General Ahiman Rezon, by Daniel Sickels, , at sacred-texts.com
THE qualifications which are essential in those who apply for initiation into the mysteries of Freemasonry, are of two kinds, Internal and External, *
The Internal qualifications of a candidate are those which lie within his own bosom, and are not known to the world. They refer to his peculiar dispositions toward the institution: his motives and design in seeking an entrance into it. Hence they are known to himself alone; and a knowledge of them can only be acquired from his own solemn declarations.
The External qualifications are those which refer to his outward fitness for initiation, and are based on his moral and religious character, the frame of his body, the constitution of his mind, and his social position. A knowledge of these is to be acquired from a careful examination by a committee appointed for that purpose.
The person who desires to be made a Mason must be a man, believing in the existence of a Supreme Being and of a future existence; at least twenty-one years of age; of good moral character, temperate, industrious, and capable of earning an honest livelihood; he must come of his own free-will and accord, uninfluenced by mercenary or other improper motives; be of sound mind and body; capable of reading and writing; not deformed or dismembered, but hale and sound in his physical conformation, having his right limbs, as a man ought to have.
18:* It is true that the ritual of the first degree says, that "it is the internal and not the external qualifications which recommend a man to be made a Mason;" but the context of the sentence shows that the external qualifications there referred to are "worldly wealth and honors." The ritual, therefore, has of course no allusion to the sort of external qualifications which are here to he discussed.