Historical Reprints Principles of Masonic Law

Principles of Masonic Law

Principles of Masonic Law
Catalog # SKU1010
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.50 lbs
Author Name Albert G. Mackey


The Principles
Masonic Law

Constitutional Laws, Usages And
Landmarks of Freemasonry

Albert G. Mackey, M.D.

The laws which govern the institution of Freemasonry are of two kinds, unwritten and written, and may in a manner be compared with the "lex non scripta," or common law, and the "lex seripta," or statute law of English and American jurists.


The old charges state, that "a Mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the moral law." It is scarcely necessary to say, that the phrase, "moral law," is a technical expression of theology, and refers to the Ten Commandments, which are so called, because they define the regulations necessary for the government of the morals and manners of men. The habitual violation of any one of these commands would seem, according to the spirit of the Ancient Constitutions, to disqualify a candidate for Masonry. The same charges go on to say, in relation to the religious character of a Mason, that he should not be "a stupid atheist, nor an irreligious libertine." A denier of the existence of a Supreme Architect of the Universe cannot, of course, be obligated as a Mason, and, accordingly, there is no landmark more certain than that which excludes every atheist from the Order.

The word "libertine" has, at this day, a meaning very different from what it bore when the old charges were compiled. It then signified what we now call a "free-thinker," or disbeliever in the divine revelation of the Scriptures. This rule would therefore greatly abridge the universality and tolerance of the Institution, were it not for the following qualifying clause in the same instrument:- "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 honor and honesty, by whatever denominations or persuasions they may be distinguished."

Paperback, 5 x 8, 240+ pages


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