The History Of Freemasonry Vol. IV
The Operative Freemasons
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.
Organization Of The Grand Lodge Of England
Was The Organization Of The Grand Lodge In 1717 A Revival?
The Early Years Of Speculative Freemasonry In England
The Early Ritual Of Speculative Freemasonry The Catechism
The One Degree Of Operative Freemasons
Invention Of The Fellow-Craft's Degree
Non-Existence Of A Master Mason's Degree Among
The Operative Freemasons
The Invention Of The Third Or Master Mason's Degree
The Death Of Operative And The Birth Of Speculative Freemasonry
Introduction Of Speculative Freemasonry Into France
The Grand Lodge Of All England, Or The Grand Lodge Of York
Organization Of The Grand Lodge Of Scotland
The Atholl Grand Lodge, Or The Grand Lodge Of England According To The Old Institutions
The Grand Lodge Of England, South Of The Trent; Or The Schism Of The Lodge Of Antiquity