En:Robert Morris (1818-1888)

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Morris, Robert

Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

Born August 31, 1818. Was first brought to Masonic light March 5, 1846, in Oxford Lodge, at a place of the same name in Mississippi. The life of Brother Morris was so active and untiring for the benefit of the Institution of Freemasonry, that he had the opportunity of filling very many positions in all the departments of Freemasonry, and was Grand Master of Freemasons of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky in 1858-9. His service to the Order of the Eastern Star was devoted and valuable. He was also an organizer of the Conservators, Brethren who aroused much interest and some resentment over proposed changes and standardization of Masonic ceremonies. His writings cover Masonic jurisprudence, rituals and handbooks, Masonic belles-lettres, history and biography, travels and contributions to the Review, Freystone, Advocate, New York Dispatch, and other papers and periodicals. His Masonic songs and poetic effusions stand out prominently. He was the author of Te Meet upon the Level, which is sufficient to render his name immortal. A complete biography of Brother Rob Morris would fill volumes. He died in 1888.

Supplement by Harry LeRoy Haywood

To the article on Rob Morris at page 682 may be added the fact that he published in 1867 a Dictionary of Freemasonry; John C. Bailey; Chicago; 518 pages; five by seven inches. It is a scrap book, much of it is adapted from Mackey's Lencon; a certain amount of it consists of trifles collected from hearsay; but the bibliographies of Monitors, Encyclopedias, and other Masonic books is a necessity for researchers, because it represents a cross section of Masonic thought and literature as it was in the Civil War period. In his bibliographical comments Morris made a curious but revealing statement when he said that the Middle West "is full of Oliver." A second edition of the Dictionary was corrected, revised and issued by the publisher in 1876. The first edition is the more useful. and is now so hard to find that it may be classified as a rare book.

Morris accumulated a Masonic library of his own, an unusually large and creditable collection for his time, of about 1200 titles. For years it vanished from view, and admirers of Morris, of whom he had many, searched everywhere for it. It transpires that he sent it, or had it sent, to New York, and it is now a special collection in the Grand Lodge Library, at Masonic Hall, New York City, which is in the custody of the Grand Lodge of New York.

The Level and the Square (Version 1)

We meet upon the level and we part upon the square
These words have precious meaning and are practiced everywhere
Come let us contemplate them, they are worthy of a thought
From the ancient times of Masonry these symbols have been taught
We meet upon the level, every country, sect and creed
The rich man from his mansion, the poor man from the field
For wealth is not considered within our outer door
And we all meet on the level upon the checkered floor.

We act upon the Plumb the Junior Warden states
We walk upright throughout our lives, we seek the pearly gates
The All-seeing Eye that reads our hearts doth bear us witness true
That we shall try to honor God and give each man his due
We part upon the square as all good Masons do
We mingle with the multitude a faithful band and true
So the brotherhood of Masonry from every corner come
To meet upon the level and act upon the plumb.

There's a world where all are equal we're coming to it fast
We shall meet upon the level there when the days on earth are past
We shall stand before the altar and our Master will be there
To try the blocks we offer with his own unerring square
We shall meet upon the level there but never thence depart
There's a Mansion---‘tis all ready for each trusting, faithful heart
There's a Mansion and a welcome and a multitude is there
Who have met upon the level and been tried upon the square.

Let us meet upon the level then while these earthly ties we share
And just hope we're there to answer when the roll is called up there
As we travel through our lifespan time aids us prepare
To gather up our working tools and part upon the square
So remember all our teachings, that bright fraternal chain
We part upon the square below to meet in heaven again
These words have precious meaning and are practiced everywhere
We meet upon the level and we part upon the square.

The Level, Plumb and Square (Version 2)

Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

We meet upon the Level, and we part upon the Square:
What words sublimely beautiful those words Masonic are!
They fall like strains of melody upon the listening ears,
As they've sounded hallelujahs to the world, three thousand years.
We meet upon the Level, though from every station brought,
The Monarch from his palace and the Laborer from his cot
For the King must drop his dignity when knocking at our door
And the Laborer is his equal as he walks the cheekered floor.

We act upon the Plumb,—'tis our Master's great command
We stand upright in virtue's way and lean to neither hand
The All-Seeing Eye that reads the heart will bear us witness true,
That we do always honor God and give each man his due.
We part upon the Square,—for the world must have its due,
We mingle in the ranks of men, but keep the Secret true,
And the influence of our gatherings in memory is green,
And we long, upon the Level, to renew the happy scene.

There's a world where all are equal,—we are hurrying toward it fast
We shall meet upon the Level there when the gates of death are past
We shall stand before the Orient and our Master will be there,
Our works to try, our lives to prove by His unerring Square.
We shall meet upon the Level there, but never thence depart.
There's a mansion bright and glorious, set for the pure in heart
Sand an everlasting welcome from the Zost rejoicing there,
Who in this world of sloth and sin, did part upon the Square.

Let us meet upon the Level, then, while laboring patient here
Let us meet and let us labor, tho' the labor be severe;
already in the Western Sky the signs bid us prepare,
To gather up our Working Tools and part upon the Square.
Hands round, ye royal Craftsmen in the bright, fraternal chain !
We part upon the Square below to meet in Heaven again;
Each tie that has been broken here shall be cemented there,
And none be lost around the Throne who parted on the Square.

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