The Middle Chamber Revisited



THE MIDDLE CHAMBER REVISITED


I CALL THIS ESSAY THE MIDDLE CHAMBER REVISITED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON.
AS IN THE TIME WHEN TRUE MASONRY WAS BEING PRACTICED BY ALL, ONE TRIP
TO THE MIDDLE CHAMBER OF KING SOLOMONS TEMPLE WAS ENOUGH. THE TIMES
HAVE CHANGED...

YOU, AS A NEWLY PASSED FELLOWCRAFT HAVE JUST COMPLETED THAT INITIAL TRIP.
LET'S NOW GO BACK ONCE MORE.....

ON THE PORCH WE PASS BETWEEN THE THE PILLARS OF BOAZ AND JACHIN. THOSE
PILLARS WHICH IN COMBINATION ALLUDE TO THE SEVERAL PROMISES BETWEEN GOD
AND KING DAVID. YOU SEE THAT WE ARE STILL ON THE GROUND FLOOR OF THE TEMPLE,
BUT FOLLOWING THE LIGHT. WE PASS THE FIVE ORDERS OF ARCHITECTURE, WHICH
ARE THE DORIC TUSCAN IONIC COMPOSITE AND CORINTHIANS. MANY HUNDREDS OF
THESE TYPE OF COLUMNS WERE USED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE. THEY
ALSO RELATE TO SEVERAL TYPE OF MASONS THAT WE HAVE IN OUR CRAFTS TODAY.
WE HAVE THE DORIC MASON WHO IS STRONG AND UNYIELDING. ALWAYS THERE TO
SUPPORT HIS LODGE, BUT UN YIELDING TO THE WINDS OF COMMENT AND SUGGESTION.
THEN WE HAVE THE TUSCAN MASON, FOR WHO IS THE MODEL FOR STRENGTH AND
HAVING THE COMPASSION TO LEAD AND ALSO TO BE LEAD.THE SAME CAN BE SAID
FOR THE IONIC MASON, FOR THERE IS BEAUTY IN COMPASSION. THIS LEAVES
US WITH THE CORINTHIANS. THAT MASON WHICH PROVIDES LITTLE SUPPORT,BUT
LOOKS PRETTY WHEN ORNAMENTED WITH THE GOLD AND SILVER TRAPPINGS OF
HIS POSITION OR PROFESSION. SO GOES THE ORDERS OF ARCHITECTURE, AND SO
GOES SOME IN MASONRY.
WE ARE STILL FOLLOWING THE LIGHT, STILL SEARCHING FOR THE SOURCE, OF
THAT LIGHT WHICH IS DIMLY SEEN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WINDING STAIRCASE
CONSISTING OF THREE FIVE AND SEVEN STAIRS. YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT THAT,
THIS LIGHT HAS FOR CENTURIES ILLUMINATED THE PATHWAY OF THE CRAFTSMAN.
AS IT DOES TODAY. SO WE BEGIN THE CLIMB. AS WE CLIMB THE FIRST SECTION
OF THREE STEP, WE ARE TOLD THAT THEY ALLUDE TO THE THREE STAGES OF MAN,
THE THREE KNOCKS, THE THREE PRECIOUS JEWELS, AND THE IMMOVABLE JEWELS.
ONWARD AND UPWARD WE TRAVEL. THE LIGHT IS A LITTLE BRIGHTER,BUT THE
CURVES IN THE STAIRCASE WILL NOT LET ALL THE LIGHT THROUGH. SO IT IS
WITH MASONRY. THE PATH IS NOT ALWAYS STRAIGHT AND TRUE, THERE IS ALWAYS
SOMETHING WAITING FOR YOU AROUND THAT NEXT TURN,WHICH CAN BLOCK ALL OF THE
GOOD AND BEST INTENTIONS YOU MAY HAVE INSIDE OF YOURSELF AS SO FAR AS
MASONRY IS CONCERN, BUT WE KEEP ON CLIMBING. WE START TO TRANSVERSE THE
SECOND SECTION OF FIVE STEPS. THE FIVE HUMAN SENSES. YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD
JUST HOW IMPORTANT HEARING,FEELING,SEEING,SPEAKING ARE TO MASONS, BUT
TASTING AS IT PERTAINS TO ANOTHER SIDE OF MASONRY NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT OUT.
IT IS THE TASTE OF THE TEARS AS THEY RUN OUT OF THOSE SEEING EYES, WHEN
WE OBTAINED THAT GOAL WHICH WAS FIRST GENERATED IN ONE'S HEART. THE LIGHT
IS NOW BRIGHTER. WE CAN SEE THE TOP OF THE STAIRS, WE ARE CLIMBING
THE LAST SECTION OF SEVEN STEPS. THE SEVEN LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES.
ALTHOUGH LOGIC RHETORIC AND GRAMMAR GO HAND IN HAND, I ASK YOU PLEASE
MY BROTHERS USE THESE ARTS WISELY. FOR TOO MANY TIMES TALK IS NOT PRECEDED
BY LOGIC, AND RHETORIC CAN TURN OUT TO BE JUST WORDS. ESPECIALLY IF
YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. THE STUDY OF THE HEAVENS, ASTRONOMY
FITTING OUR MINDS AS LIVING STONES FOR THAT SPIRITUAL BUILDING THAT HOUSE
NOT MADE WITH HANDS ETERNAL IN THE HEAVENS.

WE FINALLY REACH THE TOP OF THE STAIRS. WHERE WE FIND THE FINAL PASSAGE
WAY TO THE MIDDLE CHAMBER. BLOCKED BY THE JUNIOR WARDEN STANDING IN
FRONT OF A PARTIALLY OPEN DOOR WHICH HE HAS CLOSELY TYLED. HE DEMANDED
CERTAIN MYSTICAL GRIPS AND A PASSWORD. WHICH WAS TO TEST YOUR WORTHINESS
TO CONTINUE. THE DOOR WAS OPENED AND YOU WERE ALLOWED TO PASS. THE LIGHT
IS A LITTLE BRIGHTER,BUT AGAIN ANOTHER OBSTACLE IS IN YOUR PATH, THE
SENIOR WARDEN WHICH MAINTAINS THE SAME POSITION AS DID THE JUNIOR WARDEN.
ANOTHER DOOR, BUT HE ASKED FOR A MYSTIC GRIP AND A WORD. THE WARDEN
WAS SATISFIED, AND THE DOOR WAS OPENED. SUDDENLY YOU WHERE BATHED IN THE
WHITE LIGHT OF THE WORD OF GOD, BEING EMITTED FROM THE LETTER G SUSPENDED
IN THE EAST. SOLOMON ALONG WITH HIS SECRETARY WERE THERE WAITING THERE
TO GREET YOU AND TO RECORD YOUR NAMES AS FAITHFUL SERVANTS AND DISTINGUISH
WORKERS. AS A DISTINGUISHED WORKER YOU WERE ALSO ENTITLED TO YOUR WAGES
WHICH ARE CORN WINE AND OIL. YOU DRANK THE WINE ATE THE CORN, BUT
WHAT ABOUT THE OIL? THE OIL WHICH YOU DRANK, WAS USED FOR PURIFICATION
IN ANCIENT TIMES. LIKE THE OINTMENT UPON THE HEAD THAT RAN DOWN UPON
THE BEARD EVEN ARRONS BEARD THAT WHEN DOWN TO THE SKIRTS OF HIS GARMENTS.
YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN YOUR WAGES, YOU HAVE HAD YOUR NAME RECORDED, NOW
WHAT? IS THIS WHERE YOUR JOURNEY ENDS? FOR SOME IT DOES. SOME FEEL THAT
THE SEARCH IS OVER, WHICH IT ISN'T. THE LIGHT CONTINUES. SOME FEEL THAT
THEY KNOW ALL THAT THERE IS TO KNOW, BUT THEY DON'T. OTHERS FEEL THAT THE
LIGHT IS NOT WHAT THEY EXPECTED,AND TURNED AWAY FROM IT. HERE IS WHAT
HAPPENS WHEN A FELLOWCRAFT TURNS AWAY FROM THE LIGHT AND THE WORD OF
GOD AT THIS POINT.

THE THREE OF YOU, COULD VERY WELL BE LIKE ANOTHER GROUP OF THREE FELLOW-
CRAFTS THAT TURNED THEIR BACK IN THE MIDDLE CHAMBER. WHEN THEY TURNED
AROUND, THEY STARTED TO CAST THEIR OWN SHADOWS. THEY FOUND THE DOORS
THAT THEY HAD PREVIOUSLY FOUND PARTIALLY OPEN AND CLOSELY TYLED, WERE
NOW WIDE OPEN. THE FURTHER THEY MOVE FROM THE SOURCE OF THE LIGHT,
THE LONGER AND DARKER DID THEIR SHADOWS BECOME. DOWN THE WINDING STAIR
CASE OF THREE FIVE AND SEVEN STEPS. DARKER STILL BECAME THE SHADOWS.
UNTIL THEY WERE ABOUT THE PASS OUT BETWEEN THOSE TWO PILLARS OF BOAZ AND
JACHIN. WHEN THEY REALIZED THAT THE DARKNESS CAUSED BY THEIR SHADOWS
WAS AS BLACK AS THE WORLD WAS BEFORE GOD AND THE WORSHIPFUL MASTER
COMMANDED LET THERE BE LIGHT. DON'T BE LIKE THESE THREE FELLOWCRAFT,
ALWAYS KEEP SEARCHING FOR THE TRUTH THAT IS IN THE LIGHT.



                                        By BOBBY T BARNES
                                           Worshipful Master
                                           Ronald E. Mcnair
                                           No. 146  PHA of MD.
                                           01 November 1990