General Ahiman Rezon, by Daniel Sickels, , at sacred-texts.com
Its form is * * * *. Its dimensions, from east to west, embracing every clime between north and south. In fact, its universal chain of friendship encircles every portion of the human family, and beams wherever civilization extends.
The form of a Lodge should always be an oblong square, in length, between the east and the west; in breadth, between the north and the south; in height, from earth to heaven; and in depth, from the surface to the center. This disposition serves to indicate the prevalence of Freemasonry over the whole face of the globe, guarded by its laws, and ornamented by its beautiful tenets. Every civilized region is illuminated by its presence. Its charity relieves the wretched; its brotherly love unites the Fraternity in a chain of indissoluble affection, and extends its example beyond the limits of the lodge-room, to embrace, in its ample scope, the whole human race, infolding them in its arms of universal love. The square form was esteemed by our ancient operative brethren as one of the Greater Lights, and a component part of the furniture of the Lodge. The double cube is an expressive emblem of the united powers of darkness and light in the creation.
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The Masonic Lodge, bounded only by the extreme points of the compass, the highest heavens, and the lowest depth of the central abyss, is metaphorically supported by three great pillars,
which are denominated WISDOM, * STRENGTH, † and BEAUTY: ‡ because there should be wisdom to contrive, strength to support, and beauty to adorn all great and important undertakings. The universe is the temple of the DEITY whom we serve: Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty are about His throne as pillars of His work; for His wisdom is infinite, His strength is omnipotent, and His beauty shines forth through all His creation in symmetry and order.
As the work of building the temple at Jerusalem was conducted by the wisdom of SOLOMON, the strength of Mutant, king of Tyre, and the beauty, or cunning workmanship of HIRAM ABIFF, so the labors of the Lodge are supported by the wisdom, strength, and beauty of the three presiding-officers, who occupy the prominent stations in the East, West, and South; thus locally forming a triangle,
which is a sacred emblem, and unitedly constituting one chief governor, by which the affairs of the Lodge are conducted, and without the presence of all three, or their legally-appointed representatives, no Lodge can be opened for the transaction of business, nor can any candidate be legally initiated therein.
77:* WISDOM is represented by the Ionic column and the W. M.; because the Ionic column wisely combines the strength without the massiveness of the Doric; with the grace, without the exuberance of ornament, of the Corinthian; and because it is the duty of the W. M. to superintend, instruct, and enlighten the Craft by his superior wisdom. SOLOMON, king of Israel, is also considered as the column of wisdom that supported the temple.
77:† STRENGTH is represented by the Doric column and the S. W.; because the Doric is the strongest and most massive of the Orders, and because it is the duty of the S. W., by an attentive superintendence of the Craft, to aid the W. M. in the performance of his duties, and to strengthen and support his authority. HIRAM, king of Tyre, is also considered as the representative of the column of strength which supported the temple.
77:‡ BEAUTY is represented by the Corinthian column and the J. W,; because the Corinthian is the most beautiful and highly finished of the Orders, and because the situation of the J. W. in the S. enables him the better to observe that bright luminary which, at its meridian height, is the beauty and glory of the day.—Thus, by the united energies of these three presiding-officers, the system is adorned and established firm as a rock in mid-ocean, braving the malignant shafts of envy and detraction; its summit gilded with the rays of the meridian sun, though stormy winds and waves beat furiously on its base.