Albert Mackey

The Symbolism of Freemasonry

Of the various modes of communicating instruction to the uninformed, the masonic student is particularly interested in two; namely, the instruction by legends and that by symbols. It is to these two, almost exclusively, that he is indebted for all that he knows, and for all that he can know, of the philosophic system which is taught in the institution. All its mysteries and its dogmas, which constitute its philosophy, are intrusted for communication to the neophyte, sometimes to one, sometimes to the other of these two methods of instruction, and sometimes to both of them combined. The Freemason has no way of reaching any of the esoteric teachings of the Order except through the medium of a legend or a symbol.


I. Preliminary.
II. The Noachidæ.
III. The Primitive Freemasonry of Antiquity.
IV. The Spurious Freemasonry of Antiquity.
V. The Ancient Mysteries.
VI. The Dionysiac Artificers.
VII. The Union of Speculative and Operative Masonry at the Temple of Solomon.
VIII. The Travelling Freemasons of the Middle Ages.
IX. Disseverance of the Operative Element.
X. The System of Symbolic Instuction.
XI. The Speculative Science and the Operative Art.
XII. He Symbolism of Solomon'S Temple.
XIII. The Form of the Lodge.
XIV. The Officers of a Lodge.
XV. The Point Within a Circle.
XVI. The Covering of the Lodge.
XVII. Ritualistic Symbolism.
XVIII. The Rite of Discalceation.
XIX. The Rite of Investiture.
XX. The Symbolism of the Gloves.
XXI. The Rite of Circumambulation.
XXII. The Rite of Intrusting, and the Symbolism of Light.
XXIII. Symbolism of the Corner-Stone.
XXIV. The Ineffable Name.
XXV. The Legends of Freemasonry.
XXVI. The Legend of the Winding Stairs.
XXVII. The Legend of the Third Degree.
XXVIII. The Sprig of Acacia.
XXIX. The Symbolism of Labor.
XXX. The Stone of Foundation.216
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