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

The Furniture of the Lodge

Consists of the Holy Bible, Square, and Compasses. The Bible is dedicated to the service of God, because it is the inestimable gift of God to man, * * * *; the Square to the Master, because it is the proper Masonic emblem of his office; and the Compasses to the Craft, because, by a due attention to their use, they are taught to circumscribe their desires, and keep their passions within due bounds.

The Square is given to the whole Masonic body, because we are all obligated with it, and are consequently bound to act thereon. As it is by the assistance of the Square that all rude matter is brought into due form, so it is by the square conduct of the Master that all animosities are made to subside, should any unfortunately arise in the Lodge, and the business of Masonry is thereby better conducted. The ungovernable passions and uncultivated nature of man stand as much in need of the Square and Compasses to bring them into order, and to adorn us with the beauty of holiness, as those instruments of Masonry are necessary to bring rude matter into form, or to make a block of marble fit for the polished corners of the temple.

The following appropriate illustrations of the three Great Lights of Masonry may be introduced with beautiful effect:

As more immediate guides for a Freemason, the Lodge is furnished with unerring rules, whereby he shall form his conduct.

p. 81

[paragraph continues] The Book of the Law is laid before him, that he may not say, through ignorance he erred; whatever the Great Architect of the world hath dictated to mankind, as the mode in which he should be served, and the path in which to tread, is to obtain his approbation; whatever precepts he bath administered, and with whatever laws he hath inspired the sages of old, the same are faithfully comprised in the Book of the Law of Masonry. That book reveals the duties which the Great Master of all exacts from us: open to every eye—comprehensible to every mind. Then who shall say among us, that he knoweth not the acceptable service?

The Rule, the Square, and the Compasses, are emblematical of the conduct we should pursue in society. To observe punctuality in all our engagements, faithfully and religiously to discharge those important obligations which we owe to God and our neighbor; to be upright in all our dealings; to hold the scales of Justice in equal poise; to square our actions by the unerring rule of God's sacred word; to keep within compass and bounds with all mankind, particularly with a brother; to govern our expenses by our incomes; to curb our sensual appetites; to keep within bounds those unruly passions which oftentimes interfere with the enjoyments of society, and degrade both the man and the Freemason; to recall to our minds that, in the great scale of existence, the whole family of mankind are upon a level with each other, and that the only question of preference among Freemasons should be, who is most wise, who is most good? For the time will come, and none of us know how soon, when death, the great leveler of all human greatness, will rob us of our distinctions, and bring us to a level with the dust.

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