The Masonic Trowel

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THE ANTE-ROOM - Testimony

by Bro. Arthur Nash
The Master Mason - January 1926

TO MOST people the great illuminating experiences of their lives come in some way through the church, but the new vision of life, the illumination of my soul, came to me, not at the altar of the church, but while I was going through the Degrees of Masonry; especially the higher Degrees of York and Scottish Rite Masonry. It was while the great lessons of Masonry were being taught me that the real vision of the universal Fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man illumined my soul. 

Much has been said about my establishing brotherhood and co-operation in the industrial relations with the workers in our factory. All of this has simply been an honest effort to translate the great spiritual teachings of Masonry into the actions of my life as I contacted with my fellow-workers in our factory, but before you can fully understand why Masonry is a little dearer, a little sweeter, to me than anything else, I will have to tell you something more that it has done for me. 

It was during the World War period that I took the higher degrees of Masonry, and, as many of you know, my oldest son went over into Canada and enlisted and went across with the Canadians in 1915. He fell wounded at Vimy, Ridge on April 9, 1917, at the very moment that our own country was entering that great conflict. They were not so prepared then to take care of their wounded as they were after we got well into the struggle. All trace of him was lost for many weeks after we received the first cablegram that he was wounded in action. After we located him in a hospital in England, when he was hanging between life and death, they seemed to be doing all that was in their power for him, and yet he was not getting the attention that he needed, and we were unable to get any action when we tried to get him returned to this country. 

IT WAS then that I went to Brother Clore, who was then the Grand Master of the State of Ohio, and who had signed my petition for the higher degrees of Masonry, and laid the whole case before him. Together we framed up a letter in which we made the appeal for help for the "Widow's Son" and forwarded it to my boy in the hospital in England, requesting that he find some Mason and show him the letter. 

After writing this letter, and before mailing it, I came in contact with William B. Melish, who is Past "Everything" in Masonry, and who had only recently returned from a trip to England and knew personally many of the Masons of England. He read the letter and told me he would take immediate action. I do not know what was done. I cannot tell you, but I do know that about the time I thought the letter would reach my son in England, I received word that he was on his way home and, that all his wants were being abundantly taken care of. I think every one of you can begin to see now something of why Masonry means so much to me. 

Since that time I have tried to go into the depths of the mysteries of the great spiritual teachings of Masonry. I have just finished reading Bro. Joseph Fort Newton's great book, The Men's House. I like to go back to the very roots of our noble Order and talk about the Men's House of ancient times and of the Guilds of the Middle Ages; the history of Operating Masonry and the birth of Free and Accepted Masonry. 

But, as illustrious and glorious as the history of Masonry is, it is not the great or important thing of our time. The one great need of the world today is that the spirit of fraternalism, brotherhood, and love that is in Masonry shall be made universal. To this cause I have consecrated and devoted my life. 

THERE are no words that can tell you how much I appreciate this privilege of giving to the best of my ability a tribute and a personal testimony to the beauty, the grandeur, the height and depth, the length and breadth of Masonry. May God give us wisdom, strength, humility, and courage to carry its blessings to the benighted world of our day.

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Last modified: March 22, 2014