The charities are solely for those who having been in goodcircumstances have been overtaken by misfortune or adversity, and they arequite insufficient to meet even these demands now made upon them.
Freemasonry distinctly teaches that a man's first duty is to himself, hiswife, his family and his connections, and no one should join the Order whocannot well afford to pay the initiation fees and subscriptions to his Lodgeas well as to the Masonic charities, and this without detriment in any wayto his comfort, or to that of those who have any claim upon his support.
Freemasonry recognises no distinctions of religion, but none should attemptto enter who have no religious belief, as faith in a Deity must be expressedbefore any can be initiated, and prayers to Him form a frequent part of theritual.
Freemasonry, therefore, demands that everyone, before offering himself asa candidate, should be well assured in his own mind:



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