1775 A.D. Summary of the Antient Charges and Regulations (of a Freemason)
This is the first document in the United Grand Lodge of Victoria's Constitution and common to many other Masonic Jurisdictions throughout the world. The text comes from William Preston in 1775 A.D.
SUMMARY OF THE ANTIENT CHARGES AND REGULATIONS
To be read to the MASTER ELECT Prior to his Installation into the Chair of a Lodge.
1. You agree to be a good man and true, and strictly to obey the Moral Law.
2. You are to be a peaceable subject, and cheerfully to conform to the laws of the country in which you reside.
3. You promise not to be concerned in plots or conspiracies against Government, but patiently to submit to the decisions of the Supreme Legislature.
4. You agree to pay a proper respect to the Civil Magistrate, to work diligently, live creditably and act honourably by all men.
5. You agree to hold in veneration the original rulers and patrons of the Order of Freemasonry and their regular successors, supreme and subordinate, according to their stations; and to submit to the awards and resolutions of your brethren in general Lodge convened, in every case consistent with the Constitutions of the Order.
6. You agree to avoid private piques and quarrels and to guard against intemperance and excess.
7. You agree to be cautious in your carriage and behaviour, courteous to your brethren, and faithful to your Lodge.
8. You promise to respect genuine and true brethren, and to discountenance impostors, and all dissenters from the original plan of Freemasonry.
9. You agree to promote the general good of society, to cultivate the social virtues, and to propagate the knowledge of the Mystic Art as far as your influence and ability can extend.
10. You promise to pay homage to the Grand Master for the time being, and to his officers when duly installed, and strictly to conform to every edict of Grand Lodge.
11. You admit that it is not in the power of any man or body of men to make innovation in the body of Masonry.
12. You promise a regular attendance on the Communications and Committees of Grand Lodge, upon receiving proper notice thereof; and to pay attention to all the duties of Freemasonry upon proper and convenient occasions.
13. You admit that no new Lodge can be formed without the permission of the Grand Master or his Deputy, and that no countenance ought to be given to any irregular Lodge, or to any person initiated therein; and that no public processions of Masons clothed with the badges of the Order can take place without the special licence of the Grand Master or his Deputy.
14. You admit that no person can regularly be made a Freemason or admitted a member of any Lodge without previous notice and due inquiry into his character; and that no Brother can be advanced to a higher degree except in strict conformity with the laws of Grand Lodge.
15. You promise that no visitor shall be received into your Lodge without due examination and producing proper vouchers of his having been initiated in a regular Lodge.