On the Level
***To Improve Myself In Masonry***
Quotes From Albert G. Mackey (for those who don’t know who he is, let me know and I will do an article on him)
The Freemason is
too apt to think that the obligation not only makes him a Mason, but a learned Mason at the same time. He too often imagines that the mystical ceremonies which induct him into the Order are all that are necessary to make him cognizant of its principles.
So there are some Masons who think that the mere act of initiation is followed by an influx of all Masonic knowledge.
When a candidate enters the fold of Masonry he should feel that there is something in it better than its mere grips and signs, and he should endeavor with all his ability to attain some knowledge of that better thing.
(originally published in the Voice of Freemasonry, June 1875, “Reading Masons and Masons Who Read”, The Plumbline, Winter 20089-2009, Scottish Rite Research Society)
Washingtons’s Final Days
The last three days of George Washington’s life have fortunately been preserved through an eyewitness report kept by his secretary, Tobias Lear. Lear’s report gives a detailed account of Washington’s activities and his physical condition right up until the moment he died, including the medical procedures administered to Washington by his attending physicians.
According to Lear, on Thursday, December 12, 11799, Washington rides out on horseback to inspect his farms at Mount Vernon in the rain, sleet and snow. He appears well that evening, however, the next day, he complains of a sore throat and cold, and he sounds hoarse. Early the next morning, he awakens feeling very unwell. He sends for Dr. James Craik, his close friend and long-time family physician. At 3 PM, Dr Craik”s colleague, Dr. Elisha Cullen Dick, arrives. By then, Washington has been bled three time. At 3:30, Dr. Gustavus R. Brown arrives, and all three go into consultation. Dr. Dick suggests a tracheotomy—The other two are not in favor of this; they want to bleed Washington again, but Dr. Dick objects. However, around 5 PM, Washington is bled a fourth time. At 5:30, he begins to improve, but his condition soon deteriorates. At 10:30 PM, December 14, 1799, Washington whispers his last words, “Tis well”.
The rationale for bleeding over a period of 10 hours was to dehydrate and reduce swelling in his throat. This appears to have worked since he did get better for a short time. These were experienced, well-educated physicians cared deeply for Washington. They were diligent, ethical and in constant attendance at his bedside. They were brother Masons and knew each other. They consulted each other. It would not be right for us to look at them in hindsight, through the binoculars of 200 years of medical progress, and to be critical of their healthcare methods. In all probability, Washington suffered from strep throat with epiglottitis and died in septic shock rather than by therapeutic bleeding.
(This piece is furnished by the Southern California Lodge of Research and was submitted by Dr. E.D.Carrell, a surgeon in Anderson, Indiana, to the Messenger, a publication of the George Washington Masonic Memorial, 2009)
Isn’t it strange, that princes and kings
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
And common folks like you and me
are builders for eternity?
To each is given a bag of tools,
a shapeless mass and a book of rules.
And each must make, ere life be flown,
a stumbling block or a stepping stone.
Don Webster, secretary