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is to judge for himself whether he thinks proper to associate with them, and submit to be conformable to the bylaws. Being thus free to judge for himself, he may either withdraw, or if he thinks proper to continue the primary steps taken for his admission, he will find that he has no cause of regret of having been admitted into a society where he will meet with men of honor, be exercised in all the offices of brotherly love, and be made acquainted with mysteries which it is not my province here to describe, but which can be obtained by any brother who has the prescribed requisitions, and will pay due attention to the lectures which are explained in the lodge. He also ought to reflect in his own mind whether he could conscientiously subscribe the following queries, which in some lodges is required to be given before admission, signed by the candidate in presence of two witnesses.
“I, A. B., do seriously declare, upon my honour, that unbiassed by friends, and uninfluenced by unworthy motives, I freely and voluntarily offer myself a candidate for the mysteries of Free Masonry ; that I am solely prompted by a favourable opinion preconceived of the institution, a desire of knowledge, and a sincere wish to render myself serviceable to my fellow creatures; and that I will cheerfully conform to the established rules and customs of the order. Witness my hand, this
Having in the foregoing chapter treated as briefly as possible of the temper and qualifications of those who wish to become free and accepted Masons, I shall now proceed to collect and digest the regulations of a Lodge and its government.
OF A LODGE AND ITS GOVERNMENT.
OF A LODGE.
A LODGE is a place where Masons congregate and work; the assembly of such a body of Masons is called a Lodge, just as the word church or chapel is expressive both of the congregation of people, and of the place in which they meet for worship, and every brother ought to belong to one, and to be subject to its particular by-laws, and the rules of the G. L. under whose jurisdiction it is situated. In ancient times, no brother could absent himself, especially when summoned to attend, without incurring a censure, until he could satisfy the Lodge that pure necessity, and not neglect, had been the cause of his absence.
OF OFFICERS AND MEMBERS IN GENERAL.
A Lodge ought to assemble for work at least once in every calendar month, or as often as the by-laws of each particular Lodge require; and must consist of one Master, two Wardens, Secretary, Treasurer, two Deacons, two Stewards, a Tyler, and as many members as the majority of the Lodge from time to time think proper; although more than forty or fifty, when they can attend regularly, are generally found inconvenient for working to advantage ; and therefore, when a lodge comes to be thus numerous, some of the ablest master workmen, and others under their direction, will obtain leave to separate, and apply to the Grand Lodge for a warrant to work by themselves, in order to the further advancement of the order. But such warrant cannot be granted to any number of Masons, nor can a new Lodge be formed, unless there be among them three Master Masons, to be nominated and installed officers, for governing and instructing the brethren of such Lodge, and promoting them in due time according to merit.
OF THE MASTER, HIS ELECTION, OFFICE AND DUTY.
Preferment among Masons depends on real worth and personal merit only, in order that the society may be well served, and the ancient order maintained.
No brother should be elected to serve as master or presiding officer, until he has first served a Lodge in the capacity of Warden ; unless in extraordinary cases, or when a new Lodge is formed, and no Pastmaster or former Wardens can be found among them. But three Master Masons, although they have not served in any offices, may, if well skilled in the art, be constituted Master and Wardens of such new Lodge, or of any old I.odge, in such cases as laid down by the rules and regulations of the Grand Lodge, under whose jurisdiction they are; it is a duty incumbent on the presiding officer, and in fact of every subordinate officer and member, to qualify themselves thoroughly for the offices they are called upon to fill, or to the work entrusted to them.
The Master of the Lodge shall be annually chosen by ballot,* on a stated meeting, of which each member ought to receive special notice ; a majority of the votes is necessary for an election. In like manner, at the same time, the Lodge proceeds in the choice of all the other officers. Care ought to be taken that none be put in nomination for favour or affection, birth or fortune, except the consideration of real merit, and ability to fill the office. The Master of every regular Lodge duly elected and installed, has it in especial charge, as appertaining to his office, duty and dignity, to see that the by-laws of his Lodge, as well as the general regulations of the Grand Lodge, be duly observed ; that his Wardens discharge their duty, and be examples of diligence to the fraternity; that true and exact minutes of the proceedings be made and kept by the Secretary ; that the Treasurer keep and render just accounts, at such times as the by-laws require it, and that all the property of the Lodge be taken proper care of, and no money expended unless by a legal vote of the Lodge.
* In some Countries the election takes place semi-annually, the rules of the G. L. and by-laws of the Lodge generally regulate this matter.
It is the special duty of the master, that no advancement be given in any degree, unless the brother has duly qualified himself in his former studies, always having a due regard to reward true merit. The master of every particular Lodge has the right and authority of calling his Lodge, upon any emergency, which, in his judgment, may require their meeting; it is likewise his duty to attend the Grand Lodge at their communications or special meetings, whenever the welfare of the craft requires it, and when duly summoned by the Grand Secretary, and within reasonable distance of the place of holding the Grand Lodge. When in the Grand Lodge, the Master has full authority and power to represent his Lodge, and to transact all matters, as well and truly as if the whole body was present.
It is the Master's duty to see that all laws, enacted by the lodge and sanctioned by the Grand Lodge, be entered in a proper book, as also to have a correct list kept of all the members of the lodge. Other duties equally important can only be acquired by a constant attendance at the meetings of the lodges.
OF THE WARDENS OF A LODGE.
None but Master Masons are eligible to the office of Wardens. The Senior Warden succeeds to all the duties of the Master, and fills the chair when he is absent. If the Master goes abroad on business, resigns, or is deposed, the Senior shall fill his place until the next stated election. Although formerly it was customary in the absence of the Master, his authority reverted to the last Pastmaster, it is now however uniformly settled, that the authority devolves on the Senior Warden, and in his absence upon the Junior Warden. Generally, out of respect, the Wardens will honour a Pastmaster to preside, in which case, however, he still holds his authority under the Wardens.
The business of the Wardens of the lodge is generally to assist the Master in conducting the business, and managing the craft in due form and order.
OF THE SECRETARY OF A LODGE.
The Secretary is an elective officer and chosen by ballot. He shall keep a proper register or record of all transactions and proceedings of the meetings, which may be committed to writing : and which shall be faithfully entered on the minutes, in open lodge, and after being read, amended, if necessary; and ought to be approved of before the close of every meeting, in order that nothing might be put down