Author: Wor. Bro. Robert Smailes, P.M.
Before commencing the subject of my address, permit me to remind you of a question with which you are all familiar, from the very beginning of your Masonic career. I mean, ” What is Freemasonry ? ” And the answer you are equally familiar with, ” Freemasonry is a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.” Symbolism has been said to be the soul of Masonry, the ritual is the mere earthly wrapping in which it is enclosed ; but while we recognise that Symbolism is the essential part of our Order, and that we are not bound to anything in particular, by the mere wording of the ritual, still it cannot be without interest to know something of the historical basis on which that ritual is founded ; and though I cannot hope to invest the subject with the oriental picturesqueness which it deserves, I trust I shall not weary you, by giving a brief account of the events connected with the building of King Solomon’s Temple, before considering the Story of the Third Degree.