- 1 LUCIUS R. PAIGE 1802-1896
- 1.1 BIOGRAPHY
- 1.2 MEMORIAL
- 1.3 SPEECHES
LUCIUS R. PAIGE 1802-1896
Deputy Grand Master, 1852-1854
FROM LIBERAL FREEMASON, 1885
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. IX, No. 8, November 1885, Page 241:
A well proportioned and shapely figure, little if any less than six feet in height — clean cut features — lighted by an intellectual expressiveness; a genial and kindly-manner which age has never dulled, and a mental grasp at once clear and incisive, are qualities which distinguish Lucius Robinson Paige, and for sixty years have made him conspicuous in theological circles fas well as in matters Masonic.
Born in the town of Hardwick, Massachusetts, on the eighth day of March, 1802. He is the youngest son of Timothy, Esq. and Mary (Robinson) Paige, and now has the memory of the fact that though he has outlived nearly, if not quite all, of his generation, he has in no sense outgrown the affectionate regards of the succeeding or present one.
From motives akin to those which led him to enter the ministry he early asked admission into Freemasonry, and was Initiated in Little Falls Lodge, No. 386, New York, April 9th, 1824, received the second degree at the same meeting, and the Master Mason degree on May 7th, 1824. This occurred during a temporary residence in that jurisdiction.
On the 9th day of June following, he became a member of Mount Zion Lodge in Hardwick, his native town, and was at once made Chaplain.
The Lodge subsequently removed to Barre, but Brother Paige was elected Senior Warden of it, September 21, 1825, and Worshipful Master September 13, 1826. Later in life, and when well known as a leading divine, his change of residence brought about a transfer of his Masonic affiliation to Amicable Lodge in Cambridge, Mass., where he was elected Master February 10th, 1846, and was so continued until December 1, 1848.
His name is now the second on the roll of members where it was placed the day of his election as Master, and that honor has been supplemented by electing him to be an Honorary Member.
In conferring Honorary Membership upon him the Lodge did not intend to convey but a poor compliment, but rather to emphasize the profound feeling of respect felt by all its members for one who was ever ready to step aside from the arduous duties of his vocation and contribute to the instruction ami welfare of his brethren.
Conspicuous among his efforts in this direction is the valuable Historical Address delivered October 18th, 1855 at the Semi-Centennial Anniversary of the Lodge, and concerning which he said in reply to a request for a copy for publication by the Lodge: "My Address was prepared without the slightest idea, on my part, of publication. I do not, however, feel at liberty to disregard the request of the Lodge."
As already indicated, he stands second on the roll of members, being ranked in this respect by Brother Charles Tufts, whose membership dates from May 18, 1829, and who was elected Secretary at the reorganization of the Lodge after the Charter was restored on December 27th, 1845, and has been continued in that office ever since.
In the Grand Lodge, our brother was Grand Steward from December 1848, two years; Junior Grand Deacon in 1851, and Deputy Grand Master from December 1851, three years.
It appears in the original book of records of King Hiram R. A. Chapter, then at Greenwich Village, that M. E. Apolus Johnson proposed Brother Lucius R. Paige, of Hardwick, to receive the degrees conferred in this Chapter," on the third day of August 1824 he was balloted for and elected at the same meeting, ana received the Mark and Fast Master's Degrees.
On September 7th, he received the Most Excellent Degree, and the record says the "Lectures were then passed on the M. M. Degree." This meeting must have been a busy one, as all four of the degrees were conferred during the session, and Brother Paige was one of the three exalted to the Roya1 Arch Degree.
The only office he ever held in this Chapter was that of Chaplain.
In speaking of his early Masonic history, Brother Paige says, — he received the orders of Knighthood from M. E. Henry Fowle, Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of K. T. of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, in December, 1824, at Greenwich Village, Mass., and was appointed by him Prelate oi the "Village Encampment" which he established at that time and place. He was subsequently elected Prelate, January 18, 1825, Generalissimo, September 20th, in the same year, and M. E. Grand Commander, September 12th, 1826 — all of which is shown in the original book of records of the Encampment. The original "Warrant of Dispensation" for this Encampment, written and signed by Henry Fowle, Grand Master, etc., and dated December 14, 1824, shows that the petition for it was presented by "Rev. Sir Ezekiel L. Bascom, Rev. Sir Alpheus Harding, Rev. Sir Festus Foster, Rev. Sir Lucius R. Paige, Sir Warren P. Wing, Sir John Warner, Sir John Stearns, Sir Edward Raymore, Sir James Hinds, Sir John T. Jordan, Sir David Mellen, and Sir Hubbard Vaughn, all true and courteous Knight Templars," etc.
The dispensation was copied into the book of records by Sir Knight Paige, and he also wrote up the records to and including July 29, 1825. As a result of the Anti-Masonic crusade, "Village Encampment" closed its asylum, never again to be re-opened, unless by future and only possible efforts and circumstances.
The records of this body and of Hiram Chapter disappeared and for many years it was feared they were lost, but fortunately both have been recovered, and largely, if not entirely, by aid of Sir Knight Paige.
Following the recovery and delivery of these by him to Grand Recorder Alfred F. Chapman, the Eminent Sir Knight, in a response to a request, wrote on page 35 of the record book of the Encampment as follows:
"This book was received by me on the first day of November, A. D., 1876, from a son of Sir John T. Jordan, of Greenwich Village; it undoubtedly contains the official Records of the Village Encampment. The preceding portion I recognize as being in my own handwriting. Lucius R. Paige. Cambridge, Nov. 19th. 1876."
After fifty-one years this certificate was written by the same knightly hand, that had recorded the beginnings of this Encampment, and though nine other years have been added to this weight, the sixty have only weakened his physical energies without impairing his zeal and fidelity to the principles he espoused in his early manhood.
Sir Knight Paige is now affiliated in Boston Commandery, where he was elected an Honorary Member, September 18th, 1872.
The amount of work done by Village Encampment within the first eight months of its existence is an interesting incident in the Masonic life of our brother Sir Knight. This is shown in the return signed by John R. Cotting, Grand Recorder, on August 17th, 1825, by which it appears that the sum of $5.00 "was paid on each of forty-seven Knights created, making a total of $235 received by the Treasury of the Grand Encampment."
In the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite our Brother has for nearly a quarter of a century taken an intelligent and comprehensive interest. He received the degree from the Supreme Council, sitting in Boston, from the 4° to the 14°, January 23d, 1861 ; the 15° to 32°, February ist, 1861; the 33°, or degree of Sovereign Grand Inspector General was conferred upon him March 20th, 1861, and on the same clay he was made an active member of the Supreme Council.
His official positions in this body commenced on May 8th, 1861, when he was made Grand Marshal. This, however, proved to be only temporary, as he became Grand Secretary General on the 21st of the same month, and held that office until February 7th, 1863, when he became Grand Chancellor, an office in which he continued until October 20th, 1864, when he was made Grand Orator and Minister of State, and held it until May 17th, 1867.
On the 4th day of February, 1863, he was duly commissioned Grand Representative of the Supreme Council of Belgium, a position he still continues to adorn.
Among the Masons in Massachusetts, it is doubtful if anyone of them can rank with him in experimental knowledge of its history, and few can equal him in familiarity with its mysteries and literature.
He came to Cambridge in May, 1832, where he was installed pastor of the First Universalist Church, and from this vantage-ground lie lias closely observed the influences affecting the welfare of Freemasonry in Massachusetts, nor has he failed at convenient times to sound a note of warning. With regret he saw the Grand Charity Fund of the Grand Lodge diverted from its true purpose, and with thanksgiving he has witnessed its restoration, himself being elected one of eight Trustees, on December 10th, 1884.
In the social, Masonic, and literary world, our brother has been conspicuous, but his duties as pastor were faithfully attended to. Kind in manner, he has ever been an engaging Companion, a sound adviser, and a fearless advocate. Pleasant indeed it is to know so good a man, and though we may not hope for as many more years of life for him as we could wish, we nevertheless can hope that the virtues of his youth, the discretion of his manhood, and the richness of his age will be held among the best legacies of a long and useful life.
FROM LIBERAL FREEMASON, 1891
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. XIV, No. 12, March 1891, Page 372:
The Liberal Freemason believes in speaking pleasantly of brethren while living, who may have done good work in Freemasonry and earned the gratitude of their fellows. For this reason we again speak of our good and true Brother Paige, hoping that this expression of confidence may not be ungrateful to him, nor unwelcome among other kindly messages that will no doubt come to him.
The Boston Daily Traveller of March 7th had a very good notice and a very poor portrait of him. We avail ourselves of the former, and give it to our readers:
To-morrow is the eighty-ninth anniversary of the birth of Rev. Lucius R. Paige, D.D., of Cambridge. He was born in Hardwick, March 8, 1802, and his life has been a busy and eventful one, and he is now enjoying that retirement to which his well-spent years entitle him. His father was Timothy Richmond Paige, of Hardwick, who was a member of a company of "minute men" who marched to Cambridge upon the Lexington alarm. He represented the General Court seventeen years successively, from 1805 to 1821, inclusive, and was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1820. He was a man who united very many excellent and useful qualities, and was universally esteemed among his acquaintances for his intelligence and unbending integrity.
Rev. Lucius Robinson Paige has been married four times, his first wife being Clarinda Richardson, daughter of Ezekiel Richardson, of Brookfield, September 14, 1826. She died August 20, 1833, aged twenty-eight, and he afterwards married Abby R., daughter of Joseph Whittemore, of Charlestown, and sister of Rev. Thomas Whittemore, D. D., first pastor of the First Universalist Church of Cambridgeport, October 5, 1834. She passed away on the 23d of December, 1843, aged thirty-six, and Mr. Paige married Lucy Richardson, widow of Solomon Richardson, of Brookfield, and daughter of Barnabas Comins, of Charlton, October 22, 1845. She died January 3, 1864, aged sixty-four, and he married his present wife, Ann Maria Brigham, of Keokuk, Iowa, widow of Hon. David T. Brigham, daughter of Robert M. Peck, and granddaughter of Hon. Joseph Allen of Worcester, August 2, 1866. He had five children, all of whom have passed over to the silent majority.
Mr. Paige was educated in the common schools of the town of Hardwick, and at Hopkins Academy in Hadley, and commenced preaching June 1, 1823, received the fellowship of the Southern Association of Universalists on the 12th of the same month, and was ordained June 2, 1825. He continued to preach occasionally, about thirty years afterwards, until the precarious condition of his health compelled him to desist. He has published many noted works, which have become standard authorities.
His literary labors, however, yielding scanty returns, he devoted the business hours of the day for many years to the performance of secular duties. He received the degree of A. M. from Harvard College in 1850, and that of D.D. from Tufts College in 1861. He is the oldest living member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1844, and many other organizations.
He is the oldest Past Commander of a Commandery of Knights Templars within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and the oldest living Universalist minister in the United States, or for that matter, in the world. Mr. Paige's memory is very retentive. He remembers an event that transpired when he was only four years old, in 1806, the shooting of Charles Austin, a Democrat, by Thomas O. Selfridge, an attorney-at-law and a Federalist, in front of the Traveller office, and the exciting trial which resulted in die acquittal of Selfridge.
Dr. Paige held a reception some two years ago, and was so exhausted afterward that he has dreaded birthdays since. He expresses a wish to have no callers to-morrow, particularly as it is Sunday.
- Trial of Selfridge book from Google Books
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1896
From Proceedings, Page 1896-220:
On Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 2d, R.W. and Rev. Bro. Lucius R. Paige, D.D., was summoned to his eternal rest. He was Deputy Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts in 1852, 1853 and 1854, and at the time of his decease was the Senior Permanent Member of this Grand Body. On. Saturday afternoon, the 5th instant, the Grand Lodge paid its last tribute of respect to our venerable and beloved Brother, by attending his funeral at Cambridge, and accompanying the remains to their last resting-place in Mount Auburn, where the Grand Officers performed the burial rites of our Order. I have appointed as a Committee to prepare a memorial of R.W. Bro. Paige, and report to this Grand Lodge, R.W. Brothers Sereno D. Nickerson, Samuel C. Lawrence and Charles Levi Woodbury.
From Proceedings, Page 1896-385:
"The familiar, feeble form which has gone in and out, before us for so many years has been laid to rest, but, the stalwart, sturdy spirit which inhabited it has found a warm welcome and congenial company in the Celestial Lodge above.
"Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail
Or knock the breast, no weakness, no contempt,
Dispraise, or blame, nothing but well and fair,
And what may quiet us in a death so peaceful."
"Our grave and Reverend Brother became a member of this Grand Lodge before most of its present members were born. In September, 1825, he was elected Senior Warden of Mount Zion Lodge, of Hardwick, now of Barre, and in that capacity attended the annual meeting of the Grand Lodge in December, 1825, at the Old State House, in State street, Boston. In the following year he was elected Master of the same Lodge. During his term of office he removed to Springfield, thirty miles from Hardwick, and therefore declined a reelection. In 1829 he again removed and was for several years at a long distance from any working body of Masons. Sixty years later he said at one of our festivals: Those were years of deep shadows, and of darkness which might be felt, while anti-Masonry was rampant. I had no opportunity to render any important service to Masonry in its time of peril; but, on the other hand, it affords me satisfaction to remember that in its darkest days I never disavowed or concealed my loyalty to it.
"In 1846 he assisted in the reorganization of Amicable Lodge, of Cambridge, was elected W. Master and served three years. In 1849 and 1850 he served as Grand Steward, in 1851 as Grand Deacon, and in 1852, 1853, and 1854 as Deputy Grand Master, by appointment of M.W. Grand Master George M. Randall. Thus it appears that Bro. Paige first became a member of this Grand Lodge seventy-one years ago, and that he has held an uninterrupted membership of half a century. Of the thirty-one Brethren who were Permanent Members when he joined their ranks he was the last survivor by more than ten years. This remarkable record has for many years made his presence in Grand Lodge a matter of special interest. At the Quarterly Communication held on the 13th of September, 1876, Past Grand Master John T. Heard called attention to the fact that the day was the semicentennial anniversary of Bro. Paige's first election as Master of a Lodge. Upon Bro. Heard's motion it was unanimously Resolved, That this Grand Lodge congratulates our R.W. Brother, the Rev. Lucius R. Paige, D.D., that his life has been spared beyond the term of three score years and ten; and more especially, that it has been distinguished by a conscientious discharge of the duties belonging to the religious teacher, the upright citizen and faithful Mason. To this recognition Bro. Paige responded with much feeling.
"At the Quarterly Communication held on the 8th of March, 1882, the congratulations of the Grand Lodge were tendered to him on the eightieth anniversary of his birthday, and an attested copy of the vote was delivered to the District Deputy Grand Master of his District, to be presented to Bro. Paige at a festival in his honor to be given on the same evening in the city of Cambridge. At the Quarterly Communication in September following he returned thanks in person, concluding as follows:
"Freemasonry was my early love, in the morning of life; and in my old age, as the evening shadows gather round me, it still occupies a warm place in my heart. Many of my happiest hours have been spent within the Lodge, and their memory is green. Masonic Brethren have always been among my choicest friends; and I earnestly hope to retain and enjoy their friendship until I shall be called from earthly labor to heavenly refreshment."
"At the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, Dec. 28, 1886, a letter from Bro. Paige was read, in which he stated that it was thirty-three years since he had witnessed an Installation of the Officers of the Grand Lodge, and he had never attended the Feast of St. John. He goes on to explain: It may be proper, at this late day, to assign the reason for neglecting such privileges. On the 27th of December, 1854, my last surviving child, my favorite daughter, died, at the age of 22 years, leaving me childless; and the last ten days of a previous year were saddened by the death of two other members of my family. The Christmas holidays thus became a season of serious reflection, rather than of conviviality. He had intended to depart . from his long-continued custom, and join us at that Festival, but for a few days previous the infirmities incident to old age pressed so heavily upon him that he felt. obliged to forego the pleasure, lest a worse evil should befall him. He never was present at the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, although his life was prolonged for ten years.
"He was present, however, at the Feast of St. John the Baptist, on the 26th of June, 1888. On that occasion he gave us a most interesting account of his Masonic life and experience, entering into more detail than ever before. At the Quarterly Communication of March 9, 1892, the M.W. Grand Master reminded the Grand Lodge that Bro. Paige had reached, the age of ninety years on the day before, and would probably have been present at that Communication but for the inclemency of the weather. The Recording Grand Secretary was instructed to extend to our venerable Brother the congratulations of the Grand Lodge. At the next succeeding Communication he was present, in company with two- - other Brethren nearly as old as himself. Each of them thanked the Grand Lodge for the consideration shown them, and expressed his unwavering devotion to the principles of the Fraternity.
"At the Quarterly Communication in September, 1893, he made an interesting Address, announcing his intention not to be a candidate for reelection as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust, thus discontinuing all active service in the Masonic Institution, with which he had been so long connected. He said: On the 13th day of September, 1826, sixty seven years ago to-day, and at about this hour in the afternoon, I was elected Master of Mount Zion Lodge, then located in Hardwick, my native town, but since removed to Barre. To-day, therefore, is to me a veiy interesting anniversary. Perhaps others are still living in this jurisdiction who were thus honored at an earlier date, but I doubt whether a single one can be found. This is not designed to be a farewell Address; for I intend to visit the Grand Lodge again, if life and sufficient strength be spared. Though unable to hear the voices, it is pleasant to look in the faces of so many Brethren, and mentally compare the present season of peace and prosperity with that dismal period, sixty years ago, when the furious tempest of anti-Masonry swept over the land, leaving desolation in its path. Whether I meet you again in Grand Lodge or not, I hope I may never forfeit your friendship and good-will; but rather that I may be met as a true and loyal Brother and remembered as one who endeavored to walk uprightly before God and man, as strictly charged when he stood in the north-east corner of the Lodge as the youngest Entered Apprentice.
"This was indeed his " farewell Address," although he did visit the Grand Lodge again as he had intended. He was present for the last time on the 12th of September, 1894. Two years later, on the 5th of September, 1896, a Special Communication of the Grand Lodge was convened and a goodly number of his Brethren, followed his mortal remains to Mount Auburn, where they. were laid at rest after appropriate Masonic services. Thus fittingly were ended nearly seventy-three years of Masonic life, which included fifty years of uninterrupted membership in our Grand Lodge.
"Although descended on both sides from Puritans of the most straitest sect, he embraced Universalism almost as soon as he arrived at years of discretion. His first sermon was preached in Charlestown, June 1, 1823, when he was only twenty-one years of age. The venerable Bro. John Murray, the father of Universalism in America, had been dead only eight years, being succeeded by his colleague, Bro. Paul Dean, in the pastoral charge of the First Universalist Church, located on the corner of Hanover and North Bennet streets, in Boston. They preached a new and strange doctrine, very far from Presbyterian true blue. In point of fact, the existence of Universalists as a distinct religious sect is a feature of American rather than of English religious society.
"A second Society had been organized, having its meeting- house in School street, over which Bro. Hosea Ballou was installed as pastor on the 25th of December, 1817. Certain doctrines, new even to the Universalist denomination, were preached there, and numerous controversies arose, in which Brothers Dean and Ballou were warmly engaged. They strove to
prove their doctrine orthodox,
By apostolic blows and knocks,
A mode of working out Salvation
By mere mechanic operation.
"Outside of their own denomination, however, their eloquence was thought to be anything but heavenly, and a Universalist was considered but little better than one of the wicked.
"With characteristic independence and pertinacity the young convert and preacher placed himself under the direction and instruction of Brother Ballou, and in a few years himself became a leader and an authority among the clergy of his denomination. For nearly ten years he officiated in Springfield and in Gloucester. In 1832 he settled in Cambridge, where he has since remained and where most of us have known him. His health, which had always been delicate, broke down under the labors of this pastorate and he relinquished it in 1839, being warned that he had but a short time to live. Not long before his death Bro. Paige remarked that in spite of that solemn warning he had lived long enough to see every member of the Society of that day dead and buried. From early manhood our Brother fought most manfully against physical weakness, religious intolerance and anti-Masonry. He has rejoiced for half a century over a glorious victory won for his faith and the Craft,
But an old age serene and bright, And lovely as a Lapland night,
"leads him to his grave. Who could more truthfully say: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith?"
FROM COUNCIL OF DELIBERATION
From Proceedings of the Massachusetts Council of Deliberation AASR NMJ 1897, Page 45:
Wo are indebted to the accurate recollection and the careful statement of our venerable brother himself for many of the details of the Masonic life of Dr. Paige. So long a period has elapsed since he took the first steps in the various grades of our Order, that some of the records are irrecoverably lost, and in some cases the bodies themselves have died and left him for years their only living witness. It was one of the pleasures of his old age to tell the story of his early experience, and his young brethren never tired of listening to the “old man eloquent.” For preservation on our records we repeat the story, substantially as he was wont to give it.
Bro. Paige was born in Hardwick, Mass., on March 8, 1802. He was initiated and passed on April 0, 1824, in Little Falls Lodge, while temporarily residing in the town of Little Falls, N. Y. On May 7, following, he was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Immediately afterwards he returned to Hardwick, and on June 9 was admitted a member and appointed Chaplain of Mount Zion Lodge. He was elected Senior Warden Sept. 1, 1825, and in that capacity attended the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in December of that year in the old State House, State Street, Boston. On Sept. 13, 1826, he was elected Worshipful Master of Mount Zion Lodge.
He received the Royal Arch degree Sept. 7, 1824, In King Hiram R. A. Chapter of Greenwich, Mass., but held no office except that of Chaplain.
Early in December, 1824, Sir Henry Fowle, then Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts, conferred the orders of knighthood upon Bro. Paige and placed him in charge of the newly-organized Village Encampment in Greenwich, the adjoining town to Hardwick. Of this organization Bro. Paige used to say that he was nominally Prelate, but actually Commander, inasmuch as the three superior officers were merely figureheads, who never conferred an order and were rarely present. Of this Body he was elected Generalissimo Sept. 21, 1825, and Commander Sept. 12, 1826, the day before his election as Master of Mount Zion Lodge.
This arduous but congenial work was interrupted by a call to the pastorate of a church in Springfield. He affiliated with the several Masonic bodies there, but in 1829 again removed, and for several years resided at a long distance from any working body of Masons. To use his own words: “Those were years of deep shadows, and of darkness which might be felt, while anti-Masonry was rampant. I had no opportunity to render any important service to Masonry in its time of peril; but, on the other hand, it affords me satisfaction to remember that in its darkest days I never disavowed or concealed my loyalty to it.”
In 1832 Bro. Paige was called to Cambridge, where he has since remained, and where most of us have known him. Mere he took an active part in the reorganization of Amicable Lodge in 1846 and served for three years as Worshipful Master. During this period ho was, of course, a member of the Grand Lodge. In 1849 and 1850 he was Grand Steward, in 1851 Grand Deacon, and in 1852, 1853 and 1854 Deputy Grand Master. The service in the office last named entitled him to permanent membership in the Grand Lodge, which he enjoyed until his death on Sept. 2, 1896. It is doubtful if another Brother can be named who has held uninterrupted membership in his Grand Lodge for fifty years.
Bro. Paige received the thirty-third degree of the Ancient Accepted Rite at the hands of Ill. Edward A. Raymond, March 20, 1861, and on the same day was admitted to membership in that division of the Supreme Council. He held various offices in that organization and cheerfully retired May 16, 1867, when the opposing bodies became one harmonious Supreme Council, a union in which he greatly rejoiced.
Our Brother had scarcely arrived at years of discretion when he embraced the Universalist faith, then a comparatively new and strange doctrine in this locality. His first sermon was preached in Charlestown, Mass., June 1, 1823, when he was only twenty-one years of age. Several of the earliest preachers of that denomination in this country were shining lights in our Fraternity. He sat at the feet of these brethren, and eventually became as distinguished as his masters. He was the author of numerous books which are regarded as standard works by his denomination. He published valuable histories of Hardwick and Cambridge and was an honored member of our principal historical societies.
Bro. Paige’s health was always a subject of anxious consideration to his friends. In 1839 he was obliged to resign his pastorate at Cambridge, being warned that he had but a short time to live. For more than half a century he continued to render important and valuable service in various Masonic, civil and business capacities, which would ordinarily be regarded as highly creditable to a strong and healthy man. His great age, his genial and kindly spirit, and his strong attachment to the Fraternity have long made him an object of great interest to his brethren and his presence most welcome in our assemblies.
On September 5, lust, the officers of the Grand Lodge and many other brethren accompanied the remains to the family lot in Mount Auburn, where the Masonic burial service was conducted by the M. W. Grand Master and Grand Chaplain and this long and useful life was brought to its earthly conclusion with as little to inspire sad and sorrowful thoughts as can fall to the lot of any mortal. A long and useful career fitly ended.
FEAST OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, DECEMBER 1850
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. X, No. 4, February 1851, Page 105:
M, W, Grand Master:- Permit me to congratulate you on your re-election, for the extreme constitutional period, to the dignified office which you hold. This honor, the highest in the power of the Grand Lodge to bestow, you have richly merited by your untiring devotion to the interests of Freemasonry, for more than a quarter of a century. I congratulate the Grand Lodge, also, that all its principal offices, except one which is providentially vacant, are so worthily filled, and that it is blessed in the enjoyment of so much harmony and prosperity.
At lhe request of the Committee of Arrangements, I have consented to offer the customary address; and, with your permission, I shall now proceed to the performance of that duty.
There are certain periods, in the progress of affairs, when it is natural that we should pause and look back on the path we have trod; so that, encouraged by past success, and admonished by past failures, we may take a new departure with additional wisdom and energy. Such a period is the present. The first half of the nineteenth century is now closing, During this half century, very great vicissitudes of prosperity and adversity have been experienced by the Masonic Fraternity. The most remarkable of these vicissitudes have occurred within the last quarter of a century and to these my remarks will be confined.
Twenty five years ago, Freemasonry appeared to be in a state of perfect prosperity. Embraced by men, honorable and honored on account of their private virtues and their official position, it was respected by the community, - even by those who were utterly ignorant of its principles. But, notwithstanding its outward show of unexampled prosperity, the Institution was actually in great danger. It had become popular; and popularity is an element of corruption, which even the most watchful and jealous care cannot always counteract, and which, without such care, will certainly involve most disastrous consequences. The popularity of an institution or society induces many to attach themselves to it, who neither love nor understand its principles, but strongly desire to be on the popular side. Base and unprincipled men, also, will attach themselves to it hoping to sustain their questionable reputation by the respectability of their associates. But such men are a curse to any society. Those, who join for the sake of popularity, will just as readily desert, whenever desertion becomes popular. And unprincipled men will injure a Fraternity, while in it; and will be among its most boisterous and malignant reproachers, after they have abandoned it. The events of the last twenty five years demonstrate these truths.
In the first year of the quarter of a century now closing, a little cloud, apparently not larger than a man's hand, arose in the west. At first, it attracted not much general attention. But it rapidly increased in size and blackness until it darkened the face of the heavens. A fearful tornado ensued, and the earth was swept as with the besom of destruction. Lodge after Lodge was prostrated by its fury; and universal desolation seemed impending. Those were days which tried men's souls. The timid and fearful were awed into silence. Those who had no strength of root in them withered away. The lovers of popularity, true to their instinct, deserted to the popular side, and assisted to overthrow what they had once professed to support. The unprincipled joined in the outcry, and violently denounced their former associates as their equals in depravity.
But this storm, apparently so disastrous, was, in my judgment, very beneficial to our institution. As tempests and thundergusts purify the atmosphere of its noxious qualities, so this popular commotion winnowed the chaff from the wheat, and separated the impure from the pure, The worthless and hurtful portion of the Fraternity was scattered to the four winds I but the faithful and true continued to minister at the altar of Freemasonry, as aforetime. Unmoved by the clamors of their adversaries, undismayed even by the treachery of false Brethren, they held fast their integrity, and patiently awaited the period when reason should triumph over passion.
Their fidelity and constancy were not ineffectual nor unrewarded. Gradually, the popular feeling changed; and the opinion prevailed, that an institution which could outlive such a trial, and to which good men would adhere at such imminent hazard, must be founded on substantial and righteous principles. Prejudice gave way to admiration. And, at this day, Freemasonry holds nearly if not altogether, as high a place in the estimation of all good citizens as in the days of its palmiest prosperity. Within the last few years, many weak Lodges have been strengthened by the addition of valuable members. Lodges, in which animation was suspended. have been resuscitated; new Lodges have been organized, under favorable auspices. Only one Lodge, I think, has disbanded; and even of this, so far as I know or believe, its former members are true and faithful.
Under such circumstances, we have cause to thank God and take courage. Nevertheless, it becomes us to be watchful against danger. Opposition, from without, in all probability, will not harm us. Adversaries, so effectually put to shame, will not be likely soon to renew the assault. But our real danger is from within. It consists chiefly in the admission of unworthy members. Weak Lodges have a strong temptation to admit as many as possible, both to secure respectability of numbers, and to replenish exhausted funds. The present high standing of the institution tempts many, as in former times, to obtain admission, for the sake of the honor thus to be acquired. Our only safety consists in constant watchfulness. Those of us, who personally knew the true state of affairs twenty five years ago, have no need to be reminded of danger. The homely proverb, that "the burnt child dreads the fire," is verified in us. We have once suffered; and we have no desire to pass through the furnace again. But those, who have entered the vineyard since that day of tribulation, will pardon me for urging them to look well to the threshold. Suffer none to pass it but good men and true. Unworthy members. like contention, are best let alone before they be meddled with, Admit none to your society, except such as you have good reason to believe are at least capable of being wrought into stones fit for the builder's use. While your door is freely opened to every worthy and well qualified applicant who knocks, let it be firmly closed against the dissolute and unprincipled, and against evil-doers of whatever name or description.
This caution to our younger Brethren is the more necessary, on account of the present peculiar state of our institution, resulting naturally from the circumstances already mentioned. For twelve or fifteen years, during and succeeding the Anti-Masonic frenzy, very few persons were initiated into our mysteries. Hence it results that our Fraternity consists, almost exclusively, of old Masons and young Masons. We have scarcely any of the middle aged or intermediate class. As the old pass away, the responsible charge of the institution must devolve directly upon the young. Heretofore, the change has been gradual. The time rapidly approaches, when it must be sudden. There is no middle class, to receive from their elders, and patiently communicate to their juniors, the fruits of past experience. It is of vital importance, therefore, that those who are so soon, and without the customary preparation, to wield the destinies of Masonry, should commence right, in the outset, and carefully guard our altar from the slightest profanation. Let them realize the value of the treasure committed to them; let them preserve and transmit it, pure and unsullied, to their successors; and future generations shall rise up and call them blessed.
M. W. Grand Master :-The change, to which I have alluded, is rapidly progressing. The aged are falling on every hand. During the past year four officers and permanent members of this Grand Lodge have departed; and the places which once knew them shall know them no more forever,
One, who formerly presided in the East, and gave wise instructions to the Craft, P. G. Master Augustus Peabody, Esq., has ceased from his earthly labors. His eulogy was eloquently spoken at our last communication; and I need not add my testimony to his worth, as a man and as a Mason.
Another, who heretofore had charge of the West, P. S. G. W. William Whipple, Esq. of Cambridge, has gone to receive the wages due to him. In the days of his strength, he was an intelligent, useful and respected citizen, and a bright and active Mason. As a citizen, his townsmen bestowed on him the most important offices in their gift; the duties of which he faithfully performed As a Mason, having successively officiated as Master of his Lodge, and D. D. G. M. in his District, he was elected S. G. W. in 1833. The close of his day was clouded. After a gradual decay of vigor, both physical and mental, he was prostrated, about six years ago, by paralysis. He survived, in a state of helplessness and imbecility, until the fourth day of November last, when he died at the age of sixty three years. Let us preserve the memory of his virtues, and draw the veil of oblivion over his imperfections.
Another, who not long ago stood as the pillar of Beauty, P. J. G. W. Winslow Lewis, Esq. has fallen. The familiar and always welcome tones, in which his life and character were portrayed by lips now sealed in everlasting silence, have scarcely ceased to vibrate on our ears.
And yet one more, only sixteen days ago unanimously re-elected to the office of J, G. W., our venerable and highly respected Brother, Asa T. Newhall, has been called from his labor, as we humbly trust, to heavenly and everlasting refreshment. He faithfully served his country and the Craft, in many important stations. Without brilliancy of imagination or the captivating grace of eloquence, by his sound judgment, clear-headed common sense, unbending integrity of purpose, and warm benevolence of heart, he commended himself to the esteem and affection of his Brethren. May we emulate his virtues, and affectionately cherish his memory.
Thus the fathers depart. And we must soon follow. May we so labor, while the day of life lasts, that when our final hour shall come, our work may be found done, and well done, approved and accepted by our Supreme Grand Master.
BEFORE AMICABLE LODGE, OCTOBER 1855
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XV, No. 8, June 1856, Page 240:
"In the outline and matter of this Address our worthy and respected Brother has conferred a lasting benefit on the Fraternity. He has given us a condensed history of the Lodge from its foundation, half a century ago, and on its pages we see names of individuals dear to the Brotherhood—some of whom are still living in the time-honored decline of years, high in office and greatly esteemed by their fellow-citizens. Of the eighteen original founders of this branch of our Masonic Institution, only three are now living. Of those who were members of this Lodge, we are reminded of Brethren such as the Hon. Saml. P. P. Fay, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts — the lamented Augustus Peabody Esq. who presided over our Grand Lodge when the Brethren last assembled al a ceremony round Bunker Hill Monument — the Rev. Thomas F. Norris, Master of Amicable Lodge in 1833, who has since paid the debt of nature, and of whom our author says, he was a good man and zealous Mason— and the deceased Deacon William Hilliard, a most excellent man, a true Christian and exemplary Brother. We might refer also to the recent loss of Past Master William Thaddeus Harris, Esq. whose warm heart and devoted soul at the early age of 28, gained the love of the Brethren, wherever known. He was the grandson of the celebrated Thaddeus M. Harris, D. D., a powerful patron and defender of Masonry, and the son of our beloved Brother Dr. Thaddeus W. Harris, late Librarian of Harvard University, of whom it may truly be said
Multis ille bonis flebilis occidit.
He died lamented by many good men.
The grandson, in his purity of life and principles, was not unworthy of such noble descent, and it is with pleasure we observe the light of Masonry adorning and cheering the path of three generations in the same family.
Others might be named, if our limits permitted. The Address is plain, unostentatious and valuable as a memorial of departed worth. Such histories are exceedingly precious; and if this example were followed in all those Lodges of Massachusetts, which are of ancient standing, it would serve to perpetuate the remembrance of Brethren who stood firm and unshaken in those tumultuous times, when Freemasonry was cruelly slandered, and the Juggernaut of party was endeavoring to roll its wheels over the innocent, and seeking to crush the Institution forever.
There is one trait however which is peculiar to the Order; for while iL can forgive its enemies, it teaches us to love our friends, and cherish, as the life blood of the heart, the memory of our benefactors ; while a worthy Brother lives we delight to look upon him, and when he is taken from us to "the Grand Lodge above," we repeat his name and we keep his virtues in our mind as a cherished object of remembrance.
The following will give our readers a fair specimen of the Address of our excellent P. D. Grand Master ; and indeed the whole deserves to be laid up in the Archives of Masonry as a memorial of valuable Statis tics.
The first ten, of these twenty years, was the most prosperous period in the existence of the Lodge, under its original organization. Its meetings were well attended, its treasury well supplied, and its officers energetic, and among the most respected and influential citizens. As a natural consequence, many sought initiation, and the number of members was greatly increased. So flattering was the prospect, that measures were adopted, not merely for temporary convenience, but for the permanent benefit of future generations. A Charity Fund was established in 1820, which, in the space of fourteen years, increased to nearly the sum of $1,200. In 1815, as the town had occasion for larger school accommodations, the Lodge purchased a lot of land adjoining the school lot, and also purchased the old Baptist Vestry, and fitted it up for a school-house on said lot. This estate, which cost two hundred and fifty dollars, was leased to the town for thirty years, in exchange for a lease by the town of the Lodge Room for the same period. These interchangeable leases were dated September 12th, 1825, and would have expired this present year, had they not been sooner terminated by a more recent arrangement. In 1826, the foundation of a Library was laid, (of which some fragments remain) and rules were established for its management. The first book placed in it was the great light in Masonry, the Holy Bible, — the gift of Deacon William Hilliard, one of the most worthy members of the Lodge, its Treasurer, District Deputy Grand Master of the district, and also one of the most useful and respected citizens of Cambridge.
Such were some of the measures adopted to secure the permanence of the Lodge. Gladly would I dwell on this season of peace and prosperity ; for the season which followed it is of melancholy and dismal aspect.
A time of unusual prosperity is almost uniformly a time of temptation and danger, to societies as well as to individuals. Less care and prudence are exercised; greater risks are hazarded; and the most obvious means of security are neglected. Business men, so called, most frequently become bankrupt, soon after unusual prosperity has tempted them to extend their operations beyond reasonable limits. Political parties are most frequently defeated, soon after their apparent strength has tempted them to disregard the just claims of minorities. It was so with the Masonic Fraternity. They felt so secure of popular favor, and so confident that tomorrow would be as to day, and more abundantly, that they became less choice in their materials for work, and less careful to reject unworthy candidates. Thus, throughout the whole land, the beauty of the Masonic edifice was marred, by placing in it,—and sometimes in conspicuous positions,—stones which were wholly unfit for the builder's use. I believe that Amicable Lodge was less guilty, in this regard, than many others. But it shared the common fate.
In September, 1826, commenced a tornado in the State of New York, which carried desolation through the United States. I need not inquire into its origin. Whether or not Masons were guilty of crime, it is certain that a great multitude became excited against the Institution, and political demagogues were ready to take advantage of the excitement, for the accomplishment of their own purpose. Long and furious was the storm. Lodge after Lodge fell before it: nor did the Churches of Christ escape ; for many of them were rent in twain, and haired usurped the place of love in the hearts of Brethren. It reached this neighborhood, in its strength, about two years after its commencement. Although Amicable Lodge did not fall utterly prostrate before the first blast, its energy was paralyzed, and it was overshadowed by thick darkness, which might be felt. Its meetings became less fully attended. Its work ceased altogether, Little remained for those who held fast their integrity, but to meet, occasionally, and mourn over their desolation. Thus they met, and thus they mourned, for the space of ten years, until, in utter despair of better fortune, on the 2d day of July, 1838, they met for the last time, and adopted measures to dispose of their funds and dissolve the Lodge. It is by no means strange that they were despondent. The storm without was furious, and there was a dead calm within. Only one person had been initiated for almost ten years, and not a single one for more than six years. To their credit, it should be said, that although they abandoned their corporate organization, with unhappy exceptions, they held fast their individual integrity.
AT GRAND LODGE, SEPTEMBER 1893
From Proceedings, Page 1893-79:
R.W. DEPUTY GRAND MASTER: I intended, at this session of the Grand Lodge, to resign my office as a Trustee of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust, old age and infirmity having rendered me unable to perform its duties. But as that office will terminate, by its own limitation, at the next annual meeting, I have been persuaded to withhold my resignation. Although there is not the slightest probability that the Grand Lodge would even offer to place such an old man in that important office, I may be pardoned for making the useless declaration that I am not a candidate for reelection. I must thus discontinue all active service to the Masonic Institution, with which I have so long been connected.
Some of my Brethren have supposed me to be the "oldest Mason" in Massachusetts; but I do not entertain that opinion. I think there may be others still "living, who received the degrees before they were conferred on me. I do not doubt, however, that I am one of the oldest. I was made a Mason on the 9th day of April, 1824, almost seventy years ago, being then a 'sojourner" at Little Falls, N.Y. As an "object lesson," indicating the remoteness of that period, I may mention the fact that although the sprinkling of gray hairs on the head of Brother Skinner, our reverend Grand Chaplain, gives him a somewhat venerable appearance, I was a Mason ten days before he was born; and among other marks of antiquity which I bear, I may remind you that since the deaths of R. W. Brothers Abraham A. Dame, Eleazer M. P. Wells and George G. Smith in 1878, almost fifteen years ago, I have been the senior Permanent Member of this Grand Lodge.
Moreover, I think that I might reasonably claim seniority as a Past Master. On the 13th day of September, 1826, sixty-seven years ago to-day, and at about this hour in the afternoon, I was elected Master of Mount Zion Lodge, then located in Hardwick, my native town, but since removed to Barre. To-day, therefore, is to me a very interesting anniversary. Perhaps others are still living in this jurisdiction, who were thus honored at an earlier date; but I doubt whether a single one can be found.
This is not designed to be a farewell address; for I intend to visit the Grand Lodge again, if life and sufficient strength be spared. Though unable to hear the voices, it is pleasant to look in the faces of so many Brethren, and mentally compare the present season of peace and prosperity with that dismal period, sixty years ago, when the furious tempest of anti-Masonry swept over the land, leaving desolation in its path.
Whether I meet you again in Grand Lodge or not, I hope I may never forfeit your friendship and good-will; but rather that I may be met as a true and loyal Brother, and remembered as one who endeavored to walk uprightly before God and man, as strictly charged when he stood in the north-east corner of the Lodge as the youngest Entered Apprentice.