MAGLFHamilton

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FREDERICK W. HAMILTON 1860-1940

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Deputy Grand Master, 1915
Grand Secretary, 1915-1940
Honorary Past Grand Master, 1935-1940

SPEECHES

FEAST OF ST. JOHN, DECEMBER 1909

From New England Craftsman, Vol. VI, No. 11, August 1911, Page 354:

In the Revised Version of the New Testament we have changed the translation of the word which used to be Charity into Love. I am not sure that it was a happy change, but I am very glad it was made, because it brings into prominence the largeness of the word, — a word so big that no single phrase can adequately contain the richness of its meaning; a word so big that we have to think about it, and that we have to see its application to life and affairs, that we have to study its meanings before they can be unveiled to us in anything like their full extent.

We speak of charity sometimes as it the content of that word were satisfied by the act of putting a nickel in the contribution box, giving a meal to a tramp, or even endowing a college; as if the parting with that which is nore or less superfluous for the relief of the possible necessities of another were charity! Now, Brethren, charity is not a deed at all; it is a disposition. And that is the reason why we have tried to translate it by another word, the word Love; because that is a disposition; only, unfortunately that again is a word which we have been accustomed to use in more or less restricted meanings.

Charity contains the lubricant and the cement of life. It is the disposition which makes life worth living, and it is the disposition which makes social life and civilization possible. And unless that quality is present, life is unendurable and civilization an impossibility.

There is only one great problem which confronts society. All the other problems are ramifications of this great one, simply partial presentations of the great underlying difficulty and problem of human life, and that is the problem of living together. If a man could live as Robinson Crusoe lived before the advent of his man Friday, on a desert island, life Would be a very simple but somewhat monotonous affair, but the moment somebody else comes on to that desert island, the moment Friday makes his appearance, then there springs into existence a whole set of problems: and when the two inhabitants of this desert island become swollen to the population of a great country, and become aggregated in the congested masses of a great city, then these problems become numerous almost beyond computation, and the difficulty almost beyond solution.

It is necessary, in order that men should live together, that there he order, and that is one of the first lessons that we learn in the Masonic Lodge,— the lesson of order, the due relation of the parts, whether those parts are the parts of a building or the parts of the social structure. It is necessary thai those parts shall be set in their due order, and that the proper relation and proportion shall be maintained among them. It is necessary that some shall lay out the work, and some shall perform it. It is necessary that some shall do the things which are unpleasant, and that some shall do the things which are difficult, and that some shall do the things which appear to be pleasant but are, perhaps, not always as pleasant as they seem; and others shall do the things that appear to be easy, but are easy only to him who has the ability to do them.

And it is necessary that this order shall be maintained by principles. And those principles we call laws and constitutions; and if we are to live together with any measure of individual liberty, it is only possible that that measure of individual liberty shall be obtained or can be obtained under the reign of law. If every man were a law unto himself no man would be free. If every man were to do as he pleased to the extent of his power, every one of us would be the victim of the stronger, and every one of us would be the lord of the weaker. And the individual liberty which means equality of opportunity, which means, in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, the square deal, which means the open door into which every man may enter to make use, in the chambers therein revealed, of the powers which God gave him, and the institution itself, the abilities which he possesses,— all these things are possible only in a society which is ordered in due proportion and under the rule of law.

And it is important that this law shall be fixed; that is to say that in their calmer moments the people, who, after all, are the fountain-head of power and the source of all law, shall establish the principles of legislation; and that it shall not be in the power of any man, or any body of men. lightly to change those principles. It is not in the power of any man or any body of men to make innovations in the body of Freemasonry, as you have heard, and most of you have solemnly admitted. If it were, Freemasonry would not clasp hands in brotherly love around the world, and it would not exist through the centuries.

It is necessary for the perpetuity of liberty and free institutions that there should be fundamental principles of law, not positively, perhaps, or absolutely beyond the reach of change, but beyond the reach of light and easy change, beyond the reach of prejudice of fickle multitude, beyond the scope of mounting passions, beyond the reach of the man who, seeing half the truth and knowing half the facts, and touched in bis heart and moved, perhaps, in his anger and indignation against what he thinks is wrong, would allow ruthless hands to tamper with the principles of law upon which all liberty and true freedom rests. In that way many of our fellow citizens are looking, and that way, Brethren, lie disaster and destruction. Hut that is not our way. It is not so that we have been taught. It is not so that we have been instructed. It is not so that we have lived in the Lodge; and I believe that the habits of thought and action which we contract in the Lodge can be our habits of thought and action when outside in the world. But I have described to you a framework of society which may seem harsh and hard, which may seem lacking in those humane and tender elements which make life worth living; and so it would be if it were not that in human hearts there is always the possibility of this spirit of charity, this spirit of love, this spirit of mutual benevolence whereby the interests of all, in a true way, become the concern of each, and the interests of each the concern of all.

Brethren, if we are to live together in liberty under our flag — the emblem of a united and prosperous people — it can only be because we have another's welfare as well as our own upon our hearts. It can only be because we consider every need of every one of our fellows. It can only be because we realize the oneness and the wholeness of society and of the whole human family. It can only be as we recognize that power is to be used with tenderness as well as discretion; that weakness is not to be envious and scornful, but is to be sympathetic and reliable. It is only as we realize that authority is to be tempered with affection, justice with mercy, and law with sympathy: it is only as we are able to look into the world about us and see there men and women who are not simply the executants of our wills, the ministers to our pleasure, the doers of our labor and the entertainers of our leisure, but men and women and children whose interests and whose needs are the same as our own, to be considered at every point, to be always helped and never oppressed, whatever may be our station, whatever may be our place, whatever may be our work in life.

And that sentiment in the hearts of men solves the problem of living together. That sentiment is the support of law and of all civil institutions. That sentiment is the foundation of family life as well as of social organization. It means all the things that Masonry means: it means all the things that the flag means; and, Brethren, it means all the things that the Bible means. Under all these symbols there is nothing more and there is nothing bigger; because there is not anything more and there is not anything bigger, and there is not anything more fundamental. It is the true basis of our institution. And in proportion as we learn it there, Brethren, and practise it in all our daily lives and every one of our human relations, shall we as men and as Masons and as citizens and as children of God be filling our place as God's children in God's world.

CORNER STONE LAYING IN CAMBRIDGE, JUNE 1910

From Proceedings, Page 1910-118:

Most Worshipful Grand Master, Grand Officers and Brethren: We are assembled to lay the corner-stone of a temple for the Masons of Cambridge. We have laid the stone in accordance with the ancient customs and usages of the Craft. It has seemed good that some comment be made on the meaning and purpose of the ceremony and of the building which is to rise on this spot.

This service is of interest to the Brethren, and it is of value and importance to us all that there be in this ancient city a proper home for our Order, wherein its teachings may be communicated and its tenets transmitted for generations according to custom.

The Brethren will find within the walls of this Temple satisfaction for one of the great needs of men. Masonry is more than a club; it is more than a means of society and enjoyment; it is more than a medium of good fellowship, and more than an arrangement whereby a man may find friends when traveling away from home. It is all this, and more. It is an opportunity for the satisfaction of one of the deepest needs of humanity, the social instinct which lies at the foundation of all that makes the life of man high, noble and beautiful.

It is the instinct of men to co-operate, and the nature of men to gather together, for man is in a sense a gregarious animal. This instinct lies at the very foundation of civilization and religious institutions. Man cannot live alone or pray alone, and it is satisfying an instinct for men to gather together. Moral and religious culture soon cease to exist among men when they cease to assemble together for their cultivation. The consciousness of a common purpose is needed. We need the institutions of religion to apply our social instincts to the cultivation of the high and noble purposes of life. God is very near at all times and is not very far away at any time, but we seem nearer to God when assembled together than when alone. We need such institutions; so we form associations and we form fraternities.

Wherever men are, there are associations. Men fall into groups whenever and under whatever conditions they meet. Boys and girls fall into groups on the street, which are often known as the gang. In school and college, fraternities spring up for the pursuit of common purposes and instincts. So in maturer years come such fraternities as this, in which we are interested and for which this building is to be erected. Here we may meet together and share each with the other not only of the open purse, but the open heart. Here we may share not only our substance, but our mental, moral and spiritual acquisitions. Whatever gifts we have received from Almighty God may here be shared, each with the other, the richer with the poorer and with those Whose opportunities have been less. So in years to come we may here learn the old lessons anew and renew our pleasures and share the hopes and anticipations of the future, not in hired quarters, but in a building built by the Craft and hallowed by its associations.

It is proper to say at this time that what we have done here is an act not only of Masonic significance, but of public significance. It is not only for the advantage of the Craft, but also for the advantage of the community that this Temple should be located here in this historic city, right on this public thoroughfare, where thousands pass daily and may be inspired by this object lesson.

In free government like ours everything depends upon the character of the men who form the citizenship of each community. Little depends on exterior things. We build big cities and build big buildings, but a community is not great because much wealth is created in it, and is not stable because of great buildings. A community is not just because of equitable laws or because of that legal machinery which, while indispensable to free government, does not constitute free government. A community is great when men and women are great, free-hearted and high-minded. It is stable when their lives are founded on the everlasting rock of righteousness and justice.

More and more the citizens of the United States are taking hold of the work of government, and are realizing the possibilities of free government. The assumption of duties, rights and privileges involves the assumption of great responsibilities.

Men who are to govern each other must learn to respect and understand each other — to respect each other's interests and to be just and generous. They must learn that it is base for men to take advantage of other men and to rise to power over the misfortunes of others. They must learn that it is base to legislate for themselves and to the disadvantage of others.

Our Fraternity exists for the purpose of teaching those deep lessons so often unfolded before us. May we always remember how important it is for us that we should learn these lessons, and for the community that there should be a large and increasing number of men in its midst who have learned these lessons and who are striving to reach them. These things lie at the basis of citizenship, at the root of character, and at the foundation of religion.

1 am glad to see this Temple rising beside yonder church with which I happen to be personally connected. I am glad it is located on this thoroughfare. I am glad that the Fraternity is to be properly housed. I am glad for the community that this Temple is to be located here, sending forth the lessons of Masonry among those who may never cross its threshold and who may never have revealed to them the secrets of the Craft.

May the blessings of heaven rest upon the Brethren here assembled.

ADDRESS ON ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST DAY, JUNE 1916

From New England Craftsman, Vol. XI, No. 9, July 1916, Page 320:

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Love the Magic Word
From a St. John's Day Address

"Masonry forbids the discussion of politics, of creeds, of things concerning which men dispute and sometimes fall to blows, because it believes that it has something more important to do than that; and that more important thing is the creation of the type of character which will naturally, spontaneously, and inevitably manifest itself in a better social order and in a more perfect legislation.

"As so we try to impress upon the initiate and try to deepen by renewed effort that impression during all the years of his Masonic career, the great, fundamental, simple facts of life. We place the novitiate on his knees before the Almighty. We do not ask whether he worships Him as one, pure and simple and alone, or as three in one. We do not ask whether he calls him God or Buddha or Jahweh. We do not ask whether he worships with candles and incense or in the bare simplicity of the Quaker meeting-house. We only try to remind him of the presence of that God, of His dominance in human affairs, and of the necessity, for any strong life, of constant relations with and constant renewal from that source of all life. What we shall call Him, how we shall worship Him, is largely, after all, a matter of accident, more so than most of us realize. The question, my brothers, is not how a man worships; the question is whether a man worships.

"And no man can rise to his full estate until he comes to a realization of himself as an immortal, spiritual being, a very child of the Most High.

"I do not like to hear people talk about 'another life.' I do not like to hear people talk about heaven far away, far off, wondering where it is, wondering whether they are going to get there, wondering how they are going to find the way. I believe from the bottom of my heart that if anybody had ever asked Jesus of Nazareth if He believed in another life, He would have said no, because He was conscious of only one, and that immortal, because it was derived from the immortal life of God Himself.

"Brethren, you and I are not going to be immortal some day, we are now; and that is the thing that we need to know.

"All bound together by the golden chains of love. Ah, my brothers, that is a magic word, and it contains, if we can only apply it, the solution of all our problems, the resolution of all our difficulties. If we only knew how to love each other we would not have any wars, and we would not have to talk about whether we should build one battleship or four or two every year. There is no need of battleships on the Great Lakes, and there is no need of forts on the Canadian and United States' frontier, and there is no need of a standing army in blue on one side of that international line and another in red on the other, because, although we do not very often use that word, Americans and Canadians have learned to love each other, and it is not to be believed that they should fight each other.

"Did you ever stop to think what a world this would be if all the love were to be banished from it over night? Did you ever stop to think how much more love there is in it than we realize from day to day? Supposing some wonderful process of magic should take place, and some demon should succeed in casting all the love out of the heart of all the people of this commonwealth tonight, so that they should wake up tomorrow morning with nothing but selfishness, nothing but self-seeking, nothing but enmity in their hearts!

"What would become of your civilization? It would have vanished as the shadows of night have vanished before the beams of the rising sun. There would be scarcely a memory of it left. No man could do business, no man could live with his family, government would fall to pieces, and civilization would return to worse than original barbarism — to absolute chaos. For, with all the self-seeking and all the evil and all the hatred there is in the world today, there is still enough love to keep life safe and sane; and if that is so, loving as we do now, with only such love as we know in the world today, how much better it would be if the perfect love that is the ideal of the Christian and the Mason could cast out the hate from human lives and reign supreme in the hearts of men made in the image of their Heavenly Father?"

AT THE CENTENARY OF MOUNT HOPE LODGE, DECEMBER 1924

Excerpt, part of Lodge History; from Proceedings, Page 1924-512:

It is fitting that the observance of the centenary of a Lodge should begin in the way that this observance has commenced. It is not only fitting, but it is customary for such an observance to begin with a religious service. In fact, no man should ever commence any important undertaking without first invoking the Divine guidance of God on high.

This Lodge has been instituted to do the will of the Great Architect. The members of the Lodge have asked for light and received it, each individual member receiving according to the measure of his capacity to receive the light of God.

I believe that the first thing God says to us on this occasion is that which ho said to the prophet Ezekiel, and which is found in the book of Ezekiel, in the first verse of the second chapter, "Stand on thy feet, O son of man, and I will speak unto thee."

Men have been known to say that religion is all right for women and children, and not for strong men. Let me tell you, it takes a strong man to stand on his feet and list to the voice of the Almighty. Man is made in God's image, and is his fellow worker.

I like to look back on the men who made New England. They were strong men, who came to New England with the courage and enterprise to seek a place in which they could worship God as they saw fit, where as free men and free women they might rear sons and daughters to worship and glorify God. They cleared forests and raised scanty crops from the barren New England soil. They faced New England winters —they who had known the smiling summers of the British Isles.

Those men, who founded New England, who made {he New England town meeting, who built the little red sehoolhouse, am! who erected a church in which to glorify their God — they stood on their feet and believed that God had a message for them. They believed in work and they worked.

Oh, my friends, but times have changed. It doesn't take three or four or five months to cross the Atlantic. We don't wait till things are forgotten over there before we know of them, we know of them while they are going on. We have every comfort and convenience brought to our very door.

Time was when men lived for their country — now they try to live on it. Whenever there is anything difficult, we want the State to do it with taxes, forgetting that it is we who pay the taxes. I tell you, we're not standing on our feet in the political life any more. We're looking around for some one to carry us.

Morally, what are we doing? Are we teaching men to stand on their feet? We are relying too much on legislation to keep temptations away from us. I am not speaking for or against prohibition, but when I was a boy, the country was alive with efforts to help make men temperate. We're not trying to make men temperate — we're trying to close the saloons. That is one of the best things we might do — God forbid that saloons should return again. But what we need is a generation of men who will stand on their feet, so long as they live on earth, and listen to what God has to say to them.

We are not grappling with the real job of building up the character of our individual fellow men. Once a man got a job because he was a good worker, and he kept it because he was a good worker. Today, God knows how he gets the job, but he keeps it because he cannot be fired without the consent of the walking delegate. We want men who do not rely upon the unions or upon any other human force or power, but who can stand on their feet and listen to the word of God Almighty.

I am not a fundamentalist — but I respect the fundamentalists above any other group working in the forces of Christian endeavor today. Their philosophy is all wrong — but they believe in it, and are fighting to uphold it. There is too much spineless theology in the world today, just as there is too much spineless politics. We must teach men to stand on their feet, and listen to the voice of God Almighty.

Masonry is a great organization for good in the world. Tools are given to the Masons as symbols of what they do. You, members of the Masonry, have placed in your hands working tools. It is intended that you should work with them. They are given you to remind you that there are things to be done in the world, and that you are to do them, not someone else.

We played here tonight: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Did you think what that means when you said it? Do we do God's work ourselves, or do we leave it to the other fellow? Does that prayer mean to you, "Go forth and do God's will"? "Thy will be done" — where? In other people's homes, in foreign lands? No — in my home, in my neighborhood, in my city, because I am trying to do God's will.

The next century holds a great work for Mount Hope Lodge to do. That work is not the work of forming a political bloc in Fall River. No! Not that! It is rather the work of making men — men strong in their manhood to stand on their feet and list to the voice of Almighty God.

It is my hope that Mount Hope Lodge shall never be turned from its purpose of making men — never lowered from its present high standard. Therefore, I will leave you with this: God has but one message for you — "Stand on thy feet, O son of man, and I will speak unto thee."

FEAST OF ST. JOHN, DECEMBER 1929

From Proceedings, Page 1929-308:

Most Worshipful Grand Master and My Brethren:

The educational work which is being done by the Scottish Rite is perhaps not so imposing us that which is being done by the Grand Commandery, or rather by the Grand Encampment through its Grand Commanderies, and what I have to say of that work is not intended in any way to challenge any comparisons as to methods or results. I just assume you arc going to be interested in knowing what the Supreme Council is doing in that line. Some seven or eight years ago the Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander entertained the idea that the Scottish Rite bodies would do well in using some of their means for educating the children of, primarily, members of the Scottish Rite, but not limiting it except to children of Master Masons. He did me the honor, perhaps thinking that I had had some experience which would enable me to be helpful, to call me into council, and we devised a scheme which was put into operation, whereby the Scottish Rite undertakes practically the entire educational expense of a certain number of students. We began with a very modest program, one for each of the fifteen States in the Northern Jurisdiction. We now have on the foundation three from each State, and a number of others on some special scholarship funds, so that we now have under the charge of the committee with which T happen to be connected, 55 scholars, and a good many others arc being supported educationally by their local Scottish Rite bodies in different States in the Northern Jurisdiction.

Our scholarships are intended, as I said, to furnish practically the entire educational support of the student who is fortunate enough to be considered by the committee worthy to receive one. The first year the Supreme Council pays all college bills, pays for books and supplies, pays board and room. Of course, that is based on an allowance. We do not say to a student, "You may go and room where you please and eat where you please and we will pay the bills," but we find from consultation with the college authorities that a comfortable and respectable maintenance will cost so much, and we allow that amount, and that in most cases is paid through the college authorities, who are very glad to disburse it for the benefit of the student.

The allowance for college bills and books and supplies runs through the four years. We assume that after the first year the student will be able to help himself, so the second year we pay two-thirds of his board and room, and the third and fourth years we pay one-half of his board and room. We say, "If and when you are able to pay something of this money back to help somebody else, we shall be very glad to have you do it. We want yon to regard it as a debt of honor." We tell them that what they pay back will not be taken out of the annual appropriation but added to it, widening our scope by so much. The Supreme Council appropriates annually a sum estimated to be sufficient to meet the needs of this work, and we have had some rather wonderful results in the way of accomplishments of the boys and girls whom we have put into colleges and technical schools.

We allow them to go just where they please, providing thej' choose some place which can be approved, educationally and morally, by our committee. I have been very much interested in the way that worked out. I had an impression when we began that with an open field offered to the students in that way, they would rush to the more famous colleges, like Harvard and Yale, Princeton and Columbia, and Wellesley and Vassar and colleges of that sort for the girls. I found, somewhat to my surjiri.se and very much to my delight, that there had not been the slightest desire, or evidence of any desire, to take advantage of this opportunity. These boys and girls have gone just where they would have gone if they had been working their way through college. They have gone mostly to the State universities, where they naturally would go, being citizens of the States maintaining the universities, or they have gone to the small colleges, excellent little colleges, but colleges which perhaps those of you who have not been in the college game would hardly know by name. Therein, I think, they have shown their wisdom, because I am myself a great believer in the small college.

We fit into the picture in just this way. We are rather fortunate here in Massachusetts, because we not, only have a proportion of the general allotment, which enables us to keep three students in college all the time, but we have certain special funds which have been contributed by our Boston bodies, so that we are able to take care of considerably more than that. I think, as a matter of fact, we have about eight now from Massachusetts, being aided. Now here, as I see the picture, is the way it shapes itself. The Grand Lodge takes these children during the years of childhood, up to the time when they ought to decide whether they are going to High School or going to work. Then, if they show any promise whatever, the Grand Chapter takes them under its wing. We advise, and we propose a certain amount of financial assistance and the encouragement which they need to shape their courses wisely. Then there comes a time when they are to decide whether they are going to college or to technical or professional school, or something of that kind. Then if a little will help them along, if they can get along with such loans as have been so interestingly described to as by the Grand Commander, there is the Grand Commandery to lend a helping hand. If there is not anything there and the loan is not going to be enough, for those who have special promise and who are specially worthy of support, the Supreme Council can take care of probably as many as there would be in this State, and see to it that they get a college or technical education.

There is the picture that we have developed in this State for the care of our children. (Applause.)

AT THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF GATE OF THE TEMPLE LODGE, MARCH 1930

From Proceedings, Page 1930-224:

Worshipful Master, Right Worshipful Acting Grand Master, and my Brethren:

When it was suggested that I speak here tonight, I told the Worshipful Master that in my judgment it would overload the program, and that he was providing for too many speakers. I think the clock bears witness to the truth of that remark. Nevertheless, as I am on the program, 1 want to speak to you for a little while about the persons and things and conditions in Masonry at the time that this Lodge took its birth.

The Right Worshipful Acting Grand Master has told us things to which we need to listen with regard to the lessons which the past has yet to teach us in our attempt to solve the problems of the present. There are a good many interesting things about that past which do not come directly into the history of any particular Lodge. I did not expect to hear them in Worshipful Brother Cushing's history, and I did not so hear them, and so I am going to try to tell you something about them myself.

Just at this point I want to say that Worshipful Brother Gushing ought not to have made any apology for putting into his history things which he says are not history. It is just these things that make history. Without such intimate touches as that of the Brother who died among strangers and of the Brothers going on a fishing excursion and not daring to tell the size of the ones they lost, history is only chronicles. Those things make the record of the past history, and as I have his history in my pocket for publication, 1 only wish that he had put in a lot more of them.

1855: As the Acting Grand Master has reminded us, we were just coining out of the shadow of the persecution. Indeed, in that year one of the Charters, that of Golden Rule Lodge of Wakefield, which had been surrendered during the persecution, was returned and the Lodge started again on its course which has been successful up to this time.

In 1826, when the persecution broke, Freemasonry was more successful than it had ever been before. It had 101 Lodges in Massachusetts, with a total membership of slightly over 4,000. You will observe that the average membership then was only about 40 to a Lodge. Charles W. Moore, in a speech which he made in the late thirties, told the Grand Lodge that not more than ten of that 101 Lodges even pretended to retain their existence during the persecution period. There was meeting after meeting of Grand Lodge when only three, four, or five Lodges were represented, and there were annual elections, many of them, at which the total number of votes cast in Grand Lodge was less than 50. But one thing in which as in many others our Masonic ancestors builded better than they knew, saved the existence of the Grand Lodge, as I believe, through that period.

In 1770, the Massachusetts Grand Lodge (whose votes were all valid after the union of the Grand Lodges in 1792) passed a declaratory resolution that when a meeting of Grand Lodge had been properly notified, those who were there, no matter how few in number, were the Grand Lodge and could transact any business that came before that body. They did not know that that might be invoked fifty years later. But you see, with that declaratory resolution standing in our law, the question of a quorum could not possibly be raised, and to that I believe we owe the fact that the persecution did not break our Grand Lodge, as it did some Grand Lodges.

There were no Lodges Chartered in this jurisdiction from 1825 to 1843. So while we may have 125th, 75th, 50th, and even 200th anniversaries, we shall have to wait until 1943 before we can go to any 100th anniversary of a Lodge.

In 1843 the Fraternity began to get on its feet again and, as we have been reminded, it had grown from its lowest point and gotten back to 86 Lodges. The Acting Grand Master told you the average, but I want to go into that a little more in detail, so that you may see the difference between that day and this, lie has told you of two giant Lodges of that period, numbering respectively 207 and 211 members. The smallest Lodge in Massachusetts at that time was Marine Lodge of Falmouth, which had fourteen members. The second place at the end of the list was tied by two Lodges, each of which had sixteen members. This will interest you, I think. One was Wisdom, of West Stockbridge, and the other was Rural of Quincy, winch now has a membership of 1058.

At that period there were eleven Lodges which had a membership of twenty-five or less, in the jurisdiction. Between 26 and 50 there were 38. Between 51 and 100 there were 21. Between 101 and 150 there were nine. Between 151 and 200 there were two, and over 200 there were two. In other words, there were thirteen Lodges in the jurisdiction then which bad over 100 members, and now we have 12 which have over 1,000.

There had been, of course, for a few years previous a rather active business in the re-issuing of Charters and in the chartering of new Lodges. In 1855 five new Lodges received their Charters, and five received their Dispensations, this Lodge being one of those which received a Dispensation. By the way, Worshipful Brother Cushing reminded us that there were no ceremonies of institution at that time. As near as I can find out. there never were any ceremonies of institution of Lodges, that is the delivery of the Dispensation to the petitioners, until within a few years. The first case I recall was in the days of M. W. Everett C. Benton, whom many of you will remember.

The five Lodges which received Charters were Mt. Hermon, Germania, Putnam, Mt. Horeb, of West Harwich, and Benjamin Franklin, of West Dennis. The Mount Hermon Lodge which received its Charter at that time was Mount Hermon, of Medford, our present Mount Hermon. There had previously been a Mount Hermon Lodge in Malden, but it went out of existence during the persecution. Shortly after Mount Hermon, of Medford. was chartered, a few of the old members of the Maiden Mount Hermon met together and wanted to have the Charter back. I do not know whether the Grand Lodge thought they had been dilatory about it or exactly what the reason was. but they refused to give them back their Charter and their old name. They were organized shortly afterwards, by the way, as Mount Vernon Lodge. Mount Vernon Lodge previous to the persecution was in Belchertown, and when they started a new Lodge in Belchertown that was Vernon Lodge, which we have in Belchertown today.

Ben Franklin Lodge has always interested me very much, for personal reasons. West Harwich and West Dennis are not very far apart and Ben Franklin Lodge was merged with Mount Horeb only shortly afterwards, in 1859. Ben Franklin Lodge was started under the impulse of a young Universalist clergyman, who was then preaching there, in one of his first pastorates. He was its first Master under Dispensation. He afterwards left the State, and some of the older of you will remember him very well in other capacities, the Reverend Henry W. Rugg, who was afterward Grand Master of Masons in Rhode Island, and was Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar when he died, and happened to be in later years (although much my senior) one of my closest personal friends. You will pardon the personal note which comes into the little story about the short life of Ben Franklin Lodge.

The Lodges which received their Dispensations that year were Agawam of Wareham, DeWitt Clinton, Gate of the Temple, Mount Horeb, of Woburn, and Blackstone River. About Agawam Lodge hangs a tale. Their Dispensation was returned at the March meeting of 1856. A committee was appointed, as was customary in those days, and they reported back, deferring action for three months, until June, 1856, and that was the last that was ever heard of Agawam Lodge, but in June, 1856, it was voted to restore the Charter of Social Harmony Lodge of Wareham which had been surrendered during the persecution. So that, evidently, instead of taking out a Charter as a new Lodge this group of men who had started Agawam got the Charter of the old Lodge and went on as the Social Harmony that we know today.

I was very much interested in what was said about the apparent lack of attention to the duties of Master of Reverend and Worshipful Brother Clinch, who was your first Master. Perhaps you would like to know a little something about Bro. Clinch. He was born January 30, 1806, in Trinity, Newfoundland, and I wonder if that is the reason why the name "Trinity" was suggested for this Lodge in the first instance. It may be a mere coincidence, but if so, it is an interesting one.

His father was an Episcopalian clergyman and missionary under the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and preached among the poor fishing population of Newfoundland. Bro. Clinch followed in his father's footsteps. He was ordained to the Episcopalian ministry in 1830. In 1836 he came to Boston. In 1838 he was settled over St. Matthew's Episcopal Church of South Boston, and continued there until 1860. He resigned that church in 1860 to become chaplain of the House of Correction and Insane Asylum connected with it, where he remained until his death in 1884. So that at the time he was Master of your Lodge he was rector of St. Matthew's Parish.

He was also, at the time that he was Master of this Lodge, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge, which office he held in 1855 and 1856. He became a member of St. Paul's Lodge.

ill 1847, and served for a year or more as Senior Warden, probably immediately preceding his dimitting to become a Charter member of this Lodge, and that qualified him to be the Master under Dispensation. He does not appear to have been very active in Masonry as far as I can see. He served only two years as Grand Chaplain. Evidently he was a man very much absorbed in the duties of his clerical office. The Grand Master of that date has been referred to, Dr. Winslow Lewis, one of the great figures in the roll of Grand Masters of Masons in Massachusetts. Dr. Lewis had been Deputy Grand Master in 1846 and 1847, and he served as Grand Master in 1855 and 1856. and again in 1860. In the early years, back in Henry Price's time, the Grand Masters were recalled to the chair again and again. I think Henry Price was Grand Master about four times during his Iong life. There were two or three instances in the earlier history of Freemasonry in Massachusetts where men who had served their term as Grand Master were afterwards called back again for a second service.

The Grand Master preceding Dr. Lewis in this experience of recall was the venerable John Abbot, who in 1824, 1825, and 1826 served as Grand Master, with great distinction. In 1834, in the middle of the persecution period, he was called back to the chair and served for another year. There has been no ease since that of Winslow Lewis in which the Grand Master has been recalled and re-elected to the chair, except for his two or three consecutive years of service which is common among us.

Dr. Lewis was a great Mason, as well as a distinguished physician. He was at one time Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, he was an active member of the Supreme Council in the Scottish Rite, and was a very great and influential man in his day and generation. Your Lodge is honored in having such a name as that signed to its Charter.

Just one thing more, and I am through with these historic reminiscences. Something lias been said about the amounts which were voted for charity and rent and all that. I remember that Worshipful Brother dishing s;iid that the Charter members of this Lodge assessed themselves $25 apiece; fixed the fee at $25. That was a very large sum at that time, because the purchasing power of money in 1855 was about five times what it is today, so that an initiation fee of $25 would amount to as much as $100 or $125 would now, and in considering the apparently very low sums which were spent in those days, you must multiply them by four or five, in order to approximate present conditions. I remember, in looking over the old proceedings of Grand Lodge, which I have been putting through the press for the last few years, I have found several entries of funeral expenses. Brothers died and were buried by the Grand Lodge, in one instance by an individual, and he was reimbursed by Grand Lodge. Those funeral costs—and I have no doubt they were entirely respectable funerals — ran from $17 to $25 and that gives you a gauge, you see, of the relative purchasing power of money in those days.

So, Brethren, we are looking backward, and it struck me that it might interest you a bit if I threw the flash light here and there into some of the things of the period when this Lodge was born.

AT THE 125TH ANNIVERSARY OF AMICABLE LODGE, JUNE 1930

From Proceedings, Page 1930-259, Grand Secretary's Address:

Worshipful Master, Right Worshipful Acting Grand Master, and my Brethren:

The difficulty in making a speech of this sort is not so much to know what to say as what to omit. I am going to omit most of it. In 1805 there were eighty-two Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Of these, sixty-four were in the present territory of Massachusetts, and fourteen were in what is now the State of Maine, but which was then and for about fifteen years longer a part of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts, then, as now, was a Grand Lodge extending its activities beyond its limits. It had two Lodges in Ohio, which had not then organized a Grand Lodge, and it had one in Demarara. I think that the membership probably lay about midway between the maximum and the minimum given by the Acting Grand Master. We have, as he said, no statistics of Lodge membership or Grand Lodge membership at that period, nor for twenty years later. I see no reason to believe that the Lodges in 1805 averaged any larger than they did in 1825. The twenty-five year period before the persecution was a period of great prosperity in Massachusetts Masonry, and the Grand Masters were all complaining that the Lodges were doing too much work. The average membership of a Lodge at that time was almost exactly forty, and if we set the average membership in 1805 at forty or thereabouts, we arrive at 3300, more or less, for the membership of the Fraternity in Maine and Massachusetts.

At that period this Lodge was placed in the First Masonic District, which had at that time thirteen other Lodges in it, and extended from Reading on the north to Dedham and Quincy on the south, and all between. These were the Lodges: St. John's; Rising States (I could tell you a lot about Rising States if time served. Rising States was an offshoot from the Lodge of St. Andrew which in 1805 was not on the roster of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. It was going on its own, working under its Scottish Charter. A few years later Rising States Lodge dissolved, and the Lodge of St. Andrew came back into the fold of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.) King Solomon's, then in Charlestown; Columbian; Washington; Union, of Dorchester; Hiram, then in Lexington, now in Arlington; Meridian, of Watertown, now of Natick, having meanwhile been at Needham (Wellesley Hills) and Newton Lower Falls; Mount Moriah, of Reading, an old Lodge which perished during the persecution period; (the present Mount Moriah is at Westfield) Mount Lebanon; Rural, of Quincy, and Constellation, of Dedham; not the present Constellation. The old Constellation died in the persecution period and, sad to say, there was nobody to whom the old Charter could be issued, and so in the sixties a Charter was issued to the present Constellation Lodge in Dedham.

That is the family into which you were born in 1805.

THE MASONIC FRATERNITY, MAY 1939

Radio Address; From Proceedings, Page 1939-201:

By way of introduction of what the Grand Master will presently say, let me take a glance at the Masonic Fraternity as the non-mason may see it.

Masonry is the oldest, largest, and most widely diffused of all fraternal organizations. While its ancestry, much of it clear!) traceable, goes far back into the dim past, in its present organized form it came into existence in England in 1717. Four London Lodges met and organized a Grand Lodge. The movement was successful in giving a central organization and authority to the Masonry which had long existed in a formless and un-controlled condition. As soon as it felt strong enough to do so, the Grand Lodge ordained that no Lodge should be considered regular unless it had a Charter or a Warrant from a Grand Lodge or a Grand Master, and no Mason should be recognized as such unless he was initiated in such a Lodge. This was soon generally accepted and has been the law of the Fraternity ever since.

Masonry rapidly spread to the Continent of Europe and wherever British soldiers, sailors, and traders were to be found. Regular Masonry came to America in 1733, when a warrant as Provincial Grand Master was given by the Grand Master of England to Henry Price, of Boston. Freemasonry spread rapidly through the American colonies. An eminent authority has pointed out that during the colonial period, when the colonies were divided in spirit and almost hostile to each other, Freemasonry was the one unifying element common to all, and thus played a great part in making the Revolution possible.

After the Revolution, each state organized a Grand Lodge, as the new states were formed beyond the original thirteen the same process took place. There are now in the United States forty-nine Grand Lodges, one in each state and one in the District of Columbia. The same process has gone on all over the world. Lodges are planted here and there. When they are strong enough, they organize a Grand Lodge for the state or country in which they are located.

Every Grand Lodge is absolutely sovereign and independent of any and every other Grand Lodge. They all accept certain general principles known as the Ancient Landmarks. Their varying codes of Masonic law are all based on certain fundamental principles laid down in a book known as "The Anderson Constitutions" prepared by James Anderson and accepted by the Grand Lodge of England in 1723. They all require an unequivocal declaration of belief in a Supreme Being from ever) applicant for membership. They all teach the same system of morals. Spiritually the Grand Lodges are one the world over. Materially they are many, each independent of all others.

Every year the Grand Masters of the United States meet in Washington for conference. This conference never votes or resolves. It has no more authority than the conferences of Governors, or Mayors, or Police Chiefs, which are held from time to time.

Ir cannot be too strongly asserted that there is not, never has been, and never can be any group or any individual ruling and directing the world's Freemasonry. There has long been a myth that there are such invisible chiefs, of whom the common Mason knows nothing. It is a myth, pure and simple. Freemasonry is pure democracy. Very possibly that is why some persons do not like it.

Definite statistics are not available, but there are at least four million Masons in the world. There are about two and a half millions in the United States. The Grand Lodge of England has about four hundred thousand members in slightly more than five thousand Lodges. Lodges are much smaller elsewhere than in the United States. Scotland has over twelve hundred Lodges. Ireland has over seven hundred scattered all over the island and overseas. There are Grand Lodges in each Canadian Province, in Central and South America, in Australia, in Asia, and in Africa. On the Continent of Europe Freemasonry is strong, though not very numerous, in the Scandinavian countries, in Switzerland, and in Holland. In three great countries it has been suppressed by the government. In some others it is frowned upon by the government. In France there is a numerous Freemasonry, but it lacks general recognition because it has departed from the requirement that every applicant must profess belief in a Supreme Being.

All Freemasonry is based on the Lodge. From the Lodge one may go on and join other Masonic groups. Freemasonry officially recognizes as Masonic bodies Chapters of Royal Arch Masons, Councils of Royal and Select Masters, Commanderies of Knights Templar, and the several bodies of the Scottish Rite, with its elaborate system of thirty-three degrees. These are sometimes called "higher degrees." They arc higher only in the sense that they have higher numbers and that some of them are prerequisite to be taken by others. The man who has received the three degrees in the Lodge is a Master Mason. There is nothing higher and nothing superior to him in Masonry. '["here are certain other organizations, the best known of which are perhaps the Shrine and the Grotto, which are nor > learly understood by the general public. They are not Masonic organizations. They are organizations of Masons. That is to say, they draw their membership from the Masonic Fraternity, but they are not a part of it.

This, very briefly, is the body of Freemasonry. The Grand Master will tell you about its soul.

The Grand Master's address followed this commentary.


MEMORIAL

FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1940

From Proceedings, Page 1940-184:

Most Worshipful Brother Hamilton, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge, died at the Massachusetts Osteopathic Hospital, Boston, May 22, 1940, after an operation performed the previous night. He was faithful in the discharge of his duties as Grand Secretary until the very end.

He was born in Portland, Maine, March 30, 1860, the son of Jonas and Angelina (Sawyer) Hamilton. He was twice married: to Florence Quintard Mead on June 25, 1884, and to Emma Tuttle James on March 4, 1912, both of whom pre-deceased him. He is survived by a son, Guy C. Hamilton, of Somerville, and a daughter, Miss Dorothy J. Hamilton, of Cambridge.

He graduated from Tufts College in 1880 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. As an undergraduate, he was active in debating, and in his senior year was editor-in-chief of the Tuftonian, the literary publication of the college. Tufts gave him his A.M. in 1886, his D.D. in 1899 (following a special course at the Divinity School), and in 1906 St. Lawrence University gave him his LL.D. He was a mernber of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity and of Phi Beta Kappa.

From 1880 until 1889, he was employed by a railroad company; in 1889 he entered the Universalist ministry, following this profession - with pastorates in Pawtucket, R. I., and Roxbury, Massachusetts - until 1906; in the fall of 1905 he was elected President of Tufts College, serving as such until 1913; he was a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education from 1909 until 1920; Secretary of the Committee on Education of the United Typothetae of America from 1913-1927; and since March 10, 1915, he was Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts. FIe was largely responsible for the establishment of Jackson College as a co-educational division of Tufts College. He wrote considerably on civic problems, and he won several prizes from the American Humane Society for essays on a practical plan for the settling of disputes between Great Britain and Venezuela.

He was raised a Master Mason in Atlantic Lodge No. 81, Portland, Maine, October 19, 1881, and later affiliated with Union Lodge No. 10, of Pawtucket, R. I. He also became a member of Washington Lodge, in Roxbury, and Somerville Lodge, in Somerville, both in Massachusetts, and presided as Worshipful Master of these latter two Lodges in 1910 and 1912-1913, respectively. In the Grand Lodge, he was Deputy Grand Master in 1915, and ever since then he had served as Grand Secretary with the unusual distinction of an unanimous election to that office twenty-four consecutive times. His Brethren made him an Honorary Past Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts on December 11, 1935, he being one of only two Brethren ever to be thus honored; and he was also decorated with the Henry Price Medal.

Most Worshipful Brother Hamilton was exalted in St. Andrew's Chapter, R.A.M., Boston, March 7, 1907; greeted in Boston Council, R. & S.M., May 30, 1907; knighted in St. Bernard Commandery, K.T., Boston, May 8, 1907, and was its Eminent Commander in 1917. He had been Grand Chaplain of the Grand Council Royal and Select Masters of Massachusetts since 1908, and of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts since 1918; and he held the office of Associate Grand Prelate in The Grand Commandery of Knights Templars of Massachusetts and Rhode Island from 1911 to 1915. In the Scottish Rite, he was made a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret in Massachusetts Consistory, Boston, Aptil 27, 1906; created an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council, 33°, Northern Jurisdiction, September 21, 1909; and crowned an Active Member September 21, 1911. He rendered most valuable service to the Supreme Council in the following capacities:

  • Member of Committee on Councils of Deliberation and that of Deceased Members, 1911-1912;
  • Member of Committee on Rituals and Ritualistic Matter, 1912-1918; 1921-1925; and from 1934 to date;
  • Trustee, 1912 to date, and Secretary of the Corporation for many years;
  • Grand Keeper of the Archives, 1912-1928;
  • Member of Committee on Deceased Members, 1918-1921;
  • Illustrious Deputy for the District of Massachusetts, 1920 to date;
  • Chairman Committee on Education from its establishment in 1922 to date;
  • Grand Prior, 1928 to date;
  • Member of Special Committee on Educational Administration Review in 1933;
  • Member of Special Committee on History, 1933-1938;
  • Grand Representative of the Supreme Council of the Dominican Republic near the Supreme Council.

Most Worshipful Brother Hamilton was a Republican, and a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. He had almost completed a history of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and also an encyclopaedia of Freemasonry.

Funeral services were held at Story Chapel, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Saturday, May 25th, at two-thirty o'clock, the Very Reverend Percy T. Edrop, D.D., 33°, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, of Springfield, Massachusetts, officiating. A host of friends and Brethren, including a large representation from other grand Masonic bodies, filled the chapel to capacity, and the floral tributes were numerous and of unusual beauty. Interment was in Mount Auburn Cemetery.

The messages of sympathy received from all over the United States and Canada have expressed not only profound respect but a feeling of personal friendship and a sense of personal loss that are significant of the large place he occupied in the affections of the Masonic world. His nature was so noble, his stature so lofty, that his loss is not that of any single jurisdiction but rather that of all men of good will. He was deeply. troubled about the present status of world affairs but he was serene in his confidence in the ultimate triumph of right. His knowledge of the past was too great and too sure to permit any anxiety over the long view ahead. He was a scholar but also a friend of men. His influence was always constructive, his counsels always wise. Throughout his long life he builded an edifice of service and friendiiness that wilf long endure as a monument to his character and an encouragement to his Brethren.

Melvin M. Johnson
Arthur D. Prince
Frank L. Simpson
Herbert W. Dean
Claude L. Allen
Joseph Earl Perry

FROM NEW ENGLAND CRAFTSMAN, 1940

From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXXV, No. 10, June 1940, Page 200:

Frederick William Hamilton died Wednesday, May 22, 1940, at Boston, Massachusetts in his 82d year.

Dr. Hamilton was Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts for twenty-five years. He was an honorary Doctor of Divinity, a Doctor of Laws, an active memher of the Supreme Council 33d. of the Scottish Rite, and its deputy for Massachusetts.

He was a ripe Masonic scholar, author of much authoritative literature pertaining lo the Craft, and his opinion was highly valued in this country and abroad.

Educated at Tufts College, Massachusetts, he subsequently became its fourth president, still later embarking in commercial life, and subsequently assuming active administrative Masonic office. During his tenancy of the high post of grand secretary he witnessed the tremendous influx of new members during World War years and later the receding tide; he carried on important and sometimes onerous duties with rare skill and dignity. His earlier life as a Universalis! minister led him along theological paths but his logic was invariably balanced and stimulating; his gifts of character scarcely less valuable than his gifts of intellect. He viewed the contemporary scene with discriminating insight and broad vision. His was a well-stored mind. Now that his earthly activities have ceased he will be best remembered for important contributions made to a fraternity he conscientiously and ably served and adorned.

The Craftsman will miss the wise counsel which he generously gave to it and will remember with pleasure a warm personal association of many years with one whose knowledge was profound, and who was an agreeable and intellectually delightful companion.

From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXXV, No. 10, June 1940, Page 211:

The Rev. Frederick William Hamilton, D.D., LL.D., of Cambridge, Mass., fourth president of Tufts College and a high-ranking Mason, died Wednesday, May 22, following an emergency operation in a Boston hospital.

A native of Portland, where he prepared for college, Dr. Hamilton received his bachelor of arts degree from Tufts in 1880. As an undergraduate he was active in debating, and in his senior year served as editor-in-chief of the Tuftonian college literary publication.

Dr. Hamilton became president of Tufts in 1905, following the death of Elmer H. Capen, and resigned in 1912. He is credited with establishing Jackson College as a co-educational division of Tufts College.

He entered the Universalist ministry in 1889, three years after he received his master of arts degree from Tufts. His first pastorate was in Pawtucket, R.I., where he served as minister of the Universalist Church from 1889-1895.

In 1896 he was called to a Roxbury pastorate and in the fall of 1905 was elected president of Tufts.

Dr. Hamilton wrote considerably on civic problems and won several prizes offered by the American Humane Society for the best essay on a practical plan for the settling of disputes between Great Britain and Venezuela.

He was an active 33rd degree Mason and since 1915 had served as Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts. He was also a member of the state board of education from 1909 to 1920.

Tufts bestowed on him an honorary doctorate of divinity in 1899, and St. Lawrence College honored him with a doctor of laws degree in 1906.

Dr. Hamilton's first wife, whom he married in 1884, was the late Florence Quintard Mead. He married the late Emma Tuttle James in 1912.

He leaves a son, Guy C. Hamilton of Somerville, and a daughter, Miss Dorothy J. Hamilton of Cambridge.

Services, largely attended, were held at 2:30 P.M. Saturday, May 25, in the Story Chapel of Mount Auburn cemetery. The Very Rev. Percy T. Edrop, dean of the Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal), Springfield, officiating.

DR. HAMILTON'S HISTORY


Distinguished Brothers