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Paul Revere Charge to Officers

John Singleton Copley, Portrait of Paul Revere. c. 1768–70

The following charge is used by some lodges at the Annual Installation. It is dated from 1775 and is supposed to have been written by Bro. Paul Revere, famous for his night ride during the American War of Independence

That the Society may prosper, you must preserve the dignity of your office, requiring submission from the perverse and refractory, always acting and being guided by the principles on which your authority is founded: You must, to the extent of your power, pay a constant attendance on your lodge, that you may see how your work flourished, and your instructions are  obeyed:  You must take care that neither your words or actions shall render your authority to be less regarded, but that your prudent and careful behavior may set an example, and give a sanction to your power. And as brotherly love is the cement of our society, so cherish and encourage it that the Brethren may be willing to obey the dictate of Masons, that you have occasion to command.

And you, the Officers of this Worshipful Lodge, must carefully assist the Master in the discharge and execution of his office; diffusing light and imparting knowledge to all the fellows under your care, keeping the Brethren in just order and decorum, that nothing may disturb the peaceable serenity, or obstruct the glorious effects of Harmony and Concord; and that this may be the better preserved, you must carefully inquire into the character of all candidates to this honorable society, and recommend none to the Master who in your opinion are unworthy of the privileges and advantages of Masonry, keeping the CYNIC far from the Ancient Fraternity, where Harmony is obstructed- ed by the superstitious and morose. You must discharge the Lodge quietly, encouraging the Brethren assembled to work cheerfully, that none, when dismissed, may go away dissatisfied.

And You, Brethren of the Worshipful lodge, learn to follow the advice and instruction of your officers, submitting cheerfully to their amicable decisions, throwing by all resentments and prejudices towards each other; let your chief care be to the advancement of the Society you have the honor to be members of; let there be a modest and friendly emulation among you in doing good  to  each  other; let complacency and benevolence flourish among you; let your actions be Squared by the Rules of Masonry; let friendship be cherished, and all advantages of that title be which we distinguish each other, that we may be Brothers, not only in name but in the full import, extent, and latitude of so glorious an appellation.

Words as relevant today as they were over 200 years ago.

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