The modern Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England require that every Lodge must be particularly careful in registering the names of the Brethren initiated therein, and also in making the returns of its members; as no person is entitled to partake of the general charity, unless his name be duly registered, and he shall have been at least five years a contributing member of a Lodge, except in the following cases, to which the limitation of five years is not meant to extend, namely, shipwreck, or capture at sea, loss by fire, or blindness or serious accident fully attested and proved (see Rule 234). To prevent injury to individuals, by their being excluded the privileges of Freemasonry through the neglect of their Lodges in not registering their names any Brother so circunwstanced, on producing sufficient proof that he has paid the full fees to his Lodge, including the register fee, shall be capable of enjoying the privileges of the Craft. But the offending Lodge shall be reported to the Board of General Purposes, and rigorously proceeded against for withholding moneys which are the property of the Grand Lodge (see Rule 237). An unregistered member in England is therefore equivalent, so far as the exercise of his rights is concerned, to an unaffiliated Freemason. In the United States of Ameriea the same rule exists of registration in the Lodge books and an annual return of the same to the Grand Lodge, but the penalties for neglect or disobedience are neither so severe nor so well defined.
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