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VISITATION, RIGHT OF

Every affiliated Freemason in good standing has a right to visit any other Lodge, wherever it may be, as often as it may suit his pleasure or convenience; and this is called, in Masonic law, the Right of Visit. It is one of the most important of all Masonic privileges, because it is based on the principle of the identity of the Masonic Institution as one universal family, and is the exponent of that well-known maxim that "in every clime a Freemason may find a home, and in every land a Brother." It has been so long and so universally admitted, that we have not hesitated to rank it among the landmarks of the Order.

The admitted doctrine on this subject is, that the right of visit is one of the positive rights of every Freemason, because Lodges are justly considered as only divisions for convenience of the universal Masonic family. The right may, of course, be lost, or forfeited on special occasions, by various circumstances; but any Master who shall refuse admission to a Freemason in good standing, who knocks at the door of his Lodge, is expected to furnish some good and satisfactory reason for thus violating a Masonic right. If the admission of the applicant, whether a member or visitor, would, in his opinion, be attended with injurious consequences, such, for instance, as impairing the harmony of the Lodge, a Master would then, we presume, be justified in refusing admission.

Out without the existence of some such good reason, Masonic jurists have always decided that the right of visitation is absolute and positive, and inures to every Freemason in his travels throughout the world (see this subject discussed in its fullest extent in Doctor Mackey's revised Jurisprudence of Freemasonry).

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


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