Chips From A Rough Ashlar, 'knocked Off' By The Gavel Of Common Sense, A Discourse On The Ritual & Ceremonial Of Freemasonry
We are told that the Ashlars lie open in the lodge for the brethren to moralize on. Did you ever see a brother comtemplating the Ashlars and trying to derive some moral benefit from them? For the most part they are quickly referred to and just as quickly forgotten.
The Ashlar is the freestone as it comes from the quarry. The Rough Ashlar is the stone in its rude and natural state and is emblamatic of man in his natural state - ignorant, uncultivated and vicious. But when education has exerted it's wholesome influence in expanding his intellect, restraining his passions and purifying his life, he then is represented by the Perfect Ashlar which, under the skillful hands of workman, has been smoothed and squared and fitted for its place in the building.
However, you will observe that the Rough Ashlar in a Masonic Lodge is not in its rude or natural state. It has been squared in a fashion, partially smoothed and has apparent strength and solidarity. It possesses all the qualities that could make it a perfect stone for use in the construction of the Temple, but it needs the hands and skill of the perfect Craftsman to bring about that result. It