Squaring Actions by the Square of Virtue
Between virtue and vice lies a narrow path; for many human vices are desirable virtues gone wild. Flattery is praise turned insincere; greed is thrift which has become severe; jealousy is love which has gone astray and superstition is faith pursued in a fanatical way.
The door of true virtue is difficult to open;
Habits acquired are not easy to unlearn;
Let"s then be up and doing, with heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait.
For the erection of his spiritual building, the Mason is given various tools which he must use with care: the gauge, the common gavel, plumb, level and square, each with symbolic meaning. In the first degree he is taught to subdue his human nature and turn himself into a moral man. This being accomplished, he becomes ready to apply the plumb, the level and square. When the plumb has shown him that he is upright - a man of integrity; when the level has shown him that he has developed recognition of equality and that he is faithful - a man of fidelity; and when the square proves by test that the showing of the plumb and the level are straight and true; that they square with each other, then only thus the fellow of the Craft know himself fit for service.
The Square and Compass
The Square and Compass is the symbol of Masonry. The Square is a right angle and belongs to Plane Geometry, or earth measurements. The Compass describes circles and deal with Spherical Trigonometry, the science of spheres and heavens. The Square therefore is a symbol of what concerns the earth and body; the compass, that of heaven and soul. In other words, the Square symbolizes material things while the Compass, the spiritual things. These ideas are illustrated by the arrangement of these tools during the different degrees.