MassachusettsEdicts MFM1841 1850

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Prior to 1875, a considerable amount of Masonic jurisprudence was based on the advice and direction published in The Freemasons' Monthly Magazine, published in Boston and edited by one of the foremost Masonic authorities of the time, Rt. Wor. Charles W. Moore. While not established as edicts or rulings by Grand Masters, they were consequential in the establishment of precedents and contributed to the decisions made in later years.

Comments and views in the publication were often lengthy, but were generally based on sound reasoning that the author provided in response to inquiries from many Grand Jurisdictions.


Right of Expulsion

From Vol. I, No. 2, December 1841, p. 33:

"Resolved, That an expulsion or suspension from an Encampment, does not suspend or expel a Brother from a Blue Lodge, under the Constitution and By-Laws of this Grand Lodge."

"The above resolution was adopted by the Grand Lodge of the State of Kentucky, at its annual communication, in August last. Expulsion is the highest penal power known to Masonry. It can only be inflicted for a violation of some fundamental principle of the Institution. It is a general power, derived from the ancient constitutions and practices of the Fraternity, and can neither be abrogated nor abridged by the special enactments of any local Masonic association. When, therefore, the Grand Lodge of Kentucky says, that an expulsion from an Encampment does not, under its Constitution and By-Laws, expel a Brother from a Blue Lodge, it is to be understood as saying, that the antagonist principle is not authorized by the ancient usages and land-marks of the Craft. If it were so authorized, then any adverse regulation which that Grand Lodge might see fit to adopt, would be inoperative beyond the limits of its own jurisdiction. The Fraternity at large would not be affected by it. . .

"The reasons which led to the adoption of the resolution, are not so fully and distinctly stated in the published proceedings of the Grand Lodge, as we could have desired. It appears, however, that a Brother had been expelled from the Louisville Encampment, and another suspended from the Louisville Royal Arch Chapter, for non-payment of dues, and that for this cause, they had been refused admission as visitors by two of the subordinate Lodges. The Grand Lodge says, that "this refusal was wrong, and at war with the principles which should govern subordinate Lodges in regard to visiting Brethren." It was in evidence that these Brethren were in good standing as Master Masons.

"We hold that the principle maintained by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, is sound and legitimate. The case of the Brethren whose expulsion, (or suspension,) has given rise to the question, is to the point, and sufficient at least for one branch of the argument. They were Masons of good standing in their respective Lodges. They had committed no offence in derogation of their moral characters, or in violation of their general duties and obligations as members of the Fraternity. They had failed to comply with the terms of a conventional agreement entered into with constituent branches of distinct Orders of the Masonic family,— between the government of which and that of the Lodges, there is no necessary connexion. They had broken their engagements,— the one with the Chapter and the other with the Encampment,— and had thereby subjected themselves to the penalty prescribed by the by-laws of those institutions. Whether that penalty be suspension or explusion,— whether it be regarded as unwarrantably severe or lenient,— its infliction was legal and proper ; because, it was the condition on which they had been admitted to fellowship. It was in the bond. But neither the Chapter nor Encampment is invested with power to prescribe the conditions on which members shall be received into the Lodges, or to dictate, the terms on which they shall be expelled. They may make laws for their own government, but not for the regulation of other independent associations. . . But the effect of their expulsion could not influence the action of the Lodges, against whose discipline no offence had been committed. Nor does it appear from any evidence in our possession, that they anticipated such a result. The error,— for so we must regard it,— was committed by the Lodges in refusing to receive the delinquent Brethren as visitors. . .

"The converse of the principle does not hold. A Brother expelled from a Lodge, would be excluded from all the rights and privileges of Masonry, whether embraced in the degrees of the Chapter or the Orders of Knighthood; because, Royal Arch Masons and Knights Templars are also Master Masons, and may not Masonically associate with an expelled Brother. But all Masons are not Knights Templars; and there is no existing regulation, nor can one be constitutionally made, by which a Brother of the third degree would be prohibited from Masonically associating with an expelled Knight Templar, so long as he holds his rank and standing as a Master Mason. The Grand Lodge of Kentucky is therefore right, if our reasoning be correct, in the decision, 'that an expulsion or suspension from an Encampment, does not suspend or expel a Brother from a Blue Lodge.' "


Suspension of By-Laws

From Vol. II, No. 6, April 1843, Page 165:

"We notice in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, had at its last annual communication, two decisions, which may be considered as possessing more than ordinary interest. . .

Has a Lodge the right to suspend its By-Laws for the purpose of acting on any particular question ?"

"The decision of the Grand Lodge was in the negative; and it was undoubtedly correct. Were it permitted to Lodges to suspend their By-Laws at pleasure, those laws would afford little security either to themselves or to the Grand Lodge. A majority of the members present would be able, at any thinly attended meeting, to carry measures which might destroy the harmony, or materially injure the prospects of the Lodge. The power to suspend would, for all practical purposes, be equivalent to the power to alter or amend. By it a small minority might be enabled to effect results which would not have been sanctioned by the majority. Such a power is dangerous. We have heard its existence contended for, but never knew it to be admitted in any Masonic body. The parliamentary rule does not furnish an analogous case."

Conferral of Past Master's Degree by Grand Lodge

Our Natchez correspondent has sent us the following interrogatories, which have been in agitation before the Grand Lodge of Mississippi, and have, almost as a matter of course, given rise to some difference of opinion among the members of that body. He does not inform us how they were finally disposed of, nor has he given us any intimation of the grounds of difference. We however cheerfully comply with the request to state our own views on the subject, and the practice of the Grand Lodge of this Commonwealth:—

From Vol. II, No. 8, June, 1843, p. 225:

Response to a question given to the Editor: "Do you confer the Past Master's degree upon Masters elect, in Grand Lodge ?—requiring all under that degree to withdraw, of course."

. . . We give a negative answer. The right to confer degrees in Grand Lodge, we do not question; because, in our judgment, the Grand Lodge cannot delegate a power to a subordinate Lodge, which it does not itself possess The latter exists, and is authorized to confer degrees, only by the authority which it derives from the former. It is the agent, exercising the functions of the parent body. If, therefore, it have power to confer the degrees, it is because that power exists as one of the functions of the Grand Lodge. (It is not probably generally known to our readers, that by the regulations adopted at the organization of the Grand Lodge of England, in 1717, the Grand Lodge retained the exclusive right of passing and raising all Masons who were initiated in the subordinate Lodges instituted by its authority. It continued to exercise this power for many years. No degrees are now, bowerer, conferred by that Grand Lodge.)

The expediency of conferring the Past Master's, or any other degree, in Grand Lodge, is a question on which there is a diversity of opinion among the Brethren in this country. Our own is against the practice. Grand Lodges are legislative bodies. In them alone resides the power of enacting laws and regulations for the government of the Craft,—of granting warrants for the constitution of new Lodges,—of regulating the manner of conferring the degrees,—of "devising plans, problems and propositions, for the private Lodges to execute," and of maintaining and exercising a general supervision and control over the affairs of the Fraternity within their respective jurisdictions. These seem to us to be the legitimate and proper duties of Grand Lodges. While, therefore, we do not deny the right, we question the expediency, of their conferring degrees of any kind.

The present practice, both in this country and in Europe, very generally corresponds with what we regard as the expediency in the case. As a general rule, the Grand Lodges confine themselves to their legislative functions. There are, however, exceptions. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, we believe, in particular cases, and as a mark of special distinction, confers the first three degrees on distinguished candidates. The authority for this, she finds in the usages of the Craft, before the regulations were so well defined as at present The Grand Masters of some of the States claim the right to assemble any sufficient number of Brethren, and confer the "degrees at sight." It is a question, however, whether the present organization and usage of the Fraternity, do not abrogate both these ancient practices,—admitting that there is authority for the latter. But let that be as it may, they have become obsolete, and would probably be sanctioned by but few of the Grand Lodges either in this country or in Europe. The conferring of the degrees in Grand Lodge, at this day, and in this country, as marks of distinction, we regard as even more objectionable than the " making of Masons at sight" It is drawing a line between Brethren, little in accordance with the pure ritual and the true spirit of genuine Freemasonry.

The practice in this Commonwealth, is for the Master of the Lodge, in connection with two or more Past Masters, to qualify his successor in office, unless he shall have previously received the Past Master's degree in a Lodge, acting under the warrant of a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons; for, in this country, by some anomalous arrangement, the propriety of which is not readily perceived, the Chapters are authorized to qualify Brethren to preside in Lodges! or, in other words, the Grand Chapters exercise a jurisdiction over a matter which properly belongs to the Grand Lodges. The effect of this is to produce irregularity in conferring the degree. (The degree is sometimes conferred by the District Deputy Grand Masters, while os their official Visits; but never unless requested by the Master, or the immediate Past Master of the Lodge.)

Qualifications of Grand Wardens

From Vol. II, No. 8, June, 1843, p. 227:

Response to questions given to the Editor: "Do you allow Master Masons to be elected to the office of Grand Wardens? Are Grand Wardens entitled to the degree of Past Master, by virtue of their office?"

One of the Ancient Charges (Vide English Constitutions, p. 7) or original Constitutions, declares, that "no Brother can be a Grand Warden, until he has been Matter of a Lodge. Every Brother who serves as Master of a Lodge, attains to the rank of Past Master, and is required to assume the obligations belonging to that degree. It follows, therefore, that the mere Master Mason, independent of the rank conferred on him by virtue of his election as Master of a Lodge, is not eligible to the office of Grand Warden. The question proposed would seem to be answered, without going more fully into the argument. We will merely add, that the regulation of the Grand Lodge of this Commonwealth, is in conformity with the ancient Constitution. We believe this to be the general usage.

A Brother cannot, by the Constitution quoted, nor by the regulations of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, be elected to the office of Grand Warden, until he shall have been Master of a Lodge; or, in other words, unless he be a Past Master. His election, therefore, if he were merely a Master Mason, would be void. It would not, of course, entitle him to the Past Master's degree. The whole matter, however, is summed up in few words: a Brother cannot attain to that rank of Past Master, until he has been elected to preside over a Lodge of Masons. If any practice exist, contrary to this rule, it is irregular.

From Vol. III, No. 1, November, 1843, p. 3:

In June last, we offered some remarks on the subject of the Past Master's Degree, and the election of Master Masons to the office of Grand Wardens. They were in reply to certain questions which had been in agitation before the Grand Lodge of Mississippi, and were communicated to us by our intelligent correspondent at Natchez, with the request that we would give our views on the subjects to which they referred. We have since received, from the same source, the following note :

Natchez, Aug. 18, 1843.

"Br. Moore,—I thank you for answering my questions in your June No., but you do not settle the whole difficulty. The Grand Lodge being composed of the Master and Wardens of subordinate Lodges, as well as Past Masters, has, as members, many who are only Master Masons; in the selection of officers, how will these Master Masons be able to distinguish the Past Masters from the Master Masons? They are qualified to vote without being qualified to be voted for! They are members without the ordinary privilege of membership, that of holding office. (1.) A Master Mason, can be elected to the office of Grand Master (for he can be qualified to preside after his election,) but cannot be elected to the office of Grand Warden! (2.) Suppose it should accidentally occur that none should be present in a Grand Lodge, except the Wardens of subordinate Lodges, who are only Master Masons, (and such a thing is possible though not probable,) who would vouch for the absent Past Master candidates? (3.) Year before the last, the Grand Lodge of the State of Mississippi decided, in accordance with all its previous practice, that a Master Mason could not hold the office of Warden, and the last year that he could. I have suggested the above inconsistencies and difficulties, for your consideration, without offering an opinion, as we look to the East for more light on the subject."

(1.) The ancient Constitution, quoted in the article referred to by our correspondent expressly declares, that "no Brother can be a Grand Warden, until he has been Master of a Lodge." This would seem to settle the question. The Constitution is the supreme law, and our duty clearly is, not to endeavor to warp its provisions to suit our own convenience, but to conform our measures to its requirements.

Our correspondent says, the Grand Lodge is composed of the Masters and Wardens, as well as Past Masters, and asks how the Wardens are to distinguish the Past Masters? We answer :—1st. The Masters, being likewise Past Masters, can give them the necessary information. 2dly. If this be not satisfactory, they may require, (if the Grand Lodge sustain them,) a certificate of the fact, under the seal of the Lodge over which the Brother in nomination has presided, and in which he received the degree of Past Master. As a further security, it is provided by the Constitutions, that an officer in Grand Lodge can be installed into office only by a Past Master—by the Grand Master, his Deputy, or some respectable and venerable Past Master of a Lodge, appointed by the Grand Master for the purpose,—whose imperative duty it is to ascertain that the Brother elected, is duly qualified, before he proceeds to install him. We are inclined to think that this point is sufficiently guarded.

That the Wardens of a Lodge, "are qualified to vote without being qualified to be voted for," is no more an anomaly in Masonry than in government. By the Constitution of the United States, a citizen is qualified to vote for Representatives to the National Legislature, when he shall have attained to the age of twentyone years, but he cannot be "voted for," to fill that station, until he has reached the age of twentyfive years; nor can he be elected to the United States Senate before he is thirty years of age, or nine years after he is "qualified to vote" for Senators. The Constitution acts upon the principle that age and experience are requisite in offices of great trust and responsibility. It does not question the ability of younger men to appreciate the talents and capabilities of their seniors. Nor do the Masonic Constitutions doubt the ability of Wardens of Lodges to judge of the fitness of candidates for the office of Grand Warden. They do, however, require that before they can themselves be eligible, they must have the experience of Masters of Lodges. And this is only carrying out that principle in the Constitutions, which declares, that " no Brother can be Master until he has first served a Lodge acceptably in the office of Warden, unless in extraordinary cases, or when a new Lodge is to be formed." (Ahiman Rezon, Chap. II, Sec. 6, Art. "of the Master of a Lodge," &c. Edition of 1783.) In our judgment, both these provisions are founded in wisdom, and ought not to be inconsiderately departed from. The office of Master of a Lodge is an important one,—that of Grand Warden still more so; and Brethren holding them cannot be too well qualified, nor too thoroughly acquainted with the routine of their duties.

(2.) The Grand Master must, however, be qualified before he is installed, and before he can be permitted to preside in Grand Lodge. The regulation in respect to the Grand Master, is not so strict as that in relation to Grand Wardens, because it has generally been deemed expedient and advantageous for the Fraternity, in electing a Grand Master, to avail themselves of the talents, rank, and influence of some Brother distinguished in public life; and in consideration of his supposed inexperience in the practical details of the Craft, he has the inherent power of appointing his own Deputy, who is usually a skilful and experienced Brother. No such provision is made for the Grand Wardens. They are supposed to be acquainted with their own duties. We are by no means certain that, in this country, where worth, and not place, makes the man, the interests of the Fraternity would not be promoted by requiring, that one of the requisite qualifications of a candidate for the Grand Mastership, should be that he has served at least one year as Grand Warden.

(3.) This is hardly a supposable case. Should it occur, the Grand Lodge could not be opened.

Right of Grand Wardens to Preside

From Vol. II, No. 8, June, 1843, p. 227:

Response to questions given to the Editor: "Have not Grand Wardens, by ancient and modern regulations both, the right to preside over subordinate Lodges, which they may visit?"

The terms of this question arc not sufficiently explicit. It should have been stated, whether the visit is to be considered as an official or informal one. We will endeavor, however, to furnish such an answer as shall meet the case. In the first place then, if the visit be an official one, the regulation is, that in the absence of the Grand Master and his Deputy, "the Senior or Junior Grand Warden may preside as Deputy, in visiting Lodges, or in constituting new Lodges." (Harris' Masonic Constitutions, p. 69; Dalcho's Ahimon Rezon, p. 117.) On the other hand, if the visit of the Grand Warden be an informal one, having no immediate connection with his official duties, he will be received with the respect due to a Grand Officer, but will not, in our opinion, be entitled to supersede the presiding Master. The regulations on this subject are not so full nor so well defined, as could be desired. They may, however, enable us to arrive at a correct result. The English Constitutions say :—

"The Grand Master has full authority to preside in any Lodge, and to order any of his Grand Officers to attend him. His Deputy is to be placed on his right hand, and the Master of the Lodge on his left hand. His Wardens are also to act as Wardens of that particular Lodge, during his presence." (English Constitutions, p. 30)

"The Deputy Grand Master has full authority, unless the Grand Master or Pro-Grand Master be present, to preside in every Lodge which he may visit, with the Master of the Lodge on his right hand. The Grand Wardens, if present, are to act as Wardens." (English Constitutions, p. 33)

"The Grand Wardens, whenever commanded, are to attend the Grand Master, and while he presides in any particular Lodge, are to act there as his Wardens." (English Constitutions, p. 34)

The Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Scotland (Chap. 8, Sec. 2; see also Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Maryland.) contain similar regulations. They provide that the Grand Wardens, on occasions when the Grand Master visits the Lodges, shall preside as Wardens; but they make no provision for their presiding as Masters, in the absence of the Grand Master and his Deputy. The inference, therefore, is, that the Grand Wardens have not the "right to preside over subordinate Lodges, which they may visit," unofficially. If commissioned by the Grand Master, they "may preside as Deputy." If it were intended that they should have the power to supersede the Master, whenever they might see fit to make an informal visit to a subordinate Lodge, the Constitutions would have made the same provision in their behalf, that is made for the Grand Master and his Deputy. In the absence of any such authority, and in view of the fact, that special provision is made for their presiding when, in the absence of their superior officers, they are required to visit the Lodges, officially, we come to the conclusion, that the right is not vested in them.

As a matter of courtesy, it may have been usual with many Masters of Lodges in different sections of the country, to invite one of the G. Wardens, when present, to take the chair. In this sense the practice may perhaps be regarded as a commendable one; though, like every other mark of respect, it depreciates in value as it is extended ; and it is not improbable that this consideration may have operated to induce the authors of the Constitutions to limit the right to the Grand Master, and his immediate representative. But in discussing questions of this nature, we are not to consider what is courteous, or what is expedient; but what is authorized by the Constitutions and regulations of the Craft.


Restoration of an Expelled Brother

From Vol. III, No. 4, February, 1844, p. 119:

Decisions made by the Grand Lodge of Missouri at its annual convocation in October 1843 concerned a petition to restore a Brother expelled by a another jurisdiction.

"The Committee appointed, to whom was referred a memorial from Independence Lodge, No. 35, touching the expulsion of Thomas N. Burgess, by Winchester Lodge, No. 20, working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, have had the same under consideration, and offer the following report as the result of their deliberations.

"It appears from the history of the case, as gathered from the memorial, that the said Burgess was a member of the said Winchester Lodge in Oct 1840; that he left that place at that time, leaving his family and some unsettled accounts behind him, and removed to Independence, Missouri, where he became a member of Independence Lodge, No. 35; that subsequent to his leaving Kentucky, and before settling his dues and demitting in a regular manner from said Winchester Lodge, proceedings were instituted against him in said Lodge, and for causes sufficient in the judgment of said Lodge, he was expelled from the Fraternity. If the object of the memorial before your Committee is understood, your memorialists now ask this Grand Lodge to restore said Burgess again to full membership in our Order, upon the ground that, in their opinion, justice has not been done said Burgess by said Winchester Lodge.

"In considering the request of the memorialists, in view of the above facts, two important questions present themselves for consideration, viz: 1st: Was the said Burgess under the jurisdiction of Winchester Lodge, No. 20, at the time of their action in his case? and, 2d. Can the Grand Lodge of Missouri, with any degree of right or propriety, call in question the dealings or administration of any Lodge towards its members, not within its jurisdiction? That Mr. Burgess was a member of the Winchester Lodge at the time of his expulsion, appears evident, not only from the facts stated above, in which it is seen that his connection with it was never dissolved, but it seems not to be denied 'by the memorialists themselves. If he were a member, their right to expel him, for causes in their judgment sufficient, cannot be denied.

"The second question is one of a serious and important character, but not difficult of solution. A Grand Lodge holding a free and independent existence, exercises exclusive Masonic jurisdiction within its limits. This is a right sacredly held by each, and generously granted by all. For one Grand Lodge to call in question the acts and doings of a subordinate Lodge under the jurisdiction of another Grand Lodge, is to do violence to the great principles of sovereignty claimed by and allowed to every Grand Lodge lawfully organized in the Masonic world, and would result in consequences dangerous to the Harmony, if not destructive of the best interests of the Fraternity. So far as the question of right or power is concerned, your Committee are of opinion that this Grand Lodge cannot grant the prayer of the memorialists.

"Your Committee take occasion to suggest to the Grand Lodge the propriety of expressing its disapprobation in regard to the unmasonic practice too much indulged in within its jurisdiction, of receiving members into the various sub-Lodges from abroad, who have presented no evidence either of their good standing in the Lodge from which they hail, or that they have taken a regular demit before applying for membership in any other Lodge. Tn view of the whole subject, your Committee recommend to the Grand Lodge the adoption of the following resolutions:

  • "Resolved, That the Grand Lodge has no power to restore to membership an expelled Mason, whose expulsion was by a Lodge working under the jurisdiction of any other Grand Lodge.
  • "Resolved, That every Mason from abroad, applying for membership in any subordinate Lodge under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, shall be required to present satisfactory evidence to such Lodge, that they have taken a regular demit from the Lodge of which they had been previously a member, or that such Lodge is no longer in existence."

Right of Visit

From Vol. III, No. 8, p. 242, June, 1844:

"Will our enlightened Brother of the Freemason's Magazine give us his views upon the following questions, which are submitted with a candid desire of obtaining correct information:

"Is it not the inherent right of all Masons, in good standing, to visit any Lodge of his own degree, as often as he thinks proper, and wherever he may be found, freely and without hindrance?
"Is it consistent with the rights of a Mason in good standing, for a Lodge to obstruct his privilege of visitation, by imposing upon him a tax for each visit, when he is not a member of the Lodge to which he seeks admittance?"

- Maysville, Ky., Masonic Mirror."

In the old Constitutions it is laid down as a rule, that every Brother should belong to some Regular Lodge. On this basis the Grand Lodge of England has predicated the following regulation: -

"A Brother, who is not a subscribing member to some Lodge, shall not be permitted to visit any one Lodge in the town or place where he resides, more than once, during his secession from the Craft." (Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England, p. 89)

If the principle here advanced be correct, the right to visit cannot be regarded as an inherent right, because it has only a conditional, not an innate existence. It is, on the contrary, a conventional right. The terms on which it may be enjoyed are dictated by the Grand Lodge. These being complied with, it exists, by courtesy and usage, if not by statute, in full and entire force. It may be said, that the Lodges, having a constitutional right to make regulations for their own government, may lawfully prescribe to themselves the conditions on which they may receive visitors. But the regulations of a private Lodge may not conflict with those of the Grand Lodge, from which it derives its existence and all its authority. Subordinate lodges possess no original powers, nor are they at liberty to arrogate to themselves the exercise of those which are exclusively vested in the parent body. It would seem, therefore, that unless the Grand Lodge has imposed restrictions, and stipulated the conditions on which alone Brethren residing within its jurisdiction, may visit the Lodges under its control, the right to visit, as to "all Masons in good standing," is "free and without hindrance." On the contrary, if the Grand Lodge, in its wisdom, has thought proper to restrict the right, it is obligatory on the Lodges to enforce the terms of the restriction.

In early times, and prior to the present organization of the Institution, Lodges generally existed as operative companies, working under Masters and Wardens, and employing no more Brethren than were necessary for the work on which they were engaged. The only regulation in respect to visitors, which appears to have been at that time in force, is the following. It is contained in one of the ancient charges:

"That every Mason receive and cherish strange fellowes when they come over the countrie, and set them on works, if they will worke, as the manner is; that is to say, if the Mason has any mould stone in his place, he shall give him a mould stone, and set him on worke; and if he have none, the Mason shall refresh him with money unto the next Lodge." (Book of Ancient Constitutions, p. 24.)

The right to visit here is distinctly recognized; but it is as to Brethren coming "over the countrie" in pursuit of employment; not as to Brethren residing in the place where the Lodge is situated, and refusing to work. Such Brethren seem not to have been known at that early period. There may have been, as now, drones in the hive, living on the labors of their associates; but, it is believed, no specific provisions were ever made for their accommodation and support.

There was, also, at the time referred to, another class of Lodges, which were not operative; but if they had any different regulation on the subject, it has not come down to us. The next earliest we find on record, was adopted by the Grand Lodge of England, as an amendment to the old Constitutions, on the 19th February, 1723, - six years after the reorganization of the Fraternity. It is as follows: -

"No visitor, however skilled in Masonry, shall be admitted into a Lodge, unless he is personally known to, or well recommended by, one of the Lodge present." (Constitutions, edition 1764 - p. 209.)

Hence it is manifest that the Grand Lodge of England, at its earliest organization, claimed the right to dictate the terms on which alone Brethren were to be admitted into the subordinate Lodges as visitors. This right it has continued to exercise to the present time. We accordingly find in its Constitutions the following corresponding regulation: -

"No visitor shall be admitted into a Lodge, unless he be personally known, recommended, or well vouched for, after due examination, by one of the Brethren present." (Constitutions, edition 1841, p. 88).

Had the right to visit been regarded as an inherent right, it is not to be presumed that the Grand Lodge of England would have deemed it expedient to restrict and regulate it by fixed laws. The restriction, however, is limited. A non-affiliated Brother is not permitted to visit the same Lodge in the town or city where he resides, more than once; but he may visit Lodges in other places as often as shall suit his convenience or inclination. This places him on a footing with those '"strange fellowes" who anciently came "over the countrie"; ahd thus while the new retains the spirit of the old regulation, it charitably supposes that the visiting brother does "worke", when at home, "as the manner is."

The principle involved in the regulation is, that if a Brother would share in the privileges and participate in the pleasures of the Lodge, he should contribute equally with his fellows to its support. Were it otherwise, the burden would be unequal. Members of Lodges are generally required to pay an annual tax for the support of the Lodge to which they belong, and frequently an additional tax for the maintenance of the Grand Lodge or the Grand Charity Fund. They are likewise required to be regular in their attendance at Lodge meetings; and when the calls of charity are to be answered, - when a sick Brother is to be relieved, his remains returned to the earth, his children provided for, or the wants of his widow supplied, - it is the members, and not the visitors, of a Lodge, on whom those duties devolve. The latter, therefore, enjoy all the privileges and reap all the advantages, while the former perform all the duties and bear all the burdens of the Institution. This is wrong in principle, and therefore not right in Masonry. The Grand Lodge of England carry this point so far as to not only exclude non-affiliated Brethren to the extent already stated, but to provide, by a Constitutional regulation, that "no persons shall receive the benefit of the fund of benevolence, but those who have been regularly initiated in a warranted Lodge, who have paid the full consideration-fee, who have been registered in the books of the Grand Lodge, and who have continued members of a contributing Lodge for at least two years, and have, during that period, paid their quarterly dues to the fund of benevolence. (Constitutions, ed. 1841, p. 94.) This rule does not, of course, apply to foreign Brethren. They may be relieved on the production of certificates from their respective Grand Lodges . . . and satisfactory proof of their identity and distress. (Constitutions, ed. 1841, p. 101.)

We will not stop to discuss the propriety of carrying the regulation to the extent here indicted. We cannot, however, refrain from the remark that we do not perceive any injustice in withholding the benefits of a benevolent fund from Brethren who have contributed nothing towards its creation. It is only carrying out the principle which restricts the right of visit, - a principle which is broadly recognized in the Constitutions of some of the Grand Lodges in this country, as well as in Europe, and which was clearly sanctioned by the late National Convention in recommending that a capitation tax be laid on all the Brethren who are not members of Lodges; for, the only lawful way in which this recommendation can be enforced, is by a suspension fo the right of visit. And if this right may be suspended or regulated by the Grand Lodges, it is not an "inherent right", to be exercised "freely and without hindrance."

In answer to the second interrogatory: We are not aware of the existence of any regulation or custom which authorizes or sanctions the Lodges in imposing taxes upon visitors. This is a matter, the adjustment of which, in our opinion, lies exclusively with the Grand Lodges. At a time when it was usual to furnish refreshments after the Lodge duties were over, the Brethren, including visitors, were generally subjected to a small assessment. But this was to defray the extraordinary expenses, and was not a "tax for visiting." Any Brother not wishing to partake of the refreshments, was at liberty to retire, and would not be liable to assessment. This practice still exists in Europe, subject to the regulation here named. In this country, it has happily been abandoned, - at least, we are not aware of its existence.

Conferring the Degrees

From Vol. III, No. 9, p. 275, July, 1844:

The Committee to whom was referred "the order for prohibiting the conferring of more than one Degree on the same candidate, on the same evening, or short of a month, unless by Dispensation, report:

That they have carefully examined the order, and compared it with all ancient rules and usages on the subject, so far as they could have access to them.

They find that the junction of the two Grand Lodges of England, the Grand Lodge of all England, at York, and the Grand Lodge of England, at London, which was effected in 1813, the Constitutions of the Order were revised and collated, with careful and laborious investigation, with a view to ascertain, present and preserve the true ancient laws and usages. For several years the investigation was prosecuted by experienced and able men, and in 1827, the work was completed, approved and published. It is now the Constitution of the United Grand Lodge of England. In that work is the following provision: -

"No Lodge shall on any pretence make more than five new Brothers in one day, unless by Dispensation; nor shall a Lodge be permitted to give more than one Degree to a Brother on the same day; nor shall a higher Degree in Masonry be conferred on a Brother at a less interval than one month, from his receiving a previous Degree. Nor until he has passed an examination in open Lodge on that Degree."

And in a note it is stated, that "no Dispensation can be granted to suspend the operation of this law." The same provision is afterward twice repeated, in substance, in the same work. The early published books of Constitutions contain similar provisions.

In an edition of the Ahiman Rezon, published during the last cetury, in speaking of the reception of men of rank and science into the Institution, the rule is stated, that they are equally subjected to all the charges and regulations; and must be governed by the general rule.

"No Lodge shall make more than five new Brethren at one time, unless by Dispensation. Nor shall any be made, or admitted a member of a Lodge, without be proposed one month, &c. Apprentices, when expert in the business of their apprenticeship, shall be admitted, upon further improvement, as Fellow-Crafts, and in due time, be raised to the sublime degree of Master Masons, capable themselves to undertake their Lord's work, animated with the prospect of passing in future through the higher honors of Masonry."

It is entirely clear and plain that our Brethren in England do think, and in earlier times have thought, that this provision is in conformity both to ancient usage, and the spirit of the work. And your committee are of the same opinion.

The Order in question was adopted in the Grand Lodge, at the Quarterly Communication in June, 1843, having stood the requisite time for consideration of the Lodge. But in the publication of the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, subsequently made, it was, by accident, omitted.

It is now a standing law, and in the opinion of the committee it is a wise provision; and one that is in strict accordance with the ancient rules, orders and usages, as it is with the spirit of the work.

They therefore recommend that the Order in question be adopted as a Constitutional Rule, and that it be printed as the fourteenth rule of the Miscellaneous Regulations; that it be pasted into tall the books of the Constitutions which have not yet been distributed, and sent for the same purpose to the Lodges which have already received the work.

All of which is respectfully presented by

Augustus Peabody,
John Abbot,
Thomas Tolman,
Thomas Power,
John Hews,

Jurisdiction Over Applicants

From Vol. III, No. 10, p. 295, August, 1844:

An individual makes application for membership to some Brethren of a Lodge in Georgia, but there being some stains on his character at the time, he is requested to wait till he may be free from these spots. But in the meantime, he goes on to New York, where he remains a few weeks or months, and during that time joins the Lodge in that States, take the degrees and then returns again to Georgia. Ought the Lodge in Georgia to recognize this man as a worthy Brother, and permit him to enjoy the benefits of the Fraternity ? Will our enlightened Brother of the "Freemasons' Magazine," please answer the above query? - Masonic Signal, Madison, Geo.


The receiving of the individual in question, by the Lodge in New York, was in violation of the rights of jurisdiction, and is a proper subject for the action of the Grand Lodge of Georgia. It was a wrong, which we doubt not would receive attention from the Grand Lodge of New York, on a proper representation of the facts in the case.

We do not understand that the person alluded to, was actually proposed for admission to any Lodge in Georgia, but that he made the request of some member to be proposed, and was persuaded to delay his application. If this be the state of the case, then the Lodges in Georgia are bound to receive him as a Brother in good standing, or to prefer charges against him and formally suspend or expel him. He is a Brother, and, until cause be shown to the contrary, is to be recognized as such. That his receiving the Degrees in New York, was a violation of a principle of jurisdiction, recognized by the Grand Lodges of the United States, does not disqualify him as a Mason; because he is presumed to have been ignorant of the existence of such a regulation. But even if he had been aware of its existence, he is not to be held responsible for its violation. The responsibility was assumed by and rests with the Lodge which admitted him. It is not more a legal than a Masonic maxim, that every man is presumed to be innocent until the contrary is proved.

There are two other points of view in which the case may be considered, and as we may not fully understand the terms of the "query," it may be proper briefly to state them. It may be asked, how the question would stand if the application had been laid before the Lodge, and "there being some stains" found on the character of the petitioner, he was, through an unwillingness on the part of the Brethren to reject him, permitted or desired to withdraw his petition? This would be an irregular proceeding, though it is one which, we regret to say, is frequently practised by the Lodges. It would not, however, change the state of the case. There having been no definite action on the petition, the petitioner would stand precisely as before he made his application, and at liberty to apply to any other Lodge for initiation. The Lodge to which he should apply would be under no other than the' ordinary restrictions.

If, on the other hand, his petition was acted upon and rejected by the Lodge, and that rejection was certified up to the Grand Lodge, he is, in our judgment, to be regarded as having obtained his initiation in a clandestine manner, and may properly be rejected by the Lodges in Georgia. We of course take it for granted that the individual is a resident of Georgia, and that he was on a' visit to New York when admitted to Masonry.

The case here stated shows the necessity of a strict adherence on the part of the subordinate Lodges to the rights of jurisdiction. The general rule is, that the application for admission shall be made to the Lodge in or nearest the residence of the applicant. This is not only just, but is the safest course.


Postponement of Lodge Meetings

From Vol. IV, No. 3, January, 1845, p. 67:

"A highly respected Brother and correspondent in Canada, proposes the annexed inquiries. We had supposed that the matter involved in them was well established by the usages of the Fraternity in all parts of the world. It would seem, however, not to be so well understood as its simplicity and clearness would warrant us in believing. Influenced by this consideration, our correspondent, in a subsequent note, says: 'I think it would be a good thing to discuss these questions in the Magazine. What has taken place in one instance may take place in other instances; and, limited as my experience in Masonry has been, I have seen enough to convince me of the necessity of Masters knowing their duties, as well as members. Judging also from the degree of interest created and manifested on the occasion to which I allude, I consider the subject one of importance. The illustration of any point, calculated, when viewed differently by parties differently situated, to create feeling, is just the business of.your journal, and we shall be happy to see the matter broached, either directly, or indirectly, as you may think proper.'

"We readily comply with the request of our correspondent, and herewith present the inquiries :—

  • "1st. Has the Master of a Blue Lodge at work, the power of putting off the regular monthly communication, whenever he may think proper to do so?
  • "2d. And in connection with the foregoing, I would beg leave to ask, whether you ever heard of the monthly communication being put off under ordinary circumstances?

"The Master of a Lodge is invested with great power. A learned and distinguished Brother has said that 'Masonic government is despotic', and that 'the Master in the East is absolute in his authority over the Brethren of his Lodge.' This, as applied to the mechanism and immediate government of the Lodge, may be true. But the Master is as subordinate to the established Constitutions and recognized usages of the Fraternity, and to the written regulations of his Lodge, as the humblest member of it. Here all stand upon an equality. Official station makes no exemptions. It rather imposes new obligations, and strengthens those already existing.

"The Master is not only bound, equally with every Brother associated with him, to observe the regulations of his Lodge, and of the Grand Lodge, but he is under special obligations to see that the Brethren under his charge observe them. 'The Master of every Lodge,' say the ancient Constitutions, 'when duly elected and installed, has it in special charge, as appertinent to his office, duty and dignity, to see that all the By-Laws of his Lodge, as well as the general regulations of the Grand Lodge, be duly observed.' He has also 'the right and authority of calling his Lodge, or congregating the members into a Chapter, at pleasure, upon the application of any of the Brethren, and upon any emergency and occurrence, which, in his judgment, may require their meeting. It is likewise his duty, together with that of his Wardens, to attend the Grand Lodge, at the quarterly communications, and such occasional or special grand communications as the good of the Craft may require.' By the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England, the Master, 'if he be dissatisfied with the conduct of any of his officers, (whether elected or appointed,) may lay the cause of complaint before the Lodge; and if it shall appear to the majority of the Brethren present, that the complaint be well founded, he shall have power to displace such officer, and to nominate another.' The power of a Master of a Lodge is therefore great; but it. is not unlimited. Neither does it, in the language of the distinguished Brother before alluded to, in the least militate against the doctrine of equality, which is inculcated both by precept and example, in all the illustrations of Masonry. . .

"To the first of the interrogatories proposed for our consideration, we answer : The Master has no power to 'put off the regular monthly communication' of his Lodge. The Charter of every Lodge provides for at least one meeting in a year. This must be held, or the Charter is forfeited to the Grand Lodge. The ancient Constitutions, (art. viii.) say, that the meetings 'ought to be held monthly.' This, however, is recommendatory, not obligatory, and leaves the subject to the regulation of the Grand Lodge, or, in the case of no action by that body, to the subordinate Lodge itself. But when the number of meetings in a year is fixed, either by the Grand Lodge, or by the subordinate Lodge, the Master has no more control over the matter than a private member. He is bound to respect the regulation, and to convene his Lodge accordingly. He has no discretionary power in the premises. . .

"In answer to the second inquiry we reply, that we have never known any Master of a Lodge to assume the responsibility of 'putting off' the regular communications of a Lodge. We have known the business of a regular communication to be adjourned, but the meeting must be held and the Lodge opened and closed."

Requirement to Vote

From Vol. IV, No. 8, June, 1845, p. 225:

A Georgia correspondent proposes the following inquiry:

"Can a member of a Lodge, and an officer, being present at a balloting for a candidate for the mysteries of Freemasonry, refuse to cast his vote, when the petition has been regularly received, and the person refusing to vote having no constitutional scruples as to the proceedings, and no objection to the candidate?"

The admission of members into the Fraternity, is not only one of the most important, but it is one of the most responsible duties with which the Lodges are charged. This power was originally invested in the Fraternity at large, or rather io a specified number of Master Masons informally assembled. But the looseness of the regulation exposed it to abuse. Sufficient caution was not exercised, and unworthy persons were admitted. It was, therefore, as early as 1663, wisely determined to restrict the power to regularly constituted Lodges,—to make them the guardians of the Fraternity,—to commit to their care and keeping, its reputation and welfare. It was a great and sacred trust, and for the manner in which it shall be discharged, each and every member of a Lodge, is responsible, to the extent of his influence, not only to his own particular Lodge, but to the whole Fraternity; for all are interested in his acts, when those acts are of a character to affect the whole, either in reputation or interest.

A candidate, on entering the Fraternity, engages to do and perform certain acts. If he fail in either of these, he so far fails in the discharge of his duties as a Mason. But he advances one step farther, and affiliates himself, as every Brother should do, with a particular Lodge. He here enters into new engagements, and assumes new responsibilities and trusts. He engages to exert his talents and energies in the advancement of the interests, and in the attainment of the various objects for which the Lodge has been established. Among the most important of these is the admission of candidates. So essential to the welfare of the Institution has a careful and rigid discharge of this duty been considered, that, as a general rule, it has been deemed wise and prudent to invest every individual member of a Lodge, with the despotic power to reject whom he will, without question as to his reasons or his motives,—his honor and conscience being presumed-to be a sufficient guaranty for the propriety of both. Let us inquire then, whether the inference is sound and logical, that this great power has been given to an individual member, to be exercised by him or not, as he may deem expedient ? On the contrary, has he not been clothed with it expressly for the preservation of the character and welfare of the Institution? If so, does he discharge his duty to the Fraternity, when he refuses or neglects, through fear or partiality, or other secret motive, to exercise it ? And if he may defer the performance of this duty, may he not, with equal or greater propriety, refuse to perform any of his Masonic engagements? If one member may do this, why may not all ? The By-Laws of the Lodge may not, in terms, require that each member shall ballot, but they do provide that candidates shall not be admitted except by ballot These ballots must be east by the members. This is a constructive or incidental duty, arising from a positive provision of the By-Laws; the performance of which is made obligatory on the Lodge by the regulations of the Grand Lodge.

Now, whatever is the duty of a Lodge, it is the duty of every member to see performed; and whatever is required to be done by the members in their aggregate capacity, each individual member is required to assist in doing. There is not usually any provision in the By-Laws which, in terms, requires a member to vote against an unworthy applicant for admission; yet he is under a constructive obligation to do so, and his refusal or wilful neglect to discharge this obligation, would subject him to the discipline of his Lodge. A Brother is charged on his first admission into the Fraternity, not to recommend an unworthy person for its privileges. This is made a positive duty; but it carries with it the constructive duty, not less important or obligatory, to vote against such a person, if recommended by another. His whole duty is not done until he has used all his influence and power to preserve the Institution against the admission of the unworthy. It is not therefore to be inferred, that because the By- Laws or the Constitutions do not expressly provide for a particular duty, that, the discharge of that duty is left to the option of the members of the Lodge. There are many collateral, or constructive duties, like the one under consideration, which are necessary to a full and proper discharge of iht positive duties, enjoined by the established regulations. And this class of duties cannot with propriety be neglected. When a Brother joins a Lodge, ho dees it with the understanding and under an obligation to support the regulations, and to render his best services in performing, the duties of the Lodge. One of these duties is the balloting for candidates for initiation. We are aware that this duty is frequently avoided in the Lodge, and so are many other Masonic duties, or we should all be better Masons. But it is the principle, not the practice, we are discussing. A bad practice cannot vitiate or impair the validity of a good principle.

In legislative matters, the rule in voting is, that "every member who shall be in the house when the question is put, shall give his vote, unless the house, for special reasons, shall excuse him." (Jefferson's Manual, rule 28, p. 76). And this is found to be a correct and wholesome regulation, and frequently obliges members to perform their duty to their constituents, when they would other; wise avoid it. As it is, they sometimes, to use a political phrase, "dodge the question." But the discredit which attaches to a manoeuvre of this kind, operates as a powerful restraint, and prevents its frequent occurrence. The Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, contain a corresponding regulation. They declare that "every member present shall vote on the application, (of a candidate for initiation,) unless excused by the Lodge." And this we hold to be a conservate and correct Masonic rule.

We know nothing of the circumstances under which the Brother referred to, declined to cast his ballot, former than what appears in the. statement given by our correspondent.

Publication of Rejected Candidates

From Vol. IV, No. 11, September, 1845, p. 322:

Boston, July 29, 1845.

Br. Moore :—You submitted for my opinion the following question:— "Is it proper for a Grand Lodge to publish the names of those persons who have applied for initiation, and been rejected?"

As this has not been the subject of constitutional or legal enactment, it most be settled by reference to general principles. In my opinion those principles do not require, and I doubt even if they sanction, such publications.

In cases of expulsion and suspension, the accused must have ample notice of the charges, and a full opportunity for defence. If on trial he is convicted, or if he confess the charge by refusing to contest or explain it, there is no injustice to him, and there is safety to the Craft and the community, in giving extended publicity to his degradation, and the causes of it But in cases of rejection, there is no conviction—no trial—not even a charge made. A single black ball rejects—though silently given—and no one has the right to inquire what was the ground of the objection, or who made it. It may have been made from personal dislike.

The rule is right; for no Mason should be compelled to receive as a Brother, and intimate associate, one wholly disagreeable to him, and with whom he never could hold confidential or social intercourse—although he might not be able to sustain by proof, any charge of moral delinquency against him.

If the candidate be known, or suspected to be a transgressor, let him be accused, and called on for a defence. Then justice will sanction the publicity of the proceedings. But, if the rejection is secret and silent, it should ever be kept secret. The sacred principles of freedom and equity forbid the condemnation of any man unheard. Such a man is oppressed; and we are bound to shield or succor the oppressed, and resist the oppressor.

It was formerly customary, and I trust it is still the practice, in a preliminary examination, to require the candidate to declare if he has ever been rejected. The rule is a wise one. For then the fact of his rejection comes from his own avowal, and this gives a fair opportunity for inquiry and explanation.

Tyrants and inquisitors condemn unheard. The free and the just will accuse and hear, before they condemn and degrade.

Respectfully, your Brother in the Order,
Augustus Peabody.

Personal Objections in Balloting

From Vol. IV, No. 11, September, 1845, p. 326:


Eureka Masonic Hall, Richland, Mi., May 28,1845.

Comp. C. W. Moore :—We look to the East for Masonic light; and as the humblest Brother within the great Masonic fold might supply a thought, I have again ventured to write to you, with a request, that so far as may be in your estimation proper, you will construct an article, expressive of correct Masonic deportment and morals, toward Brethren and the world, under such heads as your views of propriety may suggest, and with particular reference the following points, viz:—a candidate is proposed, who, unfortuately, has a difficulty with a member of the Lodge to which he applies. Is it not unmasonic for the member to extend his private quarrel to the exclusion of the applicant, if he be in every other way worthy of our privileges? And does not the applicant tacitly say to his enemy— "I will be at peace with you and have you as my Brother, if found worthy of Masonic benefits?"

This may seem an idle question to many intelligent Masons; but I am sure it will be regarded by others as one of no mean importance. If I understand my ritual, our Order proclaims peace and good will to mankind. But how can this be possible if our prejudices are permitted to enter and remain with us while in the Lodge room, where peace and charity and love to each other should dwell in the spirit of our Heavenly Master, and with gratitude to him for the privileges and blessings surrounding us? Men differ oflener from bad judgment than bad intention. Of this they are admonished by the still small voice of conscience, continually telling them that it should be otherwise; and were it so, how much more happiness might we experience! For a Mason to violate the pleadings of conscience, is at war with the fundamental principles of his profession. I should like it, had I the requisite talent and eloquence, to harrangue our Brethren upon correct moral deportment; for I am an old Mason and delight to reflect upon the sublime moral precepts die Institution enjoins upon its votaries.

I doubt not that you will manage the subject with your accustomed ability.

Remarks bt the Editor. Our correspondent has managed his case so well, that we know not that we can add any thing to strengthen it. The question he has started, however, is surrounded with greater difficulties than at first present themselves to the mind. Most Brethren will probably admit that "private quarrels" ought not to be permitted to operate to the exclusion of a worthy applicant from admission to a Lodge. But where is the remedy? The negative is silently given, and the inquiry as to by whom and why given, may not be permitted; because that would destroy the conservative principle of the secret ballot,—one of the safeguards of the Institution. The Lodge is bound to presume that it was given for good and sufficient reasons. It is therefore a matter for which the Brother casting the negative, must answer to his own conscience, alone. There is no other tribunal before which he can be arraigned. It is his duty as a good Mason, when his enemy, (if such he be,) applies for admission to the Lodge of which he is known to him to be a member, to regard the application as an offer of reconciliation, and to meet it in the spirit of kindness, charity and forgiveness. But this must be from his own sense of duty and the promptings of his own heart. There is no power to force him to a reconciliation, or to compel him to associate with, and receive his enemy as a Brother.

The other point referred to by our correspondent, is not stated with sufficient clearness; or if it is, it is not a proper topic for public discussion.

Plural Membership

From Vol. V, No. 2, December, 1845, p. 33:


A correspondent proposes the above inquiry. We answer, that such is not the usage of the Fraternity. Cases may exist,—we know that, they do exist,—where the practice is against the usage. But they do not invalidate the legality of the latter, nor establish the correctness of the former. An incorrect practice may obtain in certain locations, and continue for so long a period, as to become the usage, within the sphere of its operation. But as a general rule, where the local practice is against the common and more general usage, it is wrong. In the present case, the usage in this country, and pretty generally in Eurdpe, is against a Brother's enrolling himself, as an actual member, in more titan one Lodge, at the same time. And this usage is based on established regulations. In Harris's edition of the Constitutions of the Ancient and honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons; collected and digested from the old records, faithful traditions and Lodge books, and published under the sanction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in 1798, on page 52, Chapter 8, Article 1st, we find the following regulation :

"Every Brother ought to belong to some regular Lodge, and should arrays appear therein properly clothed; truly subjecting himself to the By-Laws and the general regulations. He must attend all meetings when duly summoned, unless he can offer to the Master and Wardens such plea of necessity for his absence as the said laws and regulations may admit.

"By the ancient rules and regulations of Masonry, which are generally adopted among the by-laws of every Lodge, no plea was judged sufficient to excuse any absentee, unless he could satisfy the Lodge, that he was detained by some extraordinary and unforeseen necessity.

"No Brother shall be a member of more than one Lodge at the same time."— [Art. "of Attendance."]

This would seem to be sufficient to settle the question, if we are to be governed by old and generally recognized regulations. But let us look further. One of our old black-letter Charges, in the possession of the Lodge of Antiquity at London, and written in the time of James II., (about 16S5,) says :—

"Tenthly, That every Master Mason and Fellow shall come to the assemble, (i. e. the Lodge,) if itt be within fifty miles of him, if he have any warning." (Note: by modern usage reduced, except in cases of peremptory summons, to three miles.)

Now, suppose a Brother to be a member of two or three Lodges at the same time (for if he may be a member of two, he may by the same rule be a member of all that will receive him); but suppose that he be a member of two only, and that he Is summoned to appear Before both oh the same evening,—which summons is he to obey? How is he to discharge his duties and obligations to both ? Another of these old black-letter regulations says ;—"And if the offender, being duly cited to appear, prove rebel, and will not attend, then the Lodge shall determine against him, that he shall forswear (renounce) his Masonry, and shall no more use this Craft." It seems to us, that in the occurrence of the case supposed, the Brother would he placed in a dilemma, from which he would find it difficult to extricate himself.

The first book of Constitutions ever published (1722,)—under the article "Lodges';"—says: " 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." This does not say that he shall not belong to more than one, nor does it say that he may belong to two Lodges. But in order to settle the true meaning of the article, or at least to determine the sense in which it was understood at the time of its first publication, we quote the following section from the eighth article of the regulations of the Grand Lodge of England, adopted Feb. 19, 1723 :—

"No Brother shall belong to more than one Lodge within the Bills of Mortality, though he may visit them all." (Note: That is, being a member of one Lodge, he may visit all others within the Bills of Mortality. There were at that times few or no chartered odges under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, out of London.)

We will venture to take it for granted that this settles the question aa to the intention of the article referred to. The spirit of it is still retained in the present Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England. We quote from the last edition—1841, page 84:—

"When a Lodge has ceased to meet, any former member thereof shall be eligible to be proposed and admitted a member of another Lodge, on producing a certificate from the Grand Secretary, stating the fact, and specifying whether the Brother has been registered and hie quarterages duly paid." (Note: the "fact" means, that the Lodge of which he was a "former member", has "ceased to meet".)

Thus far, ancient and foreign regulations. Let us now see how the matter stands at home. The Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts contain the following :—

  • "No Brother shall be a member of more than one Lodge; nor shall he hold more than one office in the same Lodge, or in Grand Lodge, at the same time.— [Part 5. Seo. 13. p. 54]. -
  • No Brother shall be a member of more than one subordinate Lodge at the same time."—[Con. G. L. of N. H, Art 4. Sec. 7].
  • "No Lodge shall admit to membership any Brother who is already a member of a Lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge."—[Cos. G. L. of Md., Art. 28, Sec. 20.]
  • "Every organized Lodge that admits a member who is in arrears to any other Lodge, thereby becomes responsible to the Lodge to which he has last belonged."—{Con. G. L.Ky., Sec. 62.]
  • "No Brother can be a member of more than one Lodge at the same time." -[Con. G. L. Mo. Chap. 25. Sec. 8.]
  • "Each subordinate Lodge, under this jurisdiction, shall require every Mason applying for membership therein, to present satisfactory evidence to such Lodge, that he has taken a regular demit from the Lodge of which he had last been a member, or that such Lodge is no longer in existence."— [Con. G. L. Iowa, Sec. 96.]
  • " No Brother shall be a member of more than one Lodge," &c.—[Con. G. L. Wis. Part 4. Sec. 12.]
  • No Brother shall be a member of more than one Lodge at the same time."— [Con. G. L. N. J. Gen. Reg. Sec. 6.]

We might extend these authorities were it necessary; hut it is not Enough have been given to show that the regulations and the usage ace both against the practice of a Brother's holding membership in more than one Lodge at the same time. And we are disposed to regard the prohibition as wise and conservative. It is an old and generally sound maxim, that a man cannot well serve two masters at the same time. A Brother being a member of two Lodges, must necessarily be divided in his attachments and in his labors, and he will seldom be of any service to either. His prejudices and partialities will often be found enlisted in favor of the one and against the other, as their proceedings, on the many local questions which are continually arising among the Lodges, may, correspond or otherwise with his own personal views of right Besides, if a Brother may be a member of two Lodges at the same time, he may, be called to fill one of the three principal offices in each Lodge at the same time. Every Lodge is empowered to instruct its representatives in Grand Lodge; but the Lodges are not all bound to think alike, or to takja the same view of important questions before the Grand Lodge. Suppose the Brother receive conflicting instructions from both of the Lodges that he represents—which shall he follow ?

But we have not room to argue, the question. Enough we trust baa been said to answer the inquiry of our correspondent. He does not inform us of his own views. If they differ from ours, and he is not satisfied with the authorities cited, if he will state his objections, we will consider them.


Reinstatement of Suspended Brothers

From Vol. V, No. 3, January 1846, p. 69:

A correspondent proposes the following inquiries:-

  • "1st. Can an individual, who has been suspended from a Lodge for a definite time, be reinstated before that time expires?"
  • "2d. Can an individual who has been suspended for a definite or indefinite period of time be reinstated at a called (special) meeting of the Lodge?"

" "3d. In case of a called meeting for a particular purpose, is it right for the Lodge to transact any other business than that for which it was especially convened?"

We answer as follows:—

1st A Lodge has, as a general rule, in ordinary cases, the power to revise and reconsider its own vote. But in special cases, and particularly when the question has been taken by yeas and nays, this may not be done at a meeting when there is a less number of members present than were present when the vote was adopted. The suspension of a member is not an ordinary case. The Lodge may, nevertheless, restore a member before the expiration of his term of suspension, provided no action has been had in the premises by the Grand Lodge. But in order to do this legally, it is necessary, and indispensable, that the members shall be specially notified of the intention to reinstate him. Any other course might endanger the harmony of the Lodge, and lead to the restoration of an unworthy member. It is not competent for the friends of a suspended member to avail themselves of a thinly attended meeting to effect his restoration. The members of the Lodge must be fully and seasonably notified of the intention to move for a reconsideration of the vote of suspension. This having been done, a review of the case may be had, and the delinquent restored, even though there should not be so full an attendance as at the time of his suspension. If the members do not attend, when notified, the presumption is that they waive their objections, if ihey entertain any. If the Grand Lodge has confirmed the suspension, it becomes necessary that the restoration shall also be confirmed by it, before it can be complete.

2d. A member may be suspended or expelled at a called or special meeting of the Lodge. Indeed, the examination of charges against a member ought always to be had at a called meeting, and in the presence of the members of the Lodge, only. It follows, therefore, that a suspended member may be reinstated at a called meeting, notice to the members having been given as above stated.

3d. We deem it neither right nor lawful for a Lodge to transact at a called meeting, any other business than that for which it has been convened; and this rule is particularly obligatory; because the specific object of the meeting is or should be stated in the notification to the members. The following regulation on this subject, is both wise and conservative :—

A Lodge of emergency may, at any time, be called, by the authority of the Master, or, in his absence, of the Senior Warden, but on no pretence without such authority first given. The particular reason for calling the Lodge of emergency shall be expressed in the summons,(see note 1 below) and, afterwards, recorded on the minutes, and no business but that so expressed, shall be entered upon at such meeting"(Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England, p. 61.)

A less stringent rule than this, could scarcely fail, in practice, to operate prejudicially to the harmony and prosperity of the Lodge.

  • Note: The word summons is here used as a synonyme for notification. It is generally so used in the old regulations; but the following distinction will be found to be more convenient, and more in conformity with the intention and practice :
    • A notification—Is the notice by which the time, place and hour, (and frequently the business,) of the Lodge, are communicated to the members. This notice every Brother receiving it, is expected to obey, unless his doing so would materially interfere with his business engagements. The obligation which it imposes is a general one; and the highest penalty incurred by a violation ol it, is forfeiture of membership.
    • A Summons—Is a call of authority, a citation to appear and answer to the charges therein set forth. Or, it is an imperative injunction to appear at a special meeting of the Lodge, with which the Brother receiving it, is affiliated; or to attend on the Grand Master, the District Deputy Grand Master, or any committee, or other body, authorized by the Grand Lodge to issue it. The obligation to obey it, is special and obligatory on every Brother receiving it. The penalty for its non-observance is expulsion; unless the party offending, be able to urge a pressing and positive necessity for his excuse.

Officers of Lodges Under Dispensation

From Vol. V, No. 6, April 1846, p. 164:

A correspondent, the Master of a Lodge working by Dispensation, in Alabama, proposes the following interrogations: —

  1. Can the Brother nominated in a Dispensation, as the first Master of a new Lodge, lawfully take his seat, without installation ?
  2. How can either of the Wardens, in the absence of the Master, as provided for in the By-Laws of subordinate Lodges, lawfully preside, and confer degrees? Where were they taught how to govern a Lodge?
  3. Are Chapter Past Masters competent, by virtue of that degree, to preside in a Blue Lodge? And if yea, why are they not members of such Grand Lodges as declare such officers permanent members thereof?

1. We answer. A Dispensation, whether issued by the Grand Lodge, or by the Grand Master, authorizes the petitioners to "form and open a Lodge, after the manner of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and therein to admit and make Freemasons, according to the ancient custom, and not otherwise." This is all the power conferred by a Dispensation. It does not invest the Brethren holding it, with the powers or the privileges of a regular Lodge, except so far as to assemble and "make Freemasons." It does not even empower them to elect or change their principal officers, nor does it confer on their Master and Wardens the privileges of representatives in the Grand Lodge. (No new Lodge is acknowledged, nor can their officers be admitted into the Grand Lodge, until such new Lodge is first regularly constituted, and registered by the authority of the Grand Lodge.—Ancient Constitutions . Art. Grand Lodges).

They form and open after the manner of a Lodge, but not with the full powers and privileges of a Lodge. They are placed in a state of probation for a specified time, preparatory to being constituted into a regular Lodge. While in this state,—not having been constituted, and therefore not invested with the power to elect officers,—the Master cannot be installed. The Brother appointed to fill the office of Master during this probationary term, may nevertheless lawfully take the chair and discharge all the duties of presiding officer, without any further special qualification. At the expiration of the term for which the Dispensation is granted, the Brethren petition for a Charter. If this be obtained, they are authorized to elect their own Master and other officers. They are then regularly constituted, and their officers are duly installed by the Grand Lodge. Neither of these acts can be done under a Dispensation.

2. The Wardens of a Lodge succeed to the chair in the absence of the Master. On this point the ancient Constitutions are explicit. They say:— "If the Master goes abroad on business, resigns, or is deposed, the Senior Warden shall fill his place until the next stated time of election. And although it was formerly held, that in such cases the Master's authority ought to revert to the last Master who is present, yet it is now the settled rule, that the authority devolves upon the Senior Warden, and, in his absence, upon the Junior Warden, even although a former Master be present. Our correspondent will perceive that the question is not subject to be regulated by the "by-laws of subordinate Lodges." And we think his difficulty, which we take to be a technical one, will be removed, if he reflects that the Warden succeeds to the chair, not as Master, but as Senior Warden, for the purpose of temporarily discharging the duties of the Master, who is absent. He is "taught how to govern a Lodge" by his experience as Warden. At his installation, he is charged, that "in the absence of the Master he is to govern the Lodge, and in his presence to assist him in the government of it." And though this charge is addressed only to the Warden of a constituted Lodge, it is equally applicable to the Warden of a Lodge working under Dispensation. The Warden possesses the same relative powers with the Master, in the latter as in the former case; and he is required to possess the same qualifications. The only difference between the two is, that the one is under certain restrictions and limitations which do not apply to the other.

3. The receiving of the Past Master's degree in a Chapter, confers no privileges that can be made available in a Blue Lodge. It merely qualifies the recipient for admission to the higher degrees of the Chapter. A Brother who, having been duly elected and installed, has served at least one term, as Master of a subordinate Lodge, under the jurisdiction of some Grand Lodge, is, by ancient usage, alone entitled to the rank and privileges of a Past Master. But a Brother having once received the degree in a Chapter, it would, of course, supersede the necessity of his receiving it again, as a qualification for office. He would, therefore, be competent to preside in a Blue Lodge, if elected. But without such election and installation, he would not be entitled to take rank in the Grand Lodge as a Past Master, though he had received the degree. The Chapters cannot make members for the Grand Lodges, or in any manner interfere with the regulations adopted for the government of the subordinate Lodges.

Unanimity of Ballot

From Vol. V, No. 6, April 1846, p. 167:

This question refers to a question concerning reconsideration of a ballot on admission of a candidate.

"The inquiry of our correspondent at Logansport, Indiana, is not sufficiently distinct. Seven was of course the majority; but the subject before the Lodge was not a question to be decided by a majority. The constitutional regulation requires unanimity, in order to the performance of certain acts. The ballot was to ascertain whether this unanimity existed among the members. If it did not, there was an end to the matter. No motion could be made to reconsider after the ballot was declared. If there were but one black ball, a second ballot would have been in order. A second ballot would also have been regular, against two black balls, if either were cast through mistake, and so declared to be by the Brother casting it; and it would have been admissible. if requested by a member of the Lodge, on the presumption that both might have been cast by mistake. A second ballot, however, settles the question; as does three negatives on a first ballot."

Expulsion and Restoration

From Vol. V, No. 7, May 1846, p. 193:

An intelligent and valued correspondent in Mississippi, proposes the following inquiry :
"Can a subordinate Lodge reinstate an expelled Mason who has been expelled by that Lodge ?"

We had supposed that in this country, there was no rule in Masonic Jurisprudence more positively settled, than that an expelled Mason cannot be reinstated by any other Lodge than that by which he was expelled, if that be in existence; or by the Grand Lodge, on appeal or petition. Tho only exception to this rule, which we can conceive to be admissible, is in a case where the expelled Brother has removed into the jurisdiction of another Grand Lodge, and by his subsequent life and conduct atoned for the misdemeanor which caused his expulsion. We suppose that, under such circumstances, he might, by special permission of the Grand Lodge of the State within whose jurisdiction he is living, be reinstated by the subordinate Lodge in or nearest to the place of his residence. We should prefer, however, even in such a case, that a representation should first be made to, and permission for his restoration obtained from, the Grand Lodge under whose authority he was expelled. We are not aware that there is any precedent for such a proceeding; but the door of mercy can never be irrevocably closed against a repentant Brother. To err is the common lot of all men. Forgiveness is the exercise of one of the finest attributes of humanity.

But this does not cover the whole ground of the inquiry proposed by our correspondent. Under the present organization of the Fraternity, G. Lodges grant Charters to any competent number of Master Masons, authorizing them to assemble and make Masons; that is, to receive petitions and admit members, not necessarily of their own particular association, but of the whole Masonic Fraternity. The Lodges, so constituted, act under the authority and as the agents of the Grand Lodges. The power to admit members to full standing in the Fraternity,—that is, to make Master Masons,—was not, at the reorganization of the Order in 1717, vested in the subordinate Lodges. Fellow-Crafts and Master Masons were at that time made only in the Grand Lodge, "unless by dispensation from the Grand Master." (So late as 1733,—the date of the establishment of the first Grand Lodge in America, at Boston,—the Master's degree was conferred, in this city, in what was called "The Masters' Lodge," over which the Grand Master and his officers presided. This Lodge did not initiate or craft, neither did the subordinate Lodges raise. The organization here referred to, was composed of the Grand Officers, organized at a "Lodge of Masters," for the purposes stated. It was in fact the Grand Lodge in another capacity, exe rcising one of its original functions.)

This, however, says the ancient record here quoted, "being attended with many inconveniences," it was permitted, on the 22d Nov. 1725, by Constitutional regulation, to " the Master of a Lodge, with his Wardens, and a competent number of the Lodge assembled in due form," to "make Masters and Fellows." If the Lodges could not, prior to the adoption of this regulation, admit members to full standing in the Fraternity, without the dispensation of the Grand Master, neither could they expel them, without the consent of the Grand Lodge, if at all. The rescinding of the first branch of the original regulation did not abrogate the second. That remains in the present Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England, in the following terms :

"In the Grand Lodge alone resides the power of erasing Lodges and expelling Brethren from the Craft, a power which it ought not to delegate to any subordinate authority in England." —[Art. 1, Sec. 15.]

By another provision in these Constitutions, the subordinate Lodges are authorized to suspend or exclude a delinquent member after giving him "due notice of the charge preferred or complaint made against him, and of the time appointed for its consideration." The name of the Brother excluded, together with the cause of his exclusion, are required to be sent to the Grand Secretary. If the case be such as to demand expulsion, he is expelled by the Grand Lodge. In this case, the subordinate Lodges having no power to expel a member from the Fraternity, they have not the power to restore a Brother who has been expelled by the Grand Lodge. To grant them this power, would not merely be to enable them to reverse the decision of the Grand Lodge, but it would invest the supervising power in the subordinate body. Such a proceeding would of course be wholly inadmissible.

This is the rule which, at least since its reorganization, has regulated the course of the Grand Lodge of England, in cases of expulsion and restoration; and we believe it to be entirely coincident with correct Masonic usage. The subordinate Lodge, in exercising its delegated power to receive and initiate Masons, acts as the agent of the Grand Lodge for a determinate district or jurisdiction. In this capacity, it invests all it initiates with important relations to, and claims upon, every individual Mason throughout the world. It does not act for itself alone, but for the great faoiily of which it is a constituent part. It is the sentinel on the outposts, with the power to admit such as can give the countersign of a good moral character, and to refuse admission to those who cannot. But when once admitted, the right to eject properly belongs to the superior authority. Neither by any general Constitutional regulation, nor by the terms of its Charter, is the power given to a subordinate Lodge to expel a Brother from his Masonic rights. And, in view of the ancient regulation and usage above referred to, it muy be doubtful whether any Grand Lodge can, with legal propriety, invest this power in its subordinates.

A different practice has, however, to a very considerable extent, obtained in this country. The Lodges in several of the States have exercised the right to expel and restore delinquent members, without reference to any action of the Grand Lodge under whose authority they exist; and this right has been distinctly recognized in the Constitutions of some of the Grand Lodges. But it could not have been the ancient usage ; for, as we have already shown, the subordinate Lodges, after, if indeed before, the reorganization of the Grand Lodge of England, in 1717, and prior to 1725, had no power beyond the first degree. They could not, therefore, have been authorized to expel Master Masons. They were then amenable to the Grand Lodge alone.

In the year last named, the Lodges were permitted to confer the three degrees, and their disciplinary powers were extended. They were authorized to arraign, try, admonish, censure, suspend, and exclude, unworthy members. But it no where appears that they were ever clothed with power to expel them from the Fraternity. In England, this power seems always to have been retained in the hands of the Grand Lodge. The principle on which this regulation is based, we suppose to be, that the subordinate Lodges are the local agents of the Grand Lodge, through which the uninitiated are received as members, not of a section, but of the whole Fraternity. The Grand Lodge, being the supreme head, exacting fealty of, and extending its care and protection alike over, every individual member of the Fraternity within its jurisdiction, inherits the right, in the ultimate resort, to decide when a recusant Brother has forfeited his claims to its protection, and his privileges as a member, not of a particular Lodge, but of the whole Fraternity. The Lodge, having but limited jurisdiction and restricted powers, may not properly assume to exercise an original and final power. This we suppose to be the principle which regulates the practice under the Grand Lodge of England. If its correctness be admitted, (and it rests on ancient usage,) then the subordinate Lodge has no power to expel, or reinstate an expelled Brother, independently of the action of the Grand Lodge ; for the power to expel carries with it the power to restore.

Leaving the main question here, without stopping to inquire further how far the practice which extensively prevails in this country, is in conformity with ancient regulations and usage, we come more immediately to the question proposed by our correspondent Our answer must rest on the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi, if it contain any provision applicable to the case. If there be no such provision, then the answer is to be determined by the usage which has obtained under the sanction of that Grand Lodge. It is not competent for the subordinate Lodge to refuse obedience to a regulation of the Grand Lodge, when once adopted, however firmly convinced it may be that the regulation is contrary to and against correct Masonic usage. Such a conviction would properly justify an appeal to the Grand Lodge to rescind the objectionable regulation; but so long as it remains in existence, the Lodge is bound to submit to and obey it, or to surrender its Charter. We have not the Constitution of the G. Lodge of Mississippi before us, nor are we informed as to the usage. But if the subordinate Lodges in the State are authorized, either by the Constitution or by the general usage among themselves, to expel Brethren from the Fraternity, without the expressed sanction of the G. Lodge, they are unquestionably authorized to reinstate them, whenever they shall be satisfied that the cause of expulsion has been removed or expiated. (We may say this on the presumption, ot course, that the usage does not clash with any provision in the Constitution.) But the restoration must be the act of the Lodge by which the offender was expelled. It is not competent for another Lodge to interfere in the matter, unless specially commissioned for the purpose by the Grand Lodge. If the converse of this rule were admissible, the end contemplated by the expulsion might, and frequently would, be defeated. A Brother might be expelled by one Lodge and immediately restored by another. Which action should predominate? How should strangers receive a Brother thus circumstanced? The highest penalty which it is in the power of the Grand Lodge or of the Fraternity to inflict, would be doprived of its force and validity. Nor would the evil stop here. Discord among the Lodges would inevitably ensue,—the harmony of the jurisdiction would be disturbed, and the prosperity of the Institution in the State materially prejudiced, if not entirely paralysed. If the Brother expelled by the Lodge, (for we are now reasoning on the doubtful hypothesis that the Lodge may expel,) feels himself aggrieved, he has the right of an appeal to the Grand Lodge, and of being heard in his own defence. But he cannot resort to another subordinate Lodge for a redress of his grievances, or a rehearing of his case, if that by which he was expelled, is still in existence; unless, as before intimated, the Grand Lodge shall see cause to change the venue. If the Lodge be not in existence, then the Grand Lodge may authorize another Lodge to grant the rehearing prayed for, and order the evidence to be certified up to them for final adjudication.

There is another view of the case, which may have suggested the inquiry of our correspondent. It is this : "Can a subordinate Lodge reinstate an expelled Mason, who has been expelled by that Lodge," before the cause of expulsion is removed, or any sufficient evidence of repentance manifested? Most certainly it cannot. Should a Lodge be guilty of this offence, it would be the duly of the Grand Master, on proper evidence, to forthwith suspend its operations until the ensuing meeting of the Grand Lodge, when such further action might be had as the nature of the case should demand.

The following brief rules embrace our views of what we esteem to be the safest and most correct method of proceeding in cases of expulsion:

  1. If the verdict of the Lbdge be suspension or expulsion, an attested copy of the proceedings shall be sent up at the ensuing meeting of the Grand Lodge, for examination and final action.
  2. A sentence of expulsion shall not take effect, until confirmed by the Grand Lodge; but shall operate as a suspension of the delinquent in the meantime.
  3. The restoration of an expelled Brother shall not be valid, until confirmed by the Grand Lodge.

Under these rules, the expulsion would be the act of the Grand Lodge, though that should do no more, when an appeal was not taken, than to confirm the proceedings of the subordinate Lodge. The Lodges should have the power to allege the offences, try the offender, and, if the evidence justifies it, exclude him from their own body, and suspend him, under a vote of expulsion, from his privileges as a Mason, until the ensuing communication of the Grand Lodge. If the vote of the Lodge be confirmed by that body, the expulsion is complete, and the restoration of the offender cannot take place without the cognizance of the Grand Lodge. This. course secures to the Grand Lodge, not only one of its legitimate, but one of its most important prerogatives,—the exclusive exercise of the highest penal power known to Masonry. It affords, also, additional assurance that when a delinquent Brother has been expelled, he has not only been justly and impartially dealt with, but that his expulsion is for adequate cause, and in strict agreement with established Masonic law and usage. It goes further, and effectually protects the Fraternity against the readmission of unworthy members.

Prerequisite Qualifications of Candidates

From Vol. V, No. 7, May 1846, p. 198:

We regret exceedingly to perceive that there is an increasing and dangerous tendency in several of the governing and subordinate Masonic bodies in different parts of the country, to change, modify or add to, the plainest rules and most universally recognized regulations of our ancient and venerable Institution. Reform, change, improvement, we know, are the general characteristics of the age and country in which we live; and when properly directed, they may be commendable, and productive of great and salutary results. But they are not adapted to the nature and character of the Masonic Institution. That must remain "as it was in the beginning," or it must cease to exist. Any radical change would destroy it, because no such change which could be proposed, would be likely to be so acceptable as to become commensurate with its universality. Suppose that the Lodges in the non-slaving holding States should undertake to require of their candidates, as a prerequisite qualification for admission, that they will not fellowship slave holders, the Lodges in the slave holding States would immediately resort to a counter measure, and refuse to recognize Brethren so pledged, as Masons. To this the Lodges in the non-slave holding States could not object. But the tendency of such measures would be to destroy the unity and harmony of the Institution. Similar results must and will follow the introduction of any of the popular controverted questions of the day, whether in politics, temperance, or religion. They are all well in their place; but that place is not a Masonic Lodge. Nor can a difference of opinion in relation to either of them, be lawfully and Masonically made a ground of exclusion from, or reason for admission to, the privileges of Freemasonry.

It has been said, that the candidate for Masonry ought to be required to acknowledge his belief in the divine authenticity of the Bible. This would be very proper, if the Masonic were merely a Christian Institution, existing only in Christian lands. But being a universal Institution, pervading all quarters of the earth, and numbering among its members, men of every country, sect and opinion, the general introduction of such a qualification would be impracticable. All Christian men believe in the divine authenticity of the Bible. But the Jews take exceptions to a portion of it; while the Mahommedans, Buddhists, and other of the Eastern sects, reject the whole. Masonry exists among them all. Any such test would therefore destroy the universality of the Institution, and give to it a sectarian character. We have a high and holy reverence for the Bible, and could ardently and devoutly wish that every Mason living might conscientiously feel that he could acknowledge its divine authenticity. But we cannot consent to change the land-marks and destroy the universalily of our Institution, in order to secure even a prospective realization of this wish. Besides, if innovation be permitted in one particular, who is there among us bold enough to say that it shall not be allowed in another, or to assume to define its limits ? Our only safety lies in checking it in its incipiency.

Inquiries in relation to this last point, and some others of equal delicacy, have been proposed from different sections of the country, for our opinion. They involve considerations, the public discussion of which we desire to avoid. The prerequisite qualifications of candidates, and the preliminary questions to be proposed to them, are dearly and particularly laid down in the ancient Constitutions and text-books, which have been sanctioned and approved by the wisdom and usages of ages; and we are not aware of the existence of any regulation which authorizes or permits a Grand Lodge, and certainly not a subordinate Lodge, to change or multiply them. Masonry is based on the universal principle of "peace on earth and good will to all men," and the only religious test which it requires, is a conscientious belief in the existence and providence of the only true and living God.

Petitioners For New Lodges

From Vol. V, No. 9, July 1846, p. 257:

Wilmington, N. C, May 18, 1846.

Br. C. W. Moore,

Dear Sir:— About twelve months since, several Brethren, members of St. John's Lodge, No. 1, of this place, petitioned the M. W. Grand Master, as their residence made it inconvenient to attend this Lodge, to grant them letters of dispensation to open a Lodge at Smithville. The dispensation was granted, and at the next communication of the Grand Lodge they were regularly chartered.

The Brethren did not come forward, settle up their dues and withdraw, as provided by our By-Laws, and as it seems to be a settled principle in Masonry, that a Brother should not be a member of two Lodges, the question now arises— Are the petitioning Brethren iu fact members of this Lodge and subject to the usual quarterages levied upon members?

I have contended, that as the Brethren were signers of the petition and most of them created officers under the dispensation, and subsequently elected to office under the charter, and inasmuch as this Lodge formally recommend their creation into a new Lodge, that by the act of dispensation and the consent of this Lodge, thus obtained, the ties uniting them were severed.

Other Brethren, distinguished for their zeal in the cause, contend that they are not discharged until they withdraw in the usual way provided by our By-Laws — thus, as I think, bringing our local regulations in conflict with the solemn enactments of our Graud Lodge.

As I desire to be correct in every thing regarding Masonry, and kowirg you to be in possession of " Lights'" not within our reach, I have determined to appeal to you to ascertain your views on this subject.

Fraternally yours,
R. G. R.

The regulation applicable to the above case, provides, that "when a Lodge comes to be thus numerous," (to consist of more than forty or fifty members,) "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." It would seem, therefore, that before a warrant, (or charter,) is asked of the Grand Lodge, the petitioners are required to obtain leave of the Lodge of which they are members, to separate from it. The manner of obtaining this leave is not defined by the Constitutions, but is left to the Lodge and the petitioners. It may be done by personal application, by written communication, or, as in the above case, by the Brethren submitting their petition for the approbation of the Lodge ; which, if obtained, carries with it, in our opinion, the required permission. It does not discharge them. It merely grants them leave to withdraw for a specific object, whenever they may find it necessary; or, in other words, when they have obtained their charter from the Grand Lodge.

In the case before us, the petitioners first received a dispensation from the Grand Master, authorising them to assemble and make Masons, but not investing them with the powers and privileges appertaining to a Lodge. Their association was a Lodge in a chrysalis state; the being a member of which was not incompatible with their position, nor did it exempt them from any of their liabilities, or deprive them of any of their privileges, as members of a constituted Lodge. They had not yet petitioned the Grand Lodge for a warrant of constitution. They had merely "obtained leave" of their Lodge "to separate" and do so, at the proper time. At the ensuing communication of the Grand Lodge, a charter or warrant was granted to them, and they were regularly constituted, as a Lodge in full and equal standing with the other Lodges under the jurisdiction. At this period, and not before, by virtue of the leave previously granted, their connection with their parent Lodge terminated, and they were no longer subject to any of its requirements, or entitled to any of its privileges. They had withdrawn from it, and become members of the new Lodge — having previously given notice of their intention, and received the required permission. Up to this date, they were hoiden for their assessments and subject to the regulations of the Lodge from which they had then withdrawn. Their accounts should then have been made up and their names erased. It would have been proper and more agreeable to correct usage, for the withdrawing Brethren to have called on the Secretary, settled their accounts, and through him requested the Lodge to erase their names from the roll of members. But as they had previously obtained leave of the Lodge to withdraw, whenever they should procure a warrant for a new Lodge, (not a dispensation, for that does not confer the powers of a Lodge,) no further action, to their full discharge, by the Lodge, was necessary, nor by them, except the payment of any arrearages which might remain due at that time.

The conclusion of the whole matter is, then, if our views be correct, that the petitioners for the Lodge at Smithville, ceased to be members of St. John's Lodge, on the day they were constituted into a new Lodge. They are holden for arrearages to that time, but not for any subsequent period.

Privileges of Honorary Members

From Vol. V, No. 9, July 1846, p. 259:

A correspondent at Clarksville, Tenn., writes as follows :—

"A question has been raised in one of the Lodges here in reference to the privileges conferred by honorary membership. I am disposed to believe that it confers no actual privileges, but is a mere expression of regard and esteem. If it does confer actual privileges and entitles a Brother to all the privileges of real members, then a Brother may be a member of many Lodges. I would be obliged to you for your opinion in the case."

Our correspondent's views of the matter are not very different from our own, so far as they go. But they do not meet the whole inquiry. There are two classes of honorary memberships. The first includes those cases when distinguished Brethren, residing in foreign places, are made honorary members; and the second, those when Brethren are made honorary members of the Lodges with which they were by election previously affiliated.

The first is entirely complimentary. It confers no other privileges than those of visiting the Lodge at pleasure, of occupying a seat in the East, and of participating with the members in their social enjoyments, and in their private Lodge meetings, on more equal terms, than ordinary visitors. The Brother so complimented, is not. required to sign the By-Laws of the Lodge, or to assume any of the liabilities or duties which they impose; neither is he entitled to any of the privileges conferred by them. He is not required to serve on committees, or to discharge any of the special duties to which actual members are liable; nor is he eligible for election to office.

This we understand to be the position in which, as a general rule, Brethren are placed by election to honorary membership in foreign Lodges, or Lodges of which they were not previously actual members. Our Brethren in Paris have seen fit to elect us an honorary member of the principal Lodge in that city. But we do not, therefore, consider ourselves subject to any of its local regulations, or responsible for any of its proceedings; nor should we, if present, claim the right to participate in any of the special privileges guarantied to its actual members. There are, however, exceptions to this general rule. We are an honorary member of another Lodge, in which, by a special regulation in its By-Laws, we are entitled to all the privileges of actual membership, except those of holding office and voting on financial questions. But in this case, as in the former, we are not subject to any of the liabilities or responsibilities of the actual members.

The second class is also equally with the first, complimentary, and differs from it only in conferring certain exemptions without deducting from the privileges of actual membership. It is usually conferred only on aged and faithful Brethren, who have sustained all the various offices of the Lodge, and discharged for a long series of years the arduous duties of membership. The election of such Brethren as honorary members of their own Lodge, exempts them from all obligation to unite in its labors, or to sustain any of its subsequent liabilities. They are not required to fill any of its offices, serve on committees, or to attend its meetings, often than may be convenient to themselves; neither are they subject to the payment of the annual assessments, except so far as to meet any capitation tax that may be imposed by the Grand Lodge. But these exemptions do not deprive them of any of the privileges with which they were previously invested as actual members. They are still eligible for office, may serve on committees, vote on all questions, enjoy all the privileges, and exercise all the rights of full membership. But all this is at their own option. Their Brethren, out of respect for their long services, elect them honorary members, and thereby exempt them from the labors, without depriving them of any of the privileges, of the Lodge. Were this otherwise, and honorary membership deprived a Brother of his privileges as an actual member, the recipient would hardly esteem the change either desirable or complimentary. The Lodge of which we are a member, has the following regulation in its By-Laws:

''Honorary Members. Any member, whose long and faithful services shall, in the opinion of a majority of the members present, entitle him to the consideration and gratitude of this Lodge, may be admitted an honorary member, but by so doing he shall not be deprived of any privilege he before enjoyed."


From Vol. V, No. 10, August 1846, p. 292:

Thomaston, Geo. June 9, 1846.

Br. Moore,—To preserve the Ancient Landmarks and the purity of our Order from innovation, should be the wish of all Masons,—to do this, it is necessary, when any point arises which is not clear, to apply to some Brother who is well informed, and such I have always found ready and willing to dispense such light as they may be in possession of, to those less informed.

I wish to propose for your consideration, two questions, which I hope will prove to be of sufficient importance to elicit an answer, either by letter or through your excellent Magazine.

1st. Has any one the power to withdraw the Petition of a Candidate, after it has been regularly read and received by the Lodge ? And is not the Lodge violating the ancient usage, to suffer it to be withdrawn, even though a majority of the members be in favor of such a course?

My humble conviction is, that after a Petition has been received by the Lodge, it is then the property of the Lodge, and the only way to dispose of it is by the ballot box. It would be presumption in me to offer my reasons for this conviction, or to hint, even, at the evil of suffering a petition to be withdrawn, by the friends of the petitioner, to save him from the mortification of being rejected.

2d. The next point is not so much a question, as to ask how to be relieved from what you will see to be peculiar and embarrassing circumstances. Suppose an individual wishes to become a member of our Institution ; he has his petition properly drawn up and duly recommended by a Brother, whom you know to be "a good man and true." You are asked to "vouch" for the petitioner, and although you are not as well acquainted with him as you might wish to be, yet your confidence in the Brother who recommends him, induces you to "vouch" for him. Now, suppose, after this, before the petition is acted upon, you become dissatisfied with the qualifications of the candidate, so much so that you cannot conscientiously vote for his being received. What course would you then adopt?

As my ignorance is already shown, it will not make it worse by stating what I think would be the proper course. When the petition is called up, I think, the voucher should state to the Lodge, that, since signing the petition, he has become dissatisfied with the candidate, giving his reasons, and so withdraw his name as voucher. If no other Brother then vouches in his place, the petition of course is not received. I don't know that I have authority for my notions, and it is this doubt which induces me to apply to you for information.

With great respect, J. W. W. Drake, P. M.

The practice referred to by our correspondent in his first inquiry, is, we believe, peculiar to the Lodges in the United States, where it prevails to a considerable extent. It is, nevertheless, in our judgment, a wrong and a dangerous practice,—one which is neither sanctioned by the regulations nor authorized by the usages of the Institution. The Constitutions provide, that applications for initiation shall be made in writing and laid before the Lodge,—that they shall lie over one calendar month, (except in cases where dispensations are obtained,) in order that due inquiry may be made into the character of the candidates. The ballot is then taken, and if it be unanimously in favor of the applicant, he is admitted ; if otherwise, he is rejected, and the record is made accordingly. No provision for a different disposition of applications for the degrees, is made by the Constitutions, and any different practice we hold to be unauthorized and irregular. If the petitioner be unworthy to receive the honors of the Institution, it is the duty of the Lodge to which he applies, to reject him ; and thus render it difficult, if not impossible, for him to gain admission elsewhere. This is a sacred duty, which the Lodge owes to itself and to the Fraternity. It has no right to shrink from the discharge of it, though it may sometimes be attended with unpleasant consequences. If the petitioner be allowed, through his friends, to withdraw his petition, he is at full liberty to apply to another Lodge, if there be another in his place of residence, or, in case he change his residence, wherever he may reside ; and in this way, though unworthy, he may succeed in gaining admission, to the serious detriment of the character of the whole Fraternity. There may be special reasons why, in certain cases, a candidate should be allowed to withdraw his petition (as a change of pecuniary circumstances, or removal from the town) ; but these form exceptions to the rule. And even in such cases, it would be preferable to proceed with the ballot, and if the applicant be admitted, to return him his deposit, with a certified copy of the record, stating the circumstances.

We are aware that a different practice prevails in many of our Lodges,- and that it is attempted to be justified by the practice of legislative assemblies, in allowing petitioners "leave to withdraw." But Lodges are not legislative bodies, nor are they governed, in the admission of candidates, by Parliamentary laws.

It is undoubtedly true, that a worthy candidate may sometimes be rejected through individual prejudice or personal dislike, and that the mortification of such a result might be spared to him, were his friends at liberty to withdraw his name before the ballot is taken. But such instances are of rare occurrence, and the evil arising from them is not sufficient to counterbalance the greater evil which would result from permitting the. unworthy to escape, without the restriction imposed by a rejection, on their applying for admission to another Lodge, in which, being less known, they might be more successful. With a view to mitigate the severity of rejections, from motives such as are here suggested, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has incorporated into its Constitutions, the following provision :—

Art. 3. Sec. 2.—" No candidate, whose application may be rejected by a Lodge, shall be initiated in any Lodge under this jurisdiction, other than the one to which he first applied, without a recommendation from six members of the said Lodge, of whom the Master and Wardens shall be three. And when the Master and Wardens are unwilling so to recommend a candidate, who has been rejected, it shall be their duty to communicate such rejection to the Grand Lodge, or to the District Deputy Grand Master, who shall immmediately communicate the same to all the Lodges under his jurisdiction. And if any Mason knowingly assist, or recommend for initiation, to any Lodge whatever, (within this jurisdiction,) nny candidate rejected as aforesaid, who may not have obtained a recommendation as before provided, such Mason shall be expelled from the Institution."

It will be perceived, that by this regulation, the Master and Wardens, and any three members of the Lodge, if in their opinion a candidate has been rejected from personal motives, and not from moral delinquencies, may recommend him for admission to any other Lodge, constitutionally competent to receive him. Thus enabling him to go beyond the influence of the real or supposed personal prejudice which may have caused his rejection. This is an important power, but it is believed to be sufficiently guarded to secure it against abuse. And while it affords all the relief to a worthy, but rejected applicant, of which the nature of the case admits, it saves him from the mortification of having his name returned to the Grand Lodge, as unworthy to be received as a member of any moral and benevolent institution.

To the second inquiry of our correspondent, we answer: that a Brother ought never to vouch for, or recommend, any candidate for the degrees, whom he does not know, and with whose moral character and qualifications he is not well acquainted. But, if he is incautiously induced to do so, and subsequently ascertains that he has been deceived, it is perfectly correct for him to withdraw his name, at any time before the petition has been accepted by the Lodge. After it has been accepted, or referred to a committee of investigation, he has no control over it. There is no necessity for waiting for the petition to be called up. We fear we do not understand our correspondent here. If a Brother wishes to withdraw his name from a petition, he must do so before any action has been had on it by the Lodge, and, properly, before it has been publicly read by the Master or Secretary. He cannot do so at the meeting at which the ballot is to be taken, nor at any time subsequent to the meeting at which the candidate was first proposed. But after all, the better way, in a case like the one stated by our correspondent, would be to let the application take the usual course. Investigation might remove the objection; or, if it did not, the same reasons which would induce a Brother to withdraw his name from the petition, would constrain him to cast a negative ballot on the question of admission.

We wish our correspondent to understand, that although we entertain the opinion that it is not competent for a Brother to withdraw his name from a petition, after action has been had on it by the Lodge, we are equally clear in the opinion, that it is his imperative duty, before the ballot is taken, to state to the Lodge, that he signed the petition under a misapprehension as to the moral qualifications of the candidate, and that he does not now wish to be considered as recommending him for admission. He may give his reasons or not; but so much he is required to state, not only for the information and government of the Lodge, but in justification of himself.

Rejection of Affiliates

From Vol. V, No. 10, August 1846, p. 295:

The following inquiry was received: In a Lodge of Master Masons, a Brother Master Mason petitions for Membership and is rejected. Does it affect his standing in that or other Lodges ? or is he, after said rejection, entitled to the privileges of the Order, in visiting that and other Lodges?

The rejection of a candidate for membership, does not affect his standing as a Mason, and he may continue to visit the Lodge rejecting him, or any other, until charges are regularly preferred against him, and he has been formally suspended or expelled. The refusal of the Lodge to receive him as a member, does not necessarily imply moral delinquency.

Binding Nature of Proceedings

From Vol. V, No. 10, August 1846, p. 295:

The following inquiry was received: Are the proceedings of a Lodge of Master Masons binding and legal, until they receive the signature of the Master?

The signature of the Master is not necessary to give validity to the proceedings of the Lodge. The approval of the Lodge and the signature of the Secretary, make the records complete, unless the by-laws require the signature of the Master. But in this case, the record would stand good, even though the Master should withhold his signature. Were it otherwise, the Master might at any time annul the whole proceedings of the Lodge. He possesses no such power. It is rarely that the Master of a Lodge is required to sign the proceedings.

Expulsion of Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts

From Vol. V, No. 10, August 1846, p. 296:

Houston, Miss., May 4, 1846.

Br. C. W. Moore,—Has a Master's Lodge the right to try, suspend or expel, a Brother of the first or second degree, for unmasonic conduct? I have answered this question in the affirmative; but promised the Brother propounding the question, to ask your opinion. He differs, owing to your settlement of a previous question, viz. "Does suspension from a Chapter of R. A. Masons, deprive the suspended Companion of the privileges of a Blue Lodge ?"

Your answer produced in his mind a similar answer in this case, overlooking the fact, that the first and second classes are subordinate to the third, and may at pleasure, upon good cause shown, be thrown aside.

Fraternally, J. J. D.

Our correspondent is unquestionably right in the view he has taken of the question proposed. A Lodge of Master Masops has entire jurisdiction over all the degrees it is authorised to confer; and as it admits Apprentices and Fellow-Crafts, it may, for sufficient cause, expel them,— subject to the regulations of the Grand Lodge under whose jurisdiction it works. It matters nothing that Apprentices are not enrolled members of the Lodge. If they reside within its jurisdictional limits, they are amenable to it for Masonic delinquency. So with Fellow-Crafts. In this respect, both classes stand on a footing with Master Masons. The rule is, that any Lodge may take cognizance of the conduct of a Brother, (not attached to any particular Lodge,) sojourning or residing within its jurisdiction, upon a charge of unmasonic conduct. If it be conceded, that a person who has received the first and second degrees in Masonry, is a Brother of the Fraternity, (and this we presume will not be denied,) the question is settled by the rule, and need not be argued. The approved practice, we believe to be in conformity with this opinion.

The distinction made by our correspondent, between a Companion suspended by a Chapter and a Brother suspended by a Lodge, is also coincident with our own views. The Lodge is not amenable to the Chapter for any of its proceedings. It recognizes but one superior, and that is the Grand Lodge. It cannot be controlled in its proceedings by any other body. It Masonically knows no other; and is independent of all others. The reverse of this, however, does not hold. The members of the Chapter owe an allegiance to the Lodge, which they may not throw off. They know their duty towards a suspended or expelled Mason, and this they may not disregard, without denying that the Chapter is a Masonic body. If a member of the Chapter feel himself aggrieved, because a suspended Companion is permitted to visit the Lodge, he has his remedy, and it is bis duty to apply it.

Right of Burial

From Vol. V, No. 12, October 1846, p. 353:


Livingston, Md., July 20, 1846.

Comp. Moore :—A question came np before the Lodge in this place, upon which I should like to have your opinion. The question is this:—

"Can a Mason, being under suspension for non-payment of dues at the time of his death, be entitled to Masonic burial, upon the payment of said dues?"

The circumstances which gave rise to the above question are these—a member of the Lodge in this place was suspended under the By-laws of the Lodge, for non-payment of dues—and during the existence of the suspension, he died, with the request on his death-bed, that his remains should be buried Masonically. A friend of his, and a Mason, informed the Lodge of his request, and tendered the amount of dues for which he had been suspended—upon which application, the above question was submitted to the Lodge and decided in the negative. The question is to me entirely novel, and one upon which, "with the light before me, I am not able to decide. It seems that the disability, not extending to the character or worthiness of the individual, but probably arising from incompetency, should, upon an offer to cancel the cause of the disability, though after death, entitle the party to this Masonic rite. And again, it may be argued, and was, upon the decision of the above question, that no disability can be removed after death, the party then being beyond the jurisdiction of the Lodge. Please give us your opinion, at your earliest opportunity.

Yours, fraternally, C. B. McConnico.

Masonic funerals, strictly speaking, are not of great antiquity: that is, the attending of funerals in Masonic regalia, and the burying of Brethren with Masonic ceremonies, seem not to have come into practice until about the middle of the last century. The oldest Masonic "Funeral Service" to be found in the books, was drawn up by William Preston, and is given in the Trestle-Board, and other text-books of modern date. The older works do not, to our recollection, contain any set form of ceremonies, or make any reference whatever to the existence of the practice. Nor are there any general regulations on the subject, other than those attached to the Service as given by Preston. Neither is the custom a universal one. In Germany, and other of the Continental States, it is rarely observed. In France, the service is generally performed in the Lodge-room, and only on particular occasions, as in case of the death of the Master, or a Brother of distinction, who has rendered important services to the Craft. The inquiry, therefore, as to the obligation on the-part of the Lodge, to comply with the request of a Brother to be buried in Masonic form, is not to be settled by reference to the ancient Constitutions and regulations of the Fraternity ; for they are silent on the subject.

What, then, is the usage which has most generally obtained ?

This is embodied in the following extract from the introduction to the Funeral Service above referred to:

"No Mason can be interred with the formalities of the Order, unless it be by his own special request, communicated to the Master of the Lodge of which be died a member, foreigners and sojourners excepted; nor unless he has been advanced to the third degree of Masonry; and from this restriction there can be no exception. Fellow-crafts, or Apprentices, are not entitled to funeral obsequies, nor to attend the Masonic procession on such occasions.

"The Master of a Lodge, having received notice of a Master Mason's death, and of his request to be interred with the ceremonies of the Order, fixes the day and hour for the funeral, and issues his command to summon the Lodge. He may invite as many Lodges as he thinks proper, and the members of those Lodges may accompany their officers in form; but the whole ceremony must be under the direction of the Master of the Lodge to which the deceased belonged, and he and his officers must be duly honored, and cheerfully obeyed, on the occasion. But in case the deceased was not a member of either of the attending Lodges, the procession and ceremony must be under the direction of the Master of the oldest Lodge."

From these regulations it appears, that in order to be eligible to Masonic burial, a Brother must be—1st, a Master Mason;—2dly, a member of the Lodge to which he makes the request, or a foreigner and sojourner;—3dly, if a member, he must have communicated the request to the Master of the Lodge before his decease. All these requisites having been fulfilled, the Lodge may, and generally will (Under a dispensation from the Grand Master, in States where dispensations for public processions are required,) proceed to perform the service; unless there be special reasons to the contrary. But in doing so, it is influenced entirely by the respect and affection it bears to the deceased. It is under no obligation whatever to grant the request. It judges of the propriety of the measure for itself, and is at full liberty to act according to its two convictions of duty—not merely to the deceased, but to the Fraternity.

Requests of this character are frequently made by worthy, but not always wisely discriminating Brethren, when a compliance would not only be attended with unpleasant consequences, but would often result prejudicially to the interests of the Institution. This is especially true in large and populous cities, where the Fraternity, under a more stringent regulation, would be liable to be called daily into the public streets; and not always under auspicious circumstances. It has, therefore, been wisely left with the Lodge to determine the propriety of granting such requests when made.

The rule, as given by Preston, and which, he says, is "according to ancient custom," excludes all Brethren, except members of Lodges, "foreigners and sojourners," from the privilege of a Masonic burial; and this is nearly in accordance with the present constitutional regulation of the Grand Lodge of England. The difference is, that the latter makes no exception in favor of foreigners or sojourners. The deceased must have been a member of a Lodge, and the request must have been made to the Master of the Lodge of which he was a member. But the practice in this country has, to some extent, given a broader construction to the rule; or, in other words, the rule is not always strictly regarded ; and aged Brethren, who have served the Institution long and faithfully, or distinguished themselves in the service of their country, though, at the time of their decease, not members of any particulat Lodge, are frequently honored with Masonic burial. And this is occasionally done at the desire of friends, and when the request has not been made by the deceased.

In the case proposed by our correspondent, the Brother referred to was, at the time of his decease, under suspension from membership. The act of suspension, during its continuance, deprived him of all his rights and privileges as a member of the Lodge. If, therefore, it be assumed that, while a member in full standing, he possessed any claim to the privilege of a Masonic burial, it must at the same time be conceded, that he forfeited that claim, when he forfeited all the other privileges with which he was invested by his membership. These could be restored only by restoration to membership. This could not take place after death ; for that is the final termination, not the renewal, of earthly relations. The decision of the Lodge, in this respect, was, therefore, correct.

But there is another point in the case, on which we will venture to say a few words. Our correspondent intimates that the disability under which the deceased labored, did not "extend to his character or worthiness," but "probably arose from incompetency" or inability to discharge his pecuniary obligations to the Lodge. If this be true, we do not hesitate to say, that the fact was not known to the Lodge at the time of the suspension, or it would not have taken place. There is not a member of the Lodge who would not have paid the dues from his own pocket, if the suspension could not have been otherwise arrested. There is not a Lodge in the world, that would suspend an honest and worthy Brother for such a cause. And we refer to it thus particularly, merely for the purpose of again entering our protest against the severity of the punishment inflicted in some of the States, for delinquencies of this nature. Had the Brother resided within the jurisdiction of some other Grand Lodges, he would have been expelled and published—disgraced before the whole Fraternity—not for any moral delinquency, but for his poverty ! This would not have been knowingly and wilfully done; but, as in the present case, from the want of correct information—from ignorance of his true pecuniary condition. It may be said, that a Brother, in such case, should make his circumstances known to the Lodge. A proud, high-spirited man will not do this. Our Lodges cannot, therefore, be too cautious in dealing with this class of delinquents. They should be well assured that the delinquency does not arise from inability, before they proceed to stringent measures; and in all cases, the punishment should be scrupulously graduated by the nature of the offence. This is not done when expulsion, the highest penalty that can be incurred in Masonry, is inflicted for the non-payment of Lodge dues, or other slight cause.

We find no fault with the proceedings of the Lodge in the case before us. They were undoubtedly correct, because in accordance with what the Lodge, at the time, supposed to be true. But on discovering the error, if there be one, we should have thrown aside every other consideration, and complied with the Brother's last request.


Personal Prejudice in Balloting

From Vol. VI, No. 3, January 1847, p. 68:

A Southern correspondent and subscriber, asks our opinion on the annexed statement of facts. He does not furnish us with the names of the parties, nor do we know anything more of the matter than what appears upon the face of his communication. There may be circumstances connected with the transaction, which, if disclosed, might materially change the opinion we shall give. But we take the facts as they are stated :—

Br. Moore :—A. is a member of a Masonic Lodge, but his residence is in a distant State; yet he spends much of his time in the State where hts membership exists. During bis absence at his residence, B. applies for initiation into the Lodge. A. and himself are unfriendly; yet B. maintains a most unexceptionable character—remarkable for his morality and good orderas a citizen. Now, I wish to inquire if there is any rule of Masonic faith, that would require C, who is a member, to cast his ballot against B-, because A. and himself (i. e. B-) are not on good terms,—the more especially as C. himself, under other circumstances, would be glad to have B. for a member? Are members who are friendly disposed to a candidate, bound, or ought they, to take cognizance, individually, of the quarrels of a candidate and a Brother, who is a member?

Your attention to the above is most respectfully solicited. I am, fraternally, yours, W. D. S.

A. is not a member of the Lodge to which B. applies for initiation; but being at variance with B., he goes to C, who is a member, states his personal dislike to B., and asks C. to black-ball him. C. consents, and B. is rejected. No charge of moral delinquency is urged against B. He "maintains a most unexceptionable character, remarkable for his morality and good order as a citizen." Of the truth of this, C. is satisfied ; and, "under other circumstances, would be glad to have B. for a member."

Assuming this to be a correct and impartial statement of the case,— embracing all the facts,—we have no hesitation in saying, that in voting for the rejection of B., C. committed a great moral and Masonic error ; because, his only motive in voting as he did, was to gratrfy A., whose opposition to B. arose from personal prejudice, and not from any objection to the moral qualifications of the candidate. C. thus permitted himself,— unconsciously, no doubt,—to be made instrumental in wounding the feelings, if not in inflicting an injury on the character of a worthy man. For this, he can find his justification neither in morals nor in Masonry. Personal prejudices ought never to be permitted to control the action of any Brother in the discharge of his duties as a member of the Fraternity. As a Mason, he "should learn to abstain from all malice and evil-speaking,"—rising above the influence of prejudices and partialities, and looking only to the good of the Institution and the happiness of his fellow-men. But, making all due allowances for the imperfections of human nature, and conceding that wrong action under strong prejudices may sometimes be excusable in the party immediately interested, it will be difficult to find a sufficient apology for the wrong-doing of a third and disinterested party. Had both A. and B. been Masons, and B. had applied for membership in the Lodge of which A. and C. were members, there might have been a propriety in C.'s saying to B., " If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy Brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way ; first be reconciled to thy Brother, and then come and offer thy gift: "Because, the harmony and consequent prosperity of the Lodge, might have been essentially endangered by the admission of B., with whom A. was at variance. But in the case as stated by our correspondent, there were no such consequences to be apprehended. A. belonged to another Lodge, in a distant State.

As we have before remarked, we know nothing of the particulars of this case, nor of the parties, further than is stated by our correspondent, who is a respectable Brother. There may be circumstances connected with it, which, if given, would materially change its aspect. But of them, if any exist, we know nothing. Our opinion is predicated on the facts before us; and here rests our responsibility.

Revival of Charters

From Vol. VI, No. 7, May 1847, p. 198:


A correspondent has called our attention to the following inquiry in the report of the committee on foreign correspondence, submitted to the Grand Lodge of Indiana, at its last annual communication, and asks for our opinion on the question proposed :

"We will notice one subject upon which we do not know that any direct opinion has been expressed, as to the principle, at least. We mean, the reviving of dead Lodges by resolution. It is the practice of this Grand Lodge, thus to revive Lodges many years since declared dead, and Charters arrested. Is it proper that a Lodge should thus be resuscitated? We know that each Grand Lodge is supreme, within its own borders, but is this method practised by any Lodge except our own? We think not, and that when once a Charter is arrested, whether taken possession of or not, the Lodge cannot be legally revived but by a new Charter. This question is mooted to invite the attention of other Grand Lodges to the subject It may be a plain question, and already settled different from the views of the committee; but if so, it is unknown to them, and they deem it of sufficient importance to be answered."

We do not precisely understand what meaning is intended to be conveyed by the words, "the reviving of dead Lodges by resolution." Usually, a Lodge may be revived by resolution, provided the resolution be predicated on the petition of a constitutional number of the former members of the Lodge to be revived. Or, it may be done on the recommendation of a committee of the Grand Lodge, appointed to report on such petition. As the Grand Lodge possesses the power to create, so it possesses the power to resuscitate. The manner in which it shall exercise either of these powers, is mainly dependent upon its own will. The general regulations of the Fraternity designate a given number of Brethren as necessary to constitute a Lodge, and provide that, in order to its regularity, a charter must be obtained from a Grand Lodge. The manner and the terms on which charters may be granted, are properly left with the Grand Lodges. They are usually granted by resolution or vote, taken either directly on the petition, or, what is more correct and regular, on the report and recommendation of a committee, and after the petitioners have worked one year under dispensation. The restoration of an old charier differs from the granting of a new one, mainly in that the petitioners in the former case, are not required to work under a dispensation ; or, in other words, the probationary term is dispensed with.

By the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of this Commonwealth, a charter cannot be restored, "unless seven of the petitioners for its restoration, were members of the Lodge at the time of its surrender"; nor until the petitioners have notified "the District Deputy Grand Master of the District, and the Lodge nearest to their residence, of their intention to petition for the restoration." These regulations having been complied with, and it appearing that the Lodge was in good standing at the time of suspension, and made its surrender of charter, records, regalia, and other property, as required by the Constitutions, any seven of its former members may petition and receive the charter, and all other property surrendered. The charter is endorsed to the petitioners, and they alone are made members of the Lodge. The officers are elected from among the petitioners, and installed by the Grand Master in person, or by his appointment. The Lodge may then increase its members, and proceed with its regular business. When, however, a charter is revoked, and declared forfeited for misdemeanor or irregularity, that is the end of it,—the Lodge is broken up, and cannot be reinstated by any act of the Grand Lodge. A new charter may issue and a new Lodge be formed, in the usual manner: but the old Lodge terminated its existence by the forfeiture of its charter.

Sueh is the practice in this Commonwealth ; but there is very little uniformity among the Grand Lodges in -this particular. Each has a method of its own, and often a very loose one. But it is a matter which every Grand Lodge may regulate for itself. A charter ought never, in our opinion, to be declared forfeited, unless the declaration be accompanied with the de n. nd for a surrender, under the penalty of expulsion for non-compliance. The leaving of dead charters about the country, and in unknown hands, is a loose and mischievous practice, and should be guarded against by stringent regulations.

Restoration of an Expelled Mason

From Vol. VI, No. 8, June 1847, p. 225:

Farmerville, La., March 24, 1847.

Bro. Moore,—I wish to have your opinion on the following questions:

  • 1st: After a Master Mason has been tried and found guilty of base misrepresentation between Brethren, and expelled, and he applies to the Grand Lodge for a restoration, and the G. Lodge orders his case back for a new trial, is the subordinate Lodge bound to give him a new trial, when they are well convinced of his Unmasonic conduct ?
  • 2d: If the Lodge goes into a new trial, and expels him the second time, has the Grand Lodge the right to restore him, and compel the members of the subordinate Lodge to acknowledge him as a Mason, after they are convinced of his unmasonic conduct, and have twice expelled him ?

Bro. Moore will please give his opinion, by request of our Lodge, as just such a case is now pending.

Yours, fraternally, I. S. Henderson.

The right of appeal, in cases of discipline, from the decision of a subordinate Lodge to the Grand Lodge, is guaranteed to every Mason, by the ancient usages and laws of the Fraternity. And this right implies a power in the Grand Lodge to confirm, modify, or reverse, the decision of the subordinate. The Grand Lodge may cite the parlies to appear before, its own body ; or it may order a rehearing of the case before any Lodge, or committee of Masons, specially commissioned for the purpose ; and the decision so had, if confirmed, in Grand Lodge, is binding on all the parties.

It is not unusual, where the proceedings are defective, to refer cases of discipline back to the Lodge for revision, with instructions. But in cases where the proceedings are regular, and expulsion has been decreed, such a course is neither usual nor judicious. It is certainly not just to the appellant, who can hardly expect a more favorable decision, nor courteous to the appellees, who are-to be presumed to have acted without prejudice, and according to their convictions of right and duty. Nevertheless, if the Grand Lodge so determine, and send the case back for new trial, the Lodge is bound to submit, and to give the appellant a rehearing; because, the decrees of the Grand Lodge, Masonically speaking, are to be respected and obeyed, until abrogated or amended in a regular and constitutional manner.

If the Lodge expel the delinquent on a second trial, the Grand Lodge may still restore him, and require that he be respected as a Mason in full standing. The regulation of the Grand Lodge of England is exceedingly stringent on this point. "If the Grand Master," say its Constitutions, " should be satisfied that any Brother has been illegally, or without sufficient cause, suspended, removed, or excluded (A subordinate Lodge, under the English jurisdiction, has not the power to expel) from any of his Masonic functions or privileges, by any private Lodge or other subordinate authority, he may order him to be reinstated or restored, and may also suspend, until the next ensuing quarterly communication, any Lodge or Brother who shall refuse to comply with such order."

The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has a different and less exceptionable regulation. It provides, that

"Whenever this Grand Lodge shall reverse or abrogate the decision of a. subordinate Lodge, suspending or expelling a Brother, and shall restore him to the benefits and privileges of Masonry, he shall not thereby be restored to membership within the body from which he was suspended or expelled, without its unanimous consent."

A more stringent regulation than this, (like that of the Grand Lodge of England, for instance,) could hardly fail to interrupt the harmony, if it did not entirely destroy the Lodge. Besides, we do not admit that the Grand Lodge is within the line of its duty, when it attempts to thrust an offensive member into any Lodge. But this is not the case with our Brethren at Farmerville. The Grand Lodge of Louisiana does not, as we understand the question, require them to receive the expelled Brother as a member, but merely to recognize him as a Mason. And this, he having been regularly restored by the competent authority, they are bound to do.

The Grand Lodge departed from the usage, though it did not exceed its powers, when it referred the case back to the Lodge for new trial. It should have been referred to another Lodge, or to a special commission, if the Grand Lodge declined to enter upon the investigation itself. This course was due both to the Lodge and to the accused.

Right of Visit

From Vol. VI, No. 8, June 1847, p. 227:

Linden, Ala., April 10, 1847.

Bro. Moore,—Our Lodge has thought proper, under peculiar circumstances, to pass the following resolution:

"Resolved, That each subordinate [Lodge] has the right to refuse admission to any visiting Brother who is at open enmity with one of its members."

Now, has a Lodge the right to pass and enforce such a resolution, or can a visiting Brother go into any strange Lodge, except by the unanimous consent of its members ? Our Grand Lodge has clearly recognised such a doctrine, in one of its By-laws, and it seems to result from the very nature of the Institution. And if a Lodge cannot exercise such a right, it nay be imposed upon to a great extent, and made to receive a strange or visiting Brother into the Lodge, and thereby endorse the. character and standing of a Brother, whom they might regard as anything but worthy, or who was ready, perhaps, to plunge a dagger into the heart of one of its most worthy and esteemed members.

We desire that you would express your opinion fully on this subject, in your valuable Magazine, and much oblige

Yours, fraternally, Thos. J. Woolf.

The Lodge has an unquestionable right to refuse admission to an unworthy or turbulent Brother, whose presence, they have reasonable grounds to believe, might disturb the peace and harmony of the proceedings. But it does.not follow, nor is the Lodge at liberty to assume, that because there is an "open enmity" between a visitor and a member, the former must necessarily be in the wrong. In such case, the true and Masonic course would be, for the Lodge to institute, through a committee, an inquiry and investigation, with a view to a reconciliation. If the latter were found to be impracticable, from the perverseness of either party, the Lodge would at least be enabled to act understandingly, and to impose such restrictions, prohibitions, or penalties, as, in the exercise of a sound judgment, the nature of the case might warrant, and justice demand.

We hold that it is competent for a Grand Lodge to regulate and restrict the right of visiting, as to the Lodges and Brethren within its own jurisdiction. But "every Mason," says one of the ancient black-letter charges of the Order, is to "receive and cherish strange fellowes when they come over the country." That is to say,—a Brother coming from a foreign jurisdiction, having sufficient skill to prove himself, and bearing the certificate of a foreign Grand Lodge, may rightfully claim the privilege of visiting, without let or hindrance, during the hours in which the Lodge is actually engaged in work. No Lodge is obliged, under any circumstances, to admit a visitor, while engaged in the transaction of its local or private business.

Our correspondent is referred to this Magazine, vol. 3, p. 225, for our views at length on this subject.

Masonic Funerals

From Vol. VI, No. 8, June 1847, p. 228:

Clinton, Miss., April 6th, 1847.

Bro. Moore,—I hope I shall not trespass on your time too much by requesting you to give me (through your interesting and instructive Magazine,) some information on the following subject:

Is it not unmasonic to allow Entered Apprentices and Fellow-Crafts to wear the mourning of a Master Mason, and march in funeral processions ?

I am a young Mason, and am exceedingly anxious to get that which is pure, and to understand thoroughly that which I get.

It occurs to me that I have Been something from you on this subject, in one of the back numbers of your Magazine, but as my copy goes no further back than the commencement of the 5th volume, I cannot now ascertain your opinion on the subject, and must therefore request you to give it again.

So fully am I convinced that they have not the right to join in funeral processions, that I refused, two or three days ago, to join in a procession where a Fellow-Craft and an Entered Apprentice were to be of the number. I remonstrated with the Master of the Lodge and several of the members, and told them that I, as a Master Mason, could not recognise it as Masonic, and should therefore decline uniting with them on that occasion. They gave as a reason for allowing them to take part, that it hod been the custom heretofore with this Lodge to admit them into the procession, at the door of the Lodge—let them participate in the services at the grave, and withdraw from the ranks on their return to the door; but it occurs to me that they might as well be admitted into the Lodge, and take part in alt the services there, as at the grave. Please publish your opinion fully in regard to the above.

I would also ask of you at this time, information on two other points:

  • 1st. What is the appropriate mourning for a Master Mason, and how should it be worn ? Some Masons tell me that the rods, &.c should be hung with black crape: others say white. * Again,—if you can answer this question to one who is only a Master, please do so: Should a Royal Arch Mason wear any other mourning than that of a Master, when mourning for one who was only a Master ?

By an early compliance with the above requests, you will confer a lasting obligation on Your friend and Brother,

Wm. B. Williamson, M. D.

Our correspondent is entirely correct in his views as to the admission of Entered Apprentices and Fellow-Crafts into funeral processions. The regulation is, that no Mason can be interred with the formalities of the Order, unless he has been advanced to the third degree. Fellow-Crafts and Entered Apprentices are not entitled to Masonic funeral obsequies; neither can they be lawfully admitted into Masonic funeral processions. We had supposed this to be a well settled principle, and that the practice everywhere was in accordance with it. But however this may be, the propriety of the regulation is so generally admitted, that we do not feel the necessity of complying with the request of our correspondent, to enter more fully upon its discussion.

We have so frequently given our opinion in relation to the second inquiry proposed, that our correspondent must excuse us with the general remark, that the most becoming and proper dress for funeral processions, is a black suit, with white apron and gloves. The officers may wear their jewels, with crape. If the rods are carried, they should be trimmed with black, not white.

To the third inquiry, we answer, that in our opinion there is great impropriety and inconsistency in wearing the R. A. regalia at the funeral of a Master Mason. We regard the introduction of the R. A. dress into funeral processions, in any case, as evincive of bad taste, if not absolutely repugnant to correct Masonic usage and propriety.

Masonic Processions

From Vol. VI, No. 9, July 1847, p. 257:

Holly Springs, Miss., April 16, 1847.

Bro. Chas. W. Moore,—A question of some novelty (at least with us,) has arisen in our Lodge within the last few days, which has given rise to considerable debate amongst the Brethren. On tomorrow, the citizens of this county are to assemble, to pay the proper tribute of respect to the memory of those who fell at Buena Vista, and also to give expression to their sentiments of joy for the victory achieved by our army. The general committee of arrangements has invited our Lodge to attend the procession, &c. in a body. Many of the Brethren object to any participation in these contemplated proceedings. Some distinguished Masons have fallen in this battle. Is it, or not, right to accept the invitation? If right, what dress should be worn ? Perhaps it would be better to state the question in a more general form, viz: Is it proper that we should, as a body, mingle with our fellow-citizens on occasions of great rejoicing or sorrow ? Or are our processions to be confined alone to our stated festivals, to funeral occasions, and to the ceremony of laying the corner-stones of public edifices? Will you do us the favor of answering.these questions ? –W.

The legitimate purposes of Masonic processions are undoubtedly restricted to funeral ceremonies, the laying of corner stones, consecrations of Masonic halls, installations, and annual festivals. But a wider range has obtained in this country, and it is now not uncommon, in the interior towns, and sometimes in the larger cities, to witness Masonic Lodges uniting with the civil authorities in celebrating the national anniversary, and other occasions of public rejoicing. We cannot doubt, however, that these are departures from correct Masonic usage. They have no connection whatever with the purposes, the forms or ceremonies of Freemasonry, and Masonic processions are not appropriate adjuncts to civic shows. There is danger in making such a use of them. There is great danger in permitting our Lodges to identify themselves, even in a remote degree, with any of the political movements of the day. Our great security al-. ways has been, and will always continue to be, in a rigid and punctilious adherence to the true purposes of the Institution.

The case stated by our correspondent, presents itself in a double aspect:

1st. The citizens were to assemble "to pay the proper tribute of respect to the memory of those who fell at Buena Vista;" among whom were many distinguished Masons. This was a proceeding analogous to established Masonic usage. It was not strictly, or in other words, it was not exclusively, a Masonic ceremony ; yet it was an occasion on which Masons might, with entire propriety, unite with their fellow-citizens, in paying a proper tribute of respect to the memory of their friends and Brothers.

2d. The further object of the assemblage was "to give expression to their sentiments of joy for the victory achieved by our army." This was an occasion for the united rejoicings of all patriotic citizens, without reference to their religious, political, or social relations. It was one of those general occasions on which the distinctive appellations of sectarianism, of whig and democrat, Mason and antimason, and all the multifarious designations by which the subdivisions of every community are known, should be avoided. Jt was an assemblage of American citizens, and the purpose was to rejoice in the triumph of American valor and patriotism. Local and peculiar distinctions, in our opinion, were neither necessary nor proper. But however this may be, such occasions seem not to be adapted to Masonic display. The Masonic Institution is a universal one. It belongs to all nations and to all people. The use of it as a means of rejoicing at the triumph of one party over another, or of one nation over another, is a perversion of its universality ; and the effect of such use, as a general rule, {having, of course, its exceptions,) would be to exclude from the processions, Brethren who have an imprescriptible right to participate in them.

In the particular case stated by our correspondent, there was not, probably, a Mexican Mason present; and therefore no Brother may have been wounded in his national pride, or deprived of his Masonic rights, if the Lodge united in the ceremonies. But extend the application of the principle, and suppose that a war should break out between England and America, (which may Heaven avert,) and that the Masonic Fraternity in New York or Boston, or in any other place where foreigners are numerous, should unite with their fellow-citizens in rejoicing at a victory obtained over their enemies. Is it not apparent that such a proceeding would not only improperly wound the feelings of English Brethren who might be present, either as visitors or members of Lodges, but that it would wrongfully wrest from them a privilege which, in common with their American Brethren, is guarantied to them by the constitutions,— that of appearing in all public processions, and participating in all the public duties and festivals of the Order? Of course we have reference to English Brethren who have not renounced their allegiance to their native country ; and such form a large class in all of our principal cities.

It appears, then, from what has been said, that our Brethren at Holly Springs were placed in a dilemma. They wore required to mourn and to rejoice—to cry and to laugh—at the same moment and by the same act I The first they could do consistently with their professions and principles as Masons. The second they could not do without violence to their professions and principles as members of a universal, peaceful Fraternity, recognising as Brethren, men of all nations and tongues. How ought they to have acted ? Viewing the question on general grounds, we should have declined the invitation. There may have been local considerations which would have induced us to accept it, but of these we know nothing.

Our correspondent makes the further inquiry, that, "If it be right to accept the invitation, what style of dress should be worn?" We answer, the ordinary dress of the Lodge, as in common processions,—there being no funeral services for the Lodge to perform.

While on this subject, it may not be out of place here to add, that our Brethren on the continent of Europe, are distinguished above all others for the splendor of their public processions, though we cannot subscribe to the correctness of their tastes. The superior officers wear splendid robes of silk and velvet, of the three pure colors, decorated with gold and precious stones. Under the Helvetian ritual, "the Grand Master walks under a purple, blue and crimson canopy, with fine linen and bells. The staves of his canopy are four or eight, which are borne by Master Masons, of the oldest Lodge present. On the right hand of the Grand Master is a sword-bearer, and on his left hand is a sword-bearer. Before the Grand Master is a standard, and behind him is a standard. All Masters of Lodges present are under blue canopies, each borne by four Master Masons of his own company. The canopies are six feet long and three feet broad: the staves are six feet long; the frame-work is of cedar, or pine, or box-wood ; the covering hangs down not less than three feet on each side, and in the front likewise. In the middle of the procession is carried the Ark, covered over with the veil of purple, blue and crimson, by four of the oldest members present."

This, however, is a style of procession which we should much regret to see imitated in this country. It is neither consistent with propriety nor good taste.

Tylers of Lodges

From Vol. VI, No. 11, September 1847, p. 355:


Mr. Editor:—Should not all the officers of a Lodge be members of that Lodge? Is not the Tyler an officer?—and can the same Brother be appointed Tyler to two or more Lodges, when he can be a member of but one?

Where two or more Lodges meet in the same hall, or under the same roof, the custom has obtained of appointing the same Brother Tyler to all the bodies. That "Custom makes a law," is, of necessity, in some cases, an acknowledged axiom ; and this may be one of such cases. But it has occurred to me that there must be some specific regulation touching this matter. What say the old Constitutions on the subject ?—or, in their silence, what are your own views on the propriety of the practice above named ? Yours, truly, Inquirer.

It is very certain that a Lodge must select its officers from its own members ; but it is not quite certain that the Tyler is an officer, any more than the sentinel who guards a military post, is an officer. Their duties and| powers are similar, and we are inclined to think that the one is just about as much an officer as the other. The Constitutions are not very definite on this point, but they are sufficiently so to answer our present purpose, and to show that the Tyler does not rank as an officer of the Lodge. In 1754, it was resolved and ordered to be entered as a standing regulation, in the Grand Lodge of England, that if a Brother, clothed in his regalia, attend a funeral procession, without permission of the G. Master, "he shall not only be forever incapable of being an officer of a Lodge, but even of Tyling, or attending on a Lodge." It is true that the distinction is here only incidentally made; but it is, nevertheless, we think, sufficiently marked to show that the Tyler was not at that period reckoned among the officers of a Lodge; nor do we understand that his position has since been changed.

The Constitutions require that the Tyler shall be a Master Mason; but they do not require that he shall be a member of the Lodge that he tyles ; nor do they prohibit his tyling a Lodge of which be is not a member. In cities and large towns where there are several Lodges, it is usual, as our correspondent suggests, for one Brother to serve them all as Tyler. So far as there is any regulation on this subject, it is against the Brother being a member of the Lodge that he tyles. The second article of the General Regulations, as revised in 1754, is as follows :

"A Brother Master Mason should be appointed the Tyler, to look after the door; but he must be no member of the Grand Lodge." (If the appointment of G. Tyler conferred on him the character of an officer, it would of course make the Brother receiving it a member of the Grand Lodge; but it does neither. And the principle holds good in its application to private Lodges.)

We know not why the principle here established is not as essential to a private Lodge as it is to the Grand Lodge. If the Brother who tyles the Grand Lodge is not allowed to be a member of that body, there is no just reason why he should be required to be a member of the private Lodge that he tyles. He should of course be a member of one Lodge, before he is appointed Tyler at all; and being a member of one, he may tyle as many Lodges as see fit to employ him.

Trials of Unaffiliated Brothers

From Vol. VI, No. 10, August 1847, p. 303:

Clinton, Miss., June 24, 1847.

Bro. Moore,— We most respectfully desire your opinion upon a case which has arisen with us, on which there is much diversity of opinion. The case is as follows :

"A Mason, who was for some time a member of this Lodge, demitted, and has not since joined any other, is charged with unmasonic conduct towards this Lodge, and some of its members;—has been summoned to attend an investigation. He refuses to be tried by this Lodge, and claims to be under the jurisdiction of another, although his residence is the same as when a member of this. The censurable conduct is in reference to this Lodge,—the evidence is here.

"The question is, whether we have the right to investigate the matter, or shall it be done by a distant Lodge, of which he never was a member or scarcely a visitor?

"The Constitution is before us, yet the circumstances seem to vest the right of investigation in this Lodge. It is true, the Constitution gives the Lodge nearest his residence the authority to hold him accountable for unmasonic conduct generally ; yet it does not prohibit this Lodge from holding him responsible for unmasonic conduct towards itself.

"The question may assume this form,— Whether, under the above circumstances, we can take the matter in band, or shall we have to make our complaint known to the other Lodge, and require them to do so for us?

"We hold your opinions in due deference, and would be glad to have your answer at your earliest convenience—by 31st July, if convenient—as that day is set for the investigation.

Respectfully and fraternally, yours, &.c.
Geo. H. Gray, Secretary of Clinton Lodge, No. 16. "


Boston, July 7, 1847.

Dear Sir and Bro. :— Yours of the 24th ult. is at hand. I am of opinion that when you discharged the Brother in question from membership, or when you allowed him to "demit," or withdraw, you, according to the provisions of your G. Lodge Constitutions, (as I understand your reference,) surrendered all control over him to the Lodge within whose jurisdiction he resides. He stands to you, therefore, as though he had never been a member of your Lodge, and must be proceeded against accordingly.

"Your most correct course is, to prefer charges ngainst him before the Lodge nearest his residence; or, the offence being against your Lodge, and he not being a member of any Lodge, you may carry the matter up to the Grand Lodge, and ask to have a special commission appointed to try the charges, if you prefer this course. This commission may be your own Lodge, if the Grand Lodge so decide; and it is competent to do so, unless prohibited by its own Constitutions. I should not, however, favor such a reference, because the Lodge, being the accuser, ought not to sit in judgment on the case."

Installation Out of Jurisdiction

From Vol. VI, No. 10, August 1847, p. 315:

Paris, Tenn., June 16, 1847.

"Bro. Moore,— I hope i shall not tire your patience, by inquiring of you, through your interesting Magazine, whether it would be right or legal for officers of any Lodge in one State, to be installed in another State? There are two Lodges near here, and the members of both differ in opinion on this question. Some say we can go into the State of Kentucky and be installed, and others say it is not legal to do so.

"I am happy to say Freemasonry is more flourishing in this part of the country 
than for years past.

"Yours, fraternally,
John Beer.' "

"Our correspondent is informed that it is not competent for the officers of any Lodge to go out of the State to be installed. The installation should take place in the Lodge room, or in a hall procured for the purpose by the Lodge, within the town where it is located."

Petitions by Candidates

From Vol. VI, No. 12, October 1847, p. 384:

"Our correspondent at Gaston, Ala., is informed that one written petition is all that can properly be required of any candidate for all the degrees conferred in a Lodge, - presuming, of course, that he wishes to receive all the degrees in one Lodge, and in regular time."

Initiates in Lodges Under Dispensation

From Vol. VII, No. 2, December 1847, p. 33:

Clarkesville, Mo., Aug. 31, 1847.

Br. Moore :—You will oblige us of the West, by giving your views on the following questions:

  1. If an individual is initiated, passed and raised, in a Lodge under Dispensation, and immediately removes into the jurisdiction of another Grand Lodge, without Remitting from his Lodge, and said Lodge afterwards acts so as to gain the displeasure of the power creating it, and the members thereof are declared suspended—how does the individual stand towards the Fraternity ? And, if he is one of the suspended, and desires to remain as one of the faithful, how should he proceed to reinstate himself?
  2. If an individual is initiated under the French rite, (say in Canada,) at the age of eighteen, and leaves without any knowledge of the work, so that in a few years he nearly forgets how he was dealt with or what he saw—how should be proceed, if he desires to learn York Masonry ?

Yours, &c, J. F. L. Jacoby.

1. Dispensations are usually granted by the Grand Master, during the recess of the Grand Lodge, on the petition of not less than seven Master Masons; and are generally made returnable at the ensuing annual communication of the Grand Lodge. They authorize the petitioners to "form and open a Lodge, after the manner of ancient free and accepted Masons, and therein to admit and make Freemasons."

This we conceive to be the full extent of the powers delegated to, or which can be legally exercised by, Lodges working under Dispensation. They are Lodges in abeyance, and not in reality. Their presiding officers are not entitled to the rank of Past Masters of Lodges, nor are they privileged with a vote as representatives in the Grand Lodge. Neither have such Lodges the fight of electing their officers, or of changing them, except by permission of the creating power. They are in a state of probation, preparatory to being invested with the full powers and privileges of Lodges. They differ from Lodges working under Charters, not only to the extent already named, but in that they have no power to perpetuate themselves. They cannot add to the number of their members ; neither can they fill vacancies, should their original number be diminished below the constitutional requirement, except by special permission from the competent authority. An essential difference between them and chartered Lodges is, that Charters are granted to the petitioners, and their successors; while Dispensations run to the petitioners only. In the latter case, the petitioners alone are known to the Grand Lodge, and they only are responsible. for the acts of the body they represent. Their initiates are not returned to the Grand Lodge as members; for, not having been constituted, the Lodge possesses no power to admit members. The members of it are themselves a mere association working after the manner of a Lodge, and not in the full capacity of a Lodge. They are, therefore, required to return their initiates for just what they are, and nothing more, viz: initiates.

This view of the powers of Lodges under Dispensation being correct, it follows that the individual referred to by our correspondent, was not a member of the Lodge, notwithstanding that his name may have been recorded as such. It was not possible, therefore, for him to demit; that is, to withdraw his membership. Of course, he could not be affected by any action of the Grand Lodge in relation to the members, namely, the Brethren holding the Dispensation. In other words, the act suspending them, did not, in our view of the case, affect his standing as a Mason.

But we object to the suspending of the members of a Lodge, in the manner stated, as an irregular proceeding. It is a rule at common law, that no man is to be adjudged guilty until an opportunity has been afforded him to be heard in his own defence; and that rule is against all law, and repugnant to common sense and humanity, which condemns and punishes an innocent man for the misdemeanors of his fellows. And yet, in ninety-nine cases in every hundred, this would be the inevitable effect of a vote suspending a Lodge, in the sense in which our correspondent employs the term. But to our understanding of the law and the practice, the phrase implies only the arrest of the Charter of the Lodge. It is at all times competent for the Grand Master to arrest the Charter of a Lodge, and thereby suspend its operations, until the complaint can be brought before the Grand Lodge for adjudication ; and it is equally competent for him to suspend a part or the whole of the members of a Lodge. But in doing so, he must have some regard for the rules of justice. It might do for him to say to the Master, " Sir, by virtue of my authority "as Grand Master, I suspend your Lodge, and summons you to appear before the Grand Lodge, at its next regular communication, to show cause why your Charter should not be revoked;" because the Master is the legal representative of the Lodge, and may be lawfully held to answer for the irregularity of its proceedings. But he is not the representative of the members in their individual capacity, nor can they be individually arrested or punished through him. It would not, therefore, be sufficient for the Grand Master to say to the Master of the Lodge, "Sir, I suspend your members, and summons them to appear before the Grand Lodge" ; because each member is alone responsible for his own acts, and cannot be held to answer for the misdeeds of another. If a member has committed an offence of sufficient magnitude to justify the proceeding, the only proper course is to serve him, personally, or to leave at his place of residence, a copy of the charges against him, with a summons to appear at the proper time and place, to make his answer; and, if need be, a notice of suspension, until his case has been adjudicated and determined. We know of no other way in which Brethren can be legally arraigned or suspended, except in extreme cases, when the Grand Master may suspend viva voce.

2. The second inquiry of our correspondent opens a wide field for discussion. We shall, however, restrict our answer to a few brief remarks. The initiation of minors is prohibited by the ancient Constitutions; and in our judgment, a disregard of this prohibition is hazardous to the interests. and security of the Order. Such a practice would vitiate and destroy the regularity of a York Lodge, and mark its initiates as irregular, if not positively clandestine. It is, however, a practice authorised by the Constitutions of the French, Scotch, and other modern riles; and Brethren made under those Constitutions, are not refused admission as visitors in York Lodges. But if this settles the question as to the recognition of Brethren made in those rites, it does not warrant the initiation of minors in York Lodges, nor would it justify any participation in their initiation by Masons acknowledging the authority of the old Constitutions.

From the preceding remarks and conclusions, it follows, that if we acknowledge and receive Brethren who have been made in the French rite and under the Scotch Constitution, the fact that tho individual in question was initiated at eighteen years of age, cannot be urged as a bar to his admission into our Lodges as a visitor. If, as our correspondent suggests, he has forgotten so much that he cannot prove himself to be a Mason, it is his misfortune. A Lodge would not be at liberty to receive him on any less testimony than it would require of another visitor from a foreign country. If he cannot furnish this testimony—if he cannot prove himself to be a Mason—he cannot be admitted or recognised.

We have said that Brethren made in the French rite, are not refused admission into the York Lodges. This is true, so far as we are informed, except, perhaps, as to the Lodges in Philadelphia, which, we believe, require that visitors shall hail from Lodges working under the York Constitutions. But we are not prepared to say that the practice at present followed, is the correct one ; because we doubt whether innovations, under any circumstances, ought to be sanctioned. The departure from the York, and the adoption of the modern rites, with their mutilations of the ritual, by the Lodges on the continent of Europe, in the latter part of the last century, were such departures " from the original plan of Masonry," that the York Masons of that day did not feel at liberty to acknowledge them. But the evil has since grown to such a magnitude that it is probably incurable ; and, if not positively admitted to be regular, the practice of these modern rites is now, by a kind of general consent, suffered to pass without objection. Had more stringent measures been adopted and enforced, when the evil first appeared, it might perhaps have been checked, though this is not certain, in view of the then state of the Fraternity. All that can now be done is to keep the rites separate, and preserve, as far as possible, the integrity of the York Constitutions and ritual. This is not an easy, it may not be an agreeable, task ; but it should be done.

In conclusion, we will add, that minors cannot, in any of the rites, be advanced farther than the second degree. The third degree is not conferred upon them until after they attain to their majority. The Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, contain the following article on this subject, which we believe to be in conformity with the general usage in the Scottish and French rites :

"Art. 4. The sons of Masons, when presented by their father, or tutor, are dispensed with the condition concerning the age, and may be received when they are eighteen years old. (But it is well understood that they cannot be received as Masters M.^. before they have attained their twentyfirst year.)"

That the reader may not be at a loss to understand why such an article is found in the Constitution of any Grand Lodge in this country, it may be proper to state, that the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, if desired, issues three Charters to a single Lodge, one for each of the three rites that it cultivates and claims to control, viz : the French, or Modern, the Scottish, and the York! And being a Grand Lodge of mixed rites, its first officer is styled "Most Worshipful and Serenissime (Most Serene) Grand Master ;" the second is "Right Worshipful and Illustrious Deputy Grand Master;" the other officers are "Honorable Grand Wardens," &c. But our object in referring to this body was merely to show the practice of foreign rites in the admission of minors. From the article quoted from its Constitution, it will be seen that the minor must be the son of a Mason, and must be proposed by his father or tutor, when he may be advanced to the second degree, but cannot proceed further until his twentyfirst year. Does the person referred to by our correspondent, claim to be a Master Mason?

Grand Lodge Jurisdiction

From Vol. VII, No. 2, December 1847, p. 37:

Bloomington, Iowa, Sept. 10, 1847.

Br. C. W. Moore:—Will you, through the pages of your Magazine, please enlighten me and some of my Brethren of this Western region, who have been taught to look to the East for light, in relation to the meaning of the phrases " Masonic jurisdiction," "Jurisdictional limits of Grand Lodges, &c, a knowledge of which I find becomes necessary to enable us to understand much that is published now-a-days on these subjects, and, what is of more importance, to act in reference to the wise maxim, "Do unto others," &c. I had, until latterly, supposed, that the Masonic jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge was constitutionally limited and restricted within the geographical boundary of the State in which it was organised and held its Grand Communications. But I now find not only Brethren advocating, but Lodges and Grand Lodges practising the contrary,—a course of procedure on their part, which has resulted in much harm, and if persisted in, will increase the mischief.

I might enlarge much upon this topic, but as I have already done so, in a report which will be published in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, and as it is your views I want, I forbear.

Fraternally, &c, T. S. Parvin.

Our correspondent is not entirely correct in the view he has taken of the subject matter on which he desires our opinion; or, perhaps we should say, be stops short of the whole truth.

Generally speaking, the jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge in this country, is "limited and restricted within the geographical boundary of the State in which it holds its communications; but this is not universally true; nor is it true that there is any constitutional provision on the subject. The restriction or limitation, such as it is, is one which the early Grand Lodges in the United States seem to have imposed upon themselves, out of the courtesy and respect they entertained for each other. We have heard it said there was a kind of restrictive treaty entered into between them at the revival of Masonry after the revolutionary war; but we have never met with any evidence of the existence of such a document, and are inclined to regard the statement as without any foundation in fact. But, however this may be, it is indisputably true that a practice has obtained, which, in the absence of any written regulation, is to be received as the settled usage, or common law, on the subject.

What is this practice, and how does it limit the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodges?

We answer, that, as a general rule, the authority and operations of a Grand Lodge, in this country, are restricted to the geographical boundary of the State or territory within whose limits it is located and holds its communications. But this is not unconditionally true ; because, it has never been questioned that a Grand Lodge possesses the inherent power to establish Lodges in any State, territory, or country, where there is not already a Grand Lodge existing. Were this not the case, the respectable Grand Lodge of which our correspondent is the intelligent recording officer, could not have been organised. Other instances will readily suggest themselves to his mind, without our enumerating them.

Neither is the power of a Grand Lodge to establish Lodges in a foreign State, where there is no Grand Lodge existing, affected by the circumstance that there may already be within its borders, regularly established Lodges, deriving their authority from contemporary sources; because one Grand Lodge has no more just or stronger claims to a vacant territory than another, Contiguity has never been urged as ground for exclusive jurisdiction, though it will generally, and very properly, insure a preference. Neither is it of any consideration that there has been, at some previous time, a Grand Lodge within the State sought to be occupied. The only inquiry is as to the present lawful existence of such a body. This being settled negatively, the territory is vacant, and may be improved as though it had never been occupied. If a Grand Lodge, through its own decadency, fails to improve and occupy its jurisdiction, it loses control over it, and it may be taken possession of by another. If cannot be held in abeyance by the form, after the substance has departed. An opposite rule might forever exclude Lodges from any State or territory in which a Grand Lodge had once been organised.- I

There is another view in which it has been considered by pur European Brethren lawful for two or more Grand Lodges to occupy the same territory. This is where different rites are practised. There are, for instance, three Grand Lodges at Berlin, one working in the York, and the others in modern rites. There are also two Grand Lodges at Paris—the Grand Orient and the Supreme Council. The first originally worked the Modern, or French rite, and the latter the Scotch rite. By the regulations of the Supreme Council, and of the Scottish rite, it is declared irregular for a Grand Lodge to cultivate, or to associate with itself, any other than its own rite. Any Grand Lodge of the Scotch rite which should attempt to do so, would " lose its authority, and even existence." And we are inclined to regard this as a sound position, in a more general sense. If a Grand Lodge wear two faces, one must be false, and the whole thing becomes a cheat. That Masonry cannot be genuine which is composed of a plurality of rites; neither can that Grand Lodge be regarded as pure and regular which cultivates a plurality of rites ; for it is well known to every Mason who knows any thing about them, that the various rites differ, not only in the ceremonies, but in the essentials. And we are not prepared to say that there are not other societies, which claim no connection with our Fraternity, that do not bear quite as near an affinity to ancient York Masonry, as some of the modern rites, which are received as Masonic. A Grand Lodge of mixed rites is an anomaly, which can hardly fail to produce corruption in the formula and schism in the government of the Institution.

But without pursuing this point further, we leave our correspondent to consider for himself how far the European practice above referred to, is to be received as just and conservative in its operation,—asking him to bear in mind that a corrupt fountain must send forth impure streams; and that a diseased limb often endangers the whole body.


Masonic Burials

From Vol. VII, No. 4, February, 1848, p. 97:

Jackson, Miss., Dec. 6, 1847.

Bro. C. W. Moore,—Circumstances which have recently transpired in this vicinity, have produced a good deal ot discussion in regard to Masonic interments. Various questions have been mooted on which your opinion is desired. It is laid on in the Maryland Ahiman Rezon, that no one can be Masonically interred but such as make a request to that effect to the Master of the Lodge of which they are members. To this rule (it is stated) there is no exception, unless in the case of foreigners or sojourners.

  • 1st. One question is—Has any member of a Lodge making the request, and not under sentence of suspension or expulsion, (however he may deserve to be,) a right to Masonic interment—or is it a compliment, which a Lodge may pay or withhold, as they may deem the deceased worthy or unworthy of it, and that, consequently, the interests of the Order may be prejudiced or benefited? The ancient ceremonial does seem to me clearly to indicate that this honor (as I esteem it,) was paid only to the memory of worthy Masons.
  • 2d. Does a Lodge act unmasonically, in interring one who is neither a sojourner, a foreigner, nor a member of such or any other Lodge ?
  • 3d. If any other, what evidence of the deceased's Masonic character and grade, is sufficient to authorize his Masonic interment?
  • 4th. Is any Mason bound to participate in a Masonic funeral, the object of which he believes to be unworthy ?
  • 5th. If the members of the particular Lodge engaged in the ceremony are bound to take part by the order of the W. M., are the members of other Lodges, or no Lodge, who may chance to be present as visitors, bound to obey the order of the W. M. to take part in the ceremony I

I should like to have your opinion on all these questions, either with or without your reasons.

Yours, fraternally, - Dudley S. Jennings.

1. On page three hundred and fiftythree, of the fifth volume of this Magazine, our correspondent will find an article on "The Right to Masonic Burial" and to that we respectfully refer him.

The rule referred to by our correspondent, is found in all the Masonic books that contain the funeral service. It is the only rule on the subject. It is not, however, a constitutional regulation; nor do the original Constitutions of Masonry, in any way recognise Masonic funerals. The laws by which they are governed, depend upon; and originate in, the usage of the Fraternity where they are practised. This usage is not uniform. Even in England, public Masonic funerals are of rare occurrence, and in France, the ceremony, as a general rule, is performed in private, and in the Lodge room. Never, but on extraordinary occasions, is it performed in public. We are not, therefore, to receive the rule as given in the Ahiman Rezon and other text-books, as an universal and unchangeable law. It is not regarded as obligatory even by our English Brethren, with whom it originated; for the present Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England do not make the exception in favor of " foreigners and sojourners." They require that the deceased, in order to render him eligible to Masonic burial, must have been a contributing member of a subordinate Lodge at the time of his decease. This condition being fulfilled, he is at liberty to make the request of the "Master of the Lodge of which he died a member ;" and the Lodge is then at liberty to grant his request or otherwise, as may be expedient and proper. This is the rule in England. A Brother may not demand the ceremony as a right, though, if he be worthy, it will never be refused to.him as a token of respect and affection, except for reasons of great weight and pressing consideration.

The same rule, in this respect, has obtained, and is generally recognised in this country. The Lodges here, as in England, have ever, and always should, reserve to themselves the right of judging of the propriety of the request when made, and of acting in accordance with its own convictions of duty, both to the deceased and the Fraternity. In language used by us on a previous occasion, "requests of this character are frequently made by worthy, but not always wisely discriminating Brethren, when a compliance would not only be attended with unpleasant consequences, but would often result prejudicially to the interests of the Institution. This is especially true in large and populous cities, where the Fraternity, under a more stringent regulation, might be liable to be called daily into the public streets ; and not always under auspicious circumstances. It has, therefore, been wisely left with the Lodges to determine the propriety of granting such requests when made."

2. The construction given to the rule; or perhaps we should say, the practice as generally established in this country; does not restrict the privilege of Masonic burial to members of Lodges, foreigners and sojourners; but permits of its being extended to all Brethren who have rendered themselves worthy of it, by their virtues and fidelity to the Institution, or who have distinguished themselves for courage and patriotism in the service of their country. Nor is it always deemed essential that the deceased should have made the request to be buried by his Brethren. This is often done at the desire of his family and friends. And in neither case, in our judgment, " does the Lodge act unmasonically."

3. The qualifications which should be regarded as essential to Masonic burial, are an unimpeachable moral character, and a reputable standing among the Brethren and in the community. In this respect, the Lodges cannot exercise too much care and caution. "Worldly wealth and honors" are not to be taken into consideration in settling a question of this kind ; but the moral attributes of the deceased, his life and conversation, the estimation in which he is held by his Brethren, friends and neighbors, are all to be carefully considered. And if, upon this consideration, it shall not be clearly manifest, that the performance of the solemn ceremony appointed for the occasion, would not, through the unworthiness or short-comings of the deceased, bring reproach upon the Order in the community, or even among his more intimate friends, it is to be withheld, however pressing may be the circumstances under which it is desired. Neither the character of the Lodge, nor the solemnity of the ceremony, must be put at hazard.

4. A Brother is certainly not "bound to participate in a Masonic funeral, the object of which he believes to be unworthy." No Mason is bound to act the hypocrite ; nor are his Brethren at liberty to force him into a situation where he cannot do otherwise.

5. As a general rule, it is the duty of every member to attend the meetings of the Lodge to which he belongs, when not manifestly inconsistent with his business or family engagements. It is particularly his duty, (and he will so generally regard it,) to attend on occasions of so much solemn interest as the burial of a Brother. But unless there is some special provision in the By-laws of the Lodge, making it imperative upon him, we know of no regulation by which his attendance can be coerced; except, indeed, by a special summons, which no Master of a Lodge, we apprehend, would be willing to authorise on occasions of this kind. And if he were, though the attendance of the Brother at the Lodge room might thereby be required, his participation in the public ceremonies would still be at his own option ; for, as before intimated, he cannot be compelled to violate his conscience, by participating in solemn religious ceremonies to the honor of one whom he believes to be unworthy of them.

The Master of the officiating Lodge has not any power to compel the attendance of members of other Lodges; neither has he power to compel the attendance of unaffiliated Brethren. The regulation says " he may invite as many Lodges as he thinks proper, and the members of those Lodges may accompany their officers in form ;" and, when assembled, the whole are under his direction. But he has no power to compel them to attend and "take part in the ceremony."

Physical Qualifications of Candidates

From Vol. VII, No. 4, February, 1848, p. 102:

Cayuga, Miss., Dec. 1, 1847.

Comp. Moore, - Your readiness and willingness to answer such questions as will serve to enlighten your Brethren, and promote the interests of Masonry, together with the fact that I know of a case in point, influence me to ask your views as to the propriety of conferring the degrees of Masonry on an individual who cannot hear well, but who can, notwithstanding, hear distinctly the whisper of one with whom he has been in the habit of conversing with?

Please shape this question so that you may answer it in a proper manner, and oblige, Yours, Fraternally, H. J. Harris.

There cannot be, we think, any valid objection in the above case. We fully comprehend our correspondent, and the point on which his doubts rest. If the candidate's hearing is as stated, it is, in our opinion, sufficient for all required purposes.

Admission of Rejected Candidates

From Vol. VII, No. 5, March 1848, p. 132:


Macon, Miss., Jan. 18, 1848.

Br. Moore: - Is there any specified time for an individual to wait, before be may petition a Lodge the second time, after his petition has been once rejected?
Yours, &c, E. W. Ferris.

There is not. The written law of the Fraternity is silent on the subject; and the practice is not uniform. In some of the States, it is regulated by the Grand Lodges in their Constitutions; and in others; it is left to the local regulations of the subordinate Lodges. The periods usually fixed in such cases, are six and twelve months. But we are not favorably disposed towards this way of adjusting the matter. It is too loose and uncertain. It might happen that the cause of the rejection of a candidate may be satisfactorily explained and removed in twentyfour hours after the ballot is taken. In such case, the Lodge should be at liberty to avail itself of the earliest opportunity to heal the wound it has causelessly, though unintentionally, inflicted on the feelings of an upright and honorable man. Under such circumstances, the delay would be cruelty. On the other hand, a candidate may not be any better qualified to receive the degrees after the expiration of a year of probation, than when he was first proposed and rejected.

The most just to all parties, and, in our judgment, the safest course for the Institution, would be for each Grand Lodge, within its own jurisdiction, to prohibit, by Constitutional enactment, the initiation of a candidate, who has been once rejected, in any other Lodge than that to which he originally applied for admission,—except he obtain the written recommendation of at least six members of the Lodge rejecting him, three of whom should be the Master and Wardens.

This is the regulation of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and it leaves the matter where it properly belongs—in the hands of those who best understand it. And what to our mind is of weighty consideration, it enables the Lodge to correct immediately any error into which it may be inadvertently led. The exception in favor of the candidate, allowing Mm the privilege of the recommendation of six members of the Lodge, is intended to protect him, so far as regulations can avail, against individual prejudice or malice; for, we regret to be obliged to admit, that Masons are not always entirely free from the influence of these vices, though we believe they prevail among them to a much less extent than in any other class of the community.

If a rejected candidate leaves the State and applies for admission elsewhere, it is the duty of the Lodge to which he applies, to communicate immediately with the Lodge in which he was rejected. The fact that he has been rejected, is brought out by the usual test; which ought never to be omitted in the case of one who has recently become a resident in the town where the Lodge to which he applies for admission, is located.


From Vol. VII, No. 6, April 1848, p. 161:


Bro. Moore, —Before you can arrive at correct answers to the following interrogatories, it may be proper to state that A. is a Lodge assumed to be working ooder a Charter from the G. Lodge of Alabama. As a necessary preliminary to this, its By-Laws most have been examined and approved by said G. Lodge, and, are therefore Masonic, and binding upon all its members. One of the articles of these By-Laws says: No ballot shall be taken upon any petition, except at a Regular Communication. And, in another place, No petition shall be received from a rejected candidate, for six months thereafter. We will now suppose that at a Regular Communication of A. Lodge, B. petitions for the E. A. degree, and in three successive ballots is rejected by a very small vote. The Lodge is then duly closed till the next Regular Communication, (one month,) unless some case of emergency may require a special meeting, which can be held, Provided, as the By-Laws say, that notice be served on every member, so far as practicable, of the time and objects of said meeting. It so happened that a visiting Brother, deservedly eminent for his Masonic lore, and the facility and clearness with which he imparts his information to others, was present at this Regular Communication.

After the Lodge had closed, several Brethren requested this well informed Broth er to meet them at the Hall after supper, in an informal way, and give them a lecture on the several degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry. To this he consented, and the Brethren present were invited to attend. After supper, all the members *ho had attended the Regular Communication, except three, assembled for the purpose of receiving a Masonic lecture from the aforesaid Brother, when, to the mrprise of a portion of them at least, it was proposed to have a called meeting for the avowed object of reconsidering the rejection of the above mentioned candidate B., and, if possible, of conferring the degree on him that night. The S. W, the highest officer present, was unwilling to take the responsibility of calling a meeting for that purpose, and the W. M. was sent for, who, after long entreaties, and for reasons not proper to be mentioned here, yielded to the solicitations of B.'s friends, and opened a Lodge of M. M. A motion was then made to reconsider the rejection of B., the mover not professing to have been one of the rejecting party at the Regular Communication.

We will now suppose, that the W. M., after using every argument in bis pow er against the resolution, leaves the whole matter to the Lodge, and the motion prevailed. A fresh ballot is ordered, which proves clear, and B. is forthwith initiated. It should also be mentioned, that no notice of this called meeting was served upon any of tbe absent members, though some of them resided within a very short distance from the Hall.

We will also suppose that the only excuse offered for this proceeding was the presence of an officer of the G. Lodge, viz.: a Grand Chaplain,—for, by a resolution of the G. Lodge, the presence of any of the Grand Officers, to exemplify the work, will sustain the plea of emergency.

With these suppositions! assumed by way of elucidation, in behalf of many zealous Masons, by whom a direct answer will be considered a favor, I respect fully propound the following Questions:

  1. Was B. legally initiated, and is be a legitimate E. A. Mason?
  2. If he was legally initiated, what would constitute an illegal initiation?
  3. If he was not legally initiated, and is not a legitimate E. A. Mason, how can he be made one?
  4. Can he, though entirely innocent, (for he was not behind the curtain,) proceed to take the F. C. degree legally, without being first formally healed?
  5. Is the rejecter of B. at the Regular Communication, bound to consider him as a genuine Mason ?

- A Supporter or the Ancient Landmarks,
Benton, Ala., Feb. 15, 1848.

Our answers to the above interrogatories will not probably correspond, in all respects, with the views entertained by our intelligent and respected correspondent. We are not, however, disposed to believe that they will be any the less acceptable to him on that account.

In the first place, then, the proceedings had "after supper," were all wrong and irregular. The regular meeting, for which the Lodge was notified, had been held,—the Lodge had been opened and closed, and the Master and some other members had retired. All business proper to be transacted on that evening, had then been disposed of. A special meeting could be convened only in the manner provided by the By-Laws; that is, by serving a notice on "every member, so far as practicable, of the time and object of the meeting." This was not done; nor could it in our opinion, have been legally done on that evening. Time did not admit of it. It is not competent for an indefinite number of members who happen to be convened together, to resolve to hold an emergent meeting and forthwith open the Lodge—not even though a Grand Officer be present. Such a power, invested in a Lodge, would be exceedingly dangerous, and could hardly fail to produce mischievous results. We hope never to see it introduced into Masonry. Emergent meetings should be called in the usual way, and the object stated on the notifications to the members; and for this purpose time enough should be taken. The presence of a Grand Officer cannot excuse any irregularity in the proceedings of a Lodge. If he desire aa emergent meeting, it is his duty to give the Master timely notice, or the Master wilt not be blameable if he decline to call it. With these preliminary remarks, we proceed to answer, very briefly, the inquiries of our correspondent, in the order in which they are pro posed :

  1. B. was legally initiated, and is a legitimate E. A. Mason. He was initiated in a regularly constituted Lodge, working under a Constitutional Charter, and by a duly installed Master. The irregularity of the proceedings cannot affect him. So far as he is concerned, all was regular. On his part there was no fault, and he cannot be punished for the faults of the Lodge.
  2. Initiation in a clandestine Lodge, or a Lodge not recognized by the Grand Lodge of the State; or by Masons not authorized to assemble as a Lodge; would constitute " illegal initiation."
  3. If he were not " legally initiated," nor a "legitimate E. A. Mason," he could be made one only in the usual way; or, under certain circumstances, by healing.
  4. The manner of his initiation constitutes no hindrance to his receiving the F. C. degree; though the same cause which at first produced his rejection, might be sufficient cause for his rejection on the second degree. This will not hold, however, as a general rule, but we think it will in the present case; because, if we conceive the matter rightly, the parties ob jecting, were not present at his admission, and the objection was not re acted. If, therefore, it were sufficient, if allowed to have its full weight, to debar him from admission to the first degree, it is sufficient, and may be urged, to prevent his advancing further.
  5. The "rejecter" is bound to consider him as *a genuine Mason," until he can effect his expulsion by his own Lodge or by the Grand Lodge; and for the reasons given in the answer to the first inquiry.

We can easily imagine the feelings of our correspondent and the other members of the Lodge whose opinions in this matter are coincident with his own, and the repugnance which they may naturally feel at being com pelled to receive as a Brother one whom they do not esteem to be worthy, and who has been improperly forced upon tbem. They are not, however, without their remedy, if the objections be strong enough to justify expulsion. If not, the matter must rest where it is, at least so far as concerns the initiate.


From Vol. VII, No. 6, April 1848, p. 164:


Wooster, O., Feb. 2, 1848.

Bro. C. W. Moore, Esq.—Dear Sir:—I seat myself to address you upon a subject, for information,—not for myself alone, but for the good of the Craft. We look to your Magazine as the great light in the East. I therefore take the liberty to address you.

To the subject After the ballot-box passes, and the candidate is rejected, or black-balled, can the vote be reconsidered; or, can the petition be withdrawn? I sincerely hope you will give us your answers soon as possible.

I am, dear Brother, yours fraternally, A. Bartol.

We do not understand that a motion to reconsider a ballot on the application of a candidate for the degrees would, under any circumstances, be admissible, by any known Masonic law or established usage. The most correct process, as we understand it, is this : A candidate applies in writing for the degrees;—his application is read in open Lodge, and usually referred to a committee, for investigation. (Sometimes the appointment of a special committee it omitted; in which caae the members generally are expected to make the neceuary inquiries; but the former ii the better course. What if everybody's business is never attended to.) At the ensuing meeting of the Lodge, the committee make their report,—the ballot is ordered, and the candidate is admitted or rejected. In ordinary cases, this is the end of the matter. But there are exceptions. One of these is, when one black ball is found in the box. In this case, the Master usually orders a second ballot, with a view to ascertain that a mistake has not been committed. If on the second ballot, the black ball still remains, the balloting is at an end, and the candidate is rejected. The record must be so made up. There is no such thing as reconsideration. The candidate can be brought again before the Lodge only by a new proposition. His friends cannot avert the consequences of the ballot by withdrawing his petition after the result is made known. (The friends of a petitioner should never be allowed to withdraw his petition after the committee have made their report, especially if it be unfavorable to him. The better way is always to take the ballot.)

The petition belongs to the Lodge, but the fact of its rejection belongs to the Grand Lodge, and the benefit of it to the Fraternity at large. We wish not to be misunderstood here. We do not approve of the publication of rejections. It is enough that they are privately communicated to the Grand Lodge, and by the Grand Secretary to the Lodges in the State. Lodges out of the State possess the inherent right of ascertaining the fact, if they should ever have occasion to know it.

Another exception to the general rule of proceeding in balloting for candidates is, that when two black balls are cast, a second ballot may be ordered, on the declaration of a member that he has made a mistake in depositing his ballot; and it is sometimes allowed even on the suggestion of the friends of the candidate, that a mistake may possibly have been committed. The second balloting, however, settles the question, and the candidate is either admitted or rejected, without the right to a motion for reconsideration or to withdraw his petition.

Another correspondent addresses us upon this subject, as follows:

Palmyra, Me., Feb. 1, 1848.

Bro. Moore,—Please inform me or the Fraternity what course should be pursued in the case of a Brother who has been duly initiated as an Entered Apprentice and proposed for the F. C. degree, balloted for and found worthy,—but subsequently his conduct is unworthy a Mason, and he does not appear to avail himself of the ballot for F. C. degree, and nearly two years have elapsed since that ballot. Is it the proper course to reconsider that ballot? I have thought it tie proper course to reconsider, but would like to be enlightened.
Truly yours, Granville Flint.

The ballot for the second degree is null and void, the candidate not having come forward in due season to avail himself of it. The rule as to time in such cases, is not very definitely settled. We think it should never exceed three months, and then a satisfactory reason for the delay should be required. In the present case, the candidate having been found unworthy, could not at any time avail himself of the ballot, though there were no other restriction. On the contrary, it is a question for the Lodge to consider whether it is not its duty to investigate the imputations resting upon his character, and to deal with him as the result may warrant.

Rights of Tylers of Lodges

From Vol. VII, No. 7, May 1848, p. 198:

A Brother writing from Nova Scotia, proposes the following inquiry, and requests an answer. We cheerfully comply with his request:— Has the Tyler, when inside of a subordinate Lodge, a vote, and a right to express his opinion on any subject before the Lodge?

The proper answer to this inquiry must depend entirely upon the fact whether the Tyler is a member of the Lodge, or otherwise. Of this our correspondent has failed to inform us. If the Tyler be not a member, he has no more right to interfere with the business transactions of the Lodge, than other visiters and strangers. On the contrary, if he be a member, he is entitled to all the rights and privileges of full membership. The mere circumstance that he is the Tyler of the Lodge, does not, and cannot, affect his standing or his right as a member. These are secured to him, as to all other members, by the by-laws, and he cannot be deprived of them, except for delinquency. There would, however, generally be a manifest impropriety in the Tyler's voting in questions in relation to which discussions have arisen in the Lodge; because, from his position, he is not in a situation to participate in, or attend to, the discussions ; and would, therefore, be obliged to vote without a full and proper understanding of the subject. It is not probable that any well disposed Brother would desire to do this; but if he should, and insist upon his right to vote, we know of no rule by which the right can be denied to him.

We apprehend that our correspondent may not have marked the distinction between the Tyler and the 'Serving-Brother', as defined in the English Grand Lodge Constitutions. The latter is not permitted to be a member of the Lodge that he serves, and if employed as Tyler would not be at liberty to vote. Nor can the Tyler of the Gr. Lodge be a member of that body. But this restriction does not apply to subordinate Lodges.

Admission of Affiliates

From Vol. VII, No. 7, May 1848, p. 199:

Holly Springs, Miss., March 10, 1848.

Dear Brother,—We have lately had quite an animated discussion upon the <pe»tion of application for membership to Lodges:— Whether any Lodge can reject by black ball any such application? There has, however, been no instance, I am glad to amy, in our Lodge, which called up the question; but as it is an important one, I would be very glad to nave vour always valuable opinion.

It has been contended by some, that a Master Mason is entitled, as such, wherever he may be, to all the privileges enjoyed by Master Masons, until he shall be suspended or expelled; and that no member can black ball an application of a Master Mason for membership to any Lodge, if be produces his demit or diploma of good character, and passes the examination of a committee. While others say, they can black ball a Master Mason, and that he is under the same rules and regulations of an applicant for initiation; and by this latter course, a member rejected, is denied the right of trial or demand of specific charges, and is remedyless; and is thus summarily disposed of.

Lodges are composed of an indefinite number of Brethren—usually about fifty, some having more and some less—who are associated together, under the authority of a Charter from the Grand Lodge, for the purposes of Freemasonry. This Charter is granted to the petitioners, and such other Brethren as they may see fit to associate with them. It neither requires nor prohibits an increase of the number of members. The Lodge is not, therefore, under any obligations to do either, unless required by some special and unusual provision in the Constitution of the Grand Lodge. As a general rule, the Lodge is at liberty to admit or reject, as it sees fit. None other than Master Masons can properly be admitted to membership; and they cannot claim the privilege as a right. They must petition and be admitted by ballot. An opposite course would often be attended with dangerous consequences to the harmony and prosperity of the Lodge. The members must be allowed to select their own associates. There is safety in no other course. If an applicant is rejected, be has no appeal; but his standing in the Fraternity is not affected by the rejection. His privileges remain the same; nor should the circumstance, of itself, be permitted to operate to his disparagement, either at 'a man or a Brother. His rejection may have been the result of personal dislike, the want of proper social qualities, or other similar causes, not affecting his moral character.

Right of Visitors to Vote

From Vol. VII, No. 7, May 1848, p. 199:

continued inquiry from the previous comment above.

Again: Have visiting Brethren a right to vote for the initiation of applicants for degrees? And ought any person to be received when it is known a Master Mason will black ball him, whether such Master Mason be a member of the Lodge or not, to which the application is made?

Yours, fraternally, Hannibal Harris.

To the second inquiry we answer, that visiting Brethren have no right to vote on the admission of candidates for initiation. We are aware that such a claim has been agitated in certain quarters; but it is wholly inadmissible. If a visitor knows any reason why an applicant should not be admitted, it is his duty to communicate it to the Master of the Lodge, that the objection may be properly investigated; and this is all that he has occasion to do about it. He cannot be permitted to interfere further than this, with the transactions of the Lodge; unless he sees cause to enter complaint against it before the Grand Lodge.

To the third inquiry. If the Master Mason is a member of the Lodge, he should communicate his objection to the Master or the committee of investigation, or be present to exercise his right to negative the applicant, if he see good cause. If he be not a member, then he should communicate the nature of his objection to the Master of the Lodge. If neither of these be done, we see no sufficient reason to warrant the rejection of the candidate.

Member Excuse From Voting

From Vol. VII, No. 8, June 1848, p. 231:

Fayette, Mo., April 15, 1948.

Br. C. W. Moore,—Dtar Sir,—Please answer me specifically through your Magazine, (as we look to it as high authority,) in relation to the following: A. petitions Lodge No. — for initiation. When his petition has matured under By-Laws, and is taken up for action, the committee of investigation report favora bly to A. The box is prepared, and B. rises and asks the Lodge to excuse bitn from voting,—stating that suspicions are held that A. will be rejected, and desires by this method to define his position, and in case of the rejection, that he may not be chargeable with it The Lodge excused B., takes the ballot for A., and all is fair: the petitioner is consequently found worthy. The Lodge is called off and no work done. During the time, it is intimated that A. shall take but one degree, of which A.'s friends inform him. When the Lodge is called on again, the friends of A. state, that apprehending that his introduction may be productive of discord, they desire to reconsider the vote, in order that they may not compromise the dignity and character of the Lodge. The vote is reconsidered,—a motion to withdraw the petition and return A. his money, prevail* unanimously. Is thai proceeding regular?—and have the ancient landmarks been kept in view?

Respectfully and fraternally, your Brother.

It was undoubtedly competent for the Lodge to excuse B. from voting, though the reason assigned for wishing to be excused, would ordinarily be deemed to be insufficient. As a general rule, a member of a Lodge is not, and ought not to be allowed to throw upon others the responsibility of admitting or rejecting a candidate ; nor will any good Mason, except for urgent and peculiar reasons, attempt or desire to do so. The ballot ing for candidates is a high and responsible duty, entrusted exclusively to members of Lodges, and the manner in which it is discharged is of the utmost importance to the character and prosperity of the whole Fraternity. Regarding the subject in this light, many of the Grand Lodges expressly provide by Constitutional regulation, that every member of a Lodge, if present, shall vote on the admission of candidates, unless excused by the lodge,—thus taking the power of granting the excuse out of the hands of the Master, and requiring a majority-vote of the Lodge.

We see nothing positively irregular in the action of the Lodge on the petition. A. had passed the investigation and the ballot, without reproach. He stood before the Lodge and on the record as a fair and eligible candidate, and was entitled to the degrees. But, notwithstanding this, for reasons not stated, his friends foresaw that his admission might disturb the harmony and perhaps injure the prosperity of the Lodge. This, like true and faithful Brethren, they were desirous to avoid, even at some inconve nience and disappointment to their friend. They, therefore, asked to have the vote admitting him reconsidered and his petition and fee returned. The Lodge granted their request, and thereby restored the petitioner to just where he stood before he made application for admission. He is, therefore, at liberty to renew his application at any Lodge within whose jurisdiction he may hereafter reside. Had he been rejected, the case would hare stood differently. The petition could not then have been withdrawn.

We have said that there was nothing positively irregular in the proceed ings of the Lodge; and yet a little different course would have been more regular. We should not have moved a reconsideration of the ballot.

That is a matter not to be reconsidered, except for pressing reasons, if at all. Besides, in the present case, it would seem to warrant the inference that the Lodge had unexpectedly been put in possession of information in relation to the candidate, which, if previously known, would have changed the result of the ballot This was not probably the case, nor was it probably the design or wish of the Lodge to leave any such imputation upon his character. But all grounds for suspicion or unfavorable inference would have been removed, had a motion to allow the candidate to withdraw his petition at his own request, been substituted for the motion to reconsider the ballot—or, had not the latter motion been made.

Masonic Burial

From Vol. VII, No. 9, July 1848, p. 261:

Forsyth, Ga., April 15, 1848.

Bro. Moore,—I desire to obtain your opinion on this question:—Has a Lodge authority to inter with the formalities of the Order, a Master Mason who died a member of no Lodge, though living in the immediate vicinity of a regularly organized Lodge ?—or, do not the landmarks of the Order insist upon actual membership and a request made whilst living, of a member to the Master of his Lodge or the application of some of his immediate family after his death, to the Master of tbe Lodge of which the Brother died a member?

Upon consulting "The Ahiman Rezon," of the Grand Lodge of the State of Sooth Carolina, on page 120 I find this remark: " o Freemason can be interred with the formalities of the Order, unless it be by his own request, or by that of some of his family, communicated to the Lodge of which he died a member, (foreigners and sojourners excepted.) On page 107 of "Mackey's Lexicon of Free Masonry," I find these words: "None but Master Masons can be interred with the funeral honors of Masonry, and even the performance of the service is subjected to certain unalterable restrictions. No Mason can be buried with the formalities of the Order, except by his own request preferred whilst living to the Master of the Lodge of which he was a member, strangers and the higher officers of the Order excepted." This is all the authority I can get hold of touching the matter. As I have already Btated, I should be much pleased to have your views upon the question through the Freemasons' Magazine. I desire to know if this old landmark has been abolished or rescinded, and if so, by what authority. Your early attention to this will oblige.

Fraternally, yours, Robert L. Roddey, M. D.

If our correspondent will turn to page 353, vol. v. of this Magazine, he will find an answer to his inquiries. Lest, however, it may not be convenient for him to make the reference, we quote the following paragraphs from the article in the Magazine referred to:—

In order to be eligible to Masonic burial, a Brother must be—1st, a Master Mason;—2dly, a member of the Lodge to which he makes the request, or a foreigner and sojourner;—3dly, if a member, he must have communicated the request to the Master of the Lodge before his decease. All these requisites having been fulfilled, the Lodge may, and generally will (Under a dispensation from the Grand Hatter, in States where dispensations for public processions are required) proceed to perform the service; unless there be special reasons to the contrary. But in doing so, it is influenced entirely by the respect and affection it bears to the decased. It is under no obligation whatever to grant the request. It judges of the propriety of the measure for itself, and is at full liberty to act according to its own convictions of duty—not merely to the deceased, but to the Fraternity.

The rule, as given by Preston, and which, he says, is according to ancient custom, "excludes all Brethren, except members of Lodges, "foreigners and sojourners," from the privilege of a Masonic burial; and this is nearly in accordance with the present constitutional regulation of the Grand Lodge of England. The difference is, that the latter makes no exception in favor of foreigners or sojourners. The deceased must have been a member of a Lodge, and the request must have been made to the Master of the Lodge of which he was a member. But the practice in this country has, to some extent, given a broader construction to the rule; or, in other words, the rule is not always strictly regarded; and aged Breth¬ ren, who have served the Institution long and faithfully, or distinguished themselves in the service of their country, though, at the time of their decease, not members of any particular Lodge, are frequently honored with Masonic burial. And this is occasionally done at the desire of friends, and when the request has not been made by the deceased.

Expelled Masons

From Vol. VII, No. 9, July 1848, p. 264:


Jefferson, Texas, April 12, 1848

C. W. Moore, Esq.—Dear Bro. :—From the prominent position you occupy in the Masonic world, and the great importance attached to your opinions concerning the usages and customs of the Craft, I consider you a proper person of whom to ask advice, in the following case:

A Master Mason, member of Olive Branch Lodge, Tennessee, was expelled therefrom for gross unmasonic conduct. He appealed to the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, when the action of the subordinate Lodge was confirmed. He after wards emigrated to the State of Texas, and gained admission in the Jefferson Lodge. In taking the test, he stated that he had been expelled; but that the Grand Lodge had reversed the expulsion, or, by his representation, left that impression on the minds of the members. Jefferson Lodge has since learned that no such reversal ever took place in the Grand Lodge, out that he stands now expelled by the Grand Lodge. In this case, what is the proper course to be pursued by the Jefferson Lodge? What tribunal has the power to reinstate him? Can he be reinstated without the consent of Olive Branch Lodge? These questions you wili please answer. N. M. Berrford, Secretary of Jefferson Lodge.

The case as above stated, is a fraud upon the Lodge, which, of itself, furnishes the most conclusive evidence that can be required, that the impostor was rightfully and properly expelled by Olive Branch Lodge, and that he is not a suitable person to be readmitted within the pale of the Fraternity by that or any other Lodge. This is of course said on the presumption that he deceived the members of Jefferson Lodge by his mis representations, and thereby gained admission among them as a Brother in good standing.

Our correspondent does not describe the case clearly; but if the facts be as we have stated them, the "proper course to be pursued by Jefferson Lodge," is to exclude the offender from its future meetings, and to adopt the necessary measures to put a stop to his practising further impositions upon other Lodges. This may be done by private communication to the Lodges in the State, or through the Grand Lodge.

If the case stood differently, that is, free and unembarrassed, and there were satisfactory considerations to justify the measure, the most proper body to restore the delinquent would be the Lodge by which he had been expelled; its action in the matter being subject to confirmation by the Grand Lodge. Jefferson Lodge would be competent to restore him, if it first obtain the consent of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. The delinquent may be restored, also, by the direct action of the Grand Lodge of Ten nessee, application being made by him to that body for the purpose; so, also, by the Grand Lodge of Texas, the sanction of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee having been first obtained. The reason for this somewhat indirect course of proceeding is, that a revocation, or repeal of the decision standing against the delinquent on the record of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, cannot be had without bringing the subject again directly before that body; and until this is done, his expulsion must remain in full force, not only within the jurisdiction of that Grand Lodge, but wherever its decrees are respected; for it is not usual for one Grand Lodge to reverse the decisions of another—at least not in matters which are properly of local jurisdiction.

Masonic Trials and Expulsions

From Vol. VII, No. 11, September 1848, p. 321:


Will Bro. Moore oblige several Masters of Lodges by answering the following in the Magazine?

  • 1st. If charges are preferred against a member of a Lodge, for fraud and falsehood, and be be duly tried and expelled by a vote of two-thirds, and the usual notice given by the Secretary to the Grand Secretary,—has the Lodge a right to reconsider the whole matter, at the next regular meeting, and dismiss the case, although the evidence upon which he was convicted has not been contradicted, nor any other evidence produced to establish his innocence, and at the same time an appeal from the expelled member is in the hands of the D. G. Master, to lay the same before the Grand Lodge at the next annual communication ?
  • 2d. If the Lodge has this right, has the same Lodge a right to renew those charges, or would it be proper to lay the whole proceedings before the Grand Lodge, supposing additional testimony can be produced against the accused?
  • 3d. Should such a member apply for a Diploma, and it is granted by a majority of the Lodge, is the Master in duty bound to sign it, and thus certify that the holder is a worthy Brother, when he, (the Master) knows to the contrary ?
  • 4th. Has a Lodge the right to appeal from the decision of the Master to the Lodge ? (See page 280, No. 9, of Magazine.)
  • 5th. Should a member of a Lodge be guilty of a misdemeanor and no Brother prefers charges against him, is it the duty of the Master to prefer them? and, if it is, can he properly preside on the trial ?
  • 6th. If a member of a Lodge be sentenced to imprisonment by a court of justice upon his own confession, for a crime that would expel him from tbe Fraternity ; is a Lodge justifiable, in expelling him without summoning him to trial in the usual way ?
  • 7th. Is an extract from the minutes of either a civil or ecclesiastical court, sufficient for a Lodge to expel a member, allowing the crime to be worthy of expulsion ?

- Yours, fraternally, C.

(1.) A Lodge is undoubtedly fully competent to reconsider its proceedings, and to reverse its decisions, so long as tbe subject of its action remains in its possession. But when that has passed from before it, by appeal or otherwise, it no longer has control over it, and the power to reconsider ceases; for there is then nothing upon which to predicate further proceedings.

In the case stated by our correspondent, the charges had been duly investigated, and the delinquent formally expelled by the required vote. This terminated the proceedings on the part of the Lodge. But had notice been then given that a motion for reconsideration would be submitted at the ensuing meeting, the proceedings would have been continued, and the Lodge would have retained entire control over tbe case. No such notice was given. The case, therefore, stood thus : The Lodge had definitely passed upon the matter before it,—it had recorded its final decision, and the record of it had been sent up by the proper officer to the Grand Lodge, for approval or other action by that body. This clearly removed the whole case from before the Lodge, and transferred the jurisdiction over it to the Grand Lodge. Our opinion, therefore, is, that the Lodge could not reconsider the vote of expulsion at its ensuing meeting. It had transferred its jurisdiction in the premises to the superior body.

(2.) Having decided that the Lodge had not the right to reconsider its vote of expulsion, the second inquiry of our correspondent would seem to be answered. But, suppose the Lodge had reserved and exercised the right to reconsider? The case would then stand thus: The delinquent had been arraigned, tried, proved guilty, and expelled on the charges against him. In this condition of the case, the Lodge reconsiders its vote of expulsion. The effect of this would undoubtedly be to enable the accused to resume his former standing in the Lodge. The question then arises,—Can he be again arraigned on the same charges? The rule at common law is, that a man shall not be twice put in jeopardy for the same offence. The experience of ages has proved the wisdom of this rule in judicial, and we do not perceive any sufficient reasons why it should be disregarded in Masonic, proceedings. But before the defendant can claim exemption under this rule of law, he must have obtained a verdict of acquittal, or paid the penalty of his offence, and received a discharge. A disagreement of the jury, nor a dismissal of the case by the plaintiff, before the rendition of the verdict, does not constitute such a legal condition of the case as is contemplated by the rule in question, nor as to preclude any of the rights of the plaintiff. By a statute of this Commonwealth, the defendant, if acquitted upon the ground of a variance between the indictment and the proof, would not be able to plead such acquittal in bar of any subsequent prosecution for the same offence. But if tried and acquitted upon the facts and merits of the case, such a plea would avail him,—not otherwise. In the case under consideration, the defendant was convicted upon the facts and merits of the case. The reconsideration of the vote through which the verdict was rendered, did not discharge him ; because, the effect of a reconsideration is to bring the proceedings back to the precise condition in which they stood before the vote reconsidered was declared. No verdict had then been rendered. The reconsideration of the subsequent rendition, left tbe case as an accusation untried and undisposed of. In this stage of tbe proceedings, the case was dismissed; and the plaintiff and defendant were left in the positions they respectively occupied before it was commenced. The rights of neither party were affected by the result.

(3.) The Master of a Lodge would not be at liberty to sign a Diploma, while charges were pending against a member, nor after his conviction. But he would be bound, if the Brother to whom it had been voted stood unimpeached before the Lodge, either to sign it, to present his objections in the form of charges, or to resign his office. Refusal by the Master to sign a Diploma for any Brother entitled to receive it, would be an implication of his standing as a Mason, to which he cannot be required, and ought not, passively, to submit. If, by any possibility, a case of reconsideration like that supposed in the preceding answer, should occur, and the Master were to give the Lodge notice of his intention to carry the subject before the G. Lodge, that circumstance might perhaps justify him in withholding his signature, until the decision of that body could be had; but no longer, whatever personal views he might entertain in regard to the moral character of the candidate. His duty would then be to submit to the decision of the Grand Lodge.

(4.) The reference here made by our correspondent, is to the report of the G. Sec'y of the G. Lodge of S. Carolina. It contains the following paragraph, on the subject of appeal from the decisions of the Master of a Lodge:

"The G. Lodge of Ohio has, by the adoption of the report of a committee, decided that it is proper for the members of a subordinate Lodge to appeal from the decision of the Master, and for the Lodge to reverse the Master's decision. This palpable violation of the rights and duties of the Master, and of the ancient usages of the Order, which is unknown to this, and I believe every other jurisdiction except that of Ohio, must result, wherever practised, in the entire subversion of Masonic discipline."

We are not aware of the existence of any written authority or settled usage, which would justify an appeal from the decision of the Master to the Lodge. "Every national scheme of government," says our learned English Brother, Dr. Oliver, "is invigorated with a supreme ruler, either elected or hereditary, to whose authority all the members are necessarily subordinate. In domestic life, children are placed by Dature under the control of their parents; the Brethren of the Lodge, in like manner, are under the dominion of its Master; who, in his turn, though supreme in his own Lodge, is amenable to the Grand Lodge for every undue and improper exertion of power."

The Master of a Lodge is under special obligations, in addition to those which rest upon the members, and of which they are not generally supposed to be cognizant. For the faithful discharge of these obligations, be is answerable to the G. Lodge, only. And on an impeachment before that body, for official neglect of duty, or for malpractice, the plea of having been overruled by the Lodge, would not avail to his justification; because, he might have averted the evil by closing his Lodge. This he was bound to do, rather than submit to the necessity of violating his conscience or the regulations of the G. Lodge. If a Lodge, or any member, feel aggrieved by the decisions of the Master, he or it has a remedy in an appeal to the G. Master, in the interim, or .to the G. Lodge, in session.

The preceding remarks are based on, and relate to, what are strictly the duties of a Lodge, and the powers of the Master in respect to those duties, as recognised and defined by the Constitutions of Masonry. If a Lodge, for its own convenience, or by the will of a majority of its members, with the consent of the Master, assumes other duties, they constitute exceptions to its legitimate duties, and may, perhaps, excuse the temporary application of a rule more immediately adapted to their requirements. But we doubt whether any such rule can ever be rightfully applied to legitimate Masonic government or ritual, or to questions growing out of tbe edicts or regulations of the Grand Lodge.

(5.) It is always desirable that charges should be preferred by a member, rather than by the Master of a Lodge. But in this respect, the Master and other members stand on a common level. What is the duty of the one is the duty of the other. If the offence be known only to the Master, or better known to him than to another, it is his duty to prefer the charges. In this case, or when he is to be used as a witness, it might nut be proper for him to preside at the trial, though we do not know of any existing regulation that would deprive him of the right, if he chose to exercise it. A sense of delicacy, however, would induce him to resign the Chair to some old and experienced Past Master. That the accuser should not sit in judgment on the accused, is a generally conceded proposition.

(6.) The general rule is, that "a Lodge shall not exclude any member without giving him due notice of the charge preferred or complaint made against him, and of the time appointed for its consideration." There may be cases when a departure from this rule might be justifiable, as, where it would be impossible to comply with it. For example: when the accused has absconded to parts unknown, and his expulsion is required as a protection against imposition upon the Institution. But in cases like that suggested by our correspondent, it would be proper to delay the proceedings until the offender is discharged from prison, and then comply with, the requirements of the rule.

We are sensible that any decision that can be given on this and the following inquiry, may be liable to objections. Very strong cases might be cited to embarrass it. And yet, there is nothing more clear than that the accused is entitled to a trial by his peers, and under the laws, in derogation of which the offence is alleged to have been committed.

(7.) Extracts from the minutes of a civil or ecclesiastical court, may furnish sufficient grounds on which to predicate charges against a member ; hut they can hardly be considered sufficient, of themselves, to justify expulsion. As our correspondent suggests, that which an ecclesiastical body would regard as a high offence, might be considered in a much leas criminal light by a Masonic tribunal. So also in judicial proceedings- A Brother may be guilty of a technical offence, which, at common law, would subject him to fine or imprisonment; and yet not such an offence as would necessarily subject him to expulsion from a Lodge. But suppose the crime in either case was such as to be " worthy of expulsion" ? We reply, that convictions in civil and ecclesiastical courts are not always to be received as conclusive of guilt. They furnish strong presumptive, but not always conclusive evidence of moral turpitude in the offender; and though the evidence were sufficient, under the iron rule of law, to produce conviction, it might not, under the milder rule of an Institution whose first lesson is Charity and Love, call for a higher punishment than reprimand or suspension. The safest, and the only strictly Masonic course in all such cases, is to comply with the universally recognized law of the Fraternity, as given in tbe answer to the preceding inquiry. The delinquent is accused before his Lodge, if accused at all, for dereliction of Masonic duty, and on such a charge, he has an imprescriptible right to be tried before a Masonic tribunal, and according to Masonic law and usage.

Balloting on Candidate Advancement

From Vol. VII, No. 12, October 1848, p. 353:

Clinton, Miss., March 13, 1848.

Dear Sir and Bro. :—When questions arise that admit of diversity of opinion, it is proper that they should at once be referred to some competent authority for decision. As you are looked to to decide Masonic questions, you will pardon the liberty taken on this occasion. If the question has ever been the subject of communication in yonr Magazine, it has not met my eye, and the greatly extend ed circulation of your valuable periodical, will exempt you from the charge of tautology, if you publish again your views in full on this question.

It is one of the usages of Masonry that has received universal sanction, I believe, that a candidate who is rejected on his petition for initiation, can not renew his application until after the expiration of one year.

On petitioning for advancement, the ballot being taken on the moral qualifications of the applicant and resulting unfavorably, does the rejection rest on the smote grounds as the former? If so, what is his recourse? Having (perhaps) twice passed through the ordeal of investigation, he is checked in his advance ment by a rejection, which implies merited Masonic censure. The members opposing his advancement, cannot, if known, be called on for their objections— Must he rest under the odium thus cast on his character, until one year expires, before he can make an effort to relieve himself from the opprobrium by again petitioning, that another scrutiny might be submitted to? or, being already a Mason, can he claim the privilege of an investigation of his character before the Lodge, when he has not the means of knowing the nature of the objections to him? It would be but acting in strict conformity with the principles of the Order, for the opposing members to make their objections known, in the form of specified charges, so that the Brother might be held to the award of the Lodge; yet it is their privilege to withold them.

As the object of this letter is to solicit your views on this subject, and not to intrude mine on your consideration, I have endeavored to be as brief and concise ms possible. By giving your attention to the above, you will confer an obligation on the Fraternity, and particularly on

Very respectfully and fraternally, yours, Geo. H. Gray, Sr.

We are not aware of the existence of any regulation in the Constitutions of Masonry, that requires a candidate who has been once rejected, to remain one year before he can again be proposed for initiation. Nor has such a practice the sanction of general usage. Wherever it exists, it is by virtue of a particular Grand Lodge regulation, or local usage among the Lodges, and is inoperative beyond the jurisdiction within which it is thus sanctioned. Indeed, unless required by a specific regulation, it can never be but partially operative within any jurisdiction; for, a local usage is binding only on the Lodges that adopt it. It is not competent for a portion of the Lodges, within a given limit, to adopt a practice, not re quired by the regulations of the Grand Lodge, nor by the Constitutions of Masonry, and then to demand that the remaining Lodges shall conform to it. If the former have a right to adopt, the latter have the same right to reject, whatever is not positively required by the local or general Consti tutions, or established usages of Masonry. In this respect, the Lodges are free to judge for themselves, and to decide, each for itself, until the Grand Lodge has passed upon the subject. On this point, we refer our correspondent to page 132, of the current vol. of this Magazine.

There is so great a diversity in the practice of ltalloting for candidates in the Lodges, in different parts of the country, that any general rule must fail in its application. The usual practice in this State, requires but a single petition and a single ballot for the three degrees; and it supposes that the candidate will come forward and receive the degrees at the earliest opportunity afforded him. If, however, after having received the first degree, he fail to present himself within a reasonable time, to receive tho second and third degrees, the Lodge will usually refer the matter to a committee, as in the case of an original petition. A ballot on advance ment to a higher degree, is not deemed necessary ; because, it is always competent for any member of a Lodge, or any other Brother present, to object, if he have cause, in any stage of the proceedings. But in this case, the objector is required to state his objections openly before the Lodge; or he may do it privately to the Master, who will communicate them to his Wardens, and to the Lodge, if they shall deem them to be of sufficient importance. Under this practice, a difficulty like that stated by our correspondent, cannot arise; neither can the candidate, from prejudice or other cause, be improperly deterred in his advancement.

Another practice which prevails extensively, and did formerly universally, in this part of the country, requires that in advancing the candidate to a higher degree, a vote or ballot shall be taken on the question of his proficiency in the preceding degree. Where this rule is in force, the candidate is required to pass an examination in open Lodge. He then with draws, and the ballot or vote is taken on his proficiency. If this be in his favor, he is advanced. If otherwise, his advancement is delayed for another month. This is the general practice, at the present time, in all the English Lodges; and it is undoubtedly the most ancient and correct practice. The extent of the examination, and the standard of proficiency, are fixed, in England, by the Grand Lodge. And from this, probably, originated the practice stated by our correspondent, and under which he makes his inquiries.

This may be termed the third practice. And, if we understand it correctly, it requires that the candidate shall petition for each degree, as he may wish to receive it; and that the ballot shall be taken on each petition, separately. If this be so, the petition and ballot for each degree stand by themselves—wholly irrespective and independent alike of what may have preceded or may follow. Admission to the first degree, gives no claim to admission to the second. It simply prepares,—it does not guarantee. We do not, therefore, see that any distinction can be made in the principles on which the balloting is conducted, in reference to either of the peti tions. They are respectively placed on a distinct and independent footing. Each is subject to its own action. A "rejection," therefore, in either case, must "rest on the same grounds," and the recourse," in each case, must be the same. Our correspondent asks—What is the "recourse" in the second case, that is, on the second ballot? We answer—What it would be in the first case. A petitioner applies for the first degree, and is rejected. What is his " recourse "? Another peti tioner applies for the second degree, and is rejected. What is his " re course"? A third applies for the R. A. degree, and is rejected. What is his " recourse" ? It seems to us that under the practice, as stated by our correspondent, (with the correctness of which we have now nothing to do,) these ballotings all rest on the same basis, and are subject to the same regulations. They are all independent of each other; but have in view the same general purpose, namely, the advancement of the candi date to a higher degree. In this view of the case, we cannot see but that the "recourse" would be the same, whether his petition were rejected in the Lodge or in the Chapter. If he has ne remedy in the Chapter, he has none in the Lodge ; for the Chapter is not more independent of the Lodge, than, under this practice, the Lodge degrees are independent of each other.

It is possible, as our correspondent suggests, that wrong may sometimes be done to a worthy candidate, through prejudice or some other unworthy motive ; but under the practice in question, this is unavoidable. While it continues, the wrong may occur, and the candidate will be without reme dy ; for the secrecy of the ballot cannot be disturbed, without destroying its conservativeness and efficiency.

We cannot admit that the rejection of a candidate for the second degree implies "Masonic censure; because it may arise from prejudice, or other improper motive. Nor does it deprive him of any privilege to which, as a Mason, he was before entitled.

If the rejected candidate feel himself aggrieved, and unjustly dealt by, he may appeal to the good sense and justice of the Lodge, and ask for an investigation. But he may not demand this; nor may the Lodge order it, because it has no means of ascertaining by whom, or for what reasons, the negative ballots were cast, unless the Brethren casting them voluntarily avow the act. This, we suppose, they wpuld generally do, if not in the presence of the whole Lodge, in the presence of a committee, and under the sanction of privacy. The objections, if ill founded, might in this way, probably, be removed. We know of no other method by which the matter can be reached.

We concur in the opinion of our correspondent, that "it would be but acting in strict conformity with the principles of the Order for the oppos ing members to make their objections known, in the form of specific charges," if the objections are of so serious a character that they would result in expulsion, if proved. But there may be sound and sufficient objections why a candidate should not be advanced at the present time; and yet, wholly insufficient, to warrant his expulsion from Masonry,—such objections as admonition and time might entirely remove. In this case, it would hardly be consistent with the "principles of the Order," to prefer charges against him.

Testimony in Trials

From Vol. VIII, No. 8, December 1848, p. 33:


As we look to you in the east, for light, will you have the kindness to answer the following :—

Is it proper on the trial of a Brother to introduce into open Lodge, a witness who is not a Mason, for the purpose of receiving his testimony? If not, what is the proper method of obtaining such testimony?

There is a great difference of opinion here, among Masons, in reference to this matter, and an answer from you will be of great service. I dont know but you may have discussed this question before; if so, please do so again, as we are without the benefit of your answer. Fraternally, Sylvanus Evans.
Marion, 28th August, 1848.

It would certainly be improper to introduce any witness who is not a Mason, into "open Lodge." None but a Mason can properly be allowed to pass the tyler when on duty. But notwithstanding this prohibition, there need be no difficulty in taking the testimony of uninitiated witnesses. This may be done before a committee, in the ante-room of the Lodge, or in any other convenient place. But in such case the party accused should be seasonably notified of the name of the witness, and of the time and place where the examination is to take place, that he may have an opportunity to be present and cross-examine him as he, or his council for him, may think proper, and the general rules in such cases will permit. Whenever this course becomes necessary, the examination ought to be conducted in writing; or the questions and answers should be immediately reduced to writing by the chairman of the committee, and read to the parties, that there may be no errors or misunderstanding as to the testimony given. The result should then be signed by the committee, or by all the parties, and presented to the Lodge as the basis of its action, or for such consideration as it may be entitled to.

In trials for dereliction in Masonic duties, the most liberal consideration should be extended to the accused; every facility should be afforded to enable him to exhonorate himself; and no indulgence, consistent with truth and the reputation of the Lodge, should be withheld from him, through a want of technical propriety, or for any other non-essential cause. The object is to save, not to destroy ; to reform, not to drive to despera tion. It can never afford satisfaction, but, on the contrary, must always be a matter of deep and sincere regret, when a Brother so far derogates from the principles and regulations of his Masonic profession, as to call for the discipline of the Lodge ; and, although when such occasions occur, they should be met promptly and firmly; yet, it should be remembered, that justice is the more beautiful when tempered with mercy.


Reconsideration of Ballots

From Vol. VIII, No. 3, January 1849, p. 65:


Lynchburg, Va., Nov. 14, 1848.

Dear Sir—A circumstance occurred iu our Lodge which has given rise to some diversity of opinion, and I would be much gratified with your views upon the subject.

The petition of A. is sent in in the regular way. It lies over one month agreeably to our by-laws; upon balloting there is one black ball against it—consequently rejected,—and the proper record made; but a day or two afterwards, (before notice of said rejection is forwarded to the Grand Secretary,) a Brother conveys word to the Master that he put in a black ball under a wrong impression, and since has become entirely satisfied, with regard to the petitioner, and desires a reconsideration, in order that he might correct his vote.

Under these circumstances could the Master arrest the notice until the next Lodge? And would it be Masonic for the Lodge at its next meeting to reconsider its former action? Or must it postpone action until the expiration of the time specified in the general regulations?

Does not, in your opinion, the matter resolve itself in the fact, whether a Lodge of Masons have the right at any and all times to correct errors? And if so, then the sooner done the better, provided no injury is done to others, and due notice is given?

Yours Fraternally, Jno. Robin McDaniel.

The case, as presented by our correspondent, stands thus :—A. is proposed for the degrees. B., under a misapprehension, casts a black ball against him. This rejects A. The next day, B. discovers that he has committed an error, and desires to correct it. How can he accomplish his object ?

We assume as true, that there is no provision in the by-laws of the Lodge, or regulations of the Grand Lodge of the State, applicable to the case. On this presumption we proceed to answer the inquiry.

In ordinary legislative proceedings, a vote may be reconsidered at the meeting at which it is passed; or it may be reconsidered at the ensuing meeting, provided notice of the intention to move for a reconsideration is given by the mover at the preceding meeting. This is the general Parliamentary rule.

Another method, which is sometimes resorted to in extraordinary cases by the Lodges, to effect this object, is to state, on the usual notifications to the members (note: some Loilgei do not call iheir meetings by notifications to the members; in such cases, special notices should be issued; these may be written or printed) - that a motion to reconsider the vote (naming it) passed at the previous meeting, will be made at the ensuing meeting. When this course is resorted to, the notice so given is considered equivalent to a notice given in open Lodge, and in proper time. It is not, however, practised but in extraordinary cases, and then at the discretion of the Master. If the notifications be seasonably issued, and proper care taken that each member of the Lodge is personally notified, no improper consequences nre very likely to result from it. It is not, however, safe as a general rule.

A third rule, and one which obtains in this Commonwealth, is, that "no vote can be reconsidered by a less number of members than were present when the vole was passed;" and a vote adopted at a regular meeting can not be reconsidered at a special one.

This rule leaves the Lodges at liberty to reconsider, at their regular meetings, any vote passed at a prior meeting, if the required number of members be present. It is found to be convenient in practice, and we have never known any evil to result from it. It gives the Lodges an op portunity seasonably to correct any mistakes into which they may have fallen through hasty legislation.

The foregoing rules, however, apply exclusively to the ordinary legislative business of the Lodge. The admission of candidates for the degrees, is subject to other and different regulations. In this latter case a majority does not rule—a unanimous vote is required; and it is the privilege of every member to vote without the risk of being questioned as to the manner of his voting, or the motives by which he is influenced. One member may, therefore, to this extent, control the entire action of the Lodge. Such a power would be an anomaly in legislative proceedings. The rules which govern such bodies are not, therefore, applicable to it. But it is legitimate Masonic practice, and the regulations of Freemasonry are adapted to it. They guaranty to each and every member of the Lodge the privilege of determining for himself whether the candidate proposed is a proper person to be admitted as a Brother; and having so de termined and voted, the Lodge cannot, by any action of its own, lawfully change the result. It cannot, therefore, reconsider the ballot. If this were permissible, the reconsideration could as well take place in the absence, as in the presence, of the dissenting members; and in this way an objectionable candidate might gain admission. It will not do to say that a dissenting Brother is bound to state his objections to the Lodge, and leave the members to decide on their validity. He is not bound to do any such thing. He is not bound to involve himself in personal difficulty to gratify the curiosity of his Brethren. He votes on his conscience and allegiance as a Mason, and in this he is protected by the laws of the Institution. The ballot cannot be reconsidered against his consent, because he might there by be deprived of his highest privilege as a member of the Lodge, to the serious detriment of the whole Fraternity. It cannot be reconsidered with his consent, because the regulations give him no such controlling pow er over the action of the Lodge.

But, though a reconsideration of a ballot is not allowable, it does not follow that a candidate who has been improperly rejected, is thereby forever excluded from the Lodge. The remedy is easy. Take the case staled by our correspondent, as an illustration. A. applies for initiation. At the proper time, the ballot is taken, and B. deposits a black ball. A. is consequently rejected. This disposes of the ense. Nothing more can be done with the present application. It is not before the Lodge. But B. soon after ascertains that he has been incorrectly informed as to the character of A., and that he has done him a wrong, which he is desirous of repairing. What is his proper course? To our mind the answer is plain. He should immediately call on the Master of the Lodge, state his case, and request him to direct his Secretary to withhold the usual notice to the Grand Secretary, until after the ensuing meeting of the Lodge, unless the Grand Lodge shall first assemble; in which case the Master will cause a statement of the circumstances to accompany the notice of rejection, and ask that no action in the premises may then be had by that body. At the next meeting of the Lodge, B. should make his explanations in writing, that they may be recorded. A. may then be re-proposed. The proposition will take the usual course.

This manner of proceeding will not necessarily cause a delay of more than one month in the admission of the candidate,—a matter of little consideration. Under Grand Lodges where there are special regulations prohibiting, for a given time, the re-proposing of candidates who have been once rejected, a Dispensation, on the facts, in a case like this, may readily be obtained of the Grand Master.

The candidate having been rejected in error, and subsequently admitted, will not of course be reported to the Grand Lodge as rejected. The object in making such reports, is to protect the Lodges under the jurisdiction, against applicants who have been found unworthy. In the case as above stated, this necessity does not exist, nor is there any such object to be attained.

Rights of Initiates Under Dispensation

From Vol. VIII, No. 3, January 1849, p. 68:


Negree, Sabine Parish, La., Nov. 11, 1848.

Dear Brother Moore,—As you are looked to and quoted as high Masonic authority in this section of the country, we wish your opinion on the following question:—

Have Brethren who are made in a Lodge working under a Dispensation, a right to vote on any question before the Lodge, and also, for the reception of Candidates, &c. ?

My reason for making this inquiry is, that the right has been disputed by some of the Brethren in this section, and they quote, as authority, your article on the powers of Lodges under Dispensation, in No. 8, vol. 7. I cannot understand the matter as they do, and as there is a diversity of opinion on the subject, we wish for light. Yours Fraternally, John D. Tucker.

Our understanding of the matter is, that the only legal members of a Lodge, working under the authority named by our correspondent, are the Brethren enumerated in the Dispensation itself; and none others have a right to vote on any question before the Lodge.

The Dispensation is granted to a definite number of Brethren, and it authorizes them to assemble and make Masons. They alone are responsible to the Grand Lodge, or, in the interim, to the Grand Master, for the manner in which this is done, as well as for all their other proceedings as a Lodge. The initiates share no part of this responsibility. If the Lodge errs in its proceedings, they incur no censure on that account. They are known to the Grand Lodge only from the returns of the Lodge at the close of the year, or term for which the Dispensation runs. All the responsibility rests with the petitioners to whom the authority to work as a Lodge is granted; and they only can be required to answer before the Grand Lodge for any irregularity in the proceedings. There would, there fore, be manifest impropriety, if not actual injustice, in allowing the initiates the privilege of voting; for it is not infrequently the case that the initiates exceed in number the original petitioners, long before the expiration of the Dispensation. In such a case, to allow them to vote in the affairs of the Lodge, would be to place the petitioners, who are the only responsible members, wholly at their mercy. However improperly they might conduct in the. management of the Lodge, the censure would not attach to them, for they are unknown to the authorities of the Grand Lodge; but to the Brethren to whom and on whose responsibility alone the Dispensation was issued.

Again, Lodges under Dispensation have no power to increase the number of their members; and none but the members of a Lodge have the right to vote in its proceedings. Our correspondent would not concede to the initiates the right to vote in the affairs of a Lodge working under a Charter, until they had been regularly admitted to membership; and we cannot conceive any sufficient reason why a different rule should obtain in the case of a Lodge under Dispensation.

But we have so fully discussed the powers of this class of Lodges, in the article referred to by our correspondent, that we need not here pursue the subject further.

Initiation of Clandestine Masons

From Vol. VIII, No. 3, January 1849, p. 69:

Huntsville, Mo., Nov. 20, 1848.

Comp. C. W. Moore,—Is it proper and right to regularly initiate, pass and raise, in a regular Lodge, a man, who has been made a Mason in a clandestine Lodge? Please answer in your Magazine. J. C. Shafer.

A few days ago, I was at the town of Bloomington, Macon county, Mo., and by authority of our D. D. G. Master organized a new Lodge, where the above question arose. A petition was presented for a gentleman to be made a Mason, who, as the Brethren stated, had been made a Mason in a clandestine Lodge (St Andrew's) in New Orleans, but that he was there imposed upon; for he fully believed, until a short time ago that he had been legally made a Mason; upon trial and examination, it was found to be otherwise; he is a man of good standing in the community, and the Brethren at Bloomington speak of him in the highest terms. You/ decision will be regarded as the best authority. Very respectfully and fraternally yours, J.C S.

It is undoubtedly proper, all other things being in conformity with the regulations. The circumstance that a person has been deceived into a clandestine Lodge, and thus defrauded of his money, does not militate against his moral character,—nor can it properly be urged as a bar to his admission for initiation in a regular Lodge; for this would be to punish him for an offence of which he is innocent. The wrong was not committed by him, but by the parties deceiving bim.

Such cases are not of unfrequent occurrence. The history of the Institution for the last hundred years is replete with them; and it was with a view to meet these cases, that the process technically termed healing, was introduced. This process consists either of entire or partial initiation, as the Lodge, under the circumstances, may determine. A gentleman who has been deceived in this way, and, on discovering the deception, comes forward and asks to be admitted in a lawful manner, brings with him, in the act itself, if voluntary, a high guaranty of his honesty of purpose; and if his character in all other respects be acceptable, it would be not only proper, but entirely Masonic to admit him.

Making of Masons at Sight

From Vol. VIII, No. 5, March, 1849, p. 129:


A correspondent has sent us the following statement, and asks our opinion on certain questions to which it has naturally given rise, in his own and the minds of Brethren attached to the Lodges referred to by him. We presume the facts are correctly stated. If so, they present a case of unusual occurrence, if it be not wholly unprecedented, in the history of Masonic government in this country. At least, we are not able, at the present writing, to call to mind any corresponding case, if such exist. It is, therefore, one of considerable interest, and perhaps of importance, as establishing a precedent that may hereafter be cited in justification of similar proceedings. Our correspondent states it as follows:—

Jan. 9th, 1849.

Br. Moore—Permit a contributor to your excellent Magazine, to call your attention to a subject of vital importance to the Fraternity. It is for the purpose of eliciting your opinion on the subject. I allude to the prerogatives of a Grand Master of a Grand Lodge. In the city of ____, there are two Lodges, No. 3 and No. 15. A citizen of that city, through a friend, presented a petition for initiation to a member of Lodge No. 15; the member of that Lodge intimated, from what he had heard, that the petitioner would be rejected, consequently the friend of the applicant withheld the petition, and requested a member of Lodge No. 3 to present it to his Lodge. The member of Lodge No. 3, ascertained that a similar petition had been presented to a member of Lodge No. 15, and was informed that it would have been rejected by that Lodge. He, therefore, took some pains to investigate the moral character of the applicant, and found there were some objections: but, perhaps without a cause. Immediately upon this, the Grand Master summoned together a number of the members of both Lodges and observed, that he was about to exercise his prerogative by conferring upon the citizen above alluded to, the three first degrees in Masonry, and therefore opened what he called the G. Lodge of W__, in the city of M__. Constitution had established the location of the Grand Lodge at M__ , the capital of the State. After the Grand Lodge was opened, the Grand Master observed, that if any Brethren present had any objections to the citizen about to receive the degrees, they were at liberty to state them,—none were made, neither was the ballot passed—the Grand Master conferred the three degrees. The object o( this inquiry is, has a Grand Master any such power, by the ancient regulations of the Order ? and if so, is it not a dangerous prerogative ? In the case above alluded to, there is a probability at least that the candidate would have been rejected as unworthy in either Lodge. The Grand Master takes the responsibility, and for ces him upon these Lodges, by conferring the degrees upon him!

Again. From what Lodge does the initiated hail? from the Grand Lodge of W - , setting in the city of M -? Such Grand Lodge is not recognized, and further, what body of Masons are entitled to the fees for conferring those degrees? They certainly do not belong to Lodge No. 3 or Lodge No. 15, as they did not receive the petition; yet, if the applicant was a worthy man, were not one or the other of these Lodges entitled to the fees? The Grand Lodge cannot receive it, for they do not recognize any such power; the Constitution gives no authority for conferring degrees as a Grand Lodge. Is the Grand Master himself entitled to it? If so, and the power of conferring the degrees at will is granted to him, then it seems to me, there is no necessity for subordinate Lodges, for the Grand Master can travel the country and not only confer the degrees, but establish the price and appropriate the funds for his own use.

The editor of the " Masonic Review," at Cincinnati, has treated somewhat at large on the "powers and prerogatives of Grand Lodges," but I believe not on this particular point to which I call your attention. He says, "up to the year 1717, every Lodge was an independent body; in the year 1718, it was provided by the Constitution that the Grand Lodge thereafter should be a representative body, to which should be granted certain limited powers,"—such, I suppose, as legislation, and judicial, in all cases of appeal from subordinate Lodges, but had no authority to initiate, pass or raise candidates, ss that power has never been surrendered by subordinate Lodges; neither were the Grand Lodges clothed with that authority by the Masonic body from which they were created. Now, then, if the Grand Lodge lias not authority to confer degrees, from what source does a Grand Master derive that power ? I discover from the reports of committees on foreign correspondence of the different Grand Lodges, much said about the ancient landmarks of the Order,—do the ancient regulations authorize a Grand Master to confer degrees in Masonry at sight? It seems to me, that those ancient landmarks cannot be too clearly defined.

Your opinion on the subject to which I have called your attention, will not only afford satisfaction to a numerous class of your subscribers, but highly gratify
Your obedient and humble servant,

Before noticing the particular inquiries presented by our correspondent, we take permission to remark, that, on the facts stated, the proceedings of the Grand Master, if not positively irregular and unauthorized, were injudicious, as lending to disturb the harmony and disaflect the Lodges more immediately interested. It was a matter over which, by the Masonic usage and government generally recognized in this country, they alone had exclusive jurisdiction, and with which the Grand Master was not re quired, nor by the Constitutions of his own Grand Lodge, authorized to interfere.

That a Grand Master is empowered by the Constitutions and usages of Masonry, to assemble the Grand Lodge, for a specific purpose, in any part of his jurisdiction that may be most convenient for the object in view, does not, perhaps, admit of a question; but that he may call together any number of Brethren, without notice to the Grand Officers, and constitute them into a Grand Lodge, is what we are by no means prepared to concede. The Grand Master is a constituent part of the Grand Lodge, and so are his Wardens and other officers; and it is no more competent for him, with such Brethren as he may see fit to call around him, to resolve himself and them into a Grand Lodge, without the usual and proper notice required by the Constitution, than it would be for the Grand Wardens, with such Brethren as they might select, to resolve themselves into a Grand Lodge, without notice to him. The Constitutions clearly prescribe what officers shall constitute the Grand Lodge, and how they shall be elected and qualified; and they also prescribe the manner in which the Grand Lodge shall be assembled together and opened. To the observance of these requirements, the Grand Master is bound, equally with the lowest of ficer in the body.

Our correspondent does not state the manner in which the Grand Lodge in question was called together, and the preceding remarks may be altogether irrelevant to the case under consideration; but from the terms in which he expresses himself, he leads us to an opposite inference.

Our correspondent has not stated his case very systematically, nor proposed his questions with much regard to their relation to each other. We will endeavor, however, to follow him in his own order.

The Brother initiated as above will, then, hail from the Grand Lodge in which, or under whose authority, he was received. The location of the Grand Lodge is immaterial.

The fees belong to the body in which he was made; though we are free to admit, that in the present case, Lodges Nos. 3 and 15, would seem to have an equitable claim to them, inasmuch as the Grand Lodge has, by its own voluntary action, assigned to them a certain jurisdiction, and granted to them the right to make Masons within its limits, as the moans of their support and maintenance. With this right the Grand Lodge cannot equit ably interfere, nor without a violation of its own good faith to those Lodges; for, as our correspondent very properly suggests, if it may do this, through its Grand Master, or other of its officers, the necessity for subor dinate Lodges will be materially lessened, and their prosperity essentially endangered.

Our correspondent is not altogether correct in his views of the "powers or prerogatives" of Grand Lodges. Nor is he more correct in his historical quotations and references. But, without entering into any very formal discussion of the question, whether Grand Lodges, subsequent to 1718, have possessed the power to make Masons, it will be sufficient for our present purpose, to cite a single historical fact, which will probably satisfy him on this point. We quote from the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of England, as follows :—

"June 24, 1721, George Paine, Esq., Grand Master, assembled a Grand Lodge at the Queen's Arms, in St. Paul's Church Yard, London, made some new Brothers, particularly Philip, Lord Stanhope, (afterwards Earl of Chesterfield,) and then marched, according to the manner of Masons, to a noble feast, prepared for them at Stationer's Hall."

At this time, Lodges were empowered to confer only the first degree, unless by a dispensation from the Grand Master. Subsequently, this regulation was so modified as to enable them to confer the second degree, and finally, the third. But the Grand Lodge of England never surrendered its right to make Masons, though it has rarely exercised it. This power has also, within our own recollection, been exercised by one or more of the oldest Grand Lodges in this country; but never, except upon extraordinary occasions.

In connexion with this branch of the inquiry, and in answer to the question of our correspondent as to the power of Grand Masters to confer degrees at sight, we give the following extract from one of the early books of Constitutions:—

"It is nevertheless still the prerogative of the Grand Lodge, and the R. W. G. Master has full power and authority, (when the Grand Lodge is duly assembled,) to make, or cause to be made, in his Worship's presence, free and accepted Masons, at sight, and such making is good; but they cannot be made out of his Worship's presence, without his written dispensation for that purpose; nor is any warranted Lodge obliged to receive any of the persons so made, as members, except by vote, and with the full consent of the body of such Lodge; but the R. W. G. Master, with the authority of the Grand Lodge, may grant them a warrant, and form them into a new Lodge."

This regulation was thus declared to be in force many years subsequently to the period when the power to confer the three degrees was delegated to the Lodges. It reserves the right to the Grand Lodge, and to the Grand Master, "when the Grand Lodge is duly assembled," to make Masons at sight; but it does not authorize the Grand Master, of himself, nor by virtue of the presence of any given number of Brethren, to make Masons, at all. He can only do it when the Grand Lodge is"duly assembled." Nor is any subordinate Lodge required to receive as a member, a Brother so made,—an exception to what was then a general rule, manifestly intended to restrict the making of Masons in the Grand Lodge, by rendering such making undesirable, and less advantageous to the initiated. In reserving to itself this right, the Grand Lodge evidently did not contemplate the exercise of it, except under peculiar and extraordinary circumstances,—such as the initiation of a distinguished foreigner, or some gentleman of the nobility, whom it might find it advantageous to compliment in this manner.

We have thus, frankly though briefly, endeavored to answer the inquiries of our correspondent;. We have no other knowledge of the facts in the case, or the parties interested, than he has seen fit to communicate. Our opinions are predicated entirely upon the former, and the latter will give to them such consideration as in their judgment they may deserve.

Trial of Applicants

From Vol. VIII, No. 5, March, 1849, p. 133:


Br. Moore,—Granting (which you do not fully admit, as I perceive by some remarks in a former volume of your Magazine,) that a Lodge can not try a Brother for offences committed prior to his initiation, if it appear that a Brother has obtained initiation through false representations and in a collusive manner, cannot the Lodge try him for that offence, as not being committed prior to his initiation, but contemporaneously therewith?

This must depend very much upon the character of the misrepresentations made. If the Brother has before applied to a Lodge for initiation and been rejected, and then testifies, under the sanctity of a pledge, given in the usual manner, to the contrary; and thus, through fraud and falsehood, gains admission, this would probably be sufficient cause for expulsion.

But in ordinary cases, the candidate offers himself for what he is. He is presumed to know little or nothing of the rules of the Order, and he is not required to denounce himself as unworthy of its privileges. It is the duty of the Lodge to ascertain his true character, through the ordinary channels; and having satisfied itself in this respect, it takes him "for better or for worse;" nor can it, as a general rule, afterwards put him off for any pre-existing cause. If the Lodge subsequently finds that it has been deceived,—that the newly admitted Brother has not previously sustained a reputable character,—its duty is to endeavor to encourage a reformation,—not by harsh measures, to drive him back into his former habits. If, however, ij fail in this, and the evil propensities of the Brother continue to manifest themselves in his daily life and conversation, the Lodge has its remedy and may apply it.

The great difficulty—the prevailing evil among us is, thai the characters of candidates for the privileges of the Institution are not sufficiently investigated. The doors of our Lodges swing too easily upon their hinges. The tyler is not always sufficiently vigilant. Let us be more par ticular in this respect, and we shall have fewer complaints of the ad mission of improper persons. As has been prettily said by another, it behooves those who have "watched through the night," to exercise a strict surveillance over the crowds who seek to enter in the morning.

Another prolific source of evil is the initiation of sojourners, or persons who are travelling about the country on business, or for pleasure,— of whose characters and fitness the Lodges receiving them can know but little, and frequently nothing. Such cases are of too common occurrence, and should be discountenanced, and prohibited by Grand Lodge enact ment, in every State in the Union. Aware of the existence of this practice, many persons avail themselves of it, who, through their unworthiness, could not gain admission at home; and thus the Institution is dishonored.

Rejection of Affiliation Petition

From Vol. VIII, No. 5, March, 1849, p. 134:


Paris, Tenn., Jan. 1849.

R. W. Br. Moore,—Will you be kind enough to answer the following inquiry, through your excellent Magazine:—A Brother has presented a petition for membership, which is acted upon and rejected by the Lodge—is he then to be consid ered a Mason in good standing, or is he unworthy?

Fraternally, J. S Dawson.

The rejection of his petition to be admitted a member of a particular Lodge, does not, in any manner, affect the standing of a Brother as a Mason. The members of a Lodge may select their associates,—reject and admit whom they see fit. There is this difference only in the result If the petitioner be admitted, it is at least presumtive evidence that he is acceptable to all the members; while on the other hand, if he be rejected, it is more than presumptive evidence that he is not personally acceptable to them all. The rejection is not, however, to be regarded as evidence that hU moral character is objectionable; for it may have originated in personal dislike, or a supposed or real deficiency of those social qualities which are essential to the harmony of the Lodge, and the individual comfort of its members.


From Vol. VIII, No. 6, April, 1849, p. 161:


We owe an apology to the correspondent by whom the following inquiries are submitted, for the long delay that has occurred since they were received. They were accidentally placed on file with sundry miscellaneous papers, and overlooked. We trust this explanation will be satisfactory to him :—

  1. A code of By-Laws prescribes the mode of proceeding to be followed, "when charges of unmasonic conduct are preferred against a Brother." Does it follow that the Lodge cannot proceed without charges? or, if a difficulty comes before the Lodge, and it appoints a Committee to investigate the matter, (which investigation is had with the full privity of tbe parties,) has it not power, on proper presentation of the facts of the case, to make a decision, without the formal preferment of charges by one party against the other?
  1. Again,—the By-Laws prescribe that in inflicting censure on n Brother, the question shall be taken by ballot: 1st, on his expulsion; 2d, on his indefinite suspension; 3d, on his reprimand in open Lodge. If the former inquiry be answered in the affirmative, suppose the Lodge should find both parties partially in the wrong, would it not have power to dictate to each terms of mutual reparation, notwithstanding such a By-Law? or, in other words, is not such a By-Law in contradiction of the spirit of Masonry, depriving the Lodge of the power to redress wrongs?

1. When charges ore preferred against a Brother, the Lodge will usually proceed on them, if it esteem them to be of sufficient importance to demand investigation. But it does not follow, as a matter of obligation, that when charges are preferred, the Lodge must proceed to arraign the accused for trial. It may, and should, first satisfy itself that the charges are not urged through any improper motive on the part of the accuser, and that the evidence is such that, unexplained, it would probably lead to conviction. With a view to the attainment of this object, the Lodge may adopt any course it shall decide to be most convenient to itself and just to the parties concerned. It may, and usually will, when there is any doubt existing, refer the subject to a committee of its oldest and best informed members, to investigate the grounds of complaint and recommend such further proceedings as in their judgment the case may demand. This re commendation may be a dismissal of the charges; or it may be in the form of a vote of censure. But in the latter event, as in cases of sus pension or expulsion, the accused would be entitled to a trial before the whole Lodge; for there is no principle better settled than that an accused Brother cannot be condemned, without first having an opportunity afford ed him to be heard before his peers in his own defence. This defence may be made either by himself or counsel. But, if he refuse to avail of this privilege, or in order to avoid a trial, or through fear of the legal con sequences of his offence, is compelled to escape beyond the jurisdiction, the Lodge may, by the established usage in this country, proceed with the case, ex parte, and prosecute it to a final decision.

2. The regulation cited by our correspondent, might not, in cases of high misdemeanor, be objectionable. But it is made to govern the proceedings in all matters of discipline that may come before the Lodge, whether for a disregard of the fundamental laws of the Institution, or dereliction of duty in points of minor consideration. A member charged with personal disrespect to the Lodge, or any of its officers, is by it subjected to the same course of proceedings and to the same vote as he who is arraigned for the highest offence recognized in Masonic jurisprudence. This is the objec tion to the regulation : and it is a fatal one. As already suggested, a Brother may be guilty of an offence, which, under no circumstances, would authorize his expulsion, though it might be a proper cause for re primand. It is absurd to require the Lodge to pass upon the question of a verdict that it has neither the power to render nor to enforce. How should we regard a jury that, in a case of petty larceny, before coming to the consideration of such a verdict as is authorized by the laws, should enter tain and decide the question, whether the accused had been guilty of a capital offence? Every offence in Masonry, as in communities, has its appropriate punishment. The nature of the former having been established, there can be no difficulty in determining what the latter should be. This is a matter of much consequence ; because, it is due to the accused, that he shall nut be arraigned before his Brethren for a higher offence than that with which he stands charged, and that all the proceedings shall be kept within lawful and proper limits.

But the particular question raised by our correspondent is, whether, if upon investigation, it shall appear that both parties have been in the wrong, and that both are censurable, the Lodge has the power to "dictate terms of mutual reparation?" We answer, that the Lodge has this power, and that it is its imperntive duty to exercise it, whenever and as often as occasion may require. A Lodge cannot set aside the established Constitutions of the Order, by any regulations of its own. " If a Brother does you injury," says one of the oldest Constitutions in existence, "or if you have any difference with him about any worldly or temporal business or interest, apply first to your own or his Lodge, to have the matter in dispute adjusted by the Brethren. And if either party be not satisfied with the determination of the Lodge, an appeal may be carried to the Grand Lodge." Again—in the language of another of the old Constitutions—"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." In order to bring such differences between Brethren, before the Lodge, it is not necessary that specific charges should be preferred. A written statement of the facts, signed by one of the parties, is sufficient On this statement, or " com plaint," the Lodge may proceed in its investigations, and finally dictate terms of reconciliation.

Advancement of Candidates

From Vol. VIII, No. 7, May, 1849, p. 193:


Br. Moore:—I would solicit your opinion on the following case, which recently presented itself to my Lodge. A. residing at B., takes the degree of Entered Apprentice at C. A few weeks after this, a Lodge is organized at B. where A. still resides. To this Lodge at B., Br. A. applies to be passed and raised. The Master of the Lodge at C. contends that an Entered Apprentice cannot be admitted to the other degrees in another Lodge, without the permission of the Lodge in which be received the first degree—that that Lodge possesses the sole right of conferring them, which it may alienate, if it deems proper.

If the Master at B. has evidence of Br. A.'s initiation and of his worthiness of character, would he transcend any known law or established usage of Masonry, by conferring the other degrees, without the permission of the Lodge at C.

Yours, truly, M.

There is no ancient regulation which would prohibit a candidate who has been initiated in one Lodge from receiving the second and third degrees in another Lodge. Formerly, this was a very common occurrence; and it is so at the present time, under the English and other foreign jurisdictions. In England, a candidate cannot, under any circumstances whatever, receive the second degree in less than one month from the day of his initiation, the Grand Master having no power to dispense with this regulation. (A dispensing power has recently been given to the Pro. Grand Masters, in distant Provinces. It does not, however, meet with niucb favor in England.) It is imperative and obligatory. The candidate on his initiation, receives a Certificate from the Lodge, and his name is forwarded to the Grand Secretary to be registered in the books of the Grand Lodge. If he have occasion to leave the country, or change his place of residence, with in the month, he may, at any time thereafter, receive the remaining degrees in such Lodge, or Lodges, as shall best suit his convenience. But he is required to deposit the full amount of fees with his original application, and no part thereof is returned to him, if he fail to receive the whole of the degrees in proper time: nor, if he take the second and third elsewhere. His Certificate entitles him to all the degrees conferred in the Lodge in which he was initiated. If he cannot conveniently take them in regular course, he may receive them at a subsequent period; and we are not aware that the time in this respect is limited.

It is manifest from the foregoing, that the Grand Lodge of England regards it as at least desirable, that a Brother should receive all the degrees in the Lodge to which he is first admitted; and to this end it secures to the Lodge the full amount of fees for them,—adding thereto the registering fee. But it has no specific regulation prohibiting an initiate from being passed and raised in another Lodge.

A variety of practices prevail in this country. Under the jurisdiction of some of our Grand Lodges, the candidate is proposed and admitted to receive the first degree only. If he wish to proceed further, a new ballot is required, and, we believe, in some cases, a new proposition. Where this practice obtains, it would seem that the candidate is under no obligation to receive more degrees in any one Lodge than may suit his inclination. His admission to a superior degree is made independent of his admission to the prior degree.

The practice in Massachusetts, and in New England generally, is different, in some respects, from the foregoing. In this Commonwealth, the candidate applies at once for all the degrees conferred in the Lodge, and makes his deposit accordingly. One ballot only is taken. This admits him to the three degrees, which he may receive in three consecutive months; if in the meantime nothing shall transpire to disqualify him for advancement. (Any member of a subordinate Lodge may object to the initiation, passing, or raising of a candidate, at any time before the degree is conferred.—Const G. Lodge Mass.) Should occasion require his removal from the State, prior to the expiration of the constitutional time prescribed for conferring the degrees, the Master will usually obtain a Dispensation, and call a special meeting of the Lodge, for his convenience. If there be not time for this, a just proportion of the deposit is returned to him, accompanied with a recommendation from the Master and Wardens, in accordance with the following constitutional provision:—

" No Entered Apprentice or Fellow-Craft, initiated or passed in any Lodge within the United States, shall be passed or raised in any Lodge under this jurisdiction, without the consent of the Master and Wardens of the Lodge in which he was first admitted, or a dispensation from the Grand Master."

Such is the practice in Massachusetts. Under it, a candidate is admitted by a single ballot to the three degrees, and he is required to take the second and third degrees in the Lodge in which he was initiated, unless the Master and Wardens grant him permission to receive them elsewhere. We believe this to be the safest and most conservative practice.

In the case presented by our correspondent, if there be no local Grand Lodge regulation to the contrary, the Lodge at B. may receive A., without violating any general law of the Order; but it is not always either wise or proper to do that which is not clearly contrary to established law.

Vacancies in Lodge Offices

From Vol. VIII, No. 8, June, 1849, p. 225:

May 2, 1849.

Dear Sir and Br.:—Impressed with the idea, that after the Installation of the three principal officers of a Subordinate Lodge, no vacancies could occur in any of said offices, which the Lodge would be authorized to fill in tbe interim, by a new election, I embraced this as a principle, in a report and resolutions made to tbe Grand Lodge on yesterday, as chairman of a Committee to whom certain By-laws of our Subordinate Lodges had been referred. Doubts were entertained by some members of the Grand Lodge as to the validity of the principle in respect to any of the said offices; others contended that it was supported by tbe ancient rules* and regulations so far as the office of Master was concerned, but not as to the Wardens, and the subject was referred back to the Committee for further consideration, the object being to consult authorities on the subject and arrive at the true ground.

I am induced, under the above circumstances, to ask your opinion on the matter, and to request a reference to authorities on the subject, hoping that your interest in tbe Order, may so far outweigh the trouble imposed on yon by this request, as to induce you to grant tbe benefit of your well known knowledge and experience in such matters.

The Grand Lodge was called off yesterday until the fourth Wednesday of this month, and I should be pleased to have your reply as early as practicable, so as to enable the Committee to avail themselves thereof in due time.

With much respect, fraternally yours, C. S. F., G. Secretary.

Dr. Dalcho lays it down as a constitutional rule, founded on the ancient landmarks of the Fraternity, that "no officer can resign his office after he is installed, nor can any election be held, but at the constitutional meeting for that purpose"; that is, at the meeting fixed by the by-laws of the Lodge, under the sanction of the Grand Lodge, for the election of officers.Ahiman Rezon, p. 137. If this be a sound rule, and is sustained by the ancient landmarks of the Institution, it covers the whole ground, and settles the inquiry of our correspondent. But is it so?

The earliest written regulation, bearing upon the subject, given in the books, was adopted by the Grand Lodge of England, on the 26th of Nov. 1723, "when it was agreed, that if a Master of a particular Lodge is deposed, or demits, the Senior Warden shall forthwith fill the Master's chair, till the next time of choosing." This may, therefore, be regarded as the ancient usage, in respect to vacancies in the Mastership of the Lodge ; and to this extent, answers the inquiry of our correspondent. It recognizes the principle, that if a vacancy occur in the office of Master, it cannot be filled until " the next time of choosing ;" that is, the next regular meeting for the choice of officers.

The regulation on this subject, in the present Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England, is as follows :

" If the Master should die, be removed, or be incapable of discharging the duties of his office, the Senior Warden, and in the absence of the Senior Warden, the Junior Warden, and in the absence of both Wardens, then the immediate Past Master, or in his absence, the senior Past Master, shall act as Master, in summoning the Lodge, until the next election of officers."

This, like the preceding regulation, is restricted in its application, to vacancies in the office of Master. Neither provides for the filling of vacancies in the Wardenships. Under the English Constitutions, the Wardens are appointed by the Master, not by election. And they may be removed by him, with the consent of the Lodge, if he shall be dissatisfied with their conduct. In which case, he is authorized to nominate others to fill their places.

This regulation is based on ancient usage, and is consistent with tbe earliest practice among the Lodges. The principle established by it, or on which it is predicated, would seem to be, that a vacancy, in an elective office, can be filled only at the constitutional meeting for the choice of offi¬ cers. Or, in other words, no election of officers can take place at any other time than that prescribed by the Grand Constitutions, or by the By- Laws of the Lodge, adopted under the sanction and approbation of the Grand Lodge. But vacancies, in all other than elective offices, may be filled by the Master, as occasion may require. Such are the principle and the practice at present recognized by the Grand Lodge of England, and both are consistent with ancient Masonic usage.

The same rule of succession, in the case of the Master, and the same principle of election, are laid down in all the old Masonic Constitutions. The Ahiman Rezon, of 1764, has the following:

"The Senior Warden succeeds to all the duties of the Master, and fills the Chair in his absence. Or if the Master goes abroad on business, resigns, demits, or is deposed, the Senior Warden shall forthwith fill his place till the next stated time of election." (It was formerly hold that the Master's authority reverted to the last Past Master, but this rule was departed from in 1723.)

This principle does not obtain in the event of a vacancy in the office of Grand Master. The Deputy succeeds to the Chair. But if there be no Deputy, then the Senior Warden calls the Grand Lodge together, and a Past Grand Master presides. A new Grand Master cannot be elect¬ ed until the ensuingannual communication. The article on this subject in the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, is as follows:

"Upon the death of any of the office bearers, the Grand Lodge shall appoint a Brother to act till the first annual election; excepting the offices of Grand Master and Deputy, which shall remain vacant until that period."

The Wardens in the Grand Lodge of Scotland, are elected by the body, not appointed by the Grand Master. And, as appears from the above regulation, the Grand Lodge has reserved to itself the right to fill vacancies, by appointment, as they may occur. The difference between this rule and that of the Grand Lodge of Engiand is, that in the one, the vacancies are filled by the Grand Master, and in the other, by the Grand Lodge. Thus far the ancient and present foreign practice. The corollary of which is, that a vacancy in the office of Master cannot be filled except at the regular meeting for the choice of officers. And if we carry out the principle, the same will hold true in respect to the Wardens, (where they are chosen by the Lodge,) and the filling of all other elective offices. The Grand Lodge of Scotland has changed the ancient practice, and assumed the election of its own Wardens, and the filling of vacancies in those and the subordinate offices, as they may occur,—both of which powers are in England invested in the Grand Master. Whether this practice of the Grand Lodge extends to its subordinate Lodges, or otherwise, we are not informed. The Constitution is silent upon the subject. We presume, however, that it does. The Grand Lodge, in a matter of this na¬ ture, would not, probably, adopt one rule of action for itself and another for its subordinates. If this be so, then the Lodges, under this, as the Master under the ancient rule, may fill vacancies in the Wardenships, as they occur. This practice seems not to have been changed, except in form.

In America, all the principal officers of a Lodge are elected by ballot: a practice which we presume has been adopted as being more agreeable to the genius of tho country and the character of its institutions. But it is manifestly a departure from the ancient usage.

The succession of the Wardens to the Chair, in the absence of the Master, is generally recognized as correct practice. But in the matter of filling vacancies, there is much less uniformity. The Constitutions of the Grand Lodges of the several States are, with one or two exceptions, wholly silent on the subject. They provide amply enough perhaps for their own bodies, but make no provision, in this particular, for their subordinate Lodges. Among the exceptions, is the Grand Lodge of South Carolina, which has the following regulation:

"No officer can resign his office after he is installed, nor can any election be held, but at the constitutional meeting for that purpose. But if the Master and both Wardens should die, be expelled, or leave the city or State, not to return, a new election can be held under a Dispensation from the presiding Grand Officer. But if either of them remains, no election can be had."

The principle embodied in this regulation is, that a Lodge cannot fill vacancies by election at any other time than that fixed for the annual choice of officers. The provision for a Dispensation in extreme cases, rather confirms, than changes the principle.

The Constitution of the Grand Lodge of New York, provides, that "whenever by death or otherwise, a vacancy occurs in the office of Secretary or Treasurer, the Lodge may at any regular meeting choose some suitable person, being a member of the Lodge, to discharge the duties of the office till the vacancy shall be filled at the next annual election." But it makes no provision in case of vacancies occurring in the office of Master or Warden. They cannot, therefore, be filled, except at the annual election; at least, this is the logical inference.

The Grand Lodge of Maryland has a different rule, as follows :

"No Lodge shall elect its officers for more than one year, nor less than six months, except to fill offices rendered vacant by death, removal, etc." This authorizes the Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Maryland, to fill vacancies as they occur, whether by appointment or election. And here ends the authorities, ancient and modern, as far as we have had opportunity to consult them.

From the foregoing, we think the following conclusions are deducible:

  1. That, by the ancient written regulations, and established usages of Masonry, a vacancy in the office of Master of a Lodge, occasioned by death or other cause, cannot be filled except at the prescribed time for the election of officers; and that, on the occurrence of such vacancy, the Senior Warden succeeds to the Chair. It is proper, however, here to remark, that another practice has, for the last hundred years, extensively prevailed, and is considered by well informed Masons, to be the most legitimate and consistent. It is this: On the occurrence of a vacancy in the Chair, the Senior Warden convenes the Lodge, when the last surviving Past Master is invited to assume the duties of Master, until the ensuing election ; or, in the absence of the last P. Master, the Senior P. Master takes the Chair. One reason for this practice is, that none other than a regularly installed Master can, with propriety, preside over the Lodge, and discharge the necessary duties of Master. Another is, that the organization of the Lodge is not disturbed by the promotion of its officers. This, in spirit, is the present practice under the Grand Lodge of England. "In the Master's absence," say the Constitutions of that body, "the immediate Past Master, or if he be absent, the Senior Past Master of the Lodge present, shall take the chair. If neither the Past Master, nor any Past Master of the Lodge be present, then the Senior Warden, or in his absence, the Junior Warden, shall rule the Lodge." The Lodge, however, incase of vacancy in the Chair, must be summoned by the Senior Warden, under whose authority the Past Master officiates.
  2. The Wardens were anciently appointed by the Master, and vacancies in those offices, could, at any time, be filled by the appointing power: this is the present English practice. In Scotland, and in this country, the Wardens are elected. The question is, whether the change in the practice, authorizes a corresponding change in the principle. If the affirmative of this be conceded, then such vacancies cannot be filled except at the annual election. The practice, in this respect, is not uniform. Under the Scotch Constitution, they could be filled by election, at the convenience of the Lodge ; and this is also authorized by the Constitution of Maryland. The Constitutions of other Grand Lodges, so far as we have been able to consult them, are silent on the subject. Our own opinion is, that the practice which prevailed in the Grand Lodges, prior to the publication of the first edition of the Constitutions, is not only most consistent with ancient usage, but will be found to bo the most convenient, if adopted for the regulation of the subordinate Lodges. It is embodied in the following extract from the Constitutions of 1764: "Soon after the first edition of the Book of Constitutions, the Grand Lodge, finding it was always the ancient usage, that the oldest former Grand Wardens supplied the places of those of the year when absent, the Grand Master ever since has ordered them to take place immediately, and act as Grand Wardens, pro tempore." This practice, as in the case of the Master, would prevent any further change in the officers of the Lodge, and would not, therefore, disturb the organization for the year.

So far in answer to the inquiry of our correspondent. And, in conclusion, we take the liberty to submit a suggestion, which may or may not be worthy of further consideration. The Master and Wardens are the responsible officers of the I .odge They are its representatives in the Grand Lodge, and are more directly amenable to that body, than the other officers associated with them. It is important to the Grand Lodge, and to the Lodge itself, that the means of communication between the responsible officers of both, should at all times be easily available and certain. The Grand Master, or the Grand Secre¬ tary, should be always able to communicate directly with the Master and Wardens of every Lodge within the jurisdiction. This is not, under the existing arrangement, always practicable. It may, however, be easily rendered so, as follows:—

  1. Require all the Lodges, in conformity with ancient practice, to elect, on or near a given day, their officers for one year.
  2. Let the Secretary of the Lodge, immediately after their installation, forward to the Grand Secretary, the names of the Master and Wardens, with the date of their election.
  3. Let the Grand Secretary, immediately on receiving the returns so made, enter the names in a book prepared for the purpose—specifying the office, date of election, and residence. And when so received, an officer should not be allowed to resign within the year for which he has been elected. If an office become vacant, by reason of death or removal, it should be immediately filled by the Master, by the appointment of a Past officer of corresponding rank; and the change communicated'to the Grand Secretary, to be entered in his register.

Such a register would soon become of great value and interest as a mat¬ ter of reference and history. Every Brother would naturally feel a just pride in having his name so recorded, and thus transmitted to future times, as one who was found worthy to be enrolled among the "rulers of the Craft." And if necessary, he would willingly pay a small fee for the privilege. It would not interfere with the present annual returns; nor impose any very onerous additional duty upon the Grand Secretary.

Note. A private answer to this inquiry was probably expected by our correspondent. But the question involved, not having been before presented for consideration, nor, to our knowledge, made the subject of special discussion by any Masonic authority, we have been induced to submit it to the readers of this Magazine, in the belief that it will be acceptable to them, and perhaps more extensively useful in the adjustment of similar questions, should any such hereafter arise in other Grand Lodges. Besides, such inquiries impose a greater amount of labor, and consume more time in their investigation, than we can afford to give to private correspondence.

Initiation of Sojourners

From Vol. VIII, No. 10, August, 1849, p. 294:

Near Raymond, Miss., April 21, 1849.

Dear Br. and Comp. C. W. Moore,—Sir, I with many others, wish your opinion, through your excellent Magazine, which is considered here of the highest authority, upon the followiug case, which transpired some time since, but which is now somewhat agitating this Masonic community.

Some years since, there was an application made to Raymond Lodge, No. 21, by a Mr. F. W. B., and his petition was rejected. Mr. B. had lived, or was acquainted, in some of the eastern counties in this State, where they lacked light, as we do here; anil not more than fifty or sixty miles from this place, where his petition for initiation was rejected. They proceeded to confer the three degrees in Masonry on him. Upon his return to Raymond, be was received and acknowledged a worthy Brother Master Mason, and taken into full fellowship as such. Now, did not the Raymond Lodge do wrong in recognizing him as a Mason ? and did not the Lodge act unmasonically in conferring the degrees upon him, without the knowledge and consent of Raymond Lodge, which had so lately neglected his petition, and within whose jurisdiction he was permanently settled? Was it not the duty of the Secretary of Raymond Lodge, immediately upon the rejection of his petition, to have informed the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of the State of the fact, together with a description of his person, age, &c.? and then was it not the duty of the Grand Secretary to send the same information officially to each and every Secretary of all the Subordinate Lodges working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the State of Mississippi, to have prevented the imposition upon the Fraternity? R. L. S.

Cases similar to the above are getting to be quite too frequent in all parts of the country. They are the natural consequences of a practice, which, if persisted in, cannot fail to become a cause of serious detriment to the reputation, harmony and prosperity of the Institution. It is a practice both wrong in principle, and dangerous in its results; and should, therefore, be discountenanced by every Grand Lodge in the country. No one of them may possess the power to enact a general law, that shall be operative and binding on all, yet each may impose a legal restriction on the Lodges within its own jurisdiction. And though some may at present be adverse to the adoption of such a regulation, there is such manifest propriety in the measure, that we cannot doubt, if a majority of them shall concur in it, they will ultimately effect, through the influence of their good example, what they cannot individually accomplish by legal enactment. Iu this way the evil may be cured; but we know of no other in which it can be reached. There is no general law in Masonry that can be brought to bear upon it There is a general understanding, which, in particular jurisdictions, amounts to a usage, that candidates for the degrees shall be initialed into Lodges nearest to their residence; but this is of too local and undefined a character to be available as a general regulation. It will not answer for a subordinate Lodge to dishonor the certificate of a Grand Lodge, nor to reject as spurious the work done under its authority. Such a proceeding could not fail to result injuriously. The work must be acknowledged, because executed in a legal manner and under the proper sanctions. If the material be bad, it may be lawfully rejected and thrown "over among the rubbish." But this must be done in the form and manner prescribed by Masonic law and usage. To drop the figure. A sojourner, who has been initiated in a regularly constituted Lodge, working under the authority of a lawful Grand Lodge, is a legitimate and lawful Mason, notwithstanding any informality in the time or place of his initiation. We lay this down as a fundamental law in Masonry. Any other rule would be liable to great abuse and might be made a means of gross wrong and oppression. If it be admitted that the examining officers of a Lodge may go behind the certificate of a Grand Lodge, and reject the rightful possessor of it, for any real or supposed informality in the reception, there would be no guarantee that a Brother, initiated under any circumstances, would not be denied admission into the next Lodge, as an irregularly made Mason. Such a rule is wholly inadmissible. That unworthy men frequently gain admission into the Fraternity by applying for initiation to Lodges distant from their residences, is a truth deeply to be regretted. But, though they may not be entirely free from blame, the principal cause of complaint lies against the Lodges receiving them. The candidate is not to be supposed to know, before initiation, any thing of the local regulations of the Institution or of the particular laws which govern the Lodges in the admission of members. Nor is he to be held responsible for any disregard of the regulations l>y the Lodge itself. It is not at all singular that bad men should wish to crowd themselves into good company. This is a matter of daily occurrence. But every man is bound to know his associates; and this is the principle that should influence the Lodges in the admission of candidates. In the initiation of sojourners, this principle is overlooked, and persons are admitted, of whose moral character and general deportment, the Lodge receiving them, can have but little or no reliable knowledge. This is wrong in principle and in practice. It is adverse to correct Masonic usage, and subversive of the best interests of the Institution.

The case stated by our correspondent, diners in some particulars from the usual character of such cases. The candidate had been rejected by the Lodge at Raymond, and was subsequently initiated in a Lodge under the same jurisdiction. The Lodge receiving him was undoubtedly censurable. It knew that there was a Lodge in the place of his residence, and it should have referred him back to that; or, at least, it was bound to ascertain by the usual test, that he had not been rejected by that Lodge. Having gained admission, he is entitled to all the privileges of a Mason. It was doubtlessly the duty of the Secretary of Raymond Lodge to inform the Grand Secretary of the rejection; but whether it was the duty of the Grand Secretary immediately to communicate the "information officially to each and every Lodge under the jurisdiction," is a question to be determined by reference to the regulations of the Grand Lodge of the State. Such a course would have been very proper, though it is not always required, nor imposed as a duty on that officer. The Lodges themselves possess the means by which the fact may be ascertained; and in all doubtful cases they are bound to use them.

Lodges Under Dispensation

From Vol. VIII, No. 12, October, 1849, p. 355:

Vicksburg, Miss. July 16, 1849.

Br. C. W. Moore,—Will you have the goodness to answer the following' questions? The weight of authority attached to your opinions must be my apology for troubling you.

  1. Has a Lodge under Dispensation, the same power that Chartered Lodges have, to try for disorderly conduct, the petitioners for the Dispensation—the Masons made under that Dispensation, and demitted Masons residing under their jurisdiction? If not, where is the power?
  2. Have Masons, made in a Lodge under Dispensation, the right to vote in said Lodge? If they have (and the petitioners are alone responsible to the Grand Lodge,) may not they, the petitioners, be controlled by the Initiates? If they have not the right, will they not have to be elected members after the Charter is granted, before they can exercise the right?
  3. Are Masons, made by the authority of the several Grand Lodges of New York, recognized generally in the United States; and if not, should not that fact be ascertained by examination ?

Fraternally, yours, B. Springer.

We have heretofore so fully discussed the nature of the powers vested in Lodges working under Dispensation, that we do not feel the necessity of entering so much at length into the consideratien of the inquiries proposed by our correspondent, as we should otherwise do.

The business of this class of Lodges is defined, in terms, by the Dispensation. This authorizes the Brethren to whom it is granted, to "form and open a Lodge, after the manner of ancient free and accepted Masons, and therein to admit and make Masons." This we conceive to be the full extent of the powers delegated to, or that can be legally exercised by, such Lodges. Entertaining this view of their powers, we of course are constrained to give a negative answer to the first inquiry of our correspondent,—referring him, for the argument on which our answer is predicated, to the Magazine, as indicated in the note appended to this article.

If one of the petitioners become disorderly, or is guilty of other unmasonic conduct, he may be removed by the Grand Master; or, if die offence be of a character to justify it, suspended from his privileges as a Mason, until such time as his case can be brought before the competent tribunal for adjudication. This tribunal may be the Grand Lodge, or it may be the Lodge nearest his residence, working under a Charter. Brethren made in the Lodge under Dispensation, and "demitted Masons," occupy, in this respect, the same ground. If either be derelict in duty or conduct, they may be proceeded against as though the Lodge (under Dispensation,) did not exist. Neither are members of any Lodge, in the proper and legal sense of the term.

2The Brethren made in the Lodge while working under Dispensation, have not "the right to vote in said Lodge," until they have been regularly admitted to membership. This can only be done after the Lodge has been Chartered and constituted by the Grand Lodge. It then assumes the full character and prerogatives of a Lodge,—not before. Our correspondent's view of the question, as indicated by his interrogatories, is in accordance with our own. Our reasons for the opinion here given are stated in the discussions already referred to.

Masons made under the authority of St. John's Grand Lodge, in the city of New York, are not "recognized generally in the United States." There are two other bodies in that State, each claiming to be the Grand Lodge. The question as to which is really so, is now pending before the Fraternity. The most proper and safest way to distinguish a regularly made, from a clandestine Mason, is undoubtedly by examination. The Grand Lodge Certificate can only be received as collateral evidence of regularity and good standing. In itself, it is not sufficient for either purpose. It is an aditionai security against imposition, but not conclusive evidence of the truth of the pretensions of its possessor.

Suspension and Restoration

From Vol. IX, No. 1, November, 1849, p. 3:

Monroe, Ind., Sept. 12, 1849.

Will Br. Moore confer a favor on several Master Masons, by answering the following in his excellent Magazine?

  • 1st. A Brother is suspended indefinitely from the rights and privileges of Masonry, and a notice of the same has been given to the Grand Secretary and the Subordinate Lodges. Has the Lodge that suspended him, the right to reinstate him to the rights and privileges of Masonry, without the concurrence of the Grand Lodge? And if so, does it require the unanimous vote of the Lodge, or will a majority do?
  • 2d. Does the suspension by a Lodge of Master Masons, operate also as a suspension from a Chapter, to which he may belong? There are no regulations by the Grand Lodge on the above questions.

Fraternally yours, Benjamin Carter.

1. If our correspondent is correct in saying, that there is no provision in the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of the State, regulating the suspension of the members of the Lodges under its jurisdiction, then the whole subject is within the control of the Lodges; and they may suspend or reinstate a member, without the concurrent action of the Grand Lodge. Suspension is the punishment awarded for minor offences; and this degree of punishment may, perhaps, be safely left to the determination of the Lodges; reserving to the delinquent Brother the right of appeal to the Grand Lodge. Expulsion is a higher and more serious penalty, and the exercise of it should be kept within the control of the Grand Lodge. We presume this to be the practice of the Grand Lodge of Indiana; though we do not find any provision in its Constitution, reserving to itself the final right to confirm in cases of expulsion. It however retains the "exclusive power to restore expelled Masons, upon such representation from the subordinate Lodge as may be satisfactory;" and, as the power to expel and the power to restore are cognate powers, we take it for granted that they are not separated in the practice of that body. The only provision we find in the Constitution, in relation to suspended members, provides, that suspension shall operate as a deprivation of all Masonic privileges within the State, until the delinquent "shall be reinstated to full communion with the Lodge from which he was originally suspended." There being no provision to the contrary, this would seem to imply a power in the Lodge itself to restore suspended members. We accordingly infer that such power is recognized by the Grand Lodge. It is nowhere pro hibited, nor has the Grand Lodge assumed it, by any Constitutional regulation. It must exist somewhere. In Indiana, we think it is in the Lodges. In this Commonwealth, the confirmation of the Grand Lodge is required to complete the action of the Lodge. Both practices have the sanction of usage. There is no ancient general regulation on the subject The restoration is governed by local regulations. If none exist, the majority rules.

2. If the suspension be from all the rights and privileges of Masonry, for immoral or unmasonic conduct, it would doubtlessly affect the standing of the delinquent in the Chapter. If, on the contrary, it be for the neglect of some local regulation of the Lodge, not affecting the moral character of the party, it would not, probably, operate as a suspension from the Chapter. But so much, in a case of this kind, depends upon the nature of the offence, and the circumstances attending it, that an opinion cannot be safely given without a full knowledge of both.

Rejection of Candidates

From Vol. IX, No. 1, November, 1849, p. 6:

Near Raymond, Miss.. Sept. 5, 1849.

Br. C. W. Moore:—The last communication I sent you was upon the subject of a person being entered, passed and raised in a Lodge under whose jurisdic tion he did not live. The present information is sought, somewhat upon the same subject. It is as follows:

A petition for Initiation to a regularly constituted Lodge, with all the requisites of such petition, is made. It is called up in the regular way, and the ballot is taken, and the result announced by the W.M., all in due form, and the petition is rejected. The petitioner waits the legal time of twelve months. He again has his petition regularly made, signed in the proper way and presented to the same Lodge. The ballot is again taken in the legal way and announced as before, and the result is found to be the same. The petition lies over another twelve months and is presented as before, and the same action had upon it, with the same result. Now, the question is—can the petitioner ever legally become a Mason, where these facts are known? Your Magazine is looked upon here, as the best authority in the country. Therefore please answer.

Respectfully and fraternally yours, Robert L. Scott.

The petitioner can never properly "become a Mason where these facts are" not known. A Lodge, located in any other than his present place of residence, would be derelict in duty to receive him, without first ascertaining, by a direct examination, or in some other convenient way, that he had not previously applied for admission elsewhere, and been rejected. This is a matter too much neglected, however, by the Lodges at the present day; when, perhaps, there was never greater necessity for its rigid enforcement. It is an ancient conservative custom, designed for the security of the Lodges, and cannot with safety be laid aside,—particularly while the dangerous practice of initiating sojourners is tolerated. The publication of rejections does not afford the necessary security. Besides, this practice is objectionable. Petitioners of the purest moral character may be rejected from individual pique or dislike ; and, when so rejected, there is neither justice nor propriety in holding them up to the suspicion or condemnation of the Masonic community. But this is not the point of inquiry presented by our correspondent.

"Can the petitioner legally become a Mason, where the fact of his rejection is known?" He can. The Lodge by which he was rejected, may receive him at any time, when the objecting members shall become satisfied that the cause of his rejection was unfounded, has been removed, or atoned for. The fact of having been rejected three times is not an insuperable bar to final success ; though it certainly renders such success extremely problematical.

The "legal time of twelve months," during which a rejected petition must lie over before it can bo renewed, is a local regulation, which every Grand Lodge has undoubted authority to make; and when so made, the Lodges under the jurisdiction are bound to observe it. We however can not satisfy ourselves that it is a wise regulation. Suppose a petitioner be rejected under a misapprehension as to his connection with a particular transaction, and it shall on the following day appear that he was in no way implicated. Would it be just to require that he should rest for a whole year under the imputation thus wrongfully, though perhaps innocently, past upon his character? His innocence of the only offence alleged against him, having been established, the Lodge should, we think, avail itself of the earliest occasion to relieve him from the false position in which the rejection has placed him. We incline to the opinion, that the subject would be better disposed of, if left with the Lodges, without any specific rule. They are amply competent to determine the fitness of candidates and the time when it is proper to receive their petitions for Initiation.


Divinity of Scripture

From Vol. IX, No. 3, January 1850, p. 70:

C. W. Moore, Esq.—Dear Sir and Br.: The deep interest you take in every thing pertaining to the time-honored Institution of Freemasonry, emboldens me to address yon, and, through your admirable "Masonic Magazine," the Masonic Fraternity at large, upon a subject of the highest and most vital interest to every sincere Mason. This is nothing less than a resolution passed at a convocation of our Grand Lodge, requiring the "acknowledgment of the divine authenticity of the Bible," as an indispensable qualification of a Mason.

In order to present the subject clearly before your eyes and those of your readers, permit me to state some facts and principles (however well they may be known and their correctness acknowledged,) as premises from which I intend to draw my conclusions.

Masonry dates its origin anterior to the Christian era; the Bible, as it is known among Christians, could not therefore have been the "guide and rule" of the Masons of those remote ages. Masonry at that time being, as you well know, in the hands of the priests, taught and enforced the belief in a Supreme Being only. "The Masonic Institution is, as it professes to be, Catholic, or universal. In deed Catholicity is the essence of its character; giving it a feature of striking and almost peculiar interest, beauty and glory. Therefore it is, that there is, there can be, properly and truly, but one family of Masons on the wide earth." (Quoted from the "proceedings of the Grand Lodge of A. F. and A. Masons of the State of Illinois," held in Jacksonville, A. D. 1845.)

"Masonry is not sectarian in its character (says the Grand Lodge of Ohio, and is endorsed by all true Masons,) and no other requisite to initiation in this respect is required by Masons, but a steadfast belief in the existence and perfection of Deity."

These are, as far as I understand Masonry, essential and fundamental principles, received and acknowledged by all true Masons, no matter whether they profess the Christian, Turkish or Mahomedan religion.

If the Masonic Institution is Catholic, or universal; if Masonry is not sectarian in its character, and if no other prerequisite is essential but a steadfast belief in the existence and perfection of Deity, I cannot conceive how any Mason or any body of Masons, less how any Grand Lodge, (the collective wisdom of Masonry in a State,) can consistently demand, in addition to all these, an "avowal in the belief of the divine authenticity of the Holy Scriptures." The Masonic Institution being Catholic, or universal, it embraces alike tbe believer in the Bible and the Koran. Supposing, for a moment, that a true follower of Mohammed or Confucius (and by the facility of intercourse of nations now-a-days, this supposition may at any time become reality,) should present himself for initiation into the mysteries of Masonry, and the question above referred to be asked of him, would not an answer in the affirmative stamp him at once as a hypocrite, and thereby render himself unworthy of the privileges h8 sought ? And on the other hand, would not an answer in the negative aud a consequent rejection, destroy the principle of Catholicity, or universality? And furthermore, supposing the Mahomedan, who believes |in the divine authenticity of the Koran, should require that belief of every Mason, would not the Christian complain of this as an infringement upon the landmarks of our Institution? And could not then he who believes not in the Bible but in the Koran, tell the Christian with justice and truth—"you do not carry out the precepts of that very Bible, which you demand of others to believe, for it sayeth: "Do unto others as you wish to be done unto?"

The advocates of this sectarian (I cannot call it by any other name,) measure, admit, "that true Masonry is not sectarian in its character, and that the established rules and regulations of the Grand Lodge positively inhibit all religious tests, as a prerequisite for initiation, save only a steadfast belief in the existence and perfection of Deity;" yet in the very face of (his admission, they introduce, and through the power of the Grand Lodge enforce, an article of faith purely sectarian i. e. Christian, and support it by the sophism: " that tbe Holy Bible is the great standard of truth and duty in Masonry, and consequently, that a humble and sincere acknowledgment of its divine origin, is indispensable in the very nature of the case, on the part of all who come to seek or dispense light among us." Admitted now, that the "Holy Bible is the great standard of truth and duty in Masonry," is it therefore indispensable to acknowledge its divine origin? I think not. The Constitution of the Grand Lodge is also a great standard of duty to every Mason, and yet who believe in its divine origin? We as Masons obey one as the other, because we humbly acknowledge the justice of their precepts, and their salutary influence upon individuals and bodies of men, and particularly Masons. We therefore may acknowledge the Bible aa the best guide and rule of action, and yet may be Masons, without believing in its divine origin. There is an intrinsic worth in tbe Bible, which every sane mind will at once admit to be unsurpassed, without, therefore, as a necessary consequence, admiting its divine origin. Be this however as it may, it is enough for the present to* have shown, that the Resolution above referred to is an infringement upon the landmarks of our time-honored Institution, an innovation, that has a tendency to open the doors of our Lodges to the spirit of sectarianism, with all its bitter strifes and animosities; and if persisted in by the Grand Lodge to enforce it, will annihilate the purity as well as the "Catholicity" of an Institution, the great glory of which consists in the union of men of all climes and all persuasions into one band of Brothers. D. S.

Admission of Affiliates

From Vol. IX, No. 6, April 1850, p. 174:

Yazoo City, Mi., Feb. 12, 1850.

Dear Sir and Br.:—A question has arisen in our Lodge within a few weeks which has excited considerable interest among the Brethren, and with regard to which we desire your opinion.

A non-affiliated Brother applied to our Lodge for membership and was rejected by one black ball—being the number necessary by our By-Laws. At the next meeting there was a resolution offered to change or alter that By-law—so as to require two-thirds of the votes in order to receive a Brother's application for membership. This resolution was declared "out of order" by the presiding officer, on the ground of its unconstitutionality; and that it was in violation of the landmarks of Masonry.

We desire to know whether there is any thing in the Constitutions of Masonry to prevent a Lodge from requiring a vote of two-thirds only, in order to admit a Brother a member of a Lodge?

Respectfully and Fraternally yours, D. A. James.

Answer.—The admission of members, (not the admission of candidates for Degrees,) is a matter of a local regulation, under the provisions of the Constitution or By-laws of the G. Lodge of the State, when any provisions on the subject exist; which is not common. A Lodge may require a unanimous vote, or only a majority; or, in respect to its own initiates, no vote at all; but simply that the Brother sign the By-laws. Nevertheless, the most conservative and safest course is, to require nearly or quite a unanimous vote; because, the admission of a Brother to membership, who should be disagreeable to any considerable number of the members, or even to a limited number, would tend to destroy the harmony of the Lodge, and thereby retard its prosperity.

The By-laws can be amended only in the way provided for by their own articles. The offering of the resolution was probably decided to be out of order, on the ground that it was not in conformity with the article which prescribes the manner of making amendments.

Lodge Membership

From Vol. IX, No. 7, May 1850, p. 199:

A Texas correspondent proposes the following questions :

  1. Can a Master Mason be a member, and subject to the orders of two Lodges, at tho same time ?
  2. Can a Lodge collect monthly dues from a member who has signed a petition for a Dispensation to establish a new Lodge, of which he has been appointed an officer; and which petition for a Dispensation was recommended by the Lodge of which he had formerly been a member, but from which he had never formally withdrawn?

1. It is not in accordance with correct practice, nor established usage, for a Brother to affiliate himself as a member of two Lodges at the same time. Provisions to this effect are contained in the Constitutions of most of the Grand Lodges in this country. The English Constitutions of 1723, say—"No Brother shall belong to more than one Lodge, within the Bills of Mortality, though he may visit them all." The General Constitutions, as published by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1799, provide, that "No Brother shall be a member of more than one Lodge at the same time." The regulation does not, however, prevent a Brother from holding any number of honorary memberships.

We refer our correspondent to the fifth volume of this Magazine, page 33, for a more particular enumeration of the authorities, both ancient and modern, on which the opinion here given is predicated.

2. The answer to this question involves a consideration of the whole subject of the nature and powers of Lodges working under Dispensation. But as Iwe have heretofore fully discussed the subject, we must content ourselves with a brief and general answer to the inquiry as now proposed, and refer our correspondent to that discussion for the authorities.

Lodges under Dispensation, are incohate, not perfected Lodges. They are not, in the quaint language of the old Constitutions, owned by the Grand Lodge. Their presiding officers are not entitled to seats in the Grand Lodge as representatives of Lodges. They are not at liberty to elect or change their principal officers; who are always appointed by the dispensing power. They are in a state of probation, preparatory to being invested with the full powers and privileges of constituted Lodges. They differ from Lodges working under Charters, not only to the extent named, but in that they have no power to perpetuate themselves. They cannot add to the number of their members, or, more correctly speaking, to the number of the original petitioners for the Dispensation, under which, alone, they exist; because, none but chartered and constituted Lodges (We use this word hi a strictly technical sense; a constituted Lodge is one that has been regularly Chartered and constituted in "due and ancient Masonic form") are owned and registered in the Grand Lodge; and no others can exercise the powers of actual Lodges. A Brother cannot be received in Grand Lodge as a member of a Lodge which, by the general Constitutions, the Grand Lodge itself is not at liberty to own and register. Such a body is a mere association of Brethren, engaged in taking the initiative steps for the organization of a Lodge. If they succeed to their own, and the acceptance of the Grand Lodge, they petition that body for a Charter. If this be granted, tho petitioners, who, to this time, remain members of other Lodges, withdraw their membership from those Lodges. The new Lodge is then regularly constituted, and the petitioners are registered, and pay their dues as members of it; not before. But until this is done, there is no incompatibility in their retaining membership in the Lodges to which they may happen to belong ; and to this time, they can be held for their Lodge dues, if they have not previously obtained a discharge from membership.

Admission of Rejected Candidates

From Vol. IX, No. 7, June 1850, p. 201:

A correspondent makes the following inquiry :—

"If there is no Masonic law, is there not a principle or usage equivalent, which would prevent the Lodge from receiving the petition of a rejected applicant for the Degrees, before the expiration of a reasonable time,— supposing no error had been committed in his rejection, and that the By-laws of the Lodge, and the regulations of the Grand Lodge, were silent on the subject?
"If not, it seems to me that in all probability, any individual, be his character what it may, if he is permitted to renew his application at each and every meeting of the Lodge, could find a time when he could get in. It is said that every man, has his friends, and in fact he must have, or otherwise he could not be recommended ; and finding a time when they alone were present, he could succeed, and be Initiated at the same meeting.
"If you consider the foregoing inquiry worthy of an answer, I should be
pleased to have you give it at your convenience. B."

We refer our correspondent to the seventh volume of this Magazine, page 132, for a brief answer to his inquiry. There is no general regulation or uniform practice, ancient or modern, on the subject. The Lodges, in some parts of the country, require an interregnum of a year between the first and second petition; others are satisfied with a less time; while others leave the whole matter in the hands of the petitioner and his friends, to be disposed of as they may judge to be proper. We are most favorably disposed towards the latter course; because, as suggested in the article above referred to, it might happen, that the reasons for which a candidate had been rejected, could be satisfactorily explained and removed, within the next twenty four hours after the rejection. It seems to us, therefore, that the Lodge should retain in its own hands the power to redress, at the earliest moment, any wrong that its action may have thus incautiously, or for the want of proper information, done to the character or feelings of the petitioner. To an honorable and sensitive mind, delay, under such circumstances, would be cruelty.

The distinction intimated by the supposition of our correspondent, if it could be made on any just and equitable principle, would be found, we apprehend, troublesome and embarrassing in practice. The friends of the rejected candidate would hardly rest satisfied with the result of the balloting, if an opportunity were allowed them to call its propriety in question, and to demand a distinct avowal of the objections, that they might meet and answer them, or explain them away. This would destroy the sanctity of the ballot; for unless the Brethren, voting in the negative, were required to avow their objections, they could neither be known nor answered. Such, it seems to us, would be the operation and effect of any general rule on the subject. Cases might, and probably would, occur, where the Brethren objecting, would early become satisfied that their objections were not well founded, and be willing and desirous so to inform the Lodge. But such cases are of so rare occurrence, that they may most properly be regarded as forming exceptions to a general rule, rather than as sufficient basis for a special rule.

The objections suggested by our correspondent, do not seem to be well founded. The candidate must be proposed at a regular meeting of the Lodge, and at no other time, unless by dispensation ; and he cannot be admitted prior to the next ensuing monthly meeting, except as before stated; nor until the members of the Lodge have been notified, in the usual manner, (which should always be by written or printed notification,) that his petition will then be acted upon. This course, it appears to us, affords all the security which the case requires.

Should any number of the members resort to improper means to effect the admission of a petitioner ; as by availing of the absence of Brethren known to be in possession of information which would authorize his rejection ; their conduct would be a proper subject for the discipline of the Grand Lodge.

Again, a member is not at liberty to propose for admission whom he pleases, without the consent of the Lodge; nor is the Lodge under obligations to receive a petition. The usual parliamentary rule obtains in this case. A member wishing to present a petition, rises and states his wish. If no objection is made, the petition is received. But it is competent for any member to object to its reception; in which case it can be received only by vote of the Lodge. This rule is not usually observed with much strictness in Lodges, nor in legislative bodies; but it is entirely competent for a member to insist upon its application in any or all cases. In this, however, as in most other respects, a majority must govern. If a majority of the members say that the petition shall be received, as often as presented, it must just so often go to a committee, and take the usual course. But a majority cannot determine the question of admission. Here a small minority rules; and trouble affords no excuse for neglect of duty.

The right to vote on the admission of candidates, is one of the highest privileges of membership, and ought always to be exercised independently and impartially—without fear and without undue favor. The candidate must stand upon his own character and personal merits. The influence of friends cannot avail him here, if he be wanting in moral qualifications. A member who votes against his own convictions, or withholds his ballot, that an improper candidate may gain admission, is derelict in his duty, and inflicts a serious injury on the whole Fraternity.

Balloting For Candidates

From Vol. IX, No. 8, June 1850, p. 225:

March 8, 1850.

R. W. C. W. Moore—Dear Sir and Br.: For my own satisfaction and that of some of our Brethren here, I take the liberty to address you a letter, requesting your opinion on several subjects.

  1. Has a Lodge the right, when there are no By-Laws (I mean of the Sub-Lodge,) or regulations of the Grand Lodge, prohibiting it, to reconsider a ballot which has resulted in a rejection, with three or more black balls, at a continuation of the regular monthly communication, held the succeeding week from that in which the rejection took place, when the members who are known to be op posed to the candidate are absent on indispensable business?
  2. If the rejection could be correctly reconsidered at such time and the ballot taken again, could it be done more than once?
  3. Would it be correct for the Lodge to entertain a motion to reconsider the vote that had thus resulted in an election, at a succeeding meeting, in order to give the Brethren opposed to the candidate, an opportunity of again rejecting him?
  4. Can a ballot that has resulted in the election of a candidate, be retaken under any circumstances, so as to reject the candidate once elected?
  5. After the candidate is elected, if the vote resulting in his election cannot be reconsidered, can the Lodge rightfully refuse to confer the Degrees upon him? Would not a refusal to confer the Degrees be tantamount to a re-consideration of the vote?
  6. After a candidate has taken one or two Degrees, is it in accordance with the spirit of Masonry, to stop his further progress upon any account that would be insufficient to sustain a charge against him?
  7. Can an Entered Apprentice or a Fellow-Craft be expelled from a Lodge?
  8. Are not the By-Laws of a Subordinate Lodge as valid and binding before their approval by the Grand Lodge, as after it; provided there is nothing in them contrary to the Constitution and regulations of the Grand Lodge ?

In order to shew the relevancy of the above questions, I will briefly state the circumstances which induce me to propound them. Several months since, a person, to whose admission many members of the Lodge entertained serious objections, petitioned. At a regular meeting the applicant was rejected by three black balls. The communication was not closed that meeting, but was continued until some evening in the ensuing week, when, in the absence of some that were opposed to him, a reconsideration was moved, and the ballot taken a second time, and the candidate again rejected by one black ball. Before the close of the communication, a second reconsideration was moved, the ballot taken a third time, and this time the applicant was elected. One of the Brethren who had voted against the candidate being absent when the ballot was retaken, on indispensable business, requested a Brother to inform the Lodge, if they were about to reconsider the vote, that he had serious objections to the candidate—had voted against him and would do it again were he present. The Lodge were informed of this, but they took the ballot a third time and elected the candidate. At the next monthly meeting, the Brother opposed to the candidate's admission, moved to reconder the vote takdn in his absence, and which had resulted in an election; but the Lodge refused to entertain the motion, and the Degree was conferred on the candidate.

Another individual, who had several years before been guilty of grossly im moral conduct, petitioned the Lodge. He had been residing in the neighborhood of the Lodge for many years, before and since the immoral conduct we speak of. Since that time, he had, in the opinion of many reformed and become an exemplary member of a Church. He was well known personally to the majority of the Brethren. His petition was received, and on ballot, he was regularly elected. The next meeting, a member of the Lodge made a motion to reconsider the vote that had resulted in his election, giving as a reason the bad conduct we have mentioned above. This motion was not entertained, but the Lodge have post poned indefinitely conferring the Degree, and, in fact, refuse to confer it, though, I believe, the applicant is very desirous to receive it Is this right?

The questions to which I call your attention may have been decided in some of the previous numbers of your excellent Magazine, but as I have not an opportunity of seeing them, I would be glad for you to repeat them again. S.

1. A Lodge cannot lawfully or properly reconsider any ballot taken on the petition of a candidate for admission to receive the degrees. A second, and, under particular circumstances, even a third continuous ballot, may be ordered by the Master; but they must be continuous ballots, had at the same meeting, and, in strict propriety, without the intervening of any other business, or delay of any kind. If On taking the first ballot, it shall appear that one, or even two, black balls have been cast, the Master, with a view to ascertain that no mistake has been made, may order a second ballot; and he may order a third ballot, if any Brother voting in the negative, shall declare to the Lodge that he has voted through mistake, or under misapprehension, and request the privilege of voting again. But when a candidate has been once rejected, and the record is so made up, there is an end of the case. His petition is no longer before the Lodge. The Lodge has considered and rejected it; and in so doing has placed it beyond its control ; because, the Lodge possesses no power to reconsider its original ballot. If the friends of the petitioner are not satisfied with the result, and wish to bring the subject again before the Lodge, they can do it by a new petition ; and they cannot accomplish their purpose in any other manner, without a gross departure from established rule and usage. Our correspondent suggests, that the proceedings, on which he predicates his interrogatories, or a part of them, were had at "a continuation of a regular monthly communication" of the Lodge, held a week after the regular meeting. By this we infer, that the Lodge adjourned for one week, and then reconsidered the previous ballot. But there is no authority, either in the laws or usages of Masonry, to authorize any such meetings. Lodges are closed, not adjourned. If special meetings are neces sary, they must be notified and called in the usual manner; and no other business than that for which they are called, can properly be transacted. This should always be certified to all the members, that they may govern themselves in their attendance, as their convenience or circumstances may permit; for although they are expected to attend the regular meetings, there is not the same obligation resting on them to attend the special meetings, of the Lodge. For this reason, such meetings should rarely be called.

2. The answer to this inquiry is involved in the preceding, and need not be enlarged upon.

3. If one irregular proceeding justifies another, it might not, perhaps, be considered out of order to reconsider the vote as suggested. Not oth erwise. As already stated, no ballot on the admission of a candidate, whether favorable or otherwise, can properly be reconsidered. It must stand as recorded. But,

3. If an unworthy candidate, at a thinly attended meeting, is admitted, and the ballot cannot be reconsidered, "can the Lodge rightfully refuse to confer the degrees upon him?" It certainly can; and though such re fusal might in its result be equivalent to a reconsideration of the ballot of admission, the manner of proceeding is very different. A candidate who has been once admitted, is entitled to the degrees, unless it can be shown, to the satisfaction of the Lodge, that he is unworthy to receive them. It matters not whether this fact has been ascertained since, or was known, but for want of opportunity, was not communicated, before his admission. The fundamental laws of Masonry can not be circumvented of their validity by mere technicalities. They are of too much importance, and too essential to the preservation of the Institution, to admit of any other than a strict and exact adherence to their true spirit and meaning. It is sufficient to know, at any time before his initiation, that a candidate is unworthy, to authorize the Lodge, or the Master, to stay proceedings; and any Lodge, or Master, that should persist in the initiation, after such unworthiness is made known, without investigating the complaint or accusation, would present a proper case for the discipline of the Grand Lodge.

4, and 5. These interrogatories are already sufficiently answered.

6. A candidate may be rightfully debarred the privilege of advancing to a superior degree, for any cause, that, if known, would have prevented his admission, to the first degree. A substantive reason must be given ; and it must be such as would sustain a charge against his moral character. Of its sufficiency, however, the Lodge is to determine.

7. An Entered Apprentice or Fellow-Craft may be expelled, for justifiable cause, by any Lodge within whose jurisdiction he resides. He is a Mason, and, as such, ameniable to the laws of Masonry.

8. All proper by-laws of a Lodge, are valid, as to its own members, as soon as they are adopted. Lodges under Dispensations frequently work a whole year, before their by-laws are submitted for the examination and approval of the Grand Lodge. If the by-laws of such Lodges have no validity, why are they made? The object of submitting them to the examination of the Grand Lodge is, that, if errors exist, they may be corrected, and made to conform to the general laws of Masonry; not to give them validity. That is done by the act of adopting them.

In respect to the case stated by our correspondent, at the conclusion of his communication, we have but few words to offer. There may be, and probably are, many considerations, having an important bearing upon it, which have not, and cannot be communicated to us. The Brethren of the Lodge are, from the peculiar character of the case, the only safe and proper judges in the matter. As a general rule, repentance and reformation, in the man, ought to be received as a sufficient atonement for the moral derelictions of the youth. No man is free from error. "To err, is hu man—to forgive, divine."

Admission of Candidates

From Vol. IX, No. 10, August 1850, p. 289:

A correspondent in a distant Southern State, presents and asks our opinion on the following case :—

R. W. Br. Moore— An applicant appears before our Lodge for the mysteries of Masonry : his petition is now before the Lodge for its action. The question which I wish you to answer, is this: A member of an adjoining Lodge objects to his reception, on the most frivolous grounds, viz: a misunderstanding between themselves. The applicant presents as good a character as any one could, with the exception of the difficulty referred to. Now, we want to know, if we should involve ourselves in any difficulty by receiving the candidate, with the objection of this member of another Lodge, presented to us; knowing, as this Lodge does, the objection to be trifling, and wholly of a personal nature? Your immediate answer will much oblige your friend and Brother, H. W. R.

Perhaps there has never been a time, since the first introduction of Freemasonry into this country, when the demand for admission to our Institution has been more urgent or more extensive than at present; and there consequently has never been a time when more vigilance was required on the part of the Lodges, in guarding the vestibule against the ad¬ mission of unworthy applicants. The hour of prosperity is said to be the hour of danger. Elated by success, we become careless, and forget that the fairest flower produces the deadliest poison. To this source,—to a culpable negligence in the too free admission of candidates.—may be attributed much, if not all the disastrous evils which our Institution in this country, for the past quarter of a century, has been called to endure. To this source, also, may be directly traced the origin of the unauthorized persecution, over the decayed ruins of which we are just rising into new life and vigor. Too much vigilance cannot, therefore, be exercised, by both officers and members,—too many proper barriers cannot be raised for the security of our Lodges, against improper admissions. Far better will it be for our own peace and continued prosperity—far, very far better for the Institution, that the admissions of new members should be few and select, than that our doors should be indiscriminately thrown open to all who knock at them. Our strength lies in the character, not in the number of our members. And this truth should never for a moment be lost sight of by the officers to whom the important interests of our Lodges are more immediately entrusted.

But, while in the exercise of a proper vigilance, we should be careful not to exceed the limits of a healthful caution; and thus, in our endeavors to do right, run into a wrong. Gentlemen who offer themselves and ask to become Brethren among us, do so in the expectation that their moral qualifications and fitness are to be judged of fairly, impartially, and without prejudice. And this is a reasonable expectation.

Personal dislikes have nothing to do in the admission of candidates; at least not so far as the action of the Lodge is concerned. Individual members have a legal right to vote as they think proper; and, for so doing, are not to be questioned; yet, if they negative a candidate for no other reason than that they do not like him as a companion, or from personal pique, they do a moral wrong to the individual, and an injury to the Lodge. It is enough, as respects his moral qualifications, to know that the applicant is of good character, of reputable standing in the community, and that he recognizes the existence and providence of God. The mere circumstance that he is at variance with a member of a Lodge, other than that to which he has presented his petition, cannot, and ought not, to be any bar to his admission. If a contrary rule were to obtain, the number of initiations in our Lodges would be greatly diminished, if not entirely cut off. If we carry this principle out to its full extent, it will be difficult to say where it will lead us. It will not do to restrict its operation to the members of a neighboring Lodge, or to any given number of Lodges; for, if it be good for any thing, it must be general in its application, and extend to every Lodge on the face of the earth. If, therefore, the applicant is at variance, or has had a personal difficulty with any Mason, in any part of the world, he must be rejected; or the principle is partial in its application, and therefore good for nothing.

These remarks are of course intended to apply to mere personal differences, not involving any question or transaction affecting the moral character of the petitioner. If the case presented by our correspondent, is of this class, we should admit the applicant, without hesitation. Our Lodges cannot become the media of malice or revenge; and although in the present instance, the objector is not probably actuated by either of these motives; yet, if the rule he asks for be admitted, he can hardly fail to perceive that such unworthy considerations might be brought to operate to the serious prejudice of men of the purest character.

Admission of Candidates

From Vol. IX, No. 12, October 1850, p. 361:

St. Albans, Franklin County, Vermont.

R. W. Br. Moore,—Dear Sir:—In perusing your Magazine I find that several important questions have been put and satisfactory answers returned. I have a few I wish to ask, and your answer to them we shall receive as the law upon the subject.

1st. When a man throws in a petition to a Lodge for admission, a Committee is appointed to examine into his moral character, and they report in his favor—the Lodge being all in favor of receiving him, except one Brother, who says he shall object, and will not give any reasons,—months pass off, with several Committees, but learn no cause of objection. At length, a Committee is proposed to confer with the Brother, in confidence, and hear all that he has against the applicant. The Committee then come before the Lodge, and barely say, the Brother has or has not sufficient grounds of provocation, without disclosing anyone charge made; but the Brother says it is his privilege to keep him out, and he will do nothing about it?

2d. Is it Masonic for a Brother to keep a worthy man, (whose moral character stands as fair as any man, and has from his birth,) from the benefits of Masonry, or the Lodge from his assistance, on account of some unknown private pique ?

3d. Would not the Fraternity be in danger of ceasing to do business, if some designing persons should enter among them, who should behave so discreetly as not to suffer censure or expulsion, but should oppose every candidate just before balloting, (without reasons assigned,) and hold the Lodge fast in chains from further additions ?

4th. When the petitioner is anxious to meet such Brother, and hear him before any Committee the Lodge may choose for examination of the subject, and the Brother will not meet such Committee—What is the duty of the Lodge in such cases?

Your answer to the above Questions will be gratefully received, and no doubt informing to many. Yours, fraternally, S. G.

The principle which governs the admission of candidates is one of entire unanimity. This is the general rule; and its observance is thought to be essential to the preservation of the purity and harmony of the Lodges. Exceptions to it exist; but they are local in their application, and of questionable propriety. Some foreign Grand Lodges have provided by constitutional regulations, that the Lodges may themselves deter¬ mine the number of black balls that shall reject the candidate, if the number so determined does not exceed three,—this number being in all cases decisive. But this is a local regulation, and does not, we believe, exist in theory or practice in any part of our own country. Here the more stringent and conservative rule of entire unanimity obtains ; and we should much regret to see a departure from it.

Another principle,—perhaps more universally recognized, and certainly not less important in its consequences,—which obtains in the admission of candidates, is that of the secret ballot. The object of this is to secure to every member the privilege of voting according to the dictates of his own judgment, without fear of giving offence to any, or the apprehension of being called to answer for the manner in which he may see fit to cast his vote. All good Masons regard this as a sacred right, and would on no consideration consent to its abrogation, or do ought to impair its validity.

These are the two essential principles which operate in balloting for candidates. The first requires entire unanimity among the members of the Lodge; that is, a unanimous ballot. The second guarantees to each member the right to vote according to the dictates of his own judgment and conscience, unbiassed by fear or favor, and prohibits the Lodge and the members individually from inquiring into or questioning the manner of his voting. It is not competent for the Lodge to refuse the vote of a member, nor to dictate the way in which he shall vote. Nor may the Lodge investigate or impugn the motives which influence the votes of its members. To do either would destroy the secrecy of the ballot. Now, apply these well settled principles to the case stated by our correspondent, and where is the remedy? On the face of it there would seem to be none; nor is there any, unless the objecting member has voluntarily thrown aside the protection which the secret ballot afforded him. Has he done this?. Our correspondent has not given us enough of the details of the case to enable us to answer the question. He says a Committee was appointed to confer with the Brother; but he does not tell us whether this was done at the Brother's request, or with his consent,; and if it were not, it was an unauthorized proceeding. He says, also, that the Committee made a report, but does not inform us what the character of the report was. He does however intimate, though not on the authority of the report, that the Brother is influenced by "some unknown private pique?" Nevertheless, if the Brother is influenced by " private pique," he is influenced by an unmasonic motive; and having disclosed the manner of his voting, and submitted the motive by which he is actuated to the decision of a committee, (if such be the case,) he has surrendered the protection which the secret ballot gave him, and is bound by the decision of the committee, when confirmed by the Lodge.

His refusal to abide by the decision, when so confirmed, would probably be construed into a contempt for the authority of the Lodge. But our correspondent is so indefinite in his statements that it would not be safe to give any decisive opinion on the case. We would respectfully suggest that the whole matter be referred to the excellent and intelligent Grand Master of the State, who would undoubtedly be able to reconcile the difficulty to the satisfaction of all parties.

Admission into Lodges

From Vol. X, No. 1, November 1850, Page 3:

Marshall Lodge, No. 22; Marshall, Texas, Sept. 9, 1850.

Br. C. W. Moore, -Dear Sir: Be pleased to pardon me for asking you the following questions which I earnestly hope you will have the kindness to answer through your invaluable Magazine, so the members of our Lodge entertain various opinions, and your views will be satisfactory upon the subject, and harmonize conflicting sentiments.

  • lst. Should an applicant for affiliation, who presents proper credentials, be rejected, unless he is guilty of an offence, which, were he a member, would justify his suspension or expulsion from the Lodge?
  • 2d. If he be charged with such an offence, should he not be allowed to defend himself before the Lodge, against the charge; and if acquitted, should he not be elected a member of ihe Lodge?
  • 3d. If found guilty of the charge, should he not be suspended or expelled from the rights of Masonry - according to the nature of tbe offence - and notice given, as in the case of the suspension or expulsion of a member?

Your humble servant,
C. A. Frazer.

We very cheerfully comply with the request of our correspondent though our answers will not, probably, in all respects, harmonize with his own views on the subjects embraced in the questions proposed.

  1. Under the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England, what we in this country term subordinate Lodges, are there called private Lodges; and in some respects, this is the more appropriate designation. It more distinctly indicates the true charaiter of the Lodge; which may be defined to be a number of Brethren associated together under the authority of a charter from some Grand Lodge, for the practice of the rites, and other purposes of Freemasonry. This charter is granted to the petitioners, with authority to admit such other Brethren as they may see fit to associate with them. But it neither requires nor prohibits an increase of the number of members. It leaves this matter eiitirely to the discretion of the petitioners. The Lodge is not, therefore, under any obligation to admit members, unless this is specially required by a constitutional provision of the Grand Lodge from which it emanates. The Grand Lodge of England has seen fit to incorporate, in a limited and modified form, such a provision into its Constitution. We quote the section:-

"14. Every Lodge must receive as a member without further proposition or ballot, any Brother initiated therein, provided such Brother express his wish to that effect on the day of his initiation, as no Lodge should introduce into Masonry a person whom the Brethren might consider unfit to be a member of their own Lodge."

The conditions on which membership can be claimed, under this provision, are, first, that the Brother must have been initiated in the Lodge to which he applies for membership. If he were initiated in another Lodge, the rule fails as applied to him, and the obiigation on the part of the Lodge to receive him, does not exist. Secondly, he must declare his intention to become a member on the day of his initiation. If he fail to do this, then the Lodge is relieved of the obligation to receive him as a member, and may thereafter exercise its discretion in the premises. The regulation is extremely limited, and cautiously guarded in its terms, And why? Because it is out cf the common course of Masonic proceedings. It is, to the extent to which it goes, in derogation of the narural and inherent rights of tbe Lodge. It requires it to receive and fellowship Brethren with whom tbe members, or a part of them, might not, if left to their own election, care to cultivate so close a personal intimacy; or, it suspends, to a certain extent, the proper business of the Lodge, The reason assigned by the Grand Lcdge of England for incorporating this provision into its Comtitution is, that a "Lodge should not introduce into Masonry a person whom the Brethren might consider unfit to be a member of their own Lodge." And this is well enough in theory. The difficulty is,that human nature is so constituted that men will make a broad distinction betrveen the friendships of every day life and the intimacy of families. This may or may not be wrong. But the fact exists; and, wrong, it presents one of those numerous anomalas in moral science where theory and practice cannot be made to work together. In all such cases, it is the part of wisdom to harmonize them, by bringing the theory down to the level where the common sense of mankind has established the practice.

But there is anotber provision in the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Englaod, which suits us betler, because it is more consistent with the independence of the Lodges, and more in conformity with the ancient and established usages of Masonry. It refers to the admission of Brethren who apply for membership in Lodges other than those in which they are made; depending on the charge, the Lodge will determine whether the Brother who made it was actuated by proper motives, and what further proceedings are required. But it does not follow, that because the charge has failed, the Lodge is therefore bound to receive him as a mernber. He may present a new petition; when, the original cause of his rejection having been removed, the Lodge will, if none other exist, probably admit him. This would be no more than a simple act of justic ; but it is one which the Lodge may, from prudential considerations refuse, if it see proper.

3. If a Brother, on trial, be found guilty of an offense of sufficient magnitude to justify the verdict, he certainly should be suspended or expelled; unless the Lodge, as the jury in the case, or the Grand Lodge, as the appellative power, shall see fit to award a milder form of punishment.

Candidate Advancement and Trial

From Vol. X, No. 2, December 1850, Page 38:

Wilmington, N.C., October 31, 1850.

C. W. Moore, Esq.-

Dear Friend and Brother,- Pardon me for trespassing on your attention – the reputation you have for diffusing information to those less informed than yourself is my apology for troubling you. I desire information on the following points :-

  1. If a candidate is balloted for and elected to receive the blue Lodge Degrees - can the Lodge, after one is conferred, refuse to confer the remaining two?
  2. Is it necessary and proper to ballot for him to receive each successive Degree, beginning with the first?
  3. Can a Mason, or rather an Entered Apprentice, be tried for an offence committed before initiation?
  4. Is not a Lodge bound to try a Brother before its censure is passed on him, and is it not, in good faith, bound to try and expel an Entered Apprenlice, under the tongue of evil report, or, otherwise, pass and raise him? Such a case is before our Lodge, and I want light to satisfy me before I act.
  5. If a member of a Lodge, being dissatisfied with its action, is entitled to an appeeal to the Grand Lodge? And
  6. When such appeal is taken, ought not all the circumstances attendant upon the case, and which are necessary to a correct understanding of it, be sent up to the Grand Lodge?

Yours, Fraternally, S. D. Wallace.

l. It is not only eompetent for a Lodge to stay the advancement of an unworthy candidate, at any stage of its proceedings, but it is imperative on it to exereise the authority whenever and as often as such an exigency may arise. The prejudicial effect of the admission of an unfit and improper candidate is not confined to the particular Lodge which receives him; but it spreads itself out over the character of the whole Fraternity.

The Masonic Institution is known and appreciated by the uninitiated as a unit. In determining its character, they therefore look at it as a whole, without reference to its subdivisions, of which they know nothing. Hence it is that the Lodges are particularly and earnestly charged by their constituent authority to use all due diligence that none but "good men and true" are allowed to pass the vestibule of Masonry. So important does the Grand Lodge esteem this injunction to be, and so essential to the purity and welfare of the Order is it, that a wilful disregard of it by a subordinate Lodge, has always been recognized as sufficient cause for the revocation of its Charter.

2. It will, however, sometimes happen, perhaps through the injudicious influence of indulgent friendship, or other cause, that an unworthy petitioner gains admission and is initiated into the first Degree. With a view to meet cases of this deseription, and to afford to the members the protection of the secret ballot, the Lodges, in some sections of the country, have thought proper to require that the candidate shall be voted for on each Degree, as he advances. The rule is not, however, a general one; but finds, perhaps, a sufficient justification in its expediency.

3. Our correspondent seems to entertain some doubt whether an Entered Appreniice is a Mason. We however, entertain no such doubt. A candidate who has received the first Degree, is an Entered Apprentice Mason; and, as such, is subject to the general regulations of Masonry. But the particular point in this inquiry is, whether a Mason can be "tried for an offence cominitted before iniiiation?" In our judgment he cannot be; because, such a proceeding would at once and forever foreclose every motive to repentance, and recognize the unscriptural doctrine of irrecoverable grace. Besides, a regulation which should authorize it wouid be of the nature of an ex past facto law. It would inflict punishment for an offence which was cominitted before the law was enacted or before the defendant had become cognisant of, or subjeet to the law. This would be manifestly unjust. It is not therefore consistent with the tolerant principles of the Institution.

4. Every Brother who is charged with an offence against the laws of Masonry, is entitled to a fair and impartial trial by his peers. To punish him before he has been afforded a reasonable opportunity to avail himself of such a trial, would be in the highest degree oppressive and unmasonic. But before a Lodge can put any Brother on trial, charges must be preferred against him, in the manner and form prescribed by the usages of the Institution. The refusal to "pass" an Apprentice who is "under the tongue of evil report" is not sufficient cause to authorize the Lodge to institute proceedings against him as an offender. Definite substantive charges must be preferred, or the Lodge cannot act. But because no such charges are preferred, the Lodge is not under any obligations, nor would it be at liberty, to "pass or raise" an unworthy Brother.

-5. One of the first duiies of a member of a Lodge is, in all ordinary matters, to submit to the will of the majority: when that will is fairly and clearly ascertained; or to withdraw from it. He is entitled to an appeal to the Grand Lodge only in matters affecting his personal standing and relations as a Mason. If the rule were otherwise, and every member who should be dissatisfied with the decisions of his Lodge, were allowed an appeal, the Grand Lodge would soon find itself overburdened with business of a character not less vexatious than unprofitable.

6. When an appeal is properly made, "all the eircumstances attendant upon the case, which are necessary to a correct understanding of it, should be sent up (with the appeal) to the Grand Lodge."

Lodges Under Dispensation

From Vol. X, No. 2, December 1850, Page 40:

Geneseo, Liv. Co., N. Y., Oct. 25, 1850.

R. W. Br. Moore, - Will you permit me to trespass on your time and patience, by asking your opinion on the points referred to in the following statement:-

A number of Brethren petition the G. M. or the D. G. Master, for a Dispensation to form a new Lodge. Among them are several Brethren members of Lodges in other places, (but residents of the place where thenew Lodge is to be formed,) who would prefer to belong to a Lodge nearer to their residences. The petition is granted and work commenced, under the Dispensation.

Now, is it necessary that these Brelhren should, on the granting of the Dispensation, withdraw from the other Lodges? or can they retain their membership in the other Lodges, until the new Lodge receives a Charter?

While under Dispensation, we are not recognized as a Lodge by the Grand Lodge, nor could we be represented in the G. Lodge. Hence it seems to me these Brethren could not be charged with belonging to two Lodges at the same time, even if, while acting with us, they continue members of the other Lodges.

Shall we be required to pay dues for them to the Grand Lodge, while under Dispensation?

The names of the members referred to, will be returned and dues paid for them by the Lodges of which they were members when they signed the petition, and it would seem unjust that we should also pay for them.

I have given it as my opinion, that until we get a Charter oul names will not be registered in the Grand Lodge books, and we shali have no dues to pay. We return our Dispensation at the proper time, and with it a copy of our by-laws and records, and the fees to be paid the Grand Lodge for each person on whom we confer a degree or degrees, and nothing more. On receiving a Charter, our names are registered, and from that time we are liable 1o pay dues as members of the Lodge thus chartered, and then the members of the other Lodges, who have acted with us, must withdraw from those Lodges.

How far am I right in this view? I base my opinion on the grounds of justice and equity and not on those of established ruies oi Masonry, as I am obliged to acknowledged that I am but iittle versed in the usages of the Order in reference to these pohts, ald for that reason take the liberty of asking your opinion.

Our correspondent has stated his case so well and correctly that we may safely claim to be spared the labor of enlarging uPon the subject,- especiaily as we have on previous occasions given our views at length on the points he has presented. The conclusions to which our correspondent has arrived are in unison with our own. Lodges under Dispensation are inchoate, not perfected Lodges. They are not owned by the Grand Lodge, Their officers are not admitted as representatives in that body, nor are the names of their members, as such, registered in the Grand Lodge books. They cannot, therefore, be required to pay the dues, or capitation-tax, to which the members of lawfully chartered and constituted Lodges are, in New York, and some other States, subjected.

The act of joining in a petition to the Grand Mdster for a Dispensation for a new Lodge, does not in any manner affect their relations or liabilities as members of the Lodges to which they are at present attached. They are therefore amenable (or their Lodges for them) for their dues to the Grand Lodge, until the new Lodge is chartered; at which time they are required to withdraw from their present Lodge, or close their connection with the new Lodge. They cannot properly hold membership in both bodies.

Grand Lodge Officers in Subordinate Lodges

From Vol. X, No. 2, December 1850, Page 42:

Jacksonville, East Florida, September 20, 1850.

Dear Sir and Brother, In No. 17. of the general regulations, compiled first by Mr. Georqe Payne, A. D. 1720, when he was Grand Master,'and approved by ihe Grand Lodge on St. John Baptist day, A. D. 1721, at Stationer's Hall, London, I find the following, viz :-

"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 particnlar Lodge: but is soon as any of them has honorably discharged his grand office, he returns to the post or station in his particular Lodge from which he was called to officiate above."

Notice of this has raised a question here, upon which I should like your opinion: I take the liberty, therefore, to inquire, whether you deem this regulation generally binding within the jurisdiction of such Grand Lodges as have not specially adopted these regulations for their government; and whose constitutions do not contain a similar provision? And this depends, I apprehend, upon the question, whether this regulation embodies a general principle or invariable landmark of the Order, or whether, like any other regulation;. not embracing any general principle or landmark, it may be departed from, wilhout the violation of any such principle or landmark.

A convenience woruld sometimes result from a departure from this rule, especially where the number of members in a Lodge are limited, and but few are versed in the science or modus operandi, of the work. The regulation embraces a principle, to which, as a general rule, I shouid deem it sound policy to adhere.

With great respect, I am, sir, fraternally yours,
Tno. Douglas.

The regulation quoted by our correspondent, is one of the general regulatious of the Fraternity, and has been in existence long enough to claim a place at least "among the ancient usages" if it has not attained to the higher digaity of an "ancient landmark." It is to be found in the earliest editions of the Constitutions, and has, we believe, been generally respected as established law, so far ar least as it is applicable to the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, and Wardens.

Another article of these "general regulations" provides, that the Grand Master may order his Wardens to attend him in visiting the Lodges, but that they "are not to act as Wardens of particular Lodges, but in his presence." Ihis regulatibn is also contained in the present Constitutions of tbe Grand Lodge of England. The propriety of it, as a rule of action, we suppose will not be questioned. The distinction between the superior and the subordinate is a natural and proper distinction, and its preservation is essential to the interests of both. This is so obyious a truism that it requires no illustration.

"Every annual Grand Lodge has an inherent power and authority to make new regulations for its own government, or to alter the existing ones, provided the old landmarks be preserved." It was by virtue of the principle embodied in this rule, that the regulation cited by our correspondent was originally adopted by the G. Lodge of England, and under the sanition of which it has since been occasionally modified by that and other Grand Lodges. It does not seem to contain the essential elements which are necessary to constitute an immutable and irrevocable landmark. It does not embrace any principle, the nrodification or entire abrogation of which would necessarily involve a removal of any of the original boundary lines traced out by the ancient Masonic fathers to mark the inheritance of their children. It is, however, an "ancient reguletion", and has been sanctioned by the usage of more than a hundred years. "The crest of antiquity is on its brow," and the lineaments of its face are radiant with wisdom. These should be sufficient to protect it from the hand of innovation, even though no stronger reasons can be urged in its favor.

We do not perceive that any good would result from a more particular discussion of rhe questions submitted by our intelligent correspondent, as we do not understand that any departure from the regulation is either proposed or contemplated.

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