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From TROWEL, Spring 1997, Page 6:

by Robert W. Williams, III, Trowel's Consulting Editor

The light from the lanterns hanging in Old North Church flickered November 5 when 74 million registered voters decided to stay home, thus having President William J. Clinton reelected to office with only a 49 percent majority. I could hear the clarion calls of Patrick Henry and James Otis and see Paul Revere lost in the dust from his horse —men who helped to forge this nation into an independent people —and I asked myself. "Will the malcontents help to make this nation perish from earth?'* Perhaps this country "of the people, by the people and for the People" has too much independence.

As Masons we are taught to respect the moral law which has been bent to please new generations without morals. Mexicans swim the Rio Grande River in their attempt to gain illegal entry to partake of our freedoms they are denied in their homeland. We're all sons and daughters of immigrants and for more than 200 years fought to protect our chosen way of life and government. But with disrespect institutions like religion and Freemasonry get pushed further back and even lost in sight.

What about religion? A belief in a Supreme Being? Are we beginning to experience the end of denominational religion? Does that thought frighten you? It doesn't frighten our Reverend and Right Worshipful Oscar A. Guinn. Jr., the senior Grand Chaplain of our Grand Lodge. "I'm not happy, but I can see it coming," he remarked as he continues to carry his glad tidings and prayers to shut-ins, the ill folks and the Rainbow Girls. He committed himself to Rainbow in 1996 and to fill an occasional pulpit when called.

"We have lost an entire generation and religions have a miserable record - the 17 to 30 age groups and it really puts a burden on my mind and heart." When he visited my home two days before the election he was recording his 672nd visit of the year and at a time when many young ministers don't knock on doors and doctors don't make house calls. "My yearly average (when he had a parish) would be about 1.200 visits." His compassion toward Rainbow Girls comforts our two granddaughters who have felt his kindness.

The Rev. William Willimon, dean of the chapel at Duke University and no stranger to Brother Guinn, admits to losing young people of that age. Like Brother Guinn he is a Methodist and it has been reported the nation's second largest denomination in America has lost two million members over the past generation. Rev. Willimon blames layers of bureaucracy for the declining numbers and donations within America's mainline churches. "I think denominationalism is over. We have lost our monopoly over religion in the American ways of life."

"Churches," he says, "have failed because today's Christian leaders are too busy running programs and not taking care of the personal needs of their flock. Young ministers don't knock on doors. They are losing the touch of folks in need of spiritual guidance."

In the Episcopal Church the number of members has fallen from 3.6 million in 30 years to only 2.5 million. Similar drops have been reported within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Disciples of Christ. The dropoff in the United Methodist Church has gone from 11 million members in the mid-1960s (when the decline in Freemasonry's membership began) to less than nine million today. "Are they lost, stolen, or have they simply strayed?" he asks. Many will blame the loss to the Vietnam War or even to television.

Brother Guinn wears the same hat he has always worn. That is why he continues to share his life with people. "It's nothing new; people need people. That is what Religion and Freemasonry are all about." And he gives his all to both.

Married to the right girl? "You better believe it; we have shared our lives with people from China to America and we have, and still do, share our lives when and where we can. He knows what it means to wear the square and compasses in foreign lands. "I've felt that extra something given by men from all countries when they know I am a Mason. The doors simply open."

Born in Danville. VA, mid-state near the Dan River Mills where his father, without formal education, preached for 50 years and was also active in the Red Men and Odd Fellows, both suffering from lack of new members. Handicapped in health, his dad had formed a mission for children. Oscar graduated from Danville High School in 1941, spent two years at Emory and Henry College in Virginia and received his degree at Emory College in Atlanta in 1948. In six weeks he was off to China as a missionary preacher.

There he met Judy Heighson who was born in Shanghai but called Worcester. MA her home. She was teaching bacteriology at a YMCA and when they felt they were meant for each other they married. An heirloom wedding gown was shipped across the water for something old and "I guess I was the something new." Their marriage has produced a daughter Elizabeth who has 12 adopted children, a son Allen who is a plastic surgeon in Kansas City, MO. and David who is a purchaser for a business in Seattle. Their biological and adopted children have increased the next generation to 60. They all call the home of Oscar and Judy their home, which is now Taunton.

He has held pastorates in Virginia. Dorchester. Framingham. Melrose and Needham. At age 65 the bishop told him it was time for retirement, sort of, but first help a small parish in Westport. If you didn't get there early you stood throughout the service. "We enjoyed that little church, but when the bishop said I was 70 that meant mandatory retirement. Which has meant Freemasonry and Rainbow Girls have gained.

"While in the Orient I knew men who would travel 300 miles to go to a Lodge meeting. Now. here in the States, they won't cross the street. I have been a faithful attendant at Rotary Club meetings for 37 years." When preaching in Framingham he once entertained ex-U-Boat commander Dr. Martin Niemoller who had gained fame as a Christian voice against Adolph Hitler and lucky to escape from Germany alive.

The Cornerstone, published by Heirloom Bible, says "The challenge to recruit new members into Freemasonry has existed for 30 years." (Longer than that!) The Grand Lodge of Illinois is on the upsurge by sponsoring one day classes, almost like making a Mason at sight. In the November issue of The Northern Light, the publication of the Northern Jurisdiction of Scottish Rite, figures are shown for four areas in Illinois that have resulted in a grand total gain of 2,769 in the one-day classes. One was held in the auditorium of Mohammed Shrine Temple in Peoria where the seating capacity of 1,872 was filled.

"But are we making Masons or simply witnessing candidates pass through the degrees and not really learning what the Craft is all about?" asks one senior member. The result will be proven in years to come. But attitudes of men have changed since the Civil and World Wars One and Two when men never left home without being made a Mason.

It is also a matter of fact that the life of young men has been altered from that of 50 and more years ago. It once took several months to have the funds to request an application. It is now done in a couple of months. But the young man of today must educate himself beyond high school to procure good employment, resulting in an older man who might then be considering marriage, next a family, then Masonry if there is time and money. Plus the working wife and mother. If the man of the house can get home from work, eat a meal and then run off to a Lodge meeting, what about his wife? She has the same life plus caring for a child.

Is it really the lack of exposure of Masonry to the public? I'm from a generation that went to Sunday School, church and Raised by my father at age 21; a family that included one who was a charter member when King David Lodge of Taunton was born in 1798. Sons of Masons who seek our fraternal life are rare and a once prosperous DeMolay Chapter suffers from the malnutrition of new members. The stigma from the Vietnam War has hurt and television is a weak alibi. You either do or you don't.

When the Reverend Margaret Long took a day off from her Trinity Methodist Church in Taunton (usually called in North Dighton), she reached out to our Right Worshipful Robert H. Hartley for help. One of the strong pillars of that small church, he handed the challenge to Brother Guinn. "Why not, Bob, and I have a good idea." When Grand Master Arthur E. Johnson learned he had a open date he accepted the invitation to come to Trinity Church and those three good Masons had charge of the morning service on November 3.

The Grand Master's sermon?- Freemasonry is not a religion and not a substitute for a religion. Did he get his point across? I wouldn't know; people will hear what they want to hear just as this newsman learned 60 years ago. They will read what they choose to read and then, while reading, inject their own opinions to confuse their reading, and usually lose the intent of the writer. To Brother Oscar Guinn it meant little difference. He got both points many years ago and society has been enriched by and from both his religious and Masonic experiences.

Our Grand Chaplain extends the cabletow of Freemasonry whether the tide ebbs or flows and we salute him on fifty years of faithful membership. The young man from Danville still stands tall.


From Proceedings, Page 1999-83:

R.W. and Rev. John R. S. Higgins read the following memorial to R.W. and Rev. Oscar Allen Guinn, Jr.:

Born in Danville, Virginia, January 4, 1922
Died in Fall River, Massachusetts, April 12, 1999

Right Worshipful Oscar Allen Guinn, Jr., Senior Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, passed away after a brief illness in Fall River, Massachusetts on April 12, 1999. He was in every respect a distinguished pastor and Mason, and was faithful to his calling as a father, a minister, and a Mason.

Brother Guinn, the son of The Reverend Oscar Guinn, Sr. and Elizabeth Simmons, was born at Danville, Virginia, where his father was a pastor of the Methodist Church; his grandfather also was a Methodist pastor. Educated in the public school, after his graduation from high school in 1941, he studied at Emory University and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1945, his Bachelor of Divinity Degree in 1948 (and later a Master's of Theology degree in 1952). In 1948 he accepted a call to serve as a missionary and teacher in China and later served in Malaya and Singapore. In keeping with the quality of humility which characterized his life, he did not speak of the hardships and rigors of this period in his life, but it is a testimony to the quality of his ministry that a young man, whom he deeply influenced while in Asia and later became a Methodist pastor, spoke eloquently of Oscar's ministry at his funeral.

The Reverend Guinn later served Methodist parishes in Virginia,Dorchester, Framingham, Melrose, Needham, and in what was a misnomer, in his "retirement" was pastor in the Westport, Massachusetts, parish. His memorial service was held in the Wesley United Methodist Church in Framingham, Massachusetts, this beautiful building being erected during his pastorate. In each community he was involved in civic organizations, including the Rotary where he was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was active in the ministry until a few months before his death.

The Reverend Guinn was married to Judith Heinsohn in Fukien, China, on 27 May 1949; she was a native of Worcester, Massachusetts. They had four children, Allen, now a surgeon in Kansas City, Kansas, a daughter, Elizabeth, who has many adopted children, and two other sons. His grandchildren and adopted grandchildren number over sixty, and through his work in Rainbow and DeMolay has many, many more who looked on Oscar as their father.

Brother Guinn was raised a Master Mason in Ramah Lodge No. 70, in Danville, Virgiuia on June 15, 1946. He later held memberships or was affiliated with Lodges in China, Malaya, and in Melrose, Malden, Needham, Newton, Taunton, Braintree, and Westport. He was a Chaplain of a multitude of Lodges, these becoming his parishes in addition to those he served in the Methodist tradition.

The Reverend Guinn was a Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, being appointed by M.W. Stanley Fielding Maxwell in 1976 and was the senior Grand Chaplain at the time of his death. Through his example, teaching, and his faith, he was well-considered by his fellow Grand Chaplains as the Grandest Chaplain - although he was upset in his own unique way whenever we referred to him as such.

Right Worshipful Guinn was appointed as Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island, and was honored by that Grand Lodge by being made an honorary member. He received the Joseph Warren Medal in 1975, and received the Henry Price Medal, the highest honor the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts can grant, from M.W. Edgar W. Darling in 1992.

The Reverend Oscar Guinn was active in all York Rite Bodies. As in the Blue Lodge,.he was a member and chaplain of a number of Royal Arch Chapters and served as Grand Chaplain of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons - being appointed to this position in 1972. He was honored with the Benjamin Hurd Medal in 1995, and the Paul Revere Medal in 1998. He was a Grand Chaplain of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters and received the Abraham A. Dame Medal from that body in 1986. In the Commandery, he was appointed as Grand Prelate n 1979 and as Grand Representative to Nova Scotia in 1983.

Young people had a special place in his ministry, and the Reverend Guinn was faithful in his attendance at Rainbow and DeMolay meetings. He was awarded the Rainbow Grand Cross of Color in 1986 and the DeMolay Legion of Honor. As his professional duties in the parish became less, his devotion to these organizations increased, in particular, those in Rainbow became part of his extended family. He likewise was a loyal member of the Order of the Eastem Star and the Aleppo Shrine.

Brother Guinn completed the degrees of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in the Valley of Boston in 1971, and from 1973 was Prior of the Massachusetts Consistory. In 1974, he became a member of the Royal Order of Scotland. He was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 29, 1976.

He was a tall man who was readily seen above a crowd, but far more than his height, it was his personal and spiritual qualities which made him stand out. He was a man of consummate humility, and one of the few things he avoided was praise. The Reverend Oscar Guinn was interred on a sun-filled day at the Beechgrove Cemetery in Westport, Massachusetts, with a graveside Masonic Service. His memorial service at the Wesley United Methodist Church was a time of sadness and joy; at the conclusion of the service a congregation composed of his family and parishioners and Masons sang together a favorite hymn of Oscar's, "How Great Thou Art". His life and ministry was an affirmation of this hymn as it was an act of worship of God.

He was our friend, our teacher, our pastor; Oscar truly was a man of faith. A saint has been defined as a person who leads others to God; in the fullest sense, Oscar, was, and remains, a saint. May God watch over him through etemity.

R.W. and Reverend John Robert Higgins
Wor. and Reverend Russell Way
Wor. and Reverend Albert Welch
Wor. and Rabbi Alvin Lieberman
Wor. and Reverend Peter V. Corea
Wor. and Reverend David B. Hanks
Grand Chaplains

Following the memorial, the Grand Master presented to Brother Higgins the Grand Chaplain's jewel worn by Brother Guinn, followed by the presentation of the Henry Price Medal. The Grand Master referred to Brother Higgins as the Senior Grand Chaplain, a title which Brother Guinn had held for many years.

Obituary from South Coast Today:

The Rev. Oscar A. Guinn Jr., 77, of Highland Street, Taunton, died Monday, April 12, 1999, at Rose Hawthorne Lathrop Home after a brief illness. He was the husband of Judith H. (Heinsohn) Guinn and son of the late Rev. Oscar A. and Elizabeth A. (Simmons) Guinn.

Born in Danville, Ga., he had lived Taunton for the past seven years after his retirement. He was a third generation Methodist preacher. Rev. Guinn served pastorates in Virginia, Georgia, Massachusetts, Malaysia and Singapore.

Starting with Piney Forest Methodist Church, Danville, Va., he was a pastor at many churches, including Westport Point United Methodist Church, Westport Point, 1987-92. He was a missionary in China, 1948-50, being held by the communists for 15 months; a missionary in Malaysia 1956-58 and in Singapore 1958-60.

He was a member of the Decatur Chapter No. 119 Royal Arch Chapter, where he received many degrees and was a member of other chapters, including New Bedford, St. Mark's Taunton and Fall River Somerset.

In September of 1976, he had the highest honor a Mason can have bestowed upon him. He was coronated the 33rd degree in Milwaukee, Wis. Rev. Guinn was educated in the public schools of Danville, two years at Emory & Henry College, Emory, Va. He receive his BA, BD, Th.M degrees from Emory University, Atlanta, and did some work at Boston University.

Survivors include his widow; three sons, O. Allen Guinn III of Lee's Summit, Mo., David G. Guinn of Kenmore, Wash., and James W. Guinn of Lilburn, Ga.; a daughter, Elizabeth S. Guinn of Eugene, Ore.; a brother, Robert N. Guinn of Cascade, Va.; 26 grandchildren by birth and adoption; six great-grandchildren; two nieces; and dozens of youth that called him "Uncle Oscar."

Graveside services will be held at 1030 a.m. Monday at Beech Grove Cemetery, Westport.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday from the Wesley United Methodist Church, Framingham. Arrangements are by the Potter Funeral Home, 81 Reed Road, Westport.



Note that a portion of this presentation appeared in the Northern Light, November 1975, Page 10-11.

From Proceedings, Page 1974-309:

Most Worshipful The Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brethren, Right Worshipful Brethren, Worshipful Brethren, and Brethren All:

It is an honor to be with you tonight and share in the joy and importance of this day.

For a number of years I have wondered why our Masonic Lodges are dedicated to the Holy Saints John — Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist. I could understand it, if all of our members were Christians, but that is not true. (One evening in Lodge Al-Almeen No. 1412 S.C. in Bombay, India, I realized that I was the only Christian present.) We have men of many Faiths, many Denominations and the followers of many Creeds. This can be a weakness, but Masonry has made it a strength.

Many have written on one, or both, of the Saints John, including our own Past Grand Master, Most Worshipful Thomas S. Roy. I do not want to review their scholarly work, but I would like to quote a paragraph from a paper written for the Grand Lodge of Colorado in 1940 by Carl H. Claudy.

"Whatever the reasons . . . Freemasons of Today come from the Lodge of the Holy Saints John of Jerusalem, meaning that we belong to a Lodge dedicated to those Saints, whose practices and precepts, teachings and examples, are those all Freemasons should try to follow."

What are these precepts and examples? There is no doubt what they mean to me as a Christian clergyman, but what do they mean to me as a Mason?

I want to share with you what has become part of my Masonic Life during these past years. Let's look at them separately.


John the Baptist was a descendant of priests on both sides of his family. His father, Zacharias, was on duty in the Temple when John's birth was foretold, and his mother, Elizabeth, was of the Daughters of Aaron. We have a story of his birth being predicted by an Angel in Luke 1. He was born six months before Jesus, who was his cousin. He was ordained a Nazarite from birth. A Nazarite was one set apart for God, usually for a period of time; but it seems John was designated one for life. They could use no alcoholic beverages, could never cut their hair, nor approach a dead body of anything — not even of a close relative.

John lived near the Dead Sea for part of his life. Jean Steinmann, a Roman Catholic scholar in his book "Saint John the Baptist and the Desert Tradition", associates him with the Essene Sect. This is of great interest today for scholars because the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls was made in an ancient Monastery of the Essenes on the shores of the Dead Sea. Certainly many of their ideas can be traced in John's thought.

John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod, on a request made by his wife, Herodias, through her daughter who had danced for the King and his noblemen, while they were highly intoxicated. The King had promised his niece anything, and she made this shocking request. Herodias was angry with John the Baptist, for his condemnation of the King's marriage to her who had been his brother's wife. His death came around the year 29 A.D.

This cousin of Jesus has represented two main characteristics for me, and I think they have a message for us as Masons.

One was ASCETICISM. Matthew (3:1 & 4) says that "In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea. . . And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins, and his meat was locusts and wild honey."

This is a perfect picture of hundreds of monks who lived in the wild places of the Middle East and North Africa. There have been countless such persons in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. In fact, you can find them in any religion, in any place and in any century. These persons withdraw from society and live alone, or in monasteries with others of like mind. They see the evils rampant in the world, and use their lives as Sermons of Rejection of the World. They try to find God, a new outlook on life, or their own meaning. Hours are spent in meditation and prayer.

There is nothing wrong in withdrawing from the rushing world and trying to get our lives and our world into a new perspective. Without these moments, or hours, we gradually "run down" and collapse. Some of the great increase in mental illness can be attributed to this need.

In a true, but limited, sense this is what we do when we enter our Lodge Rooms. Few of us will ever go into the wilderness to live and meditate, but we do withdraw from the world for a short time into a Lodge. We place a Tyler on the door to see that we are not disturbed. We know the fellowship of Brother Masons; we transact business and make plans. But, when the Ritual for the Degrees begins, we are to be in "meditation" on the meaning of our life in this world, on death, and on life after death. This is the reason we want the ritual done well, and conversations to cease. One cannot really concentrate when concern is felt for the ritualist who may be forgetting his lines, nor when men are chattering on the side lines. We have seen our degrees hundreds of times, but seldom do I see one in which I do not get new insights and inspiration.

John the Baptist had to give up something to go into the wilderness, and so do we when we go into the Lodge. We have to sacrifice something to be there — fellowship with family, bowling, TV, or sleep. If we do not sacrifice for the Lodge, then Masonry means little to us.

But, the reference to John the Baptist from the Gospel of Matthew says something else about him. He came out of the wilderness to talk to the people by the lake side, on the roads, and in the towns. He shared with them the insights he had gained in his meditation. This has a message for us as Masons. What we have learned in the Lodge about life, death and immortality we should share with others. No, we cannot divulge the ritual, the secrets, or the exact context of the teachings. But, we must share the basic lessons learned, or they become weak and die in us.

This sharing can be done by words, deeds, or life style. A Mason is a DIFFERENT man. If he is not, then he has failed to understand Masonry. Often in speaking to Masonic Families, I have mentioned this, and some wives have expressed doubt! My only answer has been that they have no idea what he might have been, if he had not been a Mason!

I have a newspaper clipping of a speech given by a Senator in a National Legislature of another Nation. He knew nothing of Masonry, but proceeded to condemn it severely, and in one place accused us of meeting in the nude. Many of my Masonic friends laughed at his ignorance. But, the pathetic point for me was that I knew the President of that Senate was a Mason! I am sure that the Senator did not know this, but why didn't he? Having lived in Asia, I know the reluctance to publicize Masonry, but I feel others should know something about the Fraternity by looking at our lives. If they see something different, then they will want to know what it is. And, who knows, it might be the opening for a new Brother.

Secondly, John the Baptist represents for me HUMILITY.

John preached, "There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose." (Mark 1:7) "He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30)

For the Christian, this is John's testimony to Jesus, and it is one of the cornerstones of our Faith. But what does it say to us as Masons? John the Baptist was willing for Jesus to go before and above him. Joseph Fort Newton called this "his self-effacing humility". He was glad to proclaim another's superiority. Are we? John knew his position and tried to fill it to the best of his ability.

Each Mason has job to do. We need to know what ours is. It is not the same as any other person's place, but it is as vital as his. Some have a task that is more prominent, but leadership carries with it greater problems and headaches! The Junior Deacon may be not the highest post in the Lodge, but have you ever seen a Worshipful Master open a Lodge without him?

Every man in the Lodge has a talent for something, and an interest in some phase of the work. He needs to feel pride in his work, and feel important in it, for He Is Important.

My Father had a man come to him in Church and ask to help. Dad asked if he could speak in public, teach a Sunday School class, sing, or what talents did he have. Nothing Dad mentioned seemed to be right, so Dad asked what he felt he could do. "Stand at the door and give out the hymnals." He did just that and added to the Service. He was important.

It takes humility to recognize our limitations, as well as our abilities. This John the Baptist had. He could see another perform things he could never do, and rejoice in it. The Lodge cannot exist without the real workers in the quarries. If everyone sat in the East, we would have a Lodge out of balance. Recently, I saw in a Masonic kitchen a small plaque which said, "We have too many chiefs and not enough indians."

And yet, if one does rise to be Master, it still takes humility to see another Master have a greater year than yours. It is hard to praise him for it and really rejoice that Masonry is going forward. Our Fraternity is much more important than whether your leadership was greater than someone else, or whether one seems to receive more praise than we do. This is hard to accept in any phase of life, but the real Mason knows the Humility that is exemplified by John the Baptist.


As much as I appreciate John the Baptist, I must admit that my admiration and respect is even more for John the Evangelist. Part of this could be due to the greater knowledge we have of his life and work. And, especially for me, the meaning of John the Evangelist comes from his Gospel, which I love greatly and have read sixty-three times.

C. C. Hunt, writing for the Grand Lodge of Iowa in 1924, said, "one (John the Baptist) prepared the way, or as they said laid the foundation of our Spiritual Temple, and the other (John the Evangelist) builded thereon."

Who was this man?

He was the son of Zebedee and made his living as a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. Another brother, James, joined him as a Disciple of Jesus. John became a member of the inner circle of Jesus' Disciples, often being designated the "Disciple whom Jesus loved". He is thought of as being gentle, mild-mannered and quiet; but he was known — along with James, his brother — as "Sons of Thunder". He was a friend of Caiaphas, the High Priest, for he was able to get into his courtyard during Jesus' Trial. This would indicate some status beyond a fisherman. With Peter, he rushed first to the empty Tomb on Easter Morning.

He went to Rome, and during the persecution under the Emperor Domitian, was thrown into a pot of boiling oil. We do not know how he escaped, but he lived to be an old man. Some say he died in Ephesus, but the date of his death is hotly debated by scholars, who place it anywhere from 89 to 120 A.D. I, personally, prefer one of the dates in the Second Century.

What does John the Evangelist teach us as Masons? The answers can be many and varied, but for me there are two major contributions.

First, John the Evangelist always is known as the Apostle of LOVE. In Christian circles, he is called the "Beloved Disciple", and his Gospel is often known as the "Gospel of Love". In Chapter 12, verse 35, he quotes Jesus, "A new commandment I give you, that ye love one another." And, in 15:13, he emphasized the demand for love in "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." These are only two of the many references to love in this one book of the Bible. I have not checked it, but one scholar says that there are forty-three places where John uses love in his Gospel.

The Lesson for our Second Degree deals with Love (or Charity, as it was often called in the 17th Century when the King James Version of the Bible was translated). It does not quote John, but Paul (I Corinthians 13), which summarizes wonderfully what John intended in the word "Love".

Whenever one uses "Love" today he has to be very definite in his meaning. We use it in so many ways — we love God, our family, our friends, books, golf, pizza, America, music and thousands of other things. "Love" can mean almost anything, depending on the speaker, time, and place.

The Greeks were more precise, than we are in English. They had several words meaning "Love". Eros is a physical attraction for something in the material realm. It can be sexual desire which gives us the concept of Erotic Love. Phileo is a love between friends, a respect, admiration, attachment. But, Agape is Heavenly Love, a love that is given but can never be deserved. It signifies someone doing something for another who could never demand it, nor even expect it. It is Agape when a person gives his life for a friend. This is the love discussed in the Second Degree.

Listen to that Lesson when it is read by the Chaplain. It is not there just to fill in a period of silence. What does it say? Even if we speak as no man ever spoke before (if we can enact Ritual as no one else in all of history); if we could foretell the future (know all answers to the economic and world problems); if we had all faith; if we gave away everything we had; if we were burned at the stake (as was DeMolay), but did not have LOVE, then we would be a ZERO. This Love is actually happy when it can suffer for others, does not react when misunderstood, misquoted and slandered. It does not go only the second mile, but continues until it wins back the Brother. It can never fail, for it is God's Love in our lives. It is the ultimate Love, and it is the Love a Mason is supposed to practice.

I know that Saint Francis of Assisi was never a Mason, but I covet for our Fraternity his life of Love. Once when walking through the woods with a friend, they began a discussion on the Joy of Love. It was a cold night, and they had been out for many hours. Francis turned to Brother Leo, and said, "Leo, do you know when we can know the Joy of Love ? When we get to Sancta Maria (his monastic home), rain soaked, cold and hungry, and knock at the door, if our Brothers come out and drive us away, even knock us down into the snow, calling us rogues, and we can still love them, then we will know the Joy of Love."

We may not have to face this kind of situation, but if we can still love those complaining, arguing, and irritating brothers in the Lodge, then we might know the Joy of Love that is needed in Masonry.

But, John the Evangelist has another, and possibly greater contribution to Masonry.

Few of us are architects and builders by trade, although our Fraternity is based on the practices and tools of operative masons. We call ourselves Speculative Masons — not building in wood and stone, but in the Hearts of Men. We are not building another Temple of Solomon, but a SPIRITUAL TEMPLE. It is this Temple that is discussed in the Gospel of John.

The construction of a Spiritual Temple is the most difficult kind of building. If I even discuss it with you, it can be easily considered Religious Pride. If I attempt to aid you in building your Spiritual Life, my suggestions may not work for you. We are all different. The methods and tools which I use may not interest you at all, and I cannot say that mine are the best. We can learn from Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Augustine, Albert Schweitzer, Martin Buber, or Toyohiko Kagawa. But this can be done only when we put ourselves in their places, and then apply their methods to our life in our own day. This is not easy! We must learn what is best for our building, but we must be constantly developing our Spiritual Temple.

This form of Temple Building moves us from the physical and materialistic realm, which so governs our lives most of the time. We must go to the inner, unseen, basic principles of our lives and eternity. And, again this is very difficult. We have become so materialistic that we have almost sold our souls for a "mess of pottage". Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, the Roman Catholic Bishop of TV fame, once said that Communism frightens us so much, because it shows us what happens when one puts into practice what we really believe!

Ludwig Feuerbach (the philosopher from whom Karl Marx got his basic materialism to unite with Hegelian Dialectics to form Dialectical Materialism, the philosophical name for Communism) summarized materialism in a few sentences. "Man eats before he thinks." "Man is what he eats." He did not mean that we are just meat, potatoes, bread, vegetables, etc. We are in a certain degree. But he thought our material environment creates our patterns of thought, and makes us what we are. Feuerbach is right in some ways. If the food I ate tonight disagreed with me, and I had indigestion, I might not be in a good mood. It is true that my home and community environment change my outlook on life.

But, I am more than what I eat, or my enviroment. I have an eternal soul, and so do you. It is in the realm of this soul, or spirit, that we construct our Spiritual Temple. It is this unseen factor in life that can enable a Lincoln to rise above a log cabin on the frontier and become one of the great men of all times. It gives Gandhi the basis for life and leadership to become the Father of Modern India. And, it gave Washington the courage and vision to come from Valley Forge, with all of its hopelessness, and give us a new Nation. It is this Spiritual Temple about which we have been talking.

It is the basic foundation of our Speculative Masonry, which we often forget. We forget when we spend time on forms and ignore the substance. We forget when we make great plans and fail to see the people for whom we plan. We forget when we emphasize the exactness of the Ritual and lose the Spirit behind it.

But somehow, when we can withdraw from the world for a short time, and in humility find the love of Brotherhood and the fellowship with God, we learn to draw the designs on the Trestle boards of our minds and begin to build the real Temple of Masonry — that Spiritual Temple in our hearts.

May God help us fulfill our tasks in this difficult time! (Standing applause)


Beginning on Page 1975-175, following the presentation of a Joseph Warren Medal:

"Most Worshipful The Grand Master, Most Worshipful Sirs, Right Worshipful Brethren, Worshipful Brethren and Brethren All:

"The Grand Master has just honored me in such a way that I do not know what to say. My heart is too full to adequately express my thanks. I sincerely hope that I may be able to serve in some way to show my appreciation to Masonry. Next to my family, and my Church, Masonry has meant more to me than anything I have known. Wherever I have gone, the bonds of Brotherhood made in the Masonic Fraternity have been beyond words. My deepest appreciation for the honor you have given me.

"The Grand Master has asked that I share with you a summary of what I said at a Service in Old North Church, on April 19, 1975, in which we honored the men of the pre-Revolutionary and Paul Revere Lodges.

"At that time I asked the question, For what are you willing to Die?

"A few months ago, I drove up to a stop light, and while waiting for it to change noticed the license plate on the car in front. It was from New Hampshire, and as you know, the motto on it is - Live Free or Die. This started me to thinking, and as I drove down the road I thought of Patrick Henry, my fellow Virginian, who once said, 'Give me Liberty or give me death.' Nathan Hale came into my mind. I know some historians doubt the event, but I like to think he said just before being hanged by the enemy, 'I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.'

"Later I read in the paper, that opposition had arisen in New Hampshire to that motto. One man went so far as to say, 'There is nothing in New Hampshire for which I would give my life.' I began to ask myself, Why? Why had we lost this attitude that was so evident among our forefathers?

"To have this sense of dedication, one must have respect for ; admiration for; love for someone or something. It requires a sense of the Holy in Someone (God) . . . in Something (Country, Society, Church, Family, Fraternity), that demands my BEST... my ALL.

"The attitude today is not so much an antagonism to ideals, goals, and purposesl as it is a spirit of 'I couldn't care less.' It is a neutrality that is neither hot, nor cold; and a great Prophet said, it would be 'spewed out of the mouth.'

"But, what is the solution? How can we build again this dedication?

"It cannot be bought. We have come to the place, where we feel that if the proper amount of money is available, then nothing wili be impossible. We have tried to by friendship, loyalty) respect and love. But, we have failed completely. Some parents ask me, 'What is wrong? I have given my children everything. Why don't they love and respect me?' I asked a young man once, "Your parents gave you everything you ever desired. They went without and gave to you. What is wrong? Why do you feel as you do?' He replied, 'They gave me evirything but themselves.' Their money had not bought respect and love. It cannot gain dedication to anything!

"I believe that respect, admiration and love are SPIRITUAL. You can say that respect for my nation is materialistic. This is true, when we pay our income tax, when we answer the call to the Armed Services, and in many other ways show our submission to the State. But, that is NOT respect and admiration in the deepest sense. I might become angry at many of the physical aspects of my Nation. I 'boil' at tax time; I can resent actions and words of executives, legisiators, or judges. But, they are only outward symbols of our Nation. Our Nation is an Ideal. It is what God wants us to be! It is not what the Nation does, but what she can do, and be!

"Joan of Arc did not die for a spineless and corrupt Charles VII. She did not die for the French noblemen, nor for the corrupt Government. She died for France - a dream she had of what France could be and should be. This is true for us today, whether we talk about the Nation, the Church, the Family, or our great Fraternity. I am not always happy with what my family does, nor what my Church does; but I am willing to die for what they should be, and for what I hope them to be.

"This concerns the spiritual loss of Trust and Faith. We must find some way in which we can rebuild this foundation of Trust . . . Faith . . . Respect . . . Love. For if we are must know for what we are willing to give our BEST, our ALL . . . that for which we are willing to die."


"Most Worshipful, The Grand Master, Most Worshipful Sirs, Right Worshipful Sirs, Worshipful Brethren and Brethren All:

"The Grand Master has asked that I speak on the theme, A New Masonic Year.

"There are two statues that have interested me for many years, both are of Indians. One you know well, but you may not have seen the other one. In front of the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston, is The Appeal to the Great Spirit by Cyrus Dallin and in Wisconsin is The End of the Trail by James Earl Fraser. As you know, the Boston statue shows a fine Indian Brave astride his horse. His arms are lifted in prayer and dedication to the Great Spirit. There is strength, hope and faith in this beautiful statue.

"Fraser created his masterpiece for the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. It was later moved to Wisconsin, and a bronze duplicate was placed in South Carolina. (Fraser, by the way, is the man who designed our old Buffalo Nickel.) In this work, there is an Indian sitting on a horse, too. But, that is almost the only similar fact. The Indian is drooped over the horse, which seems to be dead tired. Both look as if they had come to the end of their lives.

"Many have seen these statues as symbolic of the fate of the Red Men a{ter the coming of the White Men. In the East, the Indians met and welcomed the foreigners. There was hope and a belief that the Great Spirit would bring Friendship. But, after years of conflict the Indian is beaten. He is at 'The End of the Trail', and there is little left for the future.

"But, I want to think of these statues as somewhat symbolic of a Masonic Year. New officers take leadership. New dreams are seen by the new Master, and the Lodge looks toward a new dawn; new members, good ritual, increased attendance, and greater brotherhood. Then ambushes come from some critical members; reinforcements do not arrive; and we begin to droop.

"A good meeting raises hope. The District Deputy gives encouragement. A visit to a nearby Lodge reveals greater problems than we have, and, we ride again into battle! But, the year begins to take its toll, and finally when June comes we are tired. When the next Master is installed, we look back over so many things we wanted to do, many things we would like to have changed. But, a new year is here! And a new brave Master is ready to ride into his year.

"I may have simplified the pictures, but each of us recognizes some of the events. In preparation for a new year, we must know that no successful year is possible if only one, or two carry the entire load. A Lodge must be a Lodge, which means members collected. There is strength in numbers, also greater knowledge.

"One or two really significant goals should be set and attained. I have known Masters who made such great plans that no one could have accomplished all of them. It is far better to aim high on a few projects and achieve them. We have so much to offer to men and the world, that each of us can find an area of greatest interest.

"My prayer is that we can begin our year with great anticipation and appeal to the Great Spirit to guide and help us. And, it is possible that our 'End of the Trail' will look like the statue, but will resemble the one in front of the Museum of Fine Arts. For with God, all reasonable things are possible.


Distinguished Brothers