Надверный молоток масонской
God and Religion
the Civil Magistrate Supreme and Subordinate
Masters, Wardens, Fellows, and Apprentices
the Management of the Craft in working
the Lodge while constituted
after the Lodge
over and the
when Brethren meet without Strangers,
not in a Lodge form'd
in Presence of Strangers not Masons
at Home, and in your Neighbourhood
God and Religion.
A Mason is oblig'd, by this 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 charg'd in every Country to be of the Religion of that
Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet 'tis 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 an true, or
Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they
may be distinguish'd; whereby Masonry becomes the Centre of Union, and
the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have
remain'd at a perpetual Distance.
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 concern'd
in Plots an Conspiracies against the Peace an 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 dispos'd to encourage the Craftsmen, because
of their Peaceableness and Loyalty, whereby they practically answer'd the
Cavils of their Adversaries, and promoted the Honour of the Fraternity,
who ever flourish'd in Times of Peace. So that if a Brother should be a
Rebel against the State, he is not to be countenanc'd 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 Rebellion,
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.
III- Of Lodges.
A Lodge is a Place where Masons assemble
and work: Hence that Assembly, or duly organiz'd Society of Masons, is
call'd 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 annex'd. In ancient Times, no Master
or Fellow could be absent from it, especially when warn'd to appear at
it, without incurring a severe Censure, until it appear'd to the Master
and Wardens, that pure Necessity hinder'd 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.
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 despis'd: 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 uncapable to 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 should be descended of honest Parents
; that so, when otherwise qualify'd, he may arrive to the Honour 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 has pass'd the part of a Fellow-Craft; nor a Master
until he has acted as a Warden, nor Grand Warden until he has 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 honourable Discharge
of his Office, the Grand-Master has a Power to chuse 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 rules and Governors, Supreme and Subordinate, of the
ancient Lodge, are to be obey'd in their respective Stations by all the
Brethren, according to the old Charges and Regulations, with all Humility,
Reverence, Love, and Alacrity.
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 confirm'd by Custom, shall be observ'd. 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 call'd 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 Lodge. The Master, knowing
himself to be able of Cunning, shall undertake the Lord's Work as reasonably
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 accustom'd 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-Craftman 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 employ'd,
shall meekly receive their Wages without Murmuring or Mutiny, and not desert
the Master till the Work is finish'd. A younger Brother shall be instructed
in working, to prevent spoiling the Materials for want of Judgment, and
for encreasing and continuing of Brotherly Love. All the Tools used in
working shall be approved by the Grand Lodge. No Labourer shall be employ'd
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 Labourers
and unaccepted Masons, as they should teach a Brother or Fellow.
VI- Of Behaviour,
You are not to hold private Committees,
or separate Conversation, without Leave from the Master, nor to talk of
any thing 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 Pretence 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 referr'd, unless a Lord's Work
be hinder'd the mean while, in which Case a particular Reference may be
made; but you must never go to Law about what concern the Masonry, without
an absolute Necessity apparent to the Lodge.
1. In the Lodge while constituted.
after the Lodge is over
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 Catholick Religion above-mention'd; we are also of all
Nations, Tongues, Kindreds, and Languages, and resolv'd against all politicks,
as what never yet conduc'd to the Welfare of the Lodge, nor ever will.
This Charges has been always strictly enjoin'd and observ'd; but especially
ever since the Reformation in Britain, or the Dissent and Secession of
these Nations from the Communion of Rome.
and the Brethren not gone.
when Brethren meet without Strangers,
You are to salute one another in a courteous
manner, as you will be instructed, calling each other Brother, freely giving
mutual Instructions 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 Honour
to whom it is due, and avoid ill Manners.
but not in a Lodge form'd.
in Presence of Strangers not Masons.
You shall be cautious in your Words and
Carriage, 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 Honour of the worshipful Fraternity.
at Home, and in your Neighbourhood.
You are to act as becomes a moral and
wise Man; particularly, not to let your Family, Friends, and Neighbours
know the concerns of the Lodge, etc. but wisely to consult your own Honour,
and that of the ancient Brotherhood, for Reasons not to be mention'd 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.
towards a Strange Brother.
You are cautiously to examine him, in
such a Method as Prudence shall direct you, that you may not be impos'd
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 reliev'd: You must employ him some Days, or else recommend
him to be employ'd. 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.
Finally, 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 Cape-stone, the Cement
and Glory of this ancient Fraternity, avoiding all Wrangling and Quarrelling,
all Slander an 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 Honour 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 Fore-fathers 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 Law-Suits, 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, the must however carry on their Process,
or Law-Suit, without Wrath an Rancor (not in the common way) saying or
doing nothing which may hinder Brotherly Love, and good Offices to be renew'd
and continu'd; 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