A mode of recognition alluded to in the Most Excellent Master's Degree, or the Sixth of the American Rite. Its introduction in that place is referred to a Masonic legend in connection with the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Kings Solomon, which states that, moved by the widespread reputation of the Israelitish monarch, she had repaired to Jerusalem to inspect the magnificent works of which she had heard so many encomiums.
Upon arriving there, and beholding for the first time the Temple, which glittered with gold, and which was so accurate1y adjusted in all its parts as to seem to be composed of but a single piece of marble, she raised her hands and eyes to heaven in an attitude of admiration, and at the same time exclaimed, Rabboni! equivalent to saying A most excellent master hath done this! This actions has since been perpetuated in the ceremonies of the Degree of Most Excellent Master. The legend is, however, of doubtful authority, and is really to be considered only as allegorical, like so many other of the legends of Freemasonry (see Sheba, Queen of).
The Encyclopedia Masonica exists to preserve the wealth of information that has been generated over the centuries by numerous Masonic authors. As Freemasonry is now Speculative and not Operative, the work of a Mason is now conducted in the quarries of symbolism, literature, history and scholasticism. Freemasonry encourages intellectual exploration and academic achievement in its members and many Masons over the years have taken up this calling. The result has been that an incredible amount of philosophy, symbolic speculation and academic insights have been created. However, as Freemasonry teaches, human knowledge is frail and fragile. It is easily lost in the turnings of the ages and unforeseen catastrophes can result in great setbacks to human knowledge.
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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