Genesee Lodge n°174 - Juridiction de la GL
de l'état du Michigan
Retour Textes Historiques
In the Post Boy of February 26th-28th, 1722-3, there appeared the
following advertisement :-
'This Day is Publish'd
THE CONSTITUTIONS OF THE FREEMASONS. Containing the History,
Charges, Regulations, etc., of that most Ancient and Right Worshipful
Fraternity, for the Use of the Lodges. Dedicated to his Grace the
Duke of Montagu the last Grand Master, by Order of his Grace the Duke
of Wharton the present Grand Master, authorized by the Grand Lodge of
Masters and Wardens at the Quarterly Communication. Orderíd to
be publish'd and recommended to the Brethren by the Grand Master and
his Deputy. Printed in the Year of Masonry 5723 ; of our Lord 1723.
Sold by J. Senex and J. Hooke, both over against S. Dunstan's Church
A FREE MASON
The Ancient Records of Lodges beyond the Sea, and of those in
England, Scotland, and Ireland, for the use of the Lodges in London.
To be read at the making of New Brethren, or when the Master shall
THE GENERAL HEADS, viz.:
I. Of God and Religion.
II. Of the Civil Magistrate, supreme and subordinate.
III. Of Lodges.
IV. Of Masters, Wardens, Fellows and Apprentices.
V. Of the Management of the Craft in working.
VI. Of Behavior, viz.:
1. In the Lodge while constituted.
2. After the Lodge is over and the Brethren not gone.
3. When Brethren meet without Strangers, but not in a Lodge.
4. In Presence of Strangers not Masons.
5. At Home and in the Neighborhood.
6. Toward a strange Brother.
I. Concerning God and Religion
A Mason is obligíd by his Tenure, to obey the moral law;
and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid
Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient Times
Masons were chargíd in every Country to be of the Religion of
that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet ëtis now thought
more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men
agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to
be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever
Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguishíd;
whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of
conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain'd at
a perpetual Distance.
II. Of the Civil Magistrate Supreme and Subordinate
A Mason is a peaceable Subject to the Civil Powers, wherever he
resides or works, and is never to be concern'd in Plots an
Conspiracies against the Peace and Welfare of the Nation, nor to
behave himself undutifully to inferior Magistrates; for as Masonry
hath been always injured by War, Bloodshed, and Confusion, so ancient
Kings and Princes have been much dispos'd to encourage the Craftsmen,
because of their Peaceableness and Loyalty, whereby they practically
answeríd the Cavils of their Adversaries, and promoted the
Honour of the Fraternity, who ever flourishíd in Time of
Peace. So that if a Brother should be a Rebel against the State he is
not to be countenanced in his Rebellion, however he may be pitied as
any unhappy Man; and, if convicted of no other Crime though the Loyal
Brotherhood must and ought to disown hi Rebellion, and give no
Umbrage or Ground of political Jealousy to the Government for the
time being, they cannot expel him from the Lodge, and his Relation to
it remains indefeasible.
Ill. Of Lodges
A Lodge is a place where Masons assemble and work; Hence that
Assembly, or duly organized Society of Masons, is callíd a
Lodge, and every Brother ought to belong to one, and to be subject to
its By-Laws and the General Regulations. It is either particular or
general, and will be best understood by attending it, and by the
Regulations of the General or Grand Lodge hereunto annexíd. In
ancient Times, no Master or Fellow could be absent from it especially
when warned to appear at it, without incurring a sever Censure, until
it appear'd to the Master and Wardens that pure Necessity hinder'd
The persons admitted Members of a Lodge must be good an true Men,
free-born, and of mature and discreet Age, no Bondmen no Women, no
immoral or scandalous men, but of good Report.
IV. Of Masters, Wardens, Follows and Apprentices
All preferment among Masons is grounded upon real Worth and
personal Merit only; that so the Lords may be well served, the
Brethren not put to Shame, nor the Royal Craft despis'd: Therefore no
Master or Warden is chosen by Seniority, but for his Merit. It is
impossible to describe these things in Writing, and every Brother
must attend in his Place, and learn them in a Way peculiar to this
Fraternity: Only Candidates may know that no Master should take an
Apprentice unless he has Sufficient Imployment for him, and unless he
be a perfect Youth having no Maim or Defects in his Body that may
render him uncapable of learning the Art of serving his Master's
Lord, and of being made a Brother, and then a Fellow-Craft in due
Time, even after he has served such a Term of Years as the Custom of
the Country directs; and that he should be descended of honest
Parents; that so, when otherwise qualifi'd he may arrive to the
Honour of being the Warden, and then the Master of the Lodge, the
Grand Warden, and at length the Grand Master of all the Lodges,
according to his Merit.
No Brother can be a Warden until he has pass'd the part of a
Fellow-Craft; nor a Master until he has acted as a Warden, nor Grand
Warden until he has been Master of a Lodge, nor Grand Master unless
he has been a Fellow Craft before his Election, who is also to be
nobly born, or a Gentleman of the best Fashion, or some eminent
Scholar, or some curious Architect, or other Artist, descended of
honest Parents, and who is of similar great Merit in the Opinion of
the Lodges. And for the better, and easier, and more honourable
Discharge of his Office, the Grand Master has the Power to chuse his
own Deputy Grand Master, who must be then, or must have been
formerly, the Master of a particular Lodge, and has the Privilege of
acting whatever the Grand Master, his Principal should act; unless
the said Principal be present, or interpose his Authority by a
These Rulers and Governors, supreme and subordinate, of the
ancient Lodge, are to be obey'd in their respective Stations by all
the Brethren, according to the old Charges and Regulations, with all
Humility, Reverence, Love and Alacrity.
V. Of the Management of the Craft in Working
All Masons shall work honestly on Working Days, that they may
live creditably on Holy Days; and the time appointed by the Law of
the Land or confirm'd by Custom shall be observ'd.
The most expert of the Fellow-Craftsmen shall be chosen or
appointed the Master or Overseer of the Lord's Work; who is to be
callíd Master by those that work under him. The Craftsmen are
to avoid all ill Language, and to call each other by no disobliging
Name, but Brother or Fellow; and to behave themselves courteously
within and without the Lodge.
The Master, knowing himself to be able of Cunning, shall
undertake the Lord's Work as reasonably as possible, and truly
dispend his Goods as if they were his own; nor to give more Wages to
any Brother or Apprentice than he really may deserve.
Both the Master and the Masons receiving their Wages justly,
shall be faithful to the Lord and honestly finish their Work, whether
Task or journey; nor put the work to Task that hath been accustomed
None shall discover Envy at the Prosperity of a Brother, nor
supplant him, or put him out of his Work, if he be capable to finish
the same; for no man can finish another's Work so much to the Lord's
Profit, unless he be thoroughly acquainted with the Designs and
Draughts of him that began it.
When a Fellow-Craftsman is chosen Warden of the Work under the
Master, he shall be true both to Master and Fellows, shall carefully
oversee the Work in the Master's Absence to the Lord's profit; and
his Brethren shall obey him.
All Masons employed shall meekly receive their Wages without
Murmuring or Mutiny, and not desert the Master till the Work is
A younger Brother shall be instructed in working, to prevent
spoiling the Materials for want of Judgment, and for increasing and
continuing of brotherly love.
All the Tools used in working shall be approved by the Grand
Lodge. No Labourer shall be employ'd in the proper Work of Masonry;
nor shall Free Masons work with those that are not free, without an
urgent Necessity; nor shall they teach Labourers and unaccepted
Masons as they should teach a Brother or Fellow.
VI. Of Behaviour
1. IN THE LODGE WHILE CONSTITUTED
You are not to hold private Committees, or separate Conversation
without Leave from the Master, nor to talk of anything impertinent or
unseemly, nor interrupt the Master or Wardens, or any Brother
speaking to the Master: Nor behave yourself ludicrously or jestingly
while the Lodge is engaged in what is serious and solemn; nor use any
unbecoming Language upon any Pretense whatsoever; but to pay due
Reverence to your Master, Wardens, and Fellows, and put them to
If any Complaint be brought, the Brother found guilty shall stand
to the Award and Determination of the Lodge, who are the proper and
competent Judges of all such Controversies (unless you carry it by
Appeal to the Grand Lodge), and to whom they ought to be referr'd,
unless a Lord's Work be hinderíd the meanwhile, in which Case
a particular Reference may be made; but you must never go to Law
about what concerneth Masonry, without an absolute necessity apparent
to the Lodge.
2. BEHAVIOUR AFTER THE LODGE IS OVER AND THE
BRETHREN NOT GONE
You may enjoy yourself with innocent Mirth, treating one another
according to Ability, but avoiding all Excess, or forcing any Brother
to eat or drink beyond his Inclination, or hindering him from going
when his Occasions call him, or doing or saying anything offensive,
or that may forbid an easy and free Conversation, for that would
blast our Harmony, and defeat our laudable Purposes. Therefore no
private Piques or Quarrels must be brought within the Door of the
Lodge, far less any Quarrels about Religion, or Nations, or State
Policy, we being only, as Masons, of the Catholick Religion above
mention'd, we are also of all Nations, Tongues, Kindreds, and
Languages, and are resolvíd against all Politics, as what
never yet conduct'd to the Welfare of the Lodge, nor ever will. This
charge has been strictly enjoin'd and obser'd; but especially ever
since the Reformation in Britain, or the Dissent and Secession of
these Nations from the Communion of Rome.
3. BEHAVIOUR WHEN BRETHREN MEET WITHOUT
STRANGERS, BUT NOT IN A LODGE FORMED
You are to salute one another in a courteous Manner, as you will
be instructed, calling each other Brother, freely giving mutual
instruction as shall be thought expedient, without being ever seen or
overheard, and without encroaching upon each other, or derogating
from that Respect which is due to any Brother, were he not Mason: For
though all Masons are as Brethren upon the same Level, yet Masonry
takes no Honour from a man that he had before; nay, rather it adds to
his Honour, especially if he has deserve well of the Brotherhood, who
must give Honour to whom it is due, and avoid ill Manners.
4. BEHAVIOUR IN PRESENCE OF STRANGERS NOT MASONS
You shall be cautious in your Words and Carriage, that the most
penetrating Stranger shall not be able to discover or find out what
is not proper to be intimated, and sometimes you shall divert a
Discourse, and manage it prudently for the Honour of the worshipful
5. BEHAVIOUR AT HOME, AND IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
You are to act as becomes a moral and wise Man; particularly not
to let your Family, Friends and Neighbors know the Concern of the
Lodge, &c., but wisely to consult your own Honour, and that of
the ancient Brotherhood, for reasons not to be mention'd here You
must also consult your Health, by not continuing together too late,
or too long from Home, after Lodge Hours are past; and by avoiding of
Gluttony or Drunkenness, that your Families be not neglected or
injured, nor you disabled from working.
6. BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS A STRANGE BROTHER
You are cautiously to examine him, in such a Method as Prudence
shall direct you, that you may not be impos'd upon by an ignorant,
false Pretender, whom you are to reject with contempt and Derision,
and beware of giving him any Hints of Knowledge.
But if you discover him to be a true and genuine Brother, you are
to respect him accordingly; and if he is in Want, you must relieve
him if you can, or else direct him how he may be relieved; you must
employ him some days, or else recommend him to be employ'd. But you
are not charged to do beyond your ability, only to prefer a poor
Brother, that is a good Man and true before any other poor People in
the same Circumstance.
Finally, All these Charges you are to observe, and also those
that shall be recommended to you in another Way; cultivating
Brotherly Love, the Foundation and Cap-stone, the Cement and Glory of
this Ancient Fraternity, avoiding all wrangling and quarreling, all
Slander and Backbiting, nor permitting others to slander any honest
Brother, but defending his Character, and doing him all good Offices,
as far as is consistent with your Honour and Safety, and no farther.
And if any of them do you Injury you must apply to your own or his
Lodge, and from thence you may appeal to the Grand Lodge, at the
Quarterly Communication and from thence to the annual Grand Lodge, as
has been the ancient laudable Conduct but when the Case cannot be
otherwise decided, and patiently listening to the honest and friendly
Advice of Master and Fellows when they would prevent your going to
Law with Strangers, or would excite you to put a speedy Period to all
Lawsuits, so that you may mind the Affair of Masonry with the more
Alacrity and Success; but with respect to Brothers or Fellows at Law,
the Master and Brethren should kindly offer their Mediation, which
ought to be thankfully submitted to by the contending Brethren; and
if that submission is impracticable, they must, however, carry on
their Process, or Lawsuit, without Wrath and Rancor (not In the
common way) saying or doing nothing which may hinder Brotherly Love,
and good Offices to be renew'd and continuíd; that all may see
the benign Influence of Masonry, as all true Masons have done from
the beginning of the World, and will do to the End of Time.