The Charges Of A 
Free Mason 
Extracted from  The Ancient Records of Lodges beyond Sea, and of those in England, Scotland, and Ireland, for the use 
of the Lodges in London

                         The General Heads

i. Of God and Religion. 
ii. Of the Civil Magistrate Supreme and Subordinate. 
iii. Of Lodges. 
iv. Of Masters, Wardens, Fellow, and Apprentices. 
v. Of the Management of the Craft in Working. 
vi. Of Behavior, viz.: 
       1. In the Lodge while constituted. 
       2. After the Lodge is over and the Brethren not gone. 
       3. When the Brethren meet without Stangers, but not in 
          a Lodge. 
       4. In the presence of Stranges not Masons. 
       5. At Home and in the Neighborhood. 
       6. Towards a strange Brother. 

            i. Concerning God And Religion 

       A Mason is oblig'd by his Tenure, to obey the moral 
       law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will 
       never be a stupid ATHEIST, nor an irreligious 
       LIBERTINE. But though in ancient Times Masons 
       were charged in every Country to be of the Religion 
       of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet it is 
       now thought more expedient only to oblige them to 
       that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their 
       particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be 
       good Men and true. or Men of Honour and Honesty, 
       by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they 
       may be distinguish'd; whereby Masonry becomes 
       the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating 
       true Friendship among Persons that must have 
       remain'd at a perpetual Distance. 

          ii. Of The Civil Magistrate Supreme 
                         And Subordinate 

       A Mason is a Peaceable Subject to the Civil Powers, 
       wherever he resides or works, and is never to be 
       concern'd in Plots and Conspiracies against the 
       Peace and Welfare of the Nation, nor to behave 
       himself undutifully to inferior Magistrates; for as 
       Masonry hath been always injured by War, 
       Bloodshed and Confusion, so ancient Kings and 
       Princes have been much dispos'd to encourage the 
       Craftsmen, because of the Peaceableness and 
       Loyalty, whereby they practically answer'd the 
       Cavils of their Adversaries, and promoted the 
       Honour of the Fraternity, who ever flourish'd in 
       Times of Peace. So that if a Brother should be 
       Rebel against the State, he is not to be countenanc'd 
       in his Rebellion, however he may be pitied as an 
       unhappy Man; and if Convicted of no other Crime, 
       though the loyal Brotherhood must and ought to 
       disown his Rebellion, and give no Umbrage or 
       Ground of Political Jealousy to the Government for 
       the time being, they can not expel him from the 
       Lodge, and his relation to it remains indefeasible. 

                           iii. Of Lodges 

         A Lodge is a Place where members assemble and 
         work; Hence that Assembly, or duly organiz'd 
         Society of Masons, is call'd a Lodge, and every 
         Brother ought to belong to one, and to be subject 
         to its By-Laws and the General Regulations. It is 
         either particular or general, and will be best 
         understoon by attending it, and by the 
         Regulations of the General or Grand Lodge 
         hereunto annex'd. In ancient Times, no Master or 
         Fellow could be absent from it, especially when 
         warn'd to appear at it, with incurring a severe 
         Censure, until it appear'd to the Master and 
         Wardens, that pure Necessity hinder'd him. 

         The Persons admitted Members of a Lodge must 
         be good and true Men, free-born and of marute 
         and discreet Age, no Bondmen, no Women, no 
         immoral or scandalous Men, but of good Report.