The petition of a candidate for initiation must be recommended by at least two members of the Lodge. Preston requires the signature to be witnessed by one person; he does not say whether the witness must be a member of the Lodge or not, and that the candidate must be proposed in open Lodge by a member.
Webb says that "the candidate must be proposed in form, by a member of the Lodge, and the proposition seconded by another member." Cross says that the recommendation glib to be signed by two members of the Lodge," and he dispenses with the formal proposition.
These gradual changes, none of them, however, substantially affecting the principle, have at last resulted in the present simpler usage, which is, for two members of the Lodge to affix their names to the petition, as recommenders of the applicant.
The petition for a Dispensation for a new Lodge, as preliminary to the application for a Warrant of Constitution, must be recommended by the nearest Lodge. Preston says that it must be recommended "by the Masters of three regular Lodges adjacent to the place where the new Lodge is to be held." This is also the language of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. The Grand Lodge of Scotland requires the recommendation to be signed "by the Masters and officers of two of the nearest Lodges." The modern Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England requires a recommendation "by the officers of some regular Lodge," without saying anything of its vicinity to the new Lodge. The rule now universally adopted is, that it must be recommenced by the nearest Lodge (see Doctor Mackey's revised Jurisprudence of Freemasonry).
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