The History Of Freemasonry Vol. I
So comprehensive a title as the one selected for the present work would be a vain assumption if the author's object was not really to embrace in a series of studies the whole cycle of Masonic history and science. Anything short of this would not entitle the work to be called THE HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY.
Freemasonry as a society of long standing, has of course its history, and the age of the institution has necessarily led to the mixing in this history of authentic facts and of mere traditions or legends.
We are thus led in the very beginning of our labors to divide our historical studies into two classes. The one embraces the Legendary History of Freemasonry, and the other its authentic annals.
The Legendary History of Freemasonry will constitute the subject of the first of the five parts into which this work is divided. It embraces all that narrative of the rise and progress of the institution, which beginning with the connection with it of the antediluvian patriarchs, ends in ascribing its modern condition to the patronage of Prince Edwin and the assembly at York.
This narrative, which in the 15th and up to the end of the 17th century, claimed and received the implicit faith of the Craft, which in the 18th century was repeated and emendated by the leading writers of the institution, and which even in the 19th century has had its advocates among the learned and its credence among the un learned of the Craft, has only recently and by a new school been placed in its true position of an apocryphal story.
And yet though apocryphal, this traditionary story of Freemasonry which has been called the Legend of the Craft, or by some the Legend of the Guild, is not to be rejected as an idle fable. On the contrary, the object of the present work has been to show that these Masonic legends contain the germs of an historical, mingled often with a symbolic, idea, and that divested of certain evanescences in the shape of anachronisms, or of unauthenticated statements, these Masonic legends often, nay almost always, present in their simple form a true philosophic spirit.
To establish this principle in the literature of Freemasonry, to divest the legends of the Craft of the false value given to them as portions of authentic history by blind credulity, and to protect them from the equally false estimate that has been bestowed upon them by the excessive incredulity of un-philosophic sceptics, who view them only as idle fables without more meaning than what they attach to monkish legends—in one word, to place the Legendary History of Freemasonry in the just position which it should occupy but has never yet occupied, is the object of the labors expended in the composition of the first part of this work. The second part of the work will pass out of the field of myth and legend and be devoted to the authentic or recorded history of Freemasonry.
Tradition And History In Masonry
The Legendary History Of Freemasonry
The Old Manuscripts
The Legend Of The Craft
The Halliwell Poem And The Legend
The Origin Of The Halliwell Poem
The Legend, The Germ Of History
The Origin Of Geometry
The Legend Of Lamech's Sons And The Pillars
The Legend Of Hermes
The Tower Of Babel
The Legend Of Nimrod
The Legend Of Euclid
The Legend Of The Temple
The Extension Of The Art Into Other Countries
The Legend Of Charles Martel And Namus Grecus
The Legend Of St. Alban
The York Legend
Summary Of The Legend Of The Craft
The Andersonian Theory
The Prestonian Theory
The Hutchinsonian Theory
The Oliverian Theory
The Temple Legend
Legend Of The Dionysiac Artificers
Freemasonry And The Ancient Mysteries
Druidism And Freemasonry
Freemasonry And The Crusades
The Story Of The Scottish Templars