A corruption of acacia, which undoubtedly arose from the common habit, among illiterate people, of sinking the sound of the letter A in the pronunciation of any word of which it constitutes the initial syllable, as pothecary for apothecary, and prentice for apprentice, The word prentice, by the way, is almost altogether used in the old records of Freemasonry, which were, for the most part, the productions of uneducated men. Unfortunately, however, the corruption of acacia into cassia has not always been confined to the illiterate; but the long employment of the corrupted form has at length introduced it, in some instances, among a few of our writers. Even Doctor Oliver has sometimes used the objectionable corruption, notwithstanding he has written so much upon the symbolism of the acacia.
He refers to the Sprig of Cassia in Revelations of a Square (page 113).
There is a plant which was called by the ancients cassia, but it is entirely- different from the acacia.
The acacia was a sacred plant; the caisson ignoble plant, having no sacred character. The former is in Freemasonry profoundly symbolic; the latter has no symbolism whatever.
The cassia is only three times mentioned in Scripture, but always as an aromatic plant forming a portion of some perfume.
There is, indeed, strong reason for believing that the cassia was only a coarse kind of cinnamon, and that it did not grow in Palestine, but was imported from the East.
Casia, therefore, has no rightful place in Masonic language, and its use should be avoided as a vulgar corruption.
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