middlesex Lodge.
The career of Middlesex Lodge has been honorable; with zeal it has pursued its way; with courage endured its burdens; with wisdom borne adversity; and to-day, strong and vigorous, it can look with pride upon its life and work, recalling with sincere affection the names of many who. have filled honorable and responsible positions in the State and nation.
This centennial day marks an important epoch in Middlesex Lodge, — the end of one hundred years, — during which this Charter has been in force and the fraternal, Masonic banner, without once having been lowered, has been floating in the breezes of this locality. We therefore come with gratitude to the Great Architect of the Universe for the guidance, protection and safety he has granted Middlesex Lodge; we come with congratulations for the members of this Lodge that they have been permitted to realize and enjoy this day. We congratulate these friends, this neighborhood and town that have been favored with an organization in their midst that has always stood for religion, law, loyalty and those public and private virtues which produce a peaceful neighborhood, a prosperous Commonwealth and happy homes. Be assured, Sir and Brethren, of the best wishes of the officers of the Grand Lodge present, for the complete success of the' exercises of this centennial day, and for the continued prosperity of Middlesex Lodge. When another century shall have passed, and other Brethren shall occupy the places where you now stand, may they look back upon a century wherein the career of Middlesex Lodge was no less honorable and prosperous than the century which closes to-day!
Again, in the name of the Grand Lodge, these Brethren and these friends, I thank you for your cordial welcome.
AT BUNKER HILL CENTENNIAL, JUNE 1895
From Proceedings, Page 1895-190:
WORSHIPFUL SIR, YOUR EXCELLENCY, BRETHREN AND FRIENDS, — Freemasonry in Massachusetts has ever been on the side of liberty, equality and progress. During the one hundred and sixty-two years that duly constituted Freemasonry has existed in Massachusetts its influence has been in favor of the permanence and development of America and American institutions.
Its loyalty has been ever true and vigorous; its right arm strong and ready. Freemasons have participated in the struggle and suffering, and shared in the defeat or victory, of every battle of the colonies and of the States for the last one hundred and fifty years.
The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts is pleased to unite with you, Brethren, in the services of this day, and in all similar which commemorate the valor, sacrifice and virtue of those who were enlisted in the cause of our country. We come in the spirit of love, with fraternal affection and sincere veneration, to recall, to cherish and to emulate the patriotism and zeal of our Brethren, who, on this battlefield, stood for liberty and independence.
Some of these Brethren were not raw recruits. We find our Massachusetts Brethren at Louisburg, in 1745; at Crown Point, in 1755; at Lake George, in 1759; at all of which places the St. John's Grand Lodge instituted Army Lodges. Identified with these Lodges were Brethren whose names appear on our Grand Lodge records. Col. Richard Gridley, a Past Grand Warden, Chief Engineer of the Army of the Revolution, who, on the night of June 16, 1775, planned the fortifications on this very hill; Abraham Savage, a Past Grand Warden and Past Recording Grand Secretary, and Col. Joseph Ingersoll, in whose hostelry — "The Bunch of Grapes"— the Grand Lodge held its meetings. Besides these, there were their companions-in-arms, who interwove the teachings and work of Freemasonry with a soldier's experience in camp and on the battlefield.
We cherish the memory of our Brethren, who, from Detroit to Louisburg, from Quebec to Cowpens, marched, fought and suffered, providentially clearing the way for the establishment of the Republic and its benign institutions.
Dr. Joseph Warren was initiated in the Lodge of St. Andrew in 1761. He was a member of that Lodge until his decease. In December, 1769, he received a commission from the Grand Master of Scotland appointing him Provincial Grand Master. He was re-appointed March 7, 1772, with enlarged authority. He attended nearly every meeting of the Grand Lodge from 1769 until his death. The records prove that Brother Warren was a devoted Craftsman, who deserved and received the highest honors of the Order. He won by his fidelity, zeal and consecration to the Craft, the imperishable regard of the Fraternity, and erected to himself a monument in the hearts of the Brethren that will last while Masonry exists.
Major-Gen. Joseph Warren, Grand Master, whose Masonic Apron I have the pleasure and honor to this day wear, entered the Battle of Bunker Hill, with "musket in hand," desiring only "to be useful." In the third advance of the British, Warren fell with his face toward the foe. The crown of early martyrdom was his; and without formal edict he became deified in the affections of America.
A humble monument was erected to his memory in 1794, by King Solomon's Lodge. "It was the first column of love and honor to Masonic Heroes." It was solemnly dedicated with Masonic rites in December of that year, and for thirty years the Freemasons of Charlestown were the guardians of that Monument, at which time, 1825, the Monument and the battlefield passed from the supervision of the Craft to the Bunker Hill Monument Association.
It was stipulated in the transfer that an exact model of the first Monument should be permanently placed in this towering shaft. There it has remained for fifty years this very day, sheltered by this lofty memorial of "a great victorious defeat." On this hill-top Independence was born; the cornerstone of the Republic was here laid, cemented with patriots' blood. This tall shaft commemorates the birth of Independence, the glory of the Republic, and the valor of our Revolutionary Fathers.
"Long in its shade shall children's children come,
And earth's poor traveller find a welcome home;
Long shall it stand and every blast defy,
Till Heaven's last whirlwind rends the sky."
REMARKS AT DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALL FOR MARTHA'S VINEYARD LODGE, OCTOBER 1895
From Proceedings, Page 1895-244:
WORSHIPFUL MASTER AND BRETHREN OF MARTHA'S VINEYARD LODGE: I congratulate you upon your entrance into these new apartments, and trust that this Lodge will have great pleasure and prosperity in the possession of them.
From time immemorial — certainly for more than a century — it has been the custom of the Masonic Fraternity to dedicate their Halls to Freemasonry, to Virtue, and to Universal Benevolence. The fathers, who instituted this dedicatory service, were certainly thoughtful and wise, as no other purposes more worthy, far-reaching, and inclusive can easily be imagined. They include the great principles upon which the Masonic3 Institution stands; the conduct of the Lodges and of their members toward each other and toward men, and also imply, that manliness and morality should be taught in this place and exemplified in the lives of the Brethren.
We have dedicated this Hall to Freemasonry, that is, we have dedicated it to the propagation of those principles stated in the Constitutions of our Order. In the first Section of the Constitutions of 1792 we learn that Masonry demands unshaken faith in the Eternal God, "The great Architect and Governor of the Universe." It proclaims the moral law, condemns atheism, and libertinism; shuns bigotry and superstition, and urges its votaries to "follow the right," in every relation and duty of life.
Freemasonry stands for peace,—peace everywhere, always, and teaches obedience to the civil authority, respect for magistrates, and loyalty to one's country. We dedicate this Hall to Freemasonry, whose principles are exalting, helpful, and permanent, — principles that receive the commendation of all good men and are a source of 'constant happiness to him who seeks and gains them. Therefore we ask:
"Genius of Masonry descend;
And with thee bring thy spotless train;
Constant our sacred rites attend,
While we adore thy peaceful reign."
We have, dedicated this Hall to Virtue; not simply that virtue which signifies courage or manliness, not that which reaches forth to grasp morality alone, but this Virtue includes all virtues. Here should be proclaimed not alone the tenets of our profession, nor the four cardinal virtues, but here the whole realm of virtues, — the all-including virtue, — is before us. While Brotherly love, Relief, and Truth should be studiously applied, and Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice should be earnestly cultivated, yet no virtue should be thought unworthy of our possession. Patience, meekness, self-denial, forbearance, charity, and the like are all mentioned in the old Constitutions, as well as industry, diligence, and others, by the use of which man can the better perform all his duties to his Creator, his country, his neighbor and himself. Therefore we sing:
"Bring with thee Virtue, brightest maid;
Bring Love, bring Truth, and Friendship here;
While kind Relief will lend her aid,
To smooth the wrinkled brow of care."
We have dedicated this Hall to Universal Benevolence; not simply to Benevolence, not simply to the promise that we will help, aid, and assist a needy Brother, his widow or orphans, but we have dedicated it to Universal Benevolence. We will succor the distressed, we will feed the hungry, we will put the misguided traveller on his way, and not shut our ears against the complaints of any of the human race. To such glorious purposes have we dedicated this Hall. None more glorious was ever announced in any holy place; none more so ever received the obedience of man. Therefore we sing:
"Come, Charity, with goodness crowned,
Encircled in thy heavenly robe;
Diffuse thy blessings all around,
To every corner of the globe."
Upon you, therefore, Brethren, who constitute Martha's Vineyard Lodge, and who are to occupy this consecrated place, a great responsibility rests. You are to represent the noble principles of Freemasonry; to exemplify exalting virtue and to practise a benevolence that is universal. A loftier aim cannot claim human endeavor; a lower aim is unworthy of your profession. To make this Hall a place for teaching such principles is to make it sacred, and therefore consecrated to the highest purposes of life. "To be good men and true," which is our first lesson, is also our last. To be good is to fashion our daily lives in accordance with the Masonic Trestle-Board, — to be true is to be true to God, true to country, true to neighbor, and true to one's self. Nothing higher than to be good men and true can win your affection or enlist your effort.
May nothing less than the possession of goodness and truth satisfy the longings of the members of Martha's Vineyard Lodge.
REMARKS AT DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALL FOR NORFOLK UNION LODGE, NOVEMBER 1895
From Proceedings, Page 1895-250:
WORSHIPFUL MASTER AND BRETHREN,— The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in accordance with your invitation has dedicated these apartments agreeably to ancient Masonic form and usage, and they are henceforth set apart for the teaching and. practice of Masonry, of Virtue, and of Universal Benevolence.
In behalf of the Grand Lodge and as an expression of my personal interest and pleasure, I congratulate Norfolk Union Lodge on the completion, utility and convenience of these apartments. These surroundings can but affect favorably the future of your Lodge. The influence of this new Masonic home can but be helpful to the Craft.
Lodges were anciently dedicated to King Solomon, as the founder of Ancient Craft Masonry; subsequent to the Captivity they were dedicated to Zerubbabel,. the builder of the second Temple; Lodges in England are dedicated to God and his service, and in this country to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. The place where the Lodge meets, or the Masonic Hall, is dedicated, as this one, to Masonry, to Virtue, and to Universal Benevolence. This place, this material place, with its adornments and furniture, is dedicated to serve great and important ends, viz.,—within it the truths of Freemasonry are to be taught, the lessons of the ritual delineated and explained, and the practice of Universal Benevolence enjoined. We dedicate this place, with its furniture, ornaments, lights, jewels, and clouded canopy, to these high purposes, and sincerely hope that the lives of our Brethren may be dedicated to no less worthy purposes.
The science of Masonry, whose altar this is- concerns every Mason in every relation of life. The moral law, the Beatitudes, the Golden Rule are ours, as are all other golden truths and divine precepts which ennoble humanity. This is a progressive school, directing the earnest seeker after more and further light, from doubt to certainty, from weakness to strength, from imperfection by nature to that state of perfection at which we may arrive by a faithful use of our opportunities.
New and great opportunities await you. It is a noble work to make rough ashlars smooth; to assist in moulding character in accordance with the designs on our Masonic Trestle-Board. It requires no vigorous power, no stupendous show, no startling effects to produce the best results, but the "still small voice" of the quiet chamber, the impressive rendering of our ritual produces vast results. It is not the hurricane or cyclone from which nature receives the greatest good. The severe storm, when the rains descend and floods come, does not moisten, fertilize, and assist nature, as the gentle misty rain, whose waters penetrate to a greater depth without disturbing the surface.
We recall the Triennial Conclave. It was imposing and colossal. There were banners and glittering steel, showy regalias and profuse decorations. The parade was a neverto- be-forgotten sight. Yet even this display in its permanent and elevating effect on the mind is not comparable to the quiet, impressive, and intelligent rendering of our ritual, It is that which affects the mind, gives birth to new resolves, elevates the mental and moral aim, and prepares men, mentally and religiously, for the battle of life, and for the best the future has in store for mankind.
To the faithful seeker, the earnest toiler after the truth, the Gateway of the East will be open sooner or later, and the gleams of the higher life illumine the soul. Immortality is the culminating truth of Freemasonry.
May these sacred walls reecho only words of helpfulness, wisdom, and love; may the spirit of good-will, harmony, and truth abide at this altar, and may sympathy and charity speed away from this altar into every distressed Brother's home. No higher aims can win human devotion.
REMARKS AT CORNER STONE LAYING IN DORCHESTER, NOVEMBER 1895
From Proceedings, Page 1895-256:
BRETHREN AND FRIENDS: From time immemorial it has been the custom of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, when requested so to do, to lay, with ancient forms, the Corner-stones of buildings erected for the worship of God, for charitable objects, and for the purposes of the administration of justice and free government. In accordance with that custom, and in answer to an invitation, the Corner-stone of an edifice, to be here erected and dedicated to the worship of God, has been laid in accordance with ancient usage.
The ceremony of to-day is venerable with age. It is not a custom, born of the ceaseless activity of our time, but with practically the same ceremony, the Corner-stones of the grand cathedrals of the Middle Ages were laid, and, centuries before that time, in the distant East, with similar rites, the Corner-stones for monuments, temples, and public works were laid. In our time this custom and this ceremony prevail in every civilized country. Difference in language, diversity of faiths, prevent not the use of this same service, in every continent of the earth. The antiquity and universality of this custom heighten its interest and teach us that the human heart is one the wide world over. The universal soul of human nature seeks divine guidance and protection and has reverence for services which consecrate places and dedicate buildings for the worship of the Supreme Being. Such feelings which now abide in us, dwell in the hearts of our Brethren over the sea, and have dwelt in the hearts of men for centuries, when they were engaged in such important and serious service as this of to-day. With reverence we lay this Corner-stone, .and devoutly hope that the building to be here erected will be a sacred retreat, more than fulfilling its cherished purpose.
In the acceptance of your invitation, and by the presence of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts on this occasion, this Grand Body expresses its hearty interest in this work and its indorsement of every means which has for an end the welfare of men. The great purpose of Freemasonry is not selfish; it is not narrow, exclusive, or dogmatic. It would efface the prejudices among men; annihilate bigotry and superstition; do away with tumult and war; and help along the era of eternal and universal right; binding men and nations with cords of love, that the whole human race might become one family of brothers.
Accept the congratulations of the Grand Lodge on the auspicious beginning of your new edifice. May its Cornerstone rest undisturbed, symbolic of the permanence of justice and truth. May success attend the construction of the edifice, and the copestone in due time be placed with songs of thanksgiving.
As generations come and go, may they find within its portals, wisdom to direct, strength to support, and joy to comfort;, and may this be another strong helper in the elevation and blessing of man.
AT CENTENNIAL OF WASHINGTON LODGE, MARCH 1896
From Proceedings, Page 1896-74:
WORSHIPFUL MASTER: I thank you for the cordial welcome extended to the Officers of the Grand Lodge, who with their Brethren have come to participate with you in the centennial exercises of Washington Lodge. We are glad to visit this district, once an eminent town, memorable in Masonic annals. The history of Roxbury, prior to its annexation to Boston, is replete with interest. Here dwelt Brethren, first in the pursuits of peace and among the first in the art of war. This was the home of Bro. and Gen. Wm. Heath, of Bro. and Gen. Greaton; of the Crafts, Bowdoins, Gores, Warrens, Eliots and others, whose names are inseparably connected with the history of Roxbury and of Massachusetts. Here the free school for more than two hundred and fifty years has been fostered; here art had no ordinary devotee in the person of Gilbert Stuart; here the Stamp Act found unrelenting foes, and the Revolutionary Army and liberty had unflinching friends. It is a pleasure to refer to the fame and glory of this ancient town, and recall the immortal names of its citizens.
We congratulate Washington Lodge upon the arrival of its one hundredth birthday. The name "Washington" wins a Mason's interest and regard. Washington, to whose memory stands on the Potomac the highest obelisk in the world, holds in the hearts of the Masonic Fraternity the chiefest place. He shares with none our supremest Masonic admiration. Washington Lodge, constituted when Washington was a potent factor in national affairs, has borne through the century that immortal name. And to-night, not crippled by an hundred years, nor enfeebled by the weight of a century, but vigorous and youthful, it starts with elastic step and joyous heart on the second century of its existence. The Grand Lodge in answer to your welcome bids you God speed upon your journey.
You have handed to me the original charter of Washington Lodge for my examination. It is a venerable parchment. Its value is beyond estimate. It comes to us through the long period of an hundred years. But not its age alone gives it great value. This was spread before Lieut. Col. Paul Revere, Grand Master, Warren's dauntless messenger, the patriotic friend of the rising States. His eyes beheld these lines, his hand wrote this autograph. With feelings of satisfaction he laid aside his quill, having made possible, legal and historic the name of "Washington Lodge" in the town of Roxbury.
Brethren, the Grand Lodge reciprocates the sentiments of your cordial welcome and hopes that peace and prosperity may ever attend you, and that the memories of Bro. George Washington whose name you bear, and of Bro. Paul Revere whose autograph you treasure, may be cherished by you and those Brethren who come after you.
AT CENTENNIAL OF KING HIRAM'S LODGE, MARCH 1896
From Proceedings, Page 1896-82:
WORSHIPFUL MASTER: In behalf of the Officers of the Grand Lodge, I desire to thank you for your fraternal welcome. The Centennial of King Hiram's Lodge, the event fraught with so much interest to you, has arrived. We are present to exchange cordial greetings, to participate in these exercises and to bid you, as Brethren and as a Lodge, "God speed" in starting out upon the second century of the existence of King Hiram's Lodge. Its past is secure. Its record of an hundred years is completed, — finished. Its pages constitute an honorable record, creditable work, a full measure of prosperity and constant loyalty to our Fraternity.
On yonder sandy bluff stands a lighthouse from whose top a strong light sends forth its beams, which cleave the darkness, illumine the billows near and far and reveal both danger and safety to the sea-tossed mariner. The beacon light tells the navigator where he is, and brightens his course to safe anchorage or to his desired haven. May King Hiram's Lodge, in the century upon which it is about to enter, stand firm and true as a lighthouse on the shore, whose beams shall brighten the way of many a worthy Brother and encourage him to earnest endeavor and holy living. May King Hiram's Lodge, through its elevating and permanent influence in this community, be indeed a guiding light to direct men through the troubles, disappointments and sorrows of life, to the Celestial Lodge above, where God, our; Father, forever reigneth.
This Charter of King Hiram's Lodge, which you place in my hands for examination, is indeed a precious document. It is the legal authority by which the Lodge for an hundred years has continued an honorable and worthy existence. It comes to us through the space of a century, the giant march of an hundred years. Its value is beyond estimate, but age alone does not constitute its great worth. The praiseworthy record of this Lodge which has never cast a blot or stain upon it adds to its value. It also bears the name of that illustrious patriot and Mason, Paul Revere, who did as much as any other one man to preserve the independence of America, and whose name is to-day a household word. He was a true Mason and a true patriot. He served his country with a truly Masonic spirit; the spirit of liberty, fidelity and fervency, which won , for him the love of a nation.
I return this Charter to you and charge you to guard it carefully, for few such precious documents are now in. existence.
The Grand Lodge Officers are much gratified to have this opportunity of participating with you in these Centennial ceremonies.
AT CENTENNIAL OF UNION LODGE, DORCHESTER, JUNE 1896
From Proceedings, Page 1896-128:
WORSHIPFUL MASTER AND BRETHREN: I esteem it a great pleasure to be present on this interesting occasion. I congratulate Union Lodge upon its great age,— one hundred years, — and that it still retains the' vigor of youth. Union is a name dear to the American heart. Especially was this so an hundred years ago, when the union of States had just been accomplished and dangers threatened its permanence. The word was a party war cry; it was the longing desire of our greatest statesmen; the word became embalmed in our nation's oratory, and the selection of this name for this Lodge proves what thought was uppermost in the minds of the loyal men of Dorchester.
For a hundred years the name has been borne upon your banner. During the coming century may that banner never be lowered, may it suffer no defeat, may no disunion with its division and discord supplant it. That Union Lodge in years to come may dwell in the spirit of unity; that its present career of harmony and prosperity may be projected throughout the coming century; and that the union of its membership, "now and forever, one and inseparable," may be its permanent record, is the sincere wish, not alone of myself, but of the Grand Body which I have the honor to represent.
In the records of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, I find this interesting fact which has not been touched upon by your historian. At the meeting of the Grand Lodge at Concert Hall, June 13, 1796, the petition for a Charter for Union Lodge in the town of Dorchester was presented, and that the same be granted was recommended by St. John's Lodge, the oldest Lodge in America, by Rising States Lodge, of which Paul Revere, who signed your Charter, was a member, and Washington Lodge, of Roxbury, that has just celebrated its Centennial. On that day, June 13th, 1796, and by authority of that vote, Union Lodge, which for an hundred years has been enrolled under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, began its honorable career. To-day you celebrate in this fitting manner the Centennial of this Lodge, which has withstood the test of time and shows no traces of weakness, but rather strength of manhood. It must be gratifying to Union Lodge to find itself in possession of such a measure of prosperity that she has within the year, invited a sister Lodge to share her privileges and meet in the same Lodge-room.
In seeking for a representative of the Grand Lodge for the 4th Masonic District, it was a great pleasure for me to select for the position of District Deputy Grand Master so able and earnest a worker as Right Worshipful Brother James T. Sherman of Union Lodge. I regret exceedingly that he is not present with us to-day to participate in this celebration, that ill health compelled him to make a trip to Europe at just this time. But while we lose the pleasure of his presence, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has been the gainer because of his absence, as he will represent that Grand Body at the consecration of the Freemasons' Temple in Hungary. I feel well assured that Right Worshipful Brother Sherman and Brother J. Lodge Eddy, also of Union Lodge, who was likewise deputized as a representative of the Grand Lodge, will fill their positions with, honor and credit to the Fraternity in Massachusetts.
In conclusion I wish to express the interest which the Grand Lodge feels in these Centennial observances, and to give expression to its hope that Union Lodge, which has reached the century mark, may have in its second century a period of unbroken union, peace and prosperity.
AT CENTENNIAL OF HARMONY LODGE, JUNE 1896
From Proceedings, Page 1896-153:
WORSHIPFUL SIR AND BRETHREN OF HARMONY LODGE: For this very cordial welcome and your expressions of loyalty to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, I desire, in behalf of the Officers of the Grand Lodge as well as personally, to thank you, and assure you we appreciate the privilege of being the guests of Harmony Lodge at its Centennial. I congratulate you, Brethren, upon this interesting occasion. The event so long looked forward to has arrived, and I trust that your anticipations will be more than realized in the success and pleasure of this day's exercises.
Nothing but success can attend these services and this Lodge, if the wealth of meaning stored in its name, "Harmony," is possessed and used by the members. To abide in harmony is success, peace and permanence. An aggregation of persons, whose minds are fixed in harmony, who forgive, overlook, forget such things as tend to discord, can but experience the blessings of peace and success. To live in harmony, to be harmonious with true, right and noble principles and deeds, to be at one with the Masonic ritual and Trestle-board, produce results which add to the value of life. Let harmony continue to rule and regulate this Lodge, let the harmony here displayed "strengthen and support every gentle and ennobling emotion of the soul" and another century of Lodge life is assured, if the wheels of time shall revolve for another hundred years.
It is my hope and that of the Brethren who accompany me that this Lodge may keep its name in constant use, ever dwelling in harmony, remembering the inspired word.
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forevermore."
Worshipful Master, I receive from your hands this original Charter of Harmony Lodge. It is a precious parchment, and worthy of most scrupulous care. Its value and interest do not consist alone in its language, form or style, or that it is the authority by which this Lodge has for a hundred years continued its existence. Aside from its value as a legal instrument, it is of great interest to us because of the autographs it bears. This sheet, a century ago, lay under the hands of Brethren, who were stalwart in patriotism and Masonic zeal. Their eyes, long since closed in death, scanned these various lines; their hands, now crumbled to dust, penned these immortal names.
Daniel Oliver, Joseph Laughton and William Scollay were prominent men in the town of Boston; the first and last were active in civil, the second in military affairs; Isaiah Thomas, editor, patriot and Brother, not long after promoted to be Grand Master; and chiefest of all, that sterling Paul Revere, mechanic, patriot and Grand Master, whose name will live in the memory of Americans as long as America shall endure.
Treasure this parchment with constant care. Increasing years increase its interest and value. Transmit it unimpaired to your successors and imitate the patriotic zeal and Masonic loyalty of that distinguished Brother, Paul Revere.
Again, in the name of the Brethren here assembled and in the name of the Grand Lodge, I thank you for your cordial welcome and bid you God speed upon your second century of existence.
AT CENTENNIAL OF CINCINNATUS LODGE, JUNE 1896
From Proceedings, Page 1896-176:
WORSHIPFUL SIR AND BRETHREN: I thank you for your words of fraternal greeting. It is indeed a pleasure to every officer of the Grand Lodge present to join with you in a joyful observance of this Centennial day. Naturally our minds revert to an hundred years ago, when Paul Revere, patriot, Brother and Grand Master, placed his name upon the charter of your Lodge. He was an earnest worker in the Masonic vineyard.
Paul Revere was Grand Master for three years, 1795, 1796 and 1797. During this time he chartered twenty-three Lodges, eighteen of which have weathered the storms of a century and are to-day borne upon the roll of Massachusetts Lodges.
There was much significance in the names of the Lodges, as given a century ago. Some were prophetic, as "United States," chartered in 1778; others bore patriots' names, as Washington, Warren, Wooster, and Cincinnatus is not an exception to the rule.
Cincinnatus was a Roman hero. Time has not been able to efface his simple story. Born nearly twenty-four hundred years ago, he grew up a farmer's boy. Twice was he called from the plough to the Dictatorship of Rome; twice he saved his menaced country. The name, therefore, of Cincinnatus has been in history a synonym for patriotism, devotion and loyalty. It was this fact which caused certain officers of the American Revolution to form a Society and name it for this Roman hero, Cincinnatus.
Our fathers, prior to the Revolution, were chiefly agriculturists. They left their ploughs in the furrows and answered the first alarm gun of the Revolution. They fought against the strongest nation of the earth at that time, and by their sacrifice, patriotism and loyalty won their independence; then, like Cincinnatus, they returned in peace to their ploughs and toil.
When the Revolution was ended, American officers, who had been conspicuous in the struggle, "pledged themselves to support by all means consistent with the laws that noble fabric of united independence, which at so much hazard and with so many sacrifices they had contributed to erect." They organized a Society in 1783, in the "American Cantonment on Hudson's River and named it the ' Society of the Cincinnati.'" The principal figure on their medal is that of Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus.
There were some good reasons why your Lodge should be named "Cincinnatus." Is it not probable that the name was suggested by one who well understood the meaning of the "Society of the Cincinnati," and who was a member of it himself? Did he not wish to perpetuate in Masonry the name of that hero for whom his Military Association was named?
In examining the names of the charter members of Cincinnatus Lodge it appears that three represent soldiers of the American Revolution: Walter Deane, Gideon Post, and John Shaw. There were several Revolutionary soldiers named John Shaw, therefore it is not easy to distinguish the John Shaw of Cincinnatus Lodge. Gideon Post enlisted July 15, 1776, and reenlisted August 21, 1777, again July 1, 1778, and he was still in the army in 1781. He was a fifer for the larger part of his service. He marched to the Highlands of New York in 1776; was under General Stark in 1778, and was in Connecticut in 1779. Six or seven years he devoted to his country's service.
Walter Deane first appears as a private in Capt. Caleb Wright's Company, of Col. John Fellows' Regiment, which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775. He enlisted from New Marlborough and started with his Company, April 21, 1775, for Boston. He next appears as a Sergeant in Camp at Ticonderoga, November 27, 1776, and was promoted to Ensign in Colonel Wigglesworth's Regiment, 13th Mass. He was commissioned 2d Lieutenant in 1777, Captain Lieutenant July 4, 1780, and Captain January 1, 1783. He was at Valley Forge in 1778, and followed the varying fortunes of the war.
These facts are obtained from the State archives, containing the rolls of Massachusetts soldiers. Turning to the Biographical notices of the Cincinnati of Massachusetts, we obtain the following facts: Walter Dean, son of Seth and Mary Dean, was born September 5, 1751, and died in western New York, about 1827, while on a visit to his son.. He served in the Revolutionary Army in 1777, 1778 and 1783. By his wife Abigail he had seven children, of whom the youngest was Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus Deane. This son was born May 7, 1796, at the very time when the name of this Lodge, its location, etc., may have been under consideration. Walter Deane's autograph is at the State House, Boston, and he spells his name Deane, as in your charter, while on the rolls of the State and of the Society of the Cincinnati the final " e " is omitted.
It therefore appears that the name of this Lodge was suggested by its first-named charter member, who was a member of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati, and who was so impressed by the beauty and significance of the name that he bestowed it upon his youngest son.
May the memory of these facts, the story of Cincinnatus and the patriotism, devotion and loyalty that he and our fathers- showed be a perpetual incentive in this Lodge and in this community. May these and all other Masonic virtues abound here, to the great blessing of this people and to the honor of this Lodge.
I know, Brethren, you will pardon this somewhat lengthy address, but I am too much interested in your early history to omit it.
Be assured, Worshipful Sir and Brethren, of the interest of the Grand Lodge in the peace and prosperity of Cincinnatus Lodge. May the spirit of Cincinnatus never be wanting in your midst, and may your record, unsullied, uplifting and truly Masonic, outlive the memory of the ancient Roman story.
AT CORNER-STONE LAYING IN WORCESTER, SEPTEMBER 1896
From Proceedings, Page 1896-250:
MR. MAYOR, BRETHREN AND FELLOW-CITIZENS: We have gathered in "the Heart of the Commonwealth," for an important and interesting service.
The City of Worcester, through the Chairman of its Building Committee, invited the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts to lay with customary forms and ancient ritual the Corner-stone of a new edifice to be here erected. The invitation was cheerfully and gratefully accepted and the duty has been properly discharged.
This building, to be called the "City Hall," will be the seat of the executive and legislative branches of the City Government. Within its walls will preside the authority to govern and the wisdom to advise in producing the best results of a free government. This will be the public hearthstone of Worcester. Here all citizens have common rights; here, without distinction of race, color or religion, they have equal protection; here, as the supreme seat of the aggregate civil authority under the law, all classes may find their friend, their guardian and their protector. This is the high altar of civil power, the holy place, whence proceeds the paternal authority by which this city is to be governed, blessed and prospered.
In the construction of this edifice the best wishes of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts will continually abide with the city and its government, with the builders and the workmen, through whose united efforts the grand plans and specifications of this building will be executed. May there be manifest wisdom in its plans, strength in its construction and beauty in its completion, symbolizing the wisdom, strength and beauty of those successive governments of civil administration which shall assemble within its walls.
In participating in the services of this day, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts would express its interest in all that concerns the commonweal. Its public efforts are aimed at the public good; its sincere desire is the peace and prosperity of all communities in. our Commonwealth; its constant hope the manifestation of the best citizenship and the political, social and religious progress of our fellow-citizens. It bows its head in sorrow when discord breeds destruction in the mercantile or religious world; it deeply shares the common joy when peace rules among men, when labor reaps a plenteous harvest, and when charity rules supreme in the hearts of. men. Freemasonry is opposed to wrong wherever the latter sits enthroned or grasps for power. Freemasonry is on the side of right, however deeply it may be trampled in the dust, and seeks for every man, for every home, for every land, the same freedom, equality and blessing it asks for itself. The time-honored and venerable motto of an early day is worthy to be a firm and lofty landmark in our own: "In necessary things, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity."
Thus Freemasonry stands on the side of law, order, liberty and righteousness. By this public exercise the Order proclaims its belief in the supremacy of duly enacted law; the value of social order; the benign blessing of personal liberty and the abiding glory of ' that righteousness which exalteth a citizen as it doth a nation.
In conclusion, may the Giver of every good and perfect gift bless all here assembled, and abide, a constant joy and defence, in this prosperous city; may this edifice arise from the quarry and the wood to grand and pleasing proportions without accident or casualty; and may Worcester, as Jerusalem, be a city of peace; and may its citizens experience and cherish the best results of liberty, prosperity, charity and religion.
AT CORNER STONE LAYING IN NEWTON, SEPTEMBER 1896
From Proceedings, Page 1896-271:
BRETHREN AND FRIENDS: The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, has accomplished the work for which it came, and the Corner-stone of this new edifice has been laid in accordance with our customary forms and ancient ritual.
This building has been begun under auspicious circumstances and with satisfactory success. It is certainly our hope that these favorable circumstances may continue and success attend its construction until the last decoration is completed and its palatial apartments shall be dedicated to the purposes for which the building is erected. I congratulate the Brethren of Newton upon the inception of this grand design and upon the spirit of sacrifice and labor necessary to carry the work to successful completion. You have conceived a beautiful edifice; when completed it will be your Masonic home; and it will stand as a monument to your wisdom, energy and interest in the principles of our Order.
We are all temple builders. Operative Masonry erects such edifices as this is to be material and earthly; Speculative Masonry is character building; it erects temples, — moral, spiritual and heavenly. - As this Masonic edifice from this Corner-stone will rise in strength and beauty under the skill and labor of the operative workman, so the speculative Craftsman erects his spiritual Temple by working agreeably to the rules and designs laid down by the Supreme Architect of the Universe, in the great books of Nature and Revelation. He therefore builds not alone for time but for eternity; not alone for earth but for heaven.
This edifice will contain the high altar of the Brethren of Newton. Here they will congregate, here observe the ancient forms and render the ritual of our Order. Here great lessons will be taught, great truths illustrated, and the spiritual side of human nature will be cherished and ennobled. Here will be developed every phase of soul unfolding. Here will be taught and learned the permanent truths of life, and here will be fostered the fondest hopes of the human soul. So lofty is its purpose, so affecting human character, so allied to the highest hopes of humanity, that we recall a lesson from the great light in Masonry.
From that we learn that when King Solomon dedicated the Temple of the Most High, at Jerusalem, he kneeled before the congregation ; of Israel and prayed to God, "That Thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place whereof Thou hast said, My name shall be there; to harken unto the prayer which Thy servant shall pray toward this place," and he concluded, "That Thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of Thy servant, and unto the supplication of Thy people Israel, to hearken unto them whensoever they cry unto Thee." So we to-day, members of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Masons, in the spirit of King Solomon, and in the performance of a public duty which has come down to us from time immemorial, reverently beseech the God of Israel, our Father, and humbly ask, that Thine eyes may be upon this house day and night, and that Thine ears may be attent unto the prayers that are made in this place.
Masonry is operative and speculative. It is more, it is practical. It is more than theoretical propositions, it is moral strength and spiritual good. The lessons it teaches are such as are founded on established truth. It revels in the expression of the highest and most valuable principles known to human consciences. It applies and enforces those divine truths of its great Light in which centre the hopes of the human race. It grasps in its scope two worlds, those of labor and peace, of death and immortality. It states, exemplifies and emphasizes those principles which produce health, happiness and prosperity on the earth and directs the seeker after truth in that way which leads to the Celestial Lodge above. Masonry approves every good work. Everything beneficial to our race, whether material, moral or spiritual, has the approval of our Brotherhood. Masonry stands for peace as against war; for love as against hate; for charity as against selfishness; for religion as against anarchy. Its hope and effort, the fulfilment of the angels' song, Peace on earth, good will to men."
The Corner-stone of the contemplated edifice has been duly tried and is square, level and plumb. Safely may it rest, a symbol of the permanence of justice and truth! May no blast of the sky smite it; no trembling of the earth distort it! May the blessing of heaven rest upon this laudable undertaking; and may the Giver of all good crown its successful completion, and prosper and bless the Brethren who will meet within its walls!
REMARKS AT DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALL FOR DORIC LODGE, NOVEMBER 1896
From Proceedings, Page 1896-286:
BRETHREN OF DORIC LODGE: The pleasant duty for which the Officers of the Grand Lodge are present has been performed and these apartments have been dedicated in accordance with ancient form and usage.
We congratulate you upon the possession of such excellent apartments, in every way suitable for Masonic purposes. It is a great satisfaction to observe the strong desire, which has sprung up lately among our Lodges, to provide new and better accommodations. Representing as we do the noblest and best principles known to man, and composed as our Order is of a chosen number from among our fellow-citizens, it is incumbent upon us to provide such places for the holding of our meetings as are in keeping with the great principles Ave teach and with the character of our membership.
Upon us devolves the duty of transmitting to our successors the Order of Freemasonry unimpaired. To us it has come from ages almost prehistoric. Its origin is lost in the dimness of the past, yet through the fidelity and wisdom of Brethren in preceding centuries Masonry still retains its excellence and permanence. It has been nourished through past generations by Brethren who "built for good and not for greed, and lavished love in lieu of lusting gold; when they worked for a long lifetime to leave some imperishable record of their toil,. grandly heedless of how their names might perish and be forgot." Let us emulate this example of self-forgetfulness, and here in this new Lodge-room seek to teach, in the same spirit, the principles of our Order.
See to it that the persons whom you admit as members of this Lodge are in every way, worthy and well-qualified to take upon themselves and to adorn this new profession. Receive only such as, in the presence of the uninitiated, will seek to manifest true Masonic principles, proving that by becoming Master Masons they have gained personal control, and are better fitted for the discharge of the higher duties of life. This Lodge is to teach men and help them to be better. To grow In Masonic knowledge, to add to the spiritual armor of the soul, to become broader mentally, wiser, better, grounded in right and truth, justice and charity, to recognize cheerfully the duties each Brother - owes to his neighbor, his family, his country and his God,—such are among the purposes of this chartered institution. As we pass down the stream of life, it is our duty to demonstrate to the world that to be a Freemason is to be a man worthy of the respect of one's fellow-men; worthy to live,—- worthy to enter upon the untried future. The abilities and possibilities of an applicant for the degrees, as well as character, are involved in our investigations.
You cannot make broad minded, liberal spirited Masons out of narrow, selfish men. We want broad, liberal minded Masons. To be liberal is to be charitable, and charity in Masonry as in religion is the greatest of all principles. We need great stores of that Christian and Masonic charity not manifest alone in giving alms, but what is more difficult, that charity which overlooks the faults and foibles of men, which envieth not, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoices in the truth.
Do not allow your Lodge to become simply, a club for the sole purpose of social enjoyment, but rather gain for it the proud position of standing at the head of similar organizations - in all that tends to assist, serve and bless our fellow-men. Make your Lodge helpful to each member, so the outside world may know that those who enter your portals receive sympathy in their affliction, comfort in their distress: and congratulation in every success.
In this consecrated place, let the distractions of the outside world .cease; here let peace, harmony and prosperity be cherished; here let relaxation of mind,' which is as necessary as relaxation of body, be enjoyed; here keep in view the important fact, that you are associated together for the purpose of making one another better, wiser, happier.
True, Masonry is not a dogma, a creed, a religion, though it is religious: It is a permanent and fundamental principle, teaching faith in God, hope in . immortality, and charity to all mankind. Masonry springs from the Holy Scriptures; it is born of the divinest teaching and embraces every phase of soul unfolding. In our day we notice a movement, almost universal, seeking for the union of all churches, all denominations, upon one universal platform.
Let the Christian world accept and apply the principles of Masonic brotherhood,. Masonic tolerance and Masonic truth and the much desired result may be attained. Masonry is no place for bigots of any creed or name. It is for charitable, tolerant men, who believe in the ancient motto , — "In necessary, things, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity."
Let these thoughts rule triumphant here, and may the candidates who kneel at this altar be illumed by the Masonic light here diffused.
"Thou! Whose almighty word
Chaos and darkness heard,
And took their flight,
Hear us, we humbly pray,
And, where the gospel's day
Sheds not its glorious ray,
Let -there he light!
"Thou! Who didst come to bring,
On Thy redeeming wing,
Healing and sight,
Health to sick in mind,
Sight to any blind, —
Oh, now to all mankind,
Let there be light!
"Spirit of truth and love,
Life-giving holy dove!
Speed forth Thy flight;
Move o'er the water's face;
Bearing the lamp of grace,
And in earth's darkest place,
Let there be light!"
Be assured of the interest of the Grand Lodge in the prosperity Of Doric Lodge, and of the pleasure it has given us to come to the town of Hudson and dedicate these apartments to Freemasonry, to Virtue and to Universal Benevolence.
AT CENTENNIAL OF THOMAS LODGE, DECEMBER 1896
From Proceedings, Page 1896-398:
WORSHIPFUL MASTER AND BRETHREN OF THOMAS LODGE: Accept my thanks for the fraternal welcome extended to the Officers of the Grand Lodge present on this interesting occasion. As father and mother rejoice in the growth of their children, note. their strengthening through the years, their mental and moral development and their successful contest at the beginning of life's struggles, bringing parental satisfaction and exceeding joy, so the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts meets her children on these Centennial occasions with great pleasure, and her heart is happy with a feeling of parental satisfaction and pride.
The birth of Thomas Lodge a hundred years ago; the perpetuation of the name of that sterling Mason and zealous editor, Isaiah Thomas; the life this Lodge has led, overcast sometimes by clouds of discouragement and doubt, but through faith in the coming light and hope in the dawning of a new day has survived the clouds and enjoyed years of sunshine and peace; all these constitute sources of gratitude and joy to the Grand Lodge.
This day marks an epoch in the life of this Lodge of which every member should feel proud. One hundred years of an honorable career, one hundred years in which the beneficent influence of this Lodge has been felt in this community are completed.
The Masonic Lodge is an association of men banded together for the noble purpose of helping one another and helping the community in which they live. Association is one of the greatest of social forces. Many associations are formed which exist but a short time. The only societies which actually exist are those based on religion, and no association can live except through religious sentiment. The principal reason that the Masonic Fraternity has existed through so many centuries is because of its religious foundation.
The sentiments expressed and taught in the Lodge-room quell the rebellions of mind and greeds of all kind. Each Brother returns to his home from a Masonic meeting where noble and generous sentiments have been proclaimed, with thoughts uplifted and with higher aspirations. No man can receive the Masonic degrees, if he be studious and observing, without being conscious of a new sense. He sees human relations, obligations and duties in a new light. "Old things are passed away," and he realizes that he has become a helper in promulgating those virtues that make for the good of the human soul and of mankind.
The power of Freemasonry is a moral power. Masonry moves in the forefront in the battle of good against ill, of truth against error. Masonry bears aloft throughout Christendom the banners of truth, equality, liberty, progress, religion, and calls men and nations to the attainment of that high personal and national perfection possible by the pursuit of Christian truth.
Brethren, our work will soon be done. The gavel, square, level and plumb will soon drop from our strengthless hands; our places in the earthly Lodge will be vacant forever. May those who come after us, who take our places and bear onward the ark of the covenant in Thomas Lodge, be true exemplars of the saving tenets of our Order; and display in all their lives the elevating and soul-satisfying principles of our beloved Fraternity!
Worshipful Master, you have handed to me the original Charter of Thomas Lodge. It is a precious document and. should be regarded with religious care. On account of its being the authority by which this Lodge has held its meetings through the past hundred years, it is of great value, and it is also of exceeding interest because of the signatures which it bears.
This parchment a century ago lay under the hands of Brethren stalwart in patriotism and zealous in Freemasonry, Paul Revere, Samuel Dunn, Isaiah Thomas, Joseph Laughton, and Daniel Oliver. Their eyes, long since closed in death, scanned these lines; their hands, now crumbled to dust, penned these immortal names. They have passed away, but this parchment remains. Treasure it with constant care; increasing years increase its value. Transmit it, unimpaired, to your successor, and imitate the loyalty of our Brethren whose names are affixed to this Charter. Brethren, the benediction of this Grand Lodge abides with you. May the future be resplendent with Masonic virtue, the years full of peace, and the coming century be one of continued prosperity in Thomas Lodge!