Marconis, Gabriel Mathieu
more frequently known as De Negre, from his dark complexion, was the founder and first Grand Master and Grand Hierophant of the Rite of Memphis, brought by Sam'l Honis, a native of Cairo, from Egypt, in 1814, who with Baron Dumas and the Marquis de la Rogne, founded a Lodge of the Rite at Montauban. France, on April 30, 1815, which was closed March 7, 1816. In a work entitled The Sanctuary of Memphis, by Jacques Etienne Marconis, the author presumptively the son of G. M. Marconis who styles himself the founder of the Rite of Memphis, thus briefly gives an account of its origin: "The Rite of Memphis, or Oriental Rite, was introduced into Europe by Ormus, a seraphic priest of Alexandria and Egyptian sage, who had been converted by Saint Mark, and reformed the doctrines of the Egyptians in accordance with the principles of Christianity. The disciples of Ormus continued until 1118 to be the sole guardians of ancient Egyptian wisdom, as purified by Christianity and Solomonian science. This science they communicated to the Templars. They were then known by the title of Knights of Palestine, or Brethren Rose Croix of the East. In them the Rite of Memphis recognizes its immediate founders."
The above, coming from the Grand Hierophant and founder, should satisfy the most scrupulou6 as to the conversion of Ormus by Saint Mark, and his then introducing the Memphis Rite. But Marconis continues as to the main object and the underlying intention of his Rite: The Masonic Rite of Memphis is a combination of the ancient mysteries; it taught the first men to render homage to the Deity. Its dogmas are bared on the principles of humanity; its mission is the study of that wisdom which serves to discern truth; it is the beneficent dawn of the development of reason and intelligence; it is the worship of the qualities of the human heart and the impression of its aces: in fine, it is the echo of religious toleration. the union of all belief, the bond between all men, the symbol of sweet illusions of hope, preaching the faith in God that saves, and the charity that blesses.
We are further told by the Hierophant founder that:
The Rite of Memphis is the sole depository of High Masonry the true Primitive Rite. the Rite par excellence which has come down to us without any alteration, and is consequently the only Rite that can justify its origin and the combined exercise of its rights by constitutions the authenticity of which cannot be questioned. The Rite of Memphis. or Oriental Rite, is the veritable Masonic tree and all systems, whatsoever they be, are but detached branches of this institution, venerable for its great antiquity, and born in Egypt. The real deposit of the principles of Freemasonry, written in the Chaldee language. is preserved in the sacred ark of the Rite of Memphis and in part in the Grand Lodge of Scotland at Edinburgh, and in the Maronite Convent on Mount Lebanon.... Brother Marconis de Negre, the Grand Hierophant, is the sole consecrated depositary of the traditions of this Sublime Order. The above is enough to reveal the character of the father and reputed son for truth, as also of the institution founded by them, which, like the firefly, is seen now here, now there, but with no steady beneficial light (see Memphis, Rite of ).
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