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Examination of Candidates

It is an almost universal rule of the modern Constitutions of Freemasonry, that an examination upon the subjects which had been taught in the preceding Degree shall be required of every Brother who is desirous of receiving a further Degree; and it is directed that this examination shall take place in an open Lodge of the Degree upon which the examination is made, that all the members present may have an opportunity of judging from actual inspection of the proficiency and fitness of the candidate for the advancement to which he aspires.

The necessity of an adequate comprehension of the mysteries of one Degree, before any attempt is made to acquire a further one, seems to have been duly appreciated from the earliest times; and hence the 13th Article of the Regius Manuscript requires that if a Master has an Apprentice he shall teach him fully, that he may know his Craft ably wherever he may go. (see lines 239 to 244). But there is no evidence that the system of examining candidates as to their proficiency, before their advancement, is other than a modern improvement, and first adopted not very early in the last century.

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