Masonry consists of a body of men, banded together to preserve the mysteries, privileges, customs and ceremonials handed down to them and for the purpose of mutual intellectual, social and moral improvement. Its members endeavor to cultivate and exhibit brotherly love, relief and truth, (which may be better explained as friendship, charity and integrity), not only to one another, but also to the world at large.
A basic condition of admission into, and membership of the order, is belief in a supreme being. This is essential and does not allow any compromise.
Masonry recognises no distinction of religion and whilst inculcating in each of its members the duty of loyalty and citizenship, it does not permit any of its members, either in the Lodge or in their capacity as Freemasons to discuss theological or political questions in the lodge or at the social board.
Masonry offers no pecuniary advantages, does not bind a mason to deal with another or to provide him with any support in the ordinary business relations of life.
Masonry has certain Charities but is not in any sense a benefit society. The charities are solely for those who have been overtaken by misfortune, adversity, or ill health.
Masonry teaches that a man's first duty is to himself, his wife or partner, his family and to his connections. No one should join the order who cannot afford to pay the fees and subscriptions to his lodge, and also make donations to the Masonic Charities, without detriment to the comfort and well being of those who have any claim on his support.
Therefore, everyone before offering himself as a member should be well assured in his own mind that he:-
(1) Sincerely desires an intellectual and moral improvement in himself and his fellow creatures.
(2) Is willing to devote part of his time, his means and his efforts, in the promotion of brotherly love, relief and truth.
(3) Seeks no commercial, social or pecuniary advantages and is able to afford the necessary expenditure without detriment to himself or his connections.
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