Encyclopedia Masonica

The name of the first man. The Hebrew word, Adam, signifies man in a generic sense, the human species collectively, and is said to be derived from , Adamah, the ground, because the first man was made out of the dust of the earth, or from Adam, to be red, in reference to his ruddy complexion. Most probably in this collective cense. as the representative of the whole human race, and, therefore, the type of humanity, that the presiding officer in a Council of Knights of the Sun, the Twenty-eighth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, is called Father Adam, and is occupied in the investigation of the great truths which so much concern the interests of the race. Adam, in that degree, is man seeking after divine truth. The Cabalist and Talmudists have invented many things concerning the first Adam, none of which are, however, worthy of preservation (see Knight of the Sun). Brother McClenachan believed the entered Apprentice Degree symbolizes the creation of man and his first perception of light. The argument in support of that belief continues: In the Elohist form of the Creation we read, Elohim said, "Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness, and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, over the fowls of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every Reptilia that creeps upon the earth. And Elohim created man in His image, in the image of Elohim He created him, male and female He created them. And Yahveh Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed in his nostrils the breath of life, and man was made a living being."

Without giving more than a passing reference to the speculative origin and production of man and to his spontaneous generation, Principe Générateur, as set forth by the Egyptians, when we are told that "the fertilizing mud left by the Nile, and exposed to the vivifying action of heat induced by the sun's rays, brought forth germs which spring up as the bodies of men," accepted cosmogonies only will be hereinafter mentioned ; thus in that of Peru, the first man, created by the Divine Omnipotence, is called Alpa Camasca, Animated Earth. The Mandans, one of the North American tribes, relate that the Great Spirit molded two figures of clay, which he dried and animated with the breath of his mouth, one receiving the name of First Man, and the other that of Companion. Taeroa, the god of Tahiti, formed man of the red earth, say the inhabitants; aud so we might continue.

But as François Lenormant remarks in the Beginnings of History, let us confine ourselves to the cosmogony offered by the sacred traditions of the great civilized nations of antiquity. "The Chaideans call Adam the man whom the earth produced. And he lay without movement, without life, and without breath, just like an image of the heavenly Adam, until his soul had been given him by the latter," The cosmogonic account peculiar to Babylon, as given by Berossus, says: "Belos, seeing that the earth was uninhabited, though fertile, cut off his own head, and the other gods, after kneading with earth the blood that flowed from it, formed men, who therefore are endowed with intelligence, and share in the divine thought," etc. The term employed to designate man, in his connection with his Creator, is admu, the Assyrian counterpart of the Hebrew Adam (G. Smith, Chaldean Account of Genesis). Lenormant further says that. the fragments of Berossus give Adoros as the name of the first patriarch, and Adiuru has been discovered on the cuneiform inscriptions.

Zoroaster makes the creation of man the voluntary act of a personal god, distinct from primordial matter, and his theory stands alone among the learned religions of the ancient world.

According to Jewish tradition in the Targumim and the Talmud, as also to Moses Maimonides, Adam was created man and woman at the same time, having two faces, turned in two opposite directions, and that during a stupor the Creator separated Hawah, his feminine half, from him, in order to make of her a distinct person. Thus were separated the primordial androgen or first man-woman.

With Shemites and Mohammedans Adam was symbolized in the Lingam, whilst with the Jews Seth was their Adam or Lingam, the masculine symbol, and successively Noah took the place of Seth, and so followed Abraham and Moses. The worship of Adam as the God-like, idea, succeeded by Seth, Noah, Abraham, and Moses, through the symbolism of pillars, monoliths, obelisks, or Matsebas (images), gave rise to other symbolic images, as where Noah was adored under the emblems of a man, ark, and serpent, signifying heat, fire, or passion.

Upon the death of Adam, says traditional history, the pious Gregory. declared that the "dead body should be kept above ground, till a fulness of time should come to commit it to the middle of the earth by a priest of the most high God.'' This traditional prophecy was fulfilled, it is said, by the body of Adam having been preserved in a chest until about 1800 B.C., when "Melchizedek buried the body in Salem (formerly the name of Jerusalem), which might very well be the middle of the habitable world."

The Sethites used to say their prayers daily in the Ark before the body of Adam. J. G. R. Foriong, in his Rivers of Life, tells us that ''It appears from both the Sabid Aben Batric and the Arabic Catena, that there existed the following 'short litany, said to have been conceived by Noah.' Then follows the prayer of Noah, which was used for so long a period by the Jewish Freemasons at the opening of the Lodge.

'' O Lord, excellent art thou in thy truth, and there is nothing great in comparison of thee. Look upon us with the eye of mercy and compassion. Deliver us from this deluge of waters, and set our feet in a large room. By the sorrows of Adam, the first made man ; by the blood of Abel, Thy holy one ; by the righteousness of Seth, in whom Thou art well pleased ; number us not amongst those who have transgressed Thy statutes, but take us into Thy merciful care, for Thou art our Deliverer, and Thine is the praise for all the works of Thy hand for evermore. And the sons of Noah said, Amen, Lord."

The Master of the Lodge would omit the reference to the deluge and add the following to the prayer:

"But grant, we beseech Thee, that the ruler of this Lodge may be endued with knowledge and wisdom to instruct us and explain his secret masteries, as our holy brother Moses did (in His Lodge) to Aaron, to Eleazar, and to Ithamar (the sons of Aaron), and the several elders of Israel."

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For too long these great works have sat on forgotten shelves, gathering dust and concealing the light that could be shed on the darkness of our ignorance. The Encyclopedia Masonica has been created to act as an ark, sailing through time, to ensure that future generations of Freemasons have access to the same knowledge that inspired the Brethren that came before them. It will contain the works of such Masonic Luminaries as Albert G. Mackey, Manly Palmer Hall, G.S.M. Ward, Albert Pike and many others. The Encyclopedia Masonica is a living work and the volunteers of Universal Co-Masonry will continue to labor until the most comprehensive Masonic reference work the world has ever seen has been created. The Encyclopedia Masonica is open to any who wish to use it and will remain open so that the treasures contained within may increase the wealth of all those who seek its wisdom.

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