In the old manuscript Constitutions, this word that is now unusual is found in the sense of accepted. Thus, "Every Mason of the Craft that is Mason allowed, ye shall do to him as ye would be done unto yourself" as in the Lansdowne Manuscript, of about 1600 A.D., Mason allowed means Mason accepted, that is, approved. Phillips, in his New World of Words, 1690, defines the verb allow, "to give or grant; to approve of; to permit or suffer."
Latimer, in one of his sermons, uses it in this sense of approving or accepting, thus : ''Saint Peter, in forsaking his old boat and nets, was allowed as much before God as if he had forsaken all the riches in the world." In a similar sense is the word used in the Office of Public Baptism of Infants, in the Common Prayer Book of the Church of England.
The Bible (see Romans xiv, 22), also has "Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth." Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words suggests the connection of the word with the Anglo-Norman alone, meaning to praise.
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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