General Ahiman Rezon, by Daniel Sickels, , at sacred-texts.com
The Working-Tools of a Fellow-Craft are the PLUMB, the SQUARE, and the LEVEL.
The Plumb is an instrument made use of by Operative Masons, to try perpendiculars; the Square, to square their work; and the Level, to prove horizontals: but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of them for more noble and glorious purposes:—the Plumb admonishes us to walk uprightly in our several stations before GOD and man, squaring our actions by the Square of Virtue, and ever remembering that we are traveling upon the Level of Time, to " that undiscovered country, from whose bourne no traveler returns." * * *
The symbols of those instruments used by architects are unknown to common observers, who merely see in them the simple Square, the Level, and the Plumb; but Free and Accepted Masons recognize them as emblems of certain moral principles and religious duties, which, if followed out as they should be, would render all men valuable members of society. The Square, as an emblem of morality, teaches us to square our lives and actions by the unerring laws of GOD'S Word, and to regulate our conduct according to the doctrine laid down by our divine Creator; to preserve a lively faith in his Holy Gospel, which, in the most impressive manner, teaches us to live in brotherly love with all mankind. The Level is an emblem of equality; and reminds us that, in the sight of GOD, all men are equal; that He causes the sun to shine on the poor man's cottage, as well as on the king's palace; with Him there is no distinction, unless we so far forget our duty as to neglect and disobey the divine commands. The Plumb, signifying uprightness, reminds us to observe justice and equity in all our dealings on earth; so that, through the great mercy of GOD, we may hope to obtain an entrance into the Grand Lodge above, held in that temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
THE second section of this degree has reference to the origin of the Institution, and views MASONRY under two denominations—OPERATIVE and SPECULATIVE. These are separately considered, and the principles on which both are founded, particularly explained. Their affinity is pointed out by allegorical figures and typical representations. The period stipulated for rewarding merit is fixed, and the inimitable moral to which that circumstance alludes is explained; the creation of the world is described, and many other particulars recited, all of which have been carefully preserved among Masons, and transmitted from one age to another by oral tradition.
Circumstances of great importance to the Fraternity are here particularized, and many traditional tenets and customs
confirmed by sacred and profane record. The celestial and terrestrial globes are considered with a minute accuracy; and here the accomplished Craftsman may display his talents to advantage in the elucidation of the ORDERS OF ARCHITECTURE, the SENSES of human nature, and the liberal ARTS AND SCIENCES, which are severally classed in a regular arrangement. In short, this section contains a store of valuable knowledge, founded on reason and sacred record, both entertaining and instructive.