Working Tools of the Craft Degrees

 

The Working Tools of an Entered Apprentice Mason

The Twenty-Four Inch Gauge is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to measure and lay out their work. but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of dividing our time. it being divided into twenty-four equal parts, is emblematical of the twenty-four hours of the day; which we are taught to divide into three parts, whereby we find a portion for the service of God and a distressed worthy Brother; a portion for our usual vocations, and a portion for refreshment and sleep.

The Common Gavel is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to break off the rough and superfluous parts of 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 minds and consciences of all the vices and superfluities of life, thereby fitting ourselves as living stones, for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

 

The Working Tools of a Fellowcraft Mason

The Plumb is an instrument made use of by operative masons to raise perpendiculars, the Square to square their work, and the Level to lay 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 remembering that we are traveling upon the Level of Time, to "that undiscovered country, from whose bourne no traveler returns."

 

The Working Tools of a Master Mason

The Trowel is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to spread the cement which unites a building in one common mass; but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection; that cement which unites us into one sacred band, or society of friends and brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who can best work and best agree.