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ave associated in the intimate relations of brotherhood and social interse and friendship. For although death should hallow all men, and e upon each the diadem of immortality, yet when the grave receives acred deposit, the eyes of loving friends will rain tears and bereaved rts will ache with sorrow. it is also a subject for congratulation that we are enabled to meet toher year after year in peace and harmony, and renew those pledges of therly love and affection which should characterize the members of the cicnt Craft in all the different branches of Masonry. The general depression of business throughout the country, and at a ae, too, when our own Grand Council was passing through a period of its istence fraught with vital interest, has perhaps more seriously affected the yptic Rite than any other branch of Masonry, and no doubt to this cause in be ascribed the movement in some jurisdictions to surrender to Royal rch Chapters the work of the Councils. Another cause, and perhaps one i the most prominent also of the languishment of the Cryptic Masonry in ur jurisdiction, is that the Council Degrees are not, like those of the hapter, prerequisites to the Orders of the Temple: for the fact is very pparent that many become Royal Arch Masons only as a preparatory step o becoming Knights Templar, the semi-military character of the latter Order forming a strong attraction.
An unsuccessful effort was made at the last Triennial Conclave of the Grand Encampment of the United States to make the Council Degrees prerequisite to those of the Commandery, and had that effort succeeded, there is no doubt but that Cryptic Masonry to-day would be in a more flourish. ing condition in most, if not all, of the jurisdictions in our country, and the movement to surrender to Chapter authority have but few, if any, advocates.
The surrender of individuality commenced in Mississippi, and has extended to Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Several others took the initiatory steps towards surrendering, but, notwithstanding sufficient time has elapsed, they have not carried them into effect. With the above the movement is very likely to end, if the General Grand Chapter, at its Detroit meeting, in 1880, will be faithful to its past record, and not endorse the Mississippi movement, for in 1853 the General Grand Chapter by resolution decreed that Royal Arch Chapters had no rightful jurisdiction or control over the degrees of Royal and Select Master, and that henceforward it would entertain no question or matter growing out of the government or working of the Council Degrees.
Hence, to use the language of II. Companion Meyer, of Pennsylvania : "Grand Councils can die and cease to exist, but they cannot give authority over that which is not exclusively their own, but as common property belongs to all Grand Councils."
The argument has been used that inasmuch as Cryptic Masonry owes its origin to Capitular Masonry, the latter has the right to receive back what it constituted. But the fallacy of such reasoning is made apparent by the history of the Cryptic Rite, for well authenticated records prove
that the Council Degrees of Royal and Select Master were conferred in Charleston, so far back as 1783, under the authority of a body of the Scottish Rite, and that from this Rite all of the older Grand Councils derived their authority. The General Grand Chapter was not organized until 1798.
Following the example of Mississippi, this surrender of Council rights to the Royal Arch Chapters, places such Companions who may receive the Cryptic Degree in such bodies in a very anomalous position, for already many of the Grand Councils, among the number being Pennsylvania, New York, Louisiana, Michigan, Indiana, Alabama, Ohio, Maine and Vermont, have determined to regard all such Companions as clandestinely made.
It is gratifying to learn, from an examination of the proceedings of the different Grand Councils, that during the past two years Cryptic Masonry has not decreased in as large proportion as either Blue or Capitular Masonry, and that in such large and influential jurisdictions as Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Michigan, the Cryptic Order is in a very prosperous. condition, and the determination forcibly expressed to maintain an independent existence.
Every branch of Masonry has its seasons of depression, and Cryptic Masonry is no exception to the general rule.
It therefore behooves us, Companions, to work earnestly and zealously to maintain and perpetuate the stability of one of the most beautiful and important branches of Masonry; to preserve the Cryptic Degrees in their sublimity, completeness and purity, and by united action defeat any plan which would mar their glory and give the death blow to a Rite which has. in itself intrinsic merit enough to maintain a separate and independent existence.
Therefore, no one of us need lose courage, nor believe that labor exerted: in behalf of such an important Rite as Cryptic Masonry will be wasted. One versed in the lore of the Crast has wisely remarked, that a Masonic body should resemble a bee-hive, in which all the members work together with order for the common good. That the hope of success, and not the hope of reward, should be our stimulating and sustaining power. Our ob. ject, and not ourselves, should be our inspiring thought. Let us, then, 80 labor for the interests of Cryptic Masonry in Maryland, and success is certain to crown our efforts.
The labors of the office of Most Ill. Master, with which you honored me one year ago, have been light, and the record of my official acts is very brief. The condition of the treasury bas prevented official visitations to. distant Councils.
I have, however, officially visited Concordia Council, No. 1, and Druid Council, No. 5, and installed the officers elect of both these Councils. I also intalled the Thrice Ill. Master elect of Jerusalem Council, No. 2.
It affords me great pleasure to testify to the zeal and ability displayed by the officers and members of Concordia Council, No. 1, the largest and most prosperous in our jurisdiction. Its success affords a bright example of what may be accomplished by untiring devotion to the interests of Cryptic Masonry.
Druid Council, No. 5, having failed to hold an election of officers at the time specified in the by-laws, I granted a dispensation permitting them to hold a special Assembly for this purpose.
The Grand Recorder, Ill.:. Companion Wm. A. WENTZ, having resigned on account of a change of residence to another jurisdiction, on the 14th of March, 1879, I appointed Ill.:. Companion Geo. L. McCAHAN, Grand Recorder, ad interim, who has faithfully performed the duties connected with the office.
The loss of such an efficient officer and member of this Grand Council as Ill.:. Companion Wentz, is to be regretted, and we cordially recommend him to our Companions in Illinois as a faithful and devoted Cryptic Mason.
In view of the fact that the proceedings of the last Annual Assembly of this Grand Body were not published, and as the necessity for such action is apparent, on account of the crisis through which Cryptic Masonry is now passing, I earnestly recommend the printing, in one volume, of the proceedings of this Grand Council for 1878 and 1879.
Ill.:. Companions, in surrendering the honorable office to which your partiality elevated me, permit me to thank you for the uniform courtesy and kindness which I have received at your hands, and to request for my successor that zeal and devotion for the interests of Cryptic Masonry which alone can beautify and strengthen the structure of our cherished Rite.
F. J. S. GORGAS,
M.. IU.:. G.. Master.
On motion of Companion SARYOCK, the address was referred to the following committee: Companions Thos. J. SHRYOCK, C. C. Isaacs and Wm. F. COCHRAN.
The Grand Recorder and Grand Treasurer presented their books and accounts, which were referred to the Committee on Finance.
WILLIAM A. WENTZ, Grand Recorder,
In acc't with the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Maryland.
DEBIT, Nov. 13, To Dues from Concordia Council, No. 1....... " Tadmor
« 4.. Druid
. $51 50
5 50 7 25
$64 25 CREDIT. Nov. 13, By Cash paid Grand Treasurer..
.$64 25 Fraternally submitted,
GEORGE L. McCAHAN,
Grand Recorder, ad interim. BALTIMORE, November 12th, 1879.
Thomas J. SARYOCK, Grand Treasurer,
In Acc't with the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Maryland. 1878.
DEBIT. Nov. 13, To Balance (received from former G.:: Treasurer).. .$31 92 “ Cash received from Grand Recorder......
The Committee on Correspondence presented the following report, which was accepted:
To the M:. IU:. G:. Council of Royal and Select Masters of Maryland:
The Committee on Correspondence beg leave to report that they are in receipt of the following proceedings, &c., of Active Grand Councils : Alabama... ..1878 New Jersey...
..1879 Connecticut. ..1879 New York....
..1879 | North Carolina... .1878 and 1879 Indiana ...1879, Ohio.......
...1879 Louisiana, (Address M.:. Ill::G:. | Pennsylvania.....
.1879 Rhode Island (Circular)........1879 Maine.
.1879 South Carolina......1877 and 1878 Massachusetts.. ..1879, Tennessee...:
..1878 Michigan.... ...1879 ! Vermont.
...1879 New Hampshire... ..1879
Several other known to be active have not been heard from.
The“ Mississippi movement,” culminating so far in the surrendering of their individuality by seven Grand Councils, is the burden tbat has weighed upon the minds of the friends of Cryptic Masonry; but a feeling of relief is apparent resulting from the belief that the storm has spent itself and the
worst is over. It is further believed that the deliberations of the Convention of Grand Councils at Detroit, in August, 1880, will result in great good to the Rite, and that the G:. G.:. Chapter, meeting at the same time and place, will not stultify itself. On this subject Companion Drummond of Maine, says:
"It may now be safely assumed that the General Grand Chapter will not endorse the · Mississippi Plan.' In the face of the protest of the Grand Councils of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Louisiana, Florida and others whose proceedings have not been received, the General Grand Chapter cannot give endorsement, assent or countenance to the conferring of the degrees in a clandestine manner. But especially it will never consent to adopt two systems, one for a part of the States and another for the other States; such a course would be suicide.
The effect of the action of the Grand Council of Mississippi, and of those which have followed her example, is to introduce diverse systems of Cryptic Masonry , with the danger of two systems of Capitular Masonry. If die they must, they should bave died decently, and not undertaken to force others to die in their company. The murder of one's self is bad enough, but when the murder of others is attempted at the same time it is infinitely worse.
The Convention of the Representatives of Cryptic Masonry will meet at Detroit in 1880, at the time of the session of the General Grand Chapter, and we have no doubt that such measures will be taken as will place the Rite on a firmer foundation than ever before.
The most annoying feature is, that these Grand Councils have succumbed just as the tide was turning: it had really reached its lowest ebb, and had begun to flow. It is sad to see a watcliman desert his post: but it seems to add to the sadness to see him do so after watching so far through the night, that the coming light is already in the eastern sky.”
Your committee regret that financial considerations prevent a general review of the proceedings with which they have been favored. To the “ Correspondence fellows, however, they would say, that it is always a pleasure to receive their reports, and that their perusal has, and always will be a pleasure, and the same has done " a mighty deal of good,” in keeping us in the knowledge that there are good and stalwart friends that we can lean against, and when the pæan of victory arises, we shall shout as loud as any one.
As to those Grand Councils who have returned to “the bosom,” we think it is the better for them, and trust that snuggling awhile will restore in them sufficient vitality to again “ go it alone.”
GEORGE L. McCAHAN,
The committee to whom was referred the address of the M.:. Ill.:. Grand Master presented the following report, which was accepted, and the resolutions adopted :