- 1 R. PERRY BUSH 1855-1926
- 1.1 NOTES
- 1.2 MEMORIAL
- 1.3 SPEECHES
R. PERRY BUSH 1855-1926
- MM 1880, Palestine
- Grand Chaplain, 1910-1926
BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION, JUNE 1916
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XI, No. 9, June 1916, Page 303:
Among popular Masons of New England none stand higher in the affections of the Craft than Rev. R. Perry Bush. D. D., Chelsea, Mass., who has served as Chaplain in various organizations, Masonic and otherwise, and who bears the title of Past Eminent Commander of Palestine Commandery, K. T., of Chelsea. In recognition of his estimable qualities and as an expression of kindly interest in his sixty-first birthday, a large number of his friends, Masonic and military, from all over the State, gathered at the Copley-Plaza Hotel in Boston, Friday, June 2d, to extend their greetings and good wishes and to emphasize these expressions by a substantial check as a fitting souvenir the occasion. Brother Bush is affectionately known not only in the city of Everett, where he was ordained a Universalist clergyman in 1879 and where he served the Church for thirteen years, and in Chelsea, where he has continued in the ministry since 1892, but among thousands of Masons and Military men whom he has served as chaplain in various organizations. He is at present the chaplain of the Grand Lodge, the Shrine and the Grand Commandery and of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. He has been affiliated with all the Masonic bodies of the York and Scottish rites of this State.
Dr. Bush was born in Provincetown, June 2, 18S5; was educated in the schools there and at Tufts College. He is a member of Palestine Lodge, A. F. and A. M., of Everett; Shekinah Chapter, R. A. M.; Naphthali Council, R. and S. M., and Palestine Commandery, No. 10, of Chelsea; Boston Lafayette Lodge of Perfection; Giles Fonda Yates Council, Princes of Jerusalem; Mount Olivet Chapter, Rose Croix; Massachusetts Consistory, 32°, and the Mystic Shrine. He is also an Odd Fellow.
A committee consisting of Colonel Everett C. Benton, chairman; Wilbur S. Locke, secretary; Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Master; Arthur D. Prince, Grand High Priest; William H. L. Odell, Grand Master (Council); Frederick I. Dana, Grand Commander; Joseph A. Bryant, Commander-in-Chief of the Massachusetts Consistory; Walter W. Morrison, Potentate of Aleppo Temple, Mystic Shrine, and Harry Hamilton, Captain of the Ancients, arranged the reception and luncheon at the Copley-Plaza.
The presentation speech conveying the gift to Dr. Bush was made by William H. L. Odell, an intimate friend of many years, and was a gem of beautiful thought and good wishes.
RECEPTION, MARCH 1917
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XII, No. 7, April 1917, Page 234:
Among the best known Freemasons of Massachusetts is Rev. R. Perry Bush, D.D., Chelsea, Mass.
Brother Bush is chaplain of each of the Massachusetts Masonic Grand Bodies and of many other societies. He has thousands of friends who know him as preacher, or brother Mason, and, best of all, as a true man with a warm heart and cordial greeting for every one. Brother Bush has been pastor of the "Universalist Church of the Redeemer" of Chelsea twenty-five years. In recognition of that relation more than 1000 men and women in every rank of life paid tribute to him on Friday evening, March 23, by tendering him a reception in the church.
Receiving with Dr. Bush was Mrs. Bush, their two daughters, Edith and Reba, and Mr. and Mrs. William E. McClintock, of Chelsea. Mr. McClintock is chairman of the standing committee of the Church of the Redeemer.
A striking characteristic of Brother Bush is his genial manner and happy disposition. A friend in the long line said to him, "What is your recipe for happiness, Doctor?" Whereupon Dr. Bush answered with a smile that warmed the heart, "Happiness? Walk on the sunny side of the street and keep busy."
Dr. Bush was born at Provincetown 61 years ago the second day of last June. His early education was acquired at the high school of that place. At the age of 17 he came to Chelsea and opened a grocery store. He grasped the true philosophy of life in that grocery store, and he began to yearn for greater opportunity to do public service. He figured that the ministry would afford him the best chance in this respect, so he gave up the store and entered Tufts College in 1875 to study for the work he felt he should do.
Four years later he was ordained into the Universalist ministry at the old Universalist Church at the corner of Fourth and Chestnut Streets, Chelsea. Almost immediately he accepted a pastorate at the Everett Universalist Church and remained there foils years. He built the new church in Everett and that his work still lives was evident when scores of his old parishioners from that city were present at the reception. Nine years of this 13 years he also filled the pulpit of the Winter Hill Universalist Church at Somerville. A delegation from this church was among those present.
Dr. Bush is probably the best known Universalist clergyman in the country. Few people know today that during his career Perry Bush has united over 3000 couples in marriage. Up to Jan. 1, 1917, he has officiated at exactly 4551 funeral services.
When asked what he considered the secret of life he promptly replied "Live for others and not for yourself." "I think," said he, "the biggest stumbling blocks in life are inherited tendencies and a leaning towards the dark side of things. You know, as the fellow said, people have a thousand troubles but 999 of them never happen.
"Of course it is a hard proposition, but every man should be superior to his environment. Happiness is a shy maiden. If you are going to win her you must court somebody else. She resists the direct approach.
"It isn't a sacrifice when you want to do a thing that isn't sacrifice. It becomes a privilege. I have never made any sacrifices. The world likes good-natured people. If you are good-natured you will certainly get the most out of life.
"Another thing, there are too few people in the ministry who dare to live a natural life. I have dared and I have found a great joy in so doing. I mean by that that I do what my conscience dictates. I have never tried to be somebody else and I have tried to have myself my better self."
30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, MARCH 1922
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XVII, No. 6, April 1922, Page 201:
HONORS PAID TO PERRY BUSH Reception to Pastor and Wife — 30 Years at One Church
Hundreds of friends and admirers of the Rev. Dr. R. Perry Bush, many from various parts of Greater Boston, attended a reception to the pastor and Mrs. Bush, on the evening nf Thursday March 23d in the parlors of the Church of the Redeemer (Universalist), Chelsea, the event being in celebration of the 30th anniversary of his pastorate.
Each of the Protestant churches of Chelsea and the Universalist societies of Boston ■were represented either by their pastors or by a delegated official.
Given Purse of Gold
An interesting musical programme was provided during the reception, and the Bro. Bush, with his wife, were assisted in the receiving line by their two daughters, the Misses Edith Linwood and Reba May Bush. During the evening flowers were presented to Mrs. Bush and a purse of gold to the pastor by members of the Ladies' Society of the church.
Probably no clergyman in the country has a broader field of endeavor than Perry Bush, and his many activities have endeared him to the hearts of thousands of people throughout the State irrespective of their creed. In addition to his church duties, he is in demand as a lecturer, as well as finding time for extensive literary, patriotic and other work.
Honored in Masonic Circles
Dr. Bush is active in Masonic circles and has had many honors conferred upon him by various branches of the order. These included his service as chaplain of Robert Lash Lodge, Shekinah Royal Arch Chapter and Napthali Council, besides being thrice illustrious master of the latter; prelate and past commander of Palestine Commandery, K. T., of Chelsea, grand principal and conductor of the work of the Grand Council, Royal and select Masters of Massachusetts, grand prelate of the Grand Commandery, K. T., of Massachusetts and Rhode Island; minister of state of the Council of Deliberation, 33d degree; interpreter of the Koran of Aleppo Temple. Mystic Shrine, and member of the College of Roiserucciano of Massachusetts.
Born in Provineetown
Rev. Bush is a native of Provincetown and was born June 2, 1855. He was graduated from Tufts College in the class of 1879 with the degree of doctor of divinity. His first pastorate was in Everett, where he remained for 18 years, until called to fill the pulpit of the Chelsea church, March 1, 1892.
He was married to Miss Emma Linwood Paine, Nov. 23, 1881. They have three children, Miss Edith Linwood Bush, a member a the faculty at Tufts College; Miss Reba May Bush, secretary to Professors Dillon and Bush of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Professor Vannevar Bush, consulting engineer of the American Radio Company, and also of M. I. T.
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1926
From Proceedings, Page 1926-232:
Wor. and Rev. R. Perry Bush, D.D., Chaplain of this Grand Lodge since 1908, died April 2, 1926. Rev. Bro. Bush was born in Provincetown June 2, 1855. A descendant of the Mayflower Pilgrims through a line of seafaring ancestors he inherited the sturdy qualities characteristic of that stock. He became a member of Palestine Lodge in 1880 and served it as Chaplain for many years. He was installed as Grand Chaplain of this Grand Lodge at the Feast of St. John in 1908, and his service in that capacity was continuous and active from that time.
Bro. Bush spent his active life in the Ministry of the Universalist Church where a service of nearly forty years was divided between two Pastorates. In his Ministerial capacity he served much larger groups than any Parish could contain. The whole community in which he lived looked up to him as a friend and spiritual adviser. In 1923 he retired from the active work of the Ministry to take charge of the Library of the Grand Lodge. The great and important Lawrence collection had never been incorporated into the Grand Lodge Library. This incorporation involved the re-classification and re-cataloguing of both collections. Bro. Bush had nearly completed this task, and had left memoranda which will be of the greatest service to his successor.
His Masonic activities were very extensive. It the time of his death he was not only Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge, but also Grand Chaplain of the Grand Chapter and Grand Council, and Prelate of the Grand Commandery. His great services to the Craft were rewarded by the conferment upon him of the Henry Price Medal, and by Honorary Membership in the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite for the Northern Jurisdiction, although he had never held office in that Rite.
Bro. Bush was one of the best known and best loved Masons in this jurisdiction. A man of strong convictions, he had a remarkable power for making friends. His whole life was marked by broad sympathy of embracing charity and deep love for his fellow-men. He leaves a place in the hearts of his Brethren which can never be entirely filled.
Note: The list of Grand Chaplains in the Proceedings does not list Brother Bush for 1909.
FROM NEW ENGLAND CRAFTSMAN, 1926
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXI, No. 6, April 1926, Page 175:
The Rev. Dr. R. Perry Bush, a 33d degree Mason and one of the most honored members of the Masonic fraternity in this part of the country, died suddenly Good Friday afternoon, April 9, following a heart attack.
He was stricken in the office of JosephWork, treasurer of the Scottish Rite, in the Masonic Temple at Boylston and Tremont Streets, of which he had been librarian for the past two years, and died before aid could reach him. He had not been in the best of health for some time, and suffered a serious attack previously. He would have been 71 years old had he lived to June 2.
Native of Provincetown
Richard Perry Bush was born in Provincetown, June 2, 1855, son of Richard P. and Mary (Williams) Bush. Graduating at the Provincetown schools, he entered Tufts College, graduating there in the class of 1879. The same college in 1905 conferred on him the degree of doctor of divinity.
Directly following his graduation, he was ordained to the Universalist ministry and the same year he became pastor of the Universalist church in Everett. He remained there until 1892, when he assumed the pastorate of the Universalist Church in Chelsea, known also as the Church of the Redeemer, which he continued to serve for 30 years.
It has been said that no clergyman in the country had a broader field of work than Dr. Bush. Besides his church work he was kept busy with lectures, literary, patriotic and fraternity work and, in the mean time, was deeply involved in civic betterment of every kind. For 27 years he served as a member of the Chelsea school committee and as chairman of the high school committee. He virtually built three churches and organized a Sunday school with a record of regularity of attendance, made numerous trips abroad in the interests of Masonry and humanity and journeyed through South America. He raised a family of three children, two of whom are professors and one married to a professor. He officiated at the marriages and funerals of thousands, among whom were communicants of almost all faiths.
Dr. Bush was a 33d degree Mason and it is probable that no man in the country had been more honored by Masonic organizations or had taken any keener interest in the order than he. In Odd Fellowship also lie had attained to the honor of past noble grand of Mystic lodge. For many years also he served as chaplain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery company and of tli3 Boston Fusiliers, and he was an honorary member of post 45, G. A. R., of Chelsea.
On Nov. 23, 1881, Dr. Bush married Miss Emma Linwood Paine of Provincetown, a daughter of L. V. Paine, a widely known Cape Cod business man. She survives, together with their three children, Miss Edith L. Bush, who is dean of Jackson College; Mrs. R. R. Lawrence and Prof. Vannevar Bush of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For some time past Dr. and Mrs. Bush had been making their home with their daughter, Dean Bush, at 72 Professors row, Medford Hillside.
The funeral was held in the chapel at Tufts College, Medford Hillside.
ADDRESS AT 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF STAR OF BETHLEHEM LODGE, NOVEMBER 1893
ESSAY, MAY 1906
From New England Craftsman, Vol. I, No. 8, May 1906, Page 272:
Freemasonry a Vital Force
To any one who is at all interested to know of the forces which have shaped the civilization of the world, there is a wondrous fascination to be found in the study of Freemasonry. Its history is the history of our human race and it began its course far back in the dim ages of antiquity when man was first evolved from his brute surroundings and he learned to fashion and apply his implements of stone. We may not remove the veil of mystery and bespeak in precise terms the time and place of its commencement, but we shall surely find it interwoven with the Mythology of Greece and the story of that first temple on Mt. Moriah or the earliest structures that were reared in the valley of the Nile or by the waters of the Tigris or Euphrates.
Not that I would claim that the present rites and ceremonies of our lodges of Free and Accepted Masons are identical with or even like unto those of such ancient days, but what I do believe is that the Craftsmen of that long ago were banded together by ties of common interest and as a fraternity they had their "secrets" whereby they were enabled to travel in foreign countries that they might work and receive Master's pay, and that we of the Masonic lodges of this generation are the lineal descendants of those who constructed the pyramids; and gave glory to BabyIon and Syria; and of the Roman Corporation of Builders who reared the wonders of the Imperial city; and of the Stone Masons who later lifted toward heaven the spires of the, thousands of churches and cathedrals which everywhere abound. And so close to every human soul i the claim of duty, so near is heaven to earth that instinctively with all we do blend aspiration and worship and when the manly monk of Germany struck off the chains of superstitious religious servitude through operative Masonry fell away. Yet phoenix like the modern lodge arose with its beneficent influence. There was a cry that went up from men's hearts calling for inward peace and that cry was answered when on St John's Day 1717, the four lodges ol London combined and modern Masonry began its course. That day witnessed the consummation of the struggles of ages and the going forth of a marvellous moral influence which has encircled the globe and Retributed greatly to the fraternization of our race.
Founded in the deeper needs of our nature Freemasonry admits no atheist or libertine to its ranks and affords a neutral religious ground where those of every sect can meet for mutual improvement. We who are members of this ancient and honorable craft have right to rejoice in our ancestry. It is no slight honor to be allied with an institution which reaches back to distant ages and which has embraced within its circles the brightest intellects and most patriotic devotion No other organization save the church alone has exerted such influence. But it is the bounden duty of all of us who are its representatives to-day to see to it that we are not living simply upon past honor and worth, but that we are helping to further exalt our every Masonic lodge in its effort to "erect a spiritual building agreeably to the rules and designs laid down by the Supreme Architect of the Universe in the great books of Nature and Revelation."
The lamb skin is the token of a free will dedication to manhood. It betokens that we are cemented together in brotherly love; and vowed to aid, support and protect each other; that we are to embody the virtues of temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice and seek ever that wisdom which leads to strength and beauty of character, and be guided by rounds of faith, hope and charity to the starry decked heaven where our Creator presides.
A noble institution! a matchless aim and purpose! May the example of the inflexible Tyrian be our inspiration and may we transmit to posterity unimpaired, the most excellent tenets of our institution.
AT EASTER SERVICE, APRIL 1911
From New England Craftsman, Vol. VI, No. 8, May 1911, Page 249:
April 16, 1911.
Delivered in the Church of the Redeemer, Chelsea, Mass., before Palestine Commandery K. T. of Chelsea and Boston Commandery.
Especially significant to every Templar is this day which commemorates the resurrection of Him whom we designate as the Great Captain of our Salvation.
On Easter Sunday we are led to meditate not only upon His life and death, but also upon all the fruits of civilization and progress of all institutions and influences that have come from the manger at Bethlehem and the cross of Calvary. Every branch of Masonry, as I apprehend it, sprang out of man's religious nature.
Ours is more than a social or fraternal organization — it has its roots in our sense of dependence upon the Almighty, and our consecration of a something within us which reaches out toward the author of our being. Far back amid the dim mists of antiquity, humanity struggling with the problems of birth, experience and destiny, learned to postulate a God behind all that is or has been, and in His name our race has built innumerable altars, and offered strangely varying sacrifices. Two of these among the many, are to me, the most worthy and attractive. First and foremost that of the Christian Church, and next in importance that of Freemasonry, and I think I shall not have to urge upon you who are present to-day that the crown of Masonry lis found in the Commandery. As the law was as a schoolmaster to bring men to the gospel, so is the Blue lodge to the orders of the Red Cross and the Temple. Moses and his teachings were worthy and helpful to man, but that structure of Solomon on Mt. Moriah was but the forerunner of one grander; ours in which the disciples of the Christ should be assembled. The ideal and the motive to service which are afforded by Christianity are the highest the world has known and these are ours when we assemble as Templars — when we swear allegiance unto Him and His cause — when we follow Him through His struggles and betrayal and crucifixion to His glorious ascension. Specially fitting is it therefore that we keep sacred this Easter day and meet lin this house dedicated to Christian worship and bearing the name of the Redeemer.
To him \\lii> has endured the trials and passed through the ceremonies of our order — who in our asylum has been taught of the pilgrimage of life and the continual warfare with the lying deceits and vanities of this world in which it is necessary for him always to be engaged — and who in penance has learned faith and humility from Him who was crucified and rose from the grave, there is no season so rich in suggestiveness as that holy week which culminates in this glorious day when all the world is turning to the risen Saviour — the conqueror of death and the tomb. They who are the descendants of that valiant hand who delivered the Holy Sepulchre from the hands of the Saracens, must, and do appreciate the Easter time — the noble anthems — the decorations — the hosts who assemble — the spirit and purpose of the hour. Those who behold in Templar Masonry only its uniforms and banners and its semi-military character, neither appreciate nor understand that for which it is and furthered.
No review of Christianity would be complete that did not make recognition of knighthood. Among the influences which have helped to mould this Western civilization of ours, there is none more interesting, none more vital than that spirit of chivalry which has animated poetry and art and added the touch of romance and heraldry to the dry record of ecclesiastical councils. Within the breasts of Templars ancient and modern, has originated full many a purpose and work which has broadened the sympathies and deepened the faith of humanity - and though we trace the roots of our order into the most distant past, the greatness and glory of our every asylum today is the reflected word and aspiration of the immaculate Jesus who died that you might live.
It was to me a strange fact that an organization like ours should have grown out of the unpromising soil of the Middle Ages — and yet not so strange — for the Eternal God is not lacking in means for the achievement of His kingdom, and when he needs an instrument for the furthering of His will, He knows where to find it and how to set it in motion.
I sometimes wonder at the fanaticism and superstition which carried so many thousands and millions to Palestine in the 11th and 12th centuries. I can appreciate the feeling that God in special places, and in those times when it was thought that the world was hurrying to an end, I can see how the multitudes sought out the sacred spots and made pilgrimages thereto. It was most natural Jerusalem should be reckoned especially among such shrines, and the sepulchre of our Lord be deeply venerated. The character of the age was such as to beget a deep regard for those who had trodden the ways of the Holy City — the sacred soil where the feet of the Christ had left their imprint, and it was natural to confer mystical honor upon those who returned with the story of the pilgrimage; and when the Turks captured Jerusalem and profaned its Temple and slaughtered the devotees, I can appreciate the quick sympathy of all Europe and the desire to right the wrong - and when the time was ripe such a leader as Peter the Hermit was mighty in rousing the multitudes to action - and when Urban 2d the reigning Pope proclaimed at Clermont the "Truce of God" and dedicated the people as Red Cross Knights the die was cast and the forces of the West were hurled upon the infidels — Go, said the representative of St. Peter, it is the will of God, it is the counsel of heaven. Be ye soldiers of the cross and wear upon your breast and arms the blood red sign of Him who died for the salvation of your souls — they who perish shall enter at once the mansions above and the living shall pay their vows before the redeemed sepulchre of our Lord and Master . . .
I need not enter into the details regarding the story of the Crusades, but I call your attention to the fact that no nation as such took part in that strange enterprise . . . The movement came from individual adventurers and from the lands between the Pyranees and the river Scheldt. The speaker next mentioned the principal persons who, as leaders, were engaged in the wars of the Crusades, gaining as, first of all, Godfrey of Boullion and his brothers Baldwin and Eustace, then Hugh the Great and others, who, after prolonged efforts and suffering finally captured Jerusalem. The victory was won, but at a terrible cost. And were there any benefits that accrued from this expenditure of human life, and the sufferings which had been endured? Indeed there were, it would be impossible for me to adequately portray the influence of those gallant knights of old from whom we derived the stimulus which has given us tne Templarism of today. What they did for Western Europe and for the world can never be told.
They made way for marvellous advance of humanity, but perhaps to us the most interesting issue of the Crusade was the establishment of the Orders of Templar, Knights Hospitaller and Order of St. John.
In 1118, at Jerusalem, Hugh de Payens and Godfrey of St. Omer, with other valiant knights, founded the order which we represent today. Their mission was to protect the pilgrims and defend the holy sepulchre. They were called "Poor fellow soldiers of Jesus Christ, and Poor Soldiers of the Temple," this became abbreviated to Knights Templars. It was strictly a religious order, and its members were required to be exemplary in character. They wore white mantles with a red cross on the left breast, their banners were white and black, their motto was Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth's sake.
Before the middle of the 12th century they were established in all Latin Christendom. They accumulated wealth, were revered everywhere, but after a long and worthy course they were suppressed in 1312. They were charged with atheism, their property was confiscated by the Knights of St. John, which body continued until 1792, when it in turn was abolished.
In course of that evolution, ever at work in the world, out of the loins of those men of consecrated but misdirected zeal have come the Templars of today. Ours, too, is the sign of the cross, and by that sign we are vowed to labor and to conquer. We are founded upon the Christian religion and the practice of the Christian virtues. We are Red Cross Knights of Truth, Templars to defend the holy city of integrity — Knights of St. John, given to charity and hospitality. . . We are sworn to be true to those around us, to the God above us and to our better and nobler selves. . . The death and resurrection and ascension of the Christ are the most vital elements of our ritual, and we are therefore in closest accord with the Easter services and the teaching that we shall soar to realms of endless bliss and beyond the power of change shall live forever . . .
Our confidence in the risen Christ is the key that unlocks the doors to the many mansions of our Father's house in heaven, and makes visible to us the hosts of those whom we have called dead, but who wait us in the Celestial asylum where we shall all be gathered in God's good time. May this hour then not have been spent in vain. May it more firmly cement us in Knightly friendship. May it waken a deeper appreciation of the principles we profess. May it send us forth newly consecrated to all that is Christian. May it help to make us victors in the fight of lide and when our warfare on earth is over may it be granted us to rightly answer the warden's challenge at the gate of heaven, and to be seated with the princes and rulers in the courts of the Father above. Sir Knights, farewell; may the God of our fathers protect you and speed you on your way.
AT HALL DEDICATION IN CHELSEA, JANUARY 1912
From Proceedings, Page 1912-4:
Most Worshipful Grand Master, Officers, Members, and Friends of the Masonic Fraternity in Chelsea:
You will allow me as my first word of the hour, to express my appreciation of the honor of being designated to voice in this presence and upon this auspicious occasion the felicitations of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and to set before you as best I may, something of the spirit and genius of the great Institution of which we are a part, and to whose welfare we are seeking to contribute by the dedication of this beautiful and splendidly equipped temple.
There is an old proverb which we find in Holy Writ that "a man is not without honor save in his own country and among his own people," but if its truth is oftentimes brought home to us, I am happy in thinking that in my own case it is certainly a misnomer, for though closely related to many of you since the year '72, I have nowhere met with more of the manifestations of respect and esteem than at the hands of my Brethren of the various Masonic bodies of this city, and it were needless for me to affirm that no one could more heartily or more genuinely bespeak at this time the joy we all feel in witnessing the consummation of effort which makes possible the service of this glad day.
And if it were pertinent for us to consider for a moment and to pay tribute to those who laid in this community the foundations of Freemasonry: if we were to call the roll of honor, it would probably appear that there are to-day but few among us who would even recognize the names of our forebears, but there is abundant testimony to their wisdom and skill. They embodied the best principles of civic virtue — a strength of intellectuality and a high type of manly character, and they put a mark of far more than ordinary efficiency and worth upon the bodies which they instituted, and as they bent the twig, so has the tree been inclined.
There has never been a time when Chelsea might not justly boast of her Masonry and its contribution to public welfare and private charity. Through all the years since that far-away beginning, the Fraternity has called to its ranks the foremost and best of our citizens, and it has not only commanded the respect of this city, but its reputation has extended and it has been held in high regard in the Grand Lodge for its efficiency in ritual and the worthiness of its members; and success has attended its efforts, and up to the time of the great fire of four years ago, we were prosperous and happy.
But what a scene it was that presented itself to our view on the morning of the 13th of April, 1908! Our temple was gone! Our paraphernalia of every sort was gone! The many memorials of members and- of happy occasions in which we had shared — and in some cases even our records had been destroyed! What a picture of desolation we beheld! And with the effects of our terrible calamity upon the financial condition of so many of our members, it was a sad prospect and our hearts sank down within us.
But our discouragement was only temporary, for immediately we were made to feel the generous helpfulness of our Brethren throughout the length and breadth of this great Commonwealth, and the assistance thus afforded was not only as sunshine to those in darkness, but it was as a spur to new courage and endeavor.
The kindly courtesy of our East Boston Fraters afforded us a temporary home, but we had many times desired a temple of our own and had many times meditated upon the possibility of attaining to such a blessing. And now when things were seemingly at their worst, there were those who set themselves to the task and by their indefatigable zeal and persistence the end has been accomplished, and these commodious and richly appointed apartments made ready for occupation.
Too much praise cannot be accorded to those who have labored so long and faithfully and who have brought the work to so successful an issue. The fitness and taste and efficiency here displayed are most admirable, and not only the Masons of this community, but all those under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts are to be congratulated, and the presence of the Grand Master and his officers is in itself a token of the hearty sympathy of the Fraternity throughout the State.
Brethren of the Chelsea Lodges:
It is a worthy contribution you are making to the rejuvenated city in which you dwell. He who builds a hospital or a library must be reckoned as a public benefactor, but you have builded, as did Solomon of old, a temple to the Most High God.
He altogether misinterprets Masonry who considers it as simply a social institution, ministering to good fellowship. Its roots reach deep down into the most sacred soil of our human nature, and in the fulfilment of its obligations man will be found to be living at his best.
No institution can endure and flourish through the ages that is not ministering to something more than a momentary fancy or pleasure. It must in some measure further the plan and purpose of the Infinite Artificer of the Universe. It must contribute to the advancement of civilization and the upbuilding of character. Except such be its fundamental concept and influence, it will not survive the wreck of time, but will disintegrate and disappear.
But we may point with pride to our beloved Order as unscathed by the shafts of criticism and invulnerable even when assailed by the anathemas of the church. Its history is the history of man as our race is evolved from the brute beginning to its present worth and attainment. We may not remove the veil of mystery and bespeak, in precise terms the time and place of its commencement, but we shall surely find it interwoven with the mythology of Greece and the story of that first temple on Mt. Moriah or the earliest structures that were reared in the valley of the Nile or by the waters of the Tigris or Euphrates, and it has embraced within its secret circle the most brilliant and the most consecrated of men, and it has lent its aid to civil progress and to the deliverance of multitudes from superstition and religious bigotry.
The Masonic Lodge has been and is a mighty power in preserving the belief in Deity and cultivating a spirit of reverential worship. No atheist or libertine may find a place in our ranks. Through these latest generations, while a pseudo-science has attempted the banishment of God from the realm of human affairs, brightly at our altars has gleamed the proclamation of His presence and the incentive to obedience to His commands. Our temple is His temple, and its dedication to the holy Saint John is but adding the fight and incentive of Christian faith to the law and motive of Sinai.
Even we, who have been long allied with Freemasonry and close students of its influence, cannot begin to measure its worth in its affording of a mutual religious ground where those of every sect meet for mutual improvement, and the dedication of this building in this City of Chelsea is a worthy addition to the moral and spiritual capital of this community.
The lamb-skin is the token of a freewill dedication to manhood. It betokens that we are cemented together in brotherly love, and vowed to aid, support, and protect one another; that we are to embody the virtues of temperance, fortitude, prudence, and justice, and seek always for that wisdom which leads to strength and beauty of character; and that we are to ascend by the rounds of Faith, Hope, and Charity to the starry-decked heaven where our Creator dwells in light ineffable.
Surely ours is a noble institution, ours a matchless aim and purpose! And I congratulate the Masonic bodies of this city that they are to enjoy such beautiful quarters!
In behalf of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, I pay tribute to those who sowed here the seeds of Freemasonry, and, having watered and cultivated the growing plant, were called to more of light in the Celestial Lodge above.
At the feet of those who since the fire have given unstintingly of their time and ability, and made possible this dedication I lay a wreath of praise and gratitude; and for those to whom to-day. and in all times to come shall be entrusted the government of the Craft, and the shaping of the destinies of Freemasonry in Chelsea, I beseech the choicest of blessings.
May the example of the illustrious Tyrian be ever our inspiration, and may we transmit to posterity unimpaired the most excellent tenets of our Institution.
To the Brethren here assembled, to all allied with you, and to your successors in our noble work, the Grand Lodge bids a fraternal and hearty God-speed.
ADDRESS AT CONSTITUTION OF RUFUS PUTNAM LODGE, JULY 1913
From Proceedings, Page 1913-137:
Worshipful Master and Brethren:
I very much appreciate the honor which the Most Worshipful Grand Master confers upon me by his inviting me to address you upon this occasion. I have been for many years an enthusiastic Mason, and my regard for our Fraternity and its principles increases with the flight of time and my study of the part which has been played by the members of our noble craft in the great drama of civilization.
To him who measures an institution by what it is and what it is doing in the world, it is not necessary to inquire into its origin, but there is a fascination in following back along the way of the growth of a fraternity that has sustained so important a role in the shaping of society.
Freemasonry certainly needs no apology from you or me. It embraces within its circle the flower of our American manhood and in every country of the earth its representatives are among the highest in character and influence; but to those who will give time and effort to investigate, it will be manifest that it reaches back beyond the dawn of authenticated history for its beginning. From the comparatively modern date of 1717 when the four lodges of London united and the organization of speculative masonry began, it is easy to make the transition to the Stone Masons of Germany and England which were the operative bodies out of which the speculative ritual and purposes were developed, and these will take us through the Middle Ages and afford us abundant proof that they themselves were shaped by the Roman Corporation of Builders, established under Numa Pompilius in the year 715 before the Christian era, and while it would be folly to claim that we still use their forms and ceremonies, we may with good reason maintain that we are lineal descendants of those far-off ancestors, and the symbols found in Egypt and India and China and elsewhere among the works erected by the ancients, were executed by those who were veritably our Brethren. And more than this: inasmuch as most of the great works preserved from the wreck of time, held a close relationship to the rites of religion and the outreaching of man in worship, it is not too much for us to affirm that with the operative skill of our ancient progenitors, was blended a moral and spiritual power and aspiration.
Around our altars men of widely differing beliefs and creeds assemble — and have always assembled — in a spirit of fraternal union, and even in the days when mutual hatred and vituperation characterized the varied sects in their dealing with each other, Masonry was lending its influence to usher in the broad tolerance which has attained in our generation, while it is equally true that in every land in which liberty has been advanced among the people Freemasonry has materially contributed to the furthering of the coveted blessing.
If we should travel over the world at the present moment and note the changes which are taking place which herald the advance in government and the bettering of the social conditions of mankind, we should find that they who have vowed their vows with us in our Lodge-rooms, are in the forefront of every such movement, and the prompting to these efforts is to be found in the principles which we espouse. We claim as ours, many of the brightest intellects and the most noble of. the sons of men, and every people under the sun owe much to the organization of which we are a part. It follows, therefore, that whenever a new Lodge is instituted it is one more power-house for the generating of the force that lights the upward path of man and speeds the car of human progress.
They who build schoolhouses add to the knowledge of our race, and they who erect hospitals and homes for the old and friendless are our benefactors, but they who constitute Masonic Lodges not only promote a spirit that fosters and sustains such institutions as these, but one that at the same time holds continually before its members an ideal of inflexible integrity and demands that they emulate the illustrious Tyrian in their daily words and works and yield up their lives rather than betray their trust.
Most heartily, then, do I congratulate you of this delightful hill town of Rutland, as once again you receive the Charter for a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons and assume the privileges and responsibilities which attend upon its acceptance, and in the name of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts I extend to your officers and members its congratulations and God-speed, and it is our earnest hope that you may be abundantly prospered and that the Lodge this day constituted may pursue an ever-increasing influence in this community until time shall be no more.
SERMON, AUGUST 1913
From New England Craftsman, Vol. VIII, No. 11, August 1913, Page 357:
The Burning Bush
Sermon delivered before Cambridge R. A. Chapter
Exod. III. 5. 6.
Draw not nigh hither: put off thy fchoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
Moreover, He said, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
M. E. and Companions — I welcome vou this morning to this House of God.
I welcome you not as guests in the usual sense of greeting visiting strangers, oh no, I welcome you as my own Companions, as a part of my Masonic flock of several hundred good men [and true knit to my heart by fraternity's golden cords.
It has been a deep pleasure to me for several years to sit in the East at your side, M. E., and by the side of your predecessors and in the sanctum sanctorum where incense ever burneth before the Holy Altar, to lead the devotion of the companions to the Holy one whose sacred name we take upon our lips with such reverence.
I do not welcome you then as formal guests, for you too are my people, and it seems to me that I should be failing in my duty as your chaplain did I not as opportunity offered, summon you to God's Temple, there to offer up our adoration in prayer and praise and listen to His holy word.
My relations with you are threefold my companions, and my duty and obligation to you thus three times as heavy—for I am chaplain to many of you in Blue Lodge, chaplain to all of you in chapter and chaplain to all of you who have advanced to the Council.
And especially do I feel that as members of the Capitular Rite we should set a strong example to the fraternity by church attendance — for where in all the symbolic degrees will you find such wealth of scripture allusion, such reverence, such lofty symbolism and teaching.
It is difficult companions to make choice of a text from which to speak to you, for to whatever degree of the Capitular Rite you turn, you find such a wealth of scripture interwoven with the symbolism and tenets of the Craft that one is in doubt which to choose.
We may pause at the foot of Sinai and view its summit veiled in cloud and awful darkness hiding the glory of Jehovah, while Moses receives from God's hand the Law, and thereon we may read: "In six days God created the heavens and the earth and rested upon the seventh day. The seventh therefore our ancient brethren consecrated as a day of rest from their labors, thereby enjoying frequent opportunities to contemplate the glorious works of creation and to adore their Great Creator.
We may find with Ezekiel the gate of the outward Sanctuary which looketh toward the east and it is shut. And we shall mark well all that we see and hear concerning the holy house.
And every man shall carry up his work in his hand, for the stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner.
And it shall be no wrong that the last shall be first and the first last.
The first Great Light will guide you to all truth and point out to you the whole duty of man.
And the worthy and well qualified ascend the holy hill where the Lord dwelleth in thick darkness, and join with all the tribes in the great outburst of triumphant praise, now, therefore, arise, O Lord God, into Thy resting place.
And the Glory of the Lord filled the house.
Have you forgotten the comment — for He is good— for His mercy endureth forever.
How true to life, these words of Isaiah, which are graven indelibly upon your heart: I will bring the blind by a way hat they know not — I will lead them in paths that they have not known — I will make darkness light before them md crooked things straight — these things will I do unto them — and will not forsake them.
And companions this brings me to my text— let us read it with its context.
"Now Moses kept the flock of ethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the back side of the desert, and came } the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
"And the Angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire, out of the midst of a Bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
"And Moses said, 'I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, 'Moses, Moses'; and he said 'here am I',— and He said, 'draw not nigh hither - put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place wheron thou standest is Holy Ground.'
"Moreover, He said, 'I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look upon God."
There are two ways of regarding the relation between God and creation — one is to think of Him as far above it, beyond and outside it, concerned in it when He brought it into existence, and from time to time so acting as to bring its working into accordance with His will.
The other is to think of Him as in His creation, to be known in and through it, present as the directing mind and power, all going in accordance with His continuous ordering.
It is because of its significance in connection with modern thought of this name of God, "Jehovah I am," given to Moses in connection with the vision of the Burning Bush, that I have chosen this subject today.
For I think we can see in it the meeting point between the two views of God I have maintained. His transcendance above nature, and His imminence in it.
For while the old Testament narrative only speaks of the Divine revelation to Moses, without telling us how he was prepared for its reception, we get light from Hebrews XI. It was faith, power of spiritual apprehension.
"By faith, Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the Son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be evil - entreated with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt."
In spite of obvious advantages in Retaining his position at the Egyptian court, he was as convinced of the truth of Hebrew hopes for the ultimate realization of their covenant promises as he was of their moral superiority. And his first effort results in his exile in the desert; spiritualized his ideas, causing him to rise more and more from political to religious motives, the failure of unaided human effort proving the need of Divine help.
We can see a revelation of the Divine imminence in the burning bush that "Earth's crammed with heaven land every common bush afire with God: But only he, who sees, takes off his shoes."
Moses realizes its significance his first impulsive, curiosity to ascertain the nature of the phenomenon being forgotten when the voice calls him. "Where one heard noise, and one paw flame, I only knew He named my name –" that there is no breach of continuity, that the God he now hears is the God of his people of old, is made clear. "I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God."
It is the prelude to the revelation of the new name and all that it implied — God's no longer to be known and thought of as one among other tribal Gods, or even as God Almighty Ommipresence is not the highest idea of Him.
It is Jehovah — "I am", the unchanging self existent One — without beginning and without end— a continual Eternal I am.
In the power of this revelation Moses was able to carry out God's purposes for His people. This is the key to all that Moses accomplished — leadership, legislation, worship though faith and close communion with God. "He spoke with God face to face, as a man speaketh with his friend."
The meaning of this is clear as to his spiritual interview with Jehovah.
Was it not the essential reverence of the man when he "hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God"— that fitted him to receive such revelation.
God will reveal Himself to every humble and sincere seeker after truth.
But my companions — in spite of these wonderful leadings and deliverances the children of Israel failed to live up to their leader's vision.
"Moreover, all the chief of the priests and the people transgressed very much, after the abominations of the heathen, and polluted the house of the Lord, which He had hallowed in Jerusalem.
"And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by His messengers; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his word, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people till there was no remedy.
"Therefore He brought upon them the king of the Chaldees."
A terrible punishment as we have had forcibly illustrated to us —b ut was this the end? No —God's great purpose for the chosen people moved steadily on to the fulfillment of His Divine plan.
I want, my companions, to impress upon your minds in the strongest manner possible, this thought; that our Ancient Institution, hoary with age, rich in noble deeds, has a grander mission before it.
The exigencies of the present age, the terrible pressure for place, for foothold upon life's ladder, the nerve-killing pace in business, and the wild scramble for social position, force nature to cry out for relaxation, the danger is excess, a mad pursuit of recreation in which all high and noble thoughts and aspiration shall be lost in mere pleasure seeking.
Here our Ancient Fraternity with its dignified ritual, its deep symbolism, its lofty esoteric teachings has a noble mission to supply this craving for pleasant companionship and guide it into refining and uplifting channels.
And the Capitular Rite with its rich imagery, its lofty idealism, its deep spiritual tone, cannot fail to uplift and strengthen all the noble faculties and aspirations of every thinking companion, and fit Him to become a leader in upholding and emphasizing the symbolic teachings of the Fraternity.
And right here let me emphasize — the children of Israel, in spite of their wonderful leadings lapsed woefully and had to be brought back to duty by way of the path of pain and suffering.
And are we as companions, who have had vividly portrayed before us the sacredness of the Sabbath — the noble worship of the sanctuary.
Can we, I say, my companions, do our duty to Masonry — unless these noble lessons are exemplified in our daily lives — and surely the appreciation of the M. E., and R. A. degrees will teach us our duty to be a worshipper in God's sanctuary in His day regularly.
I would, M. E. and Companions, thai this morning we could get the lofty vision — that we might now find ourselves in the mountain pastures of Midian. Each intent upon his high destiny of disseminating light — of alleviating suffering.
That lifted out of himself into a lofty plan of self-sacrifice he might see the Burning Bush, and hear the Divine Voice calling him—in impelling tones.
And conscious of the Divine Presence — removing his shoes, bow in adoration while the vision of large things, of high destiny crystallizes.
And in the transcendant, ecstasy of the moment, thrilled with a deep sense of power hear the voice: "I am that I am — and thus shall thou say to thy fellow-men — "I am hath sent me unto you."
And with an exhilarating sense of buoyancy and power we pick up the Rod from the ground —a nd facing he east now radiant with the morning glow of promise, we step into a life of larger service.