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The following is a brief review of she history of Freemasonry in England as it has hitherto been written, and is now generally received by the Fraternity. It is but right, however, to say that recent researches have thrown doubts on the authenticity of many of the statements—that the legend of Prince Edwin has been doubted; the establishment of Grand Lodge at York in the beginning of the eighteenth century denied; and the existence of anything but Operative Masonry before 1717 is controverted. These questions are still in dispute; but the labors of Masonic antiquaries, through which many old records and ancient constitutions are being continually exhumed from the British Museum and from Lodge libraries, will eventually enable us to settle upon the truth. According to Anderson and Preston, the first Charter granted in England to the Freemasons, as a Body, was bestowed by King Athelstan, in 926, upon the application of his brother, Prince Edwin. "Accordingly," says Anderson, quoting from the Old Constitutions (see the Constitutions of 1738, page 64), "Prince Edwin summon'd all the Free and Accepted Masons in the Realm, to meet him in a Congregation at York, who came and form'd the Grand Lodge under him as their Grand Master, 926 A.D.
"They brought with them many old Writings and Records of the Craft, some in Greek, some in Latin, some in French, and other Languages; and from the Contents thereof, they fram'd the Constitutions of the English Lodges, and made a Law for Themselves, to preserve and observe the same in all Time coming, Ac, &c, &c."
From this assembly at York, the rise of Freemasonry in England is generally dated; from the statutes there enacted are derived the English Masonic Constitutions; and from the place of meeting, the ritual of the English Lodges is designated as the Ancient York Rite. For a long time the York Assembly exercised the Masonic jurisdiction over all England; but in 1567 the Freemasons of the southern part of the island elected Sir Thomas Gresham, the celebrated merchant, their Grand Master, according to Anderson (see Constitutions, 1738, page 81). He was succeeded by the Earl of Effingham, the Earl of Huntington, and by the illustrious architect, Inigo Jones.
In the beginning of the eighteenth century, Freemasonry in the south of England had fallen into decay. The disturbances of the revolution, which placed William III on the throne, and the subsequent warmth of political feelings which agitated the two parties of the state, had given this peaceful society a wound fatal to its success. But in 1716 "the few Lodges at London finding themselves neglected by Sir Christopher Wren, thought fit to cement under a Grand Master as the Center of Union and Harmony," and so four of the London Lodges "met at the AppleTree Tavern; and having put into the chair the oldest Master Mason, now the Master of a Lodge, they constituted themselves a Grand Lodge, pro tempore, Latin for the time being, in due form, and forthwith revived the quarterly communication of the officers of Lodges, called the Grand Lodge, resolved to hold the annual assembly and feast, and then to choose a Grand Master from among themselves, till they should have the honor of a noble brother at their head" (according to Anderson, Constitutions, 1738, page 109).
Accordingly, on John the Baptist's Day, 1717, the annual assembly and feast were held, and Brother Anthony Sayer duly proposed and elected Grand Master. The Grand Lodge adopted, among its regulations, the following: "That the privileges of assembling as Masons, which had hitherto been unlimited, should be vested in certain Lodges or assemblies of Masons convened in certain places; and that every Lodge to be hereafter convened, except the four old Lodges at this time existing, should be legally authorized to act by a warrant from the Grand Master for the time being, granted to certain individuals by petition, with the consent and approbation of the Grand Lodge in communication; and that, without such warrant no Lodge should be hereafter deemed regular or constitutional.
In compliment, however, to the four old Lodges, the privileges which they had always possessed under the old organization were particularly reserved to them; and it was enacted that "no law, rule, or regulation, to be hereafter made or passed in Grand` Lodge, should deprive them of such privilege, or encroach on any landmark which was at that time established as the standard of Masonic government" (as recorded by Preston, Illustrations, edition of 1792, pages 248 and 249).
The Grand Lodges of York and of London kept up a friendly intercourse, and mutual interchange of recognition, until the latter Body, in 1725, granted a Warrant of constitution to some Freemasons who had seceded from the former. This un-Masonic act was severely reprobated by the York Grand Lodge, and produced the first interruption to the harmony that had long subsisted between them. It was, however, followed some years after by another unjustifiable act of interference. In 1735, the Earl of Crawford, Grand Master of England, constituted two Lodges within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of York, and granted, without its consent, Deputations for Lancaster, Durham, and Northumberland. "This ciro cumstance," says Preston (Illustrationa; edition of 1792, page 279), "the Grand Lodge at York highly resented, and ever afterward viewed the proceedings of the Brethren in the south with a jealous eye. All friendly intercourse ceased, and the York Masons, from that moment, considered their interests distinct from the Masons under the Grand Lodge in London."
Three years after, in 1738, several Brethren, dissatisfied with the conduct of the Grand Lodge of England, seceded from it, and held unauthorized meetings for the purpose of initiation. Taking advantage of the breach between the Grand Lodges of York and London. they assumed the character of York Freemasons. On the Grand Lodge's determination to put strictly in execution the laws against such seceders, they still further separated from its jurisdiction, and assumed the appellation of Ancient York Masons. They announced that the ancient landmarks were alone preserved by them; and, declaring that the regular Lodges had adopted new plans, and sanctioned innovations, they branded them with the name of Modern Masons. In 1739, they established a new Grand Lodge in London, under the name of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York: Masons, and, persevering in the measures they had adopted, held communications and appointed annual feasts. They were soon afterward recognized by the Freemasons of Scotland and Ireland, and were encouraged and fostered by many of the nobility. The two Grand Lodges continued to exist, and to act in opposition to each other, extending their schisms into other countries, especially into America, until the year 1813, when, under the Grand Mastership of the Duke of Sussex, they were united under the title of the United Grand Lodge of England. Such is the history of Freemasonry in England as uninterruptedly believed by all Freemasons and Masonic writers for nearly a century and a half.
Recent researches have thrown great doubts on its entire accuracy. Until the year 1717, the details are either traditional, or supported only by manuscripts whose authenticity has not yet been satisfactorily proved. Much of the history is uncertain; some of it, especially as referring to York, is deemed apocryphal by Brother Hughan and other industrious writers, and Brother Henry Sadler in his Masonic Facts and Fictions has proved that the Ancients were not really a schismatic body of seceders from the Premier Grand Lodge of England, but were Irish Freemasons settled in London, who, in 1751, established a body which they called the Grand Lodge of England according to the 011 Institutions, maintaining that they alone preserved the ancient tenets and practices of Freesmasonry (see Antient Masons).
During one period of the eighteenth century there existed four Grand Lodges in England:
1. The Grand Lodge of England, located at London.
2. The Grand Lodge of all England, located at York.
3. The Grand Lodge of England according to the Old Institutions.
4. The Grand Lodge of England south of the river Trent.
The last taco organizations had their Grand blast at London
Here we may appropriately insert the significant information (see the Constitution of 1738, page 109):
And after the Rebellion was over, A.D. 1716, the few lodges at London, finding themselves neglected by Sir Christopher Wren, thought fit to cement under a Grand Master, as the Centre of Union and Harmony, viz., the Lodges that met
At the Goose and Gridiron Ale-house in St. Pauls Churchyards
At the Crown Ale-house in Parkers Lane near Drury Lane.
At the Apple Tree Tavern in Charles Street, Covent Garden.
At the Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Channel Rosv, Westminster.
They and some old Brothers met at the said Apple Tree, and having put into the chair the oldest Master Mason (now the Master of a Lodge), they constituted a Grand Lodge pro tempore in due form, and forthwith revived the Quarterly Communication of the Officers of Lodges (call'd the Grand Lodge), resolved to hold the annual Assembly and Feast and then to chuse a Grand Master from among themselves till they should have the Honour of a noble Brother at their Head. Accordingly
On St. John Baptist day, in the 3rd year of King George the 1st, A.D., 1717, The Assembly and Feast of the Free and Aeeepted Masons was held at the forsaid Goose and Gridiron Alehouse. The Four Old Lodges is also the title of a book by Brother Robert F. Gould, London, 1879, treating of the Bodies founding modern Freemasonry, and of their descendants, the progress of the Craft in England and of the career of every regular Lodge down to the Union of 1813. The first Grand Lodge was formed in 1717. The second Grand Lodge bears date 1725, and emanated from the immemorial Masonic Lodge that gave such reverence to the city of York. The third was established in 1751 by some Irish Freemasons settled in London (see Antient Masons). And the fourth, whose existence lasted from 1779 to 1789, was instituted by the York Grand Lodge in compliance with the request of members of the Lodge of Antiquity, of London; but its existence was ephemeral, in consequence of the removal of the disturbing cause with the regular Grand Lodge. Recently evidence has been found pointing to the existence in London from 1770 to 1775 of a fifth Grand Lodge, formed by Scotch Freemasons, with some four or five Lodges under its control (see ATS Quatuor Coronatorum xviii, pages 69 to 90).
All subordinate Lodges existing at present, which had their being prior to the Union, in December, 1813, were subjects of either the first or third of the above designated four Grand Lodges, and known respectively as the Moderns or the Antients, these titles, however, having no recognized force as to the relative antiquity of either.
Brother R. F. Gould (History of Freemasonry ii, page 373) furnishes the valuable information that the Minutes of Grand Lodge commence 24th June, 1723, and those bearing such date are signed by "John Theophilus Desaguliers, Deputy Grand Master." They are entered in a different handwriting, under date of 25th November, 1723, 19th February, 1723/4,28th "Aprill 1724," and are not sinned at foot. On 24th June, 1724, the Earl of Dalkeith presided in Grand Lodge, and the following signatures are appended to the recorded Minutes thus: Dalkeith, G. M., 1724.
J. T Desaguliers,
G. M. Fra Sorrell, Senr., G. W.
John Senex, Junr.
The Minutes of 21st November, 1724, 17th March, 20th May, 24th June, and 27th November, 1725, are unsigned. But to those of 27th December, 1725, are appended the signatures of Richmond & Lenox, G. M., 1725,
M. ffolkes, D. G. M.,
and two Grand Wardens.
Signatures are again wanting to the proceedings of 28th February and 12th December, 1726, but reappear under date of 27th "ffebry 1726," or 1727, namely:
Paisley, G. Mr., 1726,
eind the next three succeeding officers.
The Minutes of the following 10th May, 1727, were signed by "Inchiquin, G. M., 1727," and the three officers next in rank.
The earliest Minutes were not signed on confirmation at the next meeting but were verified by the four Grand Officers, or such of them as took part in the proceedings recorded. In consequence of the reselection of Doctor Desaguliers as Deputy Grand Master, the Minutes say that "the late Grand Master went away from the Hall without any ceremony."
A corruption of Euclid, found in the Old Constitutions known as the Matthew Cooke,"wherefore ye forsayde maister Englet ordeynet thei were passing of conying schold be passing honoured" (see lines 674 to 677). Perhaps the copyist mistook a badly made old English u for an n, and the original had Euglet, which would be a nearer approximation to Euclid.
In French Lodges, buriner, meaning to engrave, is used instead of écrire, to write. The engraved tablets are the written records.
This word, equivalent to the Latin illuminatus, is frequently used to designate a Freemason as one who has been rescued from darkness, and received intellectual light. Webster's definition shows its appositeness: "Illuminated; instructed; informed; furnished with clear views." Many old Latin Diplomas commence with the heading, Omnibus illuminatis, meaning that it is addressed to ad the enlightened.
See Shock of Enlightenment.
Though the Scriptures furnish but a meager account of Enoch, the traditions of Freemasonry closely connect him, by numerous circumstances, with the early history of the Institution. All, indeed, that we learn from the Book of Genesis on the subject of his life is, that he was the seventh of the patriarchs; the son of Jared, and the great-grandfather of Noah; that he was born in the year of the world 622; that his life was one of eminent virtue, so much so, that he is described as "walking with God"; and that in the year 987 his earthly pilgrimage was terminated, as the commentators generally suppose, not by death, but by a bodily translation to heaven. In the very commencement of our inquiries, we shall find circumstances in the life of this great patriarch that shadow forth, as it were, something of that mysticism with which the traditions of Freemasonry have connected him.
His name, in the Hebrew language, Sol, Henoch, signifies to initiate and to instruct, and seems intended to express the fact that he was, as Oliver remarks, the first to give a decisive character to the rite of initiation and to add to the practice of Divine worship the study and application of human science. In confirmation of this view, a writer in the Freemasons Quarterly Review says, on this subject, that "it seems probable that Enoch introduced the speculative principles into the Masonic creed, and that he originated its exclusive character," which theory must be taken, if it is accepted at all, with very considerable reservations.
The years of his life may also be supposed to contain a mystic meaning, for they amounted to three hundred and sixty-five, being exactly equal to a solar revolution. In all the ancient rites this number has occupied a prominent place, because it was the representative of the annual course of that luminary which, as the great fructifier of the earth, was the peculiar object of divine worship.
Of the early history of Enoch, we know nothing. It is, however, probable that, like the other descendants of the pious Seth, he passed his pastoral life in the neighborhood of Mount Moriah. From the other patriarchs he differed only in this, that, enlightened by the Divine knowledge which has been imparted to him, he instructed his contemporaries in the practice of those rites, and in the study of those sciences, with which he had himself become acquainted.
The Oriental writers abound in traditionary evidence of the learning of the venerable patriarch. One tradition states that he received from God the gift of wisdom and knowledge, and that God sent him thirty volumes from heaven, filled with all the secrets of the most mysterious sciences. The Babylonians supposed him to have been intimately acquainted with the nature of the stars; and they attribute to him the invention of astrology. The Rabbis maintain that he was taught by God and Adam how to sacrifice, and how to worship the Deity aright. The Cabalistic book of Raziel says that he received the Divine mysteries from Adam, through the direct line of the preceding patriarchs.
The Greek Christians supposed him to have been identical with the first Egyptian Hermes, who dwelt at Sais. They say he was the first to give instruction on the celestial bodies; that he foretold the deluge that was to overwhelm his descendants; and that he built the Pyramids, engraving thereon figures of artificial instruments and the elements of the sciences, fearing lest the memory of man should perish in that general destruction. Eupolemus, a Grecian writer, makes him the same as Atlas, and attributes to him, as the Pagans did to that deity, the invention of astronomy. Wait (Oriental Antiquities) quotes a passage from Bar Hebraeus, a Jewish writer, which asserts that Enoch was the first who invented books and writing; that he taught men the art of building cities; that he discovered the knowledge of the Zodiac and the course of the planets; and that he inculcated the worship of God by fasting, prayer, alms, votive offering, and tithes. Bar Hebraeus adds, that he also appointed festivals for sacrifices to the sun at the periods when that luminary entered each of the zodiacal signs; but this statement, which would make him the author of idolatry, is entirely inconsistent with all that we know of his character, from both history and tradition, and arose, as Oliver supposes, most probably from a blending of the characters of Enos and Enoch.
In the study of the sciences, in teaching them to his children and his contemporaries, and in instituting the Tites of initiation, Enoch is supposed to have passed the years of his peaceful, his pious, and his useful life, until the crimes of mankind had increased to such a height that, in the expressive words of holy Writ, "every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart was only evil continually." It was then, according to a Masonic tradition, that Enoch, disgusted with the wickedness that surrounded him, and appalled at the thought of its inevitable consequences, fled to the solitude and secrecy of Mount Moriah, and devoted himself to prayer and pious contemplation. It was on that spot then first consecrated by this patriarchal hermitage, and afterward to be made still more holy by the sacrifices of Abraham, of David, and of Solomon—that we are informed that the Shekinah, or sacred presence, appeared to him, and gave him those instructions which were to preserve the wisdom of the antediluvians to their posterity when the world, with the exception of but one family, should have been destroyed by the forthcoming flood. The circumstances which occurred at that time are recorded in a tradition which forms what has been called the great Masonic legend of Enoch, and which runs to this effect:
Enoch, being inspired by the Most High, and in commemoration of a wonderful vision, built a temple underground, and dedicated it to God. His son, Methuselah, constructed the building; although he was not acquainted with his father's motives for the erection. This temple consisted of nine brick vaults, situated perpendicularly beneath each other and communicating by apertures left in the arch of each vault.
Enoch then caused a triangular plate of gold to be made, each side of which was a cubit long; he enriched it with the most precious stones, and encrusted the plate upon a stone of agate of the same form. On the grave he engraved, in ineffable characters, the true name of Deity, and, placing it on a cubical pedestal of white marble, he deposited the whole within the deepest arch. When this subterranean building was completed, he made a door of stone, and attaching to it a ring of iron, by which it might be occasionally raised, he placed it over the opening of the uppermost arch, and so covered it over that the aperture could not be discovered. Enoch himself was permitted to enter it but once a year; and on the death of Enoch, Methuselah, and Lamech, and the destruction of the world by the deluge, all knowledge of this temple, and of the sacred treasure which it contained, was lost until, in after times, it was accidentally discovered by another worthy of Freemasonry, who, like Enoch, leas engaged in the erection of a temple on the same spot.
The legend goes on to inform us that after Enoch had completed the subterranean temple, fearing that the principles of those arts and sciences which he had cultivated with so much assiduity would be lost in that general destruction of which he had received a prophetic vision, he erected two pillars—the one of marble, to withstand the influence of fire, and the other of brass, to resist the action of water. On the pillar of brass he engraved the history of creation, the principles of the arts and sciences, and the doctrines of Speculative Freemasonry as they were practiced in his times; and on the one of marble he inscribed characters in hieroglyphics, importing that near the spot where they stood a precious treasure was deposited in a subterranean vault.
Josephus gives an account of these pillars in the first book of his Antiquities. He ascribes them to the children of Seth, which is by no means a contradiction of the Masonic tradition, since Enoch was one of these children. "That their inventions," says the historian, "might not be lost before they were sufficiently known, upon Adam's prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire and at another time by the violence and quantity of water, they made two pillars—the one of brick, the other of stone; they inscribed their discoveries on them both, that in case the pillar of brick should be destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might remain and exhibit those discoveries to mankind, and also inform them that there was another pillar of brick erected by them. Now this remains in the land of Siriad to this day."
Enoch, having completed these labors, called his descendants around him on Mount Moriah, and having warned them in the most solemn manner of the consequences of their wickedness, exhorted them to forsake their idolatries and return once more to the worship of the true God. Masonic tradition informs us that he then delivered up the government of the Craft to his grandson, Lamech, and disappeared from earth.
Doctor Mackey refers above to the discoveries made at the attempt by Julian the Apostate to rebuild the Temple. These are of especial interest to Brethren of various Degrees and the two leading accounts of these legends may well be included here as a matter of information. First we have the one given by the Greek historian Nicephorus Calistus in the fourteenth century, in his Ecclesiastical Histories. He records the following remarkable details of an occurrence that happened at the attempt to rebuild the Temple:
When the foundations were being laid, as has been said one of the stones attached to the lowest part of the foundation was removed from its place and showed the mouth of a cavern which had been cut out of the rock. But as the cave could not be distinctly seen, those who had charge of the work, wishing to explore it that they might be better acquainted with the plaee, sent one of the workmen down tied to a long rope.
When he got to the bottom he found water up to his legs. Searching the cavern on every side, he found, by touching with his hands, that it was of a quadrangular form. When he was returning to the mouth, he discovered a certain pillar standing up scarcely above the water. Feeling with his hand. he found a little book placed upon it, and wrapped up in very fine and clean linen. Taking possession of it, he gave the signal with the rope that those who had sent him down, should draw him up. Being received above, as soon as the book was shown, all were struck with astonishment, especially as it appeared untouched and fresh notwithstanding that it had been found in so dismal and dark a place. But when the book was unfolded, not only the Jews but the Greeks were astounded. For even at the beginning it declared in large letters: " In the beginning was the Word with God, and the Word was God." To speak plainly, the writing embraced the whole Gospel which was announced in the divine tongue of the (beloved) disciple and the Virgin.
This legend as here quoted is in the Ecclesiasticae Historicae, Nicephori Callisti, tome ii, lib. x, cap. xxxiii, and is also in the Patrologza Graeca, Migne, volume cxlvi, pages 542-3. Another description of the same occurrence is given in the Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, compiled by Photius in the ninth century and translated by Edward Walford; published by Henry G. Bohn at London, 1855, chapter xiv, page 482, and this reads:
The work of rebuilding the temple of Jerusalem by Julian was checked by many prodigies from Heaven; and especially during the preparation of the foundations, one of the stones which was placed at the lowest part of the base suddenly started from its place and opened the door of a certain cave hollowed out in the rock. Owing to its depth, it was difficult to see what was within this cave; so persons were appointed to investigate the matter, who, being anxious to find out the truth, let down one of their workmen by means of a rope.
On being lowered down he found stagnant water reaching to his knees; and having gone around the place and felt the walls on every side, he found the cave to be a perfect square.
Then, in his return, he stood near about the middle, and struck his foot against a column which stood rising slightly above the water. As soon as he touched this pillar, he found lying upon it a book wrapped up in a very fine and thin linen cloth; and as soon as he had lifted it up just as he had found it, he gave a signal to his companions to draw him up again. As soon as he regained the light, he showed them the book, which struck them all with astonishment, especially because it appeared so new and fresh, considering the place where it had been found.
This book, which appeared such a mighty prodigy in the eyes of both heathens and Jews, as soon as it was opened, showed the following words in large letters- "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ' In fact the volume contained that entire Gospel which had been declared by the divine tongue of the (beloved) disciple and the Virgin.
The French expression is Frére Enoch. Evidently the nom de plume, or pen name, of a French writer and the inventor of a Masonic rite. He published at Liege, in 1773, two works:
1. Le Vrai Franc Maçon, meaning The True Freemason, in 276 pages;
2. Let1eres Mafonniques pour servir de Sup payment au Vrai Franc-Maf on, or Madsonic Letters supplementing the True Freemason.
The design of the former of these works was to give an account of the origin and object of Freemasonry, a description of all the Degrees, and an answer to the objections urged against the Institution. The historical theories of Frere Enoch were exceedingly fanciful and wholly untenable. Thus, he asserts that in the year 814, Louis the Fair of France, being flattered by the fidelity and devotion of the Operative Masons, organized them into a society of four Degrees, granting the Masters the privilege of wearing swords in the Lodge a custom still continued in French Lodges— and, having been received into the Order himself, accepted the Grand Mastership on the festival of Saint John the Evangelist in the year 814. Other equally extravagant opinions make his book rather a source of amusement than of instruction. His definition of Freemasonry is, however, good. He says that it is "a holy and religious society of men who are friends, which has for its fourtion, discretion; for its object, the service of God, fidelity to the sovereign, and love of our neighbor; and for its doctrine, the erection of an allegorical building dedicated to tlae virtues, which it teaches with certain signs of recognution.
This legend is detailed in a preceding article. It never formed any part of the old system of Freemasonry, and was first introduced from Talmudic and Rabbinical sources into the advanced Degrees, where, however, it is really to be viewed rather as symbolical than as historical. Enoch himself is but the symbol of initiation, and his legend is intended symbolically to express the doctrine that the true Word or Divine truth was preserved in the ancient initiations.
One of the most important alphabets, or ciphers, known to historic Freemasons is the Enochian, in consequence of the revelations made in that character. Tradition savs the Christian princes were accompanied in their journey to Palestine by Freemasons, who fought by their side, and who, when at the Holy City, discovered important manuscripts, on which some of the historic Degrees were founded; that some of these manuscripts were in Syriac and others in Enochian characters; and that on their return, when at Venice, it was ascertained that the characters were identical with those in the Syriac column, spoken of by Josephus, and with the oldest copies in which the Book of Enoch was written, and are of great antiquity The Brethren in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite are largely instructed as to matters pertaining hereto in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Degrees.
v We present an exact copy of the alphabet, as may be found by comparison with that in the Bodleian Library.
The name He No C H. in Hebrew, signifies taught, or, more properly, dedicated. In the Koran Enoch is called Edris, from darasa, to study, which word, more liberally translated, means, to read or to study With attention (see Enoch).
A Rite attempted to be established at Liege, in France, about the year 1773. It consisted of four Degrees, namely:
1. Manouvre, or Apprentice, whose object was friendship and benevolence.
2. Ouvrier, or Fellow Craft, whose object was fidelity to the Sovereign.
3. Maître, or master, whose object was submission to the Supreme Being.
4. Architecte, whose object was the perfection of all the virtues.
The Rite never made much progress.
The pronunciation of the Hebrew DID AH. In the Cabalistic doctrines, the Divine Word, or Supreme Creator, is called the En Soph, or rather the Or En Soph, the Infinite Intellectual Light. The theory is, that all things emanated from this Primeval Light (see Cabala).

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