There are authors who attribute the origin of modern Free Masonry to the followers of Pythagoras, because some of the speculations of that Philosopher concerning the meaning of the numbers are to be found in the esoteric doctrines taught in the masonic lodges. Others, on account of the Christian symbols that have been incorporated in the decoration of things pertaining to Masonry, following the Swedish system, say that the Essenes and first Christians founded it. Others, again, make it originate in the building of Solomon's temple, many Jewish names, emblems and legends, taken from the Bible, having found their way into the rites of initiation to several degrees. Others, still, make it go back to Adam. Ask them why —they do not know. While not a few, and I among them, earnestly believe that Masonry existed before Adam was created. I believe it, because I am convinced that this pretended ancestor of man is a myth—and has never existed. Thomas Payne and those of his school say that the Druids were the fathers of the craft; they being worshipers of the sun, moon and stars : and these jewels of the firmament being represented on the ceilings of the lodges. Dance of Villoison speaks of Herculaneum as its birth place, because of the many similarities that existed between the collegia of the Romans and the lodges of the operative Masons of the middle ages. Michael Andrew Ramsay, a Scotch gentleman, in a discourse delivered in Paris in 1740, suggested the possibility of the fraternity having its origin, in the time of the crusades, among the Knight Templars, and he explains it...
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