from the book Encylcopedia of Freemasonry & its Kindred Sciences
by Albert C. Mackey M. D.
This book is in the public domain. The text was duplicated from the book using Optical Character Recognition software and errors may be present.
Northeast Corner - In the Institutes of Menu, the sacred book of the Brahmans, it is said: "If any one has an incurable disease, let him advance in a straight path towards the invincible northeast point, feeding on water and air till his mortal frame totally decays, and his soul becomes united with the supreme." It is at the same northeast point that those first instructions begin in Freemasonry which enable the true Freemason to commence the erection of that spiritual temple in which, after the decay of his mortal frame, "his soul becomes united with the supreme. "
In the important ceremony which refers to the Northeast Corner of the Lodge, the Candidate becomes as one who is, to all outward appearance, a perfect and upright 7nan and Mason, the representative of a spiritual Corner-stone, on which he is to erect his future moral and Masonic edifice. This symbolic reference of the Corner-stone of a material edifice to a Freemason when, at his first initiation, he commences the moral and intellectual task of erecting a spiritual temple in his heart, is beautifully sustained when we look at all the qualities that are required to constitute a "well-tried, true, and trusty" Corner-stone. The squareness of its surface, emblematic of morality its cubical form, emblematic of firmness and stability of character and the peculiar finish and fineness of the material, emblematic of virtue and holiness show that the ceremony of the Northeast Corner of the Lodge was undoubtedly intended to portray, in the consecrated language of symbolism, the necessity of integrity and stability of conduct, of truthfulness and uprightness of character, and of purity and holiness of life, which, just at that time and in that place, the candidate is most impressively charged to maintain.