The Tassels



Date: Sunday, August 15, 1999 3:36 AM

                           THE TASSELS
                         author unknown

     Pendant to the four corners of the Lodge room are four
tassels. These four tassels are described as referring to the four
principle points - the guttural, pectoral, manual and pedal - and
through them to the four cardinal virtues, namely Temperance,
Fortitude, Prudence and Justice, the practices of which are
inculcated in the first degree.

     N/W: GUTTURAL, from the Latin 'guttur', the throat. The throat
is that avenue of the body which is most employed in the sins of
intemperance, and hence it suggests to the Mason certain symbolic
instructions in relation to the virtue of Temperance. Temperance
refers to the entrance upon the penal responsibilities, and
suggests to the Mason who properly appreciates the secrets which he
has solemnly promised never to reveal that he will not, by yielding
to the unrestrained call of appetite, permit reason and judgement
to lose their seats, and subject himself, by the indulgence in
habits of excess of excess, to discover that which should be
concealed, and thus merit and receive the scorn and detestation of
his brethren. And lest any brother should forget the danger to
which he is exposed in the unguarded hours of dissipation, the
virtue of temperance is wisely impressed upon his memory by its
reference to one of the most solemn portions of the ceremony of
initiation.

     N/E: PECTORAL, from the Latin 'pectus', the breast. The heart
has always been considered the seat of fortitude and courage, and
hence by this word is suggested to the Mason certain symbolic
instructions in relation to the virtue of Fortitude, whose
excellencies are dilated in the first degree. It not only instructs
the worthy Mason to bear the ills of life with becoming
resignation, but by its intimate connection with a portion of our
ceremonies, it teaches him to let no dangers shake, no pains
dissolve the inviolable fidelity he owes to the trusts reposed in
him. Or, in the words of the old Prestonian lecture, it is "a fence
or security against any attack that might be made upon him, by
force or otherwise to extort from him any of our Royal Secrets".

     S/E: MANUAL, relating to the hand from the Latin 'manus', a
hand. Masons are, in a peculiar manner reminded, by the hand, of
the necessity of a prudent and careful observance of all their
pledges and duties, and hence this organ suggests certain symbolic
instructions in relation to the virtue of Prudence. Prudence is one
of the four cardinal virtues, the practice of which is inculcated
upon the Entered Apprentice. Prudence is the true guide to human
understanding, and consists in judging and determining with
propriety what is to be said or done upon all our occasions, what
dangers we should endeavour to avoid, and how to act in all our
difficulties.

     S/W: PEDAL, belonging to the feet, from the Latin 'pedes', the
feet. The just man is he who, firmly planting his feet on the
principles of right, is as immoveable as a rock, and can be thrust
from his upright position neither by the allurements of flattery
nor the frowns of arbitrary power. And hence this word is suggested
to the Mason certain symbolic instructions in relation to one of
the cardinal virtues, Justice, which is inculcated in the first
degree. The Mason who remembers how emphatically he has been
charged to preserve an upright position in all his dealings with
mankind should never fail to act justly to himself, to his brethren
and to the world. This is the cornerstone on which alone he can
expect "to erect a superstructure alike honourable to himself and
to the Fraternity".

     Therefore, Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice
designate the Perfect Points of Entrance, and are so called because
they refer to the four important points of initiation. The Guttural
refers to the entrance upon the penal responsibilities; the
Pectoral to the entrance into the Lodge; the Manual to the entrance
on the covenant; and the Pedal to the entrance on the instructions
in the Northeast.

---
transcribed from the GLBC Bulletin, Jan. 1980 by 
Jim Bennie, PM Nos. 65 & 44, Vancouver

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