A belief in the authenticity of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as a religious qualification of initiation does not constitute one of the laws of Freemasonry, for such a regulation would destroy the universality of the Institution, and under its action none but Christians could become eligible for admission. But in 1856 the Grand Lodge of Ohio declared "that a distinct avowal of a belief in the Divine authority of the Holy Scriptures should be required of every one who is admitted to the privileges of Masonry, and that a denial of the same is an offence against the Institution, calling for exemplary discipline.'' It is hardly necessary to say that the enunciation of this principle met with the almost universal condemnation of the Grand Lodges and Masonic jurists of this country. The Grand Lodge of Ohio subsequently repealed the regulation. In1857 the Grand Lodge of Texas adopted a similar resolution; but the general sense of the Fraternity has rejected all religious tests except a belief in God.
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.
- BROTHER ISAAC NEWTON
P.O. BOX 70
Larkspur CO 80118
Co-Masonry, Co-Freemasonry, Women's Freemasonry, Men and Women, Mixed Masonry