‘What do they teach you in Freemasonry?’
We share excerpts of the main “Charge” which is directed at a newly admitted Freemason on his initiation night.
A GOOD FOUNDATION
No institution can boast a more solid foundation than that on which Freemasonry rests; the practice of every moral and social virtue. And to so high an eminence has its credit been advanced that in every age monarchs themselves have been promoters of the art, have not thought it derogatory to their dignity to exchange the sceptre for the trowel, and have patronised our mysteries and joined in our assemblies.
A GOOD CITIZEN
As a citizen, be exemplary in the discharge of your civil duties, by always preserving the peace and good order of society, by paying due obedience to the laws of the state of your residence and above all, by a due allegiance to the Sovereign of your native land, ever remembering that nature has implanted in your breast a sacred and indissoluble attachment towards that country whence you derived your birth and infant nurture.
A GOOD INDIVIDUAL
As an individual, practice every domestic as well as public virtue: let prudence direct you, Temperance chasten you, Fortitude support you, and Justice be the guide of all your actions. Be especially careful to maintain in their fullest splendour those truly Masonic ornaments, Benevolence and Charity to the less fortunate in society.
A GOOD FREEMASON
As a Freemason, there are other excellences of character to which your attention may be peculiarly directed: amongst the foremost of these are Humility and unconditional Love to humanity. By a modest and correct demeanour in the Lodge, by abstaining from every topic of political or religious discussion, by a ready acquiescence to everything that maintains the harmony of the collective in the Lodge, and by always choosing the path in your Masonic journey that reflects honour on your choice.
And as a last general recommendation, let me exhort you to dedicate yourself to such pursuits as may at once enable you to be respectable in life, useful to mankind, and an ornament to the society of which you have this day become a member of.
Excerpts from ‘the charge after initiation’