Level and the Plumb Rule.
You will recall the relevant Section of the Tracing Board reads as follows:-
“ The Jewels of the Lodge are three movable and three immovable. The three movable jewels are the Square, the Level and the Plumb Rule. Among operative Masons the Square is to try, and adjust rectangular corners of buildings, and assist in bringing rude matter into due form; the Level is to lay levels and prove horizontals; the Plumb Rule is to try, and adjust uprights, while fixing them on their proper bases.
Among, Free and Accepted Masons, The Square teaches morality, the Level equality, and the Plumb Rule justness and uprightness of life and actions. They are called the movable jewels, because, they are worn by the Master and his Wardens, and are transferable to their successors on nights of Installation. The Master is distinguished by the Square, the Senior Warden by the Level and the Junior Warden by the Plumb Rule.”
You will note that I have highlighted the subjects for this edition and it is my hope, with the assistance of good reference material, to shed some further light on both the Level and the Plumb Rule.
The reference material I am about to share with you has been taken from “Freemasons’ Guide and Compendium. Written by Bernard E. Jones (a good addition to any Masonic library)
Levels and Plumb Rules
Levels and Plumb Rules are closely related. In each of the time honoured patterns a line is caused to hang dead vertically by means of a weight, or bob. The bottom face, or edge, of the level is at right angles to the line, and indicates horizontals, while the sides of the plumb-rule are parallel with the line, and indicate verticals. (Similarly, a spirit level may at the same time be a plumb-rule)
The Freemason is taught that the purpose of the level is to lay levels and prove horizontals, and that of the plumb-rule to try and adjust uprights, while fixing them on their proper bases.
“TRY and ADJUST” not “TRY to ADJUST” for the word “TRY” here is used in the old sense of testing.
Symbolically, the level teaches equality and the plumb-rule justice and uprightness of life and actions. We are taught the level demonstrates that we have all sprung from the same stock and are partakers of the same nature and sharers in the same hope, while the plumb-rule, the criterion of rectitude and truth, teaches us to walk uprightly before God and man.
At Pompeii (destroyed A.D. 79) a table was discovered bearing the representation of a skull, level and wheel, the whole being interpreted as meaning that death is the great leveller.
They are also the subject of significant Biblical references. In Isaiah xxviii, 16-17 we read:
“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet.”
The BALANCE is an old Masonic emblem, but the close relationship between it and the level is seldom recognized, although to the Romans the craftsman’s level was libella or libra, both words meaning “balance “, and their word for “leveling” also meant “weighing”. The balance is the symbol of justice and impartiality, and the figure, too, of man’s merits and demerits, one weighed against the other, and also of the things of the soul in one pan outweighing all the things of the earth loaded into the other pan.
Hopefully this material has beneficially added to your current understanding of these tools.
Strangers Are Friends We Haven’t Met
God knows No Stranger, He loves us all,
the poor, the rich, the great, the small….
He is a friend who is always there
To share our troubles and lessen our care……..
No one is a stranger in God’s sight,
For God is Love and in His Light
May we too, try in our small way
To make New Friends from day to day…
So pass no stranger with an unseeing eye,
For God may be sending a NEW FRIEND by.
Taken from “Someone Cares” by Helen Steiner Rice.
Some Interesting Thoughts (for your amusement)
- Can an atheist get insurance for” Acts of God”?
- If quitters never win, and winners never quit, what fool came up with “Quit while your ahead”
- What was the best thing BEFORE sliced bread?
- We are all born naked, wet and hungry, then things get worse.
- Be nice to your kids. They are the ones who will choose your nursing home.
- Does Fuzzy Logic tickle?
- Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?
- How come we never hear about “gruntled” employees?
I don’t have a solution, but I do admire your problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!