The Accepted

Reprinted 27th August, 2004 – CANMAS

Worshipful Company of Freemasons

The development of the “accepted” mason within the Worshipful Company of Freemasons in the City of London is a curious stage in the progression from artisan guild toward voluntary philosophical society. While the paucity of historical records covering this transitional period has encouraged wild conjecture from certain writers, in fact there is sufficient archival information pertaining to Masonic evolution to accurately discuss and assess the significance of the “Accepteds” within the London Company.[i]

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The Absence of Past Masters

Past Master Jewel

In search of a title for this paper I could only arrive at one word to express the feelings of many who are concerned with the lack of enthusiasm and dedication to the Craft on the part of a large percentage of our Past. Masters. That word is “absence”.

The title of this paper may indicate that all Past Masters neglect their lodges as soon as they are installed as Immediate Past Masters. While this is not. true, a great number seem to feel that they are no longer obligated to be regular attenders and to offer their support to the Worshipful Master and his officers. Yet those who occupy the chairs are to some extent the members who supported the Past Master during his year in office.

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A Higher Stand

From its origin to the present hour, in its entire vicissitudes, Masonry has been the steady unweaving friend of man. – Rev. Erastus Burr

Freemason Initiation

Every Mason who has attentively observed the action of Grand Lodges within the last few years, must have seen the indications of  progress shown by these bodies assuming a  higher position in regard to moral requirements. Although morality is one of the foundation stones of our mystic temple, yet for many years there was some remissness in enforcing its observance. Members were too often permitted to violate the moral law with impunity, forgetful of the solemn admonitions of the Order, and reckless, not only of their own standing, but of the reputation of Freemasonry itself. The moral aspect of Masonry is, to a great extent, known by the uninitiated only as it is seen in the character and conduct of its members. Hence, a swearing, drinking, gambling, Sabbath-breaking Mason, was considered by “outsiders” as a legitimate representative of the Order to which they belonged: and when told that Masonry did not sanction nor permit such things, they triumphantly pointed to facts – to A, to B, to C, – whose daily practice taught very different doctrine, and whose membership in the Craft sustained the assumption.

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