The Well-Spent Life

A Brotherly Testimonial to the Masonic Career of

Robert Morris, LL.D.


 

Reproduced from the private collection of

Sister Robin Elford

 

Daylight Chapter 213,

Seattle, Washington.

 

2004


 

 

THE WELL-SPENT LIFE.

A BROTHERLY TESTIMONIAL TO THE

MASONIC CAREER

OF

ROBERT MORRIS, LL.D.

PAST GRAND MASTER, PAST GRAND COMMANDER IN CHIEF 32°,


PAST HIGH PRIEST, ETC. ETC.

OF LA GRANGE, KENTUCKY.

COMPILED BY

REV. THOMAS R. AUSTIN, LL.D., 330,

RECTOR OF ST. JAMES' CHURCH, VINCENNES, INDIANA, PAST GRAND


MASTER, ETC.

AT THE SOLICITATION OF HIS FRIENDS.

Mini/ est quad non expugnet pertinax opera et intenta ac diligens cura. SENECA. Tam consentientibus mihi sensibus nemo est in terris.—Cicero.

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY.

1878.
EDITION LIMITED. FOR PRIVATE DISTRIBUTION ONLY.


 

Oh, living will, that shalt endure

When all that seems shall suffer shock, Rise in the spiritual rock,

Flow through our deeds and make them pure,—

That we may lift from out of dusts

A voice as unto him that hears,

A cry above the conquered years

To one that with us works, and trusts,—

With faith' that comes of self-control,

The truths that never can be proved,

Until we close with all we loved, And all we flow from, soul in soul.

TENNYSON: In Memoriam.


 

THE following testimony to The Well Spent Life is compiled from the contributions of numerous friends, and at their urgent request. It is somewhat hastily sent forth, at this moment, in view of the departure of our esteemed friend, July, 1878, upon his second transatlantic tour. It is felt that the Craft beyond the sea should learn in what estimate we, who have known him best, hold this man and his labors. As was said of another: "So good a person and so sweet a poet should not be without his memorial."

The influence which Dr. Morris exerts in Masonic circles in his own country is due not alone to his amazing industry and perseverance, nor entirely to his genius, versatility and cultivated parts; it is his faith in the genuineness of Masonic tradition that has made him a leader among us. In the battle we are fighting against infidelity and the overthrow of ancient things, we have accepted this gentleman — poet, moralist and historian — as our champion. Faith in the reality of Masonic tradition means, with him, adherence to the Masonic covenants, and he is recog­nized here, by advocate and opponent, as "the man who believes in the reality of ancient Masonry."

Animated by this faith, Dr. Morris has labored, under many adverse influences,— such as want of means, want of health, the drawback of profound indifference among the craft,—for more than thirty years. His method is seen in this brochure, where it will be found that he has not only supplied the pabulum for Masonic study in various branches, but has originated and fostered


 

the very taste for study itself. He has practically educated the generation of us in the knowledge of Freemasonry. The appli­cation of our adage from Seneca, therefore ("there is nothing which persevering industry may not overcome, with continued and diligent care "), is most direct to the subject of this sketch.

IS it strange that such a man —genial, modest, industrious—should wield a masterly influence at home, or that his older friends should desire that the craft abroad should know him, not only in the flesh, but in the spirit, and should gather from his own lips a little of that wealth of Masonic research accumulated in a lifetime of travel and observation here? As the child of a Galilean peasant; as the obscure camel-driver of Mecca; as the poverty-stricken student of a German university, spoke, each in his own way, such message as had been divinely entrusted to him, so (in all reverence be the parallel drawn) this American enthusiast has given out the word entrusted to him by the S. A. 0. T. U., and, lo! our half million craftsmen are "braced up, loaded and lighted " for better travel and travail in the ages to come. Be­lieving, as he does, that his work in the Lodge Terrestrial is nearly closed, and that the task charged upon him has been mainly accomplished, he cheerfully waits the inevitable stroke, hopeful of his wages on the reckoning-day.

As intimated before, the contributions of numerous friends are woven together, not very artistically to be sure, to make up this Testimonial. The notes are condensed from a mass of corre­spondence and printed matter running through thirty years, so, that among the contributors are more representatives of dead friends than of living ones. Had not our space been limited, this work were many times larger.

A word as to my own part in this Testimonial, and L'Envoi will resign the pen. I have personally known Dr. Morris since 1852. For a number of years we were neighbors, nothing but the Ohio river separating us. Of equal age, of kindred tastes, I received from him those instructions in symbolical Masonry which


 

for so many years I have, communicated to others. One of my sons bears his name. More than one of his popular 'effusions was composed, as he says, " to embody the intimacy of friendship that makes us one." Each was long since pledged to the other to per­form the last rites of Masonry due the departed. So I will let Cicero speak for us in his words, "there is no man in all the world whose sentiments so perfectly agree with mine." It seems, there­fore, that in making up this brief record of The Well-spent Life, I am but performing the part due to so long, so near and so prized a friendship. And if any kind hand shall write the parting word for me, when "the silver cord is loosed" and the golden " bowl broken," I hope he will feel at liberty to incorporate the sentiment of that most amiable poet, Ovid:

Plena full vobis onzni concordia vita

Et stela ad finem longa tenatque fides.

T. R. A.

ST. JAMES' RECTORY, VINCENNES, INDIANA,

May, 1878.


 

O

THE LEVEL AND THE SQUARE.

UR Masonic poet, Robert Morris, has given us, as from a perennial fountain, more than three hundred effusions in form of odes and poems; but none wear so well with old ad­mirers, none secure so speedily the favor of the newly-initiate, as his conception of August, 1854, which has "gone out through all the earth" under the name of The Level and the Square. It is the Masonic song of the age, tending to the immortal.

Eighteen years since, Brother George Oliver, D.D., eminent above all others in English Masonry, and the Masonic writer for all time, said of this piece: "brother Morris has composed many fervent, eloquent and highly-poetic compositions — songs that will not die,—but in The Level and the Square he- has breathed out his depths of feeling, fervency and pathos with brilliancy and vigor of language, and expressed his faith in the immortal life beyond the grave."

We meet upon the LEVEL and we part upon the SQUARE: What words sublimely beautiful those words Masonic are! Come, let us contemplate them-,—they are worthy of a thought; On the very walls of Masonry the sentiment is wrought.

We meet upon the LEVEL, though from every, station come—The rich man from his mansion and the laborer from his home; For the rich must leave his princely state outside the Mason's door, While the laborer feels himself a man upon the Checkered Floor.

We act upon the Plumb,—'tis the order of the GUIDE;

We walk upright in virtue's way, and lean to neither side;

The ALL-SEEING EYE that leads our hearts will bear us witness true That we still try to honor GOD and give each man his due.


 

We part upon the SQUARE, for the world must have its due; We mingle in the haunts of men, but keep our manhood true; But the influence of our gatherings is always fresh and green, And we long, upon the LEVEL, to renew the happy scene.

There's a world where all are equal,—we are hurrying toward it fast: We shall meet upon the LEVEL there, when the gates of death are past. We shall stand before THE ORIENT, and THE MASTER will be there, Our works to try, our lives to prove, by His unerring SQUARE.

We shall meet upon the LEVEL there, but nevermore depart: There's a MANSION, bright and glorious, set for the "pure in heart": There's a MANSION and a welcome, and a multitude is there Who in this world of sloth and sin did act upon the SQUARE.

Let us meet upon the LEVEL, then, while laboring patient here: Let us meet and let us labor, though the labor is severe. Already in the western sky the signs bid us prepare

To gather up our WORKING-TOOLS and part upon the SQUARE.

Hands round, ye Royal Brotherhood, close in the Golden Chain: We part upon the SQUARE below, to meet in Heaven again. Each link that has been broken here shall be united there,

And none be lost around the THRONE who've acted on the SQUARE.

Periodically published in Masonic journals, quoted in a thousand orations, seen in fragments in innumerable epitaphs, musically wedded to sixteen airs, declaimed by traveling per­formers, and embodied in many "Gems of Reading," this effusion deserves best of all to herald our sketch of The Well Spent Life.


 

THE WELL-SPENT LIFE.

I

T was remarked by an English traveler in America, that " when Freemasonry was named in his hearing, the name of Rob. Morris often followed. The mystic brotherhood between the two oceans had not been favored with so many talented and indus­trious laborers, whose lives of brotherly duty and responsibility are spent in their service, that they can afford to slight the work of any; and Brother Morris was thought to merit the large share of the honor and respect which they yield to the advocate and hero of symbolical Masonry."

In the same spirit we now record that the friends of this vet­eran scholar and workman will not suffer him to leave American shores again, until this memorial has been set up of his devotion to Masonic interests and his contributions to Masonic knowledge. To all, therefore, who respect disinterested service in a noble calling, our testimonial is addressed.

AS AN APPLICANT FOR MASONIC LIGHT.

The subject of our eulogy was born into Masonic light in Ox­ford, now Gathwright Lodge, No. 33, at Oxford, Mississippi, on the 5th of March, 1846, being then 28 years of age (born August 31, 1818). Prof. Morris was at the time Principal of Mount Sylvan Academy, in the vicinity of Oxford, a local institution of repute. In a letter, accompanying this petition, he said: "I esteem the Masonic craft as in time, the oldest; in honors, the most eminent; in membership, the most numerous; in scope, the broadest of earth-born societies." That he rode over rough and rugged ways, twelve miles, and through a down-pour of rain, to be made a Ma‑


 

son, and was home again before sunrise, demonstrates the zeal with which he began his Masonic inquiries.

The second and third degrees were given him on the eve of July 3, following, and in time to take part in the ceremonial of planting

the corner-stone of the UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI,

July 4, 1846, an institution that has since attained to literary eminence. His Master in Blue Lodge Masonry, still living and crowned with age and honor, was Judge James M. Howry, since Past Grand Master of Mississippi, and of the Board of Regents of the university.

AS A SEEKER OF MORE LIGHT.

Grouping together the Masonic Degrees and Orders along which Brother Morris has advanced, we lay them down in order, thus: The BLUE LODGE, as above stated, 1846.

The ROYAL ARCH, consisting of the degrees of Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master and Royal Arch Mason, at Lexington, Mississippi, 1848.

The, CRYPTIC RITE, consisting of the degrees of Royal Master, Select Master, and Super-excellent Master, at Natchez, Mississippi, 185o, and New York, 1864.

The TEMPLARY ORDERS, upon the American plan, consisting of the Orders of Red Cross Knights, Knights Templar, and Knights of Malta, at Jackson, Mississippi, 185o. In these, Jesus Christ is the grand model and example for all exigencies of life.

The SCOTTISH RITE, as far as to the 32d degree inclusive? at New York, 1854, from the skillful inculcations of Hon. Giles F. Yates, 33d degree.

The RITE OF MEMPHIS, as far as to the 9oth degree inclusive, at New York, 1864, from Most Illustrious Harry Seymour, 96th degree.

The ENCAMPMENT ORDERS OF ENGLISH TEMPLARY, at Ottawa, Canada, 1857, from Col. Moore, as below.

The very large number of honorary appendages to Masonry,


 

with which Dr. Morris has been intrusted, are given here only in part. The three official orders of Royal Arch Masonry (First Principal Z, Second Principal J, and Third Principal H,) were communicated in 1859 by that truly eminent Mason, Thompson Wilson, Grand Z, of Canada; that of Past Eminent Commander, by the Very Illustrious Col. W. J. B. McLeod Moore, Great Prior of Canada, 1857, and a writer of singular ability upon all ques­tions of chivalry; that of High Priest, ,according to the American system, by Most Excellent M. J. Drummond, Grand High Priest of New Jersey, 1854. The Masonic and Military Orders of the Knights of Rome, and of the Red Cross of Constantine, were first communicated by Col. Moore, 1857, and afterward according to the perfected system, by the distinguished Thomas Bird Harris, Grand. Secretary of Canada, 1873. The Order of Past Grand Master, as formerly communicated in Kentucky, but now obsolete, was given him at his installation as Grand Master of Kentucky, October, 1858, the venerable and well-beloved Hon. Henry Win­gate, Past Grand Master, presiding. In the last pages of this brochure are given the certificates of the Strict Observance, etc., which speak for themselves.

So many of Dr. Morris' diplomas and official jewels were de­stroyed in the burning of his house, "The Three Cedars," at LaGrange, Kentucky, November, 1861, and in the terrible con­flagration of Chicago, October, 1871, that no accurate list can now be given of them. It is within bounds, however, to assert that the number of Honorary Degrees and Complimentary Memberships with which his signal services have been recognized in America and abroad exceeds one hundred; among them that of Past Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada is chiefly prized. Dr. Morris recalls a list of one hundred and forty-three regular de­grees and orders in Masonry, whose covenants he has assumed. In 1856 he made this summary of them in a symbolical strain of thought:

"I have been around, under and through the temple of Masonry,


 

searching out its foundations, its builders and its trestle board. With its, builders I have handled, in turn, each of its implements; with the Entered Apprentice, trimming the rough ashler on the checkered pavement; with the Fellow Craft moralizing upon the pillars of the porch, and the fifteen grades of the winding stairs; with the Master Mason, smoothing the indissoluble cement with silent awe; with the Mark Master I have penetrated the quarries, found my own best block, brought it up for a place in the walls, and claimed my penny with the rest; for I never have received, of salary or official emolument, to the value of one Jewish half shekel of silver. I have shared the responsibilities of the Past Master, seated in the Oriental Chair of King Solomon. As a Most Excel­lent Master, my hands have aided to rear the capstone to its place, while my lips have sung the triumphant strain, All Bail to the Morning, of Thomas Smith Webb, and my face was bowed to the pavement in acknowledgment of the descent of fire and cloud. As a Royal Arch Mason, returning from exile in Babylon, my feet have wandered, weary and sore, over rough and rugged ways, seeking the Sacred Hill. As a Select Master, I have wrought in silence, secrecy and darkness, upon the mystic arches within the Holy Mountain. I have stood as a Knight Templar with com­panions loyal and brave, wielding my brand, Excalibur, two-edged and cross-hilted, while guarding the SHRINE where the body of MY DEPARTED LORD was laid. In all my career as a Mason I have ever held that excellence is granted to man only in return for labor, and that nothing is worth having that is not difficult to acquire. My life has been, thus far, a contest with obstacles; but no man would be what he is, had he tamely suffered the difficulties of life to overcome him."

HIS PRESENT AFFILIATIONS.

Dr. Morris' present affiliations are:

FORTITUDE LODGE, No. 47, La Grange, Kentucky. (By a singu­lar coincidence this lodge was born the week after he was).

EMINENCE ROYAL ARCH CHAPTER, NO. 121, Eminence, Ken­tucky. (A village-place 12 miles distant).

LOUISVILLE COMMANDERY, No. 1, of Knights Templar, Louis­ville, Kentucky.

KENTUCKY SUPREME CONSISTORY, S:. P.% R:. S:. 32d degree,


 

Louisville, Kentucky. (The principal city of Kentucky, 27 miles distant).

AS AN OPPONENT OF IMITATIVE ORDERS.

It has become so common a custom with Freemasons in Amer­ica to join the modern fraternities with which the country abounds —societies that borrow whatever of merit they possess from ancient craft masonry — that it is well to say here, Dr. Morris accepts no fellowship with them. Long since he confessed his sympathy with the sentiment which Shakespeare puts in the mouth of his heroine:

"'Tis not the many oaths that make the truth, But the plain, single vow that is vowed true."

In response to the invitation of a popular society, he said: " I shall not unite in this movement, 'for, with Horace, I had rather draw my glass of water from a great river than a little rill. I find that Freemasonry, rightly worked, consumes as much time, and as large means as I can spare.

Your little systems have their day—They have their day and cease to be, These broken lights of Masonry."

AS A LABORER IN MASONIC LITERATURE.

The mere biography of Brother Morris is of comparatively little importance. It is his poetry, his sketches, his other works, that make his life. If any Masonic literature of the 19th century en­dures, his productions may, we think, be commended to the best minds of the future. At present, American Masons view them as not only a valuable, but indispensable appendage to every Masonic collection. We name them, for convenience, in groups:

MASONIC JURISPRUDENCE. — Code of Masonic Law, 1855; the first work upon this subject ever issued.

MASONIC RITUALS AND HAND-BOOKS.—Freemasons' Monitor, 12 degrees, 1859; Miniature Monitor, 3 degrees; Eastern Star Manual, 1859; Rosary of Eastern Star, 1865; Guide to High Priesthood, 1865; Ritual of Knight Templary, 1858. Special Help for Wor‑


 

shipful Master; same for Senior Deacon; same for Secretary; Funeral Book of Freemasons—all four were published in 1866. Prudence Book of the Freemasons, 1859; Masonic Ladder, 1866; Dictionary of Freemasonry, 1867; Guide to the Consecration of Masonic Cemeteries, 1857; Discipline of Masonic Offenders, 1860.

MASONIC BELLES-LETTRES. Masonic Poems, 1864 and 1876; Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry, 1852; Life in the Triangle, 1853; The Two Saint Johns, 1854; Lodge at Mystic, 1862; Tales of Masonic Life, 1860.

MASONIC HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY. — Freemasons' Almanacs, 1860, 1, 2, 3, 5; Masonic Reminiscences, 1857; History of Free­masonry in Kentucky, 1859; Life of Eli Bruce, 1859.

MASONIC REPUBLICATIONS.in a series of 30 octavo volumes, under the general title of Universal Masonic Library, are com­prised 56 distinct works, including writings of Oliver, Mackey, Town, Portal, Preston, Hutchinson, George Smith, Morris, Ander­son, Harris, Calcott, Ashe, Lawrie, DeVertot, Gourdin, Taylor, Creigh, Brown, Morton, Arnold, Towne.

TRAVELS.—Freemasonry in Holy Land, 1872.

MASONIC PERIODICALS. — Kentucky Freemason, 1853; Amer­ican Freemason, 1853-8; Voice of Masonry, 1859-67; Light in Masonry, 1873.

Of all these and others, of which the compiler has not procured even the titles, it may truthfully be said, as Lyttleton, in his eulogy of Cowper:

"Not one immoral, one corrupted thought,

One line which, dying, he would wish to blot."

His rule of life, from the commencement of labor as a Masonic journalist, was borrowed from Addison: "I promise never to draw a faulty character, which does not fit at least a thousand people, or to publish a single paper that is not written in the spirit of benev­olence, and with a love of mankind."

Dr. Morris was selected, by the editor of "Appleton's American
Cyclopædia" (16 vols., 1875), to write the articles on Freemasonry.
A most rapid maker of copy, he continues, from week to week,
much of that sort of literary labor styled "the fugitive," being a
contributor to the following Masonic periodicals, viz: The Review,


 

Keystone, Advocate, New York Dispatch, and Jewel; also of news­papers and magazines of other classes.

The mere labor involved in some of the works above catalogued, will appear incredible to persons not familiar with his natural and acquired facility and amazing industry. In gathering materials for his History of Freemasonry in Kentucky (said by a noted critic to be " a monument of amazing labors, he examined, column by column, the files of a London daily newspaper, in the Congressional Library at Washington, from 1690 to 1800; also the files of all Kentucky papers from their origin to 1859. The three little books, styled "Special Helps," are elaborated entirely from his private notes made while occupying the official stations, respectively, of Deacon, Secretary and Master. The brilliant and exhaustive re­ports upon Foreign Correspondence, made to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, were, for many years, from his pen, and he is now en­gaged upon the annual paper, of that class, for the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, for its session of October, 1878. To prepare one of these requires the examination of the Proceedings of 66 Grand Lodges, aggregating some 10,000 pages of printed matter!

The Constitution of the Grand Encampment of Knights Tem­plar of the United States was drafted by Dr. Morris in 1856, and that of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky in 1860. His "Standard Form of By Laws for Constituent Lodges," approved by several Grand Lodges, has gone largely into use.

AS A MASONIC ORATOR.

In the matter of orations, lectures and addresses (public and pri­vate) before Masonic organizations, the number delivered by Dr. Morris may be reckoned by thousands, and if to these be added his efforts before collegiate institutions, lyceums and religious and literary conventions, the figures may be doubled. He was the "Grand Orator," technically so called, for the Grand Commandery of Kentucky, 1878; Grand Lodge of Missouri, 1856; Grand Lodge


 

of Iowa, 1857; Grand Lodge of Florida, 1858; Grand Lodge of District of Columbia, 1858, etc.

Extensive and varied as this " one-man's conceptions " may appear, yet our list does but partial justice to this WELL SPENT LIFE, for in the SUNDAY-SCHOOL LITERATURE of America his hand appears in scores of odes, sketches and addresses, and two considerable works of travel in Holy Land, written by him for Biblical readers, are found in the bookstores.

"As we call any building or piece of architecture perfect which has all its parts, and is finished and completed according to the nicest rules of art, a brother is in like manner said to be a good Mason who has studied and knows himself, and has learnt, and practices, the first and chief end of subduing his passions and his will, and tries to the utmost of his power to free himself from all vices, errors and imperfections, not only those that proceed from the heart, but, likewise, all other defects of the understanding which are caused by custom, opinion, prejudice and superstition."

In the science of historical numismatics in America Dr. Morris is one of the pioneers,— his monograph, entitled " The Twelve Cæsars, Illustrated by Readings of 217 of their Coins and Med­als," being the first issue of its class west of the Atlantic. He publishes The Numismatic Pilot, devoted to the explication of an­cient coins, and is a regular contributor to the periodicals of that science. .Finally, when we say that at his home at La Grange, Kentucky, Dr. Morris has been known as chairman of the mu­nicipal board, president of the county Bible society, and a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church, the reader will justly concede that our subject is a man of no common industry or gifts; nor is it strange that his residence, "The Apricots," the seat of hospitality, is the Mecca to many a guest, to whom the latch-string (in Ken­tucky parlance) always hangs outside! The genial dame who presides there is a helpmeet to her husband, to whom the vicissi­tudes of thirty-seven years have but the more closely endeared her. Six children, at the head of as many families, have enlarged


 

the original circle by a bevy of grandchildren, whose visits to the suburban home bring song and gladness to the old folks.

The literary honor of LL.D. (Doctor IN LAWS) was conferred upon him, ex emerito, in 1860, by the Masonic University of Ken­tucky, - an institution, shattered in the civil commotions of the period, that deserved a better fate.

THE OFFICIAL POSITIONS OF DR. MORRIS.

Our Masonic veteran is noted not merely for brilliancy of con­ception and fertility of resources as an author, but for extraordi­nary rapidity of execution in the communication of Freemasonry. Whether as Deacon, Master or Grand Master, his ability in pushing the work is remarked. His Masonic SCHOOLS OF INSTRUCTION, 1858-60, of which ten were national, and thronged with the high­est workmen of the American lodges, gave such evidence of this, that at Cleveland, Ohio, August, 186o, five hundred brethren, of the most select classes, testified, by rising vote, that " the correct taste and clear judgment of Past Grand Master Morris as a writer are only equaled by his thorough acquaintance with the minutia of the Masonic work." The motto of that, school expressed the spirit that actuated both teachers and pupils: "There is a certain wonderful gratification and delight in gaining knowledge " ( Mira qucedam in cognoscendo suavitas et delectatio).

Such a man naturally seeks for something to do, and from 1846, when he served as Junior Deacon (Inside Guard) of his alma mater lodge, the hand of Brother Morris has ever wielded rod or gavel, sceptre or sword in his visits to tyler precincts. He reckons that he has conferred fifteen thousand Masonic degrees! Fit fab­ricando faber was the motto to his official circulars when Grand Lecturer of Tennessee in 1851-2, and his advice to office-bearers was uniformly in the following strain: "There is no form of solic­iting a reelection to office so honorable, none so irresistible as that of filling the office well while you have it."

The official positions held by Dr. Morris during thirty-two years

2


 

are very numerous: Grand Lecturer of Tennessee and Kentucky, 1850-54; Worshipful Master of various lodges; Most Excellent High Priest; Eminent Commander; Thrice Illustrious Grand Mas­ter (Cryptic Rite); Grand Commander-in-Chief Princes of Royal Secret, 32d degree, Supreme Consistory of Kentucky, 1859-60; Chief Conservator, 186o-65; Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, 1858-9; Grand Patron of the Order of Eastern Star, etc.

The spirit of inquiry which led our now veteran brother to ac­quire the minutiae of the Masonic drama, from lowest to highest, has impelled him to take a part in many of the public demonstra­tions of the order in America, among which may be named the consecration of Freemasons' Hall, in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1855 that of the statue of Warren, on Bunker Hill, Mass., 1857; that of the statue of Washington, at Richmond, Va., 1857; planting the corner stone of the Henry Clay monument, at Lexington, Ky., 1857, and of the Western Kentucky College, at Lodgeton, Ky., 1856; the Centennial of St. John's Lodge, Providence, R. I., 1856; the State Normal School, Terre Haute, Indiana, 1867, and many others of less interest.

The rolls of various Grand Lodges, etc., exhibit the readiness of the fraternity to adopt his name as their own, and "Rob. Morris Lodge," "Rob. Morris Chapter," etc., are terms of frequent use in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, and else­where.

HIS " LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF MASONRY."

To one of his literary adventures, a special paragraph is due. In 1852 Dr. Morris gathered up the numerous observations made while visiting the lodges of Tennessee as Grand Lecturer, and out

of them compiled a volume styled LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF FREEMASONRY. Concerning this work a cotemporary of high repute wrote, a year afterward: "This is the first effort in Masonic belles-lettres ever made. The book is a series of Masonic tales and


 

sketches drawn from real life, every page presenting an exoteric surface, which conceals from the unintelligent an esoteric meaning. Its popularity has been wonderful." A few years afterward Mr. Allibone, in his Dictionary of American Authors, says:

"MORRIS, ROBERT—Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry. There is perhaps no Masonic book on this continent, save our ordinary monitors, which has had so large a circulation as this. Brother Morris is the Masonic Dickens of America; and from his extensive travel and close observations he has been able to supply his ready pen with facts of the most important interest to the Craft. No Mason should be without the LIGHTS AND SHADOWS."

A critical journal, as late as 1864, thus alludes to the volume: "The book went forth upon its own wings, for it was never named in a bookseller's catalogue. Whenever a copy was purchased, it was read as no Masonic production had been. Often it was read, re-read, lent out, relent, worn-out, and a new one ordered. Ragged copies of it are seen in many a Masonic home through the South and West. Its characteristic terms have become technical in American lodges. The Church Trial, Tim, Bertisor, the Stone-Squares Lodge, and other pieces, have been reproduced in every possible form, and yet its influence upon Masons was not more remarkable than its influence upon non-Masons. The effect upon the profane was unprecedented. Thousands of initiates, who have passed the portals of our lodges since 1852, confess that they borrowed much of the `favorable opinion,' expressed in their petitions, from this work of Rob. Morris. More than one Mason, who has dignified the highest places known to the Craft, has admitted the same thing."

In various numismatic societies his name appears; he is secretary of the American Association of Numismatists; honorary mem­ber of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Montreal, Canada; the Boston Numismatic Society, and the New London (Connecticut) Historical Society, and active member of the (New York) American Numismatic and Archaeological Society.


 

HIS PHRENOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS.

In 1856, by request of the New York Masons, Dr. Fowler, the celebrated character-reader and phrenologist, took Dr. Morris in hand, and after a most searching examination, furnished in writing the following reading. If all Dr. Fowler's conclusions are as accurate as these, his science has more to recommend it than many believe, for it is certain that he had not the slightest acquaintance with the subject before him.

You have an unusual temperament and organization. Your tone of mind is peculiar and your abilities are available, especially in the higher channels of mental development.

Your physiology indicates naturally a strong constitution. There is a great amount of mental activity, susceptibility, and ardor of mind. You are noted in all your section of the country for your industry and desire to be constantly employed. You have a fair degree of the motive or muscular temperament, but there is a quality in your constitution that is hereditary, that gives you ability to perform labor and execute business. You, however, need the vital temperament. There is not enough of it to give you the warmth, pliability, easiness of disposition, and coziness of feeling, necessary to sit down and enjoy life. You exhaust vitality faster than it is supplied, and you are coming to a premature grave unless you take life a little easier. You are spending your life too much for others. You must turn the tables and take sympathy from others, allowing yourself to be strengthened instead of ex­hausted by your contact with society.

You have a quality of organization that is very susceptible of culture, so much so that you can use every element of your nature, but your present state of system is enfeebled by long process of over-action.

Your brain is of full size. You are known for having a high degree of the moral, reflective, intellectual, imaginative and social faculties. The weakest elements of your mind are connected with the perceptive intellect and the animal brain. You are not much attached to life. You care less for real physical pleasure than most men, and enjoy yourself the most in the higher exercises of your mind. The influence you exert over others is connected


 

with sentiment, thought and affection. You are friendly and make friends easily; are fond of children; parental in your feelings; enjoy the family relations, and are much interested in general domestic matters; hence you easily ingratiate yourself into the affections of all— the old and young, married and single.

You love country, are fond of home, and have a place for things.

You are somewhat gallant, but you really have not time to stop and talk long with the ladies, do not spend much time in their com­pany for mere social enjoyment.

You love variety in business, and you do everything up with dispatch. Your thoughts and feelings are more intense than con­nected.

You are sharp in your spirit of resistance, and ever ready to put on the harness and labor to overcome the impediments in your way; but you are wanting in the elements of destructiveness. You would prefer to go without your dinner than to kill for the pur­pose of having one, especially any animal that grew up around the house. You are in feeling opposed to capital punishment and all kinds of severities; but you have courage to any extent, and are disposed to put forth more than ordinary effort in a debate where you have even file odds against you.

Your sense of food is average. You eat as a matter of neces­sity. You more often think it is a waste of time than a source of pleasure to eat. You value property as a means of gratifying your other faculties, but your object is not attained when you have merely accumulated wealth. You can exercise tact and conceal your feelings if the occasion requires, but are more characterized for caution, prudence, solicitude, and apprehensiveness of mind, than you are for cunning, art, tact, and intrigue.

You are ambitious, have been so from a boy; are never satisfied unless you are doing something that shall give you a name and reputation; could not live in a private sphere and devote yourself to your own individual interests, but you are anxious to gain a reputation for yourself.

You are not only social, but you are easy, affable, polite and entertaining. You have a fair degree of dignity, pride and self-respect; can be quite manly when the occasion requires it, but usually you are more affable and familiar than dignified.

You are firm, determined, persevering, rather tenacious, and in all business transactions, where cruelty is not required, you are stable, determined and fixed.


 

Your moral faculties are all large. You come from a religious, sentimental, enthusiastic family. Very few persons have the amount of moral activity and enthusiasm that you possess, and the influ­ence you exert over others is of a moral nature; hence you do not fail to render yourself popular, and you inspire more confidence than most men in your contact with society. You are conscien­tious, and have quite a distinct idea of right, justice and duty. You have high hopes and bright anticipations, which lead you to promise much and expect much. You have strong faith in an ever-ruling Providence. Your thoughts and feelings amplify, and you have more to say when you get through a speech than when you commenced.

You have a consciousness of a Supreme Being. You could easily get the credit of being pious, whether you were or not.

You have rather an excess of sympathy, and at once embrace the cause of your neighbor and devote yourself to the interests of others.

Your mechanical ability is fair, but it takes a literary rather than a physical direction.

You are versatile in your talents, but not skillful in the use of tools.

You have strong imagination, more than ordinary scope of mind, great love of beauty and poetry, are most decidedly sentimental, fond of the sublime and grand, are full of the elements of oratory, quite imitative, and you act out your thoughts and feelings with your whole body, and employ gestures as well as forcible, impres­sive and characteristic language. You are naturally theatrical. You love fun, enjoy wit, are prompt in a joke and quite successful in making fun. You are not so much a man of the world, not posted up in details and particulars, not minute in observation nor particularly scientific in your knowledge, but are given to philoso­phizing and theorizing, to reason, to investigation of abstract prin­ciples, to the presentation of laws and plans.

Your sense of order is rather good. Local memory is comparative­ly good. Command of language is favorable; but your forte is not so much in the amount of language you can command as in the amount of thought you convey in your language. When animated, you exhibit no want of copiousness; still, at times you fail to come to the point directly and give definiteness to your thoughts.

Your memory of disconnected facts and statistics is poor, and


 

your musical talent and knowledge of dates appear to be poor; but you remember general principles, historical facts or anything that is directly to the point and illustrates your idea.

You are shrewd in your discernment of character, are quick to read the minds of others, and are most decidedly youthful and entertaining.

Your whole mind is crippled for the want of vital power to sus­tain you and enable you to go to the full extent of your desires. You must stop for a while and, take life easier; recruit; live among the mountains and devote yourself to rural life, driving a horse or doing something that admits of physical exercise and not much mental action.

AS THE CHIEF CONSERVATOR.

An allusion has been made to attacks more or less virulent upon our eminent Mason. These originated in the establishment of a society, in 1860, of which Dr. Morris was chief, entitled The Order of Conservators. The purpose of this institution was to rectify certain great evils that had crept into the American lodges for want of uniform rituals. Never was a movement more popular. The society of conservators grew in two years to such proportions as to number nearly three thousand members, who represented high Masonic intelligence in nearly every state. But, although its aims were high, its purposes innocent and its numbers so great, grand lodges would not tolerate a movement that seemed to affect their own prerogatives, and the project was abandoned before half the period to which it was limited had expired. As the prime mover and chief of this order, Dr. Morris received torrents of abuse. He took them, however, stoically, in his own way, and good-naturedly, and readily submitted to the edicts that caused the dissolution of his favorite scheme. He has never been hasty to cast off aspersion, be­lieving that malignant charges, if borne awhile in silence, will, like mud thrown upon clothes, dry and fall off of themselves. His mag­nanimity under injury was seen in his public eulogy at the burial of

____ , a high Mason who had been one of his worst detract­ors while chief conservator, and his manner of rebuke, in the cele‑


 

brated reply to —              who had done him almost irreparable injury. It is Cowper's verse to a mad bull:

"I care not whether east or west,

So I no more may find thee:

The angry muse thus sings thee forth,

And shuts the gate behind thee."

These things, however, are now past and forgotten. Abuse and abusers are equally silent, but the old conservators are found in the van of all the Masonic societies of America, and their chief, if ever blamed, has long since been pardoned. As he said in his "Defense of Conservatism," in 1864, "what we did not well we meant well. To preserve courtesy and personal respect amidst such opposition is in itself a victory, whose fruits, though late to ripen, are precious and sweet to me. Never to despair and never to draw back is a motto with me from a child. In all our work as Conservators we had regard to the sentiment of Cicero: Sacred thins must be pre­served inviolate."

The basis of the Conservators' movement is seen in the follow­ing article from his pen:

The question, Can the rituals be made uniform? is the question of the masses. All plain, honest, common-sense Masons are inter­ested in its solution, those who do not enter the society in pursuit of office, or for pecuniary profit, or, for some other selfish end, con­sider it as the most important question Masonry presents.

The question, Can the rituals be made uniform? is equivalent to the question, Can they be rendered permanent — unchangeable? And this will decide whether the thousands of young men who are entering our Northwest Gate every year will take the trouble to become "bright" Masons, will acquire the art of conferring degrees, opening the lodge, installing officers, planting corner stones, bury­ing the dead and performing the other duties of the craft: duties which not one Mason in one hundred can now worthily perform: duties whose neglect entails so much discredit to the Masonic society at large. For our young and intelligent Masons will never take the pains to study the rituals unless they are assured that they are learning something which will not be changed by the next Grand Lodge, Grand Master, Grand Lecturer or Master of the Lodge.


 

The question, Can the rituals be made uniform? is the question, Are all Masons obligated alike? Is one Mason bound to do five things and another six? Is one Mason bound to avoid six things and another five? Is there any power in the Grand Lodge to abridge or to extend the solemn covenants of the craft?

The question, Can the rituals be made uniform? is the question, Have all Grand Lodges, in this pursuit of uniformity, been in pur­suit of a mere phantom, a myth, a shade? Is all the Masonic legis­lation upon this subject, the record of which occupies hundreds of pages, misdirected? Are the recommendations of learned and ex­perienced Masons under this head for so great a period baseless?

AS A MASONIC LECTURER.

The beginning of official work of our zealous veteran was that Of GRAND LECTURER, first in the State of Tennessee, afterward in Kentucky. On horseback, before the days of railways, be visited the lodges of those jurisdictions to the number of a hundred or more, and communicated to them rituals and general instructions in Masonry. The originality and thoroughness of his teachings are best described by a gentleman who accompanied him for a week or more in the spring of 1851:

Brother M.'s marked trait was industry. He made little preten­sion to genius or talent of high order, but he always made the best use of his time. I never saw him idle for a moment. In the lodge or out of it he was ever seeking or communicating Masonic light. He visited sick brethren, if there were any, at their houses, and im­parted comfort. He inquired for destitute brethren and tendered them aid. He looked up the graves of departed Masons and sug­gested better care of them. He set the secretary to making a list of the widows and orphans of the craft, that if any were needy they might not be overlooked by the brotherhood in future. His ap­pearance in those days was very peculiar. Lank as a rattlesnake, and as swift at a witty stroke; nervous to the last degree; fright­fully dyspeptic; extremely fond of nature, and an indefatigable collector of shells, arrow-heads and eccentric stones; a glutton for reading books; fluent as the river and generous as the sea; speak­ing in all things from the heart; amiable and generous.

In Dr. Morris' lodge lectures a beauty, grandeur and significance


 

were apparent that impressed even the doltish mind. At that period American lodges were at a low ebb of information. The ceremonials were often wretchedly burlesqued by ignorant pre­tenders, and our friend came among them as a reformer. Instead of an unmeaning tragedy the craft acquired a sublime symbol, and if the neophyte had a soul at all able to appreciate a grand thought (not all neophytes have) he received a permanent impression. On Sabbath days Dr. Morris addressed communities, wherever he might be, in their churches and school-houses, upon Freemasonry as identified with Bible truth. Once, at least, in every village, he invited a union of the ladies with their husbands, fathers and brothers in the lodge room, and to the united assembly gave his beautiful system entitled The Eastern Star. Though the country was wild with political and sectarian strife (the mutterings of civil war) he talked of nothing but Freemason/J/, and for all this service he accepted a compensation so meagre that the poorest lawyer or physician that sat in any of his audiences would have spurned it.

The system of itinerant lecturing upon Freemasonry, begun by Dr. Morris so long since, has been continued to the present year, and the now venerable mentor of Masonry has raised his voice in defense of the Order and its covenants in the lodges of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Ne­vada, California, New Jersey, Delaware, Canada, Ohio, Connecticut and New York, and other states. He reckons that in thirty-two years of such travel and travail he has climbed the stairs and en­tered the adyta of fifteen hundred lodges!

AS THE ADVOCATE OF DIVINE FAITH.

The growth of skepticism among American Masons has been too marked to escape the notice of any. Leading men among the craft, Grand Secretaries, Masonic Editors, Grand Masters, have publicly attacked the old principle of "faith in an inspired word as a fundamental belief in Masonry." To counteract this, the most danger­ous foe that Masonry can have, Dr. Morris early made himself the


 

champion of Biblical faith. To unsettle the minds of the craft as to the object their fathers venerated has been the first aim of the Masonic skeptic, and we see that while casting the Holy Scriptures out of the lodge room was the first step of the French infidel, ig­noring faith in God was the second and an easier step. Dr. Morris said, in an oration in 1853, "I repeat, with the great moralist Johnson, that there is no crime so great that a man can commit as poisoning the sources of eternal (Masonic) truth. Faith in God tends, in the only high and noble sense, to make Freemasons one."

AS A LEADER IN LADIES' MASONRY.

A popular opinion prevails that Dr. Morris is the author and originator of what is called "Ladies' Masonry." This is very far from the truth. Without attempting here to trace up the origin of the idea— French, German or what not—one thing is known to all readers of Masonic literature in America: that numerous degrees in which both sexes are admitted were in use among us long before Dr. Morris' day. The "Heroine of Jericho," "The Secret Monitor," "The Mason's Daughter," "The Good Samaritan," "The Ark and Dove," and others, whose authorship is unknown to the compiler, may be cited in proof of this. Dr. Morris merely used his privilege as a Masonic teacher to invent and put into use other degrees of the same class, but far superior in merit. The most popular of these is "The Eastern Star," composed and first communicated by him in 1850. This is divided into five sections, named from as many histor­ical characters —"Jephthah's Daughter," "Ruth," " Esther," " Mar­tha" and " Electa"— and so popular has it become in twenty-eight years that there are now, in 1878, more than five hundred organ­izations styled "Chapters of the Eastern Star," extending from Massachusetts to California, meeting regularly under well devised by-laws for the purpose of instructing ladies and Masons in the peculiar forms and doctrines of " The Eastern Star," and dispens­ing relief to distressed persons upon the plan practiced in Masonic lodges. In the West Indies, Portugal and Central America there


 

is also a large number of societies of the Eastern Star. It is proper to say, for the information of foreign Masons, that in this country there exists a gallantry, with religious sentiment at its basis, toward the weaker sex. In no nation, we think, is woman so highly re­spected. This fact is recognized in the Masonic covenants, which go as far to aid and protect a Mason's wife and daughter as a Ma­son himself, and the thought lies at the foundation of all "ladies' degrees," particularly those of The Eastern Star. To the one first named our industrious author has added others, entitled "The Queen of the South," "The Cross and Crown," etc.

If asked what beneficial results have followed upon these organ­izations, it would be easy to show that the hungry have been fed, the orphaned child provided with a home, the widow cheered and encouraged, by the dispensations of gentle hands. The establish­ment of THE WIDOWS' AND ORPHANS' HOME, OF KENTUCKY, the only successful effort of this class in America, grew out, it has been claimed, of the inculcation of Masonic charity to the female sex through the workings of The Eastern Star. As to opposition to Adoptive Masonry, there is no more of it than there is or has been against every modern system of Masonry. There is, of course, no end of that clamorous argument against the use of a thing by the abuse of it, and in this particular Freemasonry itself has been hit hard and often.

In the following lines Dr. Morris expresses the theory of his

degrees:

To win the love of women to our cause,

The love of mother, sister, daughter, wife,—To gain her admiration of our laws:

This were the greatest triumph of our life.

For this we well may work and well agree; No emblem on our Trestle Board so rife

But would the brighter shine could we but see

On woman's breast its rays — that fount of purity.

Ladies, the hearts of Masons are sincere;

For you and yours we cheerful meet and toil; We plan in mystic gloom and silence here

That which cloth make the widow's heart to smile,


 

AS A NATURALIST.                                        29

That which the mourner's sorrow cloth beguile,

That which gives bounty to the fatherless

And rescues innocence from plottings vile.

Your God and ours such charities doth bless;

Then lend your brightest smiles FREEMASONRY to bless!

AS A NATURALIST.

To the varied gifts of our subject must be added some knowl­edge of nature. As a botanist and geologist Dr. Morris has ac­quired no common name. He has been a member of the Amer­ican Association of Science for thirty years, and of the Ohio Academy of Science for thirty-four years, In 1848, and after­ward, in 185o, he addressed the legislature of Mississippi upon the importance of a state geological survey, and secured the passage of the act under which the work has been partly per­formed. This sentiment of Wordsworth might have come from

his pen:                               Nature never did betray

The heart that loved her. 'Tis her privilege, Through all the years of this, our life, to lead From joy to joy; for she can so inform The mind that is within us, so impress With quietness and beauty, and so feed With lofty thoughts that neither evil tongues, Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men, Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all The dreary intercourse of daily life

Shall e'er prevail against us to disturb

Our cheerful faith that all which we behold Is full of blessings.

 

AS A LEADER IN FUNERAL RITES.

 

The custom of giving honors to our Masonic dead has become so intimately incorporated into American Masonry that many continue their attachment to the Order "even down to old age," that so they may not forfeit the funeral honors due the faithful departed. On the other hand, it is an attraction to a certain class of minds to unite themselves with a fraternity which follows its members lovingly to the grave's brink and lays them gently back upon the bosom of mother earth.


 

In honoring this custom the practice of Dr. Morris has been

supplemented by his writings. His "Funeral Book of the Free­masons," a work of widespread celebrity, contains, in addition

to copious and easy instructions, a long catalogue of epitaphs and forms of obituary notices, also of funeral songs suitable to

such occasions; while no one is so often called upon to attend in person and preside over such ceremonials. There is a form of agreement not uncommon among American Masons, in which two

parties covenant that " the one who survives the other shall pre­side at his burial." The number thus pledged to our veteran

friend is large, and among them is found the compiler of the

present sketch.

This passage was first published in his Lights and Shadows of Masonry, 1852, and expresses his views upon the subject with

much vigor

In all ages the bodies of the Masonic dead have been laid in graves dug due east and west, with their faces looking toward the east. This practice has been borrowed from us, and adopted by others, until it has become nearly universal. It implies that when the great day shall come, and He who is Death's conqueror shall give the signal, His ineffable light shall first be seen in the east; that from the east He will make His glorious approach; will stand at the eastern margin of these graves, and with His mighty power — that grasp irresistibly strong which shall prevail — will raise the bodies which are slumbering therein. We shall have been long buried, long decayed. Friends, relatives, yea, our nearest and dearest, will cease to remember where they have laid us. The broad earth will have undergone wondrous changes, mountains leveled, valleys filled. The seasons will have chased each other in many a fruitful round. Oceans lashed into fury by the gales of to-day will to-morrow have sunk like a spoiled child to their slum­ber. Broad trees with broader roots will have interlocked them, hard and knobbed as they are, above our ashes, as if to conceal the very fact of our having lived; and then, after centuries of life, they, too, will have followed our example of mortality, and, long struggling with decay, at last will have toppled down to join their remains with ours, thus obliterating the last poor testimony that


 

man has ever lain here. So shall we be lost to human sight. But the eye of God, nevertheless, will mark the spot, green with the ever‑

lasting verdure of faith; and when the trumpet's blast shall shake

the hills to their very bases, our astonished bodies will rise, impelled upward by an irresistible impulse, and we shall stand face to face

with our Redeemer.

The following lines were written and sent to a dying brother, dearly-beloved, whose heart and purse had long been opened wide to Dr. Morris. It is pleasant to know that the beautiful poem imparted comfort in those last hours when earthly hopes

fail:

We'll lay thee down, when thou shalt sleep, All tenderly and brotherly;

And woman's eyes with ours shall weep The balmy drops of sympathy.

We'll spread above thee cedar boughs,

Whose emerald hue and rich perfume Shall make us deem thy resting-place

To be a bed and not a tomb.

That teeming breast, which has supplied Thy wants from earliest infancy, Shall open fondly, and supply

Unbroken rest and sleep to thee.

Each spring the flower-roots shall send up Their painted emblems to the sky, To bid thee wait, upon thy couch,

A little longer, patiently.

We'll not forget thee, we who stay
To work a little longer here;

Thy name, thy faith, thy love, shall lie On memory's pages, bright and clear; And when o'erwearied by the toil

Of life our heavy limbs shall be, We'll come, and one by one lie down Upon dear mother earth with thee.

Arid there we'll slumber by thy side,

There, reunited 'neath the sod,
We'll wait, nor doubt in His good time

To feel the raising-hand of GOD: To be, translated from the earth

This land of sorrow and complaints—To the all-perfect Lodge above,

Whose MASTER is the King of Saints.


 

AS AN EXPLORER IN HOLY LAND.

A profound admiration for the Bible as the only inspired book in Masonry led Dr. Morris early in his career to propose an ex­ploration of the lands of the Bible in the interests of the Order. In 1854 the Grand Lodge of Kentucky entered into the plan, and proffered a loan sufficient for the cost, but circumstances at that time forbade the journey. It was still, however, a favorite theme in his Lectures and writings, and in 1867 he visited one hundred and thirty Lodges, chiefly in the Northern States, and proposed to them that he would donate the necessary time and labor if they would undertake the cost. The response was a practical one, for 3,782 brethren clubbed together to supply the necessary means about $10,000.

He set out February 2, 1868; addressed the Lodges at Smyrna, upon the way, February 25, and reached Beyrout, Syria, March 3. At Damascus, through the influence of Brother E. T. Rodgers, H.B.M. Consul there (and Master at the time of Lebanon Lodge, in Beyrout), he made the masonic acquaintance of the Gov­ernor-General and of General Abdel Kader. He delivered ad­dresses before the members of the masonic fraternity in Damas­cus, Beyrout, Joppa and Jerusalem. In the latter city he opened a Lodge of Instruction, May 13, which five years afterward cul­minated in the Royal Solomon Mother Lodge, No. 293, upon the Canada Register of which he was first Master. He reached home early in August. The results of his industrious researches during those six months are seen in the large volume entitled Freemasonry in Holy Land. At Jerusalem he made the personal acquaintance of that learned and zealous explorer, Captain Warren, himself a member of the masonic brotherhood.

With what serious interest he viewed his labors in that Cradle-land, witness his lines written quite recently for an address upon this subject:

Grey with the frosts of age,

Dim o'er the midnight page,

Bowed toward the earth where soon my rest must be,


 

I give my closing years,

With all their sighs and tears,

O land of holy mysteries, to thee!

Hills, over which our Brotherhood has trod, Dales, in whose shadows Masons worshiped God.

No nobler work at hand:

It is Our FATHERLAND,‑

There first JEHOVAH breathed His awful NAME; In that historic earth

Our customs all had birth,

Our emblems from the land of HIRAM came; Eastward they rose, where Orient suns enrobe, Westward they moved and circled all the globe.

Then, Craftsmen, work with me! Freemasons, come and see

The Sacred Mountain where our Temple stood; Join your right hand with them Who, at Jerusalem,

Have linked anew the Mason brotherhood; Help us to kindle new the latent flame

That on MORIAH gilt the HOLY NAME!

AS A MASONIC JURISCONSULT.

It has been claimed that Dr. Morris was forerunner in the branch of literature styled Masonic Jurisprudence. Doubtless there has been too much legislation among American Grand Lodges, too much of the whimsical, special and ephemeral, yet he conceived that there is a basis of legal principles to which all ques­tions may be referred, and this is what he undertook to point out in his Code of Masonic Law. All thoughtful Masons admit that

"Law should speak

Seldom, and never but as wisdom prompts, And equity."

The spirit of his writings upon jurisprudence is suggested by Hooker:

"It is easier a great deal for men to be taught by laws what they ought to do, than intrusted to judge as they should, of law: for the wisest are ready to acknowledge that soundly to judge of law is the weightiest thing a man can take upon him."

In his contributions to the periodical literature of Masonry


 

since 185o will be found replies to questions upon masonic law and usage, and dissertations upon special subjects of this class. His studies in this branch have given him the facility seen in the various Constitutions drafted for Grand Bodies, Standards Forms of By-Laws, and in the Handbooks issued in great numbers for use in the workings of Masonry.

AS A POET.

It was the prediction of the venerable and learned Salem Town, LL.D., himself a mason of great prominence, and an expounder of its grandest themes, that " Brother Morris' fame as a poet will outlast his memory as a writer in prose."

The specimen with which the present brochure sets out will in a measure vindicate Dr. Town's augury. Out of more than three hundred pieces that make up his poetical collections, there are many of rarest delicacy and beauty. His poetical labors extend over every class of thoughts proper to the theme. Very many were written to be accompanied by music, and so have entered into Festival, Funeral and Work meetings; some to be recited with emblematic accompaniments. The greater portion were composed "upon the wing" in stage coach, railway carriage, on steamboats, on horseback, and at Low XII hours after lodge-meetings. The complete edition of 1876 is fittingly dedicated "To old friends beneath the GREEN SPRIGS, by one who will soon join them."

It is a circumstance commented upon in one of Dr. Morris' Lectures upon " The Poets and Poetry of Masonry," that while we have had an abundance of poets in the Masonic ranks, -notably Thomas Moore, Walter Scott, James Hogg, Ferguson, George P. Morris, Percival, Burns, Duganne, Shilliber, Lamartine, Cowper, and others, yet the whole united have scarcely written a score of masonic poems. "Burns wrote one, the best of all; Scott, Moore, Ferguson, Lamartine, Hogg, etc., none; Percival and Geo. P. Morris, two or three each. Strange that men who gathered inspiration from the waving of a leaf could find nothing


 

AS A POET.                                            35

worthy the muse in all the symbolisms, traditions and dramatic representations of Freemasonry! "

As a specimen of Sacred Poetry from Dr. Morris' collection, we give the following, entitled, The Pastoral Image:

Oh Lamb of God, oh Lamb that once wast slain,

We walk among the pastures of Thy land,

Thy meads and founts spread out on every hand, And long to see Thee feeding here again.

Thou art our Shepherd, Thou th' expert, the bold,—Thy mighty rod defends the gentle flock,

The erring thou restrainest with Thy crook, At eventide Thou lead'st them to the fold.

At noon Thou guidest unto cooling springs,—Sultry the blazing sunbeams heat the hills,—In quiet meadows by the singing rills

We lie, refreshed while our sweet Shepherd sings.

And oh, beloved Pastor, lest the harms

Of the rude rocks may wound their tender feet, Thou, strong to save and in Thy mercy sweet, Dost take our little lambs within Thine arms.

Thou art the door, the entrance to the fold;

Through Thee we joyful pass, we know Thy voice, Yet call us, Lord! oh how we will rejoice,

Thou hast no hunger there nor pinching cold.

Where Thou art all is safety, all is rest;

Harmless the ravening wolf will seek his prey, The robber vainly haunt the midnight way, While we repose in safety on Thy breast.

Oh, tender One, and did our Shepherd bleed?

Bleed for our sorrows? when, midst galling scorn,

And blows and sweat and scourge and poisonous thorn, Thou, Jesus, died, was it for us, indeed?

Yes, yes for us:—then let us follow on,

And no more lag, unwilling, on the way;

No more from Thy dear person, Lord, to stray, But close and loving, till life's day is done.

EXCERPTS FROM (LETTERS CONCERNING DR. MORRIS.

[In answer to the request "Give us your recollections of Brother Morris," a very large amount of matter lies before us. A vein of uniformity runs through the mass, however, which precludes the necessity of introducing more than this small part of the whole.]


 

THE WELL-SPENT LIFE.

In his lectures to us Brother Morris called his brethren to no "half-way house of comfortable masonry," but rather to truth, purity and obedience to covenants. He performed the drama of the third degree with such histrionic force, that some of us acknowledged the crisis with pity and tears. He made Free­masonry appear as the great parable of the age and of the world. He called it a light-house that bids a man welcome to a safe harbor. His pupils, of whom he had quite a class here, caught from him the flash and the impulse. The things that he told us are remembered even yet with avidity, but how sweet and fresh will they rise before us when their author sleeps in his grave! We desire that our European brethren shall receive Dr. Morris as the representative of us all. The language he employed was remark­ably pure Saxon; no verba sesquipedalia came from his lips. I have understood that in his youth he was mostly fed upon Shakespeare, Milton, and the Spectator, as his style implies. He told us that the genuine Webb Preston lectures might have been written by the author of the Pilgrim's Progress, so rich are they in monosyllable and in Saxon. In his recitations of Masonic verse he made every use of emblems, emblematic gestures and movements, and so connected as with the mystic cable-tow itself, the material with the immaterial of human nature. You will think me extravagant in all this; I am. But you wanted my candid opinion of the life and labors of Dr. Morris, and you have it. For one, I never can lose the nervous thrill, the peculiar magnetism of that hand, or the spirit which looked through his eye as from a soul's window. When I do forget them, the grass will be growing over my grave.

If ever there was needed in this sin-stricken, selfish and unhappy world of ours an association based upon the principles of peace, truth and divine trust, it is now; and I have pain to learn that my old friend Morris is partly incapacitated for labor. I would that the salt sea waves might blow health into his nostrils and that his foreign travel might restore his youth, even as I remember it in auld lang syne.

I chiefly remember Brother Rob. for his proverbial wit. His "good things" remain as traditions among us here. I do not know wherein his strength lay, whether in cracking a jest, com­municating masonic light, answering mooted questions in masonic


 

jurisprudence, or imparting comfort to the afflicted, but there is eternity to wit: when other things are forgotten. Amongst the best of his memorabilia I cite the following: *  *  *

He is that happy man whose life e'en now

Shows somewhat of that happier life to come.

When I introduced Past Grand Master Morris to my Grand Lodge, I said, according to the notes before me, this is the only mason who ever visited the Orient upon a masonic errand. His age, literary acquirements, social qualities, and repute as an author, opened the hearts of our Turkish brethren, and the narrative of their communications to him and of his general course of travel, and the sketches of the tremendous ruins that he explored, and of the gentlemen who sustain the masonic name there will be found in the highest degree curious and instructive. Brother Morris is of all my masonic acquaintance, the man of much and wise counsel.

I recalled my boyish notions of Freemasonry when I received your letter of request. That every Mason is a good Mason; that Masons know each other by an infallible method, whenever and wherever met; that the purse of a Mason is emblematical of his heart, and both were ever open to the demands of a brother; that the female relatives of Masons are participants in the best fruits of the Order; that virtue, sobriety and truth are essentials to entrance and to continuance as a Mason; that the higher degrees are as ancient and even more important than the foundation; that the secret things of Masonry never have been and never can be committed to paper; that the best men of the Order are chosen for officers; that serious violation of Masonic rules calls down condign punishment; that the literature of Masonry is the produc­tion of its best and purest minds; and that Grand Lodges, in the abundance of the light, truth and knowledge disseminated are humble types of celestial worlds above! I recalled all this, I say, when I received your request, and have only to reply that if all Masons were like "Rob. Morris," we should realize the grandest model ever conceived in Masons and Masonry.

I have seen Worshipful Brother Morris confer the degrees of the Blue Lodge some eight or ten times. He displayed in the drama such a seriousness, an exuberance of charity, such a heart‑


 

full of goodness and face radiant with smiles, as daguerreotype him upon my memory. The great fundamental doctrines of Ma­sonry were at his tongue's end. In making this reply to your epistle, you give me pleasure, yet tinged with melancholy, because such men are few, and rarely suffered to continue among us by reason of death.

I think no other one of our teachers was so well prepared by Biblical study and extensive travel for an intelligent investigation into oriental Masonry as Dr. Morris; and when I took his hand at parting, in 1868, I felt that his visit to Holy Land would surely result in good to the Order. His own exquisite sense of what is fit and seemly, supplemented his studious preparations. No partiality to a favorite theory blinded his mind, and he was prepared to see face to face whatever he should encounter. With a fidelity that yields to none, manners above reproach, and ingenu­ousness without guile, he carries the key within his hand that unlocks all hearts.

He was with our lodge for three days and a guest with me. He is remembered among us as the most cheerful visitor we ever had. He was always singing an undertone of his inner nature, and car­ried a rare pleasure with him. A song is joy-giving. Hard things appear easy to such a man, heavy burdens light. Sorrow may knock at his door but cannot enter his heart. He has the capacity to devise good things and the courage to execute them.

In 1859 Brother Morris sent me a letter by the hand of a dis­tressed brother whom he had fed, housed and clothed, from which I extract this apt clause:

Homo qui erranti winder monstrat viam

uasi lumen de suo lumine accendit facil

ominus       luceat, cum illi accenderit.

(The person who lovingly shows the path to one who has erred, acts as though he had lighted the torch of another by his own; although it has afforded light to the other, it continues to yield light to himself.)

I can give you no better reply to your inquiry than to quote from Macaulay's sketch of Johnson; " A temper not naturally gentle, long tried by calamities, by the importunity of creditors,


 

THE CIVIL WAR.                            39

by the, insolence of booksellers, by the derision of fools, by the, insincerity of patrons, by that bread which is bitterest of all, by those stairs which are the most toilsome of all paths, by that deferred hope which makes the heart sick. Through all these things he has struggled manfully up to eminence." I would not imply that all this, or the half of it, is applicable to Dr. Morris, but it recurs to me as a whole when I remember him as, in 1864, working out his poem of "The Freemason's Vows."

Living near the home of Rob. Morris, THE APRICOTS, La Grange, Kentucky, I read Garrick's eulogy of William Cowper: his man­ners amenity itself, his wit attractive, his power of narration delightful, his home one of the by-paths of hospitality.

I have compared him to Scipio Africanus, who, according to Livy, with all his extraordinary endowments, was not averse from mirth when confined within the bounds of decency.

THE CIVIL WAR.

Dr. Morris was ever faithful to the flag and the theory of the

American Union. In an address delivered in January, 1861, he told the people that civil war meant death to fathers and sons;

the burning of homes; the wastage of property without recovery;

flight, poverty; subjection to the meanest elements of society; a thousand unknown evils and sorrows; the rising of the popular

scum to the surface. All this was realized. The terrible devasta‑

tions of 1861-5 shattered the chain of his friendships; thousands whose names were in the catalogues of his friends in 186o, having

disappeared, upon the return of peace, in 1865, the victims of a strife the more cruel because the combatants were brothers. But as long as letters could be passed through the lines, he had re­peated assurances that differences in political theories did not

weaken the bond of old-time friendships. His songs of concilia­tion and Masonic affection were sung in all camps, whatever the

symbols of nationality that waved over them. Military prisoners were the recipients of his sympathy and brotherly aid; and to none did returning peace bring such early and numerous con‑


 

gratulations as to " Rob. Morris." Concerning the influence of Masonry on the battle-field, but little can be said. A soldier must shoot when and where his officer commands him; but when the battle is over, and the dead are to be buried, the prisoners secured, the wounded cared for, the hungry fed, then the brotherly influence sets in. His wound is first tended, his mouth first filled, his grave first opened, who has shared with us in " the Brotherly Covenant." Among his songs and poems several were written to express this sentiment.

Without exhibiting vanity or vain boasting, we may claim that Masonry did as much to divest the recent war of many of its most terrible features, as any of the numerous appliances recognized among Christian communities. It followed the bloody advance of contending armies, staunching the gushing wounds, lifting the fallen heads,. bearing from the fields the lifeless bodies like a ministering angel; it hovered round the soldier's couch in the hos­pital-ward, cooling fevered brows and soothing dying hours. War has now ended, peace has come again. The horrors of the battle­field have passed into record, and the laws which were silent dur­ing the reign of bloodshed will again speak and again be heard. The duties of the State now begin, and charity, both individual and associated, may pause for awhile in their exertions and labors.

An incident connected with the war illustrates the influence of Masonry and the part allotted to our zealous peacemaker. Dr. Morris was at Memphis, Tennessee, July, 1863, at that time, of course, in the hands of the Union forces. A Colonel of the en­emy's troops, sorely wounded in the late repulse at Helena, died in the Officers' Hospital, at Memphis, and was buried at the charge of the Freemasons. Dr. Morris presided at the affecting rite. The procession, large and orderly, and composed of Na­tional soldiers, citizens and persons lately in arms against the gov­ernment, marched to solemn music two miles to the cemetery, where they gave their " dust to dust " with the accustomed forms. Dr. Morris relates that as the grave was about to be filled in, the


 

evergreens having been deposited and the last prayer spoken, a lady, a stranger to him, hastily broke through the fraternal circle, ran to the side of the grave and threw in an embroidered hand­kerchief, which, opening as it fell, displayed the colors under which the unfortunate Mason had died!

EXCERPTS FROM LETTERS WRITTEN BY DR. MORRIS.

. (No biographical sketch is accepted without some glimpses at the correspondence of its subject. Here we have great embar­rassment of riches, for few men have covered so broad an episto­lary field as Dr. Morris, and the materials at hand would fill volumes. The best we can do, therefore, is to dip here and there at random into the ocean, and so yield a taste of style and quality.)

For a young inquirer who is pressing him with many recondite questions, Dr. Morris quotes from Wisdom iii, 23: "Be not curious in unnecessary matters, for more things are showed unto thee than men understand!" And in the same letter a quotation from the same authority appears: "I admire the definition King Solomon gives of Wisdom: Her branches are the branches of honor and grace; she is the mother of fair love and fear, of knowledge and holy hope."

To the Committee of a Grand Lodge, forwarding to him the thanks of that body for an oration he has delivered, he cites the appropriate quotation:

If any thought of mine, or sung or told,
Has ever given delight or consolation,
Ye have repaid me back a thousand-fold
By every friendly sign and salutation.

Writing,. March 5, 1876, the thirtieth anniversary of his initia­tion, to Hon. James M. Howry, the skillful veteran who presided over his making, he says:

You told me once that I had the happy alacrity of forgetting disagreeable things. I should be sorry could the reverse be said of me. In truth, I never do forget a friendship or a friend. I re­member less of the illiberal things said and done, less of rivalry


 

and rivals, than you do. For this, Benjamin B. French, before his death, publicly commended me, and marked this passage in Willis' Ephemera as germane to my disposition: "If perversion of Pen and ink be very blameable, forbearance is most laudable. No man can live, elbow to elbow, with competitors, without his piques and resentments; but to turn these pleasantly aside,— but few can do it." It was on this day thirty years since, that you admitted me to the dawnings of masonic light. He who prayed to Jupiter for immortality, forgot to ask unchanging youth, and so his immor­tality became decrepit cruelty. You pointed me out the prayer of Solomon, and so I only asked for wisdom, that is, for Masonry. While I have become old, my wisdom (that is, my Masonry) has bloomed evergreen and immortal. I have lived to see our Order in these occidental lands expand and grow. Our 1,000 Lodges have increased to 10,000; our 75 Commanderies to 600; our 50,000 affiliated craftsmen to 500,000. Our fraternity is happy in the confidence of the people and the fervor of their rulers, who are but men of the people. If Freemasonry is the Pharos, the light­house, of moral science, the Lodge is its lantern, and the enlight­ened, virtuous brother (I am writing to such an one) is the flame which sends far and near over the moral darkness of the world the rays of light. When you initiated me, personal friendship gave you energy and strength. You said with Bulwer —

The world's most royal heritage is his

Who most enjoys, most loves and most forgives.

That was a happy chance for me. All the Masons of note at that day were older men than I. The Morgan excitement had stopped the machinery for ten years, and I had few cotemporaries of my own age. I was, therefore, thrown into contact with the heroes of that war; some of them (socially) scarred with the wounds received in defending the right of a man to be a Mason, all of them enthusi­asts like yourself. I was soon fascinated with this wonderful machinery, and what I felt I spoke, and wrote. I could no more check my thoughts than the tempest can check the sound it makes. It seemed to me such a field for the reformer,— a body of selected men, united by indissoluble covenants, working upon a few grand simple principles of architecture, having celestial wages in view. Is not this a perfect Many? I wrote then because my heart burned within me and silence became impossible. I found that the effect of Freemasonry was to render men lovely to their


 

fellows and pleasing to God; and I have said as much in my poems. I have been a visitor in Lodges where learning, religion, the useful and liberal arts, polished manners, law, everything which marks and embellishes society, or man as a member of so­ciety, is found, and of such I have endeavored to be the historian, that by their stores I might vitalize those Lodges which

Lie in dead oblivion, losing half The fleeting moments of too short a life.

I do not think it should he reckoned as vanity in me that I so highly prize the approbation of all good men,—of you.

I have no secret save that which Turner possessed, hard work. The difference between one man and another, as I take it, is not so much in talent as in energy. Reynolds says: " Nothing is denied to well-directed labor, and nothing is to be attained without it." Johnson assures us that "excellence in any department can now be attained by the labor of a lifetime, but it is not to be purchased at any less price." Sydney Smith affirms that "there is but one method, and that is hard labor; and a man who will not pay that price for distinction had better at once dedicate himself to the pursuit of a fox." All this, though said so much better than I can do it, gives my own sentiments, and is my secret of such success as I have attained to.

Were I to give you the catalogue of old friends and corre­spondents which you ask for, it would be to me like calling the roll after battle. A few scarred and crippled veterans remain to represent the great army with which I entered the campaign thirty-two years since. Of my old allies few indeed are left. The clover creeps over their graves, displaying the sacred sym­bol of the triune God. The willow weeps over them, and adds nature's tears to mine. The evergreen holds up its fragrant and perpetual bough near the spot where our weary brothers have lain down to rest. But they shall live in one loving heart while that heart is vital. Their names shall exhale a sweet odor while memory remains in her seat, while we can feel the sympathetic glow for fidelity amidst the bitterest storms of adversity.


 

What you say of attack and criticism recalls the words of another; "Every individual with a cruel sense of justice holds it a right to expect merit in a public man upon all points, and extend indulgence upon none. I have had no more than my share of this, and if some have unduly depreciated my efforts, as you suggest, others (and notably you) have appreciated them as much above their true merit.

You inquire as to my debate with John Quincy Adams. The ex-president had published a series of letters containing the most venomous attacks upon Freemasonry. You know how violent and prejudiced he was in that matter. He believed (unjustly, of course) that General Jackson had beaten him in his second attempt for the presidency through masonic influ­ences. This sharpened his sword, and for a few years he seized every opportunity to take revenge upon the old craft. In 1852 I wrote my "Strictures" upon his published opinions, and showed the world that the old man merely reflected upon Freemasonry his defeat for the White House.

THE CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS SKETCH.

In compiling this brief memorial, which, indeed, is of the nature of patchwork, the materials were found in public and private expressions from very many persons. Readers will not care to peruse the catalogue of these, especially within a space so lim­ited as this. Were the work expanded into a volume there might

be a propriety in acknowledging the names of contributors, which

does not appear in so humble a production as this.

As was said in the beginning, we only proposed a synopsis of the Masonic labors of Dr. Morris, and this chiefly for the

eye of brethren abroad, but few of whom have seen him in the flesh. He has lived to see one thousand American lodges expand

to ten thousand; fifty thousand American Masons enlarged to half a million. A literature has sprung up, largely due to his

genius and industry, which is worthy of the great brotherhood. His intelligent zeal and untiring industry have their reward in the gratitude and respect universally manifested toward him by


 

CERTIFICATES.                                     45

the present generation of Masons here. He again adventures upon foreign shores, with the prayers of our select manhood that God may go with him, and with our united request to the craft

abroad that they will use him kindly and return him safely to

our hands.

To this we add a quotation from a sketch written in 1858 by

an enthusiastic admirer of Dr. Morris, now deceased; the words

and spirit are heartily indorsed in 1878:

"It is difficult to find the stopping-place for an article like this. I might descant upon the numerous honorariums and testi­monials given him by a grateful fraternity, of the catalogues of devoted brethren who cheer and encourage him on his way, upon the consecration of time, talent and means, which has placed him in a situation to demand the sympathy as well as the good-will of the Order; of the historical lectures, embracing the crusades, chivalry, the templars, etc., which he is delivering with untiring assiduity in the principal cities of the Union and the Canadas; of his large collections of Masonic books, documents, medals and relics; I might enlarge upon the genial glow which shines, as from the head of Apollo, from his face and enlivens every circle of good fellows favored by his companionship; of his inexhaustible store of anecdote, incident and song; of his unbounded liberality to the poor, and, most affecting of all, of his light-heartedness, with which, from the paroxysms of a distressing and often-recur­ring disease, his spirits rebound beyond all care and trouble, to infringe upon the spirits of all brothers and fellows who, like him, love the craft, but I forbear.

"It is enough to name him: tens of thousands admire him. Few have done so much; — none within my knowledge have the ability to do so much in the days to come. And when the word goes forth from lodge to lodge, 'Rob. Morris is dead,' the tears of a grateful and lamenting brotherhood will water the laurels which honor his brow."

CERTIFICATES.

N. M. A. U.

Nos Magni Magistri, Ordinis Strict2e Observantix LEGATUS, Universis Fratribus has litteras inspecturis, Q. P. S. D. Anno Verx Lucis 586o, r die, I mensis, Nos ex auctoritate Magni Ma­gistri Singularis Praises Ordinis ad Confraternitatem et ad GRADUM


 

COMMENDATORIS proveximus Illustrissimum Fratrem Robertum Morris, 4o annis, Kentuckize Civem, qui Latomo accepto, S. R. Arco Adepto, ad R. C. gradum promoto, per singulares Fratres Status Kentuckix electo M. M., ad excelsum honorem S. P. R. S. admoto, supremam dignitatem M. Commendatoris M. Consistorii Kentucki2 accepto, semper Zelo inter architectos templi notus est, sed prxsertim per culturam literaturü latomicae per totam orbem celeber.

IN QUA FIDE his nomen nostrum nostra manu subscripsimus Smyrrize Asian.

HYDE CLARKE M\ M\ Ord\ Strict Obs\ Legit\

This is to Certify that the Eminent Sir Knight Robert Morris, of La Grange, Kentucky, was installed by me in May, 1857, and invested with the secrets of a Regularly Installed Commander of Malonic• Knights Templar, with full authority to confer the same on all Eminent Commanders elect or Past Eminent Commanders of Knights Templar Encampments. And I further certify that in the year 1858 I installed him a Masonic Knight Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, according to the old Scottish Ceremonial, with authority, in conjunction with other Knights of the Order, to disseminate it, and invest Masonic Knights Templar only with the secrets of this Order.

Sir Knight Robert Morris, LL.D., is an Honorary Member of the Provincial Grand Conclave of Masonic Knights Templar and Knights of Malta of the Province of Canada, serving under the jurisdiction of the Grand Conclave of England and Wales; and he holds the rank of Sub-grand Prior in the Canadian Grand Conclave.

Fr. W. J. B. McLeod Moore, 33°, etc.; Provincial Grand Com­mander and Grand Prior of the Orders of the Temple and Malta, in Canada. Dated at Toronto this 3oth day of March, 1864.

THE CHARTER OF THE LODGE AT JERUSALEM.

WILLIAM M. WILSON,

[SEAL]              GRAND MASTER.

To all and every our Right Worshipful, Worshipful and loving Brethren: We, William Mercer Wilson, Esq., etc. etc., of Simcoe, in the Province of Ontario, Dominion of Canada, Grand Master of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of Canada, send Greeting.


 

KNOW YE That we, by the authority and under the sanction of the Grand Lodge of CANADA, vested in us for that purpose, and at the humble petition of our right trusty and well-beloved brethren ROBERT MORRIS, John Sheville, Rolla Floyd, Richard Beardsley, Charles Netter. Peter Bergheim, Robert Macoy, James M. Howry, C. W. Nash, George D. Norris, A. T. Metcalf, Alex­ander A. Stevenson, Chauncey M. Hatch, Martin H. Rice, John W. Rison, A. J. Wheeler, John Scott, Albert G. Mackey, John H. Brown, and Dewitt C. Cregier, do hereby constitute the said Brethren into a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, under the title or denomination of the ROYAL SOLOMON MOTHER LODGE, No. 293; and said Lodge to meet at the City of Jerusalem or adjacent places in Palestine, on the first Wednesday of every month, empowering them in the said Lodge, when duly congre­gated, to make, pass and raise Freemasons according to the ancient custom of the craft in all ages and nations throughout the known world. And farther, at their said petition, and of the great trust and confidence reposed in every one of the above-named brethren, we do hereby appoint the said ROBERT MORRIS to be the first Worshipful Master, and said John Sheville to be the first Senior Warden, and the said Rolla Floyd to be the first Junior Warden for opening and holding the said Lodge, and until such time as another Master shall be regularly elected and installed, strictly charging that every member who shall be elected to preside over the said Lodge, and who must previously have served as Warden in a warranted Lodge, shall be installed in ancient form and according to the laws of the Grand Lodge, that he may there­fore be fully invested with the dignities and powers of his office. And we do require you, the said ROBERT MORRIS, to take special care that all and every of the said Brethren are or have been regularly made Masons, and that you and they, and all other the members of the said Lodge, do observe, perform and keep the laws, rules and orders contained in the Book of Constitu­tion, and all others which may from time to time be made by our Grand Lodge, or transmitted by us or our successors, Grand Masters, or by our Deputy Grand Master for the time being. And we do enjoin you to make such by-laws for the govern­ment of your Lodge as shall, to the majority of the members, appear proper and necessary, the same not being contrary to or inconsistent with the general laws or regulations of the Craft, a


 

copy whereof you are to transmit to us. And we do require you to cause all such by-laws and regulations, and also an ac­count of the proceedings in your Lodge, to be entered in a book to be kept for that purpose. And you are in no wise to omit to send to us or our successors, Grand Masters, or to our Deputy Grand Master for the time being, in form or manner directed by the Book of Constitution, at least once in every year, a list of the members of your Lodge, and the names and descriptions of all Masons initiated therein, and brethren who shall have joined the same, with the fees and money payable thereon, it being our will and intention that this, our Warrant of Constitution, shall continue ,in force so long only as you shall conform to the laws and regulations of our Grand Lodge. And you, the said ROBERT MORRIS, are further required, as soon as conveniently may be, to send us an account in writing of what shall be done by virtue of these presents.

Given under our hand and the seal of the Grand Lodge at Hamilton, the 17th February, A.L. 5873, A.D. 1873.

By command of the M. W. Grand Master.

THOMAS WHITE, JR., D. G. M. THOMAS 13. HARRIS, Grand Secretary.

THE FREEMASON'S FAREWELL.
Commemorating the retirement of ROB. MORRIS, the veteran
Mason, at the close of active service as Masonic writer and lec
turer.

He brought his youth with all its fire, His manhood's passionate desire,

And zeal and truth and knowledge free, And gave them all to Masonry.

But now to age the laborer must yield

The tools the weary hand no more can wield: No more to labor on the Sacred

The GAVEL silent and the TROWEL still.

The wise, the immortal of the Craft, The polished block and golden shaft,—His life to such communion given, They wait his weary feet in Heaven.

His eye bath seen the Mystic Band Enlarge and spread in HOLY LAND; The tender plant he, loving laid, Hath bourgeoned to a mighty shade.

Farewell, farewell, if love and faith E'er prove victorious over death, We'll bind our VETERAN in the chain And meet in upper LODGE again.

 

 

 

 

         

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