Encylcopedia of Freemasonry & its kindred Sciences
by Albert C. Mackey M. D.
In Freemasonry, the level is a symbol of equality; not of that social equality which would destroy all distinctions of rank and position, and beget confusion, insubordination, and anarchy; but of that fraternal equality which, recognizing the fatherhood of God, admits as a necessary corollary the brotherhood of man. It, therefore, teaches us that, in the sight of the Great Architect of the Universe. his creatures, who are at an immeasurable distance from him, move upon the same plane; as the far~moving stars, which though millions of miles apart yet seem to shine upon the same canopy of the sky. In this view, the level teaches us that all men are equal, subject to the same infirmities, hastening to the same goal, and preparing to be judged by the same immutable law.
The level is deemed, like the square and the plumb, of so much importance as a symbol, that it is repeated in many different relations. First, it is one of the jewels of the Lodge; in the English system a movable, in the American an immovable, one. This leads to its being adopted as the proper official ensign of the Senior Warden, because the Craft when at labor, at which time be presides over them. are on a common level of subordination. And then it is one of the working-tools of a Fellow Craft, still retaining its symbolism of equality.