From the two Greek words which signify the engraving of sacred things. Hieroglyphics are properly the expressions of ideas by representations of visible objects, and the word is more peculiarly applied to that species of picture writing which was in use among the ancient Egyptians, whose priests by this means concealed from the profane that knowledge which they communicated only to their initiates. Browne says (Master Rey, page 87), "The usages amongst Masons have ever corresponded with those of the ancient Egyptians. Their Philosophers, unwilling to expose their Mysteries to vulgar Curiosity, couched the Principles of their Learning and Philosophy under Hieroglyphical Figures and Allegorical Emblems, and expressed their notions of Government by Signs and Symbols, which they communicated to the Magic or wise Men only, who were solemnly obligated never to reveal them."
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