C. W. Moore (Freemasons Magazine xii, page 290) says: "We suppose it to be generally conceded that Lodges cannot properly, be adjourned. It has been so decided by, a large proportion of the Grand Lodges in America, and tacitly, at least, concurred in by all. We are not aware that there is a dissenting voice among them. It is, therefore, safe to assume that the settled policy is against adjournment."
The reason which he assigns for this rule, is that adjournment is a method used only in deliberative bodies, such as legislatures and courts, aud as Lodges do not partake of the character of either of these, adjournments are not applicable to them. The rule which Brother Moore lays down is undoubtedly correct, but the reason which he assigns for it is not sufficient. If a Lodge were permitted to adjourn by the vote of a majority of its members, the control of the labor would be placed in their hands. But according to the whole spirit of the Masonic system, the Master alone controls and directs the hours of labor.
In the fifth of the Old Charges, approved in 1722, it is declared that "All Masons shall meekly receive their Wages without murmuring or mutiny, and not desert the Master till the Lord's work is finished." Now as the Master alone can know when "the work is finished," the selection of the time of closing must be vested in him. He is the sole judge of the proper period at which the labors of the Lodge should be terminated, and he may suspend business even in the middle of a debate, if he supposes that it is expedient to close the Lodge. Hence no motion for adjournment can ever be admitted in a Masonic Lodge. Such a motion would be an interference with the prerogative of the Master, and could not therefore be entertained.
The Earl of Zetland, when Grand Master of England, ruled on November 19, 1856, that a Lodge has no power to adjourn except to the next regular day of meeting. He said: "I may, say that Private Lodges are governed by much the same laws as Grand Lodges, and that no meeting of a Private Lodge can be adjourned; but the Master of a Private Lodge may, and does, convene Lodges of Emergency. "
This is in the Freemasons Magazine (1856, page 848).
This prerogative of opening and closing his Lodge is necessarily vested in the Master, because, by the nature of our Institution, he is responsible to the Grand Lodge for the good conduct of the body over which he presides. He is charged, in those questions to which he is required to give his assent at his installation, to hold the Landmarks in veneration, and to conform to every edict of the Grand Lodge, and for any violation of the one or disobedience of the other by the Lodge, in his presence, he would be answerable to the supreme Masonic authority. Hence the necessity that an arbitrary power should be conferred upon him, by the exercise of which he may at any time be enabled to prevent the adoption of resolutions, or the commission of any act which would be subversive of, or contrary to, those ancient laws and usages which he has sworn to maintain and preserve.
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