plumb line

from book 2 of _An Introduction to Freemasonry_ by
Carl H. Claudy. pg75-76

"Amos, what seest thou?"
Thus he shewed me; and behold the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said a plumb line. Then said the lord, Behold, I will set a plumb line in the midst of my people Isreal; I will not again pass them by"

This passage from the Great Light is as much a part of the ritual of the Fellocraft degree as the 133 Psalm is of the E.A. degree, and has the same intimiate connection with the teachings of this ceremony. The vital and important part of this is: the Lord set a plumb line in the midst of his people Israel. He did not propose to judge them by a plumb line far off in another land, in high heaven, but here - here in the midst of them.

This is of intense interest tho the fellowcraft mason, since it teaches him how to judge his own work-and how to judge the work of others.

Presumably plumb lines hang alike. Presumably all plumbs, like all squares and all levels, are equally accurate. YEt a man may use a tool thinking it is accurate which to another is not true. If the tool of the builer and the tool of judging be not alike either the judgment must be inaccurate or the judge must take into consideration the tool by which the work was done. 

By the touch system, a blind man may learn to write upon a typewriter. If a loosened type drops from the type bar when the blind man strikes the letter "e" he will make but a little black smudge upon the paper.
I don't have a smudged E key, so improve follows> It is p#rf#ectly l#lgibl#; in this s#nt#nc# #v#ry "e" but on# has b##n smudg#d. Would you criticize the blind man for imperfect work? He has no means of knowing that his tool is faulty. If you found the smudges which stand for the letter "e"in the right places, showing that he had used his imperfect machine perfectly, would you not consider that he had done perfect work? 

Aye, becuse you would judge by a plumb line "in the midst" of the man and his work. If however the paper with the smudged letters "e" were judged by one who knew nothing of the workmans blindness, nothing of the tpewriter, one who saw only a poor piece of typing, doubtless he would judge it as imperfect. 

The builders of the Washington Monument and the Eiffle Tower in Paris both used plumb lines accurate to the level of the lattitude and longitude of these structures. Both are at right angles to sea level. Yet to some observer on the moon equipped with a strong telescope these towers would not appear parallel. As they are in different latitudes they rise from the surface of the earth at an angle to each other.
Doubtless he who engineered the monument would protest that the monument to Washington was right and the French engineer's tower wrong.
The French-man, knowing that his plumb was accurate, would belive the monument crooked. But the Great Architect, we may hope, would think both right knowing each was perfect by the plumb by which it was erected.
The Fellowcraft learns to judge his work by his own plumb line, not by anothers; if he erects that which is good work , true work, square work by his own working tools - in other words his own standards- he does well. Only when a fellowcraft is false to his on conscience is he building other than fair and straight.
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