The Declaration of Principles
Freemasonry Is a charitable, benevolent, educational and religious society, adhering to its own Landmarks. Itsprinciples are proclaimed as widely as men will hear. It’s only secrets are in its methods of recognition and of symbolic instruction.
It is charitable in that it is not organized for profit and none of its income inures to the benefit of any individual, but all is devoted to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of mankind.
It is benevolent in that it teaches and exemplifies altruism as a duty.
It is educational in that it teaches by prescribed ceremonials a system of morality and brotherhood based upon the Sacred Law.
It is religious in that it teaches monotheism, the Volume of the Sacred Law is open upon its Alters whenever a Lodge is in session, reverence for God is ever present in its ceremonial, and to its brethren are constantly addressed lessons of morality; yet it is not sectarian or theological.
It is a social organization only so far as it furnishes additional inducement that men may foregather in numbers, thereby providing more material for it primary work of education, of worship, and of charity.