Page 12 - MFM August 2017
P. 12

THE ANCIENT CONSTITUTIONS
































     We are directed to read frequently or have read,
    in  the  lodge  the  Book  of Ancient  Constitutions,            THE WRITTEN LAW
    which is the fundamental law for the government            The Old York Constitutions of 926
    of  Masons.  The  Constitution  and  Statutes  of
    the  Grand  Lodge  AF&AM  of  Montana  are  the     Note:  The  date  of  926 is often used  for the York  Legend.  The
    governing law of the Grand Lodge Ancient Free       earliest extant of the old manuscript Constitution’s is the Ancient
                                                        poem commonly known as the Halliwell or Regius Manuscript
    and Accepted Masons of Montana. The Book of         and the date of which is conjectured, to be about the year 1390.
    Ancient  Constitutions  this  Grand  Lodge  does   The Fifteen Articles:
    recognize and adopt as the fundamental laws, rules,     1. The Master must be steadfast, trusty and true;
    and regulations for the government of Masons, and   provide victuals for his men, and pay their wages
    declares that it shall frequently be read by Masters   punctually.
    and other craftsmen, as well within the lodges as     2.  Every  Master  shall  attend    the  Grand  Lodge
    without, to the end that none may be ignorant of the   when duly summoned, unless he have a good and
    excellent principles and precepts it Inculcates. The   reasonable excuse.
    Book of Ancient Constitutions includes all of the   3.  No  Master  shall  take  an Apprentice  for  less
    Ancient Rules and Regulations of the Fraternity as   than seven years.
    recognized by the several Grand Lodges, including    4. The son of a bondsman shall not be admitted as
    the Constitution, By-Laws, Rules, and Regulations   an Apprentice, lest, when he is introduced into the
    of any particular Grand Lodge, within its special   Lodge, any of the brethren should be offended.
    jurisdiction. With 2017 being the tercentenary of    5.  A candidate must be without blemish, and have
    the United Grand Lodge of England, it is fitting   the full and proper use of his limbs; for a maimed
    that we take the time to read historic texts.      man can do the craft no good.

     For some, this may be difficult to read because    6.  The  Master  shall  take  especial  care,  in  the
    the  text  retains  much  of  the  ancient  word  usage   admission of an Apprentice, that he do his lord no
                                                       prejudice.
    and  spelling.  However,  for  many  others,  those   7. He shall harbor no thief or thief’s retainer, lest
    who cherish holding onto their rotary phones and   the craft should come to shame.
    those who take not using a computer as a badge of   8.  If  he  knowingly  employ  an  imperfect  man,
    honor, this should be easy reading.                he  shall  discharge  him  from  the  work  when  his
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