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The urge toward art of constructing dwellings, as a shelter from the heat of summer and the cold of winter, must have been resorted to from the very first moment in which man became subjected to the power of the elements. Architecture is, therefore, not only one of the most important, but one of the most ancient of sciences. Rude and imperfect must, however, have been the first efforts of the human race, resulting in the erection of huts clumsy in their appearance, and ages must have elapsed ere wisdom of design combined strength of material with beauty of execution. As Geometry is the science on which Freemasonry is founded, Architecture is the art from which it borrows the language of its symbolic instruction. In the earlier ages of the Order every Freemason was either an operative mechanic or a superintending architect.

Therefore something more than a superficial knowledge of the principles of architecture is absolutely essential to the Freemason who would either understand the former history of the Institution or appreciate its present objects.

There are five orders of architecture: the Doric, the Ionic, the Corinthian, the Tuscan, and the Composite. The first three are the original orders, and were invented in Greece; the last two are of later formation, and owe their existence to Italy. Each of these orders, as well as the other terms of architecture, so far as they are connected with Freemasonry, will be found under its appropriate head throughout this work.

The Books of Constitutions, commenced by Anderson and continued by Entick and Noorthouck, contain, under the title of a History of Freemasonry, in reality a history of the progress of architecture from the earliest ages. In the older manuscript, Constitutions, the science of Geometry, as well as Architecture, is made identical with Freemasonry; so that he who would rightly understand the true history of Freemasonry must ever bear in mind the distinction between Geometry, Architecture, and Freemasonry, which is constantly. lost sight of in these old records.

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