We may have come across freemason symbols in many places including architecture, cinemas, and literature. Most of us are probably ignorant about what they mean. More than half of these symbols have been used since time immemorial.
Many Masonic symbols are associated with tools of trade used by the pioneer freemasons and the middle age stonemasons. Examples of such tools include: Masonic apron, gavel, compass, square, level, and trowel gauge.
The reasoning behind freemasonry hinged on the Bible’s view of God as an authoritative figure who allows free will. If this were not the case, freedom and the rule of law would be foreign concepts. The choice to believe or not to believe in God’s sovereignty is subject to one’s inclination.
In the freemason world, the master of the lodge stands for the same authority as God in the universe. Masonic teachings for the student depict the east as the direction where the master is always station while the west and south are directions for the senior and junior wardens respectively.
The lodge master is given a Masonic gavel during his installation. He is then told that it is an emblem of his authority. Nonetheless, the authority bestowed on him can still be misused if he chooses to do evil. Bottom line is that authority can be exercised in wise restraint rather than coercion. King Solomon in the Bible is said to be the sole inspiration of this philosophy.
The common gavel, which is used by stonemasons, has one pointed end. It is used to shape stones and bricks. In a similar figurative way, the Masonic gavel is used as a pointer to the act of doing away with the unregenerate nature of man.
The master of the lodge understands that they serve as a representation of God’s divine authority which is meant to exercise restraint. The sceptre, which is represented by the gavel, highlights this point. When a master lacks self-control and exercises his authority through force, he is deemed to have failed in his mandate.
A master who exercises restraint symbolically grants the brethren freedom to feel the loving guidance of their deity. This kind of master uses the message behind the gavel’s sceptre for his subject’s good by keeping his naturally impulsive side under control.
In training, a Masonic student is also educated about the message in the compass. The student is supposed to exercise restraint on his passions and desires when interacting with other people, more so, fellow masons.
The many teachings in Freemasonry through different symbols are meant to teach the learner to exercise restraint in many issues of life so as to live in harmony with all people.