Official Visit to Euclid Lodge No. 92

Worshipful Master,
Distinguished East
Past & Present Grand Lodge Officers
Brethren All,

If this was Sesame Street, my short talk this evening would be said to be brought to you by the NUMBER 3 and the LETTER G!

But Serious; from time immemorial, the number 3 has been considered a PERFECT number, representing that which is SOLID, REAL, SUBSTANTIAL, COMPLETE and ENTIRE.

The explanation, of course, is found in GEOMETRY. Two straight lines cannot possibly enclose any space, or form a plane figure; neither can two plan surfaces form a solid. THREE LINES are necessary to form a plan figure, and the THREE DIMENSIONS of length, breadth, and height, are necessary to form a solid.

Some of these concepts of completeness and perfection are:

� Our acceptance that the Great Architect of the Universe is ALL KNOWING, ALL PRESENT and ALL POWERFUL.

� that there are three great divisions completing time � PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE.

� that THOUGHT, WORD, and DEED, complete the sum of human capability.

� that three kingdoms embrace our ideas of matter � MINERAL, VEGETABLE, and ANIMAL.

To Masons, THREE is forever present to remind us of our quest for PERFECTION and COMPLETENESS.

For starters, there is the fact that our Craft Ritual is divided into THREE DEGREES, encompassing the whole of Human Life: YOUTH, MANHOOD and AGE.

One of the most common definitions of Masonry is that it is a system of morality, veiled in allegory (or a story) and illustrated by symbols. It is then not surprising that GROUPS OF THREE are the building blocks of our Gentle Art.

To give you an exhaustive description of all that comes in threes in Masonry, would take more time than you are likely to give me this evening. So, I�ll limit myself to the Entered Apprentice Degree.

"Groups of Three" are quite marked in this degree. The symbolism of the Entered Apprentice Degree is mainly calculated to impress upon the mind a high regard for the moral lessons to be derived from a study of these "groups of three" as presented in the lectures.

The "Three Knocks," alluding to a certain text in scripture, "ASK and ye shall receive, SEEK and ye shall find, KNOCK and it shall be opened unto you." How true this allusion is to life. What we ask for and seek for in truth and set our affections upon, we naturally obtain. It is the law of the natural and spiritual world.

At the Altar, the Candidate is informed that the Three Great Lights are the VOLUME OF THE SACRED LAW, SQUARE, and COMPASSES. The Holy Bible is given us as the rule and guide for our faith and practice, the Square to square our actions, and the Compasses to circumscribe our desires and keep our passions in due bounds with all mankind, especially the brethren.

In the Lecture, this is emphasized again: The Holy Bible is dedicated to God, it being the inestimable gift of God to man; the Square is to the Master, for it is the proper Masonic emblem of his office; and the Compasses to the Craft, for by a due attention to its uses they are taught to circumscribe their desires and keep their passions in due bounds.

The Three Lesser Lights are the SUN, MOON and the MASTER OF THE LODGE � symbolical of the Divine Mastery over Nature, and the Mastery of Man over himself and the Animal Kingdom.

In the THREE DIVISIONS of the twenty-four inch gauge we find eight hours for the SERVICE OF GOD and the RELIEF of a distressed worthy brother, eight for our USUAL VOCATION and eight for REFRESHMENT AND SLEEP. In this material age we are apt to emphasize the two divisions of VOCATION and REFRESHMENT and neglect the former, "service to God and our fellow men." If we could only be impressed with this fair division of time, what happiness would follow!

The Three Symbolic Supports of a lodge are WISDOM, STRENGTH, and BEAUTY. The universe is the Temple of the Deity whom we serve; wisdom, strength and beauty are about His throne as pillars of His work, for His wisdom is infinite, His strength omnipotent, and his beauty shines forth through all His creations in symmetry and order. These pillars represent the three principal officers of the lodge. The Worshipful Master is supposed to have wisdom to open and govern his lodge; the Senior Warden to assist him in his arduous duties, and the Junior Warden, whose duty it is to observed the sun at meridian height, which is the beauty and glory of the day, call the craft from labour to refreshment, carefully to observe that the means of refreshment are not converted to intemperance and excess.

FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY are the principal rounds of that mysterious ladder which Jacob in his vision saw extended from earth to heaven; but the greatest of these is Charity, for our Faith may be lost in sight, Hope ends in fruition, but Charity or Love extends beyond the grave throughout the boundless realms of eternity.

The THREE ORNAMENTS of the lodge are the MOSAIC PAVEMENT, the INDENTED TESSEL, and the BLAZING STAR. The Mosaic Pavement is a representation of the ground floor of King Solomon's Temple; the Indented Tessel, of that beautiful tessellated border or skirting which surrounded it. The Mosaic Pavement is emblematical of human life, chequered with good and evil; the Beautiful Border which surrounds it of those blessings and comforts which surround us, and which we hope to enjoy by a firm reliance upon Divine Providence, which is represented by the Blazing Star in the centre.

The Three Symbolic lights are to be found in the EAST, WEST, and SOUTH, while Darkness (the absence of light) is to be found in the North. Let us always be seekers after more light and avoid the abysmal Darkness, which is the state of a Soul on its journey through life without light to guide.

The Three Immovable Jewels are the SQUARE, LEVEL and PLUMB. The Square teaches MORALITY, the Level EQUALITY, and the Plumb RECTITUDE OF CONDUCT.

The Three Movable Jewels are the ROUGH ASHLAR, the Perfect Ashlar, and the TRESTLE BOARD. These jewels mark the line of culture and progress. The Rough Ashlar is a stone in its rude and natural state, as taken from the quarry. The Perfect Ashlar is a stone prepared by the workman to be adjusted by the working tools of the Fellowcraft. The Trestle Board is for the master workman to draw his designs upon. The rude stones have by work and discipline been transformed into beautiful and polished ones; so it is with our lives in Masonry; from rudeness to culture, from darkness to light, from slavery of bodily appetites to the mastery of our own minds and spirits, the very discipline necessary for progress.

The Three Tenets of our profession are BROTHERLY LOVE, RELIEF, and TRUTH. By the exercise of brotherly love we are taught to regard the whole human race as one family � the high and low, the rich and poor, who, as created by one Almighty parent and inhabiting the same planet, should aid, support and protect one another. On this principle Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion and promotes friendship among those who otherwise might have remained perpetually at a distance.

To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent on all men but more particularly on Masons who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. Truth is a Divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue. To be good and true is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry.

FREEDOM, FERVENCY and ZEAL are the characteristics of the Entered Apprentices emblematically represented in the lodge by CHALK, CHARCOAL and CLAY. There is nothing freer than Chalk, the slightest touch of which leaves a trace; there is nothing more fervent than Charcoal, to which, if properly ignited, the most obstinate metals must yield; nothing more zealous than Clay, our Mother Earth, for it alone of all the elements has never proved unfriendly to man. Though constantly harassed, more often to furnish the luxuries than the necessaries of life, she never refuses her accustomed yield. And when at last we are called upon to pass through the valley of the shadow of death, she once more receives us, and tenderly enfolds our lifeless remains within her bosom, thus admonishing us that as from earth we came, so to earth we must surely return.

You can see, that the Groups of Three given in the beautiful lectures and ceremonies of the Entered Apprentice Degree must become a part of the spiritual temple we are endeavouring to erect in our lives if we are to build characters that can resist the temptations and trials of our daily lives and permit us to continue our Masonic career unto the end of our material existence, that end which we hope will usher in the perfect day.

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