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JEWELS OF FREEMASONRY
The Movable and Immovable Jewels of Freemasonry
by Torence Evans Ake W.P.M.
Originally presented during the Table Lodge held there December 27, 1991
The square, plumb, and level are the three immovable jewels of Freemasonry.Jewels because they embody certain truths namely, morality, equality and rectitude of life Immovable because in every lodge they are worn by the three principle officers who are always represented and in whose charge are sworn the responsibility to keep and perform the ancient usage’s and customs of the fraternity sacredly and inviolably.
The rough ashlar, perfect ashlar and tresleboard are the three movable jewels of Freemasonry. Now, to the uninitiated this distinction would seem implausible. Certainly, it would be easier to physically move three small bits of metal than two heavy stones and one awkward easel. But to speculative Masons, whose work transcends the physical world about us, we recognize that it is our duty and our pleasure to improve upon the crude form, towards the perfect; and, as officers and craftsmen, improve upon whatever design is currently displayed upon the tresleboard.
These too are representative jewels of Freemasons. Because we are taught that it is with these basic materials our operative ancestors created that magnificent edifice to Deity; and, it is by those tools previously named that they made it beautiful, more perfect and meaningful. Even today, when what remains of King Solomon's temple is just a memory, we as speculative masons are moved to discover that there has always been within its concepts pertinence just as it was functional six thousand years ago.
Every mason is interested in King Solomon's temple. We are familiar with the vital part this building plays in Masonry. Though nowhere in Blue Lodge ritual do we relate the inspiration of its conception to the candidate. Here is the story:
Solomon was anointed King before his father, King David, died. "And they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, ’God save King Solomon.' and all the people rejoiced with great joy." I KINGS Chapter 6 Then David charged his son to build a house to God, Lord of Israel. He said, "My Son as for me it was in my mind to build this house. But the Lord God came unto me saying you shall not build a house unto My name because you have spilt too much blood upon the land. A son shall be born to you and he shall build a house to My Name."
And God gave King Solomon great wisdom, seeing that his kingdom was established greatly and that the land was at peace. With the material that his Father had prepared and the assistance of his friend, Hiram, King of Tyre, Solomon built the temple.
"In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid, and in the eleventh year was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it."
His accomplishment was so great that we remember the events to this day, six thousand years in his future. It is the special privilege of us speculative Freemasons to remark upon its importance, and to preserve its significance to those that follow our paths.
Not only did Solomon discover the God's plan for his life, but he proceeded to follow that plan. What kind of Temple did the Lord want him to build? It was not enough to acquire timber from the mountains of Lebanon, convey them by sea in floats to Joppa, thence to Jerusalem, where they were set upon wooden mauls prepared for that purpose. It was not enough to hewn square and number the stones in the quarries where they were laid so that no sound would be heard at the temple of ax, hammer, or any tool of iron. It was not enough to forge silver and gold to cover the internal recesses of the temple. These acts were made consequential only by King Solomon's adherence to God's plan initiated before David's conception that he would have a son.
God has a plan for our lives and He expects that we work with Him to its fulfillment. He did not build the Temple Himself. As Deity God "moved upon the face of the waters and said, Let there be light and there was light." God put his plan into the hearts of David and Solomon, and it was they who performed it.
Having found God's plan, and having done his utmost to give this plan shape and form, Solomon demonstrated his faith that the Lord would enable him to execute that project. By His trestleboard, His stones, His square, compass and level. As speculative Masons let us make our life's work to improve ourselves and our fellow brothers by these great jewels of the Lodge. Perhaps, by putting into practice the great precepts we are taught in Lodge, we too can become to be as admired as our first Grand Master, Most Excellent King Solomon.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014