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The Plumb



"The Plumb admonishes us to walk uprightly in our several stations before God and man..."

The Plumb Rule is the emblem of integrity, and with the man of integrity we can entertain no doubt. We know how he will act, and what he will do, because he stoops to nothing mean or petty, a debt of a few cents is just as sure to be paid as one of a thousand dollars; where his attendance is expected there he will be. The man of integrity is ruled by duty and loyalty, and will never take an unfair advantage.


The Plumb Rule consists of a weight hanging freely at the end of a line; the principle that actuates it is the influence of gravity. No matter where it is placed, it always points to the center of the earth. So it is in the spiritual world, but here it points unerringly to God.


A man of integrity does not envy the wealth, the power, or the intelligence and good fortune of another, nor does he despise those less fortunate than himself. He harbors no avarice, injustice, malice, revenge, nor an envy and contempt of mankind, but holds the scales of justice with equal poise.


An instrument used by Operative Masons to erect perpendicular lines, and adopted in Speculative Freemasonry as one of the Working tools of a Fellow Craft. It is a symbol of rectitude of conduct, and inculcates that integrity of life and undying course of moral uprightness which can alone distinguish the good and just man. As the operative workman erects his temporal building with strict observance of that plumb-line, which will not permit him to deviate a hair's breadth to the right or to the left, so the Speculative Freemason, guided by the unerring principles of right and truth inculcated in the symbolic teachings of the same implement, is steadfast in the pursuit of truth, neither bending beneath the frowns of adversity nor yielding to the seductions of prosperity.

To the man thus just and upright, the Scriptures attribute, as necessary parts of his character, kindness and liberality, temperance and moderation, truth and wisdom; and the pagan poet Horace (Book III, Ode 3) pays, in one of his most admired odes, an eloquent tribute to the stern immutability of the man who is upright and tenacious of purpose.


Iustum et tenacem propositi virum non civium ardor prava iubentium, non voltus instantis tyranni mente quatit solida neque Auster dux inquieti turbidus Hadriae nec fulminantis magna manus Iovis; si fractus inlabatur orbis, inpavidum Serient ruinae.
The man of firm and righteous will, No rabble, clamorous for the wrong, No tyrant's brow, whose frown may kill, Can shake the strength that makes him strong: Not winds that chafe the sea they sway, Nor Jovews right hand with lightning red: Should Nature's pillar'd frame give way, That wreck would strike one fearless head. —Professor John Conington

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