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Thread of Life

In the earliest lectures of the eighteenth century, we find this Catechism: Have you the key of the Lodge? Yes, I have. What is its virtue? To open and shut, and shut and open Where do you keep it? In an ivory box. between my tongue and rny teeth, or within my heart, where all my secrets are kept. Have you the chain to the key? Yes, I have. How long is it7 As long as from my tongue to my heart.

In a later lecture, this key is said to "hang by a tow line nine inches or a span." And later still, in the old Prestonian lecture, it is said to hang by "the thread of life, in the passage of elltrallee, nine inches or a span long, the supposed distance between guttural and pectoral All of which is intended simply to symbolize the close connection which in every Freemason should exist between his tongue and his heart, so that the one may utter nothing that the other does not truly dictate.

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