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TEMPLAR ORIGIN OF FREEMASONRY.
The theory that Freemasonry originated in the Holy Land during the Crusades, and was instituted by the Knights Templar, was advanced by the Chevalier Ramsay, for the purpose, it is supposed, of giving an aristocratic character to the association It was subsequently adopted by the College of Clermont, and was accepted by the Baron von Hund as the basis upon which he erected his Rite of Strict Observance. The legend of the Clermont College is thus detailed by M. Berage in his work entitled Les Plus Secrets Mysteres des Hauts Grades, Most Secret Mysteries of the High Degrees (iii, page 194).
The Order of Freemasonry was instituted by Godfrey de bouillon, in Palestine in l330, after the defeat of the Christian armies, and was communicated only to a few of the French Freemasons, some time afterwards, as a reward for the services which they had rendered to the English and Scottish Knights. From these latter true Freemasonry is derived. Their Mother Lodge is situated on the mountain of Heredom where the first Lodge in Europe was held, which still exists in all its splendor. The Council General is always held there, and it is the seat of the Sovereign Grand Master for the time being. This mountain is situated between the west and the north of Scotland, sixty miles from Edinhurgh.
There are other secrets in Freemasonry which were never known among the French, and which have no relation to the Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Degrees which were constructed for the general class of Freemasons. The high Degrees, which developed the true design of Freemasonry and its true secrets, have never been known to them. The Saraeens having obtained possession of the holy places in Palestine, where all the mysteries of the Order were practised, made use of them for most profane purposes.
The Christians then leagued together to conquer this beautiful country, and to drive all these barbarians from the land. They succeeded in obtaining a footing on these shores under the protection of numerous armies of Crusaders which had been sent out there by the Christian princes. The losses which they subsequently experienced put an end to the Christian power, and the crusaders who remained were subjected to the persecutions of the Saracens, who massacred all who publicly proclaimed the Christian faiths This induced Godfrey de Bouillon, towards the end of the third centur, to conceal the mysteries of religion under the veil of figures, emblems and allegories.
Hence the Christians selected the temple of Solomon because it has so close a relation to the Christian Church of which its holiness and its magnificence make it the true symbol. So the Christians concealed the mystery of the building up of the Church under that of the construction of the Temple, and gave themselves the title of Masons Architects or Builders, because they were occupied in building the faith. They assembled under the pretext of making plans of architecture to practise the rites of their religion, with all the emblems and allegories that Freemasonry could furnish, and thus protect themselves from the cruelty of the Saracens.
As the mysteries of Freemasonry were in their principles, and still are only those of the Christian religion they were extremely scrupulous to confide this important secret only to those whose discretion had been tried and who had been found worthy. For this purpose they fabricated Degrees as a test of those to whom they wished to confide it, and they gave them at first only the symbolic secret of Hiram, on which all the mystery of blue Masonry is founded, and which is, in fact, the only secret of that Order which has no relation to true Freemasonry.
They explained nothing else to them as they were afraid of being betrayed, and they conferred these Degrees as a proper means of recognizing each other, surrounded as they were by barbarians. To succeed more effectually in this they made use of different Signs and words for each Degree so as not only to distinguish themselves from the profane Saracens, but to designate the different Degrees. These they fixed at the number of seven, in imitation of the Grand Architect, who built the Universe in six days and rested on the seventh, and also because Solomon wes seven years in constructing the Temple, which they had selected as the figurative basis of Freemasonry. Under the name of Hiram they gave a false application to the Masters, and developed the true secret of Freemasonry only to the higher Degrees.
Such is the theory of the Templar origin of Freemasonry, which, mythical as it is, and wholly unsupported by the authority of history, has exercised a vast influence in the fabrication of advanced Degrees and the invention of Continental Rites. Indeed, of all the systems propounded during the eighteenth century, so fertile in the construction of extravagant systems, none has played so important a part as this in the history of Freemasonry. Although the theory is no longer maintained, its effects are everywhere seen and felt.
TEMPLARS OF ENGLAND.
An important change in the organization of Templarism in England Ireland took place in 1873. By it a union took place of the Grand Conclave of Masonic Knights Templar of England and the Grand Conclave of High Knights Templar of Ireland into one body, under the title of the "Convent General of the United Religious and Military Orders of the Temple and of Saint John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes, and Malta." The following is a summary of the Statutes by which the new Order is governed, as given by Eminent Sir Knight W. J. B. McLeod Moore, Grand Prior, in his circular to the Preceptors of Canada:
1. The existing Grand Masters in the Empire are to be termed Great Priors, and Grand Conclaves or Encampments, Great Priories, under and subordinate to one Grand Master, as in the early days of the Order. and one Supreme Governing Body, the Convent General.
2. The term Great is adopted instead of Grand, the latter being a French word; and grand in English is not grand in French Great is the proper translation of Magnus and Magnus Supremus.
3 The Great Priories of each nationality—England, Scotland, and Ireland, with their Dependencies in the Colonies—retain their internal government and legislation, and appoint their Provincial Priors, doing nothing consistent with the Supreme Statutes of the Convent General.
4. The title Masonic is not continued; the Order being purely Christian, none but Christians can be admitted consequently it cannot be considered Strictly as a Masonic body: Freemasonry, while inculcating the highest reverence for the Supreme Being, and the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, does not teach a belief in one particular creed, or unbelief in any. The connection with Freemasonry is, however, strengthened still more, as a candidate must now be two years a Master Mason, in addition to his qualification as a Royal Arch Mason.
5. The titles Eminent Commander and Encampment have been discontinued and the original name Preceptor and Preceptory substituted, as also the titles Constable and Marshal for First and Second Captains. Encampment is a modern term, adopted probably when, as our traditions inform us, "at the suppression of the ancient Military Order of the Temple, some of their number sought refuge and held Conclaves in the Masonic Society, being independent small bodies, without any governing head." Prior is the correct and original title for the head of a langue or nationality and Preceptor for the subordinate bodies. The Preceptories were the ancient Houses of the Templar Order; Commander and Commanderies was the title used by the Order of Saint John, commonly known as Knights of Malta
6. The title by which the Order is now known is that of The United Religius and Military Orders of the Temple and of Saint John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes, and Malta." The Order of the Temple originally had no connection with that of Malta or Order of Saint John, but the combined title appears to have been adopted in commemoration of the union which took place in Scotland with "The Temple and Hospital of Saint John,'' when their lands were in common, at the time of the Reformation. But our Order of "Saint Solon of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes, and Malta," has no connection with the present Knights of Malta in the Papal States, or of the Protestant branches of the Order, the lineal successors of the ancient Knights of Saint John, the sixth or English langue of which is still in existence, and presided over, in London, by His Grace the Duke of Manchester. The Order, when it occupied the Island of Malta as a sovereign body, was totally unconnected with Freemasonry.
7. Honorary past rank is abolished substituting the chivalrie dignities of Grand Crosses and Commanders, limited in numbers and confined to Preceptors. These honors to be conferred by His Royal Highness the Grand Master, the Fountain of Grace and Dignity; and it is contemplated to create an Order of Merits to be conferred in like manner, as a reward to Knights who have served the Order.
8. A. Preceptor holds a Degree as well as rank, and will always retain his rank and privileges as long as he belongs to a Preceptory.
9. The abolition of honorary past rank is not retrospective, as their rank and privileges are reserved to all those who now enjoy them
10. The number of officers entitled to precedence has been reduced to seven; but others may be appointed at discretion, who do not, however, enjoy any precedence.
l l. Equerries, or Serving Brethren, are not to receive the accolade, or use any but a brown habit, and shall not wear any insignia or jewel: they are to be addressed as Frater, not Sir Knight. In the early days of the Order they were not entitled to the accolade, and, with the esquires and men-at-arms, wore a dark habit, to distinguish them from the knights, who wore white, to signify that teley were bound by their vows to cast away the works of darkness and lead a new life.
12 The Apron is altogether discontinued, and a few and a few immaterial alterations in the insignia will be duly regulated and promulgated: they do not, however, affect the present, but only apply to future members of the Order. The apron was of recent introduction, to accord with Masonic usage: but reflection will at once show that, as an emblem of care and toil, it is entirely inappropriate to a Military Order, whose badge is the sword. A proposition to confine the wearing of the star to the Preceptors was negatived; the star and ribbon being in fact as much a part of the ritual as of the insignia of the Order.
13. From the number of instances of persons totally unfitted having obtained admission into the Order, the qualification of candidates has been increased. A declaration is now required, to be signed by every candidate that he is of the full age of twenty-one years, and in addition to being a Royal Arch Masons that he is a Master Mason of two years' standings professing the doctrines of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, and willing to submit to the Statutes and Ordinances, present and future, of the Order.
TEMPLARS OF SCOTLAND.
The Statutes of the Grand Priory of the Temple of Scotland prescribe for the Order of Knights Templar in that kingdom an organization very different from that which prevails in other countries.
'The Religious and Military Order of the Temple" in Scotland consists of two classes:
1. Novice and Esquire.
2. Knight Templar.
The Knights are again divided into four classes:
1. Knights created by Priories.
2. Knights eleeted from the companions on memorial to the Grand Master and Council, supported by the recommendation of the Priories to which they belong .
3. Knights Commanders.
4. Knights Grand Crosses, to be nominated by the Grand Master.
The supreme legislative authority of the Order is the Chapter General, which consists of the Grand Officers, the Knights Grand Crosses, and the Knights Commanders. One Chapter is held annually, at which the Grand Master, if present, acts as President. The anniversary of the death of James de Molay, March 11, is Selected as the time of this meeting, at which the Grand Officers are elected. During all intervals of the meetings of the Chapter General, the affairs of the Order, with the exception of altering any Statutes, is entrusted to the Grand Master's Council, which consists of the Grand Officers, the Grand Priors of Foreign Langues (or Districts), and the Knights Grand Crosses.
The costume of the Knights, with the exception of a few slight variations to designate difference of rank, is the same as the ancient costume.
TEMPLARS ORDER OF THE AMERICAN STAR.
See Free and Accepted Americans.
TEMPLARS, RULE OF THE.
See Rule of the Templars.
See Statistics of the Order of the Temple.
The symbolism of Speculative Freemasonry is so intimately connected with temple building and temple worship, that some notice of these edifices seems necessary.
The Hebrews called a temple beth, which literally signifies a house or dwelling, and finds its root in a word which signifies "to remain or pass the night," or hecal, which means a palace, and comes from an obsolete word signifying megnificent. So that they seem to have had two ideas in reference to a Temple.
When they called it beth Jehovah, or the House of Jehovah they referred to the continued presence of God in it; and when they called it hecal Jehovah, or the Palace of Jehovah, they referred to the splendor of the edifice which was selected as his residence. The Hebrew idea was undoubtedly borrowed from the Egyptian, where the same hieroglyphic signified both a house and a temple. Thus, from an inscription at Philae, Champollion (Egyptian Dictionary), cites the sentence, "He has made his devotions in the house of his mother Isis."
The classical idea was more abstract and philosophical. The Latin word templum comes from a root which signifies to cut of, thus referring to any space, whether open or occupied by a building, which was cut off, or separated for a sacred purpose, from the surrounding profane ground. The word properly denoted a sacred enclosure where the omens were observed by the augurs. Hence Varro (De Langua Latina vi, 81,) defines a temple to be "a place for auguries and auspices." As the same practise of worshiping under the sky in open places prevailed among the northern nations, we might deduce from these facts that the temple of the sky was the Aryan idea, and the temple of the house was Semitic. It is true, that afterward, the augurs having for their own convenience erected a tent within the enclosure where they made their observations, or, literally their contemptations, this in time gave rise among the Greeks and the Romans to permanent edifices like those of the Egyptians and the Hebrews.
Freemasonry has derived its temple symbolisms as it has almost all its symbolic ideas, from the Hebrew type, and thus makes the temple the symbol of a Lodge. But of the Roman temple worship it has not been neglectful, and has borrowed from it one of the most significant and important words in its vocabulary.
The Latin word specular means to observe to look around. When the augur, standing within the sacred precincts of his open temple on the Capitoline hill, watched the flight of birds, that from it he night deduce his auspices of good or bad fortune, he was said, specular, to speculate. Hence the word came at length to denote, like contemplate from templum, an investigation of sacred things, and thus we got into our technical language the title of Speculative Masonry, as distinguished by its religious design from Operative or Practical Masonry, which, is devoted to more material objects. The Egyptian Temple was the real archetype of the Mosaic Tabernacle, as was that of the Temple of Jerusalem.
The direction of an Egyptian temple was usually from East to West, the entrance being at the East. It was a quadrangular building, much longer than its width, and was situated in the western part of a sacred enclosure. The approach through this enclosure to the Temple proper was frequently by a double row of sphinxes. In front of the entrance were a pair of tall obelisks, which will remind the reader of the two pillars at the porch of Solomon's Temple. The Temple was divided into a spacious hall, the sanctuary where the great body of the worshipers assembled. Beyond it, in the western extremity, was the cell or sekos, equivalent to the Jewish Holy of Holier, into which the Priests only entered; and in the remotest part, behind a curtain, appeared the image of the god seated on his shrine, or the sacred animal which represented him.
Grecian Temples, like the Egyptian and the Hebrew, were placed within an enclosure, which was separated from the profane land around it, in early times, by ropes, but afterward by a wall. The Temple was usually quadrangular, although some were circular in form. It was divided into two parts, the porch or vestibule, and the cell. In this latter part the statue of the god was placed surrounded by a balustrade. In Temples connected with the Mysteries, the cell was called the aavrov the Latin word is adyturn, and to it only the Priests and the initiates had access; and we learn from Pausanias that various stories were related of calamities that had befallen persons who had unlawfully ventured to cross the threshold. Vitruvius says that the entrance of Greek Temples was always toward the West; but this statement is contradicted by the appearance of the Temples still partly existing in Attica, Ionia, and Sicily.
Roman Temples, after they emerged from their primitive Simplicity, were constructed much upon the model of the Grecian. There were the same vestibule and cells, or adybum, borrowed, as with the Greeks, from the holy and the most holy place of the Egypttians. Vicruvius says that the entrance of a Roman Temple was, if possible, to the West, so that the worshipers, when they offered prayers or sacrifiees might look toward the East; but this rule was not always observed.
It thus appears, notwithstanding what Montfaucon (Antiquities ii, 1, 2) says to the contrary, that the Egyptian form of a Temple was the type from which other nations borrowed their idea. This Egyptian form of a Temple was borrowed by the Jews, and with some modifications adopted by the Greeks and Romans, whence it passed over into modern Europe. The idea of a separation into a holy and a most holy place has everywhere been preserved. The same idea is maintained in the construction of Masonic Lodges, which are but imitations, in spirit, of the ancient Temples. But there has been a transposition of parts, the most holy place, which with the Egyptians and the Jews was in the West, being placed in Lodges in the East.
TEMPLE, GATES OF THE
See Gates of the Temple .
TEMPLE, GRAND COMMANDER OF THE.
The French title is Grand Commandeer du Temple. The Fifty-eighth Degree of the collection of the Metropolitan Chapter of France. It is the name of the Knight Commander of the Temple of the Scottish Rite.
TEMPLE OF EZEKIEL.
An ideal Temple seen by the Prophet Ezekiel, in the twenty-fifth year of the captivity, while residing in Babylon. It is supposed by Calmet, that the description given by the prophet was that of the Temple of Solomon, which he must have seen before its destruction.
But an examination of its admeasurements will show that this could not have been the fact, and that the whole area of Jerusalem would not have been sufficient to contain a building of its magnitude. Yet, as Ferguson observes (Sir William Smith's Dictionary of theBible), the description, notwithstanding its ideal character, is curious, as showing what were the aspirations of the Jews in that direction, and how different they were from those of other nations; and also because it influenced Herod to some extent in his restoration of the temple of Zerubbabel. between the visionary Temple of Ezekiel and the symbolic city of the New Jerusalem, as described by the Evangelist, there is a striking resemblance, and hence it finds a place among the symbols in the Apocalyptic Degrees. But with Symbolic or with Royal Arch Masonry it has no connection.
TEMPLE OF HEROD.
This was not the construction of a third Temple, but only a restoration and extensive enlargement of the second, which had been built by Zerubbabel. To the Christian Freemason it is interesting, even more than that of Solomon, bee cause it was the scene of our Lord's ministrations, and was the temple from which the Knights Templar derived their name. It was begun by Herod 7 B.C., finished 4 A.D., and destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., having subsisted only seventy-seven years.
TEMPLE OF ZERUBBABEL.
For the fifty-two years that succeeded the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar that city saw nothing but the ruins of its ancient Temple. Out in the year of the world 3468 and 536 B.C. Cyrus gave permission to the Jews to return to Jerusalem, and there to rebuild the Temple of the Lord.
Forty-two thousand three hundred and sixths of the liberated captives ret urned under the guidance of Joshua, then the High Priest, Zerubbabel, the Prince or Governor, and Haggai, the Scribe, and a year later they laid the foundations of the second Temple. They were, however, much disturbed in their labors by the Samaritans, whose offer to unite with them in the building they had rejected. Artaxerxes, known in profane history as Cambyses, having succeeded Cyrus on the throne of Persia, forbade the Jews to proceed with the work, and so the Temple remained in an unfinished state until the death of Artaxerxes and the succession of King Darius to the throne.
As in early life there had been a great intimacy between this sovereign and Zerubbabel, the latter went to Babylon, and obtained permission from the monarch to resume the labor. Zerubbabel returned to Jerusalem, and notwithstanding some further delays, consequent upon the enmity of the neighboring nations, the second Temple, or, as it may be called by way of distinction from the first, the Temple of Zerubbabel, was completed in the sixth year of the reign of Darius, 515 B.C., and just twenty years after its commencement. It was then dedicated vith all the solemnities that accompanied the dedication of the first Temple (see the two amounts of this rebuilding of the Temple in Ezra and Haggai).
The general plan of this second Temple was similar to that of the first. But it exceeded it in almost every dimension by one-third. The decorations of gold and other ornaments in the first Temple must have far surpassed those bestowed upon the second, for we are told by Josephus (Antiquities xi, 4) that the Priests and Levites and Elders of families were disconsolate at seeing how much more sumptuous the old Temple was than the one which, on amount of their poverty, they had just been able to erect.
The Jews also say that there were five things wanting in the second Temple which had been in the first, namely, the Ark, the Urim and Thummim, the fire from heaven, the Divine Presence or Cloud of Glory, and the spirit of prophecy and power of miracles
Such are the most important events that relate to the construction of this second Temple But there is a Masonic legend connected with it which, though it may have no historical foundation, is yet so closely interwoven with the Temple system of Freemasonry, that it is necessary it should be recounted
It was, says the legend, while the workmen were engaged in making the necessary excavations for laying the foundation, and while numbers continued to arrive at Jerusalem from Babylon, that three worn and weary Sojourners, after plodding on foot over the rough and devious roads between the two cities, offered themselves to the Grand Council as willing participants in the labor of erection Who these Sojourners were, we have no historical means of discovering; but there is a Masonic tradition, entitled, perhaps, to but little weight, that they were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, three holy men, who are better known to general readers by their Chaklaie names of Shaclrach, Meshach, and Abednego, as having been miraculously preserved from the fieldsy furnace of Nebuchadnezzar
Their services were accepted, and from their diligent labors resulted that important discovery, the perpetuation and preservation of which constitute the great end and design of the Royal Arch Degree
As the symbolism of the first or Solomonic Temple is connected with and refers entirely to the Symbolic Degrees, so that of the second, or Temple of Zerubbabel, forms the basis of the Royal Arch in the York and American Rites, and of several advanced Degrees in other Rites
The Tempe constructed by Zerubbabel is so called (see Temple elf Zerubbabel).
TEMPLE, SOVEREIGN COMMANDER OF THE.
See Sovereign commander of the temple.
TEMPLE, SOVEREIGN OF THE SOVEREIGNS GRAND COMMANDER OF THE.
The French title is Souverain des Souverains Grands Commandeurs du temple. A Degree in the collection of Lemanceau and Le Page. It is said to be a part of the Order of Christ or Portuguese Templarism.
See Spiritual Temple.
TEMPLE, SYMBOLISM OF THE.
Of all the objects which constitute the Masonic science of symbolism, the most important, the most cherished by Freemasons, and by far the most significant, is the great Temple of Jerusalem. The spiritualizing of the Temple is the first, the most prominent, and the most pervading of all symbols of Freemasonry. It is that as hieh most emphatically gives it its religious character. Take from Freemasonry its dependence on the Temple; leave out of its ritual all reference to that saered edifice, and to the legends and traditions connected with it, and the system itself would at once deeay and die, or at best remain only as some fossilized bone, serving merely to show the nature of the once living body to which it had belonged.
Temple worship is in itself an ancient type of the religious sentiment in its progress toward spiritual elevation.
As soon as sw nation emerged out of Fetishism, or the worship of risible objects, which is the most degraded form of idolatry, its people began to establish a Priesthood, and to erect Temples. The Goths, the Celts, the Egyptians, and the Greeks, however much they may have differed in the ritual, and in the objects of their polytheistic worship, were all in the possession of Priests and of Temples. The Jews, complying with this law of our religious nature, first constructed their Tabernacle, or portable Temple, and then, when time and opportunity permitted, transferred their monotheistic worship to that more permanent edifice which towered in all its magnificence above the pinnacle of Mount Moriah. The Mosque of the Mohammedan and the Church or Chapel of the Christian is but an embodiment of the same idea of temple worship in a simpler form.
The adaptation, therefore, of the Temple of Jerusalem to a science of symbolism, would be an easy task to the mind of those Jews and Tvrians who were engaged in its construction. Doubtless, at its original conception, the idea of this Temple Symbolism was rude and unembellished. It was to be perfected and polished only by future aggregations of succeeding intellects. And yet no Biblical nor Masonic scholar will venture to deny that there was, in the mode of building and in all the circumstances connected with the construction of King Solomon's Temple, an apparent design to establish a foundation for symbolism.
The Freemasons have, at all events, seized with avidity the idea of representing in their symbolic language the interior and spiritual man by a material Temple. They have the doctrine of the great Apostle, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (First Corinthians iii, 16). The great body of the Masonic Craft, looking only to this first Temple erected by the wisdom of King Solomon, make it the symbol of life; and as the great object of Freemasonry is the search after truth, they are directed to build up this Temple as a fitting receptacle for truth when found, a place where it may dwell, just as the ancient Jews built up their great Temple as a dwelling-place for Him who is the Author of all truth.
To the Master Mason, this Temple of Solomon is truly the symbol of human life; for, like life, it was to have its end. For four centuries it glittered on the hills of Jerusalem in all its gorgeous magnificence; now, under some pious descendant of the wise King of Israel, the spot from whose altars arose the burntofferings to a living God! and now polluted by some recreant monarch of Judah to the Service of Baal; until at length it received the divine punishment through the mighty King of Babylon, and, having been despoiled of all its treasures, Wars burnt to the ground, so that nothing was left of all its splendor but a smoldering heap of ashes.
Variable in its purposes, evanescent in its existence, now a gorgeous pile of architectural beauty, and anon a ruin over which the resistless power of fire had passed, it becomes a fit symbol of human life occupied in the search after divine truth, which is nowhere to be found; now sinning and now repentant; now vigorous with health and strength, and anon a senseless and decaying corpse.
Such is the symbolism of the first Temple, that of Solomon, as familiar to the class of Master Masons. But there is a second and higher class of the Fraternity, the Freemasons of the Royal Arch, by whom thus Temple Symbolism is still further developed. This second class leaving their early symbolism and looking bevond this Temple of Solomon, find in Scriptural history another Temple, which, years after the destruction of the first one, was erected upon its ruins; and they have Selected the second Temple, the Temple of Zerubbabel, as their prominent symbol.
And as the first class of Freemasons find in their Temple the symbol of mortal life, limited and perishable, they, on the contrary, see in this second Temple, built upon the foundations of the first, a symbol of life eternal, where the lost truth shall be found, where new incense shall arise from a new altar, and whose perpetuity their great Plaster had promised when, in the very spirit of synlbolism, file exclaimed, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." And so to these two classes or Orders of Freemasons the symbolism of the Temple presents itself in a connected and continuous form. To the Master Mason, the Temple of Solomon is the symbol of this life; to the Royal Arch Mason, the Temple of Zerubbabel is the symbol of the future life To the former his Temple is the symbol of the search for truth; to the latter, his is the symbol of the discovery of truth; thus the circle is completed, the system made perfect.
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