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admit a wider range of candidates to our mysteries. This tendency is a dangerous one, and entirely at variance with the best interests of our institution.
Masonry seeks to elevate and refine those who enter her sacred portals; her code is an exalted morality; her object, fraternity, and her type, perfection. As the temple at Jerusalem was perfect in all its parts, so we aim to have the moral temple which we are building. It will not do to place in this moral temple any imperfect material. We are each and all inspectors of the material and work of which it is being constructed, and if it cannot pass the square of each and all, let it be rejected.
Masonry was never intended to be universal, save in the application by its votaries of its benign principles. It always selects its materials. It is exclusive in its essential nature. It has always had a high standard by which it measures applicants for its favors, morally and physically. Its grand objects are harmony and fraternity. Fraternity is the life-giving spirit of Freemasonry. It is the subtle essence which pervades all, and as with a sort of magnetic attraction brings its members closer together. It is at once the strength and foundation of the whole fabric. It follows that no one should be admitted to our numbers, no matter how high his morai standing, how great his ability, or what his qualifications, unless each and all of the members of the Lodge can fellowship him; unless each and all can feel glad and eager to discharge toward him every duty and every obligation which Masonry imposes. We should feel that our Masonic ties are reciprocal, and realize that in each member of our Lodge we have a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. If any member should say, during the advancement of a candidate, “I do not want him to become one of us," then each member should also be ready to say, “then neither do I want him.” In a Lodge thus constituted harmony and fraternity would prevail to their fullest extent, and the choicest fruit which the tree of Masonry bears would yield its blessings to us. There would be no discordant element within our Lodges to mar their harmony; there would be no strife within our bosoms between our Masonic duty and the exercise of brotherly love.
The great source of danger is in the desire for the increase of numbers. Numerical strength is not Masonic strength. Masonic strength does not consist in numbers, but in unanimity.
Brethren, let us make our Order what it was intended to be, and it once was, a fraternity, and it may then defy the persecution of the world, and amid the mutations of time it will stand firm as the everlasting hills.
Since we last assembled the Messenger of Death has entered the sacred precincts of our Grand Lodge, and summoned two of its members to the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the universe presides. It is my mournful duty to announce to you the melancholy intelligence that our M. W. Brother, William M. Fenton, has been called from the scenes of this transitory existence to a state of endless duration. He died at Flint, on the 11th day of May last, at the age of sixty-three years. He was a man of marked ability and sterling integrity of character. He was held in high estimation in the community where he resided, for his Chris
tian virtues, and for his manly worth as a private citizen. He exemplified in his daily walk and conversation the practice of those generous principles which Masonry teaches. We looked up to him for counsel and advice, but we shall hear his voice in these halls no more forever. But we will treasure in our hearts a memory of his virtues, and endeavor to imitate him in living an unselfish, virtuous life, that we too may die the death of the righteous, and that our last end may be like his.
I did not receive information of his death until after his funeral had occurred, and for that reason was not present. I am glad to know, however, that the fraternity paid proper respect to the memory of our worthy Brother by being present and attending his funeral obsequies.
The second instance of mortality was that of R. W. Bro. Carlos G. Curtis, Junior Grand Warden of this Grand Lodge. Brother Curtis died at Rochester, N. Y., on the 30th day of July, 1871, in the fortieth year of his age. Unable to be present myself at the funeral, I authorized Bro. A. G. Hibbard to act as my proxy. The funeral was attended by quite a number of the members of Oriental Lodge, of which he was a member. They were escorted from Detroit by the Detroit Commandery of Knights Templar, to which he also belonged. I did not have the pleasure of an intimate acquaintance with our Brother now deceased, but one who knew him well said to me that every one who thoroughly knew Bro. Curtis loved and respected him.
THE RECENT FIRES.
Hardly had we recovered from the shock occasioned by the information of the burning of Chicago, before we received the news that many portions of our own State had shared the same fate. Holland, a young but flourishing city, situated upon Black Lake, in Ottawa county, was almost entirely destroyed by fire on the 8th day of October last. The citizens put forth every effort to confine its ravages to the forests, in which it appears to have originated, but with no avail; with the rapidity of the wind and the terror of the whirlwind, it overrode their greatest efforts, and in an instant the whole city was enveloped in flames. A very few dwellings in the suburbs, which lay out of the direct course of the wind, only remained. So quick was the work of destruction that in less than half an hour more than three-fourths of the people of that city were homeless and houseless, and all their worldly goods consumed, and those who but a few minutes previously were opulent or in comfortable circumstances, were reduced to beggary and want. The hall of Cnity Lodge, with its charter and furniture, was consumed, and the property of more than half of the members of the Lodge were embraced in the general ruin. By the same wide-spread conflagration, Manistee Lodge, with its charter and furniture, was burned. A large portion of the village was also consumed, and twenty-four members of the Lodge lost everything they possessed, including their dwelling and places of business. On the eastern slope of our beautiful peninsula the fire-fiend, fanned by the winds, swept across farms and villages, leaving desolation and ruin in its track. Here too the niembers of our Order suffered from its ravages. Cato Lodge No. 215, lost their Lodge-room, charter and furniture; about one-third of the members lost their homes and all their furniture and wearing apparel.
The October fires were indeed awful calamities, overwhelming whole communities in a common ruin; from amid the slumbering embers there arose the wail of anguish and the cry of despair.
Painful as this picture is, I cannot but feel that it is in some measure compensated by demonstrating to the world the humanity of the age. Its darker spots are gilded over with those benignant and God-like rays of sympathy and benevolence which emanated from the universal heart of our fellow-man. The occasion displayed and brought to light that exalted charity without which all our professions are but “as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.”
We feel ennobled as we gaze upon the sublime spectacle of a wrld's sympathy reaching forth to succor and help the distressed and needy.
It is the voice of the herald proclaiming in silver tones the rear approach of the great brotherhood of man.
Confined to no sect, society or creed, the hand of charity dispensed its gifts by men of no sect or creed, and by men of all sects, societies and creeds.
It was the spontaneous outburst of the univer:al heart.
It is this that gives it its significance, showing that throughout the whole civilized world there is abroad in the land a feeling, a spirit lifting us up above the common plane of selfish motives and sordid desires, and drawing us closer together in the bonds of true brotherly love.
Brethren, the tenets of our profession are brotherly love, relief and truth. To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent upon all men, but more especially upon Masons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. And I am happy to inform you that our noble Order did not, in the instances I have just alluded to, fail to fulfill the tenets of their profession. They not only discharged their duty as men, but in addition they discharged their duty as Masons. Instances of the latter have come under my personal observation, and, to some extent, supervision, and of which I will now speak. As soon as the news of th:- burning of Holland reached Muskegon, which was the next day, the Lodge there immediately donated $500 toward their relief.
On the 18th of October I received from Most Worshipful J. H. Anthon, Grand Master of Masons in New York, $50, being donations from Tuscan and Poughkeepsie Lodges, for the relief of Masons and their families who were sufferers by the recent fires. I subsequently received from the same source other and additional donations. The total amount of relief received from our brethren in the State of New York is $3,547 -- contributions from forty Lodges, and two individual donations. I acknowledged the receipt of these donations to M. W. J. H. Anthon, and to the two Lodges contributing. I have received from Oriental Holy Royal Arch Chapter at Philadelphia, $100; from Grand River Lodge No. 34, Michigan, $100; from Warren Lodge No. 51, Portland, Connecticut, $35; from Union Lodge No. 82, New London, Connecticut, $50; from Keystone Holy Royal Arch Chapter No 175. Pennsylvania, $25; from the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, $266.66; from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, $300; from the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, (contributions from several Lodges), $S10: from St. Peter's Lodge No. 20, Connecticut, $100. For the receipts of all such sums I have made due acknowledgement, making a total relief which has been received by me of $5,363 66.
As there was no relief committee of this Grand Lodge, I took upon myself the task of distributing the funds received by me as above stated. To this end I opened correspondence with the brethren residing in the burnt districts, and ascertained the extent of the loss to the fraternity in those districts and their need of assistance, and have advised the appointment of relief committees by them to take charge of the fund and attend to its proper distribution. I have distributed, at different times and to different parties, $4.602.15. A detailed statement of receipts and expenditures is herewith submitted. I have remaining in my hands, undistributed, $761.54. M. W. Brother A. T. Metcalf advises me that he is authorized to draw upon the Grand Master of Maryland for $1,152.21. I am also in receipt of the following letter:
GRAND LODGE OF MASSACHUSETTS,
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE
Boston, December 30, 1971.
I left to-day at the oflice of the Christian Association a box of clothing directed to you. It comes from Quinebaug Lodge, Mass.
You are authorized to draw on John McClellan, Grand Treasurer, for $100.
Most fraternally yours,
CHAS. H. TITUS,
Grand Secretary. As we have just entered upon the term of a rigorous winter, and there will be much assistance needed and rendered. I recommend that a relief committee be appointed as a standing committee of this Grand Lodge, to take charge of the contributions now in my hands and see them properly distributed, and also such other sums as may be placed in their hands for that
purpose. I have no knowledge of the relief contributed to the sufferers by the recent fires, by the subordinate Lodges in this Grand Jurisdiction, except the instances here given, but I presume it has been considerable. I invite your attention to the subject, that you may take such action toward the relief of suffering Masons in this Jurisdiction and elsewhere, on account of the disastrous fires of October, as your wisdom shall dictate.
I also recommend that duplicate charters be issued 10 Unity, Manistee and Cato Lodges free of charge, and that their dues to this Grand Lodge be
CONSTITUTION OF LODGES.
By the action of this body at our last annual Communication, there were fifteen Lodges to whom charters were granted.
These have been constituted and consecrated, and the officers thereof installed, by myself or proxies, as follows:
February 4. Ada Lodge, No. 280, by myself personally.
February 17, Mt. Gilead Lodge, No. 285, by A. J. Utley.
Out of the fifteen Lodges chartered by you at your last Communication, I regret to say that four set to work without being constituted and corsecrated.
As soon as I ascertained the facts I called upon them to explain the reason of such illegal proceedings, and upon investigation I was satisfied that no intentional wrong was committed, but that it had occurred through want of a knowledge of what was requisite.
The brethren were zealous in the cause of Masonry; they had at considerable expense procured suitable lodge rooms, and were located in commu. nities where the hon r and welfare of the Craft might be promoted.
I therefore caused the Lodges to be constituted and consecrated according to ancient usage, and healed the irregular and illegal work already done by them.
DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALLS, ETC.
On the 25th of January, a Masonic Hall was dedicated at Saginaw City, Worshipful Brother Wm. L Webber acting as my proxy. The ceremonies were public. An interesting address was delivered by Bro. J. G. Sutherland. and the occa-ion was one that reflected much credit upon the Fraternity.
On the 16th of March, M. W. Bro. Lovell Moore, as my proxy, dedicated a Masonic Hall at Grand Ledge.
On the 23d of May, I dedicated a Masonic Hall at Holly. We were honored with the presence of the Fenton Commandery of K. T.'s. Bro. A. G. Hibbard delivered an entertaining address.
On December 27, I dedicated a Masonic Hall at Big Rapids.
On the roth of May, W. Bro. S. Steele, acting as my proxy, laid the corner-stone of the M. E. Church at Northport.
On the 16th day of August, 1868, the Grand Lodge laid the corner-stone of the new City Hall, in Detroit.
The editice having been completed under the care and management of the Grand Architect, by request of the public authorities the Grand Lodge, on the 4th of July, formally delivered over the completed building to the Mayor of the city. I take his opportunity to express to the Detroit Com• mandery of Knights Templar my acknowledgements for their courtesy in escorting the Grand Lodge on that occasion; and also to M. W. Bro. S. C. Cotlinberry for the kind assistance rendered me during the ceremonies. I also here express my obligations to the Brethren of Detroit who, by their presence and assistance, added much to make the ceremonies at once solemn and impressive.