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While neither the snake nor serpent appears in masonic symbolism or ritual, George Oliver has found it in much masonic iconography, and here attempts—from a particularly Christian and Eurocentric perspective—to explain its usage.
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GEORGE OLIVER
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LECTURE III.
On the serpent
by the Rev. Dr. George Oliver, D.D.

"So spake the enemy of mankind, enclosed
In SERPENT inmate bad, and towards Eve
Address'd his way, not with indented wave,
Prone on the ground, as since, but on his rear
Circular base of rising folds, that towerd
Fold above fold, a surging maze, his head
Crested aloft, and carbuncle his eyes,
With burnished neck of verdant gold, erect
Amidst his circling spires, that on the grass
Floated abundant; pleasing was his shape
And lovely."
Milton.
The Serpent is universally esteemed a legitimate symbol of Freemasonry; yet, though commonly introduced into all the groups of emblematical characters which the fancy of ingenious Brethren may have designed, either for amusement or instruction, its origin and secret reference are not satisfactorily accounted for in the peculiar lectures of Masonry. The subject may be involved in some uncertainty, but an attention to the general principles on which our science has been founded, may do much towards unravelling the mystery, and may chance to produce a genuine illustration. One great result of the enquiry will certainly be, that the emblematical Serpent will be found to have had a place in the most ancient systems of primitive Masonry, and was a symbol almost coequal with its institution on this globe, by the first created man.
You are not ignorant that the Serpent has an established place amongst our emblems, although its true allegorical reference is not given in our accustomed disquisitions. It may be urged that this animal is the symbol of Wisdom, as the Dove is of Innocence, because our Saviour connects tbese qualities with the same creatures.1 But this is to be satisfied with a very contracted explanation of a significant emblem, which certainly represents our fall in Adam, and our restoration in Christ—a subject of no ordinary importance, but one which embraces a comprehensive scheme, framed by the Divine hand, and conveying the blessing of eternal happiness in a future state.
When our first parents were placed in the garden of Eden, as the abode of purity and peace, with angels for associates, and honoured with the peculiar presence of the Deity, their tenure was secured by the observance of one single condition, which was imposed merely as a test of their obedience—they were forbidden to eat of the fruit which grew upon the Tree of Knowledge. How simple soever this prohibition may appear, they were induced by the flattering wiles of the devil, who assumed the form of A SERPENT for this specific purpose, to forego, or at least, to render precarious all the actual felicity they enjoyed, for the deceitful hope of some greater acquisition of knowledge or power, which was promised by the tempter, as the certain result of violating the divine command.
Various have been the opinions advanced by theorists on this knotty question—by what kind of animal was our great mother betrayed? I shall lay before you a few of the most remarkable speculations of learned men, because they bear upon the subject under our notice, and may engage your attention or curiosity. "Some believe that the Serpent had then the use of speech, and conversed familiarly with the woman, without her conceiving any distrust of him, and that God, to punish the malice with which he abused Eve, deprived him of the use of speech. Others believe that the devil transformed himself into a Serpent, and spoke to Eve under the figure of this animal. Others maintain that a real and common Serpent, having eaten of the forbidden fruit, Eve from thence concluded that she, too, might eat of it without danger; that in effect she did eat of it, and incurred the displeasure of God by her disobedience. This, say these authors, is the plain matter of fact, which Moses would relate under the allegorical representation of the Serpent conversing with Eve. Cajetan will have this whole story, as it is related by Moses in the way of dialogue between the woman and the Serpent, to be figurative only, to signify the inward suggestions of the devil, and the woman’s weak resistance. Others affirm that the Serpent’s speech was nothing but hissing, and that Eve, understanding all creatures by their voices, apprehended what this animal had to say to her by the noise it made. Lyranus reports the opinion of some to be, that the Serpent put on the face of a beautiful young woman to tempt Eve. And some Rabbins believe that Samael, prince of devils, came in person to tempt Eve, mounted on a Serpent as large as a camel!"2 Eugubinus thinks thg animal was a basilisk ;3 and to crown this mass of absurdity, Dr. Adam Clarke gravely tells his readers that the tempter was not a Serpent, but an ape!!!4
However this may be—and perhaps I may offer a suggestion to clear the difficulty before I conclude—it is certain that our first parents lost their innocence, and, instead of the expected good, gained in return the certainty only that they had forfeited the protection of God, and were in reality blind and miserable, naked and in despair. Driven now accursed into a world of troubles and calamities, the unhappy consequences of their want of faith, their eyes were, indeed, opened, but it was to a bitter sense of misery and shame; they were become liable to sin and sorrow, sickness and death; they beheld with deep remorse the dying agonies of those animals which were slain for sacrifice, pursuant to the divine command, certain that their own dissolution must follow, attended probably with similar pangs; and, with broken hearts and uplifted hands, they cried to their offended God for mercy. The Deity listened to the humble petition of his fallen creatures, because he saw that their repentance was sincere, and gave them a revelation, that the effects of their sin should be wiped away, and their posterity restored to his favour. He promised that the woman’s seed should bruise the Serpent’s head, which was so exhilarating to our common mother, that, at the birth of Cain, her eldest son, she entertained a belief that in him the promise was fulfilled, which would restore to her the joys she had forfeited, and in an ecstacy of delirious joy, she exclaimed : "I have gotten a man, even the Lord Jehovah;" for such is the true meaning of the original Hebrew in Gen. iv. 1. The vices of'Cain would speedily convince her that this was not the promised seed; and she acquiesced with silence and submission in the dispensations of Providence. The prophecy, however, was triumphantly fulfilled in the Messiah who came to destroy, and did, even in his human character, gain a decisive victory over the the Serpent, the adversary of God and man.
The great scheme of this Evil Spirit was to rob man of the happiness he enjoyed in Paradise, and by that means to counteract the design of God in the creation. He succeeded in the first instance, but the main part of his plan was defeated by Jesus Christ, who has reconciled man to God, and by the efficacy of his birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, typified by the Five Grand Pillars of Masonry, he has utterly destroyed the works of that old Serpent, the devil,5 circumscribed his power, and bound him in everlasting chains and darkness unto the judgment of the last day.6
Hence this emblem amongst Masons has an undoubted reference to the establishment of Christianity, which gave a death blow to the power of the Evil Spirit. The Serpent had engrossed the worship of all mankind ; and, by his oracles,7 had enslaved their minds in the fetters of superstition and overwhelming darkness. But the incarnation of Christ, by striking his oracles dumb,8 relieved his deluded votaries trom the effects of his potent agency ; and he himself was reluctantly compelled to announce his degradation; for, when Augustus consulted the oracle at Delphi, it answered that a child was born in Judea, who, being the Supreme God, had commanded him to depart, and he durst not disobey.9
You may deem it something more than accidental, that there should exist a tradition of the Messiah bruising the Serpent’s head, and the Serpent bruising his heel, equally in the east and in the west; amongst the Indians, the Greeks, and the Goths of Scandinavia. And yet it is an indisputable fact, that each of these nations preserved in their respective systems of religion this very remarkable prophecy.10 In the former country the Brahmins have in their temples some sculptured figures, which are unquestionably descriptive of this event. One of them represents their middle god Vishnu or Kreeshna with his foot on the Serpent’s head; and another has the same god encompassed in the folds of a serpent, which is in the act of biting his heel.11 ln the same mythology, a monster compounded of a man and an eagle, called Garuda, is represented as being placed at the eastern portal of the garden of Eden, to prevent the intrusion of Serpents; to which animals he was supposed to bear a decided antipathy. After a long conflict, however, he destroyed them all except one, which he slung round his neck as a trophy.12 This fable evidently refers to the expulsion of Adam from Paradise, the cherubim placed to exclude his contaminated race, and the ultimate destruction of them all, except the Patriarch Noah.
The Greek mythology furnishes us with another instance of this primitive doctrine, in its fable of the garden of Hesperides. Here existed a tree which bore golden apples ; but it was guarded from violation by a Serpent, whose foids encircled the trunk of the sacred tree. Hercules successfully engaged the Serpent and having slain him took away the precious fruit. This event being deeemed of sufficient importance to be perpetuated, was introduced into the Celestial Sphere, Hercules is represented as trampling on the Serpent’s head.
In Scandinavia, Thor, who is worshipped as a mediator, is said to have bruised the head of the great Serpent with his club;13 and in a final engagement with the monster, it is predicted that he shall overcome and slay him ; though himself shall perish from the poisonous exhalations which proceed out of his mouth during the terrible encounter.14
Thus far the application of this Symbol is exceedingly satisfactory, and worthy of an introduction into a system which was instituted to keep alive in our hearts a veneration for the Supreme Being, and an unmixed love of virtue and pure morality. But we must now extend our views to distant regions, and mark in what manner, and for what purposes, this same Symbol was introduced into other institutions, bearing the character of Freemasonry, until the absolute worship of the Serpent became a superstition prevalent throughout the whole worid.
Justin Martyr tells us,15 that among all the things which were accounted sacred amongst the Greeks, the Serpent was particularly considered as a very mysterious emblem. It is, indeed, most singular, that Serpents should be either real or symbolical objects of devotion, in almost every known system of false religion. They were universal emblems of life and bealth; received the appellation of the beneficent dæmon, and were visible representatives of the god of creation and providence. And it is still more remarkable that there was always attached to the Serpent, an undefined idea of some restoration to the divine favour, which was expected to be accomplished by a gratuitous sacrifice.
If you will accompany me in my progress from one country to another, we will endeavour to produce a complete illustration of this Symbol founded on the facts which I have already laid before you. Egypt was the great conservator of ancient idolatry ; and here we will commence our researches. In Egypt the Serpent formed a Symbol of the most awful images in existence.16 Cneph was the Serpent-god of this people; he was the second person of the sacred Triad, and said to be the Creator of the world.17 He was usually represented by a hooded snake, sometimes called Basiliscus, or the Royal Serpent. The Egyptian temples were full of representations of this god.18 Eternity was ever present to the mind of the devout worshipper, under the similitude of a Serpent with its tail in its mouth, or an endless Serpent enclosing an Eye; and Wisdom was represented by the same animal extended at length. Did he meditate on the mysterious Tri-Une deity, Eicton-Cneph-Phtha, he was presented to the worshipper’s recollection by the figure of a Globe and a Winged Serpent ; the Globe symbolized the Supreme and eternal God; the Serpent, the animating principle; and the Wings, the hovering Spirit of God, which moved on the face of the waters at the creation of the world.
Bend we now our course towards the farthest bounds of the East, to learn what the Persians, the Indians, and the Chinese believed about this noxious reptile. In the former country, the Serpent was worshipped,19 and considered an emblem of the Sun, which was esteemed the supernal habitation of their great god Mithras.20 And the visible Symbol was the deity enveloped in tbe folds of an enormous snake.21 In India, the Serpent was elevated into an object of adoration ;22 and the splendid temples at Elora contain many specimens of Serpent-deities. In the second story of Teen Tal, at the south end of the veranda, is a very large figure of Sey Deo, or more commonly Sayhudea, the immortal Serpent.23 In the temple of Jagnat, innumerable figures of Serpents are inscribed on the walls.24 which display the antiquity and prevalence of this degraded worship in the vast regions of Hindostan. Vishna and Siva are equally represented as encompassed by curling Serpents, to denote their divine original.
In China,we again find this loathesome reptile raised to divine honours and worship. A Ring supported by two serpents, was an awful symbol amongst the Chinese, emblematical of the World protected by the power and governed by the wisdom of the Creator. This people were indeed most superstitiously attached to the worship of dragons or serpents. The sixty-four Symbols ofthe god Fo-Hi, who is said to hah the body of a Serpent,25 were revealed by this animal emerging from the bottom of a sacred lake. And thunder or rain, fair and foul weather, are equally attributed to the influence of the Serpent.26
From the East proceed we to the West, making a short excursion to New Zealand, as we traverse the vast ocean which separates China and Japan from the continent of America. These savages have no written records, and yet from oral tradition alone they know that the Serpent once spake with the human voice; and hence they adore him as a superior being. But he is their god of sorrow. They believe also that man was first created, and that woman was formed out of one of his ribs, separated from his side by the Deity himself, to be his compamon and friend, while as yet there existed no mortai but himself.27
In the savage regions of America we find abundant traces of this superstition. The two parents of the human race, were said by the Mexicans to have been preserved from the effects of the deluge by means of Serpents; which induced. the adoration of this animal. The visible symbol of that preservation, was a Rainbow, with a Serpent suspended from each end of it. The temples of their bloody and vindictive deities were covered with representations of Serpents,28 in all their terrible varieties; and their high god Vitzliputzli was pourtrayed [sic] in the shape of a man, whose hideous countenance was rendered truly horrible and disgusting, by certain black lines drawn across his forehead. and his nose: He was seated on a Globe, which was a symbol of his universal power, over a lofty altar supported by four long poles, each end of which was ornamented with a serpents head. His right hand grasped a serpent, and his left a buckler with arrows, all charged with emblematical devices, each conveying some mysterious signification, and inculcating some useful lesson known only to the initiated.29
This general veneration of so filthy a reptile, is somewhat astonishing, but you may rely on my accuracy and fidelity. I have spared no pains in the research; and, if I had not honestly believed it was in my power to add to your stock of Masonic knowledge, as well as to interest and amuse your minds, I should not have offered these Lectures to your notice. I have, however, still more extraordinary facts to relate.
Returning to our own quarter of the globe, we find Serpent worship so very prevalent in the early ages of the world, as to impose a distinguishing appellation on the whole continent; for Europe is said to have derived its name from the worsbip of Eur-Op, the Serpent of the Sun.30
The inhabitants of ancient Scandinavia accounted living Serpents sacred, and fed them daily with milk.31 The Serpent formed a constituent part of their sacred Triad. The priests practised augury by its assistance, because they considered it endued with some portion of celestial prescience. By virtue of certain incantations they tempted the Serpents from their hiding places, and offered them choice provisions. If they came freely and partook of what was set before them, it was accounted a good omen; but, if they exhibited any appearance of reluctance, and lurked about, or returned to their holes without accepting the proffered. food, the omen was deemed unpropitious, and portended some fatal disaster. In the most barbarous districts, it is said that the remains of this superstition exist at the present day.
In Gaul Serpents were emblematical of wisdom and truth. A curious statue, representing the goddess of Truth, bas been discovered amongst the ruins of the ancient temple of Montmorillon in Poictou ; and Montfançon has given a plate of it.32 "The goddess is quite naked ; and two serpents (emblems of wisdom), twined round lier legs and body, are embraced by both her hands to show the harmony, connection, and inseparable union between wisdom and truth ; the heads of both these serpents are applied to the breasts of the goddess, to show that wisdom draws all her support from truth ; they are clapsed fast and directed to the seat of nourishment, to show that truth readily yields her choicest treasures, her most amiable beauties to the searches of the wise and studious."33
We will close our enquiries in the country where we live, for, our predecessors, the ancient Britons, carried this superstition to as great an extent as the inhabitants of any other nation. The Druids had a high veneration for the Serpent. Their great god Hu was typified by that reptile ; and he is represented by the Bards as "the wonderful chief Dragon, the sovereign of heaven.34 Dr. Stukeley says, that "the stupendous temple at Abury, in Wiltshire, is the picture of the Deity; and more particularly of the Trinity ; but most particularly what they anciently called the Father and the ~Word, who created all things. This figure you will find on the tops of all the obelisks, being equivalent to the Hebrew Tetragrammaton. A Snake proceeding from a circle, is the internal procession of the Son from the First Cause. The Egyptians frequently added Wings to it, then it was the Trinity properly ; but our ancestors judged, I suppose, that they could not represent the wings well in stone work, so omitted them. The Egyptians called this figure, Hemptha ; the Greeks, in abbreviated writing used it for Daimon, Or the good genius; the Brachmans, in the East Indies use it; the Chinese; the ancient Persians, with whom it still remains at Persepolis; the Americans; our Britons: this shows it was extremely ancient; but of all nations, our ancestors have had the greatest veneration for it, that they have expanded it in so laborious a picture three miles long."35
The most potent symbol or amulet of Druidism was the Anguinum. or Glain-neidr, which derived its sole efficacy from its connection with the Serpent. It was attended by a serpent, which had entwined itself round the centre of the amulet, as the conservator of its virtues ; and signified the superintending care which an eternal Being affords to his creatures. The anguinum was said to be produced from the Saliva of a large ball of Serpents closely interwoven together; and being impelled into the air by the hissing of the serpents, was received by a horseman in a pure white cloth, who was obliged to retire precipitately from the spot, to escape the fury of the serpents, who usually pursued the fugitive until they were impeded by a river which they were unable to cross.36
The Serpent with its tail in its mouth, was an emblem of Eternity with the Druids; and it read to the initiated a striking lesson on the certainty of death ; teaching them the universal fiat of nature, that every one who is born into the world must return to the place from whence he came, and be resolved into his original dust.
The reason to be assigned for the general worship of the Serpent, may, with some probability, be as follows : Man, having brought himself under the domination of Satan, not only by listening to his suggestions in the garden, but by a subsequent renunciation of the primitive worship; and feeling that he was accursed without possessing in himself the means of restoration to the divine favour, was willing to propitiate the being to whom all his misery was to be attributed, and who was hence esteemed the arbiter of his fate, by offering for his acceptance the rites of divine worship. Hence we find that in every system of idolatry, the chief deities were said to have taken up their abode in the bodies of Serpents ; and a serpent attached to the statue of a god in any part of the world, was considered an unequivocal mark of his divinity; from which belief, the devil, in holy Scripture, is usually denominated a Serpent or Dragon.37
The antiquity of Serpent worship cannot be safely asserted; but it might commenct very soon affer the institution of idolatry for Taut or Thoth was esteemed by the Phoenicians as the first person vho introduced the worship of Serpents amongst mankind;38 and Thoth or Pathrusim was the great grandson of Noah. It may be reasonably conjectured, however that the veneration of this animal might date its original even from Paradise; for it is an ancient opinion,39 that the Angels of heaven who conversed with Adam before his unhappy fall, assumed the form of winged serpents. On any other principle, it will be difficult to conceive how our great mother should so familiarlyy admit the approaches of an animal, which, she would otherwise be certain, could neither speak nor act rationally. But if the angels associated with Adam in this specific form, the difficulty vanishes ; for, our grand adversary, by assuming a shape which would elude suspicion, might reasonably expect to succeed in accomplishing his perfidious purposes. And hence it should appear that this animal, which, from the splendour of its colours, and the geometrical exactness of the figures which nature has painted on the outer surface of its skin, is possessed of great external beauty, was, before the fall, an object of unmixed admiration and delight unequalled by any other created animal. It was subsequently to that melancholy deviation from God’s commands, that the Serpent became an object of horror and loathing to mankind, and was unquestionably worshipped by the first idolaters in the way of propitiation.
It must here be observed, that in the mythology of heathen nations, two kinds of Serpents were introduced, endowed with different and contrary attributes. The one was malignant, a symbol of the evil principle, and accounted instrumental in producing the universal deluge [,] the other beneficent, and supposed to possess every good and estimable quality. And these powers are represented as engaged in acts of continued hostility.
In the ages immediately subsequent to the flood, the sons of Noah would propagate amongst their posterity the fact, that the knowledge of good and evil was acquired by the original parents of mankind through the intervention of a Serpent, endowed with Speech, Wisdom, and Foresight. Such a representation, proceeding, from authority, would naturally induce a high degree of respect and veneration for an animal possessing these extraordinary attributes; which would soon degenerate into actual worship, when the truu God was entirely forsaken. This may be assumed as the true cause of Serpent worship ; and, it is highly probable that both Jews and Christians, as well as acknowiedged idolaters, have adored this animal on precisely the same principle.
Amongst the nations contiguous to the Jews, it might have a further reference to the Seraphim or ministering Angels of that people ; for, Saraph signifies equally a fiery Serpent40 and an Angel.41 And the miraculous cures effected by the Brazen Serpent would give an additional impulse to the practice; particularly when we consider that at a subsequent period, the Israelites themseIves elevated this very symbol into an object of idolatrous worship.42 And I may add, with a learned mythologist, often quoted, that "since the fiery and flitting appearance of the Seraphim stationed before the garden of Eden would bear a considerable resemblance to that of the fiery flying Serpent; and, since the very same appellation was employed to designate each of them, it was not unnatural to conclude, that the form of the flying Serpent entered into the composition of the Seraphic, or Cherubic emblems. We have no warrant, indeed, from Scripture, to suppose that this was really the case; yet the notion itself, however erroneous, seems to have been of very great antiquity; and the existence of such a notion would obviously cause the serpent, particularly the winged serpent, to be viewed as a fit symbol of the Agathodæmon."43
Before I conclude this account of Serpent worship, I cannot omit to lay before you a very curious and extraordinary account of the same superstition, as practised by a sect of Christians who were denominated Ophitæ, "both from the veneration they had for the Serpent that tempted Eve, and the worship they paid to a real Serpent. They pretended that the Serpent was Jesus Christ, and that he taught them the knowledge of good and evil. They distinguished between Jesus and Christ: Jesus, they said, was born of the Virgin, but Christ came down from heaven to be united with him ; Jesus was crucified, but Christ had left him to return to heaven. They had a live Serpent which they kept in a kind of cage; at certain times they opened the cage-door, and called the Serpent: the animal came out and mounting upon the table, twined itself about some loaves of bread : this bread they broke, and distributed it to the company, who all kissed the Serpent in turn. This they called their Eucharist.44
Thus have I exhibited, for your consideration, a very comprehensive account of the origin and uses of this emblem in every nation of the ancient world. Amongst Masons, as I have already observed, it serves to remind us of our fall in Adam and our restoration in Christ; who has not only bruised the Serpent’s head, but has restricted his power, and frustrated his malevolent intentions, by revealing to mankind the conditions of salvation, purchased by his own sufferings and death.

Footnotes moved to endnotes:

1.[unnumbered in original text] Matt. x. 16.
^
2.Calm. Dict. vol. i. p. 37.
^
3.Brown’s Vulg. Err. p. v. c. 4.
^
4.Family Bible. Note on Gen. iii. 1
^
5.Rev. xx. 2.
^
6.Jude 6.
^
7.Potter (Archæol. Graec. 1. 2. c. 9.) gives a fearful account of the connection between serpents and oracles. He says that "under the tripos where the Pythia delivered her responses, sometimes appeared a dragon that returned answers; and that the Pythia was once killed by him. And Eusebius reports [Greek omitted], that a serpent rolled himself about the tripod." How potent soever might be the spirit which communicated inspiration to the Pythia, many instances are on record where the priestess refused to yield obedience to his injunctions. Bribes have been accepted by several of the Pythiae ; who, for a stipulated remuneration, did [Greek omitted], or deliver their oracles at the dictation of their employers; and Nero dared the vengeance of the spirits of the sacred cavern by openly polluting it with the blood of men slain at the cavern’s mouth. But when barbarism gave way to civilization, these Oracles certainly began to fail ; and at the appearance of Jesus Christ to show mankind their fallacy, and guide them by the light of truth under the high sanction of revelation, they became wholly silent, and were heard no more. (Plut. de orac. defec.) Juvenal, in his sixth Satire, says, Delphis oracula cessant. And Strabo (1. 7.) says, that in the time of Augustus Caesar the oracle at Dodona ceased to give responses.
^
8.Strabo. 1. vii.
^
9.Suid. in voc. Delphi.
^
10.How extraordinary that every remarkable event which actually occurred in the infancy of the world, was accurately preserved by idolatrous nations, how widely soever they had departed from that peculiar people to whom the conservation of the antediluvian history was committed. A Son of the first man was violently assaulted and slain by his brother, as we are told by Moses. Accordingly other nations have a corresponding tradition. Sanchoniatho bas recorded that a Son of Uranas was killed by his brothers. In Diodorus we find Hesperion meets a similar fate; and the Persian annals represent Siarneck the son of Cai-Amurath, the first king of Persia, as being killed by giants.—Howard’s Thoughts on the Structure of the Globe, p. 229.
^
11.Vid. Maurice’s Hist. of Hindostan, Plates, vol. ii. p. 290.
^
12.Moor’s Hind. Panth, p. 336.
^
13.Edda. Fab. 27.
^
14.lbid. Fab. 32.
^
15.Apol. i. p. 60.
^
16.Kirch. in Oedip- syn. 18. p. 508. Herod in Euterp.
^
17.Euseb. præp. evan. 1. iii. e. Il.
^
18.Vid. Belzoni’s Researches in Egypt, Plates.
^
19.Euseb. præp. evan. 1. i c. 10.
^
20.Strabo. 1. xv. Suid. in voc.
^
21.Montf. Ant. vol. ii. p. 368.
^
22.Maurice’s Indian Ant. vol. v. p. 1015.
^
23.Seeley’s Elora, p. 175.
^
24.Ibid. p. 216.
^
25.Couplet. Præf. ad Tab. Chron. p. 3. in Fab. Pag. Idol. vol. i. p. 453.
^
26.Du Halde’s China, vol. i. p. 270.
^
27.Marsden in Christ. Observ. 1810, Nov. p. 724.
^
28.28. Gage’s Surv. of the West Indies, p. 117.
^
29.Purch. Pilgr. b. viii. c. 11. p. 796.
^
30.30. Fab. Cabir. vol. i. p. 180.
^
31.31. Olaus Magnus, Hist. Septentr. l. xxi. c. 30.
^
32.Mont. Supplem. tom. ii. p. 221.
^
33.Borl. Ant. of Corn. p. 103.
^
34.Davies' Druids, p. 120, 12L
^
35.Letter from Dr. Stukeley to Mr. Gale, Stamford, June 25, 1730.
^
36.Vid. Antiq. of Masonry, p. 122, note.
^
37.Rev. xii. 9. xiii. 4.
^
38.Euseb. præp. evan. l. i c. 10.
^
39.Vid. Tenison’s Idolatry, c. 14.
^
40.Numb. xxi. 6, 8.
^
41.Isaiah vi.
^
42.2 Kings xviii. 4.
^
43.Fab. Pag. Idol. p. ii. c. 7.
^
44.Eneye. Perth. in voc. Ophites.
^

Dr. George Oliver, Signs and Symbols Illustrated and Explained in a Course of Twelve Lectures on Freemasonry. New Edition. New York : MaCoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., 1906. 185pp. [London : Grimsby, 1826]. Illustration: Grand Orient de France Masonic Lodge medel, 1806. A radiate triangle decorated with a masque, enclosed by the serpent of eternity. Silver, 30 mm. (1.2 inches). Unsigned. References: Bramsen 609; HCZ. 706.

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