Legend of the Royal Arch Degree
Much of this legend is a myth, having very little foundation, and some of it none, in historical accuracy. But underneath it all there lies a profound stratum of philosophical symbolism. The destruction and the rebuilding of the Temple by the efforts of Zerubbabel and his compatriots, the captivity and the return of the captives, are matters of sacred history; but many of the details have been invented and introduced for the purpose of giving fonn to a symbolic idea. And this idea, expressed in the symbolism of the Royal Arch, is the very highest form of that which the ancient Mystagogues, interpreters of religious mysteries, called the Euresis, or the Discovery.
There are some portions of the legend which do not bear directly on the symbolism of the second Temple as a type of the second life, but which still have an indirect bearing on the general idea. Thus the particular legend of the three weary sojourners is undoubtedly a mere myth, there being no known historical testimony for its support; but it is evidently the enunciation symbolically of the religious and philosophical idea that Divine Truth may be sought and won only by successful perseverance through all the dangers, trials, and tribulations of life, and that it is not in this, but in the next life, that it is fully attained. The legend of the English and the American systems is identical; that of the Irish is very different as to the time and events; and the legend of the Royal Arch of the Scottish Rite is more usually called the Legend of Enoch.
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