more light #138
A Charge To Be Given To Brethen
by Ed Halpaus
Grand Lodge Education Officer
Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Minnesota
The following is found in a book I highly recommend to the Masonic Student:
“The Freemason at Work” by Brother Harry Carr & revised by Brother Frederick
Smyth; published by Lewis Masonic. It’s a good book to read for enjoyment as
well as learning. It is written with Freemasonry in England in mind, so to me it
is even more interesting. The Charge that follows is found in this book; it was
for printed in 1735 in W. Smith’s Pocket Companion.
A SHORT CHARGE to be given to new admitted BRETHREN.
You are now admitted by the unanimous Consent of our Lodge, a Fellow of our most
Antient and Honorable SOCIETY; Antient, as having subsisted from times
immemorial, and Honorable, as tending in every Particular to render a Man so
that will be but conformable to its glorious Precepts. The greatest Monarchs in
all Ages, as well of Asia and Africa as of Europe, have been Encouragers of the
Royal Art; and many of them have presided as Grand Masters over the Masons in
their respective Territories, not thinking it any lessening to their Imperial
Dignities to Level themselves with their Brethren in MASONRY, and to act as they
The World's great Architect is our Supreme Master, and the unerring Rule he has
given us, is that by which we Work.
Religious Disputes are never suffered in the Lodge; for as MASONS, we only
pursue the universal Religion or the Religion of Nature. This is the Cement
which unites Men of the most different Principles in one sacred Band, and brings
together those who were the most distant from one another.
There are three general Heads of Duty which MASONS ought always to inculcate,
viz., to God, our Neighbors and ourselves.
To God, in never mentioning his Name but with that Reverential Awe which becomes
a Creature to bear to his Creator, and to look upon him always as the Sumum
Bonum which we came into the World to enjoy, and according to that View to
regulate all our Pursuits.
To our Neighbors, in acting upon the Square, or doing as we would be done by.
To ourselves, in avoiding all Intemperances and Excesses, whereby we may be
rendered incapable of following our Work, or led into Behavior unbecoming our
laudable Profession, and in always keeping within due Bounds, and free from all
In the State, a MASON is to behave as a peaceable and dutiful Subject,
conforming cheerfully to the Government under which he lives.
He is to pay a due Deference to his Superiors, and from his Inferiors he is
rather to receive Honor with some Reluctance, than to extort it.
He is to be a Man of Benevolence and Charity, not sitting down contented while
his Fellow Creatures, but much more his Brethren, are in Want, when it is in his
Power (without prejudicing himself or Family) to relieve them.
In the Lodge, he is to behave with all due Decorum, lest the Beauty and Harmony
thereof should be disturbed or broke.
He is to be Obedient to the Master and presiding Officers, and to apply himself
closely to the Business of Masonry, that he may sooner become a Proficient
therein, both for his own Credit and for that of the Lodge.
He is not to neglect his own necessary Avocations for the sake of MASONRY, nor
to involve himself in quarrels with those who through Ignorance may speak evil
of, or ridicule it.
He is to be a Lover of the Arts and Sciences, and to take all Opportunities of
improving himself therein.
If he recommends a Friend to be made a MASON, he must vouch him to be such as he
really believes will conform to the aforesaid Duties, lest by his Misconduct at
any time the Lodge should pass under some evil Imputations. Nothing can prove
more shocking to all faithful MASONS, than to see any of their Brethren profane
or break through the sacred Rules of their Order, and such as can do it they
wish had never been admitted.
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