C. W. Moore (Freemasons Magazine xii, page 290) says: "We suppose it to be generally conceded that Lodges cannot properly, be adjourned. It has been so decided by, a large proportion of the Grand Lodges in America, and tacitly, at least, concurred in by all. We are not aware that there is a dissenting voice among them. It is, therefore, safe to assume that the settled policy is against adjournment."
The reason which he assigns for this rule, is that adjournment is a method used only in deliberative bodies, such as legislatures and courts, aud as Lodges do not partake of the character of either of these, adjournments are not applicable to them. The rule which Brother Moore lays down is undoubtedly correct, but the reason which he assigns for it is not sufficient. If a Lodge were permitted to adjourn by the vote of a majority of its members, the control of the labor would be placed in their hands. But according to the whole spirit of the Masonic system, the Master alone controls and directs the hours of labor.
In the fifth of the Old Charges, approved in 1722, it is declared that "All Masons shall meekly receive their Wages without murmuring or mutiny, and not desert the Master till the Lord's work is finished." Now as the Master alone can know when "the work is finished," the selection of the time of closing must be vested in him. He is the sole judge of the proper period at which the labors of the Lodge should be terminated, and he may suspend business even in the middle of a debate, if he supposes that it is expedient to close the Lodge. Hence no motion for adjournment can ever be admitted in a Masonic Lodge. Such a motion would be an interference with the prerogative of the Master, and could not therefore be entertained.
The Earl of Zetland, when Grand Master of England, ruled on November 19, 1856, that a Lodge has no power to adjourn except to the next regular day of meeting. He said: "I may, say that Private Lodges are governed by much the same laws as Grand Lodges, and that no meeting of a Private Lodge can be adjourned; but the Master of a Private Lodge may, and does, convene Lodges of Emergency. "
This is in the Freemasons Magazine (1856, page 848).
This prerogative of opening and closing his Lodge is necessarily vested in the Master, because, by the nature of our Institution, he is responsible to the Grand Lodge for the good conduct of the body over which he presides. He is charged, in those questions to which he is required to give his assent at his installation, to hold the Landmarks in veneration, and to conform to every edict of the Grand Lodge, and for any violation of the one or disobedience of the other by the Lodge, in his presence, he would be answerable to the supreme Masonic authority. Hence the necessity that an arbitrary power should be conferred upon him, by the exercise of which he may at any time be enabled to prevent the adoption of resolutions, or the commission of any act which would be subversive of, or contrary to, those ancient laws and usages which he has sworn to maintain and preserve.
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.
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