The Deeper Symbolism of Freemasonry from The Meaning of Masonry by Walter Leslie Wilmshurst.

“The first degree is also eminently the degree of preparation, of self-discipline and purification. It corresponds with that symbolical cleansing accorded in the sacrament of Baptism, which, in the churches, is, so to speak, the first degree in the religious life; and which is administered, appropriately, at the font, near the entrance of the church, even as the act itself takes place at the entrance of the spiritual career.” [via]