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Patriarchal Freemasonry

The theory of Doctor Oliver on this subject has, we think, been misinterpreted. He does not maintain, as has been falsely supposed, that the Freemasonry of the present day is but a continuation of that which was practiced by the Patriarchs, but simply that, in the simplicity of the patriarchal worship, unencumbered as it was with dogmatic creeds, we may find the true model after which the religious system of Speculative Freemasonry has been constructed. Thus (in his Historical Landmarks I, page 207) he says: "Nor does it, Freemasonry, exclude a survey of the patriarchal mode of devotion, which indeed forms the primitive model of Freemasonry. The events that occurred in these ages of simplicity of manners and purity of faith, when it pleased God to communicate with his favored creature, necessarily, therefore, form subjects of interesting illustration in our Lodges, and constitute legitimate topics on which the Master in the chair may expatiate and exemplify, for the edification of the Brethren and their improvement in morality and the love and fear of God." There is here no attempt to trace a historical connection, but simply to claim an identity of purpose and character in the two religious systems, the Patriarchal and the Masonic.

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