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General Ahiman Rezon, by Daniel Sickels, [1868], at

p. 75

Where Held.

Lodge meetings, at the present day, are usually held in upper chambers—probably for the better security which such places afford. It may be, however, that the custom had its origin in a practice observed by the ancient Jews, of building their temples, schools, and synagogues on high hills, * a practice which seems to have met the approbation of the ALMIGHTY, who said unto the Prophet EZEKIEL, "Upon the top of the mountain, the whole limit thereof, round about shall be most holy." Before the erection of temples, the celestial bodies were worshiped on HILLS, and the terrestrial ones in VALLEYS.  At a later period, the Christians, wherever it was practicable, erected their churches on eminences.

Hills or mountains were always considered the peculiar abode of the Deity; and hence the Masonic tradition, that our ancient brethren held their Lodges most frequently on the highest of hills. The veneration for hills or secret caverns induced the construction of temples for divine worship in such situations. The custom was

p. 76

initiated in the early ages of Christianity; for our ancient churches are usually erected on hills, and, beneath the foundations of those which are cathedral or collegiate, crypts were commonly constructed for private devotion and other secret purposes.


75:* The Noachidæ met on the summit of high hills, to practice their simple devotions, which were commemorative of their preservation amidst the destruction of mankind by the Universal Deluge, and of the promise that the world should never again be subjected to a similar judgment.

75:† In imitation of the primitive practice, but with a much more innocent purpose than the worship of idols, before Freemasons possessed the convenience of well-formed Lodges, our ancient brethren used to assemble on the highest of hills or in the lowest of valleys, because such situations afforded the means of security from unlawful intrusion.

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