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Article # 222
The Principles of Masonic Law-Book-2

Author: Bro. Dr.Albert Gallatin Mackey    Posted on: Monday, September 4, 2006
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The Principles Of  Masonic Law

[The last Section of Book First and the entire Book Second of Bro.A.G.Mackey's The Principles of Masonic Law are poster hereunder]

 

The Principles Of  Masonic Law

Book-1 (Ch-5) and Book-2

Bro.Albert Gallatin Mackey
 
Book First-Chapter-5

                        Section IV.--Of the Executive Power of a Grand Lodge.

The English Constitutions conclude, in the passage that has formed the basis of our previous remarks, by asserting that        "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." The power of the Grand Lodge to erase lodges is accompanied with a coincident power of constituting new lodges. This power it originally shared with the Grand Master and still does in England; but in this country the power of the Grand Lodge is paramount to that of the Grand Master. The latter can only constitute lodges temporarily, by dispensation and his act must be confirmed, or may be annulled by the Grand Lodge. It is not until a lodge has received its Warrant of Constitution from the Grand Lodge, that it can assume the rank and exercise the prerogatives of a regular and legal lodge.

The expelling power is one that is very properly intrusted to the Grand Lodge, which is the only tribunal that should impose a penalty affecting the relations of the punished party with the whole fraternity. Some of the lodges in this country have claimed the right to expel independently of the action of the Grand Lodge. But the claim is founded on an erroneous assumption of powers that have never existed and which are not recognized by the ancient constitutions, nor the general usages of the fraternity. A subordinate lodge tries its delinquent member, under the provisions, which have already been stated and, according to the general usage of lodges in the United States, declares him expelled. But the sentence is of no force nor effect until it has been confirmed by the Grand Lodge, which may, or may not, give the required confirmation and which, indeed, often refuses to do so, but actually reverses the sentence. It is apparent, from the views already expressed on the judicial powers of the Grand Lodge, that the sentence of expulsion uttered by the subordinate is to be taken in the sense of a recommendatory report and that it is the confirmation and adoption of that report by the Grand Lodge that alone gives it vitality and effect.

The expelling power presumes, of course, coincidently, the reinstating power. As the Grand Lodge alone can expel, it also alone can reinstate.

These constitute the general powers and prerogatives of a Grand Lodge. Of course there are other local powers, assumed by various Grand Lodges and differing in the several jurisdictions, but they are all derived from some one of the three classes that we have enumerated. From these views, it will appear that a Grand Lodge is the supreme legislative, judicial and executive authority of the Masonic jurisdiction in which it is situated. It is, to use a feudal term, "the lord paramount" in Masonry. It is a representative body, in which, however, it constituents have delegated everything and reserved no rights to themselves. Its authority is almost unlimited, for it is restrained by but a single check:—It cannot alter or remove the ancient landmarks.

Book Second

Laws of Subordinate Lodges.

Chapter I.   Of the Nature and Organization of Subordinate Lodges.

Chapter II.    Of Lodges under Dispensation.

Chapter III.   Of Lodges Working under a Warrant of Constitution.

Chapter IV.   Of the Officers of a Subordinate Lodge.

Section  I.  Of The Officers in General.

Section II   Of the Worshipful Master.

Section III.  Of The Wardens.

Section IV.  Of the Treasurer.

Section V.    Of the Secretary.

Section VI.   Of the Deacons.

Section VII.  Of the Stewards.

Section VIII. Of the Tiler.

Chapter V.   Of Rules of Order

Section I.    Of the Order of Business.

Section II.   Of Appeals from the decision of the Chair.

Section III.  Of the Mode of Taking the Question.

Section IV.  Of Adjournments.

Section V.   Of the Appointment of Committees.

Section VI.  Of the Mode of Keeping the Minutes

Having thus succinctly treated of the law in relation to Grand Lodges, I come next in order to consider the law as it respects the organization, rights, powers and privileges of subordinate Lodges, and the first question that will engage our attention will be, as to the proper method of organizing a Lodge.

Chapter I.

Of the Nature and Organization of Subordinate Lodges.

The old charges define a Lodge to be "a place where Masons assemble and work," and also "that assembly, or duly organized society of Masons." The lecture on the first degree gives a still more precise definition. It says that "a lodge is an assemblage of Masons, duly congregated, having the Holy Bible, square and compasses and a charter, or warrant of constitution, empowering them to work."

Every lodge of Masons requires for its proper organization, that it should have been congregated by the permission of some superior authority, which may be either a Grand Master or a Grand Lodge. When a lodge is organized by the authority of a Grand Master, it is said to work under a Dispensation and when by the authority of a Grand Lodge, it is said to work under a warrant of constitution. In the history of a lodge, the former authority generally precedes the latter, the lodge usually working for some time under the dispensation of the Grand Master, before it is regularly warranted by the Grand Lodge. But this is not necessarily the case. A Grand Lodge will sometimes grant a warrant of constitution at once, without the previous exercise, on the part of the Grand Master, of his dispensing power. As it is, however, more usually the practice for the dispensation to precede the warrant of constitution, I shall explain the formation of a lodge according to that method.

Any number of Master Masons, not under seven, being desirous of uniting themselves into a lodge, apply by petition to the Grand Master for the necessary authority. This petition must set forth that they now are, or have been, members of a regularly constituted lodge and must assign, as a reason for their application, that they desire to form the lodge "for the conveniency of their respective dwellings," or some other sufficient reason. The petition must also name the brethren whom they desire to act as their Master and Wardens and the place where they intend to meet, and it must be recommended by the nearest lodge.

Dalcho says that not less than three Master Masons should sign the petition, but in this he differs from all the other authorities, which require not less than seven. This rule, too, seems to be founded in reason, for, as it requires seven Masons to constitute a quorum for opening and holding a lodge of Entered Apprentices, it would be absurd to authorize a smaller number to organize a lodge which, after its organization, could not be opened, nor make Masons in that degree.

Preston says that the petition must be recommended "by the Masters of three regular lodges adjacent to the place where the new lodge is to be held." Dalcho says it must be recommended "by three other known and approved Master Masons," but does not make any allusion to any adjacent lodge. The laws and regulations of the Grand Lodge of Scotland require the recommendation to be signed "by the Masters and officers of two of the nearest lodges." The Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England require that it must be recommended "by the officers of some regular lodge." The recommendation of a neighboring lodge is the general usage of the craft and is intended to certify to the superior authority, on the very best evidence that can be obtained, that, namely, of an adjacent lodge, that the new lodge will be productive of no injury to the Order.

If this petition be granted, the Grand Secretary prepares a document called a dispensation, which authorizes the officers named in the petition to open and hold a lodge and to "enter, pass and raise Freemasons." The duration of this dispensation is generally expressed on its face to be, "until it shall be revoked by the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge, or until a warrant of constitution is granted by the Grand Lodge." Preston says, that the Brethren named in it are authorized "to assemble as Masons for forty days and until such time as a warrant of constitution can be obtained by command of the Grand Lodge, or that authority be recalled." But generally, usage continues the dispensation only until the next meeting of the Grand Lodge, when it is either revoked, or a warrant of constitution granted.

If the dispensation be revoked by either the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge (for either has the power to do so), the lodge of course at once ceases to exist. Whatever funds or property it has accumulated revert, as in the case of all extinct lodges, to the Grand Lodge, which may be called the natural heir of its subordinates, but all the work done in the lodge, under the dispensation, is regular and legal and all the Masons made by it are, in every sense of the term, "true and lawful Brethren."

Let it be supposed, however, that the dispensation is confirmed or approved by the Grand Lodge and we thus arrive at another step in the history of the new lodge. At the next sitting of the Grand Lodge, after the dispensation has been issued by the Grand Master, he states that fact to the Grand Lodge, when, either at his request, or on motion of some Brother, the vote is taken on the question of constituting the new lodge and, if a majority are in favor of it, the Grand Secretary is ordered to grant a warrant of constitution.

This instrument differs from a dispensation in many important particulars. It is signed by all the Grand Officers and emanates from the Grand Lodge, while the dispensation emanates from the office of the Grand Master and is signed by him alone. The authority of the dispensation is temporary, that of the warrant permanent, the one can be revoked at pleasure by the Grand Master, who granted it, the other only for cause shown and by the Grand Lodge, the one bestows only a name, the other both a name and a number, the one confers only the power of holding a lodge and making Masons, the other not only confers these powers, but also those of installation and of succession in office. From these differences in the characters of the two documents, arise important differences in the powers and privileges of a lodge under dispensation and of one that has been regularly constituted. These differences shall hereafter be considered.

The warrant having been granted, there still remain certain forms and ceremonies to be observed, before the lodge can take its place among the legal and registered lodges of the jurisdiction in which it is situated. These are its consecration, its dedication, its constitution and the installation of its officers. We shall not fully enter into a description of these various ceremonies, because they are laid down at length in all the Monitors and are readily accessible to our readers. It will be sufficient if we barely allude to their character.

The ceremony of constitution is so called, because by it the lodge becomes constituted or established. Orthopedists define the verb to constitute, as signifying "to give a formal existence to anything." Hence, to constitute a lodge is to give it existence, character and standing as such, and the instrument that warrants the person so constituting or establishing it, in this act, is very properly called the "warrant of constitution."

The consecration, dedication and constitution of a lodge must be performed by the Grand Master in person, or, if he cannot conveniently attend, by some Past Master appointed by him as his special proxy or representative for that purpose. On the appointed evening, the Grand Master, accompanied by his Grand Officers, repairs to the place where the new lodge is to hold its meetings, the lodge having been placed in the centre of the room and decently covered with a piece of white linen or satin. [This is a small chest or coffer, representing the ark of the covenant and containing the three great lights of Masonry.] Having taken the chair, he examines the records of the lodge and the warrant of constitution, the officers who have been chosen are presented before him, when he inquires of the Brethren if they continue satisfied with the choice they have made. The ceremony of consecration is then performed. The Lodge is uncovered, and corn, wine and oil—the Masonic elements of consecration—are poured upon it, accompanied by appropriate prayers and invocations and the lodge is finally declared to be consecrated to the honor and glory of God.

This ceremony of consecration has been handed down from the remotest antiquity. A consecrating—a separating from profane things and making holy or devoting to sacred purposes—was practiced by both the Jews and the Pagans in relation to their temples, their altars and all their sacred utensils. The tabernacle, as soon as it was completed, was consecrated to God by the unction of oil. Among the Pagan nations, the consecration of their temples was often performed with the most sumptuous offerings and ceremonies, but oil was, on all occasions, made use of as an element of the consecration. The lodge is, therefore, consecrated to denote that henceforth it is to be set apart as an asylum sacred to the cultivation of the great Masonic principles of Friendship, Morality and Brotherly Love. Thenceforth it becomes to the conscientious Mason a place worthy of his reverence, and he is tempted, as he passes over its threshold, to repeat the command given to Moses: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."

The corn, wine and oil are appropriately adopted as the Masonic elements of consecration, because of the symbolic signification which they present to the mind of the Mason. They are enumerated by David as among the greatest blessings which we receive from the bounty of Divine Providence. They were annually offered by the ancients as the first fruits, in a thank-offering for the gifts of the earth, and as representatives of "the corn of nourishment, the wine of refreshment and the oil of joy," they symbolically instruct the Mason that to the Grand Master of the Universe he is indebted for the "health, peace and plenty" that he enjoys.

After the consecration of the lodge, follows its dedication. This is a simple ceremony and principally consists in the pronunciation of a formula of words by which the lodge is declared to be dedicated to the holy Saints John, followed by an invocation that "every Brother may revere their character and imitate their virtues."

Masonic tradition tells us that our ancient Brethren dedicated their lodges to King Solomon, because he was their first Most Excellent Grand Master, but that modern Masons dedicate theirs to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, because they were two eminent patrons of Masonry. A more appropriate selection of patrons to whom to dedicate the lodge, could not easily have been made, since St. John the Baptist, by announcing the approach of Christ and by the mystical ablution to which he subjected his proselytes and which was afterwards adopted in the ceremony of initiation into Christianity, might well be considered as the Grand Hierophant of the Church, while the mysterious and emblematic nature of the Apocalypse assimilated the mode of teaching adopted by St. John the Evangelist to that practiced by the fraternity. Our Jewish Brethren usually dedicate their lodges to King Solomon, thus retaining their ancient patron, although they thereby lose the benefit of that portion of the Lectures which refers to the "lines parallel." The Grand Lodge of England, at the union in 1813, agreed to dedicate to Solomon and Moses, applying the parallels to the framer of the tabernacle and the builder of the temple, but they have no warranty for this in ancient usage and it is unfortunately not the only innovation on the ancient landmarks that that Grand Lodge has lately permitted.

The ceremony of dedication, like that of consecration, finds its archetype in the remotest antiquity. The Hebrews made no use of any new thing until they had first solemnly dedicated it. This ceremony was performed in relation even to private houses, as we may learn from the book of Deuteronomy. ["What man is there that hath a new house and hath not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it." Deut. xx. 5.] The 30th Psalm is a song said to have been made by David on the dedication of the altar which he erected on the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, after the grievous plague which had nearly devastated the kingdom. Solomon, it will be recollected, dedicated the temple with solemn ceremonies, prayers and thank-offerings. The ceremony of dedication is, indeed, alluded to in various portions of the Scriptures.

Selden  says that among the Jews sacred things were both dedicated and consecrated, but that profane things, such as private houses, etc., were simply dedicated, without consecration. The same writer informs us that the Pagans borrowed the custom of consecrating and dedicating their sacred edifices, altars and images, from the Hebrews. [De Syned. Vet. Ebrćor., 1. iii., c. xiv., § 1.]

The Lodge having been thus consecrated to the solemn objects of Freemasonry and dedicated to the patrons of the institution, it is at length prepared to be constituted. The ceremony of constitution is then performed by the Grand Master, who, rising from his seat, pronounces the following formulary of constitution, “ In the name of the most Worshipful Grand Lodge, I now constitute and form you, my beloved Brethren, into a regular lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. From this time forth, I empower you to meet as a regular lodge, constituted in conformity to the rites of our Order and the charges of our ancient and honorable fraternity and may the Supreme Architect of the Universe prosper, direct and counsel you, in all your doings."

This ceremony places the lodge among the registered lodges of the jurisdiction in which it is situated and gives it a rank and standing and permanent existence that it did not have before. In one word, it has, by the consecration, dedication and constitution, become what we technically term "a just and legally constituted lodge," and, as such, is entitled to certain rights and privileges, of which we shall hereafter speak. Still, however, although the lodge has been thus fully and completely organized, its officers have as yet no legal existence. To give them this, it is necessary that they be inducted into their respective offices and each officer solemnly bound to the faithful performance of the duties he has undertaken to discharge. This constitutes the ceremony of installation. The Worshipful Master of the new lodge is required publicly to submit to the ancient charges, and then all, except Past Masters, having retired, he is invested with the Past Master's degree and inducted into the oriental chair of King Solomon. The Brethren are then introduced and due homage is paid to their new Master, after which the other officers are obligated to the faithful discharge of their respective trusts, invested with their insignia of office and receive the appropriate charge. This ceremony must be repeated at every annual election and change of officers.

The ancient rule was, that when the Grand Master and his officers attended to constitute a new lodge, the Deputy Grand Master invested the new Master, the Grand Wardens invested the new Wardens and the Grand Treasurer and Grand Secretary invested the Treasurer and Secretary. But this regulation has become obsolete and the whole installation and investiture are now performed by the Grand Master. On the occasion of subsequent installations, the retiring Master installs his successor, and the latter installs his subordinate officers.

The ceremony of installation is derived from the ancient custom of inauguration, of which we find repeated instances in the sacred as well as profane writings. Aaron was inaugurated, or installed, by the unction of oil and placing on him the vestments of the High Priest, and every succeeding High Priest was in like manner installed, before he was considered competent to discharge the duties of his office. Among the Romans, augurs, priests, kings and, in the times of the republic, consuls were always inaugurated or installed. And hence, Cicero, who was an augur, speaking of Hortensius, says, "it was he who installed me as a member of the college of augurs, so that I was bound by the constitution of the order to respect and honour him as a parent." [Cicero, Brut. i.]

 The object and intention of the ancient inauguration and the Masonic installation are precisely the same, namely, that of setting apart and consecrating a person to the duties of a certain office.

The ceremonies, thus briefly described, were not always necessary to legalize a congregation of Masons. Until the year 1717, the custom of confining the privileges of Masonry, by a warrant of constitution, to certain individuals, was wholly unknown. Previous to that time, a requisite number of Master Masons were authorized by the ancient charges to congregate together, temporarily, at their own discretion and as best suited their convenience and then and there to open and hold lodges and make Masons, making, however, their return and paying their tribute to the General Assembly, to which all the fraternity annually repaired and by whose awards the craft were governed.

Preston, speaking of this ancient privilege, says: "A sufficient number of Masons met together within a certain district, with the consent of the sheriff or chief magistrate of the place, were empowered at this time to make Masons and practice the rights of Masonry, without a warrant of constitution." This privilege, Preston says, was inherent in them as individuals and continued to be enjoyed by the old lodges, which formed the Grand Lodge in 1717, as long as they were in existence.

But on the 24th June, 1717, the Grand Lodge of England adopted the following regulation: "That the privilege of assembling as Masons, which had hitherto been unlimited, should be vested in certain lodges or assemblies of Masons, convened in certain places, and that every lodge to be hereafter convened, except the four old lodges at this time existing, should be legally authorized to act by a warrant from the Grand Master for the time being, granted to certain individuals by petition, with the consent and approbation of the Grand Lodge in communication, and that, without such warrant, no lodge should be hereafter deemed regular or constitutional."

This regulation has ever since continued in force and it is the original law under which warrants of constitution are now granted by Grand Lodges for the organization of their subordinates.

Chapter II.

Of  Lodges under Dispensation.

It is evident, from what has already been said, that there are two kinds of lodges, each regular in itself, but each peculiar and distinct in its character. There are lodges working under a dispensation and lodges working under a warrant of constitution. Each of these will require a separate consideration. The former will be the subject of the present chapter.

A lodge working under a dispensation is a merely temporary body, originated for a special purpose and is therefore possessed of very circumscribed powers. The dispensation, or authority under which it acts, expressly specifies that the persons to whom it is given are allowed to congregate that they may "admit, enter, pass and raise Freemasons," no other powers are conferred either by words or implication and, indeed, sometimes the dispensation states, that that congregation is to be "with the sole intent and view, that the Brethren so congregated, admitted, entered and made, when they become a sufficient number, may be duly warranted and constituted for being and holding a regular lodge." [See such a form of Dispensation in Cole's Masonic Library, p. 91]

A lodge under dispensation is simply the creature of the Grand Master. To him it is indebted for its existence and on his will depends the duration of that existence. He may at any time revoke the dispensation and the dissolution of the lodge would be the instant result. Hence a lodge working under a dispensation can scarcely, with strict technical propriety, be called a lodge, it is, more properly speaking, a congregation of Masons, acting as the proxy of the Grand Master.

With these views of the origin and character of lodges under dispensation, we will be better prepared to understand the nature and extent of the powers, which they possess.

A lodge under dispensation can make no bye-laws. It is governed, during its temporary existence, by the general Constitutions of the Order and the rules and regulations of the Grand Lodge in whose jurisdiction it is situated. In fact, as the bye-laws of no lodge are operative until they are confirmed by the Grand Lodge and as a lodge working under a dispensation ceases to exist as such as soon as the Grand Lodge meets, it is evident that it would be absurd to frame a code of laws which would have no efficacy, for want of proper confirmation and which, when the time and opportunity for confirmation had arrived, would be needless, as the society for which they were framed would then have no legal existence—a new body (the warranted lodge) having taken its place.

A lodge under dispensation cannot elect officers. The Master and Wardens are nominated by the Brethren and, if this nomination is approved, they are appointed by the Grand Master. In giving them permission to meet and make Masons, he gave them no power to do anything else. A dispensation is itself a setting aside of the law and an exception to a general principle, it must, therefore, be construed literally. What is not granted in express terms, is not granted at all. And, therefore, as nothing is said of the election of officers, no such election can be held. The Master may, however and always does for convenience, appoint a competent Brother to keep a record of the proceedings, but this is a temporary appointment, at the pleasure of the Master, whose deputy or assistant he is, for the Grand Lodge looks only to the Master for the records and the office is not legally recognized. In like manner, he may depute a trusty Brother to take charge of the funds and must, of course, from time to time, appoint the deacons and tiler for the necessary working of the lodge.

As there can be no election, neither can there be any installation, which, of course, always presumes a previous election for a determinate period. Besides, the installation of officers is a part of the ceremony of constitution and therefore not even the Master and Wardens of a lodge under dispensation are entitled to be thus solemnly inducted into office.

A lodge under dispensation can elect no members. The Master and Wardens, who are named in the dispensation, are, in point of fact, the only persons recognized as constituting the lodge. To them is granted the privilege, as proxies of the Grand Master, of making Masons, and for this purpose they are authorized to congregate a sufficient number of Brethren to assist them in the ceremonies. But neither the Master and Wardens, nor the Brethren, thus congregated have received any power of electing members. Nor are the persons made in a lodge under dispensation, to be considered as members of the lodge, for, as has already been shown, they have none of the rights and privileges which attach to membership—they can neither make bye-laws nor elect officers. They, however, become members of the lodge as soon as it receives its warrant of constitution.

Chapter III.

Of  Lodges  Working  under a  Warrant of Constitution.

Section I. Of the Powers and Rights of a Lodge.

In respect to the powers and privileges possessed by a lodge working under a warrant of constitution, we may say, as a general principle, that whatever it does possess is inherent in it—nothing has been delegated by either the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge—but that all its rights and powers are derived originally from the ancient regulations, made before the existence of Grand Lodges and that what it does not possess, are the powers which were conceded by its predecessors to the Grand Lodge. This is evident from the history of warrants of constitution, the authority under which subordinate lodges act. The practice of applying by petition to the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge, for a warrant to meet as a regular lodge, commenced in the year 1718. Previous to that time, Freemasons were empowered by inherent privileges, vested, from time immemorial, in the whole fraternity, to meet as occasion might require, under the direction of some able architect, and the proceedings of these meetings, being approved by a majority of the Brethren convened at another lodge in the same district, were deemed constitutional. [Preston, Append., n. 4 (U.M.L., vol. iii., pp. 150, 151). But in 1718, a year after the formation of the Grand Lodge of England, this power of meeting ad libitum was resigned into the hands of that body and it was then agreed that no lodges should thereafter meet, unless authorized so to do by a warrant from the Grand Master and with the consent of the Grand Lodge. But as a memorial that this abandonment of the ancient right was entirely voluntary, it was at the same time resolved that this inherent privilege should continue to be enjoyed by the four old lodges who formed the Grand Lodge. And, still more effectually to secure the reserved rights of the lodges, it was also solemnly determined, that while the Grand Lodge possesses the inherent right of making new regulations for the good of the fraternity, provided that the old landmarks be carefully preserved, yet that these regulations, to be of force, must be proposed and agreed to at the third quarterly communication preceding the annual grand feast and submitted to the perusal of all the Brethren, in writing, even of the youngest entered apprentice, "the approbation and consent of the majority of all the Brethren present being absolutely necessary, to make the same binding and obligatory." [Book of Constitutions, orig. ed, p., 70 (U.M.L., vol. xv., book 1, p. 70).]

The corollary from all this is clear. All the rights, powers and privileges, not conceded, by express enactment of the fraternity, to the Grand Lodge, have been reserved to themselves. Subordinate lodges are the assemblies of the craft in their primary capacity and the Grand Lodge is the Supreme Masonic Tribunal, only because it consists of and is constituted by a representation of these primary assemblies. And, therefore, as every act of the Grand Lodge is an act of the whole fraternity thus represented, each new regulation that may be made is not an assumption of authority on the part of the Grand Lodge, but a new concession on the part of the subordinate lodges.

This doctrine of the reserved rights of the lodges is very important and should never be forgotten, because it affords much aid in the decision of many obscure points of Masonic jurisprudence. The rule is, that any doubtful power exists and is inherent in the subordinate lodges, unless there is an express regulation conferring it on the Grand Lodge. With this preliminary view, we may proceed to investigate the nature and extent of these reserved powers of the subordinate lodges.

A lodge has the right of selecting its own members, with which the Grand Lodge cannot interfere. This is a right that the lodges have expressly reserved to themselves and the stipulation is inserted in the "general regulations" in the following words, "No man can be entered a Brother in any particular lodge, or admitted a member thereof, without the unanimous consent of all the members of that lodge then present, when the candidate is proposed and when their consent is formally asked by the Master. They are to give their consent in their own prudent way, either virtually or in form, but with unanimity. Nor is this inherent privilege subject to a dispensation, because the members of a particular lodge are the best judges of it, and because, if a turbulent member should be imposed upon them, it might spoil their harmony, or hinder the freedom of their communication, or even break and disperse the lodge, which ought to be avoided by all true and faithful." [General Regulations of 1722. A subsequent regulation permitted the election of a candidate, if there were not more than three black balls against him, provided the lodge desired such a relaxation of the rule. The lodges of this country, however, very generally and, as I think, with propriety, require unanimity. The subject will be hereafter discussed.]

But although a lodge has the inherent right to require unanimity in the election of a candidate, it is not necessarily restricted to such a degree of rigor.

A lodge has the right to elect its own officers. This right is guaranteed to it by the words of the Warrant of Constitution. Still the right is subject to certain restraining regulations. The election must be held at the proper time, which, according to the usage of Masonry, in most parts of the world, is on or immediately before the festival of St. John the Evangelist. The proper qualifications must be regarded. A member cannot be elected as Master, unless he has previously served as a Warden, except in the instance of a new lodge, or other case of emergency. Where both of the Wardens refuse promotion, where the presiding Master will not permit himself to be reelected and where there is no Past Master who will consent to take the office, then and then only, can a member be elected from the floor to preside over the lodge.

By the Constitutions of England, only the Master and Treasurer are elected officers.[ Every lodge shall annually elect its Master and Treasurer by ballot. Such Master having been regularly appointed and having served as Warden of a warranted lodge for one year. Constitutions of the Ancient Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, published by authority of the United Grand Lodge of England, 1847, p. 58 (U.M.L., vol. ix., book 1).]

The Wardens and all the other officers are appointed by the Master, who has not, however, the power of removal after appointment, except by consent of the lodge,[ The Wardens, or officers, of a lodge cannot be removed, unless for a cause which appears to the lodge to be sufficient; but the Master, if he be dissatisfied with the conduct of any of his officers, 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. English Constitutions, as above, p. 80 (U.M.L., vol. ix., book 1).]

 but American usage gives the election of all the officers, except the deacons, stewards and, in some instances, the tiler, to the lodge.

As a consequence of the right of election, every lodge has the power of installing its officers, subject to the same regulations, in relation to time and qualifications, as given in the case of elections.

The Master must be installed by a Past Master, [It is not necessary that he should be a Past Master of the lodge.] but after his own installation he has the power to install the rest of the officers. The ceremony of installation is not a mere vain and idle one, but is productive of important results. Until the Master and Wardens of a lodge are installed, they cannot represent the lodge in the Grand Lodge, nor, if it be a new lodge, can it be recorded and recognized on the register of the Grand Lodge. No officer can permanently take possession of the office to which he has been elected, until he has been duly installed.[ No master shall assume the Master's chair, until he shall have been regularly installed, though he may in the interim rule the lodge. English Constitutions (U.M.L., vol. ix., book 1).]

The rule of the craft is, that the old officer holds on until his successor is installed and this rule is of universal application to officers of every grade, from the Tiler of a subordinate lodge, to the Grand Master of Masons.

Every lodge that has been duly constituted and its officers installed, is entitled to be represented in the Grand Lodge and to form, indeed, a constituent part of that body.[ Every Warranted Lodge is a constituent part of the Grand Lodge, in which assembly all the power of the fraternity resides. English Constitutions, p. 70 (U.M.L., vol. ix., book 1)]

The representatives of a lodge are its Master and two Wardens.[ We shall not here discuss the question whether Past Masters are members of the Grand Lodge, by inherent right, as that subject will be more appropriately investigated when we come to speak of the Law of Grand Lodges, in a future chapter. They are, however clearly, not the representatives of their lodge]

 This character of representation was established in 1718, when the four old lodges, which organized the Grand Lodge of England, agreed "to extend their patronage to every lodge which should hereafter be constituted by the Grand Lodge, according to the new regulations of the society, and while such lodges acted in conformity to the ancient constitutions of the Order, to admit their Masters and Wardens to share with them all the privileges of the Grand Lodge, excepting precedence of rank." [ Preston, p. 167 (U.M.L., vol. iii., p. 151).]

 Formerly all Master Masons were permitted to sit in the Grand Lodge, or, as it was then called, the General Assembly and represent their lodge, and therefore this restricting the representation to the three superior officers was, in fact, a concession of the craft. This regulation is still generally observed, but I regret to see a few Grand Lodges in this country innovating on the usage and still further confining the representation to the Masters alone.

The Master and Wardens are not merely in name the representatives of the lodge, but are bound, on all questions that come before the Grand Lodge, truly to represent their lodge and vote according to its instructions. This doctrine is expressly laid down in the General Regulations, in the following words, "The majority of every particular lodge, when congregated, not else, shall have the privilege of giving instructions to their Master and Wardens, before the meeting of the Grand Chapter, or Quarterly Communication, because the said officers are their representatives and are supposed to speak the sentiments of their Brethren at the said Grand Lodge."

 [General Regulations. Of the duty of members, Art. X, (U.M.L., vol. xv., book 1, p. 61).]

Every lodge has the power to frame bye-laws for its own government, provided they are not contrary to, nor inconsistent with, the general regulations of the Grand Lodge, nor the landmarks of the order. [English Constitutions, p. 59 (U.M.L., vol. ix., book 1).]

But these bye-laws will not be valid, until they are submitted to and approved by the Grand Lodge. And this is the case, also, with every subsequent alteration of them, which must in like manner be submitted to the Grand Lodge for its approval.

A lodge has the right of suspending or excluding a member from his membership in the lodge, but it has no power to expel him from the rights and privileges of Masonry, except with the consent of the Grand Lodge. A subordinate lodge tries its delinquent member and, if guilty, declares him expelled, but the sentence is of no force until the Grand Lodge, under whose jurisdiction it is working, has confirmed it. And it is optional with the Grand Lodge to do so, or, as is frequently done, to reverse the decision and reinstate the Brother. Some of the lodges in this country claim the right to expel, independently of the action of the Grand Lodge, but the claim is not valid. The very fact that an expulsion is a penalty, affecting the general relations of the punished party with the whole fraternity, proves that its exercise never could, with propriety, be intrusted to a body so circumscribed in its authority as a subordinate lodge. Accordingly, the general practice of the fraternity is opposed to it, and therefore all expulsions are reported to the Grand Lodge, not merely as matters of information, but that they may be confirmed by that body. The English Constitutions are explicit on this subject. "In the Grand Lodge alone," they declare, "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." They allow, however, a subordinate lodge to exclude a member from the lodge, in which case he is furnished with a certificate of the circumstances of his exclusion and then may join any other lodge that will accept him, after being made acquainted with the fact of his exclusion and its cause. This usage has not been adopted in this country.

A lodge has a right to levy such annual contribution for membership as the majority of the Brethren see fit. This is entirely a matter of contract, with which the Grand Lodge, or the craft in general, have nothing to do. It is, indeed, a modern usage, unknown to the fraternity of former times and was instituted for the convenience and support of the private lodges.

A lodge is entitled to select a name for itself, to be, however, approved by the Grand Lodge.[ English Constitutions, p. 59 (U.M.L., vol. ix., book 1)]

But the Grand Lodge alone has the power of designating the number by which the lodge shall be distinguished. By its number alone is every lodge recognized in the register of the Grand Lodge and according to their numbers is the precedence of the lodges regulated.

Finally, a lodge has certain rights in relation to its Warrant of Constitution. This instrument having been granted by the Grand Lodge, can be revoked by no other authority. The Grand Master, therefore, has no power, as he has in the case of a lodge under dispensation, to withdraw its Warrant, except temporarily, until the next meeting of the Grand Lodge. Nor is it in the power of even the majority of the lodge, by any act of their own, to resign the Warrant. For it has been laid down as a law, that if the majority of the lodge should determine to quit the lodge, or to resign their warrant, such action would be of no efficacy, because the Warrant of Constitution and the power of assembling, would remain with the rest of the members, who adhere to their allegiance. [English Constitutions, p. 59 (U.M.L., vol. ix., book 1).]

But if all the members withdraw themselves, their Warrant ceases and becomes extinct. If the conduct of a lodge has been such as clearly to forfeit its charter, the Grand Lodge alone can decide that question and pronounce the forfeiture.

Section II.  Of the Duties of a Lodge.

So far in relation to the rights and privileges of subordinate lodges. But there are certain duties and obligations equally binding upon these bodies and certain powers, in the exercise of which they are restricted. These will next engage our attention.

The first great duty, not only of every lodge, but of every Mason, is to see that the landmarks of the Order shall never be impaired. The General Regulations of Masonry—to which every Master, at his installation, is bound to acknowledge his submission—declare that, "it is not in the power of any man, or body of men, to make innovations in the body of Masonry." And, hence, no lodge, without violating all the implied and express obligations into which it has entered, can, in any manner, alter or amend the work, lectures and ceremonies of the institution. As its members have received the ritual from their predecessors, so are they bound to transmit it, unchanged, in the slightest degree, to their successors. In the Grand Lodge, alone, resides the power of enacting new regulations, but, even it must be careful that, in every such regulation, the landmarks are preserved. When, therefore, we hear young and inexperienced Masters speak of making improvements (as they arrogantly call them) upon the old lectures or ceremonies, we may be sure that such Masters either know nothing of the duties they owe to the craft, or are willfully forgetful of the solemn obligation which they have contracted. Some may suppose that the ancient ritual of the Order is imperfect and requires amendment. One may think that the ceremonies are too simple and wish to increase them, another, that they are too complicated and desire to simplify them, one may be displeased with the antiquated language, another, with the character of the traditions, a third, with something else. But, the rule is imperative and absolute, that no change can or must be made to gratify individual taste. As the Barons of England, once, with unanimous voice, exclaimed, "Nolumus leges Anglić mutare!" so do all good Masons respond to every attempt at innovation, "We are unwilling to alter the customs of Freemasonry."

In relation to the election of officers, a subordinate lodge is allowed to exercise no discretion. The names and duties of these officers are prescribed, partly by the landmarks or the ancient constitutions and partly by the regulations of various Grand Lodges. While the landmarks are preserved, a Grand Lodge may add to the list of officers as it pleases, and whatever may be its regulation, the subordinate lodges are bound to obey it, nor can any such lodge create new offices nor abolish old ones without the consent of the Grand Lodge.

Lodges are also bound to elect their officers at a time which is always determined, not by the subordinate, but by the Grand Lodge. Nor can a lodge anticipate or postpone it unless by a dispensation from the Grand Master.

No lodge can, at an extra meeting, alter or amend the proceedings of a regular meeting. If such were not the rule, an unworthy Master might, by stealth, convoke an extra meeting of a part of his lodge and, by expunging or altering the proceedings of the previous regular meeting, or any particular part of them, annul any measures or resolutions that were not consonant with his peculiar views.

No lodge can interfere with the work or business of any other lodge, without its permission. This is an old regulation, founded on those principles of comity and brotherly love that should exist among all Masons. It is declared in the manuscript charges, written in the reign of James II. and in the possession of the Lodge of Antiquity, at London, that "no Master or Fellow shall supplant others of their work, that is to say, that, if he hath taken a work, or else stand Master of any work, that he shall not put him out, unless he be unable of cunning to make an end of his work." And, hence, no lodge can pass or raise a candidate who was initiated, or initiate one who was rejected, in another lodge. "It would be highly improper," says the Ahiman Rezon, "in any lodge, to confer a degree on a Brother who is not of their house-hold, for, every lodge ought to be competent to manage their own business and are the best judges of the qualifications of their own members."

I do not intend, at the present time, to investigate the qualifications of candidates—as that subject will, in itself, afford ample materials for a future investigation, but, it is necessary that I should say something of the restrictions under which every lodge labors in respect to the admission of persons applying for degrees.

In the first place, no lodge can initiate a candidate, "without previous notice and due examination into his character, and not unless his petition has been read at one regular meeting and acted on at another." This is in accordance with the ancient regulations, but, an exception to it is allowed in the case of an emergency, when the lodge may read the petition for admission and, if the applicant is well recommended, may proceed at once to elect and initiate him. In some jurisdictions, the nature of the emergency must be stated to the Grand Master, who, if he approves, will grant a dispensation, but, in others, the Master, or Master and Wardens, are permitted to be competent judges and may proceed to elect and initiate, without such dispensation. The Grand Lodge of South Carolina adheres to the former custom and that of England to the latter.

Another regulation is, that no lodge can confer more than two degrees, at one communication, on the same candidate. The Grand Lodge of England is still more stringent on this subject and declares that "no candidate shall be permitted to receive more than one degree, on the same day, nor shall a higher degree in Masonry be conferred on any Brother at a less interval than four weeks from his receiving a previous degree, nor until he has passed an examination, in open lodge, in that degree." This rule is also in force in South Carolina and several other of the American jurisdictions. But, the law which forbids the whole three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry to be conferred, at the same communication, on one candidate, is universal in its application and, as such, may be deemed one of the ancient landmarks of the Order.

There is another rule, which seems to be of universal extent and is, indeed, contained in the General Regulations of 1767, to the following effect: "No lodge shall make more than five new Brothers at one and the same time, without an urgent necessity."

All lodges are bound to hold their meetings at least once in every calendar month, and every lodge neglecting so to do for one year, thereby forfeits its warrant of constitution.

The subject of the removal of lodges is the last thing that shall engage our attention. Here the ancient regulations of the craft have adopted many guards to prevent the capricious or improper removal of a lodge from its regular place of meeting. In the first place, no lodge can be removed from the town in which it is situated, to any other place, without the consent of the Grand Lodge. But, a lodge may remove from one part of the town to another, with the consent of the members, under the following restrictions: The removal cannot be made without the Master's knowledge, nor can any motion, for that purpose, be presented in his absence. When such a motion is made and properly seconded, the Master will order summonses to every member, specifying the business and appointing a day for considering and determining the affair. And if then a majority of the lodge, with the Master, or two-thirds, without him, consent to the removal, it shall take place, but notice thereof must be sent, at once, to the Grand Lodge. The General Regulations of 1767 further declare, that such removal must be approved by the Grand Master. I suppose that where the removal of the lodge was only a matter of convenience to the members, the Grand Lodge would hardly interfere, but leave the whole subject to their discretion, but, where the removal would be calculated to affect the interests of the lodge, or of the fraternity—as in the case of a removal to a house of bad reputation, or to a place of evident insecurity—I have no doubt that the Grand Lodge, as the conservator of the character and safety of the institution, would have a right to interpose its authority and prevent the improper removal.

I have thus treated, as concisely as the important nature of the subjects would permit, of the powers, privileges, duties and obligations of lodges and have endeavored to embrace, within the limits of the discussion, all those prominent principles of the Order, which, as they affect the character and operations of the craft in their primary assemblies, may properly be referred to the Law of Subordinate Lodges.

Chapter IV.

Of the Officers of a Subordinate Lodge.

Section I.-Of the Officers in General.

Four officers, at least, the ancient customs of the craft require in every lodge and they are consequently found throughout the globe. These are the Master, the two Wardens and the Tiler. Almost equally universal are the offices of Treasurer, Secretary and two Deacons. But, besides these, there may be additional officers appointed by different Grand Lodges. The Grand Lodge of England, for instance, requires the appointment of an officer, called the "Inner Guard." The Grand Orient of France has prescribed a variety of officers, which are unknown to English and American Masonry. The Grand Lodges of England and South Carolina direct that two Stewards shall be appointed, while some other Grand Lodges make no such requisition. Ancient usage seems to have recognized the following officers of a subordinate lodge: the Master, two Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, two Deacons, two Stewards and Tiler, and I shall therefore treat of the duties and powers of these officers only, in the course of the present chapter.

The officers of a lodge are elected annually. In this country, the election takes place on the festival of St. John the Evangelist, or at the meeting immediately previous, but, in this latter case, the duties of the offices do not commence until St. John's day, which may, therefore, be considered as the beginning of the Masonic year.

Dalcho lays down the rule, that "no Freemason chosen into any office can refuse to serve (unless he has before filled the same office), without incurring the penalties established by the bye-laws." Undoubtedly a lodge may enact such a regulation and affix any reasonable penalty, but I am not aware of any ancient regulation which makes it incumbent on subordinate lodges to do so.

If any of the subordinate officers, except the Master and Wardens, die, or be removed from office, during the year, the lodge may, under the authority of a dispensation from the Grand Master, enter into an election to supply the vacancy. But in the case of the death or removal of the Master or either of the Wardens, no election can be held to supply the vacancy, even by dispensation, for reasons which will appear when I come to treat of those offices.

No officer can resign his office after he has been installed. Every officer is elected for twelve months and at his installation solemnly promises to perform the duties of that office until the next regular day of election, and hence the lodge cannot permit him, by a resignation, to violate his obligation of office.

Another rule is, that every officer holds on to his office until his successor has been installed. It is the installation and not the election, which puts an officer into possession, and the faithful management of the affairs of Masonry requires, that between the election and installation of his successor, the predecessor shall not vacate the office, but continue to discharge its duties.

An office can be vacated only by death, permanent removal from the jurisdiction, or expulsion. Suspension does not vacate, but only suspends the performance of the duties of the office, which must then be temporarily discharged by some other person, to be appointed from time to time, for, as soon as the suspended officer is restored, he resumes the dignities and duties of his office.

Section II.  Of the Worshipful Master.

This is probably the most important office in the whole system of Masonry, as, upon the intelligence, skill and fidelity of the Masters of our lodges, the entire institution is dependent for its prosperity. It is an office,which is charged with heavy responsibilities and, as a just consequence, is accompanied by the investiture of many important powers.

A necessary qualification of the Master of a lodge is, that he must have previously served in the office of a Warden.[ "No Brother can be a Warden until he has passed the part of a Fellow Craft; nor a Master until he has acted as a Warden."—Old Charges, IV. (U.M.L., vol. xv., book 1, p. 52)]

This qualification is sometimes dispensed with in the case of new lodges, or where no member of an old lodge, who has served as a Warden, will accept the office of Master. But it is not necessary that he should have served as a Warden in the lodge of which he is proposed to be elected Master. The discharge of the duties of a Warden, by regular election and installation in any other lodge and at any former period, will be a sufficient qualification.

One of the most important duties of the Master of a lodge is, to see that the edicts and regulations of the Grand Lodge are obeyed by his Brethren and that his officers faithfully discharge their duties.

The Master has particularly in charge the warrant of Constitution, which must always be present in his lodge, when opened.

The Master has a right to call a special meeting of his lodge whenever he pleases and is the sole judge of any emergency, which may require such special communication.

He has, also, the right of closing his lodge at any hour that he may deem expedient, notwithstanding the whole business of the evening may not have been transacted. This regulation arises from the unwritten law of Masonry. As the Master is responsible to the Grand Lodge for the fidelity of the work done in his lodge and as the whole of the labor is, therefore, performed under his superintendence, it follows that, to enable him to discharge this responsibility, he must be invested with the power of commencing, of continuing, or of suspending labor at such time as he may, in his wisdom, deem to be the most advantageous to the edifice of Masonry.

It follows from this rule that a question of adjournment cannot be entertained in a lodge. The adoption of a resolution to adjourn, would involve the necessity of the Master to obey it. The power, therefore, of controlling the work, would be taken out of his hands and placed in those of the members, which would be in direct conflict with the duties imposed upon him by the ritual. The doctrine that a lodge cannot adjourn, but must be closed or called off at the pleasure of the Master, appears now to me to be very generally admitted.

The Master and his two Wardens constitute the representatives of the lodge in the Grand Lodge and it is his duty to attend the communications of that body "on all convenient occasions."  [Regulations on Installation of a Master, No. III. Preston, p. 74 (U.M.L., vol. iii., p. 61).]  When there, he is faithfully to represent his lodge and on all questions discussed, to obey its instructions, voting in every case rather against his own convictions than against the expressed wish of his lodge.

The Master presides not only over the symbolic work of the lodge, but also over its business deliberations and in either case his decisions are reversible only by the Grand Lodge. There can be no appeal from his decision, on any question, to the lodge. He is supreme in his lodge, so far as the lodge is concerned, being amenable for his conduct in the government of it, not to its members, but to the Grand Lodge alone. If an appeal were proposed, it would be his duty, for the preservation of discipline, to refuse to put the question. If a member is aggrieved by the conduct or decisions of the Master, he has his redress by an appeal to the Grand Lodge, which will, of course, see that the Master does not rule his lodge "in an unjust or arbitrary manner." But such a thing as an appeal from the Master of the lodge to its members is unknown in Masonry.

This may, at first sight, appear to be giving too despotic power to the Master. But a slight reflection will convince any one that there can be but little danger of oppression from one so guarded and controlled as a Master is, by the sacred obligations of his office and the supervision of the Grand Lodge, while the placing in the hands of the craft so powerful and at times and with bad spirits, so annoying a privilege as that of immediate appeal, would necessarily tend to impair the energies and lessen the dignity of the Master, while it would be subversive of that spirit of discipline which pervades every part of the institution and to which it is mainly indebted for its prosperity and perpetuity.

The ancient charges rehearsed at the installation of a Master, prescribe the various moral qualifications which are required in the aspirant for that elevated and responsible office. He is to be a good man and peaceable citizen or subject, a respecter of the laws and a lover of his Brethren—cultivating the social virtues and promoting the general good of society as well as of his own Order.

Within the last few years, the standard of intellectual qualifications has been greatly elevated. And it is now admitted that the Master of a lodge, to do justice to the exalted office which he holds, to the craft over whom he presides and to the candidates whom he is to instruct, should be not only a man of irreproachable moral character, but also of expanded intellect and liberal education. Still, as there is no express law upon this subject, the selection of a Master and the determination of his qualifications must be left to the judgment and good sense of the members.

Section III.  Of the Wardens.

The Senior and Junior Warden are the assistants of the Master in the government of the lodge. They are selected from among the members on the floor, the possession of a previous office not being, as in the case of the Master, a necessary qualification for election. In England they are appointed by the Master, but in this country they are universally elected by the lodge.

During the temporary absence of the Master the Senior Warden has the right of presiding, though he may and often does by courtesy, invite a Past Master to assume the chair. In like manner, in the absence of both Master and Senior Warden, the Junior Warden will preside and competent Brethren will by him be appointed to fill the vacant seats of the Wardens. But if the Master and Junior Warden be present and the Senior Warden be absent, the Junior Warden does not occupy the West, but retains his own station, the Master appointing some Brother to occupy the station of the Senior Warden. For the Junior Warden succeeds by law only to the office of Master and, unless that office be vacant, he is bound to fulfill the duties of the office to which he has been obligated.

In case of the death, removal from the jurisdiction, or expulsion of the Master, by the Grand Lodge, no election can be held until the constitutional period. The Senior Warden will take the Master's place and preside over the lodge, while his seat will be temporarily filled from time to time by appointment. The Senior Warden being in fact still in existence and only discharging one of the highest duties of his office, that of presiding in the absence of the Master, his office cannot be declared vacant and there can be no election for it. In such case, the Junior Warden, for the reason already assigned, will continue at his own station in the South.

In case of the death, removal, or expulsion of both Master and Senior Warden, the Junior Warden will discharge the duties of the Mastership and make temporary appointments of both Wardens. It must always be remembered that the Wardens succeed according to seniority to the office of Master when vacant, but that neither can legally discharge the duties of the other. It must also be remembered that when a Warden succeeds to the government of the lodge, he does not become the Master, he is still only a Warden discharging the functions of a higher vacated station, as one of the expressed duties of his own office. A recollection of these distinctions will enable us to avoid much embarrassment in the consideration of all the questions incident to this subject. If the Master be present, the Wardens assist him in the government of the lodge. The Senior Warden presides over the craft while at labor and the Junior when they are in refreshment. Formerly the examination of visitors was intrusted to the Junior Warden, but this duty is now more appropriately performed by the Stewards or a special committee appointed for that purpose.

The Senior Warden has the appointment of the Senior Deacon and the Junior Warden that of the Stewards.

Section IV.   Of the Treasurer.

Of so much importance is this office deemed, that in English Lodges, while all the other officers are appointed by the Master, the Treasurer alone is elected by the lodge. It is, however, singular, that in the ritual of installation, Preston furnishes no address to the Treasurer on his investiture. Webb, however, has supplied the omission and the charge given in his work to this officer, on the night of his installation, having been universally acknowledged and adopted by the craft in this country, will furnish us with the most important points of the law in relation to his duties.

It is, then, in the first place, the duty of the Treasurer "to receive all moneys from the hands of the Secretary." The Treasurer is only the banker of the lodge. All fees for initiation, arrearages of members and all other dues to the lodge, should be first received by the Secretary and paid immediately over to the Treasurer for safe keeping.

The keeping of just and regular accounts is another duty presented to the Treasurer. As soon as he has received an amount of money from the Secretary, he should transfer the account of it to his books. By this means, the Secretary and Treasurer become mutual checks upon each other and the safety of the funds of the lodge is secured.

The Treasurer is not only the banker, but also the disbursing officer of the lodge, but he is directed to pay no money except with the consent of the lodge and on the order of the Worshipful Master. It seems to me, therefore, that every warrant drawn on him should be signed by the Master and the action of the lodge attested by the counter-signature of the Secretary.

It is usual, in consequence of the great responsibility of the Treasurer, to select some Brother of worldly substance for the office, and still further to insure the safety of the funds, by exacting from him a bond, with sufficient security. He sometimes receives a per centage, or a fixed salary, for his services.

Section V.  Of the Secretary.

It is the duty of the Secretary to record all the proceedings of the lodge, "which may be committed to paper," to conduct the correspondence of the lodge and to receive all moneys due the lodge from any source whatsoever. He is, therefore, the recording, corresponding and receiving officer of the lodge. By receiving the moneys due to the lodge in the first place and then paying them over to the Treasurer, he becomes, as I have already observed, a check upon that officer.

In view of the many laborious duties, which devolve upon him, the Secretary, in many lodges, receives a compensation for his services.

Should the Treasurer or Secretary die or be expelled, there is no doubt that an election for a successor, to fill the unexpired term, may be held by dispensation from the Grand Master. But the in competency of either of these officers to perform his duties, by reason of the infirmity of sickness or removal from the seat of the lodge, will not, I think, authorize such an election. Because the original officer may recover from his infirmity, or return to his residence and, in either case, having been elected and installed for one year, he must remain the Secretary or Treasurer until the expiration of the period for which he had been so elected and installed and, therefore, on his recovery or his return, is entitled to resume all the prerogatives and functions of his office. The case of death, or of expulsion, which is, in fact, Masonic death, is different, because all the rights possessed during life cease ex necessitate rei and forever lapse at the time of the said physical or Masonic death, and in the latter case, a restoration to all the rights and privileges of Masonry would not restore the party to any office which he had held at the time of his expulsion.

Section VI.  Of the Deacons.

In every lodge there are two of these officers—a Senior and a Junior Deacon. They are not elected, but appointed, the former by the Master and the latter by the Senior Warden. The duties of these officers are many and important, but they are so well defined in the ritual as to require no further consideration in this place.

The only question that here invites our examination is, whether the Deacons, as appointed officers, are removable at the pleasure of the officers who appointed them, or, whether they retain their offices, like the Master and Wardens, until the expiration of the year. Masonic authorities are silent on this subject, but, basing my judgment upon analogy, I am inclined to think that they are not removable: all the officers of a lodge are chosen to serve for one year, or, from one festival of St. John the Evangelist to the succeeding one. This has been the invariable usage in all lodges and neither in the monitorial ceremonies of installation, nor in any rules or regulations, which I have seen, is any exception to this usage made in respect to Deacons. The written as well as the oral law of Masonry being silent on this subject, we are bound to give them the benefit of this silence and place them in the same favorable position as that occupied by the superior officers, who, we know, by express law are entitled to occupy their stations for one year. Moreover, the power of removal is too important to be exercised except under the sanction of an expressed law and is contrary to the whole spirit of Masonry, which, while it invests a presiding officer with the largest extent of prerogative, is equally careful of the rights of the youngest member of the fraternity. From these reasons I am compelled to believe that the Deacons, although originally appointed by the Master and Senior Warden, are not removable by either, but retain their offices until the expiration of the year.

Section VII.  Of the Stewards.

The Stewards, who are two in number, are appointed by the Junior Warden and sit on the right and left of him in the lodge. Their original duties were, "to assist in the collection of dues and subscriptions, to keep an account of the lodge expenses, to see that the tables are properly furnished at refreshment and that every Brother is suitably provided for." They are also considered as the assistants of the Deacons in the discharge of their duties and, lately, some lodges are beginning to confide to them the important trusts of a standing committee for the examination of visitors and the preparation of candidates.

What has been said in relation to the removal of the Deacons in the preceding section, is equally applicable to the Stewards.

Section VIII.  Of the Tiler.

This is an office of great importance and must, from the peculiar nature of our institution, have existed from its very beginning. No lodge could ever have been opened until a Tiler was appointed and stationed to guard its portals from the approach of "cowans and eavesdroppers." The qualifications requisite for the office of a Tiler are, that he must be "a worthy Master Mason." An Entered Apprentice, or a Fellow Craft, cannot tile a lodge, even though it be opened in his own degree. To none but Master Masons can this important duty of guardianship be intrusted. The Tiler is not necessarily a member of the lodge, which he tiles. There is no regulation requiring this qualification. In fact, in large cities, one Brother often acts as the Tiler of several lodges. If, however, he is a member of the lodge, his office does not deprive him of the rights of membership and in balloting for candidates, election of officers, or other important questions, he is entitled to exercise his privilege of voting, in which case the Junior Deacon will temporarily occupy his station, while he enters the lodge to deposit his ballot. This appears to be the general usage of the craft in this country.

The Tiler is sometimes elected by the lodge and sometimes appointed by the Master. It seems generally to be admitted that he may be removed from office for misconduct or neglect of duty, by the lodge, if he has been elected and by the Master, if he has been appointed.

Chapter V.   Of Rules of Order.

The safety of the minority, the preservation of harmony and the dispatch of business, all require that there should be, in every well-regulated society, some rules and forms for the government of their proceedings and, as has been justly observed by an able writer on parliamentary law, "whether these forms be in all cases the most rational or not, is really not of so great importance, for it is much more material that there should be a rule to go by, than what that rule is." [Hats. quoted in Jefferson, p. 14]

By common consent, the rules established for the government of Parliament in England and of Congress in the United States and which are known collectively under the name of "Parliamentary Law," have been adopted for the regulation of all deliberative bodies, whether of a public or private nature. But lodges of Freemasons differ so much in their organization and character from other societies, that this law will, in very few cases, be found applicable, and, indeed, in many positively inapplicable to them. The rules, therefore, for the government of Masonic lodges are in general to be deduced from the usages of the Order, from traditional or written authority and where both of them are silent, from analogy to the character of the institution. To each of these sources, therefore, I shall apply, in the course of the present chapter and in some few instances, where the parliamentary law coincides with our own, reference will be made to the authority of the best writers on that science.

Section I.   Of the Order of Business.

When the Brethren have been "congregated," or called together by the presiding officer, the first thing to be attended to is the ceremony of opening the lodge. The consideration of this subject, as it is sufficiently detailed in our ritual, will form no part of the present work.

The lodge having been opened, the next thing to be attended to is the reading of the minutes of the last communication. The minutes having been read, the presiding officer will put the question on their confirmation, having first inquired of the Senior and Junior Wardens and lastly of the Brethren "around the lodge," whether they have any alterations to propose. It must be borne in mind, that the question of confirmation is simply a question whether the Secretary has faithfully and correctly recorded the transactions of the lodge. If, therefore, it can be satisfactorily shown by any one that there is a mis entry, or the omission of an entry, this is the time to correct it, and where the matter is of sufficient importance and the recording officer, or any member disputes the charge of error, the vote of the lodge will be taken on the subject and the journal will be amended or remain as written, according to the opinion so expressed by the majority of the members. As this is, however, a mere question of memory, it must be apparent that those members only who were present at the previous communication, the records of which are under examination, are qualified to express a fair opinion. All others should ask and be permitted to be excused from voting.

As no special communication can alter or amend the proceedings of a regular one, it is not deemed necessary to present the records of the latter to the inspection of the former. This preliminary reading of the minutes is, therefore, always omitted at special communications.

After the reading of the minutes, unfinished business, such as motions previously submitted and reports of committees previously appointed, will take the preference of all other matters. Special communications being called for the consideration of some special subject, that subject must of course claim the priority of consideration over all others.

In like manner, where any business has been specially and specifically postponed to another communication, it constitutes at that communication what is called, in parliamentary law, "the order of the day," and may at any time in the course of the evening be called up, to the exclusion of all other business.

The lodge may, however, at its discretion, refuse to take up the consideration of such order, for the same body which determined at one time to consider a question, may at another time refuse to do so. This is one of those instances in which parliamentary usage is applicable to the government of a lodge. Jefferson says: "Where an order is made, that any particular matter be taken up on any particular day, there a question is to be put, when it is called for, Whether the house will now proceed to that matter?" In a lodge, however, it is not the usage to propose such a question, but the matter being called up, is discussed and acted on, unless some Brother moves its postponement, when the question of postponement is put. But with these exceptions, the unfinished business must first be disposed of, to avoid its accumulation and its possible subsequent neglect. [One of the ancient charges, which Preston tells us that it was the constant practice of our Ancient Brethren to rehearse at the opening and closing of the lodge, seems to refer to this rule, when it says, "the Master, Wardens and Brethren are just and faithful and carefully finish the work they begin."—Oliver's Preston, p. 27, note (U.M.L., vol. iii., p. 22).]

New business will then be taken up in such order as the local bye-laws prescribe, or the wisdom of the Worshipful Master may suggest.

In a discussion, when any member wishes to speak, he must stand up in his place and address himself not to the lodge, nor to any particular Brother, but to the presiding officer, styling him "Worshipful."

When two or more members rise nearly together, the presiding officer determines who is entitled to speak and calls him by his name, whereupon he proceeds, unless he voluntarily sits down and gives way to the other. The ordinary rules of courtesy, which should govern a Masonic body above all other societies, as well as the general usage of deliberative bodies, require that the one first up should be entitled to the floor. But the decision of this fact is left entirely to the Master, or presiding officer.

Whether a member be entitled to speak once or twice to the same question, is left to the regulation of the local bye-laws of every lodge. But, under all circumstances, it seems to be conceded, that a member may rise at any time with the permission of the presiding officer, or for the purpose of explanation.

A member may be called to order by any other while speaking, for the use of any indecorous remark, personal allusion, or irrelevant matter, but this must be done in a courteous and conciliatory manner and the question of order will at once be decided by the presiding officer.

No Brother is to be interrupted while speaking, except for the purpose of calling him to order, or to make a necessary explanation, nor are any separate conversations, or, as they are called in our ancient charges, "private committees," to be allowed.

Every member of the Order is, in the course of the debate as well as at all other times in the lodge, to be addressed by the title of "Brother," and no secular or worldly titles are ever to be used.

In accordance with the principles of justice, the parliamentary usage is adopted, which permits the mover of a resolution to make the concluding speech, that he may reply to all those who have spoken against it and sum up the arguments in its favor. And it would be a breach of order as well as of courtesy for any of his opponents to respond to this final argument of the mover.

It is within the discretion of the Master, at any time in the course of the evening, to suspend the business of the lodge for the purpose of proceeding to the ceremony of initiation, for the "work" of Masonry, as it is technically called, takes precedence of all other business.

When all business, both old and new and the initiation of candidates, if there be any, has been disposed of, the presiding officer inquires of the officers and members if there be anything more to be proposed before closing. Custom has prescribed a formulary for making this inquiry, which is in the following words.

The Worshipful Master, addressing the Senior and Junior Wardens and then the Brethren, successively, says: "Brother Senior, have you anything to offer in the West for the good of Masonry in general or of this lodge in particular? Anything in the South, Brother Junior? Around the lodge, Brethren?" The answers to these inquiries being in the negative on the part of the Wardens and silence on that of the craft, the Master proceeds to close the lodge in the manner prescribed in the ritual.

The reading of the minutes of the evening, not for confirmation, but for suggestion, lest anything may have been omitted, should always precede the closing ceremonies, unless, from the lateness of the hour, it be dispensed with by the members.

Section II.  Of Appeals from the Decision of the Chair.

Freemasonry differs from all other institutions, in permitting no appeal to the lodge from the decision of the presiding officer. The Master is supreme in his lodge, so far as the lodge is concerned. He is amenable for his conduct, in the government of the lodge, not to its members, but to the Grand Lodge alone. In deciding points of order as well as graver matters, no appeal can be taken from that decision to the lodge. If an appeal were proposed, it would be his duty, for the preservation of discipline, to refuse to put the question. It is, in fact, wrong that the Master should even by courtesy permit such an appeal to be taken, because, as the Committee of Correspondence of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee have wisely remarked, by the admission of such appeals by courtesy, "is established ultimately a precedent from which will be claimed the right to take appeals." [Proceedings of G.L. of Tennessee, 1850. Appendix A, p. 8.]

 If a member is aggrieved with the conduct or the decisions of the Master, he has his redress by an appeal to the Grand Lodge, which will of course see that the Master does not rule his lodge "in an unjust or arbitrary manner." But such a thing as an appeal from the Master to the lodge is unknown in Masonry.

This, at first view, may appear to be giving too despotic a power to the Master. But a little reflection will convince any one that there can be but slight danger of oppression from one so guarded and controlled as the Master is by the obligations of his office and the superintendence of the Grand Lodge, while the placing in the hands of the craft so powerful and, with bad spirits, so annoying a privilege as that of immediate appeal, would necessarily tend to impair the energies and lessen the dignity of the Master, at the same time that it would be totally subversive of that spirit of strict discipline which pervades every part of the institution and to which it is mainly indebted for its prosperity and perpetuity.

In every case where a member supposes himself to be aggrieved by the decision of the Master, he should make his appeal to the Grand Lodge. It is scarcely necessary to add, that a Warden or Past Master, presiding in the absence of the Master, assumes for the time all the rights and prerogatives of the Master.

Section III.  Of the Mode of Taking the Question.

The question in Masonry is not taken viva voce or by "aye" and "nay." This should always be done by "a show of hands." The regulation on this subject was adopted not later than the year 1754, at which time the Book of Constitutions was revised, "and the necessary alterations and additions made, consistent with the laws and rules of Masonry," and accordingly, in the edition published in the following year, the regulation is laid down in these words, "The opinions or votes of the members are always to be signified by each holding up one of his hands: which uplifted hands the Grand Wardens are to count, unless the number of hands be so unequal as to render the counting useless. Nor should any other kind of division be ever admitted among Masons."[ Book of Constitutions, edition of 1755, p. 282]

Calling for the yeas and nays has been almost universally condemned as an unmasonic practice, nor should any Master allow it to be resorted to in his lodge.

Moving the "previous question," a parliamentary invention for stopping all discussion, is still more at variance with the liberal and harmonious spirit which should distinguish Masonic debates and is, therefore, never to be permitted in a lodge.

Section IV.

Of Adjournments.

Adjournment is a term not recognized in Masonry. There are but two ways in which the communication of a lodge can be terminated, and these are either by closing the lodge, or by calling from labor to refreshment. In the former case the business of the communication is finally disposed of until the next communication, in the latter the lodge is still supposed to be open and may resume its labors at any time indicated by the Master.

But both the time of closing the lodge and of calling it from labor to refreshment is to be determined by the absolute will and the free judgment of the Worshipful Master, to whom alone is intrusted the care of "setting the craft to work and giving them wholesome instruction for labor." He alone is responsible to the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge, that his lodge shall be opened, continued and closed in harmony, and as it is by his "will and pleasure" only that it is opened, so is it by his "will and pleasure" only that it can be closed. Any attempt, therefore, on the part of the lodge to entertain a motion for adjournment would be an infringement of this prerogative of the Master. Such a motion is, therefore, always out of order and cannot be, and cannot be acted on.

The rule that a lodge cannot adjourn, but remain in session until closed by the Master, derives an authoritative sanction also from the following clause in the fifth of the Old Charges, "All Masons employed shall meekly receive their wages without murmuring or mutiny and not desert the Master till the work is finished."

Section V.

Of the Appointment of Committees.

It is the prerogative of the Master to appoint all Committees, unless by a special resolution provision has been made that a committee shall otherwise be appointed.

The Master is also, ex officio, chairman of every committee which he chooses to attend, although he may not originally have been named a member of such committee. But he may, if he chooses, waive this privilege, yet he may, at any time during the session of the committee, reassume his inherent prerogative of governing the craft at all times when in his presence and therefore take the chair.

Section VI.

Of the Mode of Keeping the Minutes.

Masonry is preeminently an institution of forms and hence, as was to be expected, there is a particular form provided for recording the proceedings of a lodge. Perhaps the best method of communicating this form to the reader will be, to record the proceedings of a supposititious meeting or communication.

The following form, therefore, embraces the most important transactions that usually occur during the session of a lodge and it may serve as an exemplar, for the use of secretaries.

"A regular communication of —— Lodge, No. ——, was holden at ——, on ----, the —— day of ——A.: L.: 58—.

    Present.

    Bro.: A. B——, W.: Master.

    "     B. C——, S.: Warden.

    "     C. D——, J.: Warden.

    "     D. E——, Treasurer.

    "     E. F——, Secretary.

    "     F. G——, S.: Deacon.

    "     G. H——, J.: Deacon.

    "     H. I——, } Stewards.

    "     I. K——, }

    "     K. L——, Tiler.

    Members.

    Bro.: L. M——

          M. N——

          N. O——

          O. P——

    Visitors.

          P. Q——

          Q. R——

          R. S——

          S. T——

The Lodge was opened in due form on the third degree of Masonry.

"The minutes of the regular communication of —— were read and confirmed.54

"The committee on the petition of Mr. C. B., a candidate for initiation, reported favorably, whereupon he was balloted for and duly elected.

"The committee on the application of Mr. D. C., a candidate for initiation, reported favorably, whereupon he was balloted for and the box appearing foul he was rejected.

"The committee on the application of Mr. E. D., a candidate for initiation, having reported unfavorably, he was declared rejected without a ballot.

"The petition of Mr. F. E., a candidate for initiation, having been withdrawn by his friends, he was declared rejected without a ballot.

"A petition for initiation from Mr. G.F., inclosing the usual amount and recommended by Bros. C. D.—— and H. I.——, was referred to a committee of investigation consisting of Bros. G. H.——, L. M.——and O. P.——.

"Bro. S.R., an Entered Apprentice, having applied for advancement, was duly elected to take the second degree, and Bro. W.Y., a Fellow Craft, was, on his application for advancement, duly elected to take the third degree.

"A letter was read from Mrs. T. V.——, the widow of a Master Mason, when the sum of twenty dollars was voted for her relief.

"The amendment to article 10, section 5 of the bye-laws, proposed by Bro. M. N. —— at the communication of ——, was read a third time, adopted by a constitutional majority and ordered to be sent to the Grand Lodge for approval and confirmation.

"The Lodge of Master Masons was then closed and a lodge of Entered Apprentices opened in due form.

"Mr. C. B., a candidate for initiation, being in waiting, was duly prepared, brought forward and initiated as an Entered Apprentice, he paying the usual fee.

"The Lodge of Entered Apprentices was then closed and a Lodge of Fellow Crafts opened in due form.

"Bro. S. R., an Entered Apprentice, being in waiting, was duly prepared, brought forward and passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft, he paying the usual fee.

"The Lodge of Fellow Crafts was then closed and a lodge of Master Masons opened in due form.

"Bro. W. Y., a Fellow Craft, being in waiting, was duly prepared, brought forward and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, he paying the usual fee.

Amount received this evening, as follows:

Petition             of             Mr. G. F.,        $5

Fee       of             Bro. C. B.,        5

do.        of             Bro. S. R.,        5

do.        of             Bro. W. Y.,        5—            Total, $20

all of which was paid over to the Treasurer.

There being no further business, the lodge was closed in due form and harmony.

E. F——,

Secretary.

Such is the form which has been adopted as the most convenient mode of recording the transactions of a lodge. These minutes must be read, at the close of the meeting, that the Brethren may suggest any necessary alterations or additions and then at the beginning of the next regular meeting, that they may be confirmed, after which they should be transcribed from the rough Minute Book in which they were first entered into the permanent Record Book of the lodge.

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[Bro.Dr.Albert Gallatin Mackey. M.D., the distinguished Author, graduated from the Medical College in Charleston in South Carolina and took the M.D, degree. He was initiated in St.Andrews Lodge (No.10), which later affiliated with Solomon’s Lodge (No.1), of which he was installed as the W.M in 1842. The same year he joined the South Carolina Encampment (No.1) of which he was installed as the Commander in 1844.On joining the Scottish Rite, he was crowned as the Sovereign Grand Inspector General and later he assumed the post of Secretary General of the Ancient and Accepted Scottisn Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction and functioned as such till he died in 1881. Bro.A.G.Mackey was an eminent scholar. He had held many senior posts in the Grand Lodge, including the posts of the Grand Lecturer. He was the Grand Secretary of The Grand Lodge of South Carolina, from 1844 to 1867. His famous publications include, "The Lexicon of Freemasonry," "The Mystic Tie," "Legends and Traditions of Freemasonry" ,“The History of Freemasonry” and “The Encyclopedia of Freemasonry”, about which the eminent Masonic writer and Historian Bro.R.F.Gould has observed that, “ Dr.Mackey, whose admirable Encyclopedia seems to contain the substance of everything of a Masonic character that had yet been published”, then. The remaining parts of the Principles of Masonic Law and the other books authored by him will be posted shortly.]


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