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Masonic Rule for the Reunited and Rectified lodges uses (1782)

Arrested at the Wilhemsbad General Congress, in 1782.

Quest. “Are Macoones gudder men then-odhers ?”
Answ” Some Maconnes are not so vertuous as some other menne ; but,
y’n the most parte, thay be more gude than they woulde yf thay war nor Maconnes”
Quest. “, Doth Maconnes love eidtber odther mightylye as beetb sayde ! ”
Answ, “yea verylyjcbe, and that may not odherwise be :
for gude menne and treu, kennynge eidher oder to be suche,
doeth aiways love the more as thay be more gude.”

(Examination on “The Mystery of Masonry” under Henry VI.)

 

PROLOGUE.

O you who have just been introduced to the lessons of wisdom! son of virtue and friendship! Have for our accents a listening ear, and may you soul be opened to the meddled precepts of truth! We’ll teach you the path to a happy life, we will teach you to please your Author, and develop with energy and success all the means that Providence entrusted you to make yourself useful to men, and enjoy the charms of benevolence.

 

ARTICLE FIRST.
Duty to God and religion.

§ 1. – Your first tribute belongs to the Divinity. Adore the Being full of majesty, who created the universe by an act of his will, who retains it by a continuing effect of his action, who fills your heart, but your narrow mind can not conceive or define. Pity the sad delusion of one who closes his eyes to the light and walks in the thick darkness of chance that your heart touched and grateful for the blessings of your father’s God, scornfully rejects the vain sophistry, to prove your degradation human mind, when it moves away from its source. Students often your soul above the material beings that surround you, and looks full of desire in the upper regions, which are your inheritance and your true home. To do what God the sacrifice of your will and your desires, make yourself worthy of its invigorating influences, filled the laws he wanted you to accomplish in your career as a man on earth. Please your God, that your happiness: to be reunited with him forever, that’s all your ambition, the compass of your actions.

§ II. – But, how dare you support his eyes, fragile being ! who transgress his laws at all times and insults his holiness, if his fatherly kindness had not arranged you an infinite repairman ? Abandoned the errors of your **** would you find the comforting certainty of a future? Delivered to the justice of thy God, which would be your refuge? So go through your Redeemer; prostrate yourself before the incarnate Word, and bless the Providence that made you be born among Christians. Everywhere professes the divine religion of Christ, and not ashamed ever to belong. The gospel is the basis of our obligations, if you do not believe it, you cease to be a Mason. Announce in all thy actions an active and enlightened piety without hypocrisy, without fanaticism; Christianity is not confined to truths of speculation: Practice all the moral duties it teaches, and you will be happy, your contemporaries will bless you, and you will remain undisturbed in front of the throne of the LORD.

§ III. – Above all, penetrates up to this principle of charity and love, based on this holy religion: be sorry for the mistake without hate and without persecution: let God alone to judge, and content yourself to love and tolerate. Masons! Children of one God! united by a common belief in our divine Saviour! May this bond of love closely unite us, and eradicates all prejudice opposite to our brotherly harmony!

 

ARTICLE II
Immortality of the soul.

§ 1. – Man! King of the world! masterpiece of creation when God animated you with his breath! meditates your sublime destination. All that vegetates around you, and that has an animal life, perishes with time, and is subject to its sway. Your immortal soul alone, emanated from within the Godhead, survives to material things, and not perishes. That’s your real title of nobility, strongly feel your happiness, but without pride, and he lost your race, and you would dive again into the abyss. Be degraded! Despite of your primitive greatness, what are you in front of the Lord? Adore him in the dust, and carefully separates this heavenly principle and indestructible from foreign alloys; cultivate your immortal and perfectible  soul and make it likely to be united to the pure spring of the Wellness when it is released from coarse vapors of the material. Thus you will be free in the middle of iron chains; even happy in misfortune, steadfast in the midst of storms, and you will die without fear.

§ II. – Mason! if ever you could doubt the immortal nature of your soul, and your high destination, initiation would be fruitless for you; you would cease to be the adopted son of thy wisdom, and you would be lost in the crowd of material and profane beings, groping in the darkness.

 

ARTICLE III.
Duties to the Sovereign and the Homeland.

§ 1. – The Supreme Being gave the most positive way his powers on the earth to the sovereign; respect and cherish its legitimate authority on the corner of the earth you live, your first honor belongs to God, your second to your homeland.

The man wandering in the woods without culture and fleeing his fellows, would be ill suited to meet the views of Providence, and to grasp the full weight of the happiness reserved for him. His being is growing among his fellows, his mind is strengthened by the clash of opinions: but, once met in society, he would have to fight constantly self-interest and disordered passions, and innocence soon succumb under the force or trickery. So we had laws to guide him, and heads to keep them.

§ II. – Sensitive man! you honor your parents: honor the same the fathers of your State, and prays for their conservation: they are the representatives of divinity on earth. If they err, they will respond back to the Judge once, but your own feelings can deceive you, and never dispense them to obey you. If you missed this sacred duty, if your heart would not tremble to the sweet name of your country and sovereign, the Mason would repel you from his breast as public refractory, as unworthy to participate in the benefits of an association that earns the confidence and esteem of the government, since one of its majore mobile is patriotism, and, jealous to form that citizens it requires from its children, with more distinction and the most purified reasons , to all civic duties. The most courageous warrior, the most upright judge, the sweetest moor, the most faithful servant, the most tender father, the most sustainable husband, the most submissive son, the Mason must be, since the citizen’s common and ordinary bonds were sanctified and strengthened by the Mason’s free and voluntary wishes, and that neglecting it would join the weakness hypocrisy and perjury.

 

ARTICLE IV.
Duties towards humanity in general.

§ 1. – But, if the circle of patriotism that opens you a so rich and satisfying carrer, does not yet meet all your activity and if your sensitive heart wants to overstep the empire’s borders, and ablaze with the fire power of the humanity all men, all nations, if, going back to the common source, you like to fondly cherish all those who have the same organs, the same need for love, the same desire to be useful and have an immortal soul like you, then come and offer thy Temples in our homage to the Sacred Humanity, the universe is the home of Mason, and nothing that concerns man is foreign to him.

§ II. – Look with rispect this majestic building, designed to strengthen the too loose morals ties: cherish a general association of virtuous souls, able to exalt themselves; widespread in every country where reason and the lights have penetrated ; united under the holy banner of humanity governed by simple and uniform laws. Finally feel the sublime goal of our Holy Order; devote your whole life to charity and benevolence, ennobled, purifies and strengthens this generous resolution, working tirelessly on your perfection, bringing you more intimately to the Deity.

 

ARTICLE V.
Benevolence.

§ I. – Created in the image of God, who deigns to communicate to the men and spread them happiness; get closer of this infinite model, by a constant desire to pay steadily on the other men, the whole mass of happiness that is in your power: everything that the mind can design, is the heritage of Mason.

§ II. – See the helpless misery of childhood, it demands your support: consider the fatal inexperience of youth, it seeks your advice: put your happiness to maintain errors and deceptions that threaten it: it excites or sparks of the sacred fire of genius, and help her to develop them for the happiness of the world.

§ III. – Any being who suffers and groans has a sacred rights over you, beware of the misunderstanding, do not expect much so that the scream of misery beseech thee; warn and reassure the unfortunate shy, do not poison, by the ostentation of your gifts, sources of living water where the unfortunate must drink, do not seek the reward of thy charity in vain applause of the multitude: the Mason found it in the quiety of his conscience, and in the fortifying smile of the Deity, in whose eyes he is always placed.

§ IV. – If Providence has given you some liberal superfluous, beware of making a frivolous and criminal use, it insisted that a free and spontaneous movement of your generous soul, you made others less sensitive to uneven distribution property, which entered into its plans: enjoy this beautiful prerogative. Never let greed, the most sordid of passions, not debase your character, and that raises your heart is cold and arid calculations suggest it. If he ever came to dry out his breath and sad person, flee our charity workshops, they would not appeal to you, and we could not recognize in you the old image of the Deity.

§ V. – Let your charity be informed by religion, wisdom and prudence: your heart wants to embrace the needs of mankind: but your mind has to choose the most pressing and important. Instruct, advise, protect, gives relief, in turn: never believe he had done enough, and do rest of your works to show that a new energy in you and delivering the bursts of sublime passion, an endless source of enjoyment is preparing for you: get on this earth a foretaste of heavenly bliss: your soul will grow, and every moment of your life will be filled.

§ VI. – When you finally feel the limits of your finite nature, and that alone could not suffice although you would do your soul is sad, just in our Temples: see the sacred bundle of benefits that unites us, and competing effectively in all your faculties to plans and institutions that help you present Masonic association, and it achieves, welcomes you to be better citizens of this world: tasting the sweet fruits of our combined forces and concentrated on a single object, then multiply your resources, you will help to miles instead of a happy and your wishes will be crowned.

 

ARTICLE VI.
Moral duties to other men.

§ I. – Love your neighbor as yourself and that does not make him what you would not like you did. Help yourself from the sublime gift of speech, outward sign of your dominance over nature, to go to meet the needs of others, and to excite in all hearts the sacred fire of virtue. Be gracious and informal, built by your example: sharing the happiness of others without jealousy. Never allow the urge to rise for a moment in your womb, it would disturb the pure source of your happiness, and your soul would be prey to the saddest of the Furies.

§ II. – Forgive your enemy, not revenge thee by thy favors; this generous sacrifice, we owe the sublime precept to religion, you will provide the purest pleasures and most delicious: you will return the living image forgiving of Divinity, with a heavenly goodness, the offenses of man and the epitome of grace despite his ingratitude. Remember always that this is the triumph the best that reason can get on instinct, and that the Mason forget the insults, but never benefits.

 

ARTICLE VII.
Moral perfection of oneself.

§ I. – In devoting yourself and the good of others, do not forget thy own perfection, and does not neglect the needs of your immortal soul. Often stay in your heart, to probe the most secret recesses. Knowledge of self-[same is the great backbone of Masonic precepts. Your soul is the rough stone roughing it takes: to offer tribute to the Deity set your affections, your passions conquered.

§ II. – That chaste and severe are your inseparable companions, and make you respectable in the eyes of the profane:
that your soul is pure, straight, true and humble. Pride is the most dangerous enemy of man, it maintains the illusion of confidence in his strength. Does not consider the term where Lu bones came, he would slow down your race: fixed one where you have to reach the short duration of your way just leave you hoping to achieve: to take away your pride hazardous food comparison with those who are behind you: feel the sting of a rather virtuous emulation, seeing more models made before you.

§ III. – What ever your mouth does not alter the secret thoughts of your heart, she is always true and faithful body; a Mason who would divest of candor, to take the mask of hypocrisy, and the trick would be unworthy to live with us, and sowing distrust and discord in our peaceful temples, he would soon become one of horror and evil.

§ IV. – That sublime idea of the omnipresence of God will strengthen you, uphold you; every morning renews vow to get better, watch and pray, and when the night meets your heart reminds you of a good deed, it a victory over yourself, then just sits quietly in the bosom of Providence, and take back new strength.

§ V. – Studied at last the meaning of the hieroglyphics and emblems of the Order that you present. The very nature of sailing most of his secrets, she wants to be observed, and surprisingly often compared in its effects. Of all the sciences which the vast field presents the results of the happiest in the industry of man and to the benefit of society, one that will teach you the relationship between God, the universe and you, will fill the desires your heavenly soul and you learn to better perform your duties.

 

ARTICLE VIII
Duties to the Brothers.

§ 1 °. – In the great multitude of beings, which this universe is populated, you chose a vow Free Masons for your brothers. So do not forget that every Mason never, in any Christian communion, or country provided it is in you with his right hand is a symbol of brotherly frankness, has sacred rights on your support and your friendship. True to nature do vow, which was equal, the Mason Temple restored to its original rights of the human family, he never sacrifices to popular prejudices, and assimilates the sacral level by all states. Civil society meets in the distances established or tolerated by Providence often imagined the pride, there would censure them, and want to disregard them. But beware especially to establish artificial distinctions among us, that we disavow: let your dignity and your decorations lay at the door, and enters with the escort of your virtues. Whatever your position in the world, gives way in our Lodges at most virtuous, most enlightened.

§ II. – Do not be ashamed of never publicly obscure but honest man, that in our asylums as you embrassas brother moments before, the Order of blush you turn and you would return with your pride, to spread it on theaters secular world.
If your brother is in danger, rescues her, and not afraid to expose your life to him. If it is read in need, pays him on your treasures, and rejoice to be able to do as good a job: you swore to practice charity towards men is general, you owe your brother in preference to groaning. If he is wrong, and he wanders, come to him with the lights of sense, reason, persuasion, back to virtue beings who falter, and lifts up those who fell.

§ III. – If your heart hurt by real or imaginary offenses, harbored some secret enmity against one of your brothers, to dissipate the cloud which now stands: call to your aid any honest referee, claims his fraternal mediation: but never crosses the threshold of the temple before filing any feelings of hatred and revenge. You would invoke in vain the name of the LORD, for he deigned to dwell in our temples, if they are purified by virtue of their brothers and sanctified by concord.

 

ARTICLE IX.
Duties to the Order.

§ I. – When you were finally admitted to participation in the benefits resulting from the Masonic organization, you forsake him in exchange for a tacit part of your natural liberty:
made strictly moral obligations it imposes on you, yourself according to its laws and respects those wise that public trust has appointed to be guardians and interpreters of bis of the general will. Your will in the Order is subject to that law and superiors: you’d be a bad brother, if you ever méconnaissais this subordination necessary in any society, and ours would be forced to exclude you from their midst.

§ II. – It is primarily a law which you promised in the face of heaven the scrupulous observance: this is one of the most inviolable secrecy of our rituals, ceremonies, signs and shape of our association. Keep yourself to believe that this commitment is less sacred than the oaths you swore in civil society. You were saying it is free, but you’re never more to break the secret that binds you. The Lord invoquas you as a witness, the ratified: fear the penalties of perjury: you never escape the punishment of thy heart, and you would lose the esteem and confidence of a large company, who would be entitled declare to you without faith or honor.

 

CONCLUSION.

That the lessons that the Order to address you the way do you facilitate truth and happiness, are etched deeply into your soul docile and open to impressions of virtue, if salutary maxims, which will mark virtually every step you do in the Masonic career, become your own principles, and the invariable rule of your actions, my brother what will be our joy! you will accomplish your sublime destiny, you recouvreras this divine likeness, which was the lot of man in his state of innocence, which is the goal of Christianity, and whose Masonic initiation is its primary purpose, you will return the creature darling Heaven: its fertile blessings will stop on you, and deserving the glorious title of wise, always free, happy and constant, you will walk on this earth the equal of kings, the benefactor of mankind, and model of your brothers.