"19. A belief in the existence of God, as the Grand Architect of the Universe, is one of the most im portant Landmarks of the Order. It has been always deemed essential that a denial of the existence of a Supreme and Superintending Power is an absolute disqualifica tion for initiation. The annals of the Order never yet have furnished or could furnish an instance in which an avowed atheist was ever made a Mason. The very initiatory ceremonies of the first degree and prevent the possibilty of so monstrous 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. This Landmark is not so positively impressed on the can didate by exact words as the pr.: ceding; but the doctrine is by very plain implication, and mat through the whole symbolism of the Order. To believe in Masonry, and not to believe in a resurrection, would be an absurd anon sly, which could only be excused by the reflec tion, that he who thus confounded his belief and his skepticism was so ignorant of the meaning of both the ories as to have no rational founda tion for his knowledge of either.
" 21. It is a Landmark that a 'Book of the Law' shall constitute an indispensable part of the fur niture of every Lodge. I say, ad visedly. Book of the Law, because it is not absolutely required that everywhere the Old and New Testa ments shall 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 Grand 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 was the prevailing faith, the Old Testament alone would be sufficient ; and in Mohammedan countries, and among Mohammedan Masons, the Koran might be sub stituted. Masonry does not attempt to interfere with the peculiar reli gious faith of its disciples, except so far as relates to the belief in the existence of God, and what neces sarily results from that belief. The Book of the Law is to the specu lative Mason his spiritual trestle board; without this he cannot labor; whatever he believes to be the re vealed will of the Grand Architect constitutes for him this spiritual trestle-board, and must ever be before him in his hours of apecula, Eve 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, purporting to be an exemplar of the revealed will of God, shall form an essential part of the furni ture of every Lodge.
"22. The equality of all Masons is another Landmark of the Order. This equality has no reference to any subversion of those gradations of rank which have been instituted by the usages of society. The monarch, the nobleman, or the gentleman is entitled to all the in fluence, and receives all the respect which rightly belong to his exalted position. But the doctrine of Ma sonic equality implies that, as chil dren of one great Father, we meet in the Lodge upon the level—that on that level we are all traveling to one predestined goal—that in the Lodge genuine merit shall receive more respect than boundless wealth, and that virtue and knowledge alone should be the ba.sis of all Masonie honors, and be rewarded with pre ferment. When the labors of the Lodge are over, and the brethren have retired from their peaceful re treat, to mingle once more with the world, each will then again resume that social position, and exercise the privileges of that rank, to which the customs of society entitle him.
" 23. The secrecy of the insti tution is another, and a most im portant, Landmark. There is some difficulty in precisely defining what is meant by a 'secret society.' If the term refers, as, perhaps, in strictly logical language it should, to those associations whose designs are concealed from the public eye, and whose members are unknown, which produce their results in dark ness, and whose operations are carefully hidden from the pnblie gaze—a definition which will be appropriate to many political clubs and revolutionary combinations in despotic countries, where reform, if it is at all to be effected, must be effected by stealth—then clearly Freemasonry is not a secret society.
Its design is not only publicly proclaimed, but is vaunted by its disciples as something to be vener ated—its disciples are known, for its membership is considered an honor to be coveted—it works for a result of which it boasts—the civilization and refinement of man, the amelioration of his condition, and the reformation of his manners. But if by a secret society is meant— and this is the most popular nadir standing of the term—a society in which there is a certain amount of knowledge, whether it be of methods of recognition, or of legendary and traditional learning, which is im parted to those only who have passed through an established form of initiation, the form itself being also concealed or esoteric, then in this sense is Freemasonry undoubt edly a secret society. Now this form of secrecy is a form inherent in it, existing with it from its very foundation, and secured to it by its ancient Landmarks. If divested of its secret character, it would lose its identity, and would cease to be Freemasonry. Whatever objections may, therefore, be made to the in stitution, on account of its secrecy, and however much some unskillful brethren have been willing in times of trial, for the sake of expediency, to divest it of its secret character, it will be ever impossible to do so, even were the Landmark not stand ing before us as an insurmountable obstacle; because such change of its character would be social suicide, and the death of the Order would follow its legalized exposure. Free masonry, as a secret association, has lived unchanged for centuries—, as an open society it would not last for as many years.
" 24. The foundation of a specu lative science upon an operative art, and the symbolic use and explanation of the terms of that art, for purposes of religious or moral teaching, constitute cher Land mark of the Order. The Temple of Solomon was the cradle of the institution, and, therefore, the re ference to the operative Masonry, which constructed that magnificent edifice, to the materials and imple ments which were employed in its construction, and to the artists who were engaged in the building, are all competent 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. Hence, all the comparatively modern rites of Masonry, however they may differ in other respects, religiously pre serve this temple history and these operative elements, as the substra tum of all their modifications of the Masonic system.
" 25. The last and crowning Land mark of 01 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. Not one jot or one tittle of these unwritten laws can be repealed; for, in respect to them, we are not only willing, but compelled to adopt the language of the sturdy old barons of England—'nolumus leges mutari.'" "In the absence of positive evi dence we will endeavor to ascertain, on the authority of ancient docu ments, what were considered Land marks by the Craft at the earliest period on record, as they were col lected and handed down to us in the Lectures which were used during the last century.