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Why atheists are excluded from joining the Knights Templar or the Freemasons



FEB. 14,1866.

A Special Assembly of the GRAND ENCAMPMENT OF
AND RHODE ISLAND was held in the city of
Boston on Wednesday, February 14, 1866.
Formed in due array, and opened the Grand Encampment
in Ample Form at 7 o’clock, P.M.


M.E. Rev. Sir CHARLES HENRY TITUS . . . . Grand Master.
R.E. Sir WILLIAM WILSON BAKER Deputy Grand Master.
R.E. Sir CHARLES WHIT LOCK MOORE (P. G. M.) as Grand Generalissimo.
R.E. Sir BENJAMIN DEAN Grand Captain-General.
R.E. Rev. Sir WILLIAM SPRAGUE STUDLBY . . Grand Prelate.
R.E. Sir WILLIAM BULLOCK BLANDINO . . . Senior Grand Warden.
R.E. Sir WILLIAM STEELE SHURTLEFF . . . . Junior Grand Warden.
R.E. Sir WILLIAM PAR KM AN Grand Treasurer.
R.E. Sir SOLON THORNTON Grand Recorder.
R.E. Sir SETH PERKINS MILLER Grand Sword-Bearer.
Sir WILLIAM DAVIS STRATTON as Grand Standard-Bearer.
R.E. Sir HORACE DANIELS Grand Warder.
R.E. Sir HENRY PHELPS PERKINS Grand Capt. of Guard.
R.E. Sir WINSLOW LEWIS, M.D Past Grand Master.
R.E. Sir WILLIAM SEW ALL GARDNER . . . . Past Grand Master.
RE. Sir EBEN FLAOO GAY Grand Sentinel.



The Grand Master stated that the business to be transacted
at this Assembly was the constituting of Hugh de Payens
Encampment of Melrose, and installing its officers.
The Senior Grand Warden announced that the Knights of
the new Encampment were formed in due array in their
Asylum.The Grand Encampment proceeded in procession to the
new Asylum, where Hugh de Payens Encampment was
solemnly constituted.
The Grand Master installed Sir LORIN L. FULLER,
M.E. Grand Commander of Hugh de Payens Encampment.
The Deputy Grand Master installed the remaining officers.

The Grand Master delivered the following Address to the
new Encampment: —


I congratulate you upon this happy consummation of your
zealous and well-directed labors. You are now legally constituted
as an Encampment of Knights Templars and the Appendant
Orders, and your officers have been installed in accordance with
time-honored usage. You are now fully authorized to do and
perform all things properly appertaining to such an organization;
and it is not often that we find so vigorous a manhood, — a fullgrown
Encampment, — in the hour of its first recognition as a
legally constituted body. Like Minerva, you come forth in full
strength, and fully armed for the work and conflict of your Templar
life. Your care in selecting proper material for your membership,
the generous zeal you have manifested in perfecting your
organization, your earnest solicitude for the honor and prosperity
of the Order, as represented by you, give us ample assurance that
your present worthy position will be faithfully maintained in your
future history.

You have been fortunate in your selection of the distinctive
title by which you will be known in our Order. There is much
in a name. True, our great poet has said, —

“The rose by any other name would smell as sweet”


But who would consent to have the sweet aroma of this lovely
flower married to an ugly name ? You would hardly persuade a
loving, patriotic, Christian mother to name her infant boy Judas
Iscariot. Good deeds, which never die, have made illustrious
the names of individuals the world delights to honor. You honor
the name of our founder and first Grand Master, in the title of
your Encampment; and his worthy deeds and noble character
will reflect honor upon this young and vigorous body that so
worthily bears it.
New England has many beautiful villages, the pride and boast
of her people. Among them all, but few, if any, can be found
more desirable than your beautiful Melrose ; near enough to the
city for you to enjoy Metropolitan privileges, yet sufficiently remote
from its crowded streets, noise, and confusion, to enjoy at 
your homes a quiet residence and the social pleasures of village
life. Its very name suggests the sweetness of honey combined
with the pleasant perfume of flowers ; and it is very gratifying to
see that so many of those fair flowers of your lovely village grace
and adorn your present assemblage by their presence.
At first view it seems unfortunate that you should have suffered
the loss by fire of your very neat, well-arranged, tasteful, and
commodious hall; and it is indeed a serious loss to you and the
fraternity of your village. But even this loss may be overruled
for your ultimate advantage. You have the men, the means, and
the talent to furnish, for future accommodation, rooms that may
in some respects be even more desirable than those in the beautiful
hall you have lost. Therefore, I deem words of good cheer
and hearty congratulation fully appropriate to-night, notwithstanding
your temporary inconvenience from the loss of your masonic
rooms.It will be your care to maintain the purity, integrity, and honor
of those illustrious and magnanimous orders of Christian knighthood
; in your work, to hold fist the form of sound words, and
conserve the original integrity of our sublime ritual; you are not
to perpetuate grammatical errors, or rhetorical blunders, which
may have arisen from the ignorance or carelessness of some former
lecturer or worker of these Orders, but you arc enjoined, as a sacred
trust, to preserve the simplicity, the fulness, and the impressiveness

of our ancient ritual. I have reason to know that under the 

instructions of the eminent Mason and Templar who has led you

while under Dispensation, you have been properly directed in
this respect; and I have no reason to doubt but you will be as
faithfully conducted in your present perfected organization.

We should never lose sight of the fact that our Institution is
founded upon the Christian religion and the practice of the Christian
virtues. To be good and true is the impressive lesson we are
taught in these last, as well as in the first degree of Masonry.

While the ceremonies and lessons of our Order teach us to look
to our glorified Emanuel as the hope and refuge of men, they
also inculcate a nobility of manhood, an honorable and upright
life, securing to us that strong consolation and peace of mind the
world can neither give nor take away. For this reason we love
and cultivate these Orders. We find that their manifest tendency
is to instruct, enlighten, elevate, and ennoble our manhood. We
find the elements of true manliness, a nobility of character,
in the patience and perseverance, the courage and constancy, the
faith and humility here inculcated. The lesson of truth, the
foundation of every virtue, is here impressively taught us. It may
be stated as the universal conviction of the members of our Order,
that should we fully comply with the wise precepts here presented,
we should develop the highest style of the true man. No manhood
can be perfected that ignores the religious element; but this
is judiciously combined with the moral lessons enforced in the
instructions of Templar Masonry. What was faintly shadowed
forth in the three symbolic degrees we find here fully and satisfactorily
developed. The New Testament is now combined with
the Old, and the lessons of both conspire to perfect our manhood.

Hence the care you have felt it necessary to exercise in selecting
candidates for those religious orders. As no atheist can be
admitted to the first step in Masonry, so only, those who have
faith in Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah, and the
revealed Emanuel, can properly be admitted to the Asylum of
your Encampment.