ROCKWELL, WILLIAM SPENCER.
ROMAN COLLEGES OF ARTIFICERS.
He was Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, and ,'Secretary of the Royal Society in that city. He was born at Boghall, in Scotland, in 1739, and died in 1805. He was the author of a Treatise on Mechanical Philosophy, which possessed some merit; but he is better known in Masonic literature by his anti Masonic labors. He published in 1797, at Edinburgh and London, a work entitled Proofs of a Conspiracy Against all the Religions and Governments of Europe carried on in the Secret Meetings of the Free Maçons, Illuminati, and Reading Societies, collected from Good Authorities.
In consequence of the anti-Jacobin sentiment of the people of Great Britain at that time, the work on its first appearance produced a great sensation. It was not, however, popular with all readers. A contemporary critie (Monthly Review xxv, page 315) said of it, in a very unfavorable account: "On the present occasion, we acknowledge that we have felt something like regret that a lecturer on natural philosophy, of whom his country is so justly proud, should produce any work of literature by which his high character for knowledge and for judgment is liable to be at all depreciated." The book was intended for a heavy blow against Freemasonry; the more heavy because the author himself was a Freemason, having been initiated at Liege in early life, and for some time a working Freemason.
The work is chiefly devoted to a history of the introduction of Freemasonry on the Continent, and of its corruptions, and chiefly to a violent attack on the Illuminati. But while recommending that the Lodges in England should be suspended, he makes no charge of corruption against them, but admits the charities of the Order, and its respectability of character.
There is much in the work on the history of Freemasonry on the Continent that is interesting, but many of his statements are untrue and his arguments illogical, nor was his crusade against the Institution followed by any practical results.
The Encyclopedia Britannica, to which Robison had contributed many valuable articles on science, says of his Proofs of a Conspiracy, that "it betrays a degree of credulity extremely remarkable in a person used to calm reasoning and philosophical demonstration," giving as an example his belief in the story of an anonymous German writer, that the minister Turgot was the protector of a society that met at Baron d'Holbach's for the purpose of examining living children in order to discover the principle of vitality.
What Robison has said of Freemasonry in the 531 pages of his book may be summed up in the following lines (page 522) near its close: "While the Freemasonry of the Continent was tricked up with all the frippery of stars and ribands, or waks perverted to the most profligate and impious purposes, and the Lodges became seminaries of foppery, of sedition, and impiety, it has retained in Britain its original form, simple and unadorned, and the Lodges have remained the seenes of innocent merriment or meetings of charity and beneficence." So that, after all, his charges are not against Freemasonry in its original constitution, but against its corruption in a time of great political excitement.
ROCKWELL, WILLIAM SPENCER.
A distinguished Freemason of the United States, who was born at Albany, in New York, in 1804, and died in Maryland in 1865. He had been Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, and at the time of his death was Lieutenant Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted ,Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States. He was a man of great learning, having a familiar acquaintance with many languages, both ancient and modern, and was well versed in the sciences.
He was an able lawyer, and occupied a high position at the bar of Georgia, his adopted State. Archeology was his favorite study. In 1848, he was induced by the great Egyptologist, George R. Gliddon, to direct his attention particularly to the studv of Egyptian antiquities. Already well acquainted with the philosophy and science of Freemasonrv, he applied his Egyptian studies to the interpretation of the Masonic symbols to an extent that led him to the formation of erroneous views. His investigations, however, and their results, were often interesting, if not always correct. Brother Rockwell was the author of an Ahiman Rezon for the Grand Lodge of Georgia, published in 1859, which displays abundant evidences of his learning and research. He also contributed many valuable articles to various Masonic periodicals, and was one of the collaborators of Doctor Mackey's Quarterly Review of Freemasonry.
Before his death he had translated Portal's Treatise on Hebrew and Egyptian Symbols, and had written an Exposition of the Pillars of the Porch, and an Essay on the Fellow Craft's Degree. The manuscripts of these works, in a completed form, were left in the hands of his friends.
ROD OF IRON.
The rod or staff is an emblem of power either inherent, as with a king, where it is called a scepter, or with an inferior officer, where it becomes a rod, verge, or staff. The Deacons, Stewards and Marshal of a Lodge carry rods. The rods of the Deacons, who are the messengers of the Master and Wardens, as Mercury was of the gods, may be supposed to be derived from the caduceus, the herald's staff, which was the insignia of that deity, and hence the Deacon's rod is often surmounted by a pine-cone. The Steward's rod is in imitation of the white staff borne by the Lord High Steward of the king's household. The Grand Treasurer also formerly bore a white staff like that of the Lord High Treasurer. The Marshal's baton is only an abbreviated or short rod. It is in matters of State the ensign of a Marshal of the army. The Duke of Norfolk, as hereditary Earl Marshal of England, bears two batons crossed in his arms. Thynne, the antiquary, says (Antique Discoveries ii, page 113) that the rod "did in all ages, and yet doth amongst all nations and amongst all officers, signify correction and peace; for by correction follows peace, wherefore the verge or rod was the ensign of him which had authority to reform evil in war and in peace, and to see quiet and order observed amongst the people; for therefore beareth the king his sceptre. The church hath her pastoral staff; and other magistrates which have the administration of justice or correction, as have the judges of the law and the great officers of the prinee's house, have also a verge or staff assigned to them." We thus readily see the origin of the official rods or staves used in Freemasonry.
The proper badge or ensign of office of a Deacon, which he should always carry when in the discharge of the duties of his office, is Pa blue rod surmounted by a pine-cone, in imitation of the caduceus, or rod of Mercury, who was the messenger of the gods as is the Deacon of the superior officers of the Lodge.
In the beginning of the nineteenth century columns were prescribed as the proper badges of these officers, and we find the fact so stated in Webb's Monitor, which was published in 1797, and in an edition of Preston's Illustrations, published at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in the year 1804. In the installation of the Deacons, it is said "these columns, as badges of flour office, I entrust to your care." A short time afterward, however, the columns were transferred to the Wardens as their appropriate badges, and then we find that in the hands of the Deaeon they were replaced by the rods. Thus in Dalcho's Ahiman Rezon, the first edition of which was printed in 1807, the words of the eharge are altered to "those staves the badges of your offiee." In the Masons Manual, published in 1822, by the Lodge at Easton, Pennsylvania, the badges are said to be wands, and in Cole's Library they are said to carry rods. All the subsequent Monitors agree in assigning the rods to the Deaeons as insignia of their office, while the columns are appropriated to the Wardens.
In Pennsylvania, however, as far back as 1778, "the proper pillars" were carried in procession by the Wardens, and "wands tipped with gold" vere borne by the Deacons. This appears from the amount of a procession in that year, which is appended to Smith's edition of the A himan Rezon of Pennsylvania. A rod or wand is now universally recognized in the United States of America and in England as the Deacon's badge of office.
ROD OF IRON.
The Master is charged in the instructions not to rule his Lodge with "a rod of iron," that is to say, not with cruelty or oppression. The expression is Scriptural. Thus in Psalm (ii, 9), "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron," and in Revelations (ii, 27), "He shall rule them with a rod of iron."
The badge or ensign of office of the Stewards of a Lodge, or of the Grand Stewards of a Grand Lodge, is a white rod or staff. It follows an old custom. In the first formal account of a procession in the Book of Constitutions, on June 24, 1724, the Stewards are described as walking "two and two abreast with white rods" (Constitutions, 1738, page 117). This use of a white rod comes from the political customs of England, where the Steward of the king's household was appointed by the delivery of a staff, the breaking of which dissolved the office. Thus an old book quoted by Thynne says that in the reign of Edward IV, the creation of the Steward of the household "only consisteth by the king's delivering to him the household staffe, with these words, 'Seneschall, tenez le bastone de notre Maison"' (Steward, hold the staff of mine house). When the Lord High Steward presides over the House of Lords in London at the trial of a Peer, at the conclusion of the trial he breaks the white staff which thus terminators his office.
A German Masonic writer, who translated from French into German the work of Reghellini on Freemasonry in its relations to the Egyptian, Jewish, and Christian religions, and published it at Leipsic, 1834-5, under the assumed name of R. S. Acerrellos. He was the author of some other less important Masonic works.
In the Prestonian Ritual of the funeral service, it is directed that the Master, while the Brethren are standing around the coffin, shall take "the sacred Roll" in his hand, and, after an invocation, shall "put the Roll into the chest" (Illustrations, 1792, page 123). In the subsequent part of the ceremony, a procession being formed, consisting of the members of visiting Lodges and of the Lodge to which the deceased belonged, it is stated that all the Secretaries of the former Lodges carry rolls, while the Secretary of the latter has none, because, of course, it had been deposited by the Master in the coffin. From the use of the words "sacred roll," we presume that the rolls borne by the Secretaries in funeral processions are intended to represent the Roll of the Law, that being the form still used by the Jews for inscribing the Sacred Books.
ROMAN COLLEGES OF ARTIFICERS.
It was the German writers on the history of the Institution, such as Krause, Heldmann, and some others of less repute, who first discovered, or at least first announced to the world, the connection that existed between the Roman Colleges of Architects and the Society of Freemasons.
The theory of Krause on this subject is to be fouled principally in his well-known work entitled Die drei ältesten Kunsterkunden, The Three Oldest Craft Documents. He there advances the doctrine that Freemasonry as it now exists is indebted for all its characteristics, religious and social, political and professional, its interior organization, its modes of thought and action, and its very design and object, to the Collegia Artificum of the Romans, passing with but little characteristic changes through the Corporationen son Baukünstlern, or Architectural Golds, of the Middle Ages up to the English organization in the year 1717; so that he claims an almost absolute identity between the Roman Colleges of Numa, seven hundred years before Christ, and the Lodges of the nineteenth century. We need not, according to his view, go any farther back in history, nor look to any other series of events, nor trouble ourselves with any other influences for the origin and the character of Freemasonry.
This theory, which is perhaps the most popular one on the subject, requires careful examination; and in the prosecution of such an inquiry the first thing to be done will be to investigate, so far as authentic history affords us the means, the true character and condition of these Roman Colleges. It is to Nurna, the second king of Rome, that historians, following after Plutarch, ascribe the first organization of the Roman Colleges; although, as Newman reasonably conjectures, it is probable that similar organizations previously existed among the Alban population, and embraced the resident Tuscan artifices. But it is admitted that Numa gave to them that form which they always subsequently maintained.
Nurna, on ascending the throne, found the citizens divided into various nationalities, derived from the Romans, the Sabines, and the inhabitants of neighboring smaller and weaker towns, who, by choice or by compulsion, had removed their residence to the banks of the Tiber. Hence resulted a disseverance
of sentiment and feeling, and a constant tendency to disunion. Now the object of Numa was to obliterate these contending elements and to establish a perfect identity of national feeling, so that, to use the language of Plutarch, "the distribution of the people might become a harmonious mingling of all with all." For this purpose he established one common religion, and divided the citizens into curiae and tribes, each curia and tribe being composed of an admixture indifferently of Romans, Sabines, and the other denizens of Rome.
Directed by the same political sagacity, he distributed the artisans into various gilds or corporations, under the name of Collegia, or Colleges. To each collegium was assigned the artisans of a particular profession, and each had its own regulations, both secular and religious. These colleges grew with the growth of the republic; and although Numa had originally established but nine, namely, the College of Musicians, of Goldsmiths, of Carpenters, of Dyers of Shoemakers, of Tanners, of Smiths, of Potters, and a ninth composed of all artisans not embraced under either of the preceding heads, they were subsequently greatly increased in number. Eighty years before the Christian era they were, it is true, abolished, or sought to be abolished, by a decree of the Senate, who looked with jealousy on their political influence, but twenty years afterward they were revived, and new ones established by a law of the Tribune Clodius, which repealed the Senatus Consultum. They continued to exist under the empire, were extended into the provinces, and even outlasted the decline and fall of the Roman power.
And now let us inquire into the form and organization of these Colleges, and, in so doing, trace the analogy between them and the Masonic Lodges, if any such analogy exists. The first regulation, which was an indispensable one, was that no College could consist of less than three members. So indispensable was this rule that the expression tres faciuzt collegium, three make a college, became a maxim of the civil law. So rigid too was the application of this rule, that the body of Consuls, although calling each other Colleagues, and possessing and exercising all collegiate rights, were, because they consisted only of two members, never legally recognized as a College. The reader will very readily be struck with the identity of this regulation of the Colleges and that of Freemasonry, which with equal rigor requires three Freemasons to constitute a Lodge. The College and the Lodge each demanded three members to make it legal. A greater number might give it more efficiency, but it could not render it more legitimate. This, then, is the first analogy between the Lodges of Freemasons and the Roman Colleges.
These Colleges had their appropriate officers, who very singularly were assimilated in stations and duties to the officers of a Masonic Lodge. Each College was presided over by a chief or president, whose title of Magister is exactly translated by the English word Master. The next officers were the Decurzones. They were analogous to the Masonie Wardens, for each Decurio presided over a seetion or division of the College, just as in the most ancient English and in the Continental Ritual we find the Lodge divided into two sections or columns, over each of which one of the Wardens presided, through whom the commands of the Master were extended to "the Brethren of his column." There was also in the Colleges a Scriba, or Secretary, who recorded its proceedings; a Thesaurensis, or Treasurer, who had charge of the common chest; a Tabularius, or Keeper of the Archives, equivalent to the modern Archivist; and lastly, as these Colleges combined a peculiar religious worship with their operative labors, there was in each of them a Sacerdos, or Priest, who conducted the religious ceremonies, and was thus exactly equivalent to the Chaplain of a Masonic Lodge. In all this we find another analogy between these ancient institutions and our Masonic Bodies.
Another analogy will be found in the distribution or division of classes in the Roman Colleges. As the Masonic Lodges have their Master Masons, their Fellow Crafts, and their Apprentices, so the Colleges had their Seniores, Elders, or chief men of the trade, and their journeymen and apprentices. The members did not, it is true, like the Freemasons, call themselves Brothers, because this term, first adopted in the Gilds or Corporations of the Middle Ages, is the offspring of a Christian sentiment; but, as Krause remarks, these Colleges were, in general, conducted after the pattern or model of a family; and hence the appellation of Brother would now and then be found among the family appellations.
The partly religious character of the Roman Colleges of Artificers constitutes a very peculiar analogy between them and the Masonic Lodges. The history of these Colleges shows that an ecclesiastical character was bestowed upon them at the very time of their organization by Numa. Many of the workshops of these artifieers were erected in the vicinity of temples, and their Curia, or place of meeting, was generally in some way connected with a temple.
The deity to whom such temple was consecrated was peculiarly worshiped by the members of the adjacent College, and became the patron god of their trade or art. In time, when the Pagan religion was abolished and the religious character of these Colleges was changed, the Pagan gods gave way, through the influences of the new religion, to Christian saints, one of whom was always adopted as the patron of the modern gilds, which, in the Middle Ages, took the place of the Roman Colleges. Hence the Freemasons derive the dedication of their Lodges to Saint John from a similar custom among the Corporations of Builders.
These Colleges held secret meetings, in which the business transacted consisted of the initiations of neophytes into their Fraternity, and of mystical and esoteric instructions to their apprentices and journeymen. They were, in thus respect, secret societies like the Masonic Lodges. There were monthly or other periodical contributions by the members for the support of the College, by which means a common fund was accumulated for the maintenance of indigent members or the relief of destitute strangers belonging to the same society.
They were permitted by the Government to frame a constitution and to enact laws and regulations for their own government. These privileges were gradually enlarged and their provisions extended, so that in the latter days of the Empire the Colleges of Arehitects especially were invested with extraordinary powers in reference to the control of builders. Even the distinction so well known in Masonic jurisprudence between "legally constituted" and "clandestine" Lodges, seems to find a similitude or analogy here; for the Colleges which had been established by lawful authority, and were, therefore, entitled to the enjoyment of the privileges accorded to those institutions, were said to be collegia licita, or lawful colleges, while those which were voluntary associations, not authorized by the express decree of the senate or the emperor, were called collegia illieita, or unlawful colleges. The terms licita and illicita were exactly equivalent in their import to the legally constituted and the clandestine Lodges of Freemasonry.
In the Colleges the candidates for admission were elected, as in the Masonic Lodges, by the voice of the members. In connection with this subject, the Latin word which was used to express the art of admission or reception is worthy of consideration. When a person was admitted into the fraternity of a College, he was said to be eooptatus in eollegium. Now, the verb cooptare, almost exclusively employed by the Romans to signify an election into a College, comes from the root op which also occurs in the Greek to see, to behold. This same word gives origin, in Greek, to epoptes, a spectator or beholder, one who has attained to the last Degree in the eleusinian mysteries; in other words, an initiate. So that, without much stretch of etymological ingenuity, we might say that cooptatus in collegtum meant to be initiated into a College. This is, at least, singular. But the more general interpretation of cooptatus is admitted or accepted in a Fraternity, and so made free of all the privileges of the Gild or Corporation. Hence the idea is the same as that conveyed among the Freemasons by the title of Free and Accepted.
Finally, it is said by Krause that these Colleges of workmen made a symbolic use of the implements of their art or profession, in other words, that they cultivated the science of symbolism; and in this respect, therefore, more than in any other, is there a striking analogy between the Collegiate and the Masonic Institutions. The statement cannot be doubted; for as the organization of the Colleges partook, as has already been shown, of a religious character, and, as it is admitted, that all the religion of Paganism was eminently and almost entirely symbolic, it must follow that any association which was based upon or cultivated the religious or mythological sentiment, must cultivate also the principle of symbolism.
We have thus briefly but succinctly shown, says Doctor Mackey, that in the form, the organization, the mode of government, and the usages of the Roman Colleges, there is an analogy between them and the modern Masonic Lodges which is evidently more than accidental. It may be that long after the dissolution of the Roman Colleges, Freemasonry, in the establishment of its Lodges, designedly adopted the collegiate organization as a model after which to frame its own system, or it may be that the resemblance has been the result of a slow but inevitable growth of a succession of associations arising out of each other, at the head of which stands the Roman Colleges.
This problem can only be determined by an investigation of the history of these Colleges, and of the other similar institutions which finally sueeeeded them in the progress of architecture in Europc. We shall then be prepared to investigate with understanding the theory of Krausc, and to determine whether the Lodges are indebted to the Colleges for their form alone, or for both form and substance. We have already seen that in the time of Numa the Roman Colleges amounted to only nine. In the subsequent years of the Republic the number was gradually augmented, so that aknost every trade or profession had its peculiar College. With the advance of the Empire, their numbers were still further inereased and their privileges greatly extended, so that they became an important element in the body politic. Leaving untouched the other Colleges, we shall confine ourselves to the Colleyia Artificum, the Colleges of Architects, as the only one whose condition and history are relevant to the subject under consideration.
The Romans were early distinguished for a spirit of colonization. Their victorious arms had scarcely subdued a people, before a portion of the army was deputed to form a Colony. Here the barbarism and ignorance of the native population were replaced by the civilization and the refinement of their Roman conquerors. The Colleges of Architects, occupied in the construction of secular and religious edifices, spread from the great city to municipalities and the provinces. Whenever a new city, a temple, or a palace was to be built, the members of these corporations were convoked by the Emperor from the most distant points, that with a community of labor they might engage in the construction. Laborers might be employed, like the beaters of burdens of the Jewish Temple, in the humbler and coarser tasks, but the conduct and the direction of the works were entrusted only to accepted members—cooptati—of the Colleges.
The colonizations of the Roman Empire were conducted through the legionary soldiers of the army. Now, to each legion there was attached a College or Corporation of Artificers, which was organized with the legion at Rome, and passed with it through all its campaigns, encamped with it where it encamped,
marched with it where it marched, and when it colonized, remained in the Colony to plant the seeds of Roman civilization, and to teach the principles of Roman art. The members of the College erected fortifications for the legion in times of war, and in times of peace, or when the legion became stationary, constructed temples and dwelling houses.
When England was subdued by the Roman arms, the legions which went there to secure and to extend the conquest, carried with them, of course, their Colleges of Architects. One of these legions, for instance, under Julius Caesar, advancing into the northern limits of the country, established a Colony, which, under the name of Eboracum, gave birth to the city of York, afterward so celebrated in the history of Freemasonry. Existing inscriptions and architectural remains attest how much was done in the island of Britain by these associations of builders.
Druidism was at that time the prevailing religion of the ancient Britons. But the toleration of Paganism soon led to an harmonious admixture of the religious ideas of the Roman builders with those of the Druid priests. Long anterior to this, Christianity had dawned upon the British islands; for, to use the emphatic language of Tertullian, "Britain, inaccessible to the Romans, was subdued by Christ." The influences of the new faith were not long in being felt by the Colleges, and the next phase in their history is the record of their assumption of the Christian life and doctrine.
But the incursions of the northern barbarians into Italy demanded the entire force of the Roman armies to defend the integrity of the Empire at home. Britain was abandoned, and the natives, with the Roman colonists who had settled among them, were left to defend themselves. These were soon driven, first by the Picts, their savage neighbors, and then by the Saxon sea-robbers, whom the English had incautiously summoned to their aid, into the mountains of Wales and the islands of the Irish Sea. The architects who were converted to Christianity, and who had remained when the legions left the country went with them, and having lost their connection with the mother institution, they became thenceforth simply Corporations or Societies of Builders, the organization which had always worked so well being still retained.
Subsequently, when the whole of England was taken possession of by the Saxon invaders, the Britons, headed by the monks and priests, and accompanied by their architects, fled into Ireland and Scotland, which countries they civilized and converted, and whose inhabitants were instructed in the art of building by the Corporations of Architects. Whenever we read of the extension in barbarous or Pagan countries of Christianity, and the conversion of their inhabitants to the true faith, we also hear of the propagation of the art of building in the same places by the Corporations of Architects, the immediate successors of the legionary Colleges, for the new religion required churches, and in time cathedrals and monasteries, and the ecclesiastical architecture speedily suggested improvements in the civil.
In time all the religious knowledge and all the architectural skill of the northern part of Europe were concentrated in the remote regions of Ireland and Scotland, whence missionaries were sent back to England to convert the Pagan Saxons. Thus the Venerable Bede tells us (Ecclesiastical History, book iii, chapters 4 and 7) that West Saxony was converted by Agilbert, an Irish bishop, and East Anglia, by Fursey, a Scotch missionary. From England these energetic missionaries, accompanied by their pious architects, passed over into Europe, and effectually labored for the conversion of the Scandinavian nations, introducing into Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Ireland, the blessings of Christianity and the refinements of civilized life.
It is worthy of note that in all the early records the word Scotland is very generally used as a generic term to indicate both Scotland and Ireland. This error arose most probably from the very intimate geographical and social connections of the Scotch and the northern Irish, and perhaps, also, from the general inaccuracy of the historians of that period. Thus has arisen the very common opinion, that Scotland was the germ whence sprang all the Christianity of the northern nations, and that the same country was the cradle of ecclesiastical architecture and Operative Masonry.
This historical error, by which the glory of Ireland has been merged in that of her sister country, Scotland, has been preserved in much of the language and many of the traditions of modern Freemasonry. Henee the story of the Abbey of Kilwinning as the birthplace of Freemasonry, a story which is still a favorite of the Freemasons of Scotland. Hence the tradition of the apocryphal mountain of Heroden, situated in the northwest of Scotland, where the first or metropolitan Lodge of Europe was held; hence the advanced Degrees of Ecossais, or Scottish Master, which play so important a part in modern philosophical Freemasonry; and hence the title of Scottish Masonry, applied to one of the leading Rites of Freemasonry, which has, however, no other connection with Scotland than that historical one, through the Corporations of Builders, which is common to the whole Institution.
It is not worth while to trace the religious contests between the original Christians of Britain and the Papal power, which after years of controversy terminated in the submission of the British Bishops to the Pope. As soon as the Papal authority was firmly established over Europe, the Roman Catholic hierarchy secured the services of the Builders Corporations, and these, under the patronage of the Pope and the Bishops, were everywhere engaged as Travelling Freemasons, in the construction of ecclesiastieal and regal edifices..
Henceforth we find these corporations of builders exercising their art in all countries, everywhere proving, as Thomas Hope says, by the identity of their designs, that they were controlled by universally accepted principles, and showing in every other way the eharaeteristies of a Corporation or Gild. So far the chain of connection between them and the Collegia Artificum at Rome has not been broken.
In the year 926 a General Assembly of these builders was held at the City of York, in England. Four years after, in 930, according to Rebold, Henry the Fowler brought these builders, now called Masons, from England into Germany, and employed them in the construction of various edifices, such as the Cathedrals of Magdeburg, Meissen, and Merseburg. But Krause, who is better and more aeeurate as a historian than Rebold, says that, as respects Germany, the first account that we find of these Corporations of Builders is at the epoch when, under the direction of Edwin of Steinbach, the most distinguished architects had congregated from all parts at Strasburg for the construction of the Cathedral of that city. There they held their General Assembly, like that of their English Brethren at York, enacted Constitutions, and established, at length, a Grand Lodge, to whose decisions numerous Lodges or hutten, subsequently organized in Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, Franee, and other countries, yielded obedience. George Kloss, in his exhaustive work entitled Die Freimaurerei in ihrer wahren Bedeutung, True Meaning of Freemasonry has supplied us with a full collation of the Statutes and Regulations adopted by these Strasburg Masons (see Stone-Masons of Germany)
We have now reached recent historical ground, and can readily trace these Assoeiations of Builders to the establishment of the Grand Lodge of England at London, in 1717, when the Lodges abandoned their Operative Charters and became exclusively Speculative. The record of the continued existence of Lodges of Free and Accepted Masons from that day to this, in every civilized country of the world is in the hands of every Masonic student. To repeat it would be a tedious work of supererogation.
Such is the history, and now what is the necessary deduction? It cannot be doubted that Krause is correct in his theory that the incunabula—the cradle or birthplace—of the modern Masonic Lodges is to be found in the Roman Colleges of Architects. That theory is correct, if we look only to the outward form and mode of working of the Lodges. To the Colleges are they indebted for everything that distinguished them as a Gild or Corporation, and especially are they indebted to the architectural character of these Colleges for the fact, so singular in Freemasonry, that its religious symbolism—that by which it is distinguished from all other institutions—is founded on the elements, the working-tools, and the technical language of the Stone-Masons' Art.
But when we view Freemasonry in a higher aspect, when we look at it as a science of symbolism, the whole of which symbolism is directed to but one point, namely, the elucidation of the great doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and the teaching of the two lives, the present and the future, we must go beyond the Colleges of Rome, which were only Operative Associations, the Speculative Craft has borrowed from the older type to be found in the Ancient Mysteries, where the same doctrine was taught in a similar manner. Krause does not, it is true, altogether omit a reference to the priests of Greeee, who, he thinks, were in some way the original whence the Roman Colleges derived their existence; but he has not pressed the point. He gives in his theory a pre-eminence to the Colleges to which they are not in truth entitled