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The same number is adopted by Whitehead [26] "as the pith of the researches of the ablest masonic writers".

Some authors, considering geological finds as Masonic emblems, trace Masonry to the Miocene (?[12] Before entering upon this and the following divisions of our subject it is necessary to premise that the very nature of Freemasonry as a secret society makes it difficult to be sure even of its reputed documents and authorities, and therefore we have consulted only those which are acknowledged and recommended by responsible members of the craft, as stated in the bibliography appended to this article. has been the foundation on which all masonic historical investigations have been built, . The germs of nearly all these fantastic theories are contained in Anderson's "The Constitutions of Free Masons" (1723, 1738) which makes Freemasonry coextensive with geometry and the arts based on it; insinuates that God, the Great Architect, founded Freemasonry, and that it had for patrons, Adam, the Patriarchs, the kings and philosophers of old."It is the opprobrium of Freemasonry", says Mackey [13] that its history has never yet been written in a spirit of critical truth; that credulity . Even Jesus Christ is included in the list as Grand Master of the Christian Church.That of 1723, as the original text, restored by the Grand Lodge of England in the editions of the "Constitutions", 1756-1813, and inserted later in the "Books of Constitutions" of nearly all the other Grand Lodges, is the most authoritative; but the text of 1738, which was adopted and used for a long time by many Grand Lodges, is also of great importance in itself and as a further illustration of the text of 1723. But though in ancient times Masons were charged in every country to be of the religion of that country or nation, whatever it was, yet 'tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves: that is, to be In order to preserve peace and harmony no private piques or quarrels must be brought within the door of the Lodge, far less any quarrels about Religion or Nations or State Policy, we being only, as Masons, of the Catholick Religion, above mentioned, we are also of all Nations, Tongues, Kindreds and Languages and are resolved against all Politicks [printed in the original in Gothic letters] as what never yet conduced to the welfare of the Lodge nor ever will.This charge has been always strictly enjoin'd and observ'd; but especially ever since the Reformation in Britain or the dissent and In order to appreciate rightly these texts characterizing modern "speculative" Freemasonry it is necessary to compare them with the corresponding injunction of the "Gothic" (Christian) Constitutions regulating the old lodges of "operative" Masonry till and after 1747.

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The new lodges began as convivial societies, and their characteristic Masonic spirit developed but slowly.

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