Do the Masons have any connection to the Temple of Solomon?

The Masons have no connection to Egypt, the Pharoahs, or the Temple of Solomon--except that the building of King Solomon's Temple is used as part of the allegorical presentation of Freemasonry's teachings on "being true to one's word." Early Masonic writers regularly made claims about the antiquity of `the Craft' (as it is sometimes called). In the 1700s, people commonly cited a lengthy "heritage" for their club or society in order to gain acceptance. But no evidence is currently available to support those claims.

Was Freemasonry involved with the American Revolution?

No. But many of the individuals involved were Freemasons. These Masonic founders brought ideas taught in Freemasonry (tolerance, particularly) to the newly forming country. George Washington was a Mason, Benjamin Franklin served as the head of the fraternity in Pennsylvania, as did Paul Revere and Joseph Warren in Massachusetts. Other well-known Masons involved with the founding of America included John Hancock, John Sullivan, Lafayette, Baron Fredrick von Stuben, Nathanael Greene, and John Paul Jones. Another Mason, Chief Justice John Marshall, shaped the Supreme Court into its present form.

Is the Great Seal of the United States a Masonic symbol?

No. The creation of a seal was first commissioned by the Continental Congress immediately after the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. A committee consisting of Benjamin Franklin (a Mason), John Adams (not a Mason), and Thomas Jefferson (not a Mason although sometimes erroneously identified as one) submitted a design that was deemed unacceptable, as were designs submitted by two succeeding committees. In 1782, all these designs were submitted to Charles Thomson, Secretary to the Continental Congress (and not a Mason), who prepared a final design adopted by the Congress on June 20, 1782.

What's with the eye in the pyramid, then?

Conspiracy theorists like to point to the "Eye in the Pyramid" in the Great Seal of the United States and on the dollar bill as being evidence of a Masonic conspiracy. But the eye in the pyramid has never been a Masonic symbol.

The "Eye of Providence," sometimes referred to in Masonic ritual as the "All-Seeing Eye" (of Deity) is found in Masonic rituals, reminding a Mason that his words and deeds are being judged by the Supreme Architect of the Universe. The pyramid appears in the ritual of some Masonic jurisdictions and represents the great builders of the past. However, their combined usage is essentially non-existent among Masons. There is no official Masonic combination of the eye and a pyramid.

On the United States' Great Seal, the pyramid signifies strength and duration, while the eye over it (as well as the motto) allude to the idea that Providence had favored the American cause in the Revolutionary War. The eye on the Great Seal represents a concept of active intervention of Deity in the world, while the Masonic symbol of the eye stands for a passive awareness by the Deity of human activities.

The eye of Providence was common in cultural art of the 17th and 18th centuries. When placed in a triangle, the eye went beyond a general representation of God to a Trinitarian statement. During this period Masonic ritual and symbolism evolved, so it's not surprising that symbols common to society made their way into Masonic ceremonies.

Is there a giant stash of treasure under Trinity Church Wall Street?

Nope, but wouldn't that be cool?

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus