The restoration, or, as it is also called, the reinstatement of a Freemason who lad been excluded, suspended, or expelled, may be the voluntary act of the Lodge, or that of the Grand Lodge on appeal, when the sentence of the Lodge has been reversed on account of illegality in the trial, or injustice, or undue severity in the sentence. It may also, as in the instance of definite suspension, be the result of the termination of the period of suspension, when the suspended member is, ipso facto, by the fact itself, restored without any further action of the Lodge.
The restoration from indefinite suspension must be equivalent to a reinstatement in membership, because the suspension being removed, the offender is at once invested with the rights and privileges of which he had never been divested, but only temporarily deprived. But restoration from expulsion may be either to membership in the Lodge or simply to the privileges of the Order. It may also be ex gratia, or an act of mercy, the past offense being condoned; or ex debit justitia, through faulty justice, by a reversal of the sentence for illegality of trial or injustice in the verdict. The restoration ex gratia, or mercifully, may be either by the Lodge or the Grand Lodge on appeal. If by the Lodge, it may be to membership, or only to good standing in the Order. But if by the Grand lodge, the restoration can only be to the rights and privileges of the Order. The Freemason having been justly and legally expelled from the Lodge, the Grand lodge possesses no prerogative by which it could enforce a Lodge to admit one legally expelled any more than it could a profane who had never been initiated.
But if the restoration be ex debit justitia, as an act of justice, because the trial or verdict had been illegal, then the Brother, never having been lawfully expelled from the Lodge or the Order, but being at the very time of his appeal a member of the Lodge, unjustly or illegally deprived of his rights, the restoration in this case by the Grand Lodge must be to membership in the Lodge. Any other course, such as to restore him to the Order but not to membership, would be manifestly unjust. The Grand Lodge having reversed the trial and sentence of the subordinate Lodge, that trial and sentence become null and void, and the Freemason who had been unjustly expelled is at once restored to his original status (see this subject fully discussed in Doctor Maekey's revised Jurisprudence of Freemasonry, 1927).
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