Hello, my name is Ashlar; Rough Ashlar. Oh, sure, it may not be readily apparent looking at me right now seeing as I have brushed off the dirt and dust of the quarry and have put on a jacket and tie so that I look pretty much like everyone else in the Lodge. But if you were to see me, and I mean really see me, it would be obvious by the rough, hewn jagged edges and uneven sides of this raw lump of stone, that I am unsuitable to be used in the construction of anything, let alone a holy temple; maybe a doorstop.
This condition is nothing new. It has been my natu-ral state- ignorant, uncultured, and vicious, since time immemorial. It has not only been a burden on my life but has also been a source of pain for those I love as well. My cold, sharp edges have left scars, cuts, bruises, and scratches on those who have tried to get close to me. There were even those who could not bear the discomfort and pain of my irregularities anymore and left my presence permanently. Left to my own devices my condition is utterly hopeless.
But I am not left to my own devices. Almighty God, the Great Architect of the Universe, has given me, given us, a gift of immeasurable value, precious jewels, as it were, of His devices; the square, the plumb, and the level. So now, in my quest to improve myself in Masonry, I have the working tools with which to do so.
For the use of the square; this jewel enables me to test my shape. I strive to treat others “squarely”. I want to be sure I am “squared up” with everyone and owe no man any debt whatsoever but for the debt of servicing God and a distressed, worthy brother.
For the use of the plumb; this jewel enables me to set a standard that is completely straight and upright, unerring, even by a hair’s breadth, to the left or the right. A straight line leading directly to Heaven, where Almighty God, the Grand Architect of the Universe, sits enthroned and oversees all of our building.
For the use of the level; the symbol of equality, fraternal equality, recognizing the Fatherhood of God and, as a necessary corollary, the Brotherhood of Man, subject to the same infirmities, hastening to the same goal, and preparing to be judged by the same immutable law. It is with these jewels, under the guidance of the Volume of the Sacred Law, that I, Rough Ashlar, strive to form and shape myself to the ultimate goal of the Perfect Ashlar, as a son of the Almighty God, who loved us so much that, two thousand plus years ago, He Himself, met us, sinful man, on the level, so that we may ultimately be formed in His image, the Perfect Ashlar.
Taken from Illinois Freemasonry