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The greatest of these is Charity; for our Faith may be lost in sight; Hope ends in fruition; but Charity extends beyond the grave, through the boundless realms of eternity. Every well-governed lodge is furnished with the Holy Bible, the Square, and the Compasses.
The Holy Bible is dedicated to God; the Square, to the Master; and the Compasses, to the Craft.
As more immediate guides for a Free Mason, the lodge is furnished with unerring rules, whereby he shall form his conduct. 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 would be served, and the path in which to tread is to obtain his approbation; whatever precepts he hath 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 Bible is dedicated to 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 Ornaments of a Lodge are the Mosaic pavement, the indented tessel, and the blazing star. The Mosaic pavement is a representation of the ground floor of King Solomon's temple; the indented tessel, that beautiful tesselated border, or skirting, which surrounded it; and the blazing star in the centre, is commemorative of that Providence which continually surveys our actions.
The Mosaic pavement is emblematic of human life. As
the steps of man are trod in the various and uncertain incidents of life; as our days are chequered with a strange contrariety of events, and our passage through this existence, though sometimes attended with prosperous circumstances, is often beset by a multitude of evils; hence is the lodge furnished with Mosaic work, to remind us of the precariousness of our state on earth; to-day, our feet tread in prosperity; to-morrow, we totter on the uneven paths of weakness, temptation, and adversity. Whilst this emblem is before us, we are instructed to boast of nothing; to have compassion, and give aid to those who are in adversity; to walk uprightly, and with humility; for such is this existence, that there is no station in which pride can be stably founded-all men in birth and in the grave are on a level. Whilst we tread on this Mosaic work, let our ideas return to the original which it copies; and let every Mason act as the dictates of reason prompt him, to live in brotherly love. The beautiful border which surrounds this pavement, is emblematic of those manifold blessings and comforts which surround us, and which we hope to enjoy by a faithful reliance on Divine Providence, which is hieroglyphically represented by the blazing star in the centre.
The moveable and immoveable Jewels also claim our attention in this section.
The rough ashler is a stone as taken from the its rude and natural state.
The perfect ashler 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 ashler, we are reminded of our rude and imperfect state by nature; by the perfect ashler, that state of perfection at which we hope to arrive by a virtuous education, our own endeavours, and the blessing of God; and by the trestle board, we are also reminded, that as the ope