The M.M. has another conception of "the Porch," for he speaks of it as "the entrance to the Sanctum Sanctorum." As we have seen, in K.S.T. the "Porchway or Entrance" was the approach at the E., and it opened into "the Holy Place." It was from that Holy Place that one passed into the Sanctum Sanctorum at the other extreme. The Holy Place, therefore (which in a way answered to "the Middle Chamber of K.S.T." referred to in the Ritual), must be what the M.M. is thinking of, in speaking of the Porch, as the entrance to the Sanctum Sanctorum; that is to say, he conceives the Holy Place as an extension of the literal Porch. And, as a matter of fact, the Sanctum Sanctorum could not be entered by any other way.
It is not until the F.C. has been properly "squared" (and has become a Perfect Ashlar, so to speak) in that intermediate place, that he is permitted to penetrate further. This operation is performed at the Altar of Sacrifice.
When opening the Lodge in the Third Degree, the W.M. asks the J.W., "Whence   come you?" The answer is: "The E." And as the Porch was in the E., this answer is historically correct. But in modern Lodges we are usually admitted by a door which is somewhere at the end opposite to the symbolic E. The reason for this is to be found in the answer given by the J.W., the second time the W.M. asks: "Whence come you?" He says: "The W." In some Lodges it is customary to prefix the phrase "As a M.M., whence come you?"
The direction is inverted, because these M.M.'s who have come to the W. from the E. acknowledge that their quest through the W. has been a failure, and therefore, after protracted wandering in distant lands, are returning from the W. to the E. They had hoped to find "that which was lost" in the philosophy of Europe, but, disappointed in this respect, they revert to the lore of the Orient, where they are convinced that they will get what they want. But what is it that they find in the E.? The ineffable Mystery of the Dawn, the Sun in all its glory, the Light Divine.
And in studying the direction taken by the M.M. it is well to take note of the important fact that we have reversed the position of  K.S.T. There the Porch was at the E., and the Sanctum Sanctorum was at the W. But in the Lodge it is otherwise; for us the E. is everything. We go to the Sanctum Sanctorum and find it a place of darkness. But afterwards we return to the E., where we began our career, and there we find the light; the Porch was there at the first, but now we find a Middle Chamber and an Upper Chamber above it.
In K.S.T. there were "three entrances," and this is endorsed by the Ritual. The E.A. is supposed to enter by the E., by the S.E. corner of the Porch, where we locate the first Pillar, where he is acknowledged "a Brother "; afterwards he comes a second time and enters by the N.E. corner of the Porch, where J. is situated, and there he receives recognition in the higher character of a Craftsman. But those Craftsmen who were called "Menatschin" used to enter "by the Porchway at the S. side," and presumably this entrance was the one assigned to those of higher rank, for it had the advantage of giving access to both the side chambers and the Temple.
In saying that our M., H.A., had been at the Temple, we are to understand that he had gone to the Sanctum Sanctorum; this is implied  rather than explicitly stated. Then having finished his devotions, he came out and attempted to return the same way he had come in, that is, "by the S. entrance." Thwarted there, he made for the N. entrance, of which we have no particulars, and then, after finding his retreat cut off at both these points, he made for the E. entrance, the one by which the public were admitted, where he met with a tragic death. Therefore he had not entered by the Common Porch; his "Porch" had really been the "Holy Place," as in the case of every M.M.
The importance of the S. entrance arose
from the fact that there, or close at hand, stood the Winding
Staircase by which the Masons of high rank had access to the side-chambers.
We shall deal with this subject presently.
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