from the book Encylcopedia of Freemasonry & its Kindred Sciences
by Albert C. Mackey M. D.
This book is in the public domain. The text was duplicated from the book using Optical Character Recognition software and errors may be present.
Parallel Lines - In every well-regulated Lodge there is found a point within a circle, which circle is imbordered by two perpendicular parallel lines. These lines are representative of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, the two great patrons of Freemasonry to whom our Lodges are dedicated, and who are said to have been "perfect parallels in Christianity as well as Freemasonry".
In those English Lodges which have adopted the Union System established by the Grand Lodge of England in 1813. and where the dedication is "to God and his service," the lines parallel represent Moses and Solomon. As a symbol, the parallel lines are not to be found in the earlier instructions of Freemasonry. Though Oliver defines the symbol on the authority of what he calls the Old Lectures, it is not to be found, any anterior to Preston, and even he only refers to the parallelism of the two Saints John.