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Point within a Circle

William Blake

Finding Your Center

In freemasonry, there are frequent references to a point within a circle. With the compasses a skilled craftsman can draw a circle. Finding the center of a circle is a more challenging task. The compasses keep us in due bounds with all mankind. Discovering the point within a circle from which all goodenss emanates requires effort and patience, which has been compared to climbing a ladder to an ethereal mansion, not made with human hands.

For freemasons this journey of discovery begins by reading and understanding the English Bible. In regular freemasonry an open volume of the whole English Bible has to be present when the lodge is at labour. It is the constant presence of the open English Bible, which mainly dictates that a lodge is regular.

The first officially approved English Bible was printed in 1539 and an injunction was issued by Cromwell that a copy be set up in every parish church. The magnificent title page, traditionally ascribed to Holbein, depicts the dissemination of the Scriptures from the hands of Henry, through the instrumentality of Cromwell and Cranmer, to the general mass of the loyal and rejoicing populace. These English Bibles had large pages (9" x 15") and were so valuable that they frequently chained to the lecture in the parish church.

"Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen." - Thomas Cranmer, The Book of Common Prayer (1549),

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