Masonic Education - October 2018

In this portion of our website, I will present various articles that I hope readers will find interesting and educational. Hopefully a new one each (calendar) month. Most, if not all articles will not be my own creation, so I will indicate my source of information. Should I depart from or add to the original script, I will indicate in brackets [ ]. As some of the entries on a website are done in ''code'', there may be slight variations from the original script which I may not indicate in the brackets.

THE COMMON GAVEL:

COMMON GAVEL: Is an instrument made use of by operative masons to break off the corners of rough stones, the better to fit them for the builder's use; but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of divesting our hearts and consciences of all the vices and superfluities of life; thereby fitting our minds, as living stones, for that spiritual building-that house not made with hands-eternal in the heavens.

The Common Gavel is an important instrument of labor, without which no work of manual skill can be completed; from which we learn that skill without industry will be of no avail, and labor is the lot of man; for the heart may conceive, and the head devise in vain, if the hand be not prompt to execute the design.

Masons are called moral builders. In their rituals they declare, emphatically, that a more noble and glorious purpose than squaring stones and hewing timbers is theirs-fitting immortal nature for that spiritual building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. It is said that the construction of the pyramids of Egypt employed the labor of one hundred thousand men for many years, but it was only to build monumental piles, beneath whose shadows kings might rest. These pyramids are only temples for the dead; Masons are building one for the living. The pyramids were only mausoleums in which the bones of the mighty dead might repose in imperial magnificence; Masons are erecting a structure in which the God of Israel shall dwell for ever. The pyramid shall crumble away, till not one stone shall be left upon another; but who shall count the years of immortality, the life-time of the soul, which is fitted for its place in the heavens? Who can define its outlines, or fathom its depths, or measure its journey! It is a stream which grows broader and deeper as it flows onward. An angel's eye cannot measure its length, nor an angel's wing travel to its farthest boundary. When earth's proudest monumental piles have crumbled away, and that sand been scattered by the desert winds, and the glory and greatness of earth shall be forgotten, then will the immortal be pluming its wings for loftier flights. It is a fountain whose sources are in the Infinite, and whose placid waters flow on for ever-a spring-time that shall bloom, educating immortal mind for the present, the future, for all ages-is acknowledged to be one of the essential objects of Masonic labors. The builder builds for a century; Masons, for eternity. The painter paints for a generation; they, for everlasting years.

from General Ahiman Rezon, by Daniel Sickels, [1868], at sacred-texts.com

I thank our Webmaster for allowing me to contine in contributing to the Masonic Education portion of the website.

R.W. Bro. Robert South