Charges of 1722
The Fraternity had long been in possession of many records, containing the ancient regulations of the Order; when, in 1722, the Duke of Montague being Grand Master of England, the Grand Lodge finding fault with their antiquated arrangement, it was directed that they should be collected, and after being properly digested, be annexed to the Book of Constitutions, then in course of publication under the superintendence of Dr. James Anderson.
This was accordingly done, and the document now well known under the title of The Old Charges of the Free and Accepted Masons, constitutes, by universal consent, a part of the fundamental law of our Order.
The charges are divided into six general heads of duty, as follows:
1. Concerning God and religion. 2. Of the civil magistrate, supreme and subordinate. 3. Of Lodges. 4. Of Masters, Wardens, Fellows, and Apprentices. 5. Of the management of the Craft in working. 6. Of behavior under different circumstances and in various conditions.
These charges contain succinct directions for the proper discharge of a Freemason's duties, in whatever position he may be placed, and are as modern researches have shown, a collation of the charges contained in the Old Records and from them have been abridged, or by them suggested, all those well-known directions found in our monitors, which, Masters are accustomed to read to candidates on their reception (see Records, Old).
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