CHARLES H(ENRY). TITUS 1819-1878
- MM 1858, WM 1867, King David
- Charter Member 1873, Charles H. Titus
- Grand Chaplain 1869, 1870
- Recording Grand Secretary, 1871-1878
NOTE ON TITUS MONUMENT, WARREN, R. I.
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. VI, No. 5, August 1882, Page 158:
The Titus Monument
This beautiful stone, which has just been erected over the remains of the late Rev. C. H. Titus, in the South Cemetery, in Warren, R. I., attracts much attention. I: is of very handsome millstone granite, from Millstone Point, Conn. The form and design are handsome and in good taste. A large panel which contains the inscription is highlv polished, and the remainder is finely chiseled and retains the natural color of the granite. The base is about twenty inches high, and the proportions are pleasant to the eye. The following is the inscription:
Charles Henry Titus,
Born April 11th, 1819,
Died October 29th, 1878,
His friends have erected this stone."
On the base in large raised letters is the name
Above the inscription and within a semi-circular space, is a vine of English ivy, with raised and polished leaves. The plain simplicity of the inscription is understood to be in accordance with the views and tastes of the deceased. The monument was erected by a few of his many friends, and a multitude more would have gladly contributed if the opportunity had been offered them for doing so. — Providence Journal.
From Proceedings, Page 1873-378:
REV. CHARLES HENRY TITUS, A.M., BOSTON. Methodist, 1869, 1870, 1871.
REV. CHARLES H. TITUS was born in the then Province of Maine, County of Kennebec, town of Monmouth, on the eleventh day of April, 1819. He was the only son of Samuel and Betsey (Kelley) Titus. He had two sisters, Sarah Kelley, older, and Eliza Jane, younger, than himself. Both the sisters and the father have been dead many years. The mother still survives in a hale old age, residing in Monmouth.
Mr. Titus, senior, was a farmer; and the son worked with his father upon the farm in summer, attending the district school during the winter season, until he was sixteen years of age, when he became a student at Monmouth Academy, and began his school-teaching experience the following winter. Until twenty-five years of age his time was wholly given to literary pursuits and teaching. His father was not wealthy, and after his death, which occurred when the son was about eighteen years of age, he declined to receive anything from the limited estate of some §2,000, and paid his own school expenses by devoting a portion of the time to teaching. After leaving Monmouth Academy he became connected with the Maine Wesleyan Seminary, at Kent's Hill, Readfield, where he enjoyed the friendship, counsel and instruction of those eminent teachers of youth, Rev. William C. Larrabee, LL.D. and Rev. Benjamin F. Tefft, D.D., LL.D., whose influence upon his formative mind has proved a continued blessing through all subsequent years. At this school he also enjoyed the instruction of Prof. Walsh, a wonderful linguist, of whom he took private lessons in Hebrew and Biblical Greek. In 1839 he entered the Bangor Theological Seminary, where he spent one year for the special purpose of continuing his studies in the original languages of the Holy Scriptures.
In April, 1840, being enfeebled by overwork, he sought to recruit his health by a change of climate, and removed to Greencastle, Indiana, in company with Prof. Larrabee, who had been elected to a professorship in the Asbury University, located at that place. Here he was immediately elected by the trustees as Tutor of Languages in the Preparatory Department of the college. While fulfilling the duties of this office he enjoyed all the privileges of the college. He completed the course of study, and graduated on the fourteenth day of September, 1842. Rev. Matthew Simpson, D.D., now bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, was then President of the university, and invested him with his first literary degree; and, on the evening of the same day, united him in marriage witli Miss Martha Dunn, daughter of Col. William Dunn, of East Poland, Maine, and sister to Mrs. Tefft and Mrs. Larrabee. Their married life has been peculiarly happy; and, during all the years they have journeyed on together, home has been a word of special significance and comfort to them. They have been blessed with two children, Laura Jane, the wife of Mr. Edgar Pratt, of Providence, and Charles Henry (H.C. 1872), now acting as clerk in the Grand Secretary's office.
During the winter of 1842-3 Mr. Titus and his wife conducted, with much success, a private academy at Madison, Indiana. His enfeebled health obliging him to desist from teaching, he spent the following summer in making an extensive tour through the North-west, in company with Rev. Edward R. Ames, D.D., now bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church. In this journey he traversed Lake Huron, Luke Superior, St. Louis River, and the Mississippi River from Sandy Lake to St. Louis, Missouri. Seven hundred miles of this voyaging were made in a birch-bark canoe, with Indian half-breeds as guides.
In the autumn of 1843 Mr. Titus and his wife returned to their native State of Maine; and in August, 1844, he was admitted to the Maine Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at its session held in Bangor; was ordained to the office of Deacon by Bishop Hedding; and was appointed to the pastorate of the church in Frankfort. This church he served during the constitutional limit of two years, when, finding the climate too rigorous for his feeble health, he embraced the offer of a transfer to the Providence Conference; and in July, 1846, was appointed to the Pleasant-street Church, New Bedford, where he continued two years. At the session of the Conference held in Fall River, Mass., 1847, he was ordained to the office of Elder by Bishop Janes. In his ministerial work in this Conference he was appointed successively to Woonsocket, R. I., two years; Edgartown, Mass., two years; East Weymouth, Mass., two years; Taunton, Mass., one year, when he was appointed to the office of Presiding Elder of Providence District, embracing in its territory the State of Rhode Island, and Bristol County, Mass., and placing under his care and supervision between forty and fifty churches. During the four years he held this office he resided at Taunton.
When this office expired by limitation he was appointed again to the pastorate as follows: Warren, R. L, two years; Newport, R. I., two years; Phenix, R. I., three years, — the limit of the pastorate to the same church having been extended by the General Conference of 1864 to three years,— and remained at Phenix the fourth year without regular appointment, but still serving the chuich as pastor. At the close of his labors at Phenix he was appointed again to Taunton, two years; then to Warren again, two years, when, April 10th, 1871, he accepted the pro tempore appointment of Grand Master Gardner to the office of Recording Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. In June following he was duly elected to this office by vote of the Grand Lodge, and at each subsequent annual election has been continued in the office by unanimous vote.
His first knowledge of Masonry was gained when he was a lad about ten years of age. A remarkable funeral was held in the neighborhood of his residence, which he and all the region round about attended. Major White, the deceased, was an old neighbor and friend of bis father, and a prominent townsman. The major was buried with full Masonic honors, and the ceremonies made a strong and lasting impression upon the mind of the keenly observant lad. The rich Masonic regalia, the mournful music, the muffled drums, the solemn march around the grave, the sprig of acacia reverently deposited by each Brother, saying, as he dropped his emblem of immortality into the open grave, "The will of God is accomplished — Amen — so mote it be !" stirred to the very depths of the soul the excited boy; and he then resolved within himself, that when he became a man he would be a Mason. This was at a time when Masonry was much spoken against, but he was prepared in his heart at that early age to be made a Mason. During the latter part of his residence at Greencastle, Indiana, the Lodge in that place was resuscitated, and he arranged with a friend, who was a member, to present his application for the Degrees; but before they were in a condition to comply with his request, he removed to Madison. In his subsequent itinerant life, and earnest devotion to his profession, he found no convenient time or place to knock at the Masonic door, until his protracted residence in Taunton, while Presiding Elder of Providence District. Having for once gained legal residence and citizenship, he made application to King David Lodge for the Degrees. His petition was recommended by Brother Jacob Burt, and, accompanied by the usual fee, was received by the Lodge Sept. 22, 1858, and referred to Brothers S. N. Staples, William Cox and Charles Lawton. On the 20th of October following, the committee made a favorable report, and he was duly elected to receive the Degrees. On the same evening he was initiated an Entered Apprentice. William M. Parks was then W. Master, Edward Mott, Senior Warden; David A. Jackson, Junior Warden; and the venerable Alfred Baylies, Secretary. Before retiring from the Lodge that night, his name was written by Dr. Baylies, upon the lamb-skin or white leather apron, which he had received from the W. Master as the emblem of innocence, and the badge of a Mason, and which he still preserves as a precious relic. He was passed to the Second Degree Nov. 17, 1858, and on the 15th of December following, was raised to the sublime Degree of Master Mason. Here began his esoteric Masonic life, and to the Brethren of King David Lodge he is much indebted, not only for faithful Masonic instruction, but for unfailing brotherly kindness.
Having been so long prepared in his heart to become a Mason, he at once became zealous in cultivating the ritual and principles of Masonry. During the following year he received the Capitular Degrees in Adoniram Chapter, New Bedford, of which Col. Timothy Ingraham was then, as he had been for many years, High Priest, and from whom he received much valuable instruction. The Council Degrees were conferred upon him by the late venerable James Salisbury, in Providence Council of Royal and Select Masters. During the winter of 1859 and 1860 he received the Orders of Knighthood in St. John's Encampment of Knights Templars, at Providence, R. I. In May, 1860, while residing at Warren, R. I., he was invested with the Ineffable Degrees by Kilian H. Van Rensselaer, in King Solomon's Grand Lodge of Perfection, at Providence. Subsequently, while residing at Newport, he received the remaining Degrees of the A. A. Rite to the Thirty-Second inclusive. In 1867 he was created a Sov. Gr. Insp. Gen. Thirty-Third Degree, at Boston, and elected an Honorary Member of the Sup. Coun. of the Northern Mas. Juris, of the U. S. A.
Among the many offices he has held in Masonry the following may be enumerated: W. Master of King David Lodge, Taunton; T.I. Master of Webb Council of Royal and Select Masters, Warren, R. I.; Commander of St. John's Encampment, Providence, R. I.; Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island; Grand Prelate, Grand Capt. Gen., Dep. Grand Master, and Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He has also enjoyed the honor of acting as First Officer of the Lodge, Council, Chapter and Consistory of the A.A. Rite; but more for the purposes of the organization and establishment of those Bodies than for actual work in the ritual of that Rite. He is now, as he has been for several years, Grand Prior of the Supreme Council Thirty-Third Degree, and of the Massachusetts Council of Deliberation, A.A. Rite.
His Masonry has, doubtless, been of greater benefit to him, and more highly prized from the fact that he has uniformly paid the regular fees for the various Degrees lie has received, neither claiming nor receiving any remission on account of his clerical profession. He retains his membership in the Bodies which have conferred upon him this honor, and generally in those that conferred the Degrees. In 1872 he united with several of his old associates in King David Lodge, in the formation of a new Lodge at Taunton, which his associates subsequently, against his protest, called by his own name. This Lodge was chartered March 12, 1873, and constituted in AMPLE FORM on the 28th of the same month, under the title and designation of Charles H. Titus Lodge. The engraved steel plate, on which the portrait was printed which accompanies this sketch, was the generous gift of this Lodge.
Though his natural force is somewhat abated, his zeal for Masonry has not lessened, and he is now devoting what strength he has to the good of Masonry in general, and to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in particular.
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1878
From Proceedings, Page 1878-163:
At the Quarterly Communication in June, 1871, the M.W. Grand Master announced that he had filled a vacancy in the office of Recording Grand Secretary by the appointment of Rev. Charles Henry Titus. To many of us he was almost a stranger, and when the ballot followed, seventy Brethren voted for other candidates. Six months later we had all learned to know him and to love him, and no dissenting voice has ever since been heard when that election was called.
At a Special Communication of the Grand Lodge, held in May last, for the purpose of constituting Mumford River Lodge, his weary limbs bore his emaciated body to this hall for the last time. For five long and tedious months he hoped and prayed for strength to resume the work in which he took such delight.
He gave up that hope only two or three weeks before the end came. When the body was almost utterly wasted, the brave spirit realized that this was the last of earth, and, after a severe and painful struggle, calmly, patiently, hopefully, resigned itself to the will of the Master. When the strong soul yielded, the body sank rapidly, and on the 29th of October last the struggle ended. On the 1st of November, at setting of the sun, with appropriate ceremony, we laid his body in the grave which he had chosen.
With what fitting words, though few, shall we now give voice to the general grief? What loving tribute shall we bring to iris precious memory ? In what suitable language shall we clothe the grateful memorial which we would place on our records? His Masonic life of just twenty years was crowded with Masonic work, — an almost unbroken series of Masonic offices and honors. They are set forth in the Proceedings of 1873, as recorded in the lives of our Chaplains. He used to say that he drank in his first Masonic inspiration when a boy of ten years, at the grave of a venerable Brother, and at a time when Masonry was reviled and persecuted of all men. The opinion he conceived of our Institution at that early age, and under such unfavorable circumstances, was abundantly confirmed and satisfied in middle life. His whole experience and training had specially qualified and fitted him to become a good and true Mason. The principles of Masonry were the rules of his life, and their exemplification was easy and natural to him. Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth were to him a second nature. He was from very early life dependent upon his own resources, from boyhood for many years teacher as well as pupil. When released from that service he entered a profession which requires the constant exercise of the most tender and affectionate sympathies of our nature. All this experience and these influences made him a bright and shining exemplar of the Masonic principle of Brotherly Love. He was brimful and running over with goodwill to men, but especially to his Brethren of the Fraternity. No thought of self seemed to find place in his mind. How cordial and kindly his greeting to all! How evident the desire to render kind offices to all who came near him! That God is Love was to him the most precious tenet of his religion. It seemed to be the all-engrossing thought with him and shaped and moulded all his actions. It is the trait in his character upon which we most delight to dwell, and which furnishes the most instructive example.
The records of many Masonic Bodies attest to his faithful, laborious work; our own bear witness that his duties for the last seven years have been performed with fidelity and zeal. Many of us who have been closely connected with him officially can testify to the modesty, delicacy, and self-sacrifice which characterized him in all our intercourse. He bore labor and trial and suffering bravely, manfully. He discharged every duty faithfully, punctually, cheerfully. But — the best praise of all for the true Mason — HE LOVED HIS FELLOW-MEN!
As we mingle our tears with those of the bereaved family, we offer them the consolation afforded by the recollection of his consistent, useful, helpful life, and the humble, though confident, hope that with him all is now peaceful, blissful. The weary spirit is at rest, and our benedictions follow him. Thus we place them on perpetual record.
FROM LIBERAL FREEMASON, 1878
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. II, No. 8, November 1878, Page 246:
The M. W. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was specially con vened in the Masonic Temple in Boston on Friday, November 1st in the forenoon, to attend the funeral ceremonies of the Rev. Charles H. Titus, late Grand Secretary.
The Services in the Temple were necessarily brief, as the remains were to be conveyed to Warren, Rhode Island, for final Sepulture, in the same Cemetery and near the spot where repose those ol Rev. George M. Randall, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts in 1851-53. At the grave the Burial Service was fully performed by M. W. Charles A. Welch, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. In connection with the services in the Temple, Grand Master Welch gave the following obituary sketch: —
Brethren, we have met to perform the last ceremonies over the remains of our late Recording Grand Secretary.
Charles H. Titus was born in Monmouth, Kennebec Co., Me., April 11, 1819, and was the only son of a farmer of that place. His father died when he was eighteen, and with that generous consideration for others, which was so marked a trait in his character he declined to receive his portion of the estate, and supported himself and paid his school expenses at the academy in Monmouth by teaching.
At first his health and subsequently his duties as a clergyman of Be Methodist Church, which never had a more sincere Christian in its fold, carried him into different parts of the country. In 1842 he was married, and marriage proved to him one of his greatest blessings. /
While stationed in Taunton in 1858 he petitioned King David's Lodge to be admitted to the Masonic degrees, and his petition being granted he received in due course the degrees of E. A., F. C., and Master Mason, the last, Dec. 15, 185S, and became a member of that Lodge. The next year he received the Capitular degrees in Adoniram Chapter of New Bedford, being exalted Jan'y 5th, and became a member of that Body. In 1859 and 1860 he received the orders of Knighthood in St. John's Commandery of Providence, R. I., and became and continued till his death a member of that Commandery. Subsequently he received the various degrees of the A. and A. Rite, and in 1S67 the 33°. When the Lodge bearing his own name in Taunton was chartered, he became a member of that Lodge, and being at his death its most honored member, that Lodge will join us in performing the burial service to-day.
He held at various times many different offices in Masonic bodies, and my own acquaintance with him commenced when as Grand Master, or one of the Council of the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, he visited St. Bernard Commandery, of which I was then an officer. Little did I then suppose that in a few years I should be so intimately associated with him in this Grand Lodge.
In April 1871, he was appointed by Grand Master Gardner Recording Grand Secretary, and in June 1871 he was elected by the Grand Lodge to this office, and at each annual communication has been reelected, as the account of him in the Appendix to the Grand Lodge Hrocccdings of 1873, correctly 1 believe, stated, by an unanimous vote.
Brethren, no words of mine can add to the high estimate you all have of the beautiful character and of the Masonic worth of our departed brother. I can truly say, without fear of being accused of exaggeration, that nowhere could a person have been found more Buited by the purity of his character and the gentle courtesy of his fcnanners, to the office which he held. What Brother ever visited the Grand Secretary's room without coming away happier for the courtesy and kindness with which he was treated? what Grand Master but must acknowledge the substantial benefit he derived from the Recording Grand Secretary's intelligence and Masonic learning, united as it always was. with a polite and respectful consideration for the official dignity of him whom he aided with his council? And this kindness, this courtesy was not merely an external polish of manner; it came from a warm, kindly, affectionate heart, overflowing with love for all men. Nor were there wanting, united with these gentle qualities, decided opinions, a firm will and a quiet resolution to say and do what his judgment approved as right.
As for his attachment to this Institution, I will only add that a few days before his death he told me how much pleasure he had derived from his connection with Masonry and his Masonic brothers, and therefore he wished that those to whom he had been so much attached in life, should perform the last offices at his grave. As most of his life had been spent in Warren, R. I., and he and the members of his family had many friends there, lie desired you to commit
His body to that pleasant country's earth,
His soul he gave unto his Captain Chief
Under whose colors he had fought so long.
Brethren, to-day we comply with his request.
Most Worshipful Brother Welch had previously obtained the consent of M. W. Charles R. Cutler, Grand Master of Masons in Rhode Island, to officiate in that jurisdiction. After the ceremonies were concluded, Grand Master Cutler very kindly invited the Grand Master and Brethren from Massachusetts to the hospitalities of his home, for which thoughtful provision they express themselves under many obligations.
FROM COUNCIL OF DELIBERATION, 1879
From Proceedings of the Massachusetts Council of Deliberation AASR NMJ, 1879, Page 70:
“Slowly creep the funerals,
As none should hear the noise, and say,
‘The living, the living must go avay,
To multiply the dead.’ ”
As often, so again to-day, we look through gathering tears into the golden clouds of the after-life. Friend after friend passes within, and is eclipsed of the refulgent mysterious heaven; and there is neither form nor voice, nor beckoning gesture back, to give us knowledge further than the eye seeth; yet to all Masonic hearts Hope stands expectant angel at the rift, and by the things that are, and as well by the rapt smiles and sweet visions of the departing, prophesies to us the life that is to come. “Passing away” is written upon all of us, and rapidly we obey the sum�mons. Young and old, the bloom and the wrinkle, the raven lock and the gray hair, the upright and the bowed down, the youngest Entered Apprentice and the Sublimest Sovereign Grand Inspector-General, salute the angel of the cloud, and are seen of us no more forever.
Yesterday it was Ellison, or Hutchinson, or Greene, or McClellan : to-day it is Titus. That which was earthly is now spiritual; that which was not visible is hereafter all that we shall see of them. Memory lingers amid the past; affection draws the present on into the future. Faith beautifies the ended life, and clarifies the acted history, till with one accord, as we turn from the coffin and the spade, we unite to plant for every just and upright Brother the green and blooming acacia, symbol of inspiration and immortality.
Charles Henry Titus, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, a Sovereign Grand Inspector of the Thirty-third and last Degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, was born April 11, 1819, in the town of Monmouth, Kennebec County, Me. He was an only son, and began his career amid the honest industries and simple virtues of a rural life. His was the rugged, wholesome youth of a country boy. Though not of a poetic or impassioned temperament, his walks in the aisles of the pine-woods, and his works in the open fields, gave a gentle�ness and refinement to his young soul, which grew to be the characteristics of In’s maturity. As if fed by the purity of the field anemone, perfumed by the balsam breath of the groves, and softened by the gurgling brooks of his early home, he came out in manhood’s time with a heart that was quick to feel, a sympathy that was waiting to minister, ** and a friendship that ever hastened to give welcome; so that, in all the humility of his laborious and useful life, he was a universal friend, popular with all, and trusted by all. He moved gently but efficiently, a sol�vent and a healer amid the trials and contentions of his fellow-men.
In other ways, also, the sweetness and excellence of his nature, from the very beginning, made themselves manifest. His inborn and culturing gifts were unwilling to submit to the fetters and narrowness of the farmer’s life, and he early began to feed and develop his intellectual faculties; and then, to give them command and sweep, he engaged in the wonderful experience of school-teaching, where he found the truth of the poet’s words, that
“The wealthiest treasure to his lot shall fall
Whose heart, receiving, still returneth all.”
At first the seasons were divided between the labors of the farm and the more exhausting toil of the school; then, until twenty-five years of age, he devoted himself to the kindred pursuits of literature and teach�ing, and in this he rested upon his own sense of pure strength and upon his simple faith of final success, refusing to receive his share, or any thing, from the small estate left by his father at his decease, but cheerfully relinquishing it all for the more comfortable support and stay of his sisters and mother.
He then became connected with the Maine Wesleyan Seminary, where he enjoyed the friendship, counsel, and instruction of those eminent teachers of youth, the Rev. William C. Larrabee, LL.D., and Rev. Benjamin F. Tefft, D.D., LL.D., whose influence he freely acknowledged to be one of the continual inspirations of all his after-life.
In 1839 he entered upon the work of preparation for the gospel ministry, which he had chosen to be the occupation of his life. Impaired health soon clamored for a change and for a cessation of the enthusiasm with which he was pursuing his favorite study, and so, in 1840, he removed to Greencastle, Ind., and became associated as a tutor with the corps of instruction of Asbury University, located in that place. Here he renewed his relations with Dr. Larrabee, one of the acting professors, and established new ones with Bishop Matthew Simpson, then president of the university. Here, also, under the advice and supervision of these distinguished friends, he continued his classical education, and graduated from the university on Sept. 14, 1842. On the evening of his divorce from the college by graduation (Sept. 14, 1842), he was united in marriage to Miss Martha Dunn, daughter of Col. William Dunn of East Poland, Me., and sister of both Mrs. Tefft and Mrs. Larrabee, thus by the time, and the ties of marriage, illustrating the sweet affinities of literature and love.
During a part of the years 1842 and 1843 Brother Titus and his new wife conducted a private academy at Madison, Ind., with great success; but the care and anxiety of the enterprise became too much for his feeble constitution, and, finding his health becoming more and more precarious, he made a long tour of the Mississippi and the Lakes in company with Bishop Ames. All the incident and adventure of this journey, which made by two such men must have been both memorable and romantic, seem to have gone irrecoverably away into the great forgotten. In August, 1844, health being restored, he was ordained to the office of deacon by Bishop Hedding, and soon after was appointed to the pastorate of the church at Frankport. From this place, at the expiration of his constitutional term of two years, he was offered a transfer to the Providence Conference, embracing churches in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Within this Conference, as pastor and presiding elder, his life of labor and influence has been mainly passed; not with any brilliancy of career, or exceptional splendor of talents, but with an even, steady, continual, useful light, that has been potent to a strong growth in goodness, and that has won not a few from the lower to the truly higher life. He was settled as a pastor successively in New Bedford, Woonsocket, Edgartown, East Weymouth, and Taunton in Massachusetts, and in Warren, Newport, and Phoenix in Rhode Island, and again a second term at Taunton and Warren. In each place he has left sweet and loving memories of his useful labors and his genial manhood. One of his dearest friends says that his labors were “ to the gratification and growth of the churches and congregations under his oversight, winning hosts of warm friends, both in the ministry and laity by his zeal, urbanity, and by his great Christian nobility of character.” He has had two children, — Laura Jane, the wife of Mr. Edgar Pratt of Providence; and Charles Henry, a graduate of Harvard College in 1872, and for some time his assistant in the office of Grand Secretary.
Further details of the life and history of Brother Titus have been well prepared, as we are informed, under his own eye, and are published with the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Massachusetts for the year ending December, 1873, being the year of its one hundred and fortieth anniversary.Illustrious Brother Titus from his cradle to his coffin was always of a genuinely honest, true, pure, sweetly reasonable mind. His spirit was attuned to all good tilings. He was a loyal, loving citizen, discharging with quiet dignity and earnestness all the duties and trusts that befell him to do. He was a kindly affectionate, sympathizing, helping neigh�bor. His aim was to make life sunnier and better. He was a steady, trusted, plain, sincere teacher, a comforting, gentle, hopeful, faithful pastor and counsellor. As a husband and a father he combined and lived out all those forgiving and self-sacrificing virtues, wore always that hopeful cheer, that undisturbed assurance of faith, that wise even�ness of judgment, and that calm discretion of act, that made home to him and his at once the sweetest and most sacred spot of earth. He was a man of decided opinions; and when his mind had accepted a principle, plan of life, or faith, he had no more doubt. He was an excel�lent judge of human nature, and this quality served him nobly in his mission of peace between his fellow-men.
With Ill. Bro. Titus, Masonry had an early and romantic birth. When he was but ten years of age, an old neighbor and very dear friend of his family, an influential townsman and a good Mason, was buried with full Masonic honors. The severe criticisms against secret societies, that thoughtlessly or ignorantly were bandied about from mouth to mouth, had fallen upon his ear; and his curiosity was on fire to witness the strange and solemn ceremony. But in the language of his maturer years, “the rich Masonic regalia, the mournful music, the muffled drums, the solemn march around the grave, the sprig of acacia reverently deposited by each brother, saying, as he dropped his emblem of immortality into the grave, ‘The will of God is accomplished — Amen — So mote it be,' stirred my soul to its very depths; and I there resolved within myself that when I became a man I would be a Ma�son.” This youthful impulse was continually cherished and strengthened with his age ; and as soon as his health was established, and the sojournings of his ministry had come into the steadiness of residence, which was one of the fruits of his presiding eldership, he at once sought admission among the Brotherhood of King David Lodge, and received the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on the 15th of December, 1858. In 1859 he received the Capitular degrees in Adoniram Chapter of New Bedford, the Council degrees in Providence Council of Royal and Select Masters, and the Orders of Knighthood in St. John’s Encampment of Knights Templar at Providence, R.I. In 1S60 he was invested with the ineffable Degrees in King Solomon’s Lodge of Per�fection at Providence, and the remaining degrees of the Ancient Accepted Rite in Newport. May 18, 1865, he was created a Sov. Grand Inspector-General, thirty-third degree, at Boston, and elected an Honor�ary Member of the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Juris�diction of the United States of America.
His Masonic services have been abundant and always acceptable, and may be briefly enumerated as follows : he was Wor. Master of King David’s Lodge of Taunton, thrice Ill. Master of Webb Council of Royal and Select Masters of Warren, R.I., Eminent Commander of St. John’s Commandery of Providence, R.I., Grand Prelate, Grand Captain-General, Deputy Grand Master, and Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He has also acted as first officer of the Lodge, Council, Chapter, and Consistory in the A. A. Rite, but rather for the purposes of organizational! establishment of these Bodies than for actual work in the ritual of the Rite.For several years, and up to the time of his death, he was Grand Prior of the Supreme Council, 33°. He also, for a number of years, served as Grand Prior of the Massachusetts Council of Deliberation, until, at its session in June, 1878, he was elected Ill. First Lieut.-Commander of that Body.
In 1872 he united with some of his old Brethren of King David’s Lodge in the formation of a new Lodge in Taunton, which was called in his honor the Charles H. Titus Lodge.
When our Brother Titus received the appointment of Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, he regarded it as an interposition of divine Providence, some of whose meanings and mercies he seemed to himself at once to discern ; and although no cloud rested upon his faith, and in no respect was his trust in God weakened, yet the breakfast prayer that ascended to heaven after the news had been told him was the rolling-away of a great burden from his heart, and an uplift of thanksgiving that was radiant of relief and joy. It was sent of God to answer some present needs : of so much was he sure. He recognized in it also, some larger good and some profounder purpose, which he was not then able to forecast, and which, perhaps, by all the aids of his later life can only partially be told.
He entered upon the office, by his own free will and accord, a some�what rigid Methodist and a Christian sectarist. The human race was divisible into two classes, — the workers with God to the elevation and salvation of men, and the workers against God. The former were the church organic and visible, employing the instruments and ceremonials of the church : the latter were the world, busy and engrossed about the things of time, with motives and tools of work, selfish, and at best only moral or prudentially good, and not religiously so. The former were the saved, — children and servants of God, doing and walking in God’s purposes: the latter were not in the covenant of salvation, — children and servants of human interests, doing and thinking in the laws and processes of the merely natural world; a human brotherhood that were to be converted and changed into good men. God’s kingdom was to come only by their religious conversion, and gathering into the church.
His intimate and daily life with the Masonic Brotherhood, as it happened in the contacts of his great office, gradually more and more effaced this line of churchly limitation, till, as he came near his closing days, he often with marked pleasure repeated to his nearer associates what a delightful change had come over his views by reason of this Masonic knowledge, and how wonderful it had become to him to find and to know so many good men who neither belonged to any church, nor were even professing Christians, who were still so devotedly, so faith�fully, and so wisely working to establish among their fellow-men the very principles and laws and motives of life which make the gospel and kingdom of God. He declared it was a conception which had not been possible to him, except that his eyes had seen, and his heart felt it in the intimacies and communions with his Brethren. It was an exuberant surprise to him, and a partial interpretation of the Providence that had called him to his place, as he realized the far-reaching fact that God could be and was served by an infinitely greater and more abundant ministry than his creed had permitted, even by every truly good and godly heart.
by this knowledge, his love, his charity, his humanity, were both enlightened and enlarged, his religion opened to the grander proportions of the manifested Christ; not that he was any the less a Christian or a Methodist, but that he was so much the more a man, so much the more a true disciple of Jesus, who never taught, or claimed from man, any thing other or more than that the natural gifts of human nature should be attuned to their normal and best estate, which is the highest, true, and heavenly life.
We have been the more moved to this exposure of the providence of placing this ingenuous mind in this novel culture, by the discussions that have been quite recently started respecting the Christianity of so-called unsanctified literature, of which one of the most eminent orthodox�divines of the day has said, “It is the glory of literature, and the good fortune of those who read it, that, cold as may be its heart towards your church or my church, ... it has made a large and central figure of God, and, all through the Christian centuries, of Christ.”
And for this reason thus moved the more, because it is fast coming to be seen and acknowledged by Christian professor and non-professor, in harmony with the last culture of our deceased brother Titus, that there is no basis upon which the salvation of men can be intelligently preached or rested less than the broadest human nature as it was dowered with powers and aspirations by the creative Will.
As a Mason, Charles Henry Titus was among his brethren open�faced and plumb, walking upon the level of equality, and having every act squared with virtue. The stone he returned to the Grand Overseer was not the magnificent and labored cope-stone of human greatness; but it was shapely and sharp-angled. He worshipped reverently in the Temple of Jehovah, and joined heartily in the great catholic chant that “the Lord is good, for his mercy endureth forever;” and from foundations clear and solid he sprang the arches of his unfaltering faith. Like Zerubbabel of old, he shrank not from the offering of himself for his brethren’s good; and, when upon his obligation he had set his seal, his sword was unsheathed till the justice of the victory was fully con�ceded. His profession carried him largely in labor among the sins and vices of men; but he was not poisoned of them, but shook them clean from his person, as did Paul the deadly viper at Malta. An ardent seeker after perfection, he lived to become a Prince of the Holy City. He was a constant worshipper at the cross, and through its stains of rosy toil he witnessed the ascending God. By the full trials of the balance, and the tests of pilgrimage in the valley of the shadow of death, he arose through fidelity and courage to be the Superior and Inspector of his Brethren, and has now ascended to the more exalted and wonder�ful mystery of the service of the Fraternity in heaven.
“With quiet sadness and no gloom we love to think upon him
With meekness that is gratefulness to God, whose life-crown hath won Sion."
On the twenty-ninth day of October, A.D. 1878, at the age of fifty�nine years and six months, the soul of our beloved friend and Brother burst its fleshly fetters, and flew to the world of faith. His remains were laid away in the cemetery at Warren, R.I.
From a life of active labors and many denials, from scenes he treasured as fondly as human heart may, from friends so dear that their society and sympathy were as lights of life to him, making all his joys resplendent with cheerfulness and hope, he has passed away; and these beautiful lines from across the water seem to have been made as the fragrant epitome of his life: —
“True to the promise of thy far-off youth,
When all who loved thee for thee prophesied
A grand, full life, devoted to the truth,
A noble cause by suffering sanctified;
True to all beauties of the poet-thought.
Which made thy youth so eloquent and sweet;
True to all duties which thy manhood brought
To take the room of fancies light and fleet;
True to the steadfast walk and narrow way
Which thy forefathers of the covenant trod;
True to thy friend in foul or sunny day,
True to thy home, thy country, and thy God!”