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On the 7th March,5780, it was determined that all charters granted without the limits of this state, shall be understood to remain in force until a grand lodge is formed in the government, where such lodges are held, or during the pleasure of this grand lodge.
Nothing remarkable occurred till January, 6783, when a committee was appointed to draw up resolutions, explanatory of the power and authority of this grand lodge, of the extent of its jurisdiction, and of the exercise of any other masonic authority within the same ; and also, to write to the grand lodges abroad, requesting such communications as may tend to promote a friendly correspondence, and advance the general interests of the craft.
The report of the committee, and the resolutions by them recommended, presented at a meeting of the grand lodge, June 24th, 5783, are as follows,
• The committee appointed to take into consideration the conduct of those brethren who assume the powers and prerogatives of a grand lodge, on the ancient establisbment, in this place, and to examine the extent of their authority and jurisdiction, together with the powers of any ancient masonic institution witbin the same, beg leave to report the result of their examination, founded on the following facts, viz.
“ That in consequence of a petition from a number of brethren of this town, to the grand lodge of Scotland, a. charter was granted them under the name of " Sajut Andrew's Lodge,” by the most worshipful, and right honourable George, earl of Dalhousie, grand master of masons in Scotland, to the late most worshipful Joseph Warren, Esq. constituting and appointing him provincial grand master of the ancient and honourable society of Free and Accepted Masons, with power of granting
charters of erection within one hundred miles of the me.. tropolis ; but that during the jurisdiction of the grand. lodge in form and manner tbus appointed, three lodges were only constituted by authority thereof.
“That the commission from the grand lodge of Scotland, granted to our late grand master Joseph Warren, having died with him, and of course, bis deputy, whose appointment was derived from his nomination, being no longer in existence, they saw themselves without a head, and without a single grand officer, and of consequence, it was evident that not only the grand lodge, but all the particular lodges under its jurisdiction must cease to assemble, the brethren be dispersed, the pennyless go unassisted, the craft languish, and ancient masonry become extinct, in this part of the world. : “ That in consequence of a summons from the former grand officers to the masters, and wardens of all the regularly constituted lodges, a grand communication was held, to consult and advise for some means to preserve the intercourse of the brethren.
« That the political head of this country having destroyed all connection aod correspondence between the subjects of these states and the country from wbich the grand lodge originally derived its commission and authority, and the principles of the craft inculcating in its professions, submission to the commands of the civil authority of the country in which they reside ; the brethren did assume elective supremacy, and chose a grand master and officers, and erected a grand lodge, with independent powers and prerogatives, to be exercised, however, on principles consistent with, and subordinate to, the regulations pointed out in the constitutions of ancient masonry
" That the reputation and utility of the craft, und
their jurisdiction, has been most extensively diffused by the flourishing state of fourteen lodges, constituted by their authority, within a shorter period than that in which three only received dispensations, under the former grand loilge.
" That in the history of our craft we find, that in England there are two grand Indges independent of each other; in Scotland the samne ; and in Ireland, the grand lodge and grand master are independent both of England and Scotland. It is clear that the authority of some of these grand lodges originated in assumption; or otherwise they would acknowledge the head, from whence they derived their power of acting.
"Your committee are therefore, or opinion, that the proceedings of the present grand lodge are dictated by principles of the clearest necessity, founded on the highest reason, and warranted by proceedings of the most approved authority; and they beg leave to recommend, that the following resolutions be adopted by the grand lodge, and ingrafted into its constitution :
“1st. That the brethren of the grand lodge in assuming the powers and prerogatives of an independent grand lodge, acted from the most laudable motives, and consistently with the principles, which ought for ever to govern masons ; viz. the benefit of the craft, and the good of mankind; and that they are warranted in their proceeda ings by the practice of ancient masons in all ages of the world.*
“2nd. That the grand lodge to be so constituted, shall be free and independent in its government and official authority, of any other grand lodge or grand master in the universe. ? " 3rd. That the power and authority of the said grand
** See Calcot page 107. Mason's Pocket Companion, page 92.
lodge be construed to extend throughout the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and to any of the United States, where none other is erected, over such lodges as this grand lodge has constituted or shall constitute.
" 4th. That the grand master, for the time being, be desired to call in all charters which were held under the jurisdiction of the late grand master, Joseph Warren, Esq. and return the same with an indorsement thereon, expressive of their recognition of the power and authority of this grand lodge.
“ 5th. That no person or persons ought to, or can, consistently with the rules of ancient masonry, use or exercise the powers or prerogatives of an ancient grand master or grand lodge, viz. to give power to erect lodges of ancient masonry, make masons, appoint superior or grand officers, receive dues, or do any thing, which belongs to the powers or prerogatives of an ancient grand lodge, within any part of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, to the rightful and appropriate limits of wbich, the authority of this grand lodge shall for ever hereafter extend.”
The said report having been duly considered, was adopted, aod ordered to be registered.
On December 2nd, 5791, a committee was appointed by the grand lodge, to confer with the officers of St. John's Grand Lodge, upon the subject of a complete masonic union throughout the commonwealth of Mansa. chusetts, which was happily effected March 5th, 5792, and unanimously adopted by both parties.
From the preceding history, we find, that for the space of thirty-six years, two graod lodges, equally respectable, were commissioned by different authorities in the same metropolis, each acknowledging the same. laws, and practising upon the same general principles. But when we consider that the design of a grand lodge
is to erect private lodges, to prevent innovations, and to promote a regular intercourse amongst the brethren, it must appear obvious, that the existence of two supreme authorities in one place, and over the same jurisdiction, must tend to excite a collision of interests, and to interrupt that perfect harmony, which is the cement of our iustitution. A complete union of these two grand lodges was, therefore, a most important object, and it was, as has been already observed, happily effected in March, 5792, and constitutes a new era in the history of masonry in the United States.
On that memorable day, the two grand lodges convened, for the last time, in their respective halls, and each nominated a grand master, two grand wardens, a grand treasurer, and a grand secretary, and also seven electors, who met in convention, and after having duly considered the two lists of candidates, unanimously elected the most worshipful John Cutler, grand master; the right worshipful Joseph Bartlet, senior grand warden ; the right worshipful Mungo Mackay, junior grand warded, &c. who were installed with great solemnity on the 19th June following. It was then resolved, that the grand lodge, organized as aforesaid, shall be hereafter known by the name of “ The grand lodge of the ancient and honourable society of Free and Accepted Masons for the corrmonwealth of Massachusetts.” , Independent of the charters, which had been given to subordinate lodges by the two grand lodges, previous to their union, the grand lodge of England had in differe ent places, appointed provinciul grand anasters, to whom they gave warrants for holding lodges ; but the termination of the revolutionary war having finally separated the United States from the government of Great Britain, also exonerated free-masons, in this country, from subjection to any foreign grand lodge.