« ПретходнаНастави »
and constructive mind, had an intimate knowledge of all branches of science, and a more profound thinker was rare to meet. We write of him as we knew him, and spent many hours and days with him in efforts to learn more of his early history, of positions he held, &c., but he always referred us to a history he had written, which some day would be published. That and other manuscript in relation to Napoleon First must exist somewhere, and trust our reference to them will bring them to light. We will have more to say at another time on the subject of this article. Within the last decade poverty, extreme poverty haunted him. A few friends assisted him, according to their ability. Appeals to Lodges and Chapters were often made in vain, and the sparse donatians were not sufficient to supply the actual needs of our poor, aged Brother, much less to afford him shelter. Charity, the Mason's boast, is a beautiful theme from the rostrum, in display of oratory, in editorial and essay writings, but its practical illustration is most often ignored with Arctic icy feelings. There can be no greater crime than unheeding the appeals of a Brother Mason asking for means to purchase food, yet how often it is done, whilst the funds of Lodges to amounts of many hundred dollars are appropriated to feasting, eating, drinking, and smoking at periodic festivals. It is not only a crime against Masonry, against the Brotherhood of the institution, but a crime against common humanity. Without charity Masonry is nothing, and wherever the cry of distress of a Brother, his widow or orphan is not listened to and relieved, then, be it of an individual Mason or Lodge organization, Freemasonry with those is worse than a pretence—it is a fraud. In the name of Freemasonry, of the Masonic Brotherhood, of charity divine, we thank the Brothers of Fort Wayne city for their kind care and attention to the stranger Brother Bloôm, almost a centenarian, who, failing in health a few days after his arrival in their midst, made the necessary provision for his comfort and to ameliorate his condition in his extreme old age. We have no notice of the action of Lodges or Chapters, but feel sure they were in accord with the duties and obligations of Masons. We also thank the Eminent Commander of Fort Wayne Commandery, No. 4, A. H. Hamilton, for prompt issuing of orders for the Sir Knights to assemble in full uniform to assist in performing the final duties to a poor and aged Stranger Craftsman.
Philadelphia, Pa. A VISIT TO WINDSOR. It will be news to some, (even of those who attended the sessions of Grand Lodge,) that a new Grand Officer was created with an appropriate style and title. Thusly :
On Thursday evening, January 11th, while Grand Lodge was in session, a number of Michigan Masons crossed into Canada and visited, by invitation, one of the Lodges in Windsor. Upon entering the Lodge room, they were introduced, one by one, under proper Masonic title, to the W. M. and Lodge. They were properly and fraternally welcomed in a speech which required fitting reply. Several responses to this had been made by the visiters, when frequent calls on one of the visiting party made it necessary for him to speak.
He modestly informed the W. M. and British brethren that, though he didn't sport as many and as lengthly Masonic handles to his name as some, it must not therefore be understood that he was entirely without honor in his own country and among his own kindredthat, in fact, he had, from time to time, held sundry offices of distinction in the Fraternity, not the least of which was that of Worshipful Master of Mt. Zion Lodge, No. 499, at Mt. Zion, Illinois; and that even now he occupied the distinguished and honorable position of “Steward” of Oriental Lodge, Detroit."
Proper and appreciative applause gave emphasis to the brother's modest claim ; but, as he was about to proceed, R. W. Bro., H. M. Look, Grand Visitor and Lecturer, stepped to the side of the modest bearer of titles, and addressed the W. M. thus :
“W. M—Pardon the ommission of which we have been guilty. This worthy brother, whose modesty, great as it is, scarcely bespeaks his greater merit, is one whom the Grand Lodge of my jurisdiction de lights to honor. Aye, sir, even to-day, its confidence and its honors have been most worthily bestowed upon him. Permit me, sir, therefore to fittingly introduce to you and to the Worthy Brethren of Canada who honor us with their friendly courtesies, The Right Worshipful Grand Teller of the Grand Lodge of Michigan."
For an instant, the modest brother stood, amid a profound silence. looking “ rather queer,” but as soon as the visiting brethren called to mind (as they did in an instant,) that in the election of Grand Ofticers, held by us in the afternoon, this modest brother was Chairman of Tellers, the point of the introduction was perceived. The peals of laughter, that followed, fully demonstrated the appreciation of the fun of the situation.
All who are familiar with the peculiar oratorical modesty and the genial fun-loving style of the said “Grand Teller,” need hardly be told that the brother thus dubbed, created and introduced an officer of the Grand Lodge, was W. Bro., A. G. Hibbard, of Detroit.
We learn from the papers that Oriental Lodge of Detroit magnify
this brother's office and make him honorable by a gift of “ a magnificent, gold, stem-winder watch.” It is evident, his brethren of Oriental Lodge appreciate their Steward, and know, too, how to give to their appreciation a fitting expression.
HOW MUCH DID HE LOSE ?
In the October number of the Mystic Star, the Editor of the same placed his loss by the Chicago fire at “from five hundred to one thousand dollars." This rather indefinite sum would seem to indicate that the Editor had no very accurate knowledge of the value of his personal effects. On December roth we met Bro. Billings (the Editor) at Plymouth, he being on a canvassing tour in this State. He then informed us that his loss was greater than he had supposed, and would reach somewhere between two thousand and twenty-five hundred dollars, he being still unable to get within five hundred dollars of any fixed sum.
When he arrived at Fort Wayne, his loss had increased wonderfully, and there he stated it positively, to one brother at least, at thirty-five hundred dollars. We are informed that at the meeting of the Grand Lodge of Michigan, recently, a distinguished Past Grand Master of that State, stated before that body that he was prepared to show that the Mystic Star lost nothing by the Chicago fire. Now, what we want, and what the brethren in this State want, who contributed one dollar and a half each to Bro. Billings, not because they wanted his publication, but because their sympathies were aroused by his special pleadings, is that Bro. Billings should state definitely in the next number of the Mystic Star, just how much he did lose by the Chicago fire. And as there have been so many different amounts stated, it might be quite as satisfactory if Bro. B. would state exactly what he had burned, and let others estimate its value for themselves. In this way he may be able to vindicate himself, satisfy our brethren, and answer our conundrum.--Masonic Advocate.
We recently visited several places in Northern Indiana, and in most of them had inquiries made as to the losses sustained by Bro. Billings. In Goshen we were told that he had represented himself as the loser by the Chicago fire of several thousand dollars, and asked our brethren to leave their work to aid him in canvassing for his Magazine on the account of his severe losses. When told by the brethren that they were not rich, and could not do more in justice to their families than they had already done for the Chicago sufferers, he still pushed his claim, as I was informed, until at last one brother gave him the price of his paper for one year, with the request that he would not send it, as he did not want it, when Bro. B. took the dollar and a half, and left for other subjects! At Newville he represented his loss to be somewhere between four and five thousand dollars ! and got much sympathy and patronage on account of his great loss.
We join with our Indiana Brothers in a call for a statement of the property lost in the Chicago fire. We were there, in the office of Consider H. Willett, Attorney at Low, but a few days before the conflagration, and tried to find the Star office, but were told that Bro. B. then printed and mailed his journal at Elgin, and no longer had an office in Chicago. As “TRUTH IS A CARDINAL PRINCIPLE IN MASONRY,” we call for the truth.
THE DESIRE FOR KNOWLEDGE. The candidate for Masonic honors professes to seek admittance into our sacred temple, of his own free will and accord, anxious to be servicable to his fellow men, and with a desire for useful knowledge. The fraternity have reason to expect of the candidate, that if his prayer be granted, and he be admitted, these professions will be reduced to practice, and that he will avail himself of all favorable opportunities to store his mind with useful knowledge. And as it requires effort on the part of students to acquire knowledge, it is expected that young Masons especially will devote a share of their time to study. This they should attend to as punctiliously as they attend to their business avocations, or to their daily meals. Indeed, they should make intellectual and moral culture a business, and an every day business, one which in no case must be neglected.
But how is it with the majority of those who gain adınittance into our time-honored institution? Do they carry out their pledges, and make good their professions? Do they study the sciences and liberal arts, and expand the intellects and feed their immortal spirits with food divine? Do they seek to acquaint themselves with God and the problem of human existence? Do they study the rules of society , and seek to understand the art of pleasing their fellow men? Do they seek opportunities of aiding the unfortunate, of counseling the erring and cheering the desponding? In a word, have they sought to qualify themselves, to educate themselves for Masonic usefulness? Or have their indolence and stupid ignorance been a stigma to the Craft?
This brings us to observe, that the investigations into the character of applicants are not nearly so thorough as they should be, A committee of investigation make a few casual inquiries into the general character and standing of the candidate, and then commend him as a fit person to be made a Mason; instead of which they should see him in person, scan him carefully, and without permitting him to know the object of their inquisition, endeavor to find out the utmost they can by personal scrutiny of the man. Then they should inquire of his friends, and his enemies, as well as the public generally, and carefully note the facts collected. And the facts alone, without commendation, should be reported to the Lodge. If the applicant be an ignorant drone in society, having no desire for useful knowledge, it may safely be taken for granted that he will remain a drone in the Masonic hive. If he be a man of indolent habits, prone to misspend his time, doing little for himself or his race, the facts should be plainly stated, and the candidate rejected. If he be a selfish man, caring little for the interests of others, and apt to cheat in his deal, that fact should be a bar to his admission, for selfish, cheating men never make good Masons. If he be an unfeeling man, indifferent to the calls of his fellows amid their misfortunes and suffering, that fact should be reported upon, and a cloudy ballot the response to his application. But if the applicant be a man of good repute, active in good works, humane, charitable, of clear head and pure heart, and anxiously desirous of advancement in useful knowledge, these facts should be reported, and the mere statement of the facts will be the highest commendation of the applicant. Such men make good Masons. They come to our Order with a desire of being benefitted by its ennobling principles. They desire its knowledge, its wisdom, its cherished arts.
And it should be impressed upon our members at their initiation that they cannot pass on the succeeding degrees till they are qualified. And this qualification should be more than the parrot's repetition of the E. A. degree. The repetition of the ritual is but a small part of the useful knowledge which Masonry is intended to impart, and this should be most solemnly impressed upon the young Mason. The foundation principles of the institutions, their universality, the great extent up, down, and all around-high as heaven, aud broad as humanity-the Holy Bible as a guide of faith-the greatest of all the lights; the Square and Compass, the the Masonic tests of morality and circumspection, the Plumb teaching rectitude of life--these are matters of study to the Mason. Not merely the fact that these are emblematic of the principles they Masonically represent, but the principles represented are the subject of the Mason's study. And the E. A. should remain in that degree until he has so studied the principles as well as lecture, that he has made suitable proficiency, when he should be passed to the F. C. And as the candidate passes on the field greatly enlarges. There is no degree in the institution more import