OPERATIVE MASONRY. The physical wants of man originally compelled the establishment of operative Masonry. When by transgression man forfeited his primeval home and was obliged to seek shelter from the storms and from the winds, from the • cold and from the heat, in winter, the caves of the earth—in summer, the bower of twined foliage, would be his dwelling; next, his inventive mind did conceive the rude tent, then the cabin, afterward the house and the splendid palace, the adode of elegance and skill. Masonry, in its character as an operative art, is familiar to every one; as such, it is engaged in the application of the rules of architecture to the construction of public and private edifices, It abounds in the use of technical terms, and makes use of implements and materials which are peculiar to itself. It is the popular theory that the operative Masons were the founders of the system of speculative Masonry, in which they applied the language and ideas of their art of building to a spiritual and religious sense. At first operative Ma
sonry !xisted simply as an art of building. Then the operative Masons, with the assistance of learned and pious men, invented the speculative science, or Freemasonry, and then each became an integrant part of one undivided system. Not, however, that there ever was a time when every ope rative Mason, without exception, was acquainted with or initiated into the speculative science. There are, even now, thousands of skillful (operative) stone-masons who know nothing of the symbolic meaning of the implements they employ. Speculative Masonry, now known as Freemasonry, is, therefore, the scientific application and the religious consecration of the rules and principles, the technical lan guage and the implements and materials, of operative Masonry to the worship of God as the Grand Architect of the universe, and to the purification of the heart and the inculcation of the dogmas of a religious philosophy.