~ 2 ~ The division of symbolic Freemasonry into three Degrees is a Landmark that has been better preserved than almost any other.
~ 3 ~ The Legend of the Third Degree is an important Landmark, the integrity of which has been well preserved. There is no Rite of Freemasonry, practiced in any country or in any language, in which the essential elements of this Legend are not taught. Any Rite which should exclude it, or materially alter it, would at once, by that exclusion or alternation cease to be a Masonic Rite.
~ 4 ~ The government of the Fraternity by a presiding officer called a Grand Master, who is elected from the body of the Craft, is a fourth Landmark. Many persons suppose that the election of a Grand Master is held in consequence of a law or regulation of a Grand Lodge. Such, however, is not the case. The office is indebted for its existence to a Landmark of the Order.
~ 5 ~ The prerogative of the Grand Master to preside over every Assembly of the Craft, wheresoever and whensoever held, is a fifth Landmark. It is in consequence of this Landward, derived from ancient usages, that the Grand Master assumes the chair at every Communication of a Grand Lodge; and that he is also entitled to preside at the communication of every subordinate Lodge where he may happen to be present.
~ 6 ~ The prerogative of the Grand Master to grant Dispensations for conferring Degrees at irregular times is another very important Landmark. The statutory law of Freemasonry requires a month, or other determinate period, to elapse between the presentation of a petition and the election of a candidate. But the Grand Master has the power to set aside or dispense with this probation, and to allow a candidate to be initiated at once. This prerogative he possessed before the enactment of the law requiring a probation, and as no statute can impair his prerogative, he still retains this power.
~ 7 ~ The prerogative of the Grand Master to give Dispensations for opening and holding Lodges is another Landmark. He may grant in virtue of this, to a sufficient number of Freemasons, the privilege of meeting together and conferring Degrees. The Lodges thus established are called Lodges Under Dispensation.
~ 8 ~ The prerogative of the Grand Master to make Freemasons at sight is an Ancient Landmark which is closely connected with the preceding one.
~ 9 ~ The necessity for Freemasons to congregate in Lodges is another Landmark. From time immemorial, the Landmarks of the Order always prescribed that Freemasons should, from time to time, congregate together for the purpose of either Operative or Speculative labor, and that these Congregations should be called Lodges. Formerly, these were extemporary meetings called together for special purposes, and then dissolved, the Brethren departing to meet again at other times and other places, according to the necessity of circumstances. But Warrants of Constitution, by-laws, and permanent officers are modern innovations wholly outside of the Landmarks, and dependent entirely on special enactments of a comparatively recent period.
~ 10 ~ The government of the Craft, when so congregated in a Lodge, by a Master and two Wardens is a Landmark. A Congregation of Freemasons meeting together under any other government, as that, for instance, of a president and vice-president, or a chairman and sub-chairman, would not be recognized as a Lodge. The presence of a Master and two Wardens is as essential to the valid organization of a Lodge as a Warrant of Constitution is at the present day. The names of these three officers vary in different languages; but the officers, their number, prerogatives, and duties are everywhere identical.
~ 11 ~ The necessity that every Lodge, when congregated, should be duly tiled, is an important Landmark of the Institution which is never neglected. The necessity of this law arises from the esoteric character of Freemasonry. The duty of guarding the door, and keeping off cowans and eavesdroppers, is an ancient one.
~ 12 ~ The right of every Freemason to be represented in all general meetings of the Craft, and to instruct his representatives, is a twelfth Landmark. Formerly, these general meetings, which were usually held once a year, were called General Assemblies, and all the Fraternity, even to the youngest Entered Apprentice, were permitted to be present. Now they are called Grand Lodges, and only the Masters and Wardens of the subordinate Lodges are summoned. But this is simply as the representatives of their members. Originally, each Freemason represented himself; now he is represented by the officers of his Lodge.
~ 13 ~ The right of every Freemason to appeal from the decision of his Brethren, in Lodge convened, to the Grand Lodge or General Assembly of Freemasons, is a Landmark highly essential to the preservation of justice, and the prevention of oppression.
~ 14 ~ The right of every Freemason to visit and sit in every regular Lodge is an unquestionable Landmark of the Order. This is called the Right of Visitation. This right of visitation has always been recognized as an inherent right which inures to every Freemason as he travels through the world. And this is because Lodges are justly considered as only divisions for convenience of the universal Masonic family.
~ 15 ~ It is a Landmark of the Order, that no visitor unknown to the Brethren present, or to some one of them as a Freemason, can enter a Lodge without first passing an examination according to ancient usage. If the visitor is known to any Brother present to be a Freemason in good standing, and if that Brother will vouch for his qualifications, the examination may be dispensed with, as the Landmark refers only to the cases of strangers, who are not to be recognized unless after strict trial, due examination or lawful information.
~ 17 ~ It is a Landmark that every Freemason is amenable to the laws and regulations of the Masonic Jurisdiction in which he resides, and this although he may not be a member of any Lodge in that Jurisdiction.
~18 ~ Certain qualifications of candidates for initiation are derived from a Landmark of the Order. These qualifications are that he shall be a man, unmutilated, free born, and of mature age.
~ 19 ~ A belief in the existence of God as the Great Architect of the Universe, is one of the most important Landmarks of the Order. It has always been admitted that a denial of the existence of a Supreme and Superintending Power is an absolute disqualification for initiation. The annals of the Order never have furnished or could furnish an instance in which an avowed Atheist was ever made a Freemason. The very initiatory ceremonies of the First Degree forbid and prevent the possibility of such an occurrence.
~ 20 ~ Subsidiary to this belief in God, as a Landmark of the Order, is the belief in a resurrection to a future life.
~ 21 ~ It is a Landmark that a Book of the Law shall constitute an indispensable part of the furniture of every Lodge. It is not absolutely a requirement that the Old and New Testaments be used. The Book of the Law is that volume which, by the religion of the country, is believed to contain the revealed will of the Great Architect of the Universe. Hence, in all Lodges in Christian countries, the Book of the Law is composed of the Old and New Testaments; in a country where Judaism is the prevailing faith, the Old Testament alone would be sufficient; and in a Mohammedan countries, and among Mohammedan Freemasons, the Koran may be substituted. Freemasonry does not attempt to interfere with the particular religious faith of its disciples, except so far as it relates to the belief in the existence of God, and what necessarily results from that belief. The Book of Law is to the Speculative Freemason his spiritual Trestleboard; without this he cannot labor; whatever he belies to be the revealed will of the Great Architect constitutes for him in his hours of speculative labor, to be the rule and guide of his conduct. The Landmark, therefore, requires that a Book of the Law, a religious code of some kind as the revealed will of God, shall form an essential part of the furniture of every Lodge.
~ 22 ~ The equality of all Freemasons is another Landmark of the Order. This equality has not reference to any subversion of those graduations of rank which have been instituted by the usages of society. The monarch, the nobleman and the common laborer are all equal within Freemasonry.
~ 23 ~ The secrecy of the Institution is another and most important Landmark. If the institution were divest of its secret character, it would cease to be Freemasonry. This secrecy is based on the forms and modes of recognition so that one Freemason may know another.
~ 24 ~ The foundation of a Speculative Science upon an Operative Art, and the symbolic use and explanation of the terms of that art, for the purposes of religious or moral teaching constitute another Landmark of the Order. The Temple of Solomon is the symbolic cradle of the Institution, and, therefore, the reference to the Operative Masonry which constructed that magnificent edifice, to the materials and implements which were employed in its construction, and to the artists who were engaged in the building, are all component and essential parts of the body of Freemasonry, which could not be subtracted from it without an entire destruction of the whole identity of the Order.
~ 25 ~ The last and crowning Landmark of all is that these Landmarks can never be changed. Nothing can be subtracted from them — nothing can be added to them — not the slightest modification can be made in them. As they were received from our predecessors, we are bound by the most solemn obligations of duty to transmit them to our successors.