In this installment of Symbols & Symbolism, we look at a reading from Albert G. Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, on the Ashlar – a symbol familiar to every individual made a mason.
“Freestone as it comes out of the of the quarry.” – Bailey. In Speculative Masonry we adopt the ashlar in two different states, in the Apprentice’s Degree. The Rough Ashlar, or stone in its rude and unpolished condition, is emblematic of man in his natural state – ignorant, uncultivated, and vicious. But when education has exerted its 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 the workmen, has been smoothed, and squared, and fitted for its place in the building. In the older lectures of the eighteenth century the Perfect Ashlar is not mentioned, but its place was supplied by the Broached Thurnel.