Webb's Masonic Monitor
Thomas Smith Webb,
Charges and Regulations
for the Conduct and Behavior of Masons.
A REHEARSAL of the ancient charges properly
succeeds the opening, and precedes the closing of a Lodge. This was the
constant practice of our ancient brethren, and ought never to be neglected
in our regular assemblies. A recapitulation of our duty can not be
disagreeable to those who are acquainted with it; and to those who know it
not, should any such be, it must be highly proper to recommend it.
On the Management of the
Craft in Working.
MASONS employ themselves diligently in
their sundry vocations, live creditably, and conform with cheerfulness to
the government of the country in which they reside.
- The most expert craftsman is chosen or
appointed master of the work, and is duly honored by those over whom he
- The master, knowing himself qualified,
undertakes the government of the Lodge, and truly dispenses his rewards,
giving to every brother the approbation which he merits.
- A craftsman, who is appointed warden of
the work under the master, is true to master and fel-
lows, carefully oversees the work, and
his brethren obey him.
The master, wardens, and brethren receive
their rewards justly, are faithful, and carefully finish the work they
begin, whether it be in the first or second degree; but never put that
work to the first which has been accustomed to the second degree, nor that
to the second or first which has been accustomed to the third.
Neither envy nor censure is discovered
among true Masons. No brother is supplanted, or put out of his work, if he
be capable to finish it; as no man, who is not perfectly skilled in the
original design, can, with equal advantage to the master, finish the work
begun by another.
All employed in Masonry meekly receive
their rewards, and use no disobliging name. Brother or fellow are the
terms or appellations they bestow on each other. They behave courteously
within and without the Lodge, and never desert the master till the work is
For the Government of
You are to salute one another in a
courteous manner, agreeably to the forms established among Masons; *) you
are freely to give such mutual instruc-
*) In a lodge, Masons meet as members of one family; all prejudices,
therefore, on account of religion, country, or private opinion, are
tions as shall be thought necessary or
expedient, not being overseen or overheard, without encroaching upon each
other, or derogating from that respect which is due to any gentleman were
he not a Mason; for though, as Masons, we rank as brethren on a level, yet
Masonry deprives no man of the honor due to his rank or character, but
rather adds to his honor, especially if he has deserved well of the
Fraternity, who always render honor to whom it is due, and avoid ill
No private committees are to be allowed, or
separate conversations encouraged; the master or wardens are not to be
interrupted, or any brother speaking to the master; but due decorum is to
be observed, and the proper respect paid to the master and presiding
These laws are to be strictly enforced,
that harmony may be preserved, and the business of the Lodge be carried on
with order and regularity. Amen. So mote it be.
On the Behavior of Masons out of the
WHEN the Lodge is closed, you may enjoy
yourselves with innocent mirth; but you are carefully to avoid excess. You
are not to compel any brother to act contrary to his own inclination, or
give offense by word or deed, but enjoy a free and easy conversation. You
are to use no immoral or
obscene discourse, but at all times support
with propriety the dignity of your character.
You are to be cautious in your words and
carriage, that the most penetrating stranger may not discover, or find
out, what is not proper to be intimated; and, if necessary, you are to
wave a discourse, and manage it prudently, for the honor of the
At home, and in your several neighborhoods,
you are to behave as wise and moral men. You are never to communicate to
your families, friends, or acquaintance, the private transactions of our
different assemblies; but upon every occasion to consult your own honor
and the reputation of the Fraternity at large.
You are to study the preservation of
health, by avoiding irregularity and intemperance, that your families may
not be neglected and injured, or yourselves disabled from attending to
your necessary employments in life.
If a stranger apply in the character of a
Mason, you are cautiously to examine him in such a method as prudence may
direct, and agreeably to the forms established among Masons, that you may
not be imposed upon by an ignorant, false pretender, whom you are to
reject with contempt; and beware of giving him any secret hints of
knowledge. But if you discover him to be a true and genuine brother, you
are to respect him; if he be in want, you are
to relieve him, or direct him how he may be
relieved; you are to employ him, or recommend him to employment: however,
you are never charged to do beyond your ability; only to prefer a poor
brother, who is a good man and true, before any other person in the same
Finally: These rules you are always to
observe and enforce, and also the duties which have been communicated in
the lectures; cultivating brotherly love, the foundation and cap-stone,
the cement and glory of this ancient Fraternity; avoiding, upon every
occasion, wrangling and quarreling, slandering and backbiting; not
permitting others to slander honest brethren, but defending their
characters, and doing them good offices as far as may be consistent with
your honor and safety, but no further. Hence all may see the benign
influence of Masonry, as all true Masons have done from the beginning of
the world, and will do to the end of time. Amen. So mote it be.