Freemasonry seeks to proclaim its principles as widely as men will hear them. Its only secrets are its methods of recognition and of symbolic instruction.

Freemasonry is charitable in that it is not organized for profit and none of its income inures to the benefit of any individual, but all is devoted to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of mankind.

It is benevolent in that it teaches and exemplifies altruism as a duty.

It is educational in that it teaches by prescribed ceremonials a system of morality and brotherhood based upon the Sacred Law.

It is religious in that it teaches monotheism; a Volume of the Sacred Law is open upon its altars whenever a Lodge is in session, reverence for God is ever present in its ceremonials, and to its Brethren are constantly addressed lessons of morality; but it is not sectarian or theological.

It is a social organization only so far as it furnishes additional inducement that men may foregather in numbers, thereby providing more material for its primary work of education and charity.

Through the improvement and strengthening of the character of the individual man, Freemasonry seeks to improve the community. Thus it impresses upon its members the principles of personal righteousness and personal responsibility, enlightens them as to those things which make for human welfare, and inspires them with that feeling of charity, or goodwill toward all mankind which will move them to translate principle and conviction into action.

To that end, it stands for fraternity and philanthropy, truth and justice, reverence for God; and enlightenment in all spheres, civil, religious, and intellectual. It charges each of its members to be true and loyal to the government of the country to which he owes allegiance and to be obedient to the laws of any state in which he may be.

It believes that the attainment of these objectives is best accomplished by laying a broad basis of principle upon which men of every race, country, sect, and opinion may unite rather than by setting up a restricted platform upon which only those of certain races, creeds, and opinion can assemble.

Believing these things, this Grand Lodge affirms its continued adherence to that ancient and approved rule of Freemasonry which forbids the discussion in Masonic meetings of creeds, politics, or other topics likely to excite personal animosities.

It further affirms its conviction that it is not only contrary to the fundamental principles of Freemasonry, but dangerous to its unity, strength, usefulness, and welfare for Masonic bodies to take action or attempt to exercise pressure or influence for or against any legislation, or in any way attempt to procure the election or appointment of governmental officials, or to influence them, whether or not members of the Fraternity, in the performance of their official duties. The true Freemason will act in civil life according to his individual judgment and the dictates of his conscience.

In ancient times, the Brethren met in General Assembly for the ordering of the affairs of the Craft. With growth in number, however, it became necessary in 1717, to adopt a representative form of government, since which time the Brethren have met in Lodges, and each Lodge has sent its delegates to a legislative body known as the Grand Lodge.[…]

From the Preamble to the Constitutions and Regulations of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

This web page created on ... June 23, 2008