General Ahiman Rezon, by Daniel Sickels, , at sacred-texts.com
A Lodge has three symbolic lights:—one in the East, one in the West, and one in the South.
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The fixed lights of the Lodge were formerly represented by "three windows, supposed to be in every room where a Lodge is
held; referring to the cardinal points of the compass, according to the antique rules of Masonry." There was one in the East, another in the West, and another in the South, to light the men to, at, and from labor; but there was none in the North, because the sun darts no rays from thence. These constitute the symbolic situations of the three chief officers. Hence it is affirmed that "a Lodge is, or ought to be, a true representation of King SOLOMON'S temple, which was situated north of the ecliptic; the sun and moon, therefore, darting their rays from the south, no light was to be expected from the north; we, therefore, masonically, term the north a place of darkness." The Master's place is in the East, to call the brethren to labor; the Junior Warden is placed in the South, to cheer and encourage them at their work; and the Senior Warden in the West, to dismiss them from their daily toil.
This description of a Masonic Lodge will be found to embrace a perfect picture of the universe, both in its attributes and its extent. The sun governs the day, the moon the night, and the stars illumine the spangled canopy of heaven; while the earth is spread with a carpet of natural mosaic work, beautiful to the eye, and administering to the necessities of man.
A Lodge has six jewels; three movable and three immovable.
The immovable jewels are the SQUARE, LEVEL, and PLUMB. *
The Square inculcates morality; the Level, equality; and the Plumb, rectitude of conduct.
The movable jewels are the ROUGH ASHLAR, the PERFECT ASHLAR, and the TRESTLE-BOARD. †
The Rough Ashlar is a stone as taken from the quarry in its rude and natural state. The Perfect Ashlar is a stone made ready by the hands of the workmen, to be adjusted by the working-tools of the Fellow Craft. The Trestle-board is for the Master-workman to draw his designs upon.
By the Rough Ashlar we are reminded of our rude and imperfect state by nature; by the Perfect Ashlar, of that state of perfection at which we hope to arrive by a virtuous education, our own endeavors, and the blessing of God; and by the Trestle-board we are also reminded that, as the operative workman erects his temporal building agreeably to the rules and designs laid down by the Master on his Trestle-board, so should we, both operative and speculative, endeavor to erect our spiritual building in accordance with the designs laid down by the Supreme Architect of the Universe, in the Great Book of Nature and Revelation, which is our spiritual, moral, and Masonic Trestle-board.
The Trestle-board is for the Master to draw his plans and designs upon, that the building may be constructed with order and regularity. It refers to the Sacred Volume, which is denominated the Trestle-board of the Grand Architect of the Universe, because in that Holy Book he has laid down such magnificent plans and holy designs, that, were we conversant therein and adherent thereto, it
would prepare us for that building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
83:* They are called Immovable jewels, because they are always to be found in the East, West, and South parts of the Lodge, being worn by the Master, Senior Warden, and Junior Warden.
83:† Such is the generally-acknowledged division of the jewels in the Lodges in this country; but in the English Lodges, the reverse is the case. There, the Rough and Perfect Ashlars and the Trestle-board are the immovable jewels, and the Square, Level, and Plumb are the movable, because they descend from one set of officers to their successors.