The hourglass is an emblem of human life. Behold! how swiftly the sands run, and how rapidly our lives are drawing to a close! We cannot without astonishment behold the little particles which are contained in this machine; - how they pass away almost imperceptibly! and yet, to our surprise, in a short space of an hour they are all exhausted. Thus wastes man! To-day, he puts forth the tender leaves of hope; to-morrow, blossoms, and bears his blushing honors thick upon him; the next day comes a frost which nips the shoot; and when he thinks his greatness is still aspiring, he falls, like autumn leaves, to enrich our mother earth. As a Masonic symbol it is of comparatively modern date, but the use of the hour-glass as an emblem of the passage of time is older than our oldest rituals. Thus, in a speech before Parliament, in 1627, it is said: "We may handle and play with the hour-glass: that is in our power, but the hour will not stay for us; and an opportunity once lost cannot be regained." We are told that in the early part of the last century it was a custom to inter an hour-glass with the dead, as an emblem of the sands of life being run out.


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