So does the Porch across which the Temple was approached; to be 'on the Porch' is a phrase used to describe a candidate awaiting initiation. The two Great Pillars, J The Altar of the Lodge is a representation of the Altar of the Temple. It is approached by Three, Five and Seven steps, as it was in the Temple. Our Lodge is called a quarry in commemoration of the quarries from which Solomon's craftsmen hewed their stone.
Solomon's Temple and Freemasonry's Origins - Freemasonry On Trial
In Masonry however-and this is the point that needs first to be emphasized-both as a building and as a chapter out of history, Solomon's Temple is used as a symbol; or rather, I had better say, a system of symbols. We are not interested in its history or architecture as such; it matters not at all if the Ritual says certain things about it that cannot be verified by the records because our Ritual is intended to teach, not history, but certain moral and spiritual truths. Freemasonry was founded centuries ago, as you have already learned, by the Operative Masons.
They were builders of structures of Stone and the scaffolds, and the great purpose of their art was to shape and set stone so that the design laid down on the trestle board would stand embodied, in every part and detail, before the eye.
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In the course of time this Operative Craft developed into a Speculative Fraternity. Masons ceased to be builders of wood and stone and became builders of men, architects of human life.
- A visit to King Solomon's Temple.
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What kind of human life should Masonry build? Life is a stuff that may be shaped in many forms.
KING SOLOMON'S TEMPLE
What form would Masonry have it take? The answer, like all of Masonry's answers, is stated in the terms of symbolism: That Temple was built by a king able to command thousands of workmen, rich enough to purchase the finest of materials brought from the ends of the earth, a wise king who knew exactly what he was doing and why. So should a man be a king over himself, in the building of his life, using his five senses and all his faculties as his workmen, selecting out of the quarries of his nature only such materials as a king would use, and wise enough to plan his life aright.
King Solomon called to his assistance the most expert builder he could find, Hiram Abiff, who was also a skilled worker in brass and in the precious metals. So also should a man call into the building of his life only the best influences and the noblest of teachers, such as understand life and know how to shape it to the ends of goodness, beauty and truth.
Exhibition – Building Solomon’s Temple
At the centre of Solomon's Temple was a Holy of Holies, or Sanctum Sanctorum; this was not an architectural device, or a thing done for display, but that about which the Temple was built, its purpose as a structure, the centre according to which all else was designed. Similarly there must be a Holy of Holies at the heart of a man, in his soul, in his conscience; principles and ideals such that he would prefer death to having them profaned by evil.
Solomon's Temple was dedicated to God.
The formation of an English lodge in Jerusalem was the result of the opening up of the area to archaeology and tourism from the middle of the nineteenth century in which many freemasons were involved. Freemasons such as the American Rob Morris and Sir Charles Warren journeyed to Jerusalem on archaeological excavations and wrote about their visits. The recovery of archaeological remains and the development of tourism enabled them to bring back tangible fragments to furnish English lodge rooms and reinforce the imaginary Masonic temple.
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