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The new lodges began as convivial societies, and their characteristic Masonic spirit developed but slowly.
This spirit, finally, as exhibited in the new constitutions was in contradiction to that which animated the earlier Masons.
 It is true that in earlier times gentlemen who were neither operative masons nor architects, the so-called geomatic Masons  joined with the operative, or dogmatic, Masons in their lodges, observed ceremonies of admission, and had their signs of recognition.
These freemasons formed a universal craft for themselves, with a system of secret signs and passwords by which a craftsman, who had been admitted on giving evidence of competent skill, could be recognized.English-speaking Masons style them "landmarks", a term taken from Deuteronomy , and signifying "the boundaries of Masonic freedom", or the unalterable limits within which all Masons have to confine themselves.Mackey  specifies no less than twenty-five landmarks.The same number is adopted by Whitehead  "as the pith of the researches of the ablest masonic writers".The principle of them are  In truth there is no authority in Freemasonry to constitute such "unchangeable" landmarks or fundamental laws.
It is claimed also that Pythagoras founded the Druidic institution and hence that Masonry probably existed in England 500 years before the Christian Era.