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Punishments, Masonic

Punishment in Freemasonry is inflicted that the character of the Institution may remain unsullied, and that the unpunished crimes of its members may not injuriously reflect upon the reputation of the whole society. The nature of the punishment to be inflicted is restricted by the peculiar character of the Institution, which is averse to some forms of penalty, and by the laws of the land, which do not give to private corporations the right to impose certain species of punishment. The infliction of fines or pecuniary penalties has, in modern times at least, been considered as contrary to the genius of Freemasonry, because the sanctions of Masonic law are of a higher nature than any that could be furnished by a pecuniary penalty.

Imprisonment and corporal punishment are equally adverse to the spirit of the Institution, and are also prohibited by the laws of the land, which reserve the infliction of such penalties for their own tribunals. Masonic punishments are therefore restricted to an expression of disapprobation or the deprivation of Masonic rights, and they are:

1. Censure 2. Reprimand 3. Exclusion 4. Suspension, Definite or Indefinite; and 5. Expulsion all of which see under their respective titles.

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