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The writer of the following pages is seriously impressed with the idea that there is a natural relationship existing between the Church and the various charitable institutions of the day.
After looking in vain for a book dealing exclusively with this problem we concluded that the field was practically unoccupied and therefore have essayed its solution.
Four chapters are assigned to Fraternalism; one to the "relationship" between the two mighty forces that are molding our social mind in this age of gigantic enterprises; and three to a discussion of questions vitally affecting the Church, viz. :—Why the Cross? What is life's greatest lesson? What is the province of the Church?
We are indebted to so many people who have given us helpful sugestions; and have appropriated thoughts from so many sources that credit cannot be given to all. We present these borrowed thoughts, feeling that Emerson's assertion will, in a measure, exonerate us:
"Next to the originator of a good sentence, is the first quoter of it."
If this work will have a tendency in any manner to harmonize influences now antagonistic, the author will feel amply repaid for his efforts.
FRATERNALISM AND THE CHURCH.
"Man is dear to man, the poorest poor
Of some small blessings; have been kind to such
Fraternalism is a response of the race to an inborn desire for closer affiliation with each other, which finds an opportunity for expression when assembled in lodge form.
Consciously or unconsciously, men desire to mingle with their fellows in order to discover the male estimate of perfect male attributes which is later mirrored in their lives before the world.
This is in keeping with the laws of Sociology as demonstrated at all social functions, where at op portune moments the sexes segregate for little tetea-tetes and quiet chit chats.
ORIGIN OF THE LODGE.
It is a rare thing in this age of literature to find a man who cannot read and write, but at the beginning, all knowledge had to be imparted orally.
This system of transmission of knowledge is called tradition. As we contemplate the nations of that early day without a line of written lore, depending exclusively on tradition for enlightment, it is easy to conjecture how necessary it was for those whose brains were the repository of the wisdom then extant to meet and compare items of interest.
Out of these informal gatherings for the purpose of exchanging and preserving ideas, has come the Lodge system.
Its weakest feature was instability; but it was a tiny beginning-a harbinger of law and order; of education and religion; of the libraries and universities of later ages.
It has been estimated that it required hundreds of years for the early mysteries to develop from the Simple Lodge to a complete system in a perfected state.
During this period Glyph writing was invented which, while exceedingly tedious, was a splendid factor in the preservation of knowledge.