In every trial in a Lodge for an offense against the laws and regulations or the principles of Freemasonry any Master Mason may be the accuser of another, but a profane cannot be permitted to Prefer charges against a Freemason. Yet, if circumstances are known to a profane upon which charges ought to be predicated, a Master Mason may avail himself of that information, and out of it frame an accusation to be presented to the Lodge. Such accusation will be received and investigated although remotely derived from one who is not a member of the Order.
It is not necessary that the accuser should be a member of the same Lodge. It is sufficient if he is an affiliated Freemason; but it is generally held that an unaffiliated Freemason is no more competent to prefer charges than a profane.
In consequence of the Junior Warden being placed over the Craft during the hours of refreshment, and of his being charged at the time of his installation to see "that none of the Craft be suffered to convert the purposes of refreshment into those of intemperance and excess," it has been very generally supposed that it is his duty, as the prosecuting officer of the Lodge, to prefer charges against any member who, by his conduct, has made himself amenable to the penal jurisdiction of the Lodge. We know of no ancient regulation which imposes this unpleasant duty upon the Junior Warden; but it does seem to be a very natural deduction, from his peculiar prerogative as the custosmorum or guardian of the conduct of the Craft, that in all cases of violation of the law he should, after due efforts toward producing a reform, be the proper officer to bring the conduct of the offending Brother to the notice of the Lodge.
The Encyclopedia Masonica exists to preserve the wealth of information that has been generated over the centuries by numerous Masonic authors. As Freemasonry is now Speculative and not Operative, the work of a Mason is now conducted in the quarries of symbolism, literature, history and scholasticism. Freemasonry encourages intellectual exploration and academic achievement in its members and many Masons over the years have taken up this calling. The result has been that an incredible amount of philosophy, symbolic speculation and academic insights have been created. However, as Freemasonry teaches, human knowledge is frail and fragile. It is easily lost in the turnings of the ages and unforeseen catastrophes can result in great setbacks to human knowledge.
For too long these great works have sat on forgotten shelves, gathering dust and concealing the light that could be shed on the darkness of our ignorance. The Encyclopedia Masonica has been created to act as an ark, sailing through time, to ensure that future generations of Freemasons have access to the same knowledge that inspired the Brethren that came before them. It will contain the works of such Masonic Luminaries as Albert G. Mackey, Manly Palmer Hall, G.S.M. Ward, Albert Pike and many others. The Encyclopedia Masonica is a living work and the volunteers of Universal Co-Masonry will continue to labor until the most comprehensive Masonic reference work the world has ever seen has been created. The Encyclopedia Masonica is open to any who wish to use it and will remain open so that the treasures contained within may increase the wealth of all those who seek its wisdom.
- BROTHER ISAAC NEWTON
P.O. BOX 70
Larkspur CO 80118
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