Preston (Illustrations of Masonry, Book I, Section 3) says: "From the commencement of the world, we may trace the foundation of Masonry.
Ever since symmetry began, and harmony displayed her charms, our Order has had a being." Language like this has been deemed extravagant, and justly, too , if the words are to be taken in their literal sense. The idea that the Order of Freemasonry is coeval with the creation is so absurd that the pretension cannot need refutation. But the fact is, that Anderson, Preston, and other writers who have indulged in such statements, did not mean by the word Masonry anything like an organized Order or Institution bearing any resemblance to the Freemasonry of the present day.
They simply meant to indicate that the great moral principles on which Freemasonry is founded, and by which it professes to be guided, have always formed a part of the Divine government, and been presented to man from his first creation for his acceptance. The words quoted from Preston may be subject to criticism, because they are liable to misconstruction. But the symbolic idea which they intended to convey, namely, that Freemasonry is truth, and that truth is coexistent with man's creation, is correct, and cannot be disputed.
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