Museum of Freemasonry - Masonic Library

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The usages and customs among Freemasons have ever borne a near affinity to those of the ancient Egyptians.

First Tracing BoardTheir philosophers, unwilling to expose their mysteries to vulgar eyes, couched their systems of learning and polity under signs and hieroglyphical figures, which were communicated to their chief priests or Magi alone, who were bound by solemn oath to conceal them. The system of Pythagoras was founded on a similar principle, as well as many others of more recent date. Masonry, however, is not only the most ancient but the most honourable Society that ever existed, as there is not a character or emblem here depicted, but serves to inculcate the principles of piety and virtue among all its genuine professors. Let me first call your attention to the form of the Lodge, which is a regular parallelepipedon, in length from East to West, in breadth between North and South, in depth from the surface of the earth to its centre, and even as high as the heavens. The reason that a Freemason's Lodge is represented of that vast extent is to show the universality of the science, that a Mason's charity should know no bounds save those of prudence.

Our Lodge stands on holy ground, because the first Lodge was consecrated on account of three grand offerings thereon made, which met with Divine approbation. First, the ready compliance of Abraham with the will of God in not refusing to offer up his only son Isaac as a burnt sacrifice, when it pleased the Almighty to substitute a more agreeable victim in his stead.