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The Abbé Lefranc, Superior of the House of the Eudistes at Caen, was a very bitter enemy of Freemasonry, and the author of two libelous works against the Craft, both published in Paris; the first and best known, entitled Le Voile lePé pour les curieuc, ou le secret des revolutions, réuélé àraids de la franc-Mafonnerie, or The Veil Lified for the Curious, or the Secret of Revolutions, disclosed as the effort of Freemasonry, 1791, republished at Leige in 1827, arid the other, Conjuration corare la religion Catholique et les sowerains, dent le projet, coypu en France, dot s'éxécuter dans Junipers entier, or the Conspiracy against the Catholic Religion and Rulers, a Project conceived in France aims to spread over the Whole World, 1792. In these scandalous books, and especially in the former, Lefranc has, to use the language of Thory (Acta Latomorum i, 192), "vomited the most undeserved abuse of the Order." Of the Veil Lifled, the two great detractors of Freemasonry, Robison and Barruel, entertained different opinions. Robison made great use of it in his Proofs of a Conspiracy; but Barruel, while speaking highly of the Abbé's virtues, doubts his accuracy and declines to trust to his authority.
Lefranc was slain in the massacre of September 9, at the Convent of the Carmelites, in Paris, with one hundred and ninety-one other priests. Thory (Acta Latomorum i, 192) says that M. Ledhui, a Freemason, who was present at the sanguinary scene, attempted to save the life of Lefranc, and nearly lost his own in the effort. The Abbé says that, on the death of a friend, who was a zealous Freemason and Master of a Lodge, he found among his papers a collection of Masonic writings containing the rituals of a great many Degrees, and from these he obtained the information on which he has based his attacks upon the Order. Some idea may be formed of his accuracy and credibility, from the fact that he asserts that Faustus Socinus, the Father of Mcdern Unitarianism, was the contriver and inventor of the Masonic system a theory so absurd that even Robison and Barruel both reject it.
Among the ancients the left hand was a symbol of equity and justice. Thus, Apulcius (Metamorphoses 1, xi), when describing the procession in honor of Isis, says one of the ministers of the sacred rites "bore the symbol of equity, a left hand, fashioned with the palm extended; which seems to be more adapted to administering equity than the right, from its natural inertness, and its being endowed with no craft and no subtlety."
In the symbolism of Freemasonry, the First Degree is represented by the left side, which is to indicate that as the left is the weaker part of the body, so is the Entered Apprentice's Degree the weakest part of Freemasonry. This doctrine, that the left is the weaker side of the body, is very ancient.
Plato savs it arises from the fact that the right is more used; but Aristotle contends that the organs of the right side are by nature more powerful than those of the left.
See Constituted, Legally.
In the Middle Ages, a Legate, or leqatus, was one who was, says Du Cange (Glossary or Glossarium)," in provincias à Principe ad exercendas judicias mittebalur," that is sent by Prince into the Provinces to exercise judicial functions. The word is now applied by the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite to designate certain persons who are sent into unoccupied territory to propagate the Rite. The word is, however, of comparatively recent origin, not having been used before 1866. A Legate should be in possession of at least the Thirty-second Degree.
Strictly speaking, a legend, from the Latin, legendus, meaning to be read, should be restricted to a story that has been committed to writing; but by good usage the word has been applied more extensively, and now properly means a narrative, whether true orfalse, that has been traditionally preserved from the time of its first oral communication. Such is the definition of a Masonic legend. The authors of the Conversatiorus-Lericon, referring to the monkish lives of the saints which originated in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, say that the title legend was given to all fictions which made pretensions to truth. Such a remark, however correct it may be in reference to these monkish narratives, which were often invented as ecclesiastical exercises, is by no means applicable to the legends of Freemasonry. These are not necessarily fictitious, but are either based on actual and historical facts which have been but slightly modified, or they are the offspring and expansion of some symbolic idea; in which latter respect they differ entirely from the monastic legends, which often have only the fertile imagination of some studious monk for the basis of their construction.
LEGEND OF ENOCH.
LEGEND OF EUCLID.
See Eudid, Legend of.
LEGEND OF THE CRAFT.
The Old Records of the Fraternity of Operative Freernasons, under the general name of Old Constitutions or Constitutions of Freemasonry, or Old Charges, were written in the fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. The 1099 of many of these by the indiscretion of overzealous Brethren was deplored by Anderson. This is mentioned by Dr. James Anderson in the Constitutions, 1738, as having taken place at the Assembly of June 24, 1720, "This Year, at some private Lodges, several very valuable Manuscripts for they had- nothing yet in Print concerning the Fraternity, their Lodges, Regulations, Charges, Secrets, and Usages particularly one writ by Mr. Nicholas Stone the Warden of Inigo Jones were too hastily burnt by some scrupulous Brothers; that those papers might not fall into strange Hands."
But a few of them have been long known to us, and many more have been recently recovered, by the labors of such men as Brother Hughan, from the archives of old Lodges and from manuscript coll dmnq in the British Museum. In these is to be found a history of Freemasonry; full, it is true, of absurdities and anachronisms, and yet exceedingly interesting, as giving us the belief of our ancient Brethren on the subject of the origin of the Order. This history has been called by Masonic writers the Legend of the Craft, because it is really a legendary narrative, having little or no historic authenticity. In all these Old Constitutions, the legend is substantially the same; showing, evidently, a common origin; most probably an oral teaching which prevailed in the earliest ages of the confraternity. In giving it, the Dowland Manuscript, as reproduced in Brother Hughan's Old Charges, 1872, has been selected for the purpose, because it is believed to be a copy of an older one of the beginning of the sixteenth century, and because its rather modernized spelling makes it more intelligible to the general reader.
THE LEGEND OF THE CRAFT
Before Noyes floode there was a man called Lameche as it is written in the Byble, in the iiijth chapter of Genesis; and this Lameehe had two wives, and the one height Ada and the other height Sella; by his first wife Ada he gott two sonns and that one Jahell, and thother Tuball, And by that other wife Sella he gott a son and a daughter. And these four children founden the beginning of all the sciences in the world. And this elder son Jahell found the science of Geometrie, and he departed flocks of sheepe and lambs in the field, and first wrought house of stone and tree as is noted in the chapter above said. And his brother Tuball found the science of .NIusieke, songe of tonge, harpe, and orgaine. And the third brother Tuball Cain found smitheraft of gold silver, copper, iron and steely and the daughter found the eraft of Weavinge. And these children knew well that God would take vengeance for synn, either by fire or by water; wherefore they writt their science that they had found in two pillars of stone that they might be found after Noyes flood. And that one stone was marble, for that would not bren with fire; and that other stone was clepped laterns, and would not drown in noe water.
Our intent is to tell you trulie how and in what manner these stones were found, that thise sciences were written in. The great Hermarynes that was Cubys son the which Cub was Sem's son that was Noys son. This Hermarynes afterwards was called Harmes the father of wise men: he found one of the two pillars of stone, and found the science written there, and he taught it to other men. And at the making of the Tower of Babylon there was Masonrye first made much of. And the Kinge of Babylon that height Nemrothe, was a mason himselfe, and loved well the science, as it is said with masters of histories. And when the City of Nyneve, and other citties of the East should be made, Nemrothe, the Kinge of Babilon, sent thither threescore Masons at the rogation of the Kinge of Nyneve his cosen. And when he sent them forth, he gave them a charge on this manner: That they should be true each of them to other, and that they should love truly together, and that they should serve their lord truly for their pay- soe that the master may have worshipp, and all that long to him. And other moe charges he gave them. And this was the first tyme that ever Masons had any charge of his science.
Moreover, when Abraham and Sara his wife went into Egipt, there he taught the Seaven Scyences to the Egip~ tians; and he had a worthy Seoller that height Ewelyde and he learned right well, and was a master of all the vij Sciences liberall. And in his dayes it befell that the lord and the estates of the realme had soe many sonns that they had gotten some by their wifes and some by other ladyes of the realme; for that land is a hott land and a plentious of generation. And they had not competent livelode to find with their children, wherefore they made much care. And then the King of the land made a great Counsell and a parliament, to witt how they might find their children honestly as gentlemen. And they could find non manner of good way. And then they did crye through all the realme, it their were any man that could informe them, that he should come to them, and he should be soe rewarded for his travail, that he should hold him pleased.
After that this cry was made, then come this worthy clarke Ewelyde, and said to the king and to all his great lords: "If yee will. take me your children to governe, and to teache them one of the Seaven Scyences, wherewith they may live honestly as gentlemen should, under a condition that yee will grant me and them a commission that I may have power to rule them after the manner that the science ought to be ruled," And that the Kinge and all his Counsell granted to him anone, and sealed their commission. And then this worthy Doctor tooke to him these lords' songs, and taught them the seyence of Geometrie in practice, for to work in stones all manner of worthy worke that belongeth to buildinge churches temples, castells, towres, and mannors, and all other manner of buildings: and he gave them a charge on this manner:
The first was, that they should be true to the Kinge, and to the lord that they owe. And that they should love well together, and be true each one to other. And that they should call each other his fellowe, or else brother and not by servant, nor his nave, nor none other foule name. And that they should deserve their paie of the lord, or of the master that they serve. And that they should ordaine the wisest of them to be master of the worke; and neither for love nor great Iynneage, ne Atehes ne for noe favour to lett another that hath little conning for to be master of the lord's worke, wherethrough the lord should be evill served and they ashamed. And also that they should call their governors of the worke, Master, in the time that they worke with him. And other many moe charges that longe to tell. And to all these charges he made them to sweare a great oath that men used in that time- and ordayned them for reasonable wages, that they might live honestly by. And also that they should come and semble together every yeare once, how they might worke best to serve the lord for his profitt, and to their own worshipp; and to correct within themselves him that had trespassed against the alienee. And thus was the seyence grounded there; and that worthy Mr. Ewelide gave it the name of Geometrie. And now it is called through all this land Masonrye.
Sythen longe after, when the Children of Israell were coming into the Land of Beheast, that is now called amongst us the Country of Jhrlm, King David began the Temple that they caned Templum D'ni and it is named with us the Temple of Jerusalem. And the same King David loved Masons well and cherished them much, and gave them good paie. And he gave the charges and the manners as he had learned of Egipt given by Ewelyde, and other charges moe that ye shall heare afterwards.
And after the decease of Kinge David, Salamon, that was David's sonn, performed out the Temple that his father begonne, and sent after Masons into divers countries and of divers lands; and gathered them together, 80 that he had fourscore thousand workers of stone, and were all named Masons. And he chose out of them three thousand that were ordayned to be maisters and governors of his worke. And furthermore, there was a Kinge of another region that men called Iram, and he loved well Binge Solomon, and he gave him tymber to his worke. And he had a son that height Aynon, and he was a Master of Geometrie, and was ehiefe Maister of all his Masons, and was Master of all his gravings and carvinge, and of all other manner of Masonrye that longed to the Templeand this is witnessed by the Bible in libro Requm the third chapter. And this Solomon confirmed both charges and the manners that his father had given to Masons. And thus was that worthy science of Masonrye confirmed in the country of Jerusalem, and in many other kingdoms
Curious craftsmen walked about full wide into divers countryes, some because of learninge more craft and cunninge, and some to teach them that had but little conynge. And soe it befell that there was one curious Mason that height Maymus Grecus, that had been at the making of Solomon's Temple, and he came into France, and there he taught the science of Masonrye to men of France. And there was one of the Regal lyne of France, that height Charles Martell: and he was a man that loved well such a science, and drew to this Maymus Grecus that is above said, and learned of him the ecience, and tooke upon him the charges and manners; and afterwards, by the grace of God, he was elect to be Binge of France. And when he was in his estate he tooke Masons, and did helpe to make men Masons that were none; and set them to worke, and gave them both the charge and the manners and good paie as he had learned of other Masons; and confirmed them a Chartor from yeare to yeare, to hold their semble wher they would; and cherished them right much; And thus came the science into France.
England in all this season stood voyd as for any charge of Masonrye unto Saint Albones tyme. And in his days the King of England that was a Pagan, he did wall the to me about that is called Sainet Albones. And Sainet Albones was a worthy Knight, and steward with tbe Binge of his Household, and had governance of the realme, and also of the makinge of the town walls, and loved well Masons and cherished them much. And he made their paie right good, standinge as the realm did, for he gave them ijs. vjd. a weeke, and iijd. to their nonesynehes. And before that time, through all this land, a Mason took but a penny a day and his meate, till Sainet Albone amended it, and gave them a chartour of the Binge and his Counsell for to hold a general councell, and gave it the name of Assemble; and thereat he was himselfe, and helpe to make Masons, and gave them charges as yee shad heare afterward.
Right soone after the decease of Sainct Albone, there came divers warrs into the realme of England of divers Nations, soe that the good rule of Masonrye was de stroyed unto the tyme of Singe Athelstone days that was a worthy Kinge of England and brought this land into good rest and peace- and builded many great works of Abbyes and Towres and other many divers building,and loved well Masons. And he had a son that height Edwinne, and he loved Masons much more than his father did. And he was a great practiser in Geometric and he drew him much to talke and to commune with Masons and to learne of them seienee; and afterward, for love that he had to Masons, and to the science, he was made a Mason, and he gatt of the Kinge his father a Chartour and Commission to hold every yeare once an Assemble wher that ever they would within the realme of Englandand to eorreet within themselves defaults and trespasses that were done within the science. And he held himself an Assemble at Yorke, and there he made Masons, and gave them charges, and taught them the manners, and commanded that rule to be kept ever after, and tooke then the Chartour and Commission to keepe, and made ordinance that it should be renewed from Kinge to Kinge
And when the assemble was gathered he made a cry that all old Masons and young that had any writeinge or understanding of the charges and the manners that were made before in this land or in any other, that they should show them forth. And when it was proved, there were founden some in Frenche, and some in Greek, and some in English, and some in other languages: and the intent of them all was founden all one. And he did make a booke thereof, and how the science was founded. And he himselfe bad and commanded that it should be readd or tould, when that any Mason should be made, for to give him his Charge. And fro that day unto this tyme manmers of Masons have beene kept in that forme as well as men might governe it. And furthermore divers Assembles have beene put and ordayned eertaine charges by the best advice of Masters and fellowes.
If anyone carefully examines this legend, he anll find that it is really a history of the rise and progress of architecture, with which is mixed allusions to the ancient Gilds of the Operative Masons. Geometry also, as a science essentially necessary to the proper cultivation of architecture, receives a due share of attention. In thus confounding architecture, geometry, and Freemasonry, the workmen of the Middle Ages were but obeying a natural instinct which leads every man to seek to elevate the character of his profession, and to give to it an authentic claim to antiquity. It is this instinct which has given rise to so much of the mythical element in the modern history of Freemasonry. Anderson hag thug written his records in the very spirit of the Legend of the Craft, and Preston and Oliver have followed his example. Hence this legend derives its great importance from the fact that it has given a complexion to all subsequent Masonic history. In dissecting it with critical handy we shall be enabled to dissever its historical from its mythical portions and assign to it its true value as an exponent of the Masonic sentiment of the Middle Ages.
Brother W. SI. Rylands offers some suggestive comments on the legendary history that may well be inserted at this stage of the di8cussion bib Doctor Mackey (see Some Notes on the Legends of Masonry Transacts s of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, volume xvi, page 9, 1903).
It appears to me not at all improbable that much, if not all, of the legendary history was composed in answer to the Writ for their Returns, issued to the Gilds all over the country, in the twelfth year of Richard II, 1388 A-DSome of the points and articles would, no doubt, be in use from an earlier period in pretty much the same form everywhere. One great difficulty appears to present itsself. If the legendary history was composed for these purposes, the Old Charges, as we now have them must either represent the Return made by one Gild of Masons or all the Gilds must have possessed almost exactly the same legend- unless it was agreed to be a collected body from the various Gilds.
Of course, the easiest way to decide the question is to accept the statement that the history was collected by Edwin: but this solution of the difficulty does not satisfy me. There is still another. If the Old Charges do really represent the Return made in 1388 by one of most important Gild of Mssons in England, it is not very difficult to understand how during the long period of years when copies are entirely wanting, the legendary history was spread by the Priesthood, and the Masons themselves, so that it was at least generally adopted in almost its present form. It must be understood that in making these suggestions I do not overlook the possibility or probability of the Gild of Masons having possessed so short legendary history at any earlier date: but if such were the case, it would stand alone among all other trades
The various legends pertaining to the Craft are discussed at length in Doctor Mackey's revised History of Freemasonry.
LEGEND OF THE GILD.
A title by which the Legend of the Craft is sometimes designated is in Dreference to the Gild of Operative Masons.
LEGEND OF THE ROYAL ARCH DEGREE.
Much of this legend is a myth, having very little foundation, and some of it none, in historical accuracy. But underneath it all there lies a profound stratum of philosophical symbolism. The destruction and the rebuilding of the Temple by the efforts of Zerubbabel and his compatriots, the captivity and the return of the captives, are matters of sacred history; but many of the details have been invented and introduced for the purpose of giving fonn to a symbolic idea. And this idea, expressed in the symbolism of the Royal Arch, is the very highest form of that which the ancient Mystagogues, interpreters of religious mysteries, called the Euresis, or the Discovery.
There are some portions of the legend which do not bear directly on the symbolism of the second Temple as a type of the second life, but which still have an indirect bearing on the general idea. Thus the particular legend of the three weary sojourners is undoubtedly a mere myth, there being no known historical testimony for its support; but it is evidently the enunciation symwbolically of the religious and philosophical idea that Divine Truth may be sought and won only by successful perseverance through all the dangers, trials, and tribulations of life, and that it is not in this, but in the next life, that it is fully attained. The legend of the English and the American systems is identical; that of the Irish is very different as to the time and events; and the legend of the Royal Arch of the Scottish Rite is more usually called the Legend of Enoch.
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