Thomas Milton Stewart (1866-1945) was a physician from Ohio, as well as a prolific, although rather unknown, writer of Freemasonry, Theosophy, and philosophy. This particular piece was originally an oration given by Brother Stewart, on the occasion of December 29, 1909, at the Pike Centennial Anniversary, in Wheeling, West Virginia. He speaks about the concept of True Initiates or Masters of Wisdom.
Brother Stewart sets out to prove that ancient civilization has an important role to play in the overall mythology and history of Freemasonry. While other writers on this topic have focused on religious and initiatory similarities, Stewart turns his attention to archeological marvels in order to prove that there must have been an accompanying philosophical and intellectual aspect to these great civilizations. As such, he also touches on Pythagoras and discusses the Neoplatonists at length.