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open, to welcome thy sons to glory. Behold our friend, who is soon to be our brother, entering upon the threshold, which is before this apartment in thy works. May love burst the silence around him, and salute him welcome at the first step. MSy joy triumph in his heart, and friendship guide him as he ascends. May his countenance be cheered by the light, and confidence increase as he passes on. May he behold the emblems of his labour, and his heart reply in ready obedience. May the cheerfulness inspired by the dawning light, attend him through the day; and when a long day shall be completed, may he find his lot with the faithful, in the immortal glory of the temple, which is pure with the light of God, and eternal in the heavens. Amen.
A General Prayer in a Lodge.''
Great Architect, in whose work all life is employed, the whole is harmony in thee; each part has its place, and all is perfect.
Behold us, who from this apartment in thy work, small indeed in itself, but vast enough for our full employment. From hence, we behold thy magnificent displays of power and wisdom, and here we enjoy thy goodness. Regard our work, begun in thy presence, and under thy laws. On the equal base of truth, let our building stand. May its entrance be illuminated with hope, and may great and good actions give it glory. With our master, may our labour be sweet, and our reward sure. May the skilful inspire a laudable ambition, and each soul be filled with light.
When we extend our hands to a friend, and introduce him to our joys, let truth guide our lips, and love dwell
* The three last prayers in this selection, were composed by the Rev. and Right Worshipfal Thaddeus Mason Harris, A. M. Chaplain to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
in our hearts. May we add merit to our friendship, and a sincere heart to our pleasures. May the entrance be a sweet recollection to him. May each visit improve his hopes and enlarge his virtues, and may our virtues shine together with brighter light, and the glory of the everlasting God be upon us. Amen.
SECTION 1.—OF THE MASTER, HIS ELECTION AND DUTIES.
In the twenty-third chapter of this book, I have already taken notice of some of the qualifications, which ought to be possessed by those, who preside as masters of a lodge. I now procede to mention the manner of their election and general duties.
The master of every lodge, is chosen annually by ballot, at some stated meeting, after which, the other officers are to be elected in the same manner; and it is a standing rule, that no brother shall refuse to accept of an office, to which he may have been chosen, unless he had previously served in the same station.
As soon as the master is installed, he has it in special charge to see that the by-laves of his own lodge, as well as the general regulations of the grand lodge, be duly observed ; that his wardens faithfully perform their duty, and by the correctness of their moral deportment, set a good example to the craft; that correct minutes of all proceedings be made by the secretary; that the treasurer keep exact and just accounts of all monies received and expended, and that he exhibit the same when thereunto required by the body, and that all the funds and properT
ty belonging to the lodge be disposed of in such manner, as to a majority of the brethren may appear proper.
He shall also take care, that no apprentice or fellow craft, be taken into his lodge, unless he be found duly qualified to learn and comprehend the sublime mysteries of the art. Thus shall apprentices, when they have made the necessary progress, become fellow crafts; and, in due time, be raised to the sublime degree of master masons; and if they conduct themselves with propriety, they may afterwards be initiated into the higher orders.
The master of every lodge, has the power of calling the members thereof together, upon the application of any of the brethren, or upon any emergency, which may, in his opinion, render such extra meeting necessary. It is likewise his duty, together with his wardens, to attend the grand lodge, at their quarterly, as well as their special communications: and when there, they, or either of them have authority to represent their lodge, and to transact all matters, in the same manner, as if the whole body were present.
SECTION 2. SF THE WARDENS OF A LODGE.
No one can be elected as a warden, who is not a master mason.
In the absence of the master, the senior warden takes the chair; and in case of the master's death, resignation, or removal, he is to fill his place till the next stated election. In ancient times, it was the rule, that, in such cases, the master's authority should revert to the last past master; but it has been settled for many years> that it should devolve upon the senior, and in his absence, upon the junior warden. These, however, will, in general, wave their right, in honour of a past master, who may be present, and request him to take the chair. Still, however, such past master holds his authority un
der the warden, and cannot act, until he congregate the odge.
If none of the officers be present, nor any former master, the members, according to their seniority and merit, are to supply the places of the absent officers.
The general duty of the wardens is, to assist the master in conducting the business of the lodge, in due form and order. Particular lodges, however, by their by-laws, assign other duties to their wardens; nor can their right to do so, be disputed, provided that they do not infringe on the ancient land marks, nor deviate from the true gtnius and spirit of masonry.
SECTION 3.—OF THE SECRETARY OF A LODGE.
It is his duty to record all the transactions of the lodge, which it is proper to commit to writing, in order that such minutes, or an authenticated copy of them, may be laid before the grand lodge at each quarterly communication if required. He shall also keep a correct list of all the members of the lodge, with the dates of their admission; and shall annually, at such time as may be required, send to the grand secretary, a list of all the members, for the time being. It is likewise, his duty, to collect the monthly dues, and pay the same to the treasurer.
SECTION 4. OF THE TREASURER OF A LODGE.
He shall keep exact account of all monies raised, or paid out, agreeably to orders, drawn on him by authority of the lodge. He is to make regular entries of all receipts and expenditures, and have his books and vouchers ready for examination, at such stated meetings as may be prescribed by the by-laws, or at any other time, when they may be specially called for.
The treasurer has likewise the charge of the jewels and furniture of the lodge, fee. unless when it may be deemed expedient to appoint some other responsible brother, for that particular duty; or when the officers may see fit to take the charge immediately upon themselves. But the warrant, or charter, must always be retained by the master.
SECTION 6.—OF THE DEACONS OF A LODGE.
The deacons are to assist the wardens in the execution of their duties, to examine and welcome visiting brethren, to prepare candidates, and to perform such other services as may be assigned to them.
SECTION 6. OF THE MASTER OF CEREMONIES.
The duty of this officer is well known to every mason; and to others, his title is so evidently plain, as to require little or no explanation.
SECTION 7. OF THE STEWARDS.
It is the duty of the stewards to provide the necessary refreshments, and make a regular report of the expense to the treasurer. They are likewise to take care, that the regalia of the lodge be always kept in good order, and ready for use.
SECTION 8. OF THE TYLER OF A LODGE.
In order that a proper regard may be had to deeorum, and that secrecy, which is se essentially necessary to be observed in this institution, may not be violated, a brother well skilled in the master mason's part, is therefore appointed and paid, for tyling the lodge, during the hours of business; but, in general, a brother ought to be preferred, who is reduced in his circumstances, and