A Masonic Charge from 1843 A.D. - Charge at Closing
Many might not know we have a “Charge at Closing” here in Victoria, it is untitled but we all know it; “Brethren, nothing now remains but according to ancient custom to lock up our secrets in a sacred repository...” Our short Closing Charge comes from ritual known as “Emulation” but there are many other rituals, particularly Preston/Webb & Duncan used in the USA. The below appeared in many versions of “The New Masonic Trestle-Board” in the mid to late 1800’s. In States like Pennsylvania & New Mexico, a similar charge is still used today.
Brethren: You are now to quit this sacred retreat of friendship and virtue, to mix again with the world. Amidst its concerns and employments forget not the duties you have heard so frequently inculcated and forcibly recommended in this Lodge. Be diligent, prudent, temperate and discreet. Remember that around this altar you have promised to befriend and relive every Brother who shall need your assistance. Remember that you have promised to remind him in the most tender manner of his failings and aid in his reformation. Vindicate his character when forcibly traduced. Suggesting his behalf the most candid and favorable circumstances. Is he just reprehended? Let the world observe how Masons love one another. These generous principles are to extend farther. Every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. “Do good unto all.” Recommend it more “especially to the household of the faithful.” By diligence to the duties of your respective callings; by liberal benevolence and diffusive charity; by constancy and fidelity in your friendships – discover the beneficial and happy effects of this ancient and honorable Institution. Let it not be supposed that you have here “labored in vain and spent your strength for naught; for your work is with the Lord and your recompense with your God.” Finally Brethren, be ye all of one mind – live in peace and may the God of love and peace delight and dwell with and bless you.