Rosicrucian Writings Online

In Memoriam

[From The Rosicrucian Digest July 1944]
THE test of a man's purpose, as well as his character, is to confront him with tremendous obstacles. Superficiality, selfishness and insincerity will not survive persecution, heartaches and great personal sacrifice. Most of the years of Dr. H. Spencer Lewis' life as First Imperator of A.M.O.R.C. in America constituted a great crucible in which the mettle of the man was tested. He was, first, obliged to forfeit his personal profession so that all his time could be devoted to the re-establishment of the Rosicrucian Order in America. Next, he gave all his own financial resources. Finally, he was subjected to the vilest sort of attacks upon his character by those who sought to impugn him so as to thwart the work he was accomplishing. This ordeal lasted to the very time of his transition.
In his later years, however, Dr. Lewis had the great joy of realizing the loyalty of thousands of men and women Rosicrucian members, who rallied to the cause of A.M.O.R.C. Further, by then his work was so well done that about him began to rise the organization that is a monument to his endeavors.
His love of the Rosicrucian Order and its ideals was the dynamic impulse which gave him the strength of mind by which he was able to achieve so much. This love was not cultivated by his association with the Order, but was a consuming flame within him before he occupied any office in A.M.O.R.C. As indicative of this, we quote, for the first time, from a personal letter written by him in Toulouse, France, to his wife, in 1909. It was upon the occasion of his journey to Toulouse, France, the Supreme See of the Order in that country, to receive his higher initiation into Rosicrucianism. It was there that the Venerables of A.M.O.R.C. became aware of his inner preparation and began the outer preparation for his mission in life. The contents of the letter substantiate numerous articles which Dr. Lewis wrote later on the history of the Order in America. It proves his early search for the higher teachings and his journey to Europe to contact the descendants of the Ancient Order. The letter constitutes a more human, personal aspect of the history of the Order in contrast to the formal documents of authority reposing in the vaults of A.M.O.R.C.
The letter, from which we quote the following paragraphs, was written in Dr. Lewis's own handwriting, as is the envelope, and is postmarked Toulouse, August 13, 1909.
"Have arrived safely in Toulouse--way down south in France--and so far all my hopes on this trip have been realized, but not without many tests and trials. At every turn I meet those who scan me closely, question me closely or ask me to do foolish things to see if I will obey orders.
"You remember my first experience about the R. & C. about a year ago. You recall my describing so many times since then the strange, dark-complexioned man who was to meet me. You always laughed and said it was a vagary of my mind. Well, I met him in life on the boat and he gave me a paper which has helped me to meet the people--the officials I wanted to meet. And he has followed me part way to Toulouse and his train was wrecked. I don't know if he was hurt or not. So he came into my life and out again."
"Beautiful place here. I am making photos of the old building where I went through the strangest ceremonies I ever saw."
"At last I am in the R. & C., thank God--but the oaths and vows are severe. How many in America will I find to keep them with me."
"P. S. I will never forget yesterday--Thursday, August 12, 1909. Hope we will live to see its great results in America."
Dr. Lewis's transition occurred August 2, 1939. In accordance with our annual custom, all offices, departments and buildings in Rosicrucian Park will be closed on this coming Wednesday, August 2. We ask all Rosicrucian members, wherever they may be, at a time corresponding to 4:15 p. m., Pacific War Time (3:15 p. m., Standard Time), to enter into a minute of meditation and silent tribute to Dr. Lewis's memory. Officers of the Supreme and Grand Lodges will be gathered in the Amenhotep Shrine at Rosicrucian Park, where the ashes of his earthly remains are interred, at that specific hour for like purpose.

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