Study: My Understanding of Masons

Demystifying the Masonic Gavel among Other Masonic Symbols

Freemason symbols are one of those things we have seen in different places. A good number of us have no insight into their hidden messages. Many of such symbols trace their origin from age-old practices.

The early freemasons and stonemasons used many of these symbols in conjunction with trading tools. Examples of such tools include: Masonic apron, gavel, compass, square, level, and trowel gauge.
The presentation of God as an authoritative figure who does not rule forcefully is the cornerstone influencing masonic philosophy. If this were not the case, freedom and the rule of law would be foreign concepts. The choice to believe or not to believe in God’s sovereignty is subject to one’s inclination.

In the freemason world, the master of the lodge stands for the same authority as God in the universe. Masonic teachings for the student depict the east as the direction where the master is always station while the west and south are directions for the senior and junior wardens respectively.
The lodge master is given a Masonic gavel during his installation. The gavel is meant to be an official sign of his leadership. Nonetheless, the authority bestowed on him can still be misused if he chooses to do evil. Bottom line is that authority can be exercised in wise restraint rather than coercion. King Solomon in the Bible is said to be the sole inspiration of this philosophy.

The popular gavel used by stonemasons tappers to a point. It is used to shape stones and bricks. In a similar figurative way, the Masonic gavel is used as a pointer to the act of doing away with the unregenerate nature of man.

The master of the lodge understands that they serve as a representation of God’s divine authority which is meant to exercise restraint. The sceptre symbol of the gavel is a further illustration of the restraint to be exercised by the master, in order to rule effectively. The ruler who fails in this call is the one who forcefully exercises his leadership thus showing lack of restraint.

The controlled exercise of authority by the master is meant to give his subjects a taste of God’s loving guidance. The master who chooses to honour the sceptre and its implication honours the free will of the people.

When a Masonic candidate is under training, he is also encouraged to learn through the compass. While interacting with other people, especially fellow masons, he is to subdue the desires and passions of his heart.
The general intention of freemasonry teachings is to teach the students on how to live and interact with others peacefully through restraint of the natural unregenerate man.

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