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Orders of Architecture, Egyptian

The Egyptians had a system of architecture peculiar to themselves, which, says Barlow (Essays on Symbolistrns, page 30), "should indicate a people of grand ideas, and of confirmed religious convictions." It was massive, and without the airy proportions of the Greek Orders. It was, too, eminently symbolic and among its ornaments the lotus leaf and plant predominated as a symbol of regeneration. Among the peculiar forms of the Egyptian architecture were the fluted column, which suggested the Ionic Order to the Greeks, and the basket capital adorned with the lotus, which, afterward became the Corinthian. To the Masonic student, the Egyptian style of architecture becomes interesting, because it was undoubtedly followed by King Solomon in his construction of the Temple. The great similarity between the pillars of the porch and the columns in front of Egyptian temples is very apparent. Our translators have, however, unfortunately substituted the lily for the lotus in their version.

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ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD

An order of knighthood is a confraternity of knights bound by the same rules. Of these there are many in every kingdom of Europe, bestowed by sovereigns on their subjects as marks of honor and rewards of merit. Such, for instance, are in England the Knights of the Garter; in Scotland the Knights of Saint Andrew; and in Ireland the Knights of Saint Patrick. But the only Orders of Knighthood that have had any historical relation to Freemasonry, except the Order of Charles XII in Sweden, are the three great religious and military Orders which were established in the Middle Ages.

These are the Knights Templar, the Knights Hospitaler or Knights of Malta, and the Teutonic Knights, each of which may be seen in this work under its respective title. Of these three, the Freemasons can really claim a connection only with the Templars. They alone had a secret initiation, and with them there is at least traditional evidence of a fusion. The Knights of Malta and the Teutonic Knights have always held themselves aloof from the Masonic Order. They never had a secret form of initiation; their reception was open and public; and the former Order, indeed, during the latter part of the eighteenth century, became the willing instruments of the Church in the persecution of the Freemasons who were at that time in the Island of Malta. There is, indeed, a Masonic Degree called Knight of Malta, but the existing remnant of the historical order has always repudiated it. With the Teutonic Knights, the Freemasons have no other connection than this, that in some of the advanced Degrees their peculiar cross has been adopted. An attempt has been made, but without reason, to identify the Teutonic Knights with the Prussian Knights, or Noachites.

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