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Emblematic Freemasonry – Building Guilds and Hermetic Schools

Français : Miniature de frontispice de la bible moralisée : Christ en gloire architecte de l’univers – Austrian National Library


The Builder, Volume VII, number 6; June, 1921

AS EMBLEMATIC FREEMASONRY is the Craft of Building moralized, it follows that intellectually, at least, our figurative and speculative art has arisen out of the Operative. Here is a first link in any chain of connection with the building world of the past. But it seems certain also that the Free and Accepted, or Speculative, Masons had Operative documents, such as the so-called Gothic Constitutions and Old Charges, for part of their heritage. The proof is that soon after the revival of 1717, these documents were put into the hands of Dr. James Anderson “to digest . . . in a new and better methed.” They were things apparently in evidence, and he was not commissioned to search them out. Beyond this omnia exeunt in mysterium. Almost from Year to year our documentary knowledge of Constitutions, Charges, and Landmarks extends slowly. There is also new light cast from time to time on the general history of architecture in Christian times. But no light is shed on the antiquities of art of building moralized. The existence of such an art prior to 1717 remains almost as much a matter of speculation as the art itself is speculative. We are led almost irresistibly to infer that it anteceded this date and a few remain among us who believe that it may have been old in the year 1646, when Ashmole was made a Mason at Warrington, but there is no real evidence. So also there are zealous and capable writers by whom our knowledge is expanded from time to time, however slightly, on particular sides and respecting the archaeology of architectural history, on Roman Collegia, Dionysian artificers, and Comacines. They furnish at the same time many plausible and taking speculations. But they do not help us in respect of Freemasonry, as we now understand the term, because no evidence of building association is of service to our own purpose unless such association embodies our “peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.”

The Hittites of Syria and Asia Minor may have been of “Hametic descent” and may have built the Temple at Jerusalem; the Etruscans, from whom architecture was learned by the Romans, may, have been Hittites; at the downfall of Rome, the Roman Collegia may have settled in that island on Lake Como, which is familiar at the present day as Isola Comacina, and may have become Comacines; the Comacines may, in turn, have merged into the great Masonic guilds of the Middle Ages. But, if so, all this is part and parcel of the history of architecture and not of Emblematical Building, unless and until we can show that, practical Masons as they were, their system of secret association included what is called in the Craft degrees a side of Speculative Masonry and in the appendant degrees an art of building spiritualized. But it is just this which is wanting, or we should have taken the closing long since in the lodge of our debate on the origin of Freemasonry. There are not unnatural sporadic vestiges, few and far between. It is said, that the Comacines had a motto affirming that their temple ,was “one made without hands,” and this reminds us assuredly of the Mark degree; but it is not to be called evidence for a developed speculative element prevailing amongst tho old masters. Nor can I think with Brother Ravencroft, in his memorable series of papers contributed to THE BUILDER In 1918, that the two pillars of Wurzburg Cathedral, once situated on either side of the porch and bearing respectively on their capitals the letters J and B, can be termed “a good illustration of the way in which symbols were transmitted even from the temple of Solomon to the medieval craftsmen and thence to our Speculative Masonry.” It seems to me simply that the Cathedral builders were acquaint with Holy Scripture.

The conclusion which is forced upon me is that only by the use of liberal supposition can the Comacines and those who preceded them be made to connect with our subject. We may take H. J. Da Costa as early authority in England for the Dionysian fraternity and his successor, Krause, for the links between Masons of the Middle Ages and the Roman Collegia. The views of both have been summarized ably by my friend, Brother Joseph Fort Newton, but that which valid therein belongs to the history of architecture. It was, I think, Krause who said that each Roman collegium was presided over by a Master and two decuriones or Wardens, each of whom bore the Master’s commands to the brethren of his respective column. The word “decurio” is here translated “warden,” to institute an analogy by force. According to Suetonius, the Latin office in question was that of a captain over ten men whether horse or foot, and was therefore military I character. The first authority on the Comacines is Leader Scott (who is Miss Lucy E. Baxter) in “The Cathedral Builders,” a most fascinating romance of architecture, which contains also some great and valuable historical lights. Joseph Fort Newton described it as an attempt to bridge the gap “between the classical Roman style and the rise of Gothic art.” Again. therefore, it is a question of architectural evolution and I must say personally that, taken as such, it is to be questioned whether the gulf is really spanned. I can understand on the hypothesis the development of Italian architecture, more or less degenerated fron classical types, but not the genesis of the great schools of Gothic building. It is to be understood, however, that this question exceeds the warrants of my subject to connect any ritual mystery which obtained ex hypothesi in the old Collegia, or among Comacine lodges, with the living mystery of Speculative Masonry, of which she Speaks with derision, but evidently knows it only through an Italian source. As a student of the Secret Tradition in Christian times I could wish that the facts were otherwise in the great story of all these ancient guilds. I could have wished that their supposed pageants of secret initiation were, as the speculations say, Dionysian representations of mystical death and resurrection, and that they are reflected at a far distance in our Sublime degree. But if these stories are dreams, or still awaiting demonstration, we have to face the fact, and the question remaining over is whether we can look elsewhere. Now, it happens that there is one direction which has been regarded not unfavorably as a possible source of light. It is that of the Hermetic Schools in England, and these, speaking broadly, may be classified as three- Alchemical, Rosicrucian, and Kabalistic. They had a common bond of interest and tended here, as elsewhere, to merge one into another. There are evidences to show that the experiment of Alchemy in England is an exceedingly old pursuit, but in the early part of the seventeenth century it had sprung into greater prominence. The rumor of the Rosicrucian fraternity was also raising curiosity in Europe. Hermetic literature- not only with a modern accent but also for the time in vernacular language- extended greatly, and schools of theoosophy sprang up in several countries. The root of the Rosicrucian movement was in Germany, but the impulse reached England and some of the most famous names connected with the subject are identified with this country. Hence came Alexander Seton and hence Eirenaeus Philalethes, who has been regarded as one of the great masters of Hermetic Art. Here also was Robert Fludd, who must, I think, be regarded as not only advocate and apologist in chief of the Rosicrucian art and philosophy, but as a fountain-head. Here, too, was Thomas Vaughan, mystic as well as alchemist. And here, in 1640, lived Elias Ashmole, alchemist and antiquary, founder also of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.

A section of Masonic opinion has looked in the past and a section looks still towards Elias Ashmole and his connections in some way, yet undetermined, as the representatives of this transition from Operative to Speculative Masonry. In France there has been practically no doubt on the subject from the days of Ragon, though concerning the value of his personal view I must speak with desirable plainness elsewhere in this paper. In America the distinguished name of Albert Pike can be cited in support of the thesis. After every allowance has been made for the position of such a speculation, still almost inextricable, it can be affirmed that it seems to offer a place of repose for all the tolerable views, because it harmonizes all- on the understanding that Ashmole and his consociates are not regarded personally but as typifying a leavening spirit introduced there and here, and at work during the period intervening between 1640 and the foundation of the first Grand Lodge In 1717. Pike was like Ragon unfortunately, a man of uncritical mind, and I summarize his findings under all needful reserve.

Among Masonic symbols which he identifies as used in common by Freemasons and Hermetic and Alchemical literature are the Square and Compasses, the Triangle, the Oblong Square, the Legend of the three Grand Masters, the idea embodied in a substituted word, which might well be the most important of all, together with the Sun, the Moon, and Master of the lodge. It was, moreover, his opinion, based on this and other considerations, that the philosophers- meaning the members of the Hermetic confraternities- became Freemasons and introduced into Masonry their own symbolism. He thinks finally that Ashmole was led to be made a Mason because others who were followers of Hermes had taken the step before him. However this may be, I have said elsewhere that the influence of the Rosicrucian fraternity upon that of the Masons has been questioned only by those who have been unfitted to appreciate the symbolism which they possess in common. It does not belong to the formative period of Emblematic Freemasonry, but to that of development and expansion. The nature of the influence is another matter and one, moreover, in which it may be necessary to recognize the simple principle of imitation up to a certain point. The influence has been exercised more especially in connection with other Rites, as to which it is impossible, for example, to question that those who instituted the eighteenth degree of the Scottish Rite either must have received something by transmission from the old German Brotherhood, or, alternatively, must have borrowed from its literature.

That Ashmole was connected with Rosicrucians, or otherwise with the representatives of some association which had assumed their name is an inference drawn from his life. His antiquarian studies led him more especially in the direction of Alchemy, but as regards this art he did not remain an antiquary or a mere collector of old documents on the subject. He was, to some extent, a practical student and, moreover, not simply an isolated inquirer. He had secured that assistance which has been regarded always as next but one to essential, namely, the instruction of a Master. The alternative is Divine Aid, which is, of course, a higher kind of Mastery. He was associated otherwlse with many of the occult philosophers, alchemists, astrologers, and so forth, belonging to his period. The suggestion that he acted as an instrument of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood, or as a member thereof, in the transfiguration of Operative into Speculative Freemasonry is a matter of faith for those who have held or hold it. Of direct or indirect evidence there is not one particle. Supposing that such a design existed at the period, he is not an unlikely person to have been concerned in planning it on the part of himelf and others or to have been delegated for such a purpose. But of the design there is again no evidence. It has been aflirmed further in the interests of the claim that a meeting of an Alchemical- presumably Rosicrucian- society perceiving how working Masons were already outnumbered in membership by persons of education not belonging to the trade, believed that the time was ripe for a complete ceremonial revolution and that one founded on mystical tradition was drawn up thereon in writing, constituting the Entered Apprentice grade, approximately as it exists now. The grade of Fellow Craft was elaborated in 1648, and that of Master Mason in 1659. These are the reveries of Ragon, categorical in nature, accompanied by specific details, all in the absence of one particle of fact in any record of the past. It seems to me, therefore, that no language would be too strong to characterize such mendacities and that they can belong only to the class of conscious lying, but the charge against Ragon is more especially that he elaborated the materials of a hypothesis which had grown up among successive inventors belonging to the type of Reghellini. If there were Rosicrucians in England at the date in question, it may be presumed that those who, according to Ashmole’s own statement, communicated to him some portions, at least, of the Hermetic secrets would not have withheld the corporate mysteries of their Fraternity. But, on the other hand, there is at present no historical certainty that the Hermetic Order possessed any such corporate existence in England at that period. However this may be, in the memoirs of the life of Elias Ashmole, as drawn up by himself in the form of a diary, there is the following now well-known entry under date of 16th October, 1646:

I was made a Freemason at Warrington in Lancashire with Colonel Henry Mainwaring of Kartichan in Cheshire; the names of those that were then at the Lodge: Mr. Richard Penket, Warden; Mr. James Collier, Mr. Richard Sankey, Henry Littler, John Ellam, Richard Ellam, and Hugh Brewer.

The two noteworthy points in this extract, over and above the main fact which it designs to place on record, are that neither candidate was an operative by business and that the work of initiation was performed evidently by the brother who acted as Warden. At that period Elias Ashmole was under thirty years of age. His father was a saddler by trade, his mother was the daughter of a draper and he himself solicited in Chancery. But while still in his youth he tells us that he had entered into that condition to which he had aspired always, “that I might be able to live to myself and studies, without being forced to take pains for a livelihood in the world.” The admissions of 16th October, 1646, are not required to prove the practice of initiating men of other business than that of Masonry and its connected crafts, or even of no business at all, but it should be observed that here- as in cases of earlier date- the reception was in the capacity of simple brothers and not of patrons.

The nature of those studies which were engrossing Ashmole about the time of his initiation may be learned by the publication, five years later, of his Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum, being a collection of metrical treatises written in English at various dates on the subject of the Hermetic Mystery and the Philosopher’s Stone. They appear to be concerned only with what is called technically the physical work on metals and the physical medicine or elixir, not with those spiritual mysteries which have passed occasionally into expression under the peculiar symbolism of Alchemy. At the same time Ashmole is careful to explain his personal assurance that the transmutation of metals is only one branch of Hermetic practice:

As this is but a part, so it is the least share of that blessing which may he acquired by the Philosopher’s materia, if the full virtue thereof were known. Gold, I confess, is a delicious object, a goodly light which we admire and gaze upon ut pueri in Junonis avem, but as to make gold is the chief intent of the Alchemists, so was it scarcely any intent of the ancient Philosophers and the lowest use the Adeptio made of this materia. For they, being lovers of wisdom more than worldly wealth, drove at higher and more excellent operations; and certainly he to whom the whole course of Nature lies open rejoiceth not so much that he can make gold and silver or the devils be made subject to him as that he sees the heavens open, the angels of God ascending and descending and that his own name is fairly written in the Book of Life.

It should be added that this exposition is a faithful reflection of Rosicrucian doctrine as it is put forward, directly or indirectly, under the name of the Brotherhood in German books and pamphlets of the early seventeenth century. Supposing that circa 1650 there was an incorporated Rosicrucian School in England, no person is so likely to have been a member as Ashmole, and it is not possible to imagine him in separation therefrom. Indeed, I am by no means certain that his testimony is not thinly presumptive of membership, being so to the manner born of it in thought and figures of speech. But if we can tolerate- however tentatively- the Rosicrucian initiation of Ashmole, we may take it for granted that he did not stand alone. On the whole it seems barely possible that on 16th October, 1646, a Brother of the Rosy Oross was made a Mason, with or without an ulterior motive in view. It follows expressly from his frank and honorable testimony concerning himself that he was one who had only seen the end of adeptship, even within the measures that he conceived it, while as regards any other Rosicrucians to whom he may have been joined we know very little concerning them.

It will be seen that the Ashmole hypothesis is but a part of the wider claim of direct Rosicrucian influence on the foundation of Emblematic Freemasonry. I agree with the opinion that in so far as it has been advanced in the past this claim has lapsed. It affirms that the House of the Holy Spirit, being the Rosicrucian Br9therhood in Germany, had a Secret House in England, which either transfigured itself into the thing called Speculative Masonry or revolutionized the old Operative Craft along speculative lines for its own purposes, presumably that it might have recruiting centres available and more or less openly manifest. There is no evidence whatever to support this view. The Rosicrucian zeal of the occult philosopher and intellectual mystic, Robert FIudd, left no trace behind it, until the time came for it to influence in a rather indefinite manner the impassionabie enthusiasm of Thomas Vaughan, and this also led to nothing. The first incorporated Rosicrucian Society in England of which we hear belongs to the early nineteenth century. In particular, Fludd’s activities had no bearing on any Masonry of the early seventeenth century, even if Robertus de Fluctitus was the Mr. Flood who presented a Book of Contitutions to the Masons’ Company, as recorded in an inventory taken before the Fire of London.

When the question at issue has been relieved from these reveries there remains the more reasonable suggestion that the Operative Brotherhood came gradually and not unnaturally under the influence of persons who belonged to both associations. It would attract also those who were simply Hermetic students, though isolated and unattached as such. Attached or otherwise, Ashmole is a case in point, though his place in Freemasonry of the mid-seventeenth century is a subject for very careful adjudication. The influence which in this manner would begin to be exercised, consciously or unconsciously, would be Hermetic in a general sense rather than Rosicrucian exclusively; but this is a distinction which will not be realized readily by those who are acquainted only at second-hand with the mystical and occult movements of the seventeenth century. As to the ritual side of the Operative Masonry in that century we know next to nothing, while of Rosicrucian ritual procedure- if any- we know nothing at all.

Such in rough outline is the case as it stands for the interference of two Hermetic Schools in Freemasonry, prior to the first historical evidence for the ritual of the Third Craft degree and apart from any long since exploded hypothesis which has sought to connect the Brotherhood with older Mysteries by means of direct transmission within their own bends. I have registered my feelings that some day it may assume a less uncertain aspect, in other words that sources of additional knowledge may become available. I know that the root-matter of the Third degree belongs to the Secret Tradition and is not only of the Hermetic Schools but of Schools thereunto antecedent. This is not a speculative question or one of simple persuasion. It is, moreover, no question of history and does not stand or fall with particular personalities and with claims made concerning them. As regards these there is work remaining to be done- that is to say, in the purely historic field, but unfortunately the subject has only a few sympathizers in England and among these a small proportion only who are qualified to work therein. In the meantime it remains that the position of Hermetic Schools, so far delineated, is not unlike that of speculation on Comacines, Roman Collegia, and Dionysian architects. When we pass, however, to the third Hermetic School the position is, I think, different. The root-matter of much that is shadowed forth in the traditional history of the Craft, as regards the meaning of the Temple and the search for the Lost Word, is to be found in certain great texts known to scholars under the generic name of Kabalah. We find therein after what manner, according to mystic Israel, Solomon’s Temple was spiritualized; we find profound meanings attached to the, two pillars J and B; we find how a Word was lost and under what circumstances the chosen people were to look for its recovery. It is an expectation for Jewish theosophy, as it is for the Craft Mason. It was lost owing to a certain untoward event, and although the time and circumstances of its recovery have been calculated in certain texts, there has been something amiss with the methods. Those who were keepers of the tradition died with their faces towards Jerusalem, looking for that time; but for Jewry at large the question has passed long since from the field of view, much as the quest is continued by Masons in virtue of a ceremonial formula but cannot he said to mean anything for those who undertake and pursue it officially. It was lost owing to the unworthiness of Israel, and the destruction of the First Temple was one consequence thereof. By the waters of Babylon, in their exile, the Jews are said to have remembered Zion, but the Word did not return into their hearts; and when Divine Providence inspired Cyrus to project the building of a second temple and the return of Israel into their own land, they went back empty of all recollection in this respect.

The Word to which reference is made in that Divine Name out of the consonants of which we have formed Jehovah, or, by another speculation, Yahve. When Israel fell into a state that is termed impenitence it is said in Zoharic symbolism that VAV and HE final were separated. The name was thus dismembered, and this is the first sense of loss which is registered concerning it. The second is that it has no proper vowel points, those of the name ELOHIM being substituted, or alternatively, of the name ADONAI. It is said, for example: “My name is written YHVH and read ADONAI.” The epoch of restoration and completion is called, almost indifferently, that of resurrection, the world to come and the advent of Messiah. In such day the present separation between the letters will reach its term, once and forever.

It is also to this Kabalistic source, rather than to the variant account in the first book of Kings or in Chronicles, that we must have recourse for the important Masonic symbolism concerning the pillars J and B. There is very little in Holy Scripture to justify a choice of those objects as particular representstives of an art of building spiritualized. But in later Kabalism, in the texts called The Garden of Pomegranates and The Gates of Light there is a very full explanation of the strength which is attributed to B, the left hand pillar, and of that which is “established” in and by the right hand pillar, called J.

As regards the temple itself, I have explained elsewhere after what manner it is spiritualized in various Kabalistic and semi- Kabalistic texts, so that it appears as “the proportion of the height, the proportion of the depth, and the lateral proportion” of the created universe. It offers another aspect of the fatal loss to Israel and the world which is commented on in the Tradition. That which the temple symbolizes above all things is, however, a House of Doctrine, and as on the one hand the Zohar shows us how a loss and substitution were perpetuated through centuries, owing to the idolatry of Israel at the foot ef Mount Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai, and
illustrated by the breaking of the tables of stone on which the Law was inscribed, so does Speculative Masonry intimate that the Holy House, which was planned and begun after one manner, was completed after another and a word of death was substituted for a word of life.

But if these are among the sources of Craft Masonry, taken at its culmination in the Sublime degree, what manner of people were those who grafted so strange a speculation and symbolism on the Operative procedure of a building guild, even when this has been symbolized? The answer is that all about the period which represents what is called the “transition,” and indeed between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries many Latin-writing scholars of Europe were animated with zeal for an exposition of the tradition in Israel, with the result that memorable and even great books were produced on the subject. But this zeal for Kabalistic literature had more than a scholastic basis. It was believed that the texts of the Secret Tradition showed plainly, out of the mouth of Israel itself, that the Messiah had come. This is the first fact. The second is in Ceremonial Masonry itself, and, namely, that although the central event of the Third degree is the candidate’s raising, it is not said in the legend that the Master Builder rose, thus suggesting that something remains to come after, which might at once complete the legend and conclude the quest. The third fact is that in an important high grade of a philosophical kind, now almost unknown, the Master Builder of the Third degree rises as Christ. The dismembered Divine Name is completed therein by insertion of the Hebrew letterSHIN, thus producing YEHESHUAH, the official restoration of the Lost Word in the Christian degrees of Masonry. It follows that although the opening and closing of the Third degree and the legend of the Master-Builder, with all their speaking Mysteries, may seem to come from very far away, they are not so remote that we cannot trace them to their source.

It is to be observed that the presence of a Kabalistic element in the traditional history of the Craft by no means connotes antiquity, and antiquity is a difficult thing to predicate of the Third degree, at least in its present form. By whomsoever created or developed, its author was a student of the Secret Tradition in Israel, and drew great lights therefrom, possibly at first hand, but much more probably perhaps from those Latin commentaries and synopses already mentioned. The bulk of these were already compiled, whether we place his work late in the seventeenth or early in the eighteenth cehtury. Much of it was available previously, supposing that more considerable antiquity could be predicated of the Third degree. But we must cleave to that which is evidentially reasonable in this respect, until time or circumstances shall provide better warrants. For Speculative Masonry as a whole we may have to rest content also, if we cannot date it much further back than the close of the seventeenth century, recognizing that its present characteristic develoments are to be sought in and about the Revival period. Such recognition puts an end to romantic hypotheses, but the great intimations of the Third degree remain a speaking pageant in Symbolism, however late its origin. The quest of the Word remains, with all Zoharic Theosophy behind it and all the rites of Christian Masonry in front. The mythos connects our Order with the figurative Mysteries of past ages, while the opening and closing of the lodge in that degree are much greater than anything in the memorials of Greece and Egypt.

I shall, therefore, reach a general conclusion on the Hermetic Schools and their alleged intervention for the transformatiom of an Operative Guild into an Emblematic Freemasonry and it shall be expressed in such a manner as will be without detriment to ourselves or our connections as loyal and devoted Masons. In Dionysian architects, Roman Collegia, Gomacines, and Building Guilds of the Middle Ages, I have failed to discover any traces of an art of building spritualized. I have taken the old Gothic Constitutions and have sought to digest them like Anderson “in a new and better method”; but, however they were passed and repassed through the mental alembic, they have yielded nothing corresponding to a “system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” Not even the Regius MSS. betray a single vestige, though I have followed Gould anxiously. As regards the Hermetic Schools, and speaking, if I may venture to say so, as one who knows the literature, the allegation of Albert Pike is true in respect of a few world-wide symbols which prove nothing and false in all things else. There is no legend of three Grand Masters in Alchemy; there is no Substituted Word; and there is no Master of the lodge, for there is no need of ritual procedure among all its cloud of witnesses. The witness of Alchemy to Masonry is the witness of Elias Ashmole, the sole alchemist in the seventeenth century whom we know to have become a Mason. The Rosicrucian influence I believe to have been marked in character and exercised for a considerable period, but we know it only in its developments which belong to the eighteenth century, and are, of course, beyond our scope. Provisionally, and under all reserve, I am inclined to hold that it began earlier, but more especially as an atmosphere belonging to the formative period of Emblematic Freemasonry. But the great Rosicrucian maxim cited by Robert Fludd about 1630 must be ruled out unfortunately. Transmutemini, transmutemini de lapidibus mortuis in lapides vivos philosophicos, does not signify that the Brothers of the Rosy Cross had either joined or invented our figurative and speculative art; it is rather a contract established between material and spiritual alchemy. For the present, at least, we are asked also to set aside the winning speculation concerning a secret school of Emblematic Masonry co-existent through several generations or centuries with the Operative Guild and sometimes identified with Rosicrucians. There are no Rosicrucian traces prior to 1578. Moreover, the alleged school is a notion arising out of a false construction of the Regius MS.

We are left in this manner with the Kabalistic element about which I have spoken plainly. But now, as a last point, supposing that there is no trace of Third degree prior to 1717, that after this epoch it was devised by a group of Masonic literati or alternatively by an anonymous brother, whether famous like Desaguliers, or obscure; what, then, is our position? My own at least is this: that the Third degree was formulated on the basis of the Ancient Mysteries and illustrated by the light of Kabalism: facts about which there is no open question; that it belongs as such to an old and secret tradition, though not in respect of time; that it stands on its own symbolical value and that, in the words of Martines de Pasqually: We must needs be content with what we have. As a student of the past, again I could wish that it were otherwise; but in this, as in all else, the first consideration is truth. There are high grades of Masonry for which no one in his senses predicates antiquity, and yet they are great grades. They are even holy grades, which, from my point of view, carry on the work of the Craft towards something that stands for completion. I conclude, therefore, with an affirmation which I have made in other places, that antiquary per se is not a test of value. I can imagine a rite created at this day which would be much greater and more eloquent in symbolism than anything that we work and love under the name of Masonry. Yet, for what Masonic antiquity is, let us call it two hundred years, under all needful reserves, such an invention would not haye the hallowed and beloved associations which have grown about our Emblematic Craft. Here is the matter of antiquity which really signifies: it is part of the life of the Order. And after all the fables and all the fond reveries, the false analogies and mythical identifications with other and immemorial Mysteries, it is again the life which counts, the life of that great world-wide Masonic organism, in which we ourselves live and move and have our Masonic being.