Charles W. (Charles Whitlock) Moore.

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of Ancient CraA Masonry ?

Ask the Grand Lodge of England where she obtained power to invade the
body of Masonry, and repeal a law of binding and irrepealable obligation, and
substitute «• Freeman" for u Free born™

Ask the Grand Lodge of Virginia where she obtained the power to add
to ** Atheists,'' u UniveraalisU? as to be excluded from the Order.

It requires not the spirit of prophecy to foretell, that, when a few more
changes, nay, positive innovations, shall have been made and engrafted on the
Masonic body, chacexia and death will soon follow, and long, loud tollings of

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her burial will sadden the hearts in all lands, where her silent ministrations of
mercy and love have hitherto produced songs of rejoicing, and the incense of
grateful prayer for deeds of charity and pure benevolence.

Excuse me, dear Brother, for so long trespassing on your patience ; but
"out of the abundance of the heart the mouth epeaketh."
Yours in fraternal bonds,

Mansfield, La., Dec 29, 1847.

Gomp. Moore, — Dear Sir, — * • Since I became a Mason, which is a little
more than two years ago, 1 have been a constant reader of your valuable Mag*
azine. I have not only read but studied it, and with the greatest pleasure,
profit and delight 1 feel a confidence which could not have been inspired
otherwise, that I know something of what is going on in the sublime mysie*
ries throughout the Masonic world. It has furnished a fund of useful infor-
mation respecting the origin, government, and antiquity of our noble Order;
for noble, imleed, she is; and the more she is studied, the more is the initiated
led to admire her. I am a Freemason, and glory in the name. I have com-
pleted the circle of Ancient Craft Masonry; or, in other words, have been hon-
ored with all the degrees from E. A. to S. M. inclusive ; and 1 am not satisfied ;
far from it ; I long to walk in the halls of the Knight Templars. The efful-
gence which first bursts upon the Sons of Light, and which u none but Crafts-
men ever saw," has grown brighter and brighter, and forced upon me the con-
viction that there is, still ahead, a diamond sparkling with undiminished lustre.

The Order is flourishing in this State, though in an unpleasant and disa-
greeable fix. Such things ought not so to be. The situation of the cause
here, furbishes an unanswerable argument in favor of the organization of a
General Grand Lodge. There is at this place a Lodge of A. Y. Maxon*, work-
ing under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, doing well, and
its members are active and zealous. There are also five or six who have
taken the Chapter degrees, and two the Council.

Mny the blessing of heaven rest upon you in all your efforts to promote that
cause which has met so abundantly with the smiles and approbation of the
Great I Am. Yours, truly and fraternally, A. S. F.

Jackson, Miss., Feb. 12, 1848.

Chas. W. Moore, Esq. —Dear Sir and Bro.— The Grand R. A. Chapter of
this State held its second annual communication in this city on the 2d Monday
of January, and continued in session three days. A full delegation was in at-
tendance, and much important business was transacted. A* soon as the
proceedings are published, I will forward you a copy. Hon. Walker Brooke
was elected M. E. G. H. Priest ; E. Charles Scott, D. G. H. P. ; E. Wm. P.
Mellen, G. K. ; Wm. H. Stevens, G. Scribe ; Thos. J. Harper, G. Trees. ; Da-
vid N. Burrows, G. Trees.; Rev. J. T. Russell, G. Chap.; Thos. J. Hawkins,
G. Lee. ; J. M. Howry, G. Orator ; J. T. Simms, G. M. ; Benj. Springer, G.
P. S.; D. L. Broom, G. R. A. C; Geo. C. Porter, G. C. 3d V.; A. V. Rowe,
G. C. 3d V.; C. A. Lacoste, G. C. 1st V. ; J. J. Birdsong, G. C. H. ; Geo. W.
Johnson, G. Sent.

I was myself acting as proxy for the High Priest of Viekshurg Chapter, ex-
ercising all (he rights of a member. I was elected to the office of G. Secre-
tary, when the point was raised that I could not be elected to an office in ihe

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O. Chapter, being only a member by proxy. A majority of the G. Council
decided that I was a member of the G. Chapter, aod as such that my election
was viilid. No appeal was taken to the Chapter from this decision, but I
would tike very much to have your opinion on the subject. Several of the
members of our G. Chapter have also desired me to write you on the subject,
knowing your willingness to give information when asked for. I presume you
have a copy of our last year's proceedings, which contains our Constitution, to
which you can refer. I hope this will not be considered an intrusion upon
your time.

Masonry is at present v »ry flourishing in this State.

Yours, fraternally, David N. Buaaows.

[A proxy is as much a member for the time being as would be the princi-
pal, if present, and is so recognized by the Constitution of the Gen. Grand
Chapter. The provision referred to in the Constitution of the Grand Chapter
of Mississippi, is an unusual one, and will, we apprehend, be found to be em-
barrassing in its operations.]



Thb annual communication of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, was held
at Raleigh, in Dec. last. We give below such extracts from the excellent open-
ing address of the Grand Master as we can find room for this month, and hope to
be able to refer to the proceedings in our next :

a While addressing you, in t'ie performance of a duty made imperative by a
rule, I do not purpose to weary you with prosing recitals without interest, or to
excite you by any fanciful flights or melodious approaches ; but shall simply pro-
ceed, with becoming brevity, to make you acquainted with my official acts since
your adjournment, and with the state of Masonry within our own borders sua
throughout its extended jurisdiction — presenting, also, such other subjects as may
properly claim your consideration.

Dispensations have been granted sinco our last communication for new Lodges
at Holly Spring, Wake Co. ; at Lumberton, Robeson Co.; at Roxboro', Person
Co.; and at Oxford, Granville Co. ; all which I hope will make due returns, and
merit the approval of the Grand Lodge, as well for their zeal in the prosecution
of their labors, as for their strict adherence to Masonic requirements.

###♦#* ••*

Whatever may be the result of the measures recommended by your body for
the adoption of the Subordinate Lodges, in reference to the School question, and
with which you will be made acquainted on report of the Trustees, I exhort the
Grand Lodge not to relax in her efforts, however formidable obstacles may arise,
until complete success shall have crowned the glorious undertaking in which she
has so gallantly embarked. The will, and not the ability, is all that is lacking to
insure for the plan almost instant execution. It is well known that no system of
education sufficiently extensive prevails within our State to meet the wants of
the great mass of the youth now reared in ignorance, much less to benefit that
class of indigent orphans who, in a peculiar manner, have claims upon the sympa-
thies of Masons ; and thus are Masons loudly called upon to supply the defect.
Look at the proud example of several of our sister Grand Lodges, in we nobis

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exertions they have successfully made to establish collegiate institutions, even, in
some instances, on a magnificent scale. Be encouraged, then : the same deter-
mination, with the same exertion, will rarely fail to produce the same result As
the last appeal which I may be permitted to make in this connection, let me beg
of the Grand Lodge, however discouraging may appear the prospects, not to give
up the struggle, nor waver in her purpose, but steadily and firmly to adhere to the
excellent system already matured in furtherance of this important m<;asuie. It
is my desire that our Grand Lodge should gain a reputation, not alone for the
skill with which she plants or waters, but for the abundance of the fruit, as well
as the quality, which she produces.

• ••••••••

I have been highly gratified by a perusal of the proceedings of the Grand Lodge
of Ohio. Most of the returns and reports are strictly in accordance with my own
views of Masonic propriety. But I cannot assent to the principle adopted, of sus-
pending or expelling for non-payment of dues, and of appealing from the deci-
sion of the Master. The Master is responsible to the G. Lodge for the faithful
performance of bis duties, and can only before that body be arraigned for any
misdemeanor. During the recess, the* G. Master would be empowered to con-
sider complaints. The proposed amendment to the By-laws, coercing Masons,
not members of Lodges, to the payment of dues, is, to say the least, injudicious.

• #*••«•• •

The Grand Lodge of Georgia has taken the subject of establishing schools into
favorable consideration. It is truly gratifying to perceive so many of the Grand
Lodges making efforts to extend the blessings of education. That benevolence
which feeds the hungry, clothes the naked and comforts the distressed, is surely
blessed of Him whose benevolence knows no bounds ; but the noblest of all
charities is that which giveth nourishment to the mind, embellishes the intellect,
instils in the bosom virtuous principles, and rescues from perdition the sinking


• ••••••• •

The proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Missouri for 1846, show the transac-
tion of considerable business, mostly of a local nature. The committee on for-
eign communications very creditably performed their duty. An important reso-
lution was adopted, correct in spirit, condemning that portion of the Constitution
of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana which relates to its organization under three
riles, numbering some iliirly decrees ; and to the 4th article, which admits the
sons of Masons, when presented by their father or tutor, at the age of eighteen.

• ••••••• *

In regard to the manner of balloting, I am aware that a variety of practice
obtains among our Grand Lodges ; but I would have it distinctly understood that
I object in toto to balloting for the degrees separately, or for balloting at all for
the degrees until the committee report — not bv halves, for I do not understand
bow a report can be so received — but a report m full and decisive. I have two
often seen the evil of Aa(/'-making measures, for such practice ever to receive my
approbation. Let the whole three degrees be paid for at once, and but one bal-
lot for the same take place, and my word for it, our Institution will not be so liable
to injury by the example of Entered Apprentices refusing to advance farther.

• •••••••*

The Grand Lodge of Arkansas has adopted a resolution, requiring a tax fee of
one dollar to be collected from all Masons not members of Lodges, under penalty
of suspension or expulsion for failure to pay. Also another resolution, requiring
all Masons resident within twenty miles of any Lodge, to attach themselves
thereto, or forfeit all claim to the rights and benefits of Masonry. I have, on for-
mer occasions, expressed my doubts of the propriety or policy of such enactments.
It is true, every genuine Mason will, or should, attach himself to a Lodge, or at
least contribute to sustain the usefulness of the Institution ; but he should not be
coerced thereto. Compel a Mason to become a member of a Lodge, and of ne-

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cessity the Lodge must be compelled to receive him, however obnoxious, thereby
destroying the safeguard of a ballot, and jeopardizing the harmony of the Lodge.
Such a state of things cannot be tolerated. I understand the same question has
been mooted in Virginia, causing no little sensation. But the principle is as
clear as noonday : if you have a right to compel a Lodge to admit to membership
an applicant, the same right exists for compelling a Mason to join, and so vice
versa. It is well known that in the vicinity of every Lodge reside Masons, like
other men, unfortunately so constituted and of such indiscreet habits, without
actually being guilty of any criminality, as that even their most intimate friends
would debar them from participating in any important deliberations or enterprise,
which might possibly be prejudiced by their proverbial imprudence* Such indi-
viduals most assuredly have claims upon the Fraternity, and enjoy certain privi-
leges ; but this admission by no means implies an indiscriminate yielding to their
demands, regardless of their merit, or beyond the dictates of reason.

Expulsion by a subordinate Lodge amounts only to suspension until the meet-
ing of the Grand Lodge, when the action is either to be confirmed, to be set
aside, or referred back. No one, I apprehend, will contend that a subordinate
Lodge has the power to expel, right or wrong, or that a Grand Lodge is bound to
. confirm, whether the proceedings in the case, when sent up, prove to have been
irregular or not, or whether even the offence was sufficiently aggravated to have
warranted such severity. An aggrieved Brother may not always wish to appeal,
feeling satisfied that upon investigating the evidence, justice would be done him
without his interposition. If the committee are R. A. Masons, they know that an
expelled or disgraced Master Mason cannot receive the higher degrees. Why
then, should such a character, with any more propriety, be allowed to sit in a
Chapter ? It is quite different with a Biue Lodge; because it recognises no other
institutions, knows nothing of their proceedings, and consequently cannot, in any
reason, be governed by their acts.

• • • • • • # • •

The proceedings of the G. Lodge of the District of Columbia are of considera-
ble interest Complaint was made to the Grand Lodge by an aggrieved Brother,
that a subordinate Lodge, of which he was formerly a member, and from which he
received a diploma at the time of his withdrawal, had, on application for re-admis-
sion, refused to consider his petition ; upon which he sent it back, avowing his
ignorance of any cause of objection, and signifying his readiness to meet any
charges that might be preferred against him. The whole matter was then re-
ferred to a committee, who reported in his favor ; but the Lodge, on taking a
vote, again refused him admittance by a decided majority, assigning no reason
therefor. The committee on grievances, to whom the Grand Lodge referred this
case, could discover no charges against him, nor any censure passed upon him ;
in view of which, they did not regard the refusal of the Lodge to re-admit him to
membership, as inhibiting to him any of the rights and privileges to which he was
before entitled as a Mason. The By-laws of the Lodge prescribe the manner of
receiving members, with which, the committee observe, it would be exceedingly
impolitic, even if clearly competent, in the Grand Lodge, to interfere, unless in a
case of great aggravation and of manifest abuse of power. I have been thus par-
ticular in stating this case, involving a principle liable to misapprehension, for the
purpose of expressing my entire concurrence iu the views of the committee. Had
expulsion taken place, the Grand Lodge could have restored ; but with member-
ship it cannot interfere, excepting for causes above set forth.

. ♦ • • * • • • t •

I am happy to perceive that the practice is adopted, at least in some of the
Lodges, of examining candidates for degrees in open Lodge,- before advancing
them, and then only on a vote. This course is required of ail Lodges.

We have marked further extracts for a future number.

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The annual communication of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Vermont, was held
at Burlington, on the 12th day of January last Eleven Lodges were represented.
The Grand Master, Philip C. Tucker, Esq., opened the session with an able and
interesting address, from which we give the following extracts, being all we can
find room for this month :

u In accordance with our constitutional requirements, we have at this time as-
sembled to hold our annual communication, and to consult and act upon such
measures as may be found necessary for the interest and welfare of that branch
of the Masonic institution which the Craft has entrusted to our care.

Agreeably to a custom which seems to have the sanction of Masonic usage, it
becomes the duty of him who occupies the station in the East, by your favor, to
submit to you such observations as are appropriate to the occasion.

Soon after our last annual communication, the proceedings of this Grand Lodge,
at its communications of the second Wednesdays of January, A. L. 5846 and
5647, were published under the supervision of the proper committee and distribu-
ted to all the Grand lodges of the United States, and to pther G. Lodges without
the U. States. Liberal extracts from those proceedings were, by the voluntary
kindness of Bra C. W. Moore, Editor of the Frtema$onf Montidy Magazine, of
Boston, republished in that valuable publication, and thus our action has been
very extensively placed before the Masonic world.

Sixteen State Grand Lodges and the G. Lodge of the Territory of Wisconsin,
have forwarded their respective publications to this G. Lodge. These publica-
tions will be seasonably placed in the hands of the committee on foreign corres-
pondence, who will doubtless bring before this Grand Lodge such subjects as they
contain which may be of interest to themselves particularly, or to the general in-
terests of the Institution at large.

I am advised of the success of the Institution in different parts of the State
during the past year. Considerable work has been done in several of the Lodges,
the reports from which will be laid before you. Missisquoi Lodge, at Berkshire,
publicly celebrated the festival of St. John the Baptist, in June last, and was
joined in the celebration by a Lodge from Canada. As the first public celebra-
tion of the kind which has taken place in the State for many years, and passing
off happily without disturbance or insult from any quarter, it doubtless may be
considered as evidence of a great change in public feeling towards us. A few
years ago, such an occurrence could hardly have passed without great disturbance
of the public mind, and its natural and unavoidable results.

In the subordinate Lodges falling immediately Under my own observation, there
prevails the greatest harmony and good feeling, mingled with a well regulated
zeal and a wise and cautious prudence in all the affairs of the Order. The severe
lesson written upon the experience of the past has impressed itself deeply upon
the mind and heart of all intelligent Masons, and it will not soon lose its value.
The men who are admitted to the Order now, are not counterparts of that class
who deserted us in the days of our adversity. It is matter of deep interest also
to observe that several of those not Masons who were carried away by the tem-
pest got up against us, have become so well satisfied of its wickedness and injus-
tice, since the storm has ceased, as to repent of their participation in the past, and
manfully test their sincerity by applying for the privileges of Brotherhood.

I had the pleasure of being called upon, on the 17th of Dec. last, to be present
at the resumption of its charter by Union Lodge, No. 5, at Middlebury. That
Lodge has recommenced its labors under the authority of the votes of the Grand
Lodge authorizing it so to do, and is in the hands of Brethren of long tried faith-
fulness and fidelity.

There is a class of Masons in this State, who, although they never deserted us,
have studiously withheld their personal attendance from the meetings of our


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Lodges since the re-commencement of our Masonic labors. These men are gen-
erally timid men, or popularity -seeking men. They are ready enough in avowing
themselves Masons and asserting their rights to all Masonic privileges ; but we
never see them in the Lodge-room— they pay no dnes— and for all practical pur-
poses they are mere drones in the Masonic hive. There is power enouph doubt-
less in our existing regulations to deal with, suspend or expel them, but it is
highly desirable that some uniform course should be adopted by all the Lodges
in relation to them and that all the Lodges should adopt the same action. 1 he
manifest injustice of throwing all the active duties and contributions of Masonry
upon a few, and of having the drones, who neither labor nor contribute to our
funds, entitled to the same privileges and to the same relief from the Lodge
treasury, is perfectly obvious. It is quite time that this class of Masons should
know that Masonry demands works as well as fcrith y and that as the one is wholly
valueless to the Order unless associated with the other, it is not alone sufficient
to sustain membership among us. It is hoped that the Grand Lodge will think
it advisable to give this subject due consideration and pass a directory resolu-
tion respecting it, for the government of the Subordinate Lodges.

• ••••••

1 call the attention of the Grand Lodge particularly to tbe importance of ap-
pointing a Grand Lecturer, whose duty it shall be to visit all the working Lodges
and establish a uniformity of work. Our long suspension could not but produce
its natural effects. It could not be reasonably supported that workmen would be
very expert in the use of tools which had remained unused for ten years, among
the dust and rubbish of our desecrated temple. A few workmen only retained
their use perfectly, but those few are ample for instruction ; and the brightest
and best of them should be sent to visit all the apartments of our temple, and see
that the workmen work, after the true designs of the ancient York Masonic tres-
tle-board. A Grand Lecturer also might be very usefully employed noon his
travels in collecting together the missing Charters and records of the Lodges
which have ceased from their labors.

I cannot permit the occasion to pass without a respectful allusion to my wor-
thy predecessor in the chair, who for sixteen years presided over our interests
and our destiny. So little time was left of our session, when I last year suc-
ceeded him in this place, and that little was so fully occupied by business, that
no opportunity was offered me to express what was proper to the occasion. Duty
no less than inclination required me to add to the highly deserved vote of the
Grand Lodge at that time, my own personal sense of the obligations which Ver-
mont Masonry owed to our retiring 1 and esteemed Grand Master. During the
sixteen years in which he had presided over us, I had enjoyed the honor of stand-
ing by his side, and when the Vandalism of our enemies assailed us, during the
violent sirocco which followed the disturbances in a sister State, none knew
better than myself the unshaken firmness, the wise prudence, the steady perse-
verance, with which he devoted himself to the preservation of the rights and in-
terests of the Order. When our temple was soiled and our altar shaken, his
voice was always heard above the storm, encouraging on our small but faithful
band, to patience, firmness, and perseverance. With cheering words he pointed
to the future, assuring us, with perfect faith, that we should succeed in purifying
tbe one, and re-establishing the other. He remained as our guiding-star till his
pedictions were accomplished and then consigned his working tools to a feebler
hand — not, however, to cease his Masonic labors, but to extend them by restoring
to the State the organization of the Order in other than the symbolic degrees and
enable our worthy Brethren to advance beyond the Masonry of the first temple.
It is to him, my Brethren, that you are chiefly indebted for the present prospe-
rous condition of yoor purified temple ; — to him, under the Supreme Architect,
you owe your re-established Altar. Honored be his name among us ; — long,
very long, may it remain among the most honored in our annals, and while Green
Mountain Masonry can point to a Masonic altar may it never forget the hand
which guarded it in adversity, and re-established it in honor.

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In feebly doing justice to the living on this occasion, I would not forget the
worthy dead. Since our communication of last year, one of our respected and

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Online LibraryCharles W. (Charles Whitlock) MooreThe Freemason's monthly magazine → online text (page 13 of 15)