Symbolism Of Freemasonry * Albert G. Mackey (1882)

Freemasonry is rehearsed to the candidate by the rendition of ritual, imparted to his mind by story, and impressed upon the memory by symbols.

I was not really for a book like this, but my eye fell on it a while ago in the local second hand bookstore. It looked interesting enough to buy and so I did. Symbolism Of Freemasonry, its science, philosophy, legends, myths, and symbolism was written by Albert Gallatin Mackey (1807-1881), at least, so it seems, since several times a sentence such as “bro. Mackey did…” is to be found in the text. Since the writer has been long dead, the copyright of this book is no longer valid and it is published in numerous versions and available on the internet completely at several places. The book is not a bad read. It starts with a rather typical history of Freemasonry, placing its origins in extreme history, claiming newer religions (especially “polytheism”) degeneration of the original teachings, having numerous famous persons among its ranks and so forth. Read more about that here. Not really symbols but symbolism is explained and that is quite interesting. All explanations are quite typical, but sometimes Mackey gives some things to think about. The book is obviously the result of a degeneration of Freemasonry itself, since Freemasonry is regarded “a science of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” (p. 313). Well… no, but who am I to question that? I am no Mason myself.
A nice and easy-to-get book if you want to learn a bit more about Masonic concepts such as Solomon’s temple, the myth of Hiram, the cubic stone, the foundation stone, the winding stairs, etc.

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