The Masonic Trowel

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a masonic bible presentation

In all the rich symbolism of Ancient Craft Masonry two symbols, or symbolic themes predominate. One is the search for light, the other is the labor of building. The source of light is the Holy Bible, the grand representation of the builders art is King Solomon’s Temple.

Searching persistently and building carefully, the candidate travels slowly toward the East. As he pursues his quest for light and more light and still further light in Masonry, he learns by the way to use the working tools of the stone craftsman, until, at last, he finds himself portraying the Character of the greatest of all legendary builders, the Master Architect of King Solomon’s Temple. Searching and Building, Light and the Temple, -- the two dominant Masonic themes are distinct but not separate, complimentary rather than supplementary.

The Temple in the Masonic ritual is almost, but not quite completed; the allegory rises from a physical to a spiritual Temple: “A house, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

But the search and the labor for complete illumination are not completed by the candidate within the Lodge. Light is revealed, and the sacred source of all light is clearly indicated, but regardless of any spiritual symbolism that may be hidden in our Masonic Ceremonies, the unending search, and the labor toward perfection, once begun in the Lodge, must continue with the initiated Mason, not only within the sanctuary of the Masonic Temple, but also among the larger world, and for all the days of his life.

Philosophers tell us that time is a river, and that books are boats. Many volumes start down that stream, only to be wrecked and lost beyond recall in its sands. Only a few, a very few, endure the testing of time and survive to bless the ages that follow.

As Masons, we pay homage to the greatest of all books -- the one enduring book which has travelled down that river from the beginning of time, and which is freighted with the richest treasures that any book has ever presented to humanity.

My Brethren here is a Book whose scene is the sky and the dirt and all that lies between.     A Book that has in it the arch of the heavens, the curve of the earth, the ebb and flow of the sea, sunrise and sunset, the peaks of mountains and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters, the shadow of forests on the hills, the song of birds and the color of flowers.

But its two great characters are God and the Soul, and the story of their eternal life together is its one, everlasting, romance.

It is the most human of books, telling the old forgotten secrets of the heart. its bitter pessimism its death defying hope, its pain, its passion, its sin, its sob of grief and its shout of joy...      telling all, without malice, in its Grand Style which can do no wrong, while echoing the sweet-toned pathos of the pity and mercy of God.

No other book is so honest with us, so mercilessly merciful, so austere yet so tender, piercing the heart, yet healing the deep wounds of sin and sorrow.

My Brother, take this great and simple Book, white with age yet new with the dew of each new morn, tested by the sorrowful and victorious experiences of centuries, rich in memories and wet with the tears of multitudes who walked this way before us...       Lay it to heart, love it, read it, learn what life is, what it means to be a man; aye, learn that God hath made us for himself, and unquiet are our hearts till they rest in Him. Make it your friend and your teacher and you will know what Sir Walter Scott meant, when, as he lay dying, he asked Lockhart to read to him... “From what book?’ asked Lockhart,

“...and Scott replied: There is but one Book!’

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Last modified: March 22, 2014