It is a custom in some Lodges to invest distinguished Freemasons with the rank and title of honorary membership. This confers upon them, as the by-laws may prescribe, sometimes all the rights of active membership and sometimes only the right of speaking, but always without the exaction of annual dues. Nor does honorary membership subject the person receiving it to the discipline of the Lodge further than to a revocation of the honor bestowed. The custom of electing honorary members is a usage of very modern date, and has not the sanction of the old Constitutions. It is common in France; less so, but not altogether unknown, in America and England. Oliver, in the title of one of his works, claimed honorary membership in more than nine Lodges. It may be considered unobjectionable as a method of paying respect to distinguished merit and Masonic services, when it is viewed only as a local regulation, and does not attempt to interfere with Masonic discipline. A Freemason who is expelled forfeits, of course, with his active membership in his own Lodge, his honorary membership in any other Lodge.
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