About Masonary

Information for a Candidate

"You have expressed a wish to become a part of the Fraternity of Freemasons. The reali-zation of this desire will depend, under our organization, upon the judgement of the Brethren as to whether you may be suitable material for the Order, and whether the Order is suitable to you. Examine yourself again, therefore; see whether you can answer the expectations of the Order. Above all, endeavour to become conscious of what you seek amongst us, and what motives have led you to seek our Society. In order to facilitate this self-examination, to guard you against a mis-step and to secure ourselves against the danger of being hereafter reproached for any disappointment on your part, we deem it a duty, previous to your proposal, to meet you with candour, and ask you to reflect on the following points.

FIRST:

Do you expect, by initiation into the Masonic Fraternity, to obtain any outward advan-tages relative to your position as a citizen and as an individual? If so, pause while it is yet time, for in this instance you would be disappointed.

SECOND:

Would your present convictions prevent you from forgetting the differences made in society between individuals, as to their station, wealth, capacities, religious opinions, politics, etc.? If so, relinquish the idea of becoming a Freemason, as you would probably find no pleasure in our meetings, where no notice is taken of these differences.

THIRD:

Should, you however, believe that we work at a chimerical annihilation of the necessary civil relations; that we aim at a liberty and equality that are neither good nor practical; or that we even teach a chilling indifference, then you will do well to consider your resolu-tion to come among us, because with such views you would not suit our Order.

FOURTH:

Should your request for initiation arise only from curiosity, or, what is equally fallacious, the desire to enlarge the circle of your social acquaintances we beg you, for your own sake, to renounce it for you would 'not attain your expectations. Neither your curiosity nor your desire to obtain secrets would be gratified. Your vanity might also be sensibly touched when you found yourself beneath those whom you had, perhaps, heretofore considered your inferiors. The mere purpose of enlarging your circle of acquaintances could be accomplished in many other societies and with greater ease and less restraint than with us.

FIFTH:

Every Freemason, has to make a vow of the most inviolable secrecy. It might be thought that, disappointed expectations, agrieved selfishness or excited passions might induce some to break their word, yet, singular as it may seem, such cases are rarely, if ever, heard of. From you such a vow will be demanded and you should, therefore, seriously consider the motives by which you are governed. If you are not quite clear within yourself you may be in danger of forgetting our vow, and becoming a traitor, which we nevertheless, should not feel on our account, but on yours.

SIXTH:

The obligations which as a Freemason, you will be required to assume, in no wise conflict with the duties you owe to God or to the rulers of your country, neither with your honour, good manners nor domestic relations.

SEVENTH:

Our membership is also attended with some expense, which we require to be promptly and punctually paid, that our good works may not cease for want thereof. The amount you can readily ascertain by reference to our by-laws, and you should give this due attention.

EIGHTH:

As the Masonic Society, as has been already said, consists of men of all classes and circumstances, you might perhaps find someone among us with whom you have been or are at variance. It, therefore, requires serious deliberation on your part as to whether you will be strong enough to acknowledge such a man as your brother.

NINTH:

It may also be possible that you will meet someone in the Order who, for good reasons, you may deem unworthy of your esteem. A moment's reflection must, however, convince you that the Fraternity cannot guard against all mistakes in regard to initiation, and it is probably no dishonour to it when it, only in an extreme case and then with great reluctance, renounces a man whom it had once conferred the name of brother. But now, while you can still choose, consider seriously whether you will have the courage to bear with such a one, to lead the erring, to raise the fallen, to love one who almost seems past redemption. This is unquestionably one of the most difficult virtues, but is does not thereby cease to be such, and, unless you be familiar with it, you will never be a Freemason in the true sense of the word.

We ask you to ponder these remarks and allusions, assuring you that if you find a place in your heart for the principles contained in them you may hope for a generous welcome to the Society in which you ask to be initiated.