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Operative Art

Freemasonry is divided by Masonic writers into two branches, an Operative Art and a Speculative Science. The Operative Art is that which was practiced by the Stone-Masons of the Middle Ages. The Speculative Science is that which is practiced by the Freemasons of the present day. The technicalities and usages of the former have been incorporated into and modified by the latter. Hence, Freemasonry is sometimes defined as a Speculative Science founded on an Operative Art.

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