Saturday, October 25, 2008

Of the Officers of a Subordinate Lodge - Section III. Of the Mode of Taking the Question.

A Treatise on the Constitutional Laws, Usages And Landmarks of Freemasonry
by Dr.Albert Gallatin Mackey, 1856

The question in Masonry is not taken viva voce or by "aye" and "nay." This should always be done by "a show of hands." The regulation on this subject was adopted not later than the year 1754, at which time the Book of Constitutions was revised, "and the necessary alterations and additions made, consistent with the laws and rules of Masonry," and accordingly, in the edition published in the following year, the regulation is laid down in these words, "The opinions or votes of the members are always to be signified by each holding up one of his hands: which uplifted hands the Grand Wardens are to count, unless the number of hands be so unequal as to render the counting useless. Nor should any other kind of division be ever admitted among Masons."[ Book of Constitutions, edition of 1755, p. 282]

Calling for the yeas and nays has been almost universally condemned as an unmasonic practice, nor should any Master allow it to be resorted to in his lodge.

Moving the "previous question," a parliamentary invention for stopping all discussion, is still more at variance with the liberal and harmonious spirit which should distinguish Masonic debates and is, therefore, never to be permitted in a lodge.

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