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UNTEMPERED MORTAR

In the lecture used in the United States in the early part of the nineteenth century, and in some parts of the Country almost as recently as the middle of the century, the Apprentices at the Temple were said to wear their Aprons in the peculiar manner characteristic of that class that they might preserve their garments from being defiled by untempered mortar. This is mortar which has not been properly mixed for use, and it thus became a symbol of passions and appetites not duly restrained. Hence the Speculative Apprentice was made to wear his Apron in that peculiar manner to teach him that he should not allow his soul to be defiled by the "untempered mortar of unruly passions."

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


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