JURISPRUDENCE AND DIGEST
CONSTITUTION OF A NEW LODGE
A lodge can be constituted only by the Grand Master or a Deputy specially commissioned by him for that purpose. The ceremony, according to the usage in this state, may be either public or private.
If it takes place in the Hall, the Grand Tyler places the Lodge (or Carpet) covered, about half way between the West and the Altar, upon which the great lights should be placed, and around which the representatives of the lesser lights should be arranged.
If it is public, the platform should be arranged, as nearly as practicable, like the Hall: if there is space enough on the platform, the same ceremony may be used (except the reception of the Grand Lodge) as if it was in the Hall. But ordinarily in such cases, the procession around the lodge (or carpet) must be omitted. The procession is formed at the Hall and moves to the church; the lodge (or carpet), the great lights, the representatives of the lesser lights, and the tapers, are arranged: the Grand Officers take their places on the platform, while the lodge is seated in front: After music, the ceremonies commence, the portion enclosed in brackets being omitted.
If other brethren are present, they should be so stationed in the procession and so seated in the church that the new lodge may be by itself.
(The Grand Lodge is opened in a convenient apartment contiguous to the hall of the lodge to be constituted.)
The Master [and Wardens elect of the new lodge request admission; and, when admitted, the Master elect] addresses the Grand Master as follows:
Most Worshipful: The Officers and Brethren of ___________________________Lodge, who are now assembled at __________________________ have instructed me to inform you that the Most Worshipful Grand Master was pleased to grant them a letter of Dispensation, bearing date the ___________________________________ day of _________________ in the year authorizing in them to form and open a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in the town of _________________________; that since that period they have regularly assembled, and conducted the business of Masonry according to the best of their abilities; that, their proceedings having received the approbation of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, they have obtained a Charter of Constitution, and are desirous that their lodge should be consecrated and their officers installed, agreeably to the ancient usage’s and customs of the Craft: for which purpose they are now met, and await the pleasure of the Most Worshipful Grand Master.
The Grand Master returns answer: and the Master and Wardens elect retire to the Lodge room and arrange the Brethren in two lines, the Master elect at the head. The Grand Marshal forms a procession of the Grand Officers, and as the procession enters the hall the Grand Marshal announces, ” The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maine “(or the R. W. Deputy Grand Lodge of Maine). If the services are in a tyled lodge, the Brethren are in order as Master Masons as the Grand Lodge enters.
ORDER OF PROCESSION.
Grand Chaplain (Bearing The Three Great Lights).
Past Grand Wardens.
Past Grand Masters.
Junior Grand Warden (Bearing Silver Cup of Oil and a Burning Taper of Blue Wax).
Senior Grand Warden (Bearing Silver Cup of Wine and a Burning Taper of Red Wax).
Deputy Grand Master (Bearing Golden Vessel of Corn and a Burning Taper of White Wax).
Grand Sword Bearer.
The procession passes once around the Lodge (or Carpet), and the Deputy Grand Master places the golden vessel of Corn and the burning taper of white wax at the East of the Lodge (or Carpet).
The Senior Grand Warden places the silver cup of Wine and the burning taper of red wax at the West of Lodge (or Carpet).
The Junior Grand Warden places the silver cup of Oil and the burning taper of blue wax at the South of the Lodge (or Carpet).
The procession then moves, opens to the right and left, and the Grand Master and other officers pass through to their respective stations.]
The following hymn is sung:
Music — Jordan, or Auld Lang Syne.
Behold! how pleasant and how good,
For brethren such as we,
Of the “Accepted” brotherhood,
To dwell in unity.
‘Tis like the oil on Aaron’s head,
Which to his feet distils;
Like Hermon’s dew so richly shed
On Zion’s sacred hills.
For there the Lord of light and love
A blessing sent with power;
Oh! may we all this blessing prove,
E’en life for evermore.
On Friendship’s altar, rising here,
Our hands now plighted be,
To live in love, with hearts sincere,
In peace and unity.
The Grand Chaplain is conducted to the altar, and offers the following
0! adorable Lord God, Maker of all things and Judge of all men, regard, we humbly beseech Thee, with Thy special favor, this our present undertaking; and grant that the work which we now commence in Thy name may conduce to Thy glory, and to the good, temporal and eternal, of Thy dependent creatures. Let a scrupulous regard to the obligation, which, in Thy name and under Thine all seeing eye, shall be herein entered into, distinguish all the members of this new lodge, that they, abounding in all holy conversation and godliness, may be true and worthy members of our venerable society, and that their practice may in all things correspond with their profession. Amen. Response. So mote it be.
The Deputy Grand Master addresses the Grand Master as follows:
Most Worshipful: The Brethren now present before you, duly instructed in the mysteries of Masonry, having assembled together at stated periods for some time past, by virtue of a dispensation granted them for that purpose, do now desire to be constituted into a regular lodge, agreeably to the ancient usages and customs of the Fraternity.
The Grand Master responds: The records of these Brethren while acting under dispensation have been examined and approved. Upon due deliberation, the Grand Lodge has granted them a charter, confirming them in the rights and privileges of a regularly constituted lodge which the Recording Grand Secretary will now read.
The Recording Grand Secretary reads the charter.
Grand Master. Worshipful Grand Marshal, you will form the Brethren named in the charter in the West.
The Recording Grand Secretary calls the names of the Brethren in the charter, and, as they are called, they take their stations in the West (or in the aisle), the Master elect in the center and his Wardens upon each side of him.
Grand Master We will now proceed, according to ancient usage, to constitute these Brethren into a regular lodge. Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, you will present to me the Brother whom the Brethren have designated as their Worshipful Master.
The Grand Marshal presents the Master elect to the Deputy Grand Master and he presents him to the Grand Master, as follows:
Most Worshipful Grand Master:
I present to you Brother A. B., whom the petitioners of this lodge, now to be constituted, have chosen for their Master.
The Grand Master to the Master elect.
You will face the West.
Grand Master Brethren, you behold Brother A. B., whom you have selected as your Worshipful Master. Do you remain satisfied with your choice?
The Brethren assent.
Grand Master to the Master elect. You will present to me the Senior Warden elect.
Grand Master to Senior Warden. You will face the West.
Grand Master Brethren, you behold Brother A. B., whom you have selected as your Senior Warden. Do you remain satisfied with your choice?
The Brethren assent.
Grand Master to Master elect. You will return to the West with the Senior Warden elect, and present to me the Junior Warden elect.
Grand Master to Junior Warden. You will face the West.
Grand Master Brethren, you behold Brother A. B., whom you have selected as your Junior Warden. Do you remain satisfied with your choice?
The Brethren assent.
The Master and Junior Warden elect then return to the West and remain as before.
The consecration begins with solemn music.
Grand Master Worshipful Grand Marshal, you will form a procession of the Grand Officers.
Before forming the procession, the Grand Marshal conducts the Grand Chaplain to the altar, facing the West. The Grand Master remains at his station in the East.
The procession moves once around the lodge, while the Grand Chaplain reads from the altar as follows:
And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shalt hallow it, and all the vessels thereof; and it shall be holy.
That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn and thy wine and thine oil.
The first fruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.
I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him.
And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.
The Grand Officers form about the lodge (or carpet), which the Grand Tyler uncovers, the Deputy Grand Master at the East, the Senior Grand Warden at the West, the Junior Grand Warden at the South. The Brethren kneeling, the Grand Chaplain begins the prayer of consecration:
Great Architect of the Universe! Maker and Ruler of all worlds! deign, from Thy celestial temple, from the realms of light and glory, to bless us in all the purposes of our present assembly.
We humbly invoke thee to give us, at this and at all times, Wisdom in all our doings, Strength of mind in all our difficulties, and the Beauty of harmony in all our communications.
Permit us, 0 Thou Author of Light and Life! great Source of Love and Happiness! to erect this lodge, and now
solemnly to consecrate it to the honor of Thy glory. Amen.
Response by The Grand Master. Glory be to God on high.
Response by the Brethren. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be! Amen.
All rise. The Grand Marshal presents the golden vessel of Corn to the Deputy Grand Master, who pours the Corn upon the lodge (or carpet), saying:
May the Giver of every good and perfect gift strengthen this lodge in all its philanthropic undertakings.
The following is sung:
Music Old Hundred or Duke Street.
When once of old, in Israel,
Our early Brethren wrought with toil,
Jehovah’s blessing on them fell,
In showers of CORN and WINE and OIL.
The Deputy Grand Master and Grand Marshal light the representative of the lesser light in the East, from the burning taper of white wax, and return to their stations. All the Grand Honors are given.
The Grand Marshal presents the silver cup of Wine to the Senior Grand Warden, who pours the Wine upon the lodge (or carpet), saying:
May this lodge be continually refreshed at the pure fountain of masonic
The following is sung:
When there a shrine to Him above They built, with worship sin to foil, On threshold and on cornerstone
They poured out CORN and WINE and OIL.
The Senior Grand Warden and Grand Marshal light the representative of the lesser light in the West, from the burning taper of red wax, and return to their stations.
The second and first Grand Honors are given.
The Grand Marshal presents the silver cup of Oil to the Junior Grand Warden, who pours the Oil upon the lodge (or carpet), saying:
Junior Grand Warden:
May the Supreme Ruler of the Universe preserve this lodge in peace, and vouchsafe to it every blessing.
The following is sung:
And we have come, fraternal bands,
With joy and pride and prosperous spoil,
To honor Him by votive hands,
With streams of corn and Wine and oil.
The Junior Grand Warden and Grand Marshal light the representative of the lesser light in the South, from the burning taper of blue wax, and return to their stations.
The first Grand Honor is given.
The Brethren kneeling, the Grand Chaplain proceeds with the consecrating prayer:
Grant, O Lord our God, that those who now are about to be invested with the government of this lodge may be endued with wisdom to instruct their Brethren in all their duties. May Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth always prevail amongst the members of this lodge; and may this bond of union continue to strengthen the lodges throughout the world.
Bless all our Brethren wherever dispersed; and grant speedy relief to all who are either oppressed or distressed.
We affectionately commend to Thee all the members of Thy whole family. May they increase in knowledge of Thee, and in the love of each other.
Finally, may we finish all our work here below with Thy approbation, and then have our transition from this earthly abode to Thy heavenly temple above, there to enjoy light, glory, and bliss, ineffable and eternal. Amen.
Response by the Grand Master: Glory be to God on high.
Response by the Brethren: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen! So mote it be! Amen!
Then succeeds solemn music while the lodge (or carpet) is covered.
The Brethren rise, and the Grand Chaplain dedicates the lodge in these words:
To the memory of the Holy Saint John we dedicate this lodge. May every Brother revere his character and imitate his virtues.
Response by the Grand Master: Glory be to God on high.
Response by the Brethren: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen! So mote it be! Amen!
The Grand Chaplain, with outstretched arms, says:
And may the Lord, the giver of every good and perfect gift, bless the Brethren here assembled in all their lawful undertakings, and grant to each one of them, in needful supply, The corn of nourishment, The wine of refreshment, and the oil of joy.
[The Grand Marshal forms procession, and] the Grand Officers repair to their stations, while a piece of music is performed.
The Grand Master constitutes the new lodge in the following form:
In the name of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maine, I now constitute and form you, my good Brethren, into a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, by the name of _______________Lodge
From henceforth, I empower you to act as a regular lodge, constituted in conformity to the rites of Freemasonry and the charges of our ancient and honorable Fraternity. And may the Supreme Architect of the Universe prosper, direct, and counsel you in all your doings.
Response by the Brethren: So mote it be.
The following is sung:
Music Portuguese Hymn.
Whilst they genius, O Masonry, spreads all around
The rays of the halo with which thou art crowned;
Shall the Star in thy sky, which now rising appears,
Not partake of that light that grows brighter with years?
Shall its portion of fire be left to expire,
And leave no bright trace for us to admire?
Oh no! its mild beams shall be seen from afar,
And the child of distress bless the new rising star.
As the blush of the rose more enchanting appears
When its sweet leaves are filled with morn’s pearly tears,
So from Gratitude’s tears shall our Star rise more bright,
For Charity’s smile shall give warmth to its light,
And Justice divine shall with Harmony join
To assist its ascent by the unerring line;
Whilst Prudence and Temperance, guarding their own,
Shall shed a new ray upon Masonry’s crown.
Worshipful Grand Marshal, you will make proclamation that______________________ Lodge has been regularly constituted.
Grand Marshal. I am directed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master to proclaim, and I do hereby
proclaim, that _____________Lodge has been regularly constituted, and duly registered as such in the Grand Lodge of Maine. This proclamation is made from the East [Grand Master strikes one blow with the gavel], the West [Senior Grad Warden, one blow with his truncheon], the South [Junior Grand Warden, one blow with his truncheon]; ONCE, Twice, Thrice. The Craft will take due notice thereof, and govern itself accordingly.
The installation of the officers follows in the form heretofore given.
DEDICATION OF MASONIC HALLS
The Grand Lodge opens in a convenient apartment contiguous to the new Hall to be dedicated.
The Grand Tyler places the lodge (or carpet), covered, in the new Hall, midway between the West and the altar, before the Grand Officers enter.
A committee, from the lodge which is to occupy the new Hall, attend upon the Grand Master and escort the Grand Lodge into the Hall.
The procession is formed as follows:
Committee of ______________________Lodge.
Grand Marshal. Grand Tyler.
Architect (Bearing Square, Level and Plumb).
Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer.
Grand Chaplain (Bearing the Three Great Lights).
Junior Grand Warden (Bearing a Golden Vessel of Corn and a Burning Taper of Blue Wax).
Senior Grand Warden (Bearing a Silver Cup of Wine and a Burning Taper of Red Wax).
Deputy Grand Master (Bearing a Silver Cup of Oil and Burning Taper of White Wax).
Grand Deacon. Grand Master. Grand Deacon.
Grand Sword Bearer
As the procession of Grand Officers enters the Hall, the Grand Marshal announces, “The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maine” (or “Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Lodge of Maine”).
The procession passes once around the lodge (or carpet) and the vessels of Corn, Wine and Oil, and the burning tapers are respectively deposited at the South, West and East of the lodge (or carpet).
The Worshipful Master resigns the East to the Grand Master, with such remarks as he thinks appropriate.
The following is sung:
Music Most Excellent Master’s Song, or Portuguese Hymn.
All hail to the morning that bids us rejoice,
The Temple’s completed, exalt high each voice;
The capstone is finished, our labor is o’er,
The sound of the gavel shall hail us no more,
Almighty Jehovah, descend now and fill
This lodge with Thy glory, Our hearts with good will;
Preside at Our meetings, assist us to find
True pleasure in teaching good will to mankind.
Thy wisdom inspired the great Institution,
Thy Strength shall support it till Nature expires;
And when the creation shall fall into ruin
Its beauty shall rise through the midst of the fires.
The Grand Chaplain is conducted to the altar, and offers the following prayer:
Almighty and most merciful Father! Creator of all things, and Governor of all Thou hast made! mercifully look upon Thy servants now assembled in Thy name and in Thy presence, and bless and prosper the work of our hands, which we desire, at this time, to dedicate and devote to Thy service. May all the proper works of our Institution, that may be done in this house, be such as Thy wisdom may approve and Thy goodness prosper. Enable us to perform every duty with exactness and honor, and fulfill all our obligations to Thee, and to each other as fathers, husbands, friends, and brothers: as worthy men and Masons, to exalt the profession we boast, while through Thy rich bounty our cups overflow with plenty, and corn, wine, and oil delight to cheer our boards. Oh, may our full hearts never he wanting in gratitude, and in the voice of praise and thanksgiving to Thee. It is from Thee that we have received the heart to feel, the hand to labor, the eye to behold, the ear to hear, and tongue to proclaim. Teach us, then, to delight in them; to improve them as Thy blessings. May we ever be ready to relieve the distresses of our fellow creatures who need our assistance. May love dwell in our hearts, and truth guide our lips. May our virtues shine together with brighter light, and the everlasting glory of God be upon us. Amen.
The Architect addresses the Grand Master as follows:
Most Worshipful: Having been entrusted with the superintendence and management of the workmen employed in the construction of this edifice, and having, according to the best of my ability, accomplished the task assigned me, I now return my thanks for the honor of this appointment, and beg leave to surrender up the implements which were committed to my care when the foundation of this fabric was laid, humbly hoping that the exertions which have been made on this occasion will be crowned with your approbation and that of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge.
The Square, Level, and Plumb are given by the Architect to the Grand Marshal, who presents them to the Grand Master.
The Worshipful Master addresses the Grand Master as follows:
Most Worshipful: The Brethren of ______________ Lodge, being animated with a desire of promoting the honor and interest of the Craft, have, at great pains and expense, erected a Masonic Hall for their convenience and accommodation. They are now anxious that the same should be examined by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge; and, if it should meet their approbation, that it should be solemnly dedicated to Masonic purposes, agreeably to ancient form.
The Grand Master responds:
Worshipful Master: We will carefully examine your new building, and try it by the Square, Level, and Plumb.
The Grand Master delivers the implements of Operative Masonry to the Grand Marshal, and directs him to present the Square to the Deputy Grand Master, the Level to the Senior Grand Warden, and the Plumb to the Junior Grand Warden.
The Grand Master orders a procession of the Grand Officers to be formed for the purpose of examining the building.
The Grand Officers pass through all the rooms and return to the new Hall and resume their stations.
Grand Master. Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, what is the proper jewel of your office?
Deputy Grand Master. The Square.
Grand Master Have you applied the Square to the parts of this Hall which should be square.
Deputy Grand Master. I have, Most Worshipful, and the Craftsmen have done their duty.
Grand Master Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden, what is the proper jewel of your office?
Senior Grand Warden. The Level.
Grand Master Have you applied the Level to this hall?
Senior Grand Warden. I have, Most Worshipful, and the Craftsmen have done their duty.
Grand Master. Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden, what is the proper jewel of your office?
Junior Grand Warden. The Plumb.
Grand Master Have you applied the Plumb to the several parts of the edifice which should be plumb?
Junior Grand Warden. I have, Most Worshipful, and the Craftsmen have done their duty.
The Grand Master addresses the Architect:
Brother Architect: The skill and fidelity displayed in the execution of the trust reposed in you at the commencement of this undertaking have secured the entire approbation of the Grand Lodge; and they sincerely pray that this edifice may continue a lasting monument of the taste, spirit and liberality of its founders.
The Deputy Grand Master:
Most Worshipful: The Hall in which we are now assembled, and the plan upon which it has been constructed, having met with your approbation, it is the desire of the Fraternity that it should now be dedicated, according to ancient form and usage.
The Grand Tyler uncovers the lodge (or carpet).
The Grand Master directs the Grand Marshal to form a procession of the Grand Officers.
The Grand Chaplain is conducted to the altar, facing the West. The procession passes once around the lodge, and the Grand Officers take their stations about the carpet, the Grand Master in the East.
The Brethren all kneel, and the Grand Chaplain commences the prayer of dedication:
Great Architect of the Universe! Maker and Ruler of all worlds! deign, from thy celestial temple, from realms of light and glory, to bless us in all the purposes of our present assembly.
We humbly invoke thee to give us, at this and at all times, Wisdom in all our doings; Strength of mind in all our difficulties; and the Beauty of harmony in all our communications.
Permit us, 0 Thou Author of Light and Life! great Source of Love and Happiness! to erect this lodge, and now solemnly to dedicate it to the honor of Thy glory.
Response by the Grand Master. Glory be to God on high!
Response by the Brethren. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be! Amen.
All rising, the procession moves slowly once around the lodge, while the Grand Chaplain reads as follows:
Grand Chaplain contents
And King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre.
He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass; and he was filled with wisdom and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to King Solomon, and wrought all his work.
The Grand Officers resume their respective stations around the lodge (or carpet), and the Grand Marshal delivers the vessel of Corn to the Junior Grand Warden, who presents it to the Grand Master, saying:
Junior Grand Warden contents
Most Worshipful: In the dedication of our temples, it has been of primitive custom to pour Corn upon the lodge as an emblem of nourishment; I, therefore, present you this vessel of Corn.
The Grand Master pours the Corn upon the lodge (or carpet), saying:
Grand Master contents
In the name of the Great Jehovah, to whom be all honor and glory, I do solemnly dedicate this Hall to Freemasonry.
The Grand Marshal takes the vessel from the Grand Master, and replaces it.
All the Grand Honors are given.
The following is sung:
Genius of Masonry, descend;
And with thee bring thy spotless train;
Constant our sacred rites attend,
While we adore thy peaceful reign.
The procession marches twice around the lodge, while the Grand Chaplain reads as follows:
For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece; and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about And he made two chapiters of molten brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars; the height of the one chapiter was five cubits, and the height of the other chapiter was five cubits.
And nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter.
The Grand Officers resume their respective stations about the lodge (or carpet), and the Grand Marshal delivers the cup of Wine to the Senior Grand Warden, who presents it to the Grand Master, saying:
MOST WORSHIPFUL: Wine, the emblem of refreshment, having been used by our ancient Brethren in the dedication of their temples, I present you with this cup of wine, to be used according to ancient Masonic form.
The Grand Master pours the Wine upon the lodge (or carpet), saying:
In the name of the Holy Saint John, I do solemnly dedicate this Hall to Virtue.
The Grand Marshal replaces the cup of Wine.
The first and second Grand Honors are given.
The following is sung:
Bring with thee Virtue, brightest maid,
Bring Love, bring Truth and Friendship here;
While kind Relief will lend her aid,
To smooth tile wrinkled brow of care.
The procession marches thrice around the lodge, while the Grand Chaplain reads as follows:
And he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top with pomegranates: and so did he for the other chapiter.
And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lilywork in the porch, four cubits.
And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against the belly which was by the network: and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter.
And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he setup the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin:and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz.
And upon the top of the pillars was lilywork: so was the work of the pillars finished.
The Grand Officers resume their stations around the lodge (or carpet), and the Grand Marshal delivers the cup of Oil to the Deputy Grand Master, who presents it to the Grand Master, saying:
Deputy Grand Master
Most Worshipful: I present you this cup of Oil, an emblem of that joy which should animate every bosom on the completion of every important undertaking.
The Grand Master pours the Oil upon the lodge, saying:
In the name of the whole Fraternity, I do solemnly dedicate this Hail to Universal Benevolence.
The Grand Marshal replaces the cup of Oil.
The first Grand Honor is given.
The following is sung:
Come Charity, with goodness crowned,
Encircled in thy heavenly robe;
Diffuse thy blessings all around,
To every corner of the globe.
The Brethren kneel, and the Grand Chaplain completes the dedicatory prayer.
Grant, O Lord our God, that those who are invested with the government of this lodge may be endued with wisdom to instruct their Brethren in all duties. May Brotherly Love and Charity always prevail amongst the members thereof; and may this bond of union continue to strengthen the lodges throughout the world!
Bless all our Brethren, the children of the widow, wherever dispersed; and grant speedy relief to all who are either oppressed or distressed.
We affectionately commend to Thee all the members of Thy whole family; may they increase in the knowledge of Thee and in the love of each other!
Finally, may we finish all our work here below with Thine approbation, and then have our transition from this earthly abode to Thy heavenly temple above, there to enjoy light, glory, and bliss, ineffable and eternal! Amen.
Response by The Grand Master.(Glory be to God on high)
Response by The Brethren. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be! Amen! So mote it be! Amen.
The Grand Tyler covers the carpet.
The Grand Chaplain reads this Invocation:
Oh Lord God! there is no God like unto Thee, in heaven above or in the earth beneath; who keepeth covenant and mercy with Thy servants who walk before Thee with all their hearts. Let all the people of the earth know that the Lord is God; and that there is none else. Let all the people of the earth know Thy name and fear Thee; let all the people know that this house is built and consecrated to Thy name. But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold tile heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee! how much less this house that we have built; yet have Thou respect unto the prayer of Thy servant, and to his supplication, 0 Lord my God! to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer of Thy servant and Thy people; that Thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day: even toward the place consecrated to Thy name. And hearken Thou to the supplication of Thy servant and of Thy people; and hear Thou in heaven, Thy dwelling place, and, when Thou hearest, forgive. For they be Thy people, and Thine inheritance; for Thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be Thine inheritance.
The Grand Chaplain, with outstretched arms, says:
May this Freemasons’ Hall, now dedicated to Masonry, be ever the sanctuary and receptacle of Virtue, Charity and Universal Benevolence; and may the Lord, the giver of every good and perfect gift, bless all here assembled, and all the Brethren throughout the world; and grant to each of them, in needful supply, the Corn of nourishment, the Wine of refreshment, and the Oil of joy. Amen.
The following is sung:
To heaven’s high Architect all praise;
All praise, all gratitude be given:
Who deigned the human soul to raise,
By mystic secrets sprung from heaven.
The procession is reformed, and the Grand Officers march through the lines to their respective stations.
Grand Master; Worshipful Grand Marshal, you will make proclamation that these Halls have been solemnly dedicated to the purposes of Masonry in Ample Form.
Grand Marshal. I am directed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master to proclaim, and I do hereby proclaim, that these Halls have been solemnly dedicated to the purposes of Masonry in Ample Form.
This proclamation is made from the East [one blow with gavel], the West [one blow with truncheoni, the South (one blow with truncheoni; Once, Twice, Thrice. The Craft will take due notice thereof, and govern themselves accordingly.
The Grand Master addresses the Brethren or delivers the following charge:
How many pleasing considerations, my Brethren, attend the present interview. Whilst in almost every other part of the world political animosities, contentions and wars interrupt the progress of humanity and the cause of benevolence, it is our distinguished privilege, in this happy region of liberty and peace, to engage in the plans and to perfect the designs of individual and social happiness. Whilst in other nations our Order is viewed by politicians with suspicion and by the ignorant with apprehension, in this country its members are too much respected, and its principles too well known, to make it the object of jealousy or mistrust. Our private assemblies are unmolested, and our public celebrations attract a more general approbation of the fraternity. Indeed, its importance, its credit, and, we trust, its usefulness, are advancing to a height unknown in any former age. The present occasion gives fresh evidence of the increasing affection of its friends; and this noble apartment, fitted up in a style of elegance and convenience, does honor to Masonry, as well as the highest credit to the respectable lodge for whose accommodation and at whose expense it is erected.
We offer our best congratulations to the Worshipful Master, Warden, officers and members of the lodge. We commend their zeal, and hope it will meet with the most ample recompense. May this Hall be the happy resort of piety, virtue and benevolence; may it be protected from accident, and long remain a monument of your attachment to Masonry; may your lodge continue to flourish, your union to strengthen, and your happiness to abound; and when we all shall be removed from the labors of the earthly lodge, may we be admitted to the brotherhood of the perfect, in the Building of God, the Hall not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
The following is sung:
Music Portuguese Hymn.
O God ! Thou hast reared, in Thy glorious might,
The Temple of Nature, whose arch is the sky;
Exalted its pillars, and covered it o’er
With starry decked heavens in beauty on high.
With faith like the Fathers, we humbly uprear
This lowlier temple of Brotherly Love;
Thy Book on its altar, Thy trust in our hearts,
We consecrate all to the Master above.
0! ever may Wisdom be found in its East,
Contriving for all in true Friendship and love;
The Strength of King Hiram abound in the
West Supporting the fabric with faith from above.
May the South glow with Beauty, the whole to adorn,
And ever remind us of Him who was slain;
Like Rim may we suffer: like Him, when we die,
Be raised from the grave unto glory again.
The Grand Chaplain is conducted to the altar, and makes the closing prayer.
A procession of the Grand Lodge is formed by the Grand Marshal the appropriate officers bearing the Three Great Lights, the vessel of Corn, the cups of Wine and Oil, and the burning tapers and is escorted by the committee of the lodge to the apartment, where the Grand Lodge is closed; and the lodge is closed, or declared closed, according as the ceremonies are private or public.
LAYING THE CORNER STONE OF A PUBLIC EDIFICE
It is not proper for Masons to lay the corner stone of any other than a public or Masonic edifice. The ceremony can be performed only by the Grand Master, or his specially authorized Deputy.
The ceremonies may be somewhat varied, according to the character of the edifice to be erected; and while whose herein given show the method of proceeding, special forms must be arranged for particular cases.
At the appointed time, the Grand Lodge is opened in a convenient Hall, when a procession is formed in the following order:
Tyler, with drawn sword.
Stewards, with rods.
Two Deacons, with rods.
Secretary and Treasurer.
Senior and Junior Wardens.
Two Stewards, with white rods.
Principal Architect, with Square, Level and Plumb.
Bible, Square and Compasses, carried by an Acting or Past Master, supported by two Stewards.
The Five Orders of Architecture.
Past Grand Wardens.
Past Deputy Grand Masters.
Chief Magistrate and Civil Officers of the place, (if the building to be erected be for public purposes).
Junior Grand Warden, carrying the silver vessel with Oil.
Senior Grand Warden, carrying the silver vessel with Wine.
Deputy Grand Master, carrying the golden vessel with Corn.
Master of the oldest Lodge, or oldest Past Master, carrying the Book of Constitutions.
Grand Master, supported by two Deacons with rods.
Grand Sword Bearer, with drawn sword.
If other officers and members of the Grand Lodge are present, they take position in their usual order directly in front of the Past Grand Wardens.
A triumphal arch is usually erected at the place where the ceremony is to be performed.
The procession arriving at the arch, opens to the right and left, and uncovering, the Grand Master and his officers pass through the lines to the platform, while the rest of the Brethren surround the platform, forming a hollow square.
The Grand Master commands silence, when the following, or some other appropriate, Ode is sung:
Music Rule Britannia
When earth’s foundation first was laid,
By the Almighty Artist’s hand,
‘Twas then our perfect, our perfect laws were made,
Established by His strict command.
Hail! mysterious, Rail, glorious Masonry!
That makes us ever great and free.
In vain mankind for shelter sought,
In vain from place to place did roam,
Until from heaven, from heaven he was taught
To plan, to build, to fix his home.
Hail! mysterious, etc.
Illustrious hence we date our Art,
Which now in heauteous piles appear,
And shall to endless, to endless time impart,
How worthy and how great we are.
Hail ! mysterious, etc.
Nor we less fam’d for every tie,
By which the human thought is bound;
Love, truth and friendship, and friendship socially
Unite our hearts and hands around.
Hail! mysterious, etc.
Our actions still by Virtue blest,
And to our precepts ever true,
The world admiring, admiring shall request
To learn, and our bright paths pursue.
Hail ! mysterious, etc.
If the building to be erected be one for public purposes for example, a Church, a Court House, etc., the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners appointed for its erection will briefly address the Grand Master, stating the purposes for which the building is designed, and requesting that the corner stone be laid according to the ancient forms and ceremonies of the Craft. If the building be intended for Masonic purposes, the address will be varied according to circumstances.
Grand Master. From time immemorial it has been the custom of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons to lay, when requested so to do, with their ancient forms, the corner stone of buildings erected for the worship of God, for charitable objects, or for the purposes of the administration of justice and free government, and of no other buildings.
This corner stone, therefore, we may lay in accordance with our law, and gladly do so, testifying thereby our obedience to the law and our desire to show publicly our respect for the government under which we live.
The Grand Master then calls up the lodge, remarking:
The first duty of masons, in any undertaking, is to invoke the blessing of the Great Architect upon their work. Let us pray.
PRAYER BY GRAND CHAPLAIN
O most glorious and eternal God. Great Architect of the Universe, who makest all things by Thy power, and adornest all things by Thy bounty, and fillest all things with Thy goodness, and sanctifiest the heart and gifts of Thy servants, who in the days of old didst graciously accept the house which our Grand Master, King Solomon, erected to Thy glory! we praise Thee and bless Thee that Thou hast thus far prospered the handiwork of us Thy servants, who are this day met together in Thy fear and love to lay the corner stone of this building, dedicated to Thy service as the place of
We humbly pray Thee that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to sanctify this house by the outpouring of Thy holiness from on high. Let the Sun of Righteousness ever shine here, and the bright illumination of Thy grace.
That which we dedicate do Thou bless. That which we offer do Thou accept. Those who shall assemble here do Thou visit graciously and enlighten, now and ever, even unto the Great Accounting Day, when we shall receive the due reward of our labors in the Grand Lodge above.
Response. So mote it be.
A suitable Ode will then be sung. After which the stone is raised.
Grand Master The Grand Treasurer will now deposit, in the corner stone, the memorials prepared for that purpose, the list of which the Grand Secretary will first read.
The Grand Secretary reads the list, whereupon the Grand Treasurer deposits the box, the Grand Lodge standing, and the band playing.
The Grand Master then spreads the cement on the foundation, and the stone is lowered to its place, with solemn music. The Grand Lodge is seated.
Grand Master. Brother Deputy Grand Master, what is the proper jewel of your office?
Deputy Grand Master. The Square.
Grand Master. What does it teach?
Deputy Grand Master. To square our actions by the square of virtue, and by it we prove our work.
Grand Master. Apply your jewel to this Corner Stone, and make report.
Deputy Grand Master. The Stone is square; the craftsmen have done their duty.
Grand Master. Brother Senior Grand Warden, what is the jewel of your office?
Senior Grand Warden. The Level.
Grand Master. What does it teach?
Senior Grand Warden. The equality of all men, and by it we prove our work.
Grand Master. Apply your jewel to this Corner Stone, and make report.
Senior Grand Warden. The Stone is level; the craftsmen have done their duty.
Grand Master. Brother Junior Grand Warden, what is the jewel of your office?
Junior Grand Warden. The Plumb.
Grand Master. What does it teach?
Junior Grand Warden To walk uprightly before God and man, and by it we prove our work.
Grand Master. Apply your jewel to this Comer Stone, and make report.
Junior Grand Warden. The Stone is plumb; the craftsmen have done their duty.
The Senior and Junior Grand Deacons, bearing the Trowel and Gavel, then approach the Stone.
The Grand Master, preceded by the Grand Marshal, advances to the Stone, spreads mortar upon it, strikes three blows with the mallet, and returning to his place, says:
I_________ Grand Master of Masons of the State of Maine, declare this Stone to be plumb, level and square, to be well formed, true and trusty, and duly laid.
Grand Master Let the elements of consecration be presented to the proper officers.
The Grand Stewards then proceed to the Stone, followed by the Deputy Grand Master, Senior Grand Warden and Junior Grand Warden, bearing the corn, wine and oil.
The Deputy Grand Master scatters the corn, saying:
Deputy Grand Master
May the blessing of the Great Architect of the Universe rest upon the people of this State, and the corn of nourishment abound in our land.
The Senior Grand Warden pours the wine, saying: May the Great Architect of the Universe watch over and preserve the workmen upon this building, and bless them and our land with the heavenly wine of refreshment and peace.
The Junior Grand Warden pours the oil, saying:
May the Great Architect of the Universe bless our land with union, harmony and love the oil which maketh men to be of a joyful countenance.
Grand Master May the all bounteous Author of Nature, the Supreme and ever living God, bless the inhabitants of this place with all the necessaries, comforts and conveniences of life assist in the erection and completion of this building protect the workmen against every accident, and long preserve from decay the structure, which will here arise. And may he grant to us in needful supply, (he Corn of nourishment, the Wine of refreshment, and the Oil of joy.
Response. So mote it be.
The public Grand Honors are then given. The Grand Marshal presents the Architect, saying:
I present to you the Architect of this building. He is ready, with craftsmen, for the work, and asks the tools for his task.
The Grand Master then gives him a square, level, plumb and plan, saying:
Labor on this task, and be blessed, my brother, in the work. May it be blessed with Wisdom in the plan, Strength in the execution, Beauty in the adornment; and when complete, may Wisdom be still within its walls to enlighten, Strength to encourage and sustain our rulers, and the Beauty of Holiness to adorn all their works.
The Grand Marshal then makes the following proclamation:
In the name of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Maine:
I proclaim that the Corner Stone of the . has this day been found square, level and plumb, true and trusty, and laid according to the old customs by the Grand Master of Masons.
If there is an address, that follows. Otherwise, or at the close of the address, the following or some other suitable Ode is sung:
Let notes of gladness tell
Thoughts that each bosom swell,
The work begun!
Hope’s joyous thoughts we bring,
While to our Heavenly King Friends now united sing,
Hearts joined one.
Where laid the Corner Stone
Ever in kindness known,
Be man’s best good!
Though years shall pass away,
Though human works decay,
Ever by Heaven’s own ray
Be Truth renewed.
May in proportions true,
Rising to grateful view,
The work ascend!
Long may it safely stand,
Untouched by ruthless hand,
Till, true to Heaven’s command,
All time shall end.
The Grand Chaplain pronounces the Benediction, and the procession reforms and returns to the Hall, where the Grand Lodge is closed.
Form. When Masonic services are performed by the Grand Master, they are said to be done in ample form: if by a Deputy, in due form: and if by any other person, in form.
Summons, and Notice or Notification. Formerly, (and now in some jurisdictions) these terms were used synonymously; but in this State there is a wide difference in their significations.
A Notice or Notification is used to give information, and the obligation to respond to it is the general Masonic obligation only: and the party, receiving it, is himself the judge whether, under the circumstances, it is his duty to respond.
A Summons is an order, and the Brother receiving it is under a special and imperative obligation to obey it:
disobedience to it is a Masonic crime of a high grade; and failure to obey it can be justified only by a necessity, beyond the power of the party to overcome.
Clothing. The Apron of a Master Mason should be a plain white lambskin, fourteen inches wide by twelve inches deep. It may have sky blue lining and edging, and it may have three rosettes of the same color. No other color is allowable and no other ornament should be worn, except that Officers and Past Officers may have the emblems of their offices, in silver or blue, on the Apron, or (by the express provisions of our constitution), may have “figured Aprons.”
Formerly, an officer of a lodge was required to wear a blue sash: and, according to ancient usage, a sash is a part of the clothing of an officer, but, in this State, he may wear one or not, as he sees fit: it is recommended that Marshals wear them, whether the other officers do or not.
The Collar of an officer is of blue velvet, trimmed with silver lace or silver metal.
Jewels. The jewels of officers arc of silver and must be worn suspended from the prescribed Collar. None but officers can wear jewels, except Past Masters, who may wear silver jewel, suspended from a narrow collar or blue ribbon, or attached to the coat on the left breast.
The jewels of a Past Master and the several officers are as follows:
The Blazing Sun within thee Compasses, extended on a quadrant.
Master. The Square.
Senior Warden. The Level.
Junior Warden. The Plumb.
Treasurer. The Cross Keys.
Secretary. The Cross Pens.
Chaplain. The Bible within a Circle.
The Square and Compasses united, with a Sun.
The Square and Compasses united, with a Moon.
Marshal. The Baton in a Square.
Stewards. The Cornucopia in a Circle.
Organist. The Lyre in a Circle.
Historian. The Scroll and Pen.
Tyler. The Cross Swords.
Formerly the jewels of the Deacons were Doves, which really seem more appropriate.
The Deacons’ rods are black, and the Stewards’ white: more recent usage allows each rod to be surmounted by the appropriate jewel.
On Masonic occasions, masons should wear black clothes, with white gloves and a black silk hat: but black hats of any other style may be worn, if all wear them, as uniformity in dress is required.
Public Services. When public services are to take place, the committee in charge should ascertain what the order of exercises is to be and what ceremonies are to be performed, and see that suitable arrangements in every particular are made, and that all things required are provided and in their place, in order that there
may be no interruptions in the work, as they destroy the effect of the most impressive services.
Chapter XIV JURISPRUDENCE AND DIGEST
SOURCES OF MASONIC LAW.
The law by which the Institution is governed is derived from the following sources:
1. The Ancient Landmarks.
2. The Ancient Charges.
3. The Old Regulations.
4. The Constitution of our Grand Lodge.
5. The Regulations and decisions of our Grand Lodge.
6. The usage’s and customs of the Fraternity.
7. The ByLaws of the Lodge.
These classes in some instances run into each other; but this classification appears to be the most simple and convenient that can be made.
Various attempts have been made to enumerate the Landmarks: but as no two authors agree in their enumeration, it is safe to conclude that no one of the attempts is a success.
The very definition of Landmarks shows that an enumeration of them is scarcely possible. A Landmark is a law or custom of the Fraternity, that has existed “from a time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. If a Landmark was originally enacted as a law the time when, as well as the fact of the enactment, are not known. All we can know is that it is a law or a custom that has existed from time immemorial. We may be making landmarks now: if any universal usage exists that has existed so long that its origin is unknown, it is a landmark. It has been said that the Landmarks are the unwritten law of Masonry: but this is not correct: for landmarks are found in the Ancient Charges. Indeed, the only evidence, that some customs are landmarks, is the fact that they are mentioned as such in the earliest publications in relation to Freemasonry.
The Landmarks cannot be repealed or changed. That they are sometimes infringed upon, is doubtless true. But any enactment in violation of a landmark is void, by whatever authority it is made. All Masons agree in this: and the practical difficulty is, that one denies that to be a landmark which another affirms is one.
In order that The Ancient Landmarks, The Ancient Charges and The Old Regulations may be accessible to all, they will be given in the succeeding Chapters. The law derived from the Constitution, Regulations and Decisions of the Grand Lodge, will be given only in the Digest.
Nor will any attempt be made to enumerate the usages and customs of the Fraternity, save in special cases: and of course, bylaw’s of Lodges need not be herein discussed.
MACKEY’S ANCIENT LANDMARKS.
(From Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry.)
Until the year 1858, no attempt had been made by any Masonic writer to distinctly enumerate the landmarks of Freemasonry, and to give to them a comprehensible form. In October of that year, the author of this work published in the American Quarterly Review of Freemasonry (vol. ii, p.230), an article on ” The Foundations of Masonic Law,” which contained a distinct enumeration of the landmarks, which was the first time that such a list had been presented to the Fraternity. This enumeration was subsequently incorporated by the author in his Text Book of Masonic Jurisprudence. It has since been very generally adopted by the Fraternity, and republished by many writers on Masonic law; sometimes without any acknowledgment of the source whence they derived their information. According to this recapitulation, the result of much labor and research, the landmarks are twenty-five in number, and are as follows:
1. The modes of recognition are, of all the landmarks the most legitimate and unquestioned. They admit of no variation; and if ever they have suffered alteration or addition the evil of such a violation of the ancient law has always made itself subsequently manifest.
2. The division of symbolic Masonry into three degrees is a landmark that has been better preserved than almost any other; although even here the mischievous spirit of innovation has left its traces, and, by the disruption of its concluding portion from the third degree, a want of uniformity has been created in respect to the final teaching of the Master’s Order; and the Royal Arch of England, Scotland, Ireland, and America, and the “high degrees” of France and Germany, are all made to differ in the mode in which they lead the neophyte to the great consummation of all symbolic Masonry. In 1813, the Grand Lodge of England vindicated the ancient landmark, by solemnly enacting that ancient Craft Masonry consisted of the three degrees, of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason, including the Holy Royal Arch. But the disruption has never been healed, and the landmark, although acknowledged in its integrity by all, still continues to be violated.
3. The legend of the third degree is an important landmark, the integrity of which has been well preserved. There is no rite of Masonry, practiced in any country or language, in which the essential elements of this legend are not taught The lectures may vary, and indeed are constantly changing, but the legend has ever remained substantially the same. And it is necessary that it should be so, for the legend of the Temple Builder constitutes the very essence and identity of Masonry. Any rite which should exclude it, or materially alter it, would at once, by that exclusion or alteration, cease to be a Masonic rite.
4. The government of the Fraternity by a presiding officer called a Grand Master, who is elected from the body of the Craft, is a fourth landmark of the Order. Many persons suppose that the election of the Grand Master is held in consequence of a law or regulation of the Grand Lodge. Such, however, is not the case. The office is indebted for its existence to a landmark of the Order. Grand Masters, or persons performing the functions under a different but equivalent title, are to be found in the records of the Institution long before Grand Lodges were established; and if the present system of legislative government by Grand Lodges were to be abolished, a Grand Master would still be necessary.
5. The prerogative of the Grand Master to preside over every assembly of the Craft, wheresoever and whensoever held, is a fifth landmark. It is in consequence of this law, derived from ancient usage, and not from any special enactment, that the Grand Master assumes the chair, or as it is called in England, “the throne,” at every communication of the Grand Lodge; and that he is also entitled to preside at the communication of every subordinate Lodge, where he may happen to be present.
6. The prerogative of the Grand Master to grant dispensations for conferring degrees at irregular times, is another and a very important landmark. The statutory law of Masonry requires a month, or other determinate period, to elapse between the presentation of a petition and the election of a candidate. But the Grand Master has the power to set aside or dispense with this probation, and to allow a candidate to be initiated at once. This prerogative he possessed before the enactment of the law requiring a probation, and as no statute can impair his prerogative, he still retains the power.
7. The prerogative of the Grand Master to give dispensations for opening and holding Lodges is another landmark. He may grant, in virtue of this, to a sufficient number of Masons, the privilege of meeting together and conferring degrees. The Lodges thus established are called” Lodges under dispensation.”
8. The prerogative of the Grand Master to make Masons at sight is a landmark which is closely connected with the preceding one. There has been much misapprehension in relation to this landmark, which misapprehension has sometimes led to a denial of its existence in jurisdictions where the Grand Master was, perhaps, at the very time substantially exercising the prerogative, without the slightest remark or opposition.
9. The necessity for Masons to congregate in Lodges is another landmark. It is not to be understood by this that any ancient landmark has directed that permanent organization of subordinate Lodges which constitutes one of the features of the Masonic system as it now prevails. But the landmarks of the Order always prescribed that Masons should, from time to time, congregate together for the purpose of either Operative or Speculative labor, and that these congregations should be called Lodges. Formerly, these were extemporary meetings called together for special purposes, and then dissolved, the brethren departing to meet again at other times and other places, according to the necessity of circumstances. But warrants of constitution, bylaws, permanent officers, and annual arrears are modern innovations wholly outside the landmarks, and dependent entirely on the special enactment’s of a comparatively recent period.
10. The government of the Craft, when so congregated in a Lodge, by a Master and two Wardens, is also a landmark. A congregation of Masons meeting together under any other government, as that, for instance, of a president and vice president, or a chairman and subchairman, would not be recognized as a Lodge. The presence of a Master and two wardens is as essential to the valid organization of a Lodge as a Warrant of constitution is at the present day. The names, of course, vary in different languages; but the officers, their number, prerogatives, and duties are everywhere identical.
11. The necessity that every Lodge, when congregated should be duly tiled, is an important landmark of the Institution which is never neglected. The necessity of this law arises from the esoteric character of Masonry. The duty of guarding the door, and keeping off cowans and eavesdroppers, is an ancient one, which therefore constitutes a landmark.
12. The right of every Mason to be represented in all general meetings of the Craft, and to instruct his representative, is a twelfth landmark. Formerly these general meetings, which were usually held once a year, were called “General Assemblies” and all the Fraternity, even to the youngest Entered Apprentice, were permitted to he present. Now they are called “Grand Lodges,” and only the Masters and Wardens of the subordinate Lodges are summoned. But this is simply as the representatives of their members. Originally, each Mason represented himself; now he is represented by his officers.
13. The right of every Mason to appeal from the decision of his brethren, in Lodge convened, to the Grand Lodge or General Assembly of Masons, is a landmark highly essential to the preservation of justice, and the prevention of Oppression. A few modem Grand Lodges in adopting a regulation that the decision of subordinate Lodges, in cases of expulsion cannot be wholly set aside upon an appeal, have violated this unquestioned landmark, as well as the principles of just government.
14. The right of every Mason to visit and sit in every regular Lodge is an unquestionable landmark of the Order. This is called “the right of visitation”. This right of visitation has always been recognized as an inherent right which inures to every Mason as he travels through the world. And is because Lodges are justly considered as only divisions for convenience of the universal Masonic family. This right may, of course, he impaired or forfeited on special Occasions by various circumstances; but when admission is refused to a Mason in good standing, who knocks at the door of a Lodge as a visitor, it is to he expected that some good and sufficient reason shall be furnished for this violation of what is, in general a Masonic right, founded on the landmarks of the Order.
15. It is a landmark of the Order, that no visitor unknown to the brethren present, or to someone of them as a Mason, can enter a Lodge without first passing an examination according to ancient usage. Of course, if the visitor is known to any brother present to he a Mason in good standing, and if that brother will vouch for his qualifications, the examination may be dispensed with, as the landmark refers only to the cases of strangers, who are not to he recognized unless after strict trial, due examination, or lawful information.
16. No Lodge can interfere in the business of another Lodge, nor give degrees to brethren who are members of other Lodges. This is undoubtedly an ancient landmark, founded on the great principles of courtesy and fraternal kindness, which are at the very foundation of our Institution. It has been repeatedly recognized by subsequent statutory enactments of all Grand Lodges.
17. It is a landmark that every Freemason is amenable to the laws and regulations of the Masonic jurisdiction in which he resides, and this although he may not be a member of any Lodge. Non-affiliation, which is, in fact, in itself a Masonic offense, does not exempt a Mason from Masonic jurisdiction.
18. Certain qualifications of candidates for initiation arc derived from a landmark for the Order. These qualifications are that he shall be a man unmutilated, free born, and of mature age. That is to say, a woman, a cripple, or a slave, or one born in slavery, is disqualified for initiation into the rites of Masonry. Statutes, it is true, have from time to time been enacted, enforcing or explaining these principles; but the qualifications really arise from the very nature of the Masonic institution, and from its symbolic teachings, and have always existed as landmarks.
19. A belief in the existence of God as the Grand Architect of the Universe, is one of the most important landmarks of the Order. It has been always admitted that a denial of the existence of a Supreme and Superintending Power is an absolute disqualification for initiation. The annals of the Order never yet have furnished or could furnish an instance in which an avowed Atheist was ever made a Mason.. The very initiatory ceremonies of the first degree forbid and prevent the possibility of such an Occurrence.
20. Subsidiary to this belief in God, as a landmark of the Order, is the belief in a resurrection to a future life. This landmark is not so positively impressed on the candidate by exact words as the preceding; but the doctrine is taught by very plain implication, and runs through the whole symbolism of the Order. To believe in Masonry, and not to believe in a resurrection, would be an absurd anomaly, which should only be excused by the reflection, that he who thus confounded his belief and his skepticism was so ignorant of the meaning of both theories as to have no rational foundation for his knowledge of either.
21. It is a landmark that a “Book of the Law” shall constitute an indispensable part of the furniture of every Lodge. I say, advisedly, Book of the Law, because it is not absolutely required that everywhere the Old and New Testaments shall be used. The “Book of the Law” is that volume which, by the religion of the country, is believed to contain the revealed will of the Grand Architect of the Universe. Hence, in all Lodges in Christian countries, the “Book of the Law” is composed of the Old and New Testaments, in a country where Judaism was the prevailing faith, the Old Testament alone would be sufficient; and in Mohammendan countries, and among Mohammendan Masons, the Koran might be substituted. Masonry does not attempt to interfere with the peculiar religious faith of its disciples, except so far as relates to the belief in the existence of God, and what necessarily results from that belief. The “Book of Law” is to the Speculative Mason his spiritual TrestleBoard; without this he cannot labor; whatever he believes to be the revealed will of the Grand Architect constitutes for him this spiritual TrestleBoard and must ever be before him in his hours of speculative labor, to be the rule and guide of his conduct The landmark, therefore, requires that a “Book of the Law,” a religious code of some kind, purporting to be an exemplar of the revealed will of God, shall form an essential part of the furniture of every Lodge.
22. The equality of all Masons is another landmark of the Order. This equality has no reference to any subversion of those graduations of rank which have been instituted by the usage’s of society. The monarch, the nobleman, or the gentleman is entitled to all the influence, and receives all the respect, which rightly belong to his position. But the doctrine of Masonic equality implies that, as children of one great Father, we meet in the Lodge upon the level that on that level we are all traveling to one predestined goal that in the Lodge genuine merit shall receive more respect than boundless wealth, and that virtue and knowledge alone should be the basis of all Masonic honors, and be rewarded with preferment. When the labors of the Lodge are over, and the brethren have retired from their peaceful retreat, to mingle once more with the world, each will then again resume that social position, and exercise the privileges of that rank, to which the customs of society entitle him.
23. The secrecy of the Institution is another and most important landmark. The form of secrecy is a form inherent in it, existing with it from its very foundation, and secured to it by its ancient landmarks. If divested of its secret character, it would lose its identity, and would cease to be Freemasonry. What ever objections may, therefore, be made to the Institution on account of its secrecy, and however much some unskillful brethren have been unwilling in times of trial, for the sake of expediency, to divest it of its secret character, it will be ever impossible to do so, even where the landmark not standing before us as an insurmountable obstacle; because such change of its character would be social suicide, and the death of the Order would follow its legalized exposure. Freemasonry, as a secret association has lived unchanged for centuries; as an open society, ii would not last for as many years.
24. The foundation of a speculative science upon an operative art, and the symbolic use and explanation of the terms of that art, for the purposes of religious or moral teaching constitute another landmark of the Order. The Temple of Solomon was the symbolic cradle of the Institution, and therefore, the reference to the Operative masonry which constructed that magnificent edifice, to the materials and implements which were employed in its construction, and to the artists who were engaged in the building, are all component and essential parts of the body of Freemasonry, which could not be subtracted from it without an entire destruction of the whole identity of the Order. Hence, all the comparatively modern rite of Masonry, however they may differ in other respects, religiously preserve this Temple history and these operative elements, as the substratum of all their modifications of the Masonic system.
25. The last and crowning landmark of all is that these landmarks can never be changed. Nothing can be subtracted from them nothing can be added to them ,not the slightest modifications can he made in them. As they were received from our predecessors, we are bound by the most solemn obligations of duty to transmit them to our successors.
THE ANCIENT CHARGES.
The collection generally known as “The Ancient Charges” is the one presented to the Grand Lodge of England in 1721, approved by it in 1722, and published in 1723, in “Anderson’s Constitutions.”
By most, these charges are esteemed to be landmarks, and they certainly come within the definition of the term. They are six in number, and set forth in general terms the principles of Masonry and the obligations of a Mason in respect to God and Religion, to the Civil Magistrate, to the Lodge, to those in official position, to the Craft, to the family and to the community.
I. CONCERNING GOD AND RELIGION.
A Mason is obliged, by his tenure, to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient times Masons were charged in every country to be of the Religion of that country or nation, whatever it was, it is now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves; that is, to be good men and true, or men of honor and honesty, by whatever denominations or persuasions they may be distinguished; whereby Masonry becomes the Centre of Union, and the means of conciliating true Friendship among persons that must have remained at a perpetual distance.
A belief in God, the Creator and Father, is indispensably requisite in a candidate for the honors of Masonry. An attempt has been made in France to modify this Landmark: it has not succeeded; and when any Body, calling itself Masonic, adopts any other rule, it thereby and at once puts itself outside the pale of Masonry.
Attempts have also been made in the opposite direction. In Prussia, Israelites have been excluded. This is equally a violation of the landmark: while a belief in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man is absolutely essential, any additional requirements are innovations. But, of course, if it is known that a candidate’s religious belief is such that he cannot conform to our laws, he should never be admitted.
II. OF THE CIVIL MAGISTRATE, SUPREME AND SUBORDINATE.
A Mason is a peaceable subject to the civil powers wherever he resides or works, and is never to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against the peace and welfare of the nation, nor to behave himself undutifully to inferior magistrates; for as Masonry hath been always injured by war, bloodshed and confusion, so ancient kings and princes have been much disposed to encourage the Craftsmen because of their peaceableness and loyalty, whereby they practically answered the cavils of their adversaries, and promoted the honor of the Fraternity, who ever flourished in times of peace. So that if a Brother should be a rebel against the State, he is not to be countenanced in his rebellion, however he may be pitied as an unhappy man; and, if convicted of no other crime, though the loyal brotherhood must and ought to disown his rebellion1 and give no umbrage or ground of political jealousy to the government for the time being, they cannot expel him from the lodge, and his relation to it remains indefeasible.
The laws of Masonry are subordinate to the civil law. Whenever one’s duties as a Mason conflict with his duties as a citizen, the latter are paramount and the former must yield. So well is this understood and practiced, that the enemies of the institution have been able to discover, in all its history, but one or two instances in which this principle has been violated.
A Mason is justified, under this charge, in obeying and sustaining the government actually existing and exercising its powers, without being obliged to determine whether that government is the lawful and rightful one.
III. OF LODGES.
A Lodge is a place where Masons assemble and work: Hence that Assembly, or duly organized Society of Masons, is called a Lodge, and every brother ought to belong to one, and to be subject to its by-laws and the General Regulations. It is either particular or general, and will be best understood by attending it, and by the Regulations of the General or Grand Lodge hereunto annexed. In ancient times, no Master or Fellow could be absent from it, especially when warned to appear at it, without incurring a severe censure, until it appeared to the Master and Wardens that pure necessity hindered him.
The persons admitted members of a lodge must be good and true men free born and of mature and discreet age, no bondmen, no women, no immoral or scandalous men, but of good report.
The duty of affiliation is herein enjoined. But as the language is, “every Brother ought to belong” to a lodge, and not” every Brother must belong” to one, it is clear that while affiliation is made duty, it is not made a necessity, and, therefore, a Mason, not a member of a lodge, may be in good standing and entitled to recognition. It follows, that those Grand Lodges, which make membership necessary for recognition as a Mason, have undertaken to modify this “Ancient Charge.” The regulations of the Grand Lodge of Maine avoid this, and the question whether it has undertaken to change a landmark does not arise.
The Grand Lodge of England has also changed the word “freeborn” to “freeman.” In so doing, it has undertaken to change a landmark, according to the general opinion in this country.
IV. OF MASTERS, WARDENS, FELLOWS, AND APPRENTICES.
All preferment among Masons is grounded upon real worth and personal merit only; that so the Lords may be well served, the Brethren not put to shame, nor the Royal Craft despised: Therefore no Master or Warden is chosen by seniority, but for his merit. It is impossible to describe these things in writing, and every Brother must attend in his place, and learn them in a way peculiar to this Fraternity:
Only candidates may know, that no Master should take an Apprentice, unless he has sufficient employment for him, and unless he be a perfect youth, having no maim or defect in his body, that may render him incapable of learning the art of serving his Master’s Lord, and of being made a Brother, and then a Fellow Craft in due time, even after he has served such a term of years as the custom of the country directs; and that he should be descended of honest parents; that so, when otherwise qualified, he may arrive to the honor of being the Warden, and then the Master of the lodge, the Grand Warden, and at length the Grand Master of all the lodges, according to his merit.
No Brother can be a Warden until he his passed the part of a Fellow Craft; nor a Master until he has acted as a Warden, nor Grand Warden until he his been Master of a lodge, nor Grand Master unless he has been a Fellow Craft before his election, who is also to be nobly born, or a gentleman of the best fashion, or some eminent scholar, or some curious architect or other artist, descended of honest parents, and who is of singular great merit in the opinion of the lodges. And for the better, and easier, and more honorable discharge of his office, the Grand Master has a power to choose his own Deputy Grand Master, who must be then, or must have been formerly, the Master of a particular lodge, and has the privilege of acting whatever the Grand Master, his principal, should act, unless the said principal be present or interpose his authority by a letter.
These rulers and governors supreme and subordinate of the ancient lodge, are to be obeyed in their respective stations by all the Brethren, according to the old Charges and Regulations, with all humility, reverence, love and alacrity.
In this, “rotation in office” and” promotion in line ” are denounced as unmasonic. This part of this charge is undoubtedly often violated, while its truth is admitted. The idea that an officer, because he has held a certain office, has a claim to promotion is unmasonic in principle and vicious in practice.
This charge also involves the question of “Physical Qualifications” one that has been much discussed, and in relation to which there is a vast difference of opinion. Some hold to the literal reading that a candidate must “be a perfect Youth, having no Maim or Defect in his body”: others hold (and such is the law of our Grand Lodge) that the words quoted are modified by those following, and that the capacity of learning the “art of serving his Master’s Lord” is to be determined, not by what was required in that respect in the days of Operative Masonry, but by what is required now when the Institution has become Speculative only. The reasonable rule seems to be that a candidate, who can do all the work of Masonry, is not physically disqualified.
This Charge also teaches that no one can be “a Master [of a lodge] until he has acted as a Warden”. Our Grand Lodge has enacted the contrary. When our regulation was adopted, many members of the Grand Lodge held that this Charge was a landmark and could not be changed: but others held that it was in the nature of a regulation, which might be modified or repealed.
In another respect, this charge has been practically modified by many Grand Lodges. It provides that the Grand Master shall appoint his Deputy: but in most Grand Lodges, that officer is elective. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, however, and a few others adhere to the old custom.
V. OF THE MANAGEMENT OF THE CRAFT IN WORKING.
All Masons shall work honestly on working days, that they may live creditably on holy days; and the time appointed by the law of the land, or confirmed by custom, shall be observed.
The most expert of the Fellow Craftsmen shall be chosen or appointed the Master or Overseer of the Lord’s work; who is to be called Master by those that work under him. The Craftsmen are to avoid all ill language, and to call each other by no disobliging name) but Brother or fellow, and to behave themselves courteously within and without The Master, knowing himself to be able of cunning, shall undertake the Lord’s work as reasonable, as possible, and truly dispend his goods as if they were his own; nor to give more wages to any Brother or Apprentice than he really may deserve.
Both the Master and the Masons receiving their wages justly, shall be faithful to the Lord, and honestly finish their work, whether task or journey; nor put the work to task that hath been accustomed to journey.
None shall discover envy at the prosperity of a Brother, nor supplant him, or put him out of his work, if he, be capable to finish the same; for no man can finish another’s work so much to the Lord’s profit, unless he be thoroughly acquainted with the designs and draughts of him that began it.
When a Fellow Craftsman is chosen Warden of the work under the Master, he shall be true both to Master and Fellows, shall carefully oversee the work in the Master’s absence, to the Lord’s profit; and his Brethren shall obey him.
All Masons employed shall meekly receive their wages without murmuring or mutiny, and not desert the Master till the work is finished.
A younger Brother shall be instructed in working, to prevent spoiling the materials for want of judgment, and for increasing and continuing of Brotherly Love.
All the tools used in working shall be approved by the Grand Lodge.
No laborer shall be employed in the proper work of Masonry; nor shall Free Masons work with those that are not free, without an urgent necessity; nor shall they teach laborers and unaccepted Masons as they should teach a Brother or Fellow.
From this Charge is derived the rule that one lodge cannot interfere with work offered to another lodge without its consent.
VI. OF BEHAVIOR 1.IN THE LODGE WHILE CONSTITUTED.
You are not to hold private committees or separate conversation, without leave from the Master, nor to talk of anything impertinent or unseemly, nor interrupt the Master or Wardens, or any brother speaking to the Master. Nor behave yourself ludicrously or jestingly while the lodge is engaged in what is serious and solemn, nor use any unbecoming language upon any pretense whatsoever; but to pay due reverence to your Master, Wardens and Fellows, and put them to worship.
If any complaint be brought, the Brother found guilty shall stand to the award and determination of the lodge, who are the proper and competent judges of all such controversies (unless you carry it by appeal to the Grand Lodge), and to whom they ought to be referred, unless a Lord’s work be hindered the meanwhile, in which case a particular reference may be made; but you must never go to law about what concerneth Masonry, without an absolute necessity, apparent to the lodge.
An unlimited right of appeal, and the right of the Grand Lodge to try and decide the case for itself, are here recognized. Limitations upon either right are in violation of this charge.
II. AFTER THE LODGE IS OVER AND THE BRETHREN NOT GONE.
You may enjoy yourselves with innocent mirth, treating one another according to ability, but avoiding all excess, or forcing any Brother to eat or drink beyond his inclination, or hindering him from going when his occasions call him, or doing or saying any thing offensive, or that may forbid an EASY and FREE conversation; for that would blast our harmony, and defeat our laudable purposes. Therefore no private piques or quarrels must be brought within the door of the lodge, far less any quarrels about religion, or nations, or State policy, we being only, as Masons, of the Catholic religion above mentioned; we are also of all nations, tongues, kindreds and languages, and are resolved against all politics, as what never yet conduced to the welfare of the lodge, nor ever will. This Charge has been always strictly enjoined and observed; but especially ever since the Reformation in Britain, or the dissent and secession of these nations from the communion of Rome.
The enjoyment of social occasions, unfettered by the formality required in a lodge, was a distinctive feature in Masonry of the olden time. It would undoubtedly conduce to its prosperity, if this feature should be revived, within the limits prescribed by our rules.
III. WHEN BRETHREN MEET WITHOUT STRANGERS, BUT NOT IN A LODGE FORMED
You are to salute one another in a courteous manner, as you will be instructed, calling each other BROTHER, freely giving mutual instruction as shall be thought expedient, without being overseen or overheard, and without encroaching upon each other, or derogating from that respect which is due to any Brother, were he not a Mason: for though all Masons are as Brethren upon the same Level, yet Masonry takes no honor from a man that he had before; nay, rather it adds to his honor, especially if he has deserved well of brotherhood who must give honor to whom it is due and avoid ill manners.
IV. IN PRESENCE OF STRANGERS NOT MASONS.
You shall be cautious in your words and carriage, that the most penetrating stranger shall not be able to discover or find out what is not proper to be intimated; and sometimes you shall divert a discourse. and manage it prudently for the honor of the Worshipful Fraternity.
V. AT HOME AND IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
You are to act as becomes a moral and wise man, particularly not to let your family, friends and neighbors know the concerns of the lodge, etc., but wisely to consult your own honor, and that of the Ancient Brotherhood, for reasons not to be mentioned here. You must also consult your health, by not continuing together too late, or too long from home, after lodge hours are past; and by avoiding of gluttony or drunkenness, that your families be not neglected or injured, nor you disabled from working.
VI. TOWARDS A STRANGE BROTHER
You are cautiously to examine him, in such a method as prudence shall direct you, that you may not be imposed upon by an ignorant false pretender, whom you are to reject with contempt and derision, and beware of giving him any hints of knowledge.
But if you discover him to be a true and genuine Brother, you are to respect him accordingly; and if he is in want, you must relieve him, if you can, or else direct him how he may be relieved. You must employ him some days, or else recommend him to be employed. But you are not charged to do beyond your ability, only to prefer a poor Brother, that is, a good man and true, before any other poor people in the same circumstances.
The true rule in regard to relief of the distressed is here given. Each gives according to his ability, without looking to reimbursement. No Mason or lodge can, masonically, make a claim for reimbursement of relief voluntarily given.
All these Charges you are to observe, and also those that shall be communicated to you in another way; cultivating Brotherly Love, the foundation and capestone, the cement and glory of this ancient Fraternity; avoiding all wrangling and quarreling, all slander and backbiting, nor permitting others to slander any honest Brother, but defending his character, and doing him all good offices, as far as is consistent with your honor and safety, and no farther. And if any of them do you injury, you must apply to your own or his lodge, and from thence you may appeal to the Grand Lodge at the quarterly communication, and from thence to the Annual Grand Lodge, as has been the ancient laudable conduct of our forefathers in every nation; never taking a legal course but when the case cannot be otherwise decided, and patiently listening to the honest and friendly advice of Master and Fellows, when they would prevent your going to law with strangers, or would excite you to put a speedy period to all lawsuits, that so you may mind the affair of Masonry with the more alacrity and success; but with respect to Brothers or Fellows at law, the Master and Brethren should kindly offer their mediation, which ought to be thankfully submitted to by the contending Brethren; and if that submission is impracticable, they must, however, carry on their process, or lawsuit, without wrath and rancor (not in the common way), saying or doing nothing which may hinder Brotherly Love, and good offices to he renewed and continued; that all may see the benign influence of Masonry, as all true Masons have done from the beginning of the world, and will do to the end of time. Amen. So mote it be.
In this conclusion, the right of appeal to the Grand Lodge is expressly given to the party complaining, to whom it is denied by the regulations in some jurisdictions.
These Charges were collected and published as fixed laws of Masonry laws that had become so perfectly a part of the Institution, that they were considered as unchangeable landmarks of the Fraternity. It is to be regretted that they have ever been differently regarded. The restless desire for improvement, real or fancied, that characterizes the present age, finds no warrant in the old customs and usage’s of our Fraternity. The better opinion is, that all attempted modifications of these Ancient Charges are unwarrantable and unlawful innovations, which every installed Master has solemnly declared that no man or body of men has the power to make.
In 1738, Anderson published a second edition of his Constitutions, in which he attempted to condense and modify the “Ancient Charges” as given in his first edition. But the Grand Lodge refused its sanction, and the Charges, as originally published, have ever since been accepted as the true version. Those published in 1738 are here given, as there are some additional matters in them which are recognized as correct law.
I. CHARGE – CONCERNING GOD AND RELIGION.
A Mason is obliged by his tenure, to observe the moral law, as a true Noachida; and if he rightly understands the Craft, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine, nor act against conscience.
In ancient times, the Christian Masons were charged to comply with the Christian usage’s of each country where they traveled or worked: but Masonry being found in all nations, even of divers Religions, they are now only charged to adhere to that Religion in which all men agree (leaving each Brother to his own particular opinions), that is, to he good men and true, men of honor and honesty, by whatever Names, Religions or Persuasions they may be distinguished: for they all agree in the three great articles of Noah, enough to preserve the cement of the lodge. Thus masonry is the center of their union and the happy means of conciliating persons that otherwise must have remained at a perpetual distance.
11. CHARGE – OF THE CIVIL MAGISTRATE, SUPREME AND SUBORDINATE.
A Mason is a peaceable subject, never to be concerned in plots against the State, nor disrespectful to inferior magistrates. Of old, Kings, Princes and States encouraged the Fraternity for their loyalty, who ever flourished most in times of peace. But though a Brother is not to be countenanced in his rebellion against the State; yet if convicted of no other crime, his relation to the lodge remains indefeasible.
III CHARGE – CONCERNING LODGES.
A lodge is a place where Masons meet to work in: hence the assembly, or duly organized Body of Masons, is called a lodge; just as the word church is expressive both of the congregation and of the place of worship.
Every Brother should belong to some particular lodge, and cannot be absent without incurring censure, if not necessarily detained.
The men made Masons must be freeborn (or no bondmen), of mature age and of good report, hale and sound, not deformed or dismembered at the time of their making. But no woman, no eunuch.
When men of quality, eminence, wealth and learning apply to be made, they are to be respectfully accepted, after due examination: for such often prove good lords (or founders) of work, and will not employ cowans when true Masons can be had: they also make the best officers of lodges, and the best designers, to the honor and strength of the 1odge nay, from among them, the Fraternity can have a noble Grand Master. But those Brethren are equally subject to the charges and regulations, except in what more immediately concerns operative Masons.
IV. CHARGE – OF MASTERS, WARDENS, FELLOWS AND PRENTICES.
All preferment among masons is grounded upon real worth and personal merit only, not upon seniority. No Master should take a Prentice that is not the son of honest parents, a perfect youth without maim or defect in his body, and capable of learning the mysteries of the art; that so the lords (or founders) may be well served, and the craft not despised; and that, when of age and expert, he may become an Entered Prentice, or a Free Mason of the lowest degree, and upon his due improvements a Fellow Craft and a Master Mason, capable to undertake a Lord’s work.
The Wardens are chosen from among the Master Masons, and no Brother can be a Master of a lodge till he has acted as Warden somewhere, except in extraordinary cases; or when a lodge is to he formed where none such can be had: for then three Master Masons, though never Masters nor Wardens of lodges before, may he constituted Master and Wardens of that new lodge.
But no number without three Master Masons can form a lodge; and none can be the Grand Master or a Grand Warden who has not acted as the Master of a particular lodge.
V. CHARGE – OF THE MANAGEMENT OF THE CRAFT IN WORKING.
All Masons should work hard and honestly on working days, that they may live reputably on holy days; and the working hours appointed by law, or confirmed by custom, shall be observed.
A Master Mason only must be the Surveyor or Master of Work, who shall undertake the Lord’s work reasonably, shall truly dispend his goods as if they were his own, and shall not give more wages than just to any Fellow or Prentice.
The Wardens shall be true both to Master and Fellows, taking care of all things, both within and without the lodge, especially in the Master’s absence; and their Brethren shall obey them.
The Master and the Masons shall faithfully finish the Lord’s work, whether task or journey; nor shall take the work at task which has been accustomed to journey.
None shall show envy at a Brother’s prosperity, nor supplant him or put him out of his work, if capable to finish it.
All Masons shall meekly receive their wages without murmuring or mutiny, and not desert the Master till the Lord’s work is finished: they must avoid ill language, calling each other Brother or Fellow, with much courtesy,
both within and without the lodge. They shall instruct a younger Brother to become bright and expert, that the Lord’s materials may not be spoiled.
But Free and Accepted Masons shall not allow cowans to work with them; nor shall they be employed by cowans without an urgent necessity; and even in that case they must not teach cowans, but must have a separate communication.
No laborer shall be employed in the proper work of Free Masons.
VI. CHARGE. CONCERNING MASONS’ BEHAVIOR.
I. BEHAVIOUR IN THE LODGE BEFORE CLOSING.
You must not hold private committees or separate conversation without leave from the Master; nor talk of anything impertinent; nor interrupt the Master or Wardens, or any Brother speaking to the Chair; nor act ludicrously while the lodge is engaged in what is serious and solemn: but you are to pay due reverence to the Master, Wardens and Fellows, and put them to worship.
Every Brother found guilty of a fault shall stand to the award of the lodge, unless he appeals to the Grand Lodge; or uses a Lord’s work is retarded: for then a particular reference may be made.
No private piques, no quarrels about nations, families, religions or politics must be brought within the door of the lodge: for as Masons, we are of the oldest Catholic religion above hinted, and of all nations upon the square, level and plumb; and like our predecessors in all ages, we are reserved against political disputes, as contrary to the peace and welfare of the lodge.
II. BEHAVIOUR AFTER THE LODGE IS CLOSED AND THE BRETHREN NOT GONE.
You may enjoy yourself with innocent mirth, treating one another according to ability, but avoiding all excess; not forcing any Brother to eat or drink beyond his own inclination (according to the Old Regulation of King Ahashuerus) nor hindering him from going home when he pleases: for though after lodge hours you are like other men, yet the blame of your excess may be thrown upon the Fraternity, though unjustly.
III. BEHAVIOUR AT MEETING WITHOUT STRANGERS, BUT NOT IN A FORMED LODGE.
You are to salute one another as you have been or shall be instructed, freely communicating hints of knowledge, but without disclosing secrets, unless to those that have given long proof of their taciturnity and honor: and without derogating from the respect due to any Brother, were he not a Mason: for though all Brothers and Fellows are upon the level, yet Masonry divests no man of the honor due to him before he was made a Mason, or that shall become his due afterwards; nay, rather it adds to his respect, teaching us to give honor to whom it is due, especially to a noble or eminent Brother, whom we should distinguish from all of his rank or station, and serve him readily, according to our ability.
IV. BEHAVIOUR IN PRESENCE OF STRANGERS NOT MASONS.
You must be cautious in your words, carriage and motions; that so the most penetrating stranger may not be able to discover what is not proper to be intimated: and the impertinent or ensnaring questions, or ignorant discourse of strangers must be prudently managed by Free Masons.
V. BEHAVIOUR AT HOME AND IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
Masons ought to be moral men, as above charged; consequently good husbands, good parents, good sons and good neighbors, not staying too long from home, and avoiding all excess; yet wise men too, for certain reasons known to them.
VI. BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS A FOREIGN BROTHER OR STRANGER.
You are cautiously to examine him, as prudence shall direct you; that you may not be imposed upon by a pretender, whom you are to reject with derision, and beware of giving him any hints. But if you discover him to be true and faithful, you are to respect him as a Brother; and if in want, you are to relieve him, if you can; or else to direct him how he may be relieved: you must employ him, if you can; or else recommend him to be employed; but you are not charged to do beyond ability.
VII. BEHAVIOUR BEHIND A BROTHER’S BACK AS WELL AS BEFORE HIS FACE.
Free and Accepted Masons have been ever charged to avoid all slandering and backbiting of a true and faithful Brother, or ‘taking disrespectfully of his person or performances; and all malice or unjust resentment: nay, you must not suffer any others to reproach an honest Brother, but shall defend his character as far as is consistent with honor, safety and prudence, though no farther.
VII. CHARGE – CONCERNING LAWSUITS.
If a Brother do you injury, apply first to your own or his lodge, and if you are not satisfied you may appeal to the Grand Lodge; but you must never take a legal course till the cause cannot be otherwise decided: for if the affair is only between Masons and about Masonry, law suits ought to be prevented by the good advice of prudent Brethren, who are the best referees of such differences.
But if that reference is either impracticable or unsuccessful, and the affair must he brought into the Courts of Law or Equity; yet still you must avoid all wrath, malice and rancor in carrying on the suit, not saying nor doing any thing that may hinder either the continuance or the renewal of Brotherly Love and Friendship, which is the glory and cement of this ancient Fraternity; that we may show to all the world the benign influence of Masonry, as all wise, true and faithful Brothers have done from the beginning of time, and will do till architecture shall be dissolved in the general congregation. AMEN! So mote it be.
All these charges you are to observe, and also those that shall be communicated unto you in a way that cannot be written.
THE OLD REGULATIONS
“The Old Regulations” were first compiled in 1720, approved by the Grand Lodge of England in 1721, and published in 1723 in “Anderson’s Constitutions”. They are therein distinguished from the “Ancient Charges” as being amendable or repealable by the Grand Lodge, while the Charges are given as unalterable and irrepealable law.
These Regulations have been changed very materially by every Grand Lodge in the world, but they are considered as in force and binding upon the Craft, except so far as they have been changed or repealed in the particular jurisdiction.
I. The Grand Master or his Deputy hath authority and right, not only to be present in any true lodge, but also to preside wherever he is, with the Master of the lodge on his left hand, and to order his Grand Wardens to attend him, who are not to act in particular lodges as Wardens, but in his presence, and at his command; because there the Grand Master may command the Wardens of that lodge, or any other Brethren he pleaseth, to attend and act as his Wardens pro tempore.
The last clause is limited to cases in which the Grand Wardens are absent, for when they are present they have the right to act.
II. The Master of a particular lodge has the right and authority of congregating the members of his lodge into a Chapter at pleasure, upon any emergency or occurrence, as well as to appoint the time and place of their usual forming; and in case of sickness, death, or necessary absence of the Master, the Senior Warden shall act as Master pro tempore, if no Brother is present who has been Master of that lodge before; for in that case the absent Master’s authority reverts to the last Master then present, though he cannot act until the said Senior Warden has once congregated the lodge, or, in his absence, the Junior Warden.
(But, in 1723, it was resolved that if the Master is absent the Senior Warden fills the chair; and if the Master vacates his office, the Senior Warden fills it until the next election. This rule has been followed almost universally ever since its adoption: it has been the usage, however, in the older jurisdictions, for Past Masters to preside in the absence of the Master and both Wardens; and such is the law in this State expressly recognized in our Constitution; but in many jurisdictions, Past Masters have no more power to open a lodge and preside therein, than any other member.)
III. The Master of each particular lodge, or one of the Wardens, or some other Brother by his order, shall keep a book containing their bylaws, the names of their members, with a list of all the lodges in town, and the usual times and places of their forming, and all their transactions that are proper to be written.
This duty is now performed by the Secretary. But it is the duty of the Master to see that the records are properly made up, and that nothing not “proper to be written” is entered therein.
IV. No lodge shall make more than Five new Brethren at one time, nor any man under the age of twenty-five, who must be also his own master, unless by a Dispensation from the Grand Master or his Deputy.
(Our Constitution provides that no more than five degrees shall be conferred at one communication: and that candidates must be twenty-one years of age. In other countries, by the dispensation of the Grand Master, candidates under the required age may he admitted, but it is held generally in the United States that this law is not subject to a dispensation.)
V. No man can be made or admitted a member of a particular lodge, without previous notice one month before given to the said lodge, in order to make due inquiry into the reputation and capacity of the candidate, unless by the dispensation aforesaid.
VI. But no man can be entered a Brother in any particular lodge, or admitted to be a member thereof, without the unanimous consent of all the members of that lodge then present when the candidate is proposed, and their consent is formally asked by the Master; and they are to signify their consent or dissent in their own prudent way, either virtually or in form, but with unanimity: Nor is this inherent privilege subject to a dispensation; because the members of a particular lodge are the best judges of it; and if a fractious member should be imposed on them, it might spill their harmony or hinder their freedom; or even break or disperse the lodge, which ought to be avoided by all good and true Brethren.
VII. Every new Brother at his making is decently to clothe the lodge that is, all the Brethren present and to deposit something for the relief of indigent and decayed Brethren, as the candidate shall think fit to bestow, over and above the small allowance stated by the bylaws of that particular lodge; which charity shall be lodged with the Master or Wardens, or the cashier, if the members think fit to choose one. And the candidate shall also solemnly promise to submit to the Constitutions, the Charges and Regulations, and to such other good Usage’s as shall be intimated to them in time and place convenience (The initiation fee now takes the place of clothing the lodge and of the deposit for the Charity Fund.)
VIII. No set or number of Brethren shall withdraw or separate themselves from the lodge in which they were made Brethren, or were afterwards admitted members, unless the lodge becomes too numerous; nor even then without a dispensation from the Grand Master or his Deputy; and when they are thus separated, they must either immediately join themselves to such other lodge as they shall like best, with the unanimous consent of that other lodge to which they go (as above regulated), or else they must obtain the Grand Master’s Warrant to join in forming a new lodge.
If any set or number of Masons shall take upon themselves to form a lodge without the Grand Master’s Warrant, the regular lodges are not to countenance them, nor own them as fair Brethren and duly formed, nor approve of their acts and deeds; but must treat them as rebels, until they humble themselves, as the Grand Master shall in his prudence direct, and until he approve of them by his Warrant, which must be signified to the other lodges, as the custom is when a new lodge is to be registered in the List of Lodges.
(Now no permission of the Grand Master or Deputy is required in order for a member to dimit, but instead, in many jurisdictions the consent of the lodge is required. This regulation makes affiliation a necessary duty, but does not declare the consequences of ceasing to be a member of a lodge.)
IX. But if any Brother so far misbehave himself as to render his lodge uneasy, he shall be twice duly admonished by the Master or Wardens in a formed lodge; and if he will not refrain his imprudence, and obediently submit to the advice of the Brethren, and reform what gives them offense, he shall be dealt with according to the bylaws of that particular lodge, or else in such a manner as the Quarterly Communication shall in their great prudence think fit; for which a new Regulation may be afterwards made.
(Although the first part of this Regulation is nearly obsolete, yet there can be no doubt as to the good effects which would result from its being observed.)
X. The majority of every particular lodge, when congregated, shall have the privilege of giving instructions to their Master and Wardens, before the assembling of the Grand Chapter or Lodge, at the three Quarterly Communications hereafter mentioned, and of the Annual Grand Lodge too; because their Masters and Wardens are their representatives, and are supposed to speak their mind.
XI. All particular lodges are to observe the same Usage’s as much as possible; in order to which, and for cultivating a good understanding among Freemasons, some members out of every lodge shall be deputed to visit the other lodges as often as shall be thought convenient.
(In an old work, the uniformity in different lodges is said to be” much owing to visiting Brethren who compare the usage’s.” The importance of this can scarcely be over estimated).
XII. The Grand Lodge consists of, and is formed by, the Masters and Wardens of all the regular particular lodges upon record, with the Grand Master at their head, and his Deputy on his left hand, and the Grand Wardens in their proper places, and must have a Quarterly Communication about Michaelm as, Christmas, and Ladyday, in some convenient place, as the Grand Master shall appoint, where no Brother shall be present who is not at that time a member thereof, without a dispensation; and while he stays, he shall not be allowed to vote, nor even give his opinion, without leave of the Grand Lodge, asked and given, or unless it be duly asked by the said lodge.
All matters are to be determined in the Grand Lodge by a majority of votes, each member having one vote, and the Grand Master having two votes, unless the said lodge leave any particular thing to the determination of the Grand Master for the sake of expedition.
(In 1723, it was declared that officers of a lodge cannot be admitted into the Grand Lodge, unless their lodge has been regularly constituted.
In 1724, it was provided that all Past Grand Masters, and soon after, that all Past Deputy Grand Masters, and all Past Grand Wardens, should be permanent members of the Grand Lodge. This is now the law in nearly all Grand Lodges.
In 1728, it was provided that if an officer of a lodge could not attend the Grand Lodge, he might appoint a proxy: but in this State the power of appointing a proxy is vested in the lodge alone: but see ADDENDA.
XIII. At the said Quarterly Communication, all matters that concern the Fraternity in general, or particular lodges, or single Brethren, are quietly, sedately, and maturely to be discoursed of and transacted: Apprentices must not be admitted; Masters and Fellow Craft only here, unless by a dispensation. Here also all differences that cannot be made up and accommodated privately, nor by a particular lodge, are to be seriously considered and decided: And if any Brother thinks himself aggrieved by the decision of this Board, he may appeal to the Annual Grand Lodge next ensuing, and leave his appeal in writing with the Grand Master, or his Deputy, or the Grand Wardens.
Here, also, the Master or the Wardens of each particular lodge shall bring and produce a list of such members as have been made, or even admitted, in their particular lodges since the last communication of the Grand Lodge: and there shall be a book kept by the Grand Master or his Deputy, or rather by some Brother whom the Grand Lodge shall appoint for Secretary, wherein shall be recorded all (he lodges, with their usual times and places of forming, and the names of all the members of each lodge, and all the affairs of the Grand Lodge that are proper to be written.
They shall also consider of the most prudent and effectual methods of collecting and disposing of what money shall be given to or lodged with them in Charity, towards the relief only of any true Brother fallen into poverty or decay, but of none else: But every particular lodge shall dispose of their own Charity for poor Brethren, according to their own bylaws, until it be agreed by all the lodges (in a new Regulation) to carry in the Charity collected by them to the Grand Lodge, at the Quarterly or Annual Communication, in order to make a common stock of it, for the more handsome relief of poor Brethren
They shall also appoint a Treasurer, a Brother of good worldly substance, who shall be a member of the Grand Lodge by virtue of his office, and shall be always present, and have power to move to the Grand Lodge anything, especially what concerns his office. To him shall be committed all money raised for Charity, or for any other use of the Grand Lodge, which he shall write down in a book, with the respective ends and uses for which the several sums are intended; and shall expend and disburse the same by such a certain order, signed, as the Grand Lodge shall afterwards agree to in a new Regulation: But he shall not vote in choosing a Grand Master or Wardens, though in every other transaction. As in like manner the Secretary shall be a member of the Grand Lodge by virtue of his office, and vote in everything, except in choosing a Grand Master or Wardens.
The Treasurer and Secretary shall have each a clerk, who must be a Brother and Fellow Craft, but never must be a member of the Grand Lodge, nor speak without being allowed or desired.
The Grand Master, or his Deputy, shall always command the Treasurer and Secretary, with their clerks and books, in order to see how matters go on, and to know what is expedient to be done upon any emergent occasion.
Another Brother (who must be a Fellow Craft) should be appointed to look after the door of the Grand Lodge, but shall be no member of it.
But these offices may be farther explained by a new Regulation, when the necessity and expediency of them may more appear than at present to the Fraternity.
(In 1725, it was provided that a Master of a lodge, with his Wardens and a competent number of the lodge assembled in due form, can make Masters and Fellows at discretion. Before that, the second and third degrees could be conferred only in Grand Lodge, or by dispensation from the Grand Master. And after that time, no one could be an officer of the Grand Lodge unless he was a Master Mason.
It will be observed that a Brother, not a member of the Grand Lodge, was eligible to the office of Grand Secretary or Grand Treasurer, and thereby became a member of the Grand Lodge. The same law prevails in our Grand Lodge as to all the officers, except that one or two have no vote.
XIV. If at any Grand Lodge, stated or occasional, quarterly or annual, the Grand Master and his Deputy should be both absent, then the present Master of a lodge, that his been the longest a Free Mason, shall take the chair, and preside as Grand Master pro tempore, and shall be vested with all his power and honor for the time: provided there is no Brother present that has been Grand Master formerly, or Deputy Grand Master; for the last Grand Master present, or else the last Deputy present, should always of right take place in the absence of the present Grand Master and his Deputy.
It is said that the statement of the right of the Grand Wardens to preside, was accidentally omitted in copying (this Regulation. This right is now universally recognized. In this State, the Deputy Grand Master, Senior Grand Warden, Junior Grand Warden, Past Grand Masters (according to seniority), Past Deputy Grand Masters (according to seniority), Past Senior Grand Wardens (according to seniority), Past Junior Grand Wardens (according to seniority), and the Senior Past Master (who may waive his right in favor of another Past Master), may preside in Grand Lodge in the absence of the Grand Master and those named before them in this list.
Seniority is not now reckoned by the time one has been a Mason, but by the time he first held the office in question; the military rule is followed.)
XV. In the Grand Lodge none can act as Wardens but the Grand Wardens themselves, if present; and, if absent, the Grand Master, or the person who presides in his place, shall order private Wardens to act as Grand Wardens pro tempore, whose places are to be supplied by two Fellow Craft of the same lodge, called forth to act, or sent thither by the particular Master thereof; or if by him omitted, then they shall be called by the Grand Master, that so the Grand Lodge may be always complete.
If the Grand Wardens are absent their places are supplied, but under our law the places of the appointees are not filled. In England the custom was that the Senior Past Grand Warden acted in the absence of a Grand Warden.
XVI. The Grand Wardens, or any others, are first to advise with the deputy about the affairs of the lodge or of the Brethren, and not to apply to the Grand Master without the knowledge of the deputy, unless he refuse his concurrence in any certain necessary affair; in which case, or in case of any difference between the Deputy and the Grand Wardens, or other Brethren, both parties are to go by concert to the Grand Master, who can easily decide the controversy and make up the difference by virtue of his great authority.
The Grand Master should receive no intimation of business concerning Masonry but from his Deputy first, except in such certain cases as his Worship can well judge of: for if the application to the Grand Master be irregular, he can easily order the Grand Wardens, or any other Brethren thus applying, to wait upon his Deputy, who is to prepare the business speedily and to lay it orderly before his Worship.
This is obsolete.
XVII. No Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, or whoever acts for them, or in their stead pro tempore. can at the same time be the Master or Warden of a particular lodge; but as soon as any of them has honorably discharged his Grand Office, he returns to that post or station in his particular lodge from which he was called to officiate above.
Provision is made for this in our Constitution.
XVIII. If the Deputy Grand Master be sick, or necessarily absent, the Grand Master may choose any Fellow Craft he please to be his Deputy pro tempore: But he that is chosen Deputy at the Grand Lodge, and the Grand Wardens too, cannot be discharged without the cause fairly appear to the majority of the Grand Lodge; and the Grand Master, if he is uneasy, may call a Grand Lodge on purpose to lay the cause before them, and to have their advice and concurrence in which case the majority of the Grand Lodge, if they cannot reconcile the Master and his Deputy or his Wardens, are to concur in allowing the Master to discharge his said Deputy or his said Wardens, and to choose another Deputy immediately; and the said Grand Lodge shall choose other Wardens in that case, that harmony and peace may be preserved.
A Deputy pro tern. may now be appointed: but neither the Deputy nor a Grand Warden can be removed save for misconduct, and after due trial by the Grand Lodge. In England the old custom was, in the absence of a Grand Officer above Junior Grand Warden, that the officer next in rank took his place, and the Junior Grand Warden’s place was filled by the Senior Past Grand Warden.
XIX. If the Grand Master should abuse his power, and render himself unworthy of the obedience and subjection of tile lodges, he shall be treated in a way and manner to be agreed upon in a new Regulation; because hitherto the Ancient Fraternity have had no occasion for it, their former Grand Masters having all behaved themselves worthy of that honorable office.
The compiler knows of but one instance in which action has been taken in a Grand Lodge looking to the removal of a Grand Master for malfeasance in office: but the matter was arranged so that it was not pressed.
XX. The Grand Master, with his Deputy and Wardens, shall (at least once) go round and visit all the lodges about town during his mastership.
This duty is now devolved upon District Deputy Grand Masters.
XXI. If the Grand Master die during his mastership, or by sickness, or by being beyond sea, or any other way should be rendered incapable of discharging his office, the Deputy, or, in his absence, the Senior Grand Warden, or in his absence, the junior, or, in his absence, any three present Masters of lodges, shall join to congregate the Grand Lodge immediately, to advise together upon that emergency, and to send two of their number to invite the LAST Grand Master to resume his office, which now in course reverts to him; or, if he refuse, then the NEXT LAST, and so backward. But if no former Grand Master can be found, then the Deputy shall act as Principal until another is chosen; or, if there be no Deputy, then the oldest Master.
This is not law in this State.
XXII. The Brethren of all the lodges in and about London and Westminster shall meet at an Annual Communication and Feast, in some convenient place, on St. John Baptist’s Day, or else on St. John Evangelist’s Day, as the Grand Lodge shall think fit by a new Regulation, having of late years met on St. John Baptist’s Day: Provided,
The majority of the Masters and Wardens, with the Grand Master, his Deputy and Wardens, agree at their Quarterly Communications, three months before, that there shall be a Feast and a General Communication of all the Brethren: For if either the Grand Master, or the majority of the particular Masters, are against it, it must be dropped for that time.
But whether there shall be a Feast for all the Brethren or not, yet the Lodge must meet in some convenient place annually on St. John’s Day; or, if it be Sunday, then on the next day, in order to choose every year a new Grand Master, Deputy and Wardens.
XXIII. If it be thought expedient, and the Grand Master, with the majority of the Masters and Wardens, agree to hold a Grand Feast, according to the ancient laudable custom of Masons, then the ~ Wardens shall have the care of preparing the tickets, sealed with the Grand Master’s seal, of disposing of the tickets, of receiving the money for the tickets, of buying the materials of the Feast, of finding out a proper and convenient place to feast in, and of every other thing that concerns the entertainment.
But, that the work may not be too burdensome to the two Grand Wardens, and that all matters may be expeditiously and safely managed, the Grand Master or his Deputy shall have power to nominate and appoint a certain number of Stewards, as his Worship shall think fit, to act in concert with the two Grand Wardens; all things relating to the Feast being decided amongst them by a majority of voices, except the Grand Master or his Deputy interpose by a particular direction or appointment.
XXIV. The Wardens and stewards shall in due time wait upon the Grand Master or his Deputy for directions and orders about the premises; but if his Worship and his Deputy are sick, or necessarily absent, they shall call together the Masters and Wardens of lodges to meet on purpose for their advice and orders; or else they may take the matter wholly upon themselves, and do the best they can.
The Grand Wardens and the Stewards are to account for all the money they receive, or expend, to the Grand Lodge, after dinner, or when the Grand Lodge shall think fit to receive their accounts.
If the Grand Master pleases, he may in due time summon all the Masters and Wardens of lodges, to consult with them about ordering the Grand Feast, and about any emergency or accidental thing relating thereunto, that may require advice, or else to take it upon himself altogether.
XXV. The Masters of lodges shall each appoint one experienced and discreet Fellow Craft of his lodge, to compose a committee, consisting of one from every lodge, who shall meet to receive, in a convenient apartment, every person that brings a ticket, and shall have power to discourse him, if they think fit, in order to admit him or debar him, as they shall see cause: Provided: they send no man away before they have acquainted all the Brethren within doors with the reasons thereof, to avoid mistakes; that so no true Brother may be debarred, nor a false Brother or mere pretender admitted. This committee must meet very early on St. John’s Day at the place, even before any persons come with tickets.
XXVI. The Grand Master shall appoint two or more trustee Brethren to be porters or doorkeepers, who are also to be early at the place, for some good reasons, and who are to be at the command of the committee.
XVII. The Grand Wardens or the Stewards shall appoint beforehand such a number of Brethren to serve at table as they think fit and proper for that work; and they may advise with the Masters and Wardens of lodges about the most proper persons, if they please, or may take in such by their recommendation; for none are to serve that day but Free and Accepted Masons, that the communication may be free and harmonious.
XXVIII. All the members of the Grand Lodge must be at the place long before dinner, with the Grand Master or his Deputy at the head, who shall retire, and form themselves. And this is done in order
1. To receive any appeals, duly lodged, as above regulated, that the appellant may be heard, and the affair may be amicably decided before dinner, if possible; but if it cannot, it must be delayed fill after the new Grand Master is elected; and if it cannot be decided after dinner, it may be delayed, and referred to a particular committee, that shall quietly adjust it, and make report to the next Quarterly Communication, that brotherly love may be preserved.
2. To prevent any difference or disgust which may be feared to arise that day, that no interruption may be given to the harmony and pleasure of the Grand Feast.
3. To consult about whatever concerns the decency and decorum of the Grand Assembly, and to prevent all indecency and ill manners, the assembly being promiscuous.
4. To receive and consider of any good motion, or any momentous and important affair, that shall be brought from the particular lodges by their representatives, their several Masters and Wardens.
XXIX. After these things are discussed, the Grand Master and his Deputy, the Grand Wardens or the Stewards, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the clerks, and every other person shall withdraw, and leave the Masters and Wardens of the particular lodges alone, in order to consult amicably about electing a new Grand Master, or continuing the present, if they have not done it the day before; and if they are unanimous for continuing the present Grand Master, his Worship shall be called in, and humbly desired to do the Fraternity the honor of ruling them for the year ensuing: And after dinner it will be known whether he accepts of it or not: for it should not be discovered but by the election itself.
XXX. When the Masters and Wardens, and all the Brethren, may converse promiscuously, or as they please to sort together, until the dinner is coming in, when every Brother takes his seat at table.
XXXI. Some time after dinner, the Grand Lodge is formed, not in the retirement, but in the presence of all the Brethren, who yet are not members of it, and must not therefore speak until they are desired and allowed.
XXXII. If the Grand Master of last year has consented with the Master and Wardens in private, before dinner, to continue for the year ensuing, then one of the Grand Lodge, deputed for that purpose, shall represent to all the Brethren his Worship’s good government, etc. And, turning to him, shall, in the name of the Grand Lodge, humbly request him to do the Fraternity the great honor, (if nobly born, if not) the great kindness of continuing to be their Grand Master for the year ensuing. And his Worship declaring his consent by a bow or a speech, as he pleases, the said deputed member of the Grand Lodge shall proclaim him Grand Master, and all the members of the lodge shall salute him in due form. And all the Brethren shall for a few minutes have leave to declare their satisfaction, pleasure and congratulation.
XXXIII. But if either the Master and Wardens have not in private, this day before dinner, nor the day before, desired the Past Grand Master to continue in the mastership another year; or if he, when desired, has not consented; then The Past Grand Master shall nominate his successor for the year ensuing, who, if unanimously approved by the Grand Lodge, and, if there present, shall be proclaimed, saluted, and congratulated the new Grand Master, as above hinted, and immediately installed by the last Grand Master, according to usage.
XXXIV. But if that nomination is not unanimously approved, the new Grand Master shall be chosen immediately by ballot, every Master and Warden writing his man’s name, and the last Grand Master writing his man’s name too; and the man whose name the last Grand Master shall first take out, casually or by chance, shall be Grand Master for the ensuing year; and, if present, he shall be proclaimed, saluted and congratulated, as above hinted, and forthwith installed by the last Grand Master, according to usage.
XXXV. The last Grand Master thus continued, or the NEW Grand Master thus installed, shall next nominate and appoint his Deputy Grand Master, either the last or a new one, who shall be also declared, saluted and congratulated, as above hinted.
The Grand Master shall also nominate the new Grand Wardens, and, if unanimously approved by the Grand Lodge, shall be declared, saluted and congratulated, as above hinted; but if not, they shall be chosen by ballot, in the same way as the Grand Master: As the Wardens of private lodges are also to be chosen by ballot, in each lodge, if the members thereof do not agree to their Master’s nomination.
XXXVI. But if the Brother whom the present Grand Master shall nominate for his successor, or whom the majority of the Grand Lodge shall happen to choose by ballot, is, by sickness or other necessary occasion, absent from the Grand Feast, he cannot be proclaimed the new Grand Master, unless the old Grand Master, or some of the Masters and Wardens of the Grand Lodge can vouch, upon the honor of a Brother, that the said person, so nominated or chosen, will readily accept of the said office; in which case the old Grand Master shall act as proxy, and shall nominate the Deputy and Wardens in his name, and in his name also receive the usual honors, homage and congratulation.
XXXVII. Then the Grand Master shall allow any Brother, Fellow Craft or Apprentice to speak, directing his discourse to his Worship; or to make any motion for the good of the Fraternity, which shall be either immediately considered and finished, or else referred to the consideration of the Grand Lodge at their next communication, stated or occasional. When that is over,
XXXVIII . The Grand Master or his Deputy, or some Brother appointed by him ,shall harangue all the Brethren, and give them good advice: And, lastly, after some other transactions, that cannot be written in any language, the Brethren may go away or stay longer, as they please.
The foregoing sixteen articles are not now in force. Sessions of the Grand Lodge are held almost always, solely for the transaction of business, and it is governed by rules of its own adoption. In some jurisdictions “Festival Communications” are held, at which no business is transacted: in others the “Grand Feast” is held immediately upon the close of the Annual Communication for the installation of officers.
It is to be regretted that the custom of celebrating St. Johns’ Days, by the subordinate lodges has fallen into disuse.
XXXIX. Every Annual Grand Lodge has an inherent power and authority to make new Regulations, or to alter these, for the real benefit of this ancient Fraternity: Provided, always, that the old Landmarks be carefully preserved, and that such alterations and new Regulations be proposed and agreed to at the third quarterly communication preceding the Annual Grand Feast; and that they be offered also to the perusal of all the Brethren before dinner, in writing, even of the youngest apprentice; the approbation and consent of the majority of all the Brethren present being absolutely necessary to make the same binding and obligatory; which must, after dinner, and after the new Grand Master is installed, be solemnly desired; as it was desired and obtained for these Regulations, when proposed by the Grand Lodge, to about 150 Brethren, on St. John Baptist’s Day, 1721. Every grand lodge now provides in what manner changes to its Constitution and General regulations shall be made.