the lines at the extremities of the central one, placed at right angles to bar the way. Two of them represent the solstitial points, which is in entire harmony with the emblem of the "circle embordered by two parallel lines," from which they are derived, as explained in our description of that emblem on page 129. The other two, taken from the triple tau, represent the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, as has been explained in our remarks on the astronomical triple tau. The quadruple tau, moreover, being composed entirely of "right angles, horizontals, and perpendiculars," contains within itself all the secret signs of Freemasonry, a fact which I am not permitted to further explain. It will, however, be apparent to every "bright mason," who can soon study them all out for himself.
Q. Are there any remaining masonic emblems which have not been explained?
A. The gavel, the rough and perfect ashlar, the twenty-four inch gauge, the trowel, the plumbline and level; also the mallet, chisel, and pickaxe appertaining to the Royal Arch degree, have not been astronomically explained, because all of them are nothing more than the mechanical tools of those operative masons and architects who (as will be subsequently explained), after the Mysteries ceased to be celebrated, assumed entire control of our Order, and which they ingrafted into the ancient ritual at a comparatively recent date, as emblems of their art. Had they at that time invented the whole ritual, originated the entire matter, no other emblems but those of a like exclusive mechanical import would have been adopted. Those other sublime astronomical allegories and pure scientific symbols, with the elevated philosophy they teach, would never have been found in Freemasonry. We are indebted to Preston, Webb, and Cross for a fine moral application of the gavel, twenty-four inch gauge, etc. They require no further explanation.
With the exception of these, all the other ancient symbols have been found to have an astronomical origin and meaning. It is also a strong confirmation that no contradiction exists among them when thus explained. The separate astronomical explanation of each one of them is in perfect harmony, not only with all the others, but also with the main central allegory of the annual passage of the sun among the stars of the zodiac, his death during the winter months, his return to life at the vernal equinox, and his exaltation at the summer solstice.
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