The mode of government observed by the fraternity will give the best idea
of the nature and design of the Masonic system.
Three classes are established among Masons, under different appellations.
The privileges of each class are distinct, and particular means adopted to
preserve those privileges to the just and meritorious. Honour and probity
are recommendations to the first class; in which the practice of virtue is
enforced, and the duties of morality are inculcated, while the mind is prepared
for a regular progress in the principles of knowledge and philosophy, Diligence,
assiduity, and application, are qualifications for the second class; in which
is given an accurate elucidation of science, both in theory and practice.
Here human reason is cultivated by a due exertion of the intellectual powers
and faculties; nice and difficult theories are explained; new discoveries
are produced, and those already known are beautifully embellished. The third
class is restricted to a selected few, whom truth and fidelity have
distinguished, whom years and experience have improved,and whom merit and
abilities have entitled to preferment. With them the ancient landmarks of
the Order are preserved, and from them we learn the necessary and instructive
lessons, which dignify the art, and qualify its professors to illustrate
its excellence and utility.
This is the established plan of the Masonic system. By this judicious
arrangement, true friendship is cultivated among different ranks of men,
hospitality promoted, industry rewarded and ingenuity encouraged.