« AnteriorContinua »
“Fourth, No master shall take an apprentice, unless he have occasion for two or three fellows, at least. “Fifth, No master or fellow shall put away any one's work to task, which ought to be journey work. “Sixth, Every master shall give pay to his fellows and servants, according to their respective deserts, so that he may not be accused of fraud or partiality. In his conversation, he must likewise be careful not to slander an absent brother, nor use any expression, which may injure his good name. “Seventh, No mason, whether at home or abroad, shall speak to a brother in the language of ill nature without cause. “ Eighth, Every mason shall treat those, who are blåer than himself, with reverence. He shall be no common player at cards, dice, hazard, or any other unlawful games, in consequence of which, the craft may be dishonoured. “ Ninth, No mason shall go into town at night unless he have a brother along with him, who may be able to certify, that he was in good company. “Tenth, Every master and fellow, shall come to the assembly if he have had due notice, and the place of meeting be within fifty miles of him ;” and if he have trespassed against the rules of the craft, he shall abide by the award of his brethren. “Eleventh, Every master mason or brother, who has been accused of injuring another, shall'stand by the decision of his brethren ; but if he should be refractory, he must be prosecuted at common law. “Twelfth, No master or fellow shall make a mould
* This, as well as the rule immediately preceding, would, in our times,
be domed peculiarly hard. Masons, however, know the limits which
are low prescribed, and if they study their own interest, will not trans“ I”, them.
stone, square, or rule, to any lown, nor permit any lown, either within or without their lodge, to mould stone. “Thirteenth, Every master shall courteously receive and cherish, a strange brother, who may have come into the country, and set him at work if he can ; but if he have no employment for him, he shall give him money sufficient to defray his expenses, till he can arrive at the next lodge. - " . “Fourteenth, Every mason shall truly serve his master for his pay, and the master, shall honourably perform his work, task, or journey, whethersoever it may be.” These are the charges and covenants, which ought to be read at the instalment of a master, or making of a free-mason. May the Almighty God of Jacob, have us all in his holy keeping, and grant us his blessing in this world, and in that which is to come, Amen.
Extract from the diary of Elias Ashmole, a learned
“I was made a free-mason at Warrington, in Lancashire, 16th October, 1646. On March the 10th, 1682, I received a summons to appear at a lodge, to be held the next day, at Mason's Hall, in London. March 11th, I accordingly attended, where I was the senior fellow amongst them, it being nearly 35 years since I had been admitted into the fraternity.” After giving the names of the brethren who attended, which it is of no importance for us to know, only that they were men of the highest standing in society, he adds, “we all dined at the Half Moon Tavern, where we partook of a sumptuous dinner, , at the expense of the new acaepted masons.”
The writer of Mr. Ashmole's life gives the following account of masonry.
"He, (Mr. Ashmole,) was elected a brother amongst the free masons, a favour esteemed so singular, that even kings have not disdained to enter as members of the society. These are the adopted, the free and accepted masons, who are known to each other all over the world by certain signs and words, which are intelligible to themselves alone. They have several lodges for their reception, in different countries, and when any of the members falls into decay, the brotherhood are bound to relieve him. The manner of their adoption, is very formal and solemn; and accompanied by an oath of secrecy, which has had a better fate than other oaths, as it has, from time immemorial, been most religiously observed, nor has the world been yet able to dive into this mystery, by the inadvertency, surprise, or folly, of any of its members."
In some of Mr. Ashmole's manuscripts, there are many valuable collections, relative to the history of freemasons, as may be gathered from the letters of Dr. Knipt, of Christ Church, Oxford, to the publisher of Mr. Ashmole's life, of which, I deem it sufficient, to subjoin the following,
"As to the ancient society of free-masons, concerning whom, you are desirous of ascertaining what may be known with certainty, I shall only tell you, that if our worthy brother, E. Ashmole, Esq. had executed his intended designs, our fraternity had been as much obliged to him, as the brethren of the most noble otder of the garter. I would not have you surprised at this expression, or think it at all too assuming. The sovereigns of that order, have not disdained our fellowship, and there have been times, when emperors also, have been masons. What I could gather from Mr. Ashmole's collection was,
and many gentlemen, and famous scholars requested, at that time, to be admitted members of the fraternity.
A Lodge is a place, in which masons assemble, 01 go on with their work, and transact their necessary business, and may be considered of similar import with the word church, which is expressive of the congregation, as well as of the place, in which they meet. To some lodge, every brother ought to belong; but he must not be a member of more lodges than one, although, if he conduct himself with propriety, he will be a welcome visitor in any lodge throughout the world. He should likewise attend with punctuality, at every regular or extra meeting, unless he be prevented by sickness or some other cause, which will satisfy his brethren that it was not voluntary. He should be subject tojthe by-laws, which are of two kinds, general and particular, of which, the young mason will acquire more extensive knowledge, by a regular attendance on his lodge, and a friendly intercourse with some of his enlightened brethren. He may become acquainted with the general regulations, by perusing the constitution of the grand lodge of the state ,•f New-York, which, when compared with the constitutions of all other grand lodges, not only in the United States, but in all other parts of the world, will not be found to differ very materially.
A lodge ought to assemble for work, at least once in •very mnnth. and must consist of a master, a senior and junior warden, a secretary, treasurer, two deacons, one op