An Order instituted about the end of the seventeenth century, by one Gabrino, who called himself the Prince of the Septenary Number or Monarch of the Holy Trinity. He enrolled a great number of artisans in his ranks who went about their ordinary- occupations with swords at their sides. According to Thory, some of the provincial Lodges of France made a degree out of Gabrino's system. The arms of the Order were a naked sword and a blazing star (see the Acta Latomorum, 1, 294). Reghellini, in Freemasonry considered as a result of the Egyptian, Jewish, and Christian Religions, or La Maçonnerie considérée comme le résultat des religions égyptienne, juive et chrêtienne (iii, 72), thinks that this Order was the precursor of the degrees afterward introduced by the Freemasons who practised the Templar system.
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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