by Malcolm C. Duncan
MASTER MASON, OR THIRD DEGREE
THE ceremony of opening and conducting the business of a Lodge of Master Masons is nearly the same as in the Entered Apprentice and Fellow Crafts’ Degrees, already explained. All the business of a “Blue Lodge” (a Lodge of three Degrees) is done in the Lodge while opened on this Degree, except that of entering an Apprentice or passing a Fellow Craft, when the Lodge is lowered from the Masters’ Degree for that purpose.
The Third Degree is said to be the height of Ancient Free-masonry, and the most sublime of all the Degrees in Masonry (Royal Arch not even excepted); and when it is conferred, the Lodge is generally well filled with the members of the Lodge and visiting brethren.
The traditional account of the death, several burials, and resurrections of one of the craft, Hiram Abiff, the widow’s son, as developed in conferring this Degree, is very interesting.
We read in the Bible, that Hiram Abiff was one of the head workmen employed at the building of King Solomon’s Temple, and other ancient writings inform us that he was an arbiter between King Solomon and Hiram, king of Tyre; but his tragical death is nowhere recorded, except in the archives of Freemasonry. Not even the Bible, the writings of Josephus, nor any other writings, however ancient, of which we have any knowledge, furnish any information respecting his death. It is very singular, that
a man so celebrated as Hiram Abiff was, universally acknowledged as the third most distinguished man then living, and, in many respects, the greatest man in the world, should pass from off the stage of action, in the presence of King Solomon, three thousand three hundred grand overseers, and one hundred and fifty thousand workmen, with whom he had spent a number of years, and with King Solomon, his bosom friend, without any of his numerous confrères even recording his death, or any thing about it.
A Master Masons’ Lodge is styled by the Craft the “Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies, of King Solomon’s Temple,” and when the Lodge is opened on this Degree, both points of the compasses are elevated above the square. (See engraving.)
A candidate for the sublime Degree of a Master Mason is generally (as in the preceding Degrees) prepared by the Junior Deacon and the two Stewards, or some other brethren acting as such.
PREPARING THE CANDIDATE
The candidate is divested of all wearing apparel, except his shirt and drawers, and if he has not the latter, he is furnished with a pair by the brethren preparing him. The drawers are rolled up just above the candidate’s knees, and both arms are taken out of his shirt-sleeves, leaving his legs and breast bare. A rope, technically called, by Masons, a cable-tow, is wound around his body three times, and a bandage, or hoodwink, is tied very closely over his eyes. (See engraving.)
When the candidate is prepared, the Deacon takes him by the left arm, leads him up to the door of the Lodge, and gives three loud, distinct knocks.
The Senior Deacon, who has stationed himself at the inner door, at the right of the Senior Warden, on hearing these raps rises to his feet, makes the sign of a Master Mason to the Master (see Fig. 6, p. 18), and says:
Worshipful Master, while engaged in the lawful pursuit of Masonry, there is an alarm at the inner door of our Lodge.
W. M.–You will attend to the alarm, and ascertain the cause.
Senior Deacon gives three loud knocks (• • •), which are responded to by one (•) from the parties outside. The Senior Deacon then answers with one rap (•), and opens the door.
S. D.–Who comes here?
J. D.–Brother Gabe, who has been regularly initiated Entered Apprentice, passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft, and now wishes to receive further light in Masonry, by being raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason.
S. D.–Brother Gabe, is it of your own free-will and accord?
S. D.–Brother Junior Deacon, is he worthy and well qualified?
J. D.–He is.
S. D.–Duly and truly prepared?
J. D–He is.
S. D.–Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees?
J. D.–He has.
S. D.–And properly vouched for?
J. D.–He is.
S. D.–Who vouches for him?
J. D.–A brother.
S. D.–By what further right or benefit does he expect to gain admission?
J. D.–By the benefit of the password.
S. D.–Has he the password?
J. D.–He has it not, but I have it for him.
S. D.–Advance, and give it me.
Junior Deacon here steps forward and whispers in the Senior Deacon’s ear, “Tubal Cain.”
S. D.–The pass is right; you will wait with patience until the Worshipful Master is informed of your request and his answer returned.
The Deacon then closes the door, repairs to the centre of the Lodge-room before the altar, and sounds his rod on the floor three times (• • •), which is responded to by the Master with three raps of the gavel, when the Senior Deacon makes the sign of a Master Mason (see Fig. 6, p. 18), and says:
S. D.–Brother Gabe, who has been regularly initiated Entered Apprentice, passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft, and now wishes to receive further light in Masonry, by being raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason.
W. M.–Is it of his own free-will and accord?
S. D.–It is.
W, M.–Is he worthy and well qualified, duly and truly prepared?
S. D.–He is.
W. M.–Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degree?
S. D.–He has.
W. M.–And properly vouched for?
S. D.–He is.
W. M.–Who vouches for him?
S. D–A brother.
W. M.–By what further right or benefit does he expect to gain admission?
S. D.–By the benefit of the password.
W. M.–Has he that pass?
S. D.–He has it not, but I have it for him.
W. M.–Advance, and give it me.
The Senior Deacon steps to the Master, and whispers in his ear, “Tubal Cain.”
W. M.–The password is right. Let him enter, and be received in due form.
The Senior Deacon steps to the altar, takes the compasses, repairs to the door, opens it, and says:
S. D.–Let him enter, and be received in due form.
The Junior Deacon advances, followed by the Stewards, with rods, when the Senior Deacon stops them, by placing his hand against the candidate, at the same time saying:
S. D.–Brother Gabe, on entering this Lodge the first time, you were received on the point of the compasses, pressing your naked left breast, the moral of which was explained to you. On entering the second time, you were received on the angle of the square, which was also explained to you. I now receive you on both points of the compasses, extending from your naked left to your naked right breast (he here places both points against candidate’s breasts), which is to teach you, that as the vital parts of man are contained within the breasts, so the most excellent tenets of our institution are contained between the points of the compasses–which are Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love.
The Junior Deacon now passes the candidate over to the Senior
[paragraph continues] Deacon, and he (Junior Deacon) takes his seat near the door, at the right hand of the Senior Warden in the west, while the Senior Deacon proceeds to conduct the candidate, followed by the two Stewards, three times around the Lodge, during which time the Worshipful Master reads the following passage of Scripture:
“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them: while the sun, or the moon, or the stars be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain; in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease, because they are few; and those that look out of the windows be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low. Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond-tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets; or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken at the fountain, or the wheel at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God, who gave it.”
In some Lodges the following paraphrase of the above is sung; and if the Lodge have an organ, or melodeon, the singers are generally accompanied on the instrument:
“Let us remember in our youth,
Before the evil days draw nigh,
Our Great Creator, and his Truth,
Ere memory fail, and pleasures fly;
Or sun, or moon, or planet’s light
Grow dark, or clouds return in gloom;
Ere vital spark no more incite;
When strength shall bow and years consume.”
For balance of this paraphrase, see Freemason’s Monitor, or Illustrations of Masonry, by Thomas S. Webb, p. 61.
As the Senior Deacon and candidate pass the different stations of the officers, they (the officers) sound their gavels as follows; when they pass the Junior Warden in the south the first time, he gives one rap (•), Senior Warden one rap, and Worshipful Master one rap; the second time, .Junior Warden two raps, Senior Warden two raps, and Worshipful Master two raps (• •); the third time round, Junior Warden three raps (• • •), Senior
[paragraph continues] Warden three raps, and the Worshipful Master three raps. The Master so times his reading of the passage of Scripture, as to finish just as the parties reach the Junior Warden’s station in the south, on the third round, when they halt.
J. W.–Who comes here?
Conductor (S. D.)–Brother Gabe, who has been regularly initiated Entered Apprentice, passed to the degree of Fellow Craft, and now wishes to receive further light in Masonry, by being raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason.
J. W.–Brother Gabe, is it of your own free-will and accord?
J. W.–Brother Senior Deacon, is he worthy and well qualified, duly and truly prepared?
S. D.–He is.
J. W.–Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding Degrees?
S. D.–He has.
J. W.–And properly vouched for?
S. D.–He is.
J. W.–Who vouches for him?
S. D.–A brother.
J. W.–By what further right or benefit does he expect to gain admission?
S. D.–By the benefit of the password.
J. W.–Has he the password?
S. D.–He has it not, but I have it for him.
J. W.–Advance and give the password.
Senior Deacon steps forward, and whispers in the Warden’s ear, “Tubal Cain.”
J. W.–The password is right. I will suffer you to pass on to the Senior Warden’s station in the west, for his examination.
Senior Deacon passes on to the west, where the same questions are asked and answered as before, and the Senior Warden suffers them to pass on to the Worshipful Master in the east, where the same questions and answers are repeated.
W. M.–From whence came you, and whither are you travelling?
S. D.–From the west, travelling toward the east.
W. M.–Why leave you the west, and travel toward the east!
S. D–In search of further light in Masonry.
W. M.–Since that is the object of your search, you will re conduct this candidate to the Senior Warden in the west, with my orders that he be taught to approach the east, the place of further light in Masonry, by three upright, regular steps, his body erect at the altar before the Worshipful Master in the east.
The Senior Deacon then conducts the candidate to the Senior Warden in the west, and reports:
S. D.–Brother Senior Warden, it is the orders of the Worshipful Master that you teach this candidate to approach the east, the place of further light in Masonry, by three upright, regular steps, his body erect at the altar before the Worshipful Master in the east.
The Senior Warden approaches the candidate, faces him toward the east (i.e. towards the Master), and says:
Brother, you will step off with your left foot one full step, and bring the heel of your right in the hollow of your left foot; now step off with your right foot, and bring the heel of your left in the hollow of your right foot; now step off with your left foot, and bring both heels together. (See Fig. 14.)
S. W.–The candidate is in order, Worshipful, and awaits your further will and pleasure.
W. M.–You will cause him to kneel on his naked knees, both hands resting on the Holy Bible, square, and compasses.
W. M.–Brother Gabe, you are kneeling, for the third time, at the altar of Masonry, to take upon yourself the solemn oath of a Master Mason; and I, as Master of this Lodge, take pleasure, as on former occasions, in informing you that there is nothing in it which will interfere with the duty you owe to your God, your neighbor, your country, or self. Are you willing to take the oath?
“Kneeling on both my naked knees, both hands resting on the Holy Bible, square, and compasses.”
W. M.–You will repeat your name, and say after me:
“I, Peter Gabe (Master gives three raps with his gavel, when all present assemble round the altar), of my own free-will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God, and this worshipful Lodge, erected to him and dedicated to the holy Sts. John, do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, that I will always hail, ever conceal, and never reveal any of the secrets, arts, parts, point or points, of the Master Masons’ Degree, to any person or persons whomsoever, except it be to a true and lawful brother of this Degree, or in a regularly constituted Lodge of Master Masons, nor unto him, or them, until by strict trial, due examination, or lawful information, I shall have found him, or them, as lawfully entitled to the same as I am myself.
“I furthermore promise and swear, that I will stand to and abide by all laws, rules, and regulations of the Master Masons’ Degree, and of the Lodge of which I may hereafter become a member, as far as the same shall come to my knowledge; and that I will ever maintain and support the constitution, laws, and edicts of the Grand Lodge under which the same shall be holden.
“Further, that I will acknowledge and obey all due signs and summonses sent to me from a Master Masons’ Lodge, or given me by a brother of that Degree, if within the length of my cable-tow.
“Further, that I will always aid and assist all poor, distressed, worthy Master Masons, their widows and orphans, knowing them to be such, as far as their necessities may require, and my ability permit, without material injury to myself and family.
“Further, that I will keep a worthy brother Master Mason’s secrets inviolable, when communicated to and received by me as such, murder and treason excepted.
“Further, that I will not aid, nor be present at, the initiation, passing, or raising of a woman, an old man in his dotage, a young man in his nonage, an atheist, a madman, or fool, knowing them to be such.
“Further, that I will not sit in a Lodge of clandestine-made Masons, nor converse on the subject of Masonry with a clandestine-made Mason, nor one who has been expelled or suspended from a Lodge, while under that sentence, knowing him or them to be such.
“Further, I will not cheat, wrong, nor defraud a Master Mason’s Lodge, nor a brother of this Degree, knowingly, nor supplant him in any of his laudable undertakings, but will give him due and timely notice, that he may ward off all danger.
“Further, that I will not knowingly strike a brother Master Mason, or otherwise do him personal violence in anger, except in the necessary defence of my family or property.
“Further, that I will not have illegal carnal intercourse with a Master Mason’s wife, his mother, sister, or daughter, nor suffer the same to be done by others, if in my power to prevent.
“Further, that I will not give the Grand Masonic word, in any other manner or form than that in which I shall receive it, and then in a low breath.
“Further, that I will not give the Grand Hailing Sign of Distress, except in case of the most imminent danger, in a just and lawful Lodge, or for the benefit of instruction; and if ever I should see it given, or hear the words accompanying it, by a worthy brother in distress, I will fly to his relief, if there is a greater probability of saving his life than losing my own.
“All this I most solemnly, sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steady resolution to perform the same, without any hesitation, mental reservation, or secret evasion of mind what-ever, binding myself, under no less penalty than that of having my body severed in two, 1 my bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes, the ashes scattered before the four winds of heaven, that no more remembrance might be had of so vile and wicked a wretch as I would be, should I ever, knowingly, violate this my Master Mason’s obligation. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.”
W. M.–You will detach your hands and kiss the book. In your present condition, what do you most desire?
Candidate (prompted by conductor.)–Further light in Masonry.
W. M.–Let him receive further light.
Conductor here takes off the hoodwink and removes the cable-tow, and all around the altar place their hands in the position of the duegard of a Master Mason. (See Fig. 5, p. 17.) The Worshipful Master gives one rap with his gavel, when all the brethren retire to their seats, leaving at the altar the Master, conductor, and candidate.
W. M.–Brother Gabe, on receiving further light, you perceive more than you have heretofore. Both points of the compasses are elevated above the square, which is to teach you never to lose sight of those truly Masonic virtues, which are friendship, morality, and brotherly love.
The Master now steps back about three paces from the altar, and says.
Brother Gabe, you discover me approaching you from the east, under the duegard (some say–step, duegard, and sign) of a Master Mason; and, in token of the further continuance of my brotherly love and favor, I present. you with my right hand, and with it the pass and token of the pass of a Master Mason.
Takes the candidate by the “real grip” of a Fellow Craft, and says.
Your conductor will answer for you.
W. M.–Will you be off or from?
W. M.–From what and to what?
Conductor–From the “real grip” of a Fellow Craft to the pass grip of a Master Mason.
Conductor here instructs candidate to pass his thumb from the second joint to space beyond, which is the second space.
W. M. (looking conductor in the eye.)–What is that?
Conductor–The pass grip of a Master Mason.
W. M.–Has it a name?
W. M.–Will you give it me?
Conductor–I did not so receive it, neither can I so impart it.
W. M.–How will you dispose of it?
Conductor–I will letter it or halve it.
W. M.–Halve it, and begin.
Conductor–No, you begin.
W. M.–Begin you.
Conductor–Cain. (Pronounced by the conductor–Tubal Cain.) 1
W. M. (lifting the candidate up.)–You will arise, and salute the Junior and Senior Wardens as an obligated Master Mason.
Here Lodges differ in their mode of work; some only pass the candidate around the Lodge once, and as he passes the Junior and Senior Wardens he gives the Master’s sign. (See Fig. 6, p. 18.) The Master should instruct the candidate (and he generally does) how to make the signs before he gets up from the altar, after taking the obligation.
The following appears to be the proper way:–After the candidate gets up from the altar, the conductor should lead him from the altar direct to the Junior Warden’s station in the south,
and give three raps on the floor with his rod, the Junior Warden responding by three raps with his gavel.
J. W.–Who comes here?
Conductor–Brother Gabe, an obligated Master Mason.
J. W.–How shall I know him to be such?
Conductor–By the pass and token of the pass of a Master Mason.
J. W. (offering his hand to candidate.)–Advance the token. (They take hold of each other’s hands by the real grip of a Fellow Craft. See real grip of a Fellow Craft, Fig. 12, p. 67.)
J. W.–Will you be off, or from?
Conductor (for candidate.)–From.
J. W.–From what, and to what?
Conductor–From the real grip of a Fellow Craft to the pass grip of a Master Mason.
J. W.–Pass. (They now pass to the pass grip of a Master Mason. (See Fig. 16, p. 97.)
J. W.–What is that?
Conductor–The pass grip of a Master Mason.
J. W.–Has it a name?
J. W.–Will you give it me?
Conductor–I did not so receive it, neither can I so impart it.
J. W.–How will you dispose of it?
Conductor–I will letter or halve it.
J. W.–Halve it, and begin.
Conductor–No, you begin.
J. W.–Begin you.
Conductor–Cain. (Pronounced by conductor–Tubal Cain.)
J. W.–The token is right, and the pass is right. You will pass on to the Senior Warden’s station in the west, for his examination.
They then pass on to this officer’s station, where the same questions and answers are repeated as at the Junior Warden’s station, and he (the Senior Warden) suffers them to pass on to the Worshipful Master’s station in the east. As they approach the Worshipful Master’s station, he says:
W. M.–Brother Senior Deacon, you will reconduct the candidate to the Senior Warden in the west, with my orders that he teach him how to wear his apron as a Master Mason.
The conductor then turns about to the Senior Warden in the west, and says:
Brother Senior Warden, it is the orders of the Worshipful
[paragraph continues] Master that you teach this candidate how to wear his apron as a Master Mason.
The Senior Warden approaches the candidate and ties the apron upon him, with the flap and corners turned down, and says:
Master Masons wear their aprons
with the flap and corners down, to designate them as Master Masons, or as overseers of the work, and so you will wear yours.
The conductor now conducts the candidate back to the Worshipful Master in the east.
W. M.–Brother Gabe, as you are clothed as a Master Mason, 1 it is necessary that you should have the working-tools or a Master Mason. (Master has a small trowel, which he shows the candidate as he commences to read concerning it.)
The working-tools of a Master Mason are all the implements of Masonry appertaining to the first
three Degrees indiscriminately, but more especially the trowel.
The trowel is an instrument made use of by operative masons to spread the cement which unites a building into one common mass; but we, as Free and Accepted Masons are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection; that
cement which unites us into one sacred band, or society of friends and brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree.
W. M.–Brother Senior Deacon, you will now re conduct this candidate to the place from whence he came, and reinvest him with what he has been divested of, and await my further will and pleasure.
The conductor then leads the candidate to the center of the Lodge, at the altar, and makes duegard and sign of a Master Mason (see Figs. 5, 6, pp. 17, 18), which is responded to by the Master, after which the conductor and candidate pass out of the Lodge. While they are going out, the Master gives three sounds with his gavel (• • •), and says, in a loud tone of voice:
W. M.–Brother Junior Warden, what is the hour? J. W.–High twelve, Worshipful.
W. M.–If you are satisfied it is high twelve, you will erect your column, and call the craft from labor to refreshment, for the space of thirty minutes (or fifteen minutes, as the case may be), calling them in at the sound of the gavel. On receiving this order, the Junior Warden takes from his desk a small wooden column, about eighteen inches in length, and sets it in an upright position at his right hand, and at the same time he gives three raps (• • •) with the gavel, and says:
J. W.–Brethren, you are accordingly at refreshment.
It should be remarked here, that there is a similar column on the Senior Warden’s desk, which is always placed in a horizontal position (i.e., turned down on its side) when the Junior Warden’s column is up, and vice versâ. When the Lodge is opened, the Junior Warden’s column is turned down, and the Senior Warden’s turned up, at his right hand.
The brethren are now allowed a few minutes for recreation, styled by Masons refreshment; during which time the candidate is being prepared in the ante-room, and the Lodge made ready for the remaining portion of the ceremony of initiation.
This latter is accomplished as follows: a canvas, seven feet long and about six feet wide, with five or six strong loops on each side, is produced from a closet or chest in the room; and a buckskin bag, stuffed with hair, about the size of two boxing-gloves, is taken from the same receptacle. These implements are both used as will be described hereafter.
The room is cleared by removing the altar and lights, and the two large pillars used in the Second Degree. By this time the candidate is dressed, his apron is tied on as a Master Mason,
with the right-hand corner tucked up, and he wears a yoke with a Senior Warden’s jewel attached to it. In some Lodges, the brethren on this occasion attire the candidate with a very rich apron and yoke.
When the candidate is fully dressed, the door is unceremoniously thrown open, and he, in company with others, is permitted to enter the Lodge. His friends now approach him, and congratulate him upon his Masonic appearance, asking him how he likes the degree, and if he is not glad he is through, &c., &c.
The object of this is to mislead the candidate, and to impress upon his mind the idea that there is no more of the ceremony, and that his initiation is completed.
Worshipful Master gives one rap with his gavel (•).
J. W.–Brethren, you are now called from refreshment to labor again. (Gives one rap (•), steps to his desk, and turns the small column down on its side, as already explained.)
At the same time the Senior Warden steps to his stand, and turns up the column on his desk at his right. The brethren then all take their seats, and the candidate with them.
W. M.–Brother Senior Warden, do you know any further business before this Lodge of Master Masons before we proceed to close?
S. W. (rising to his feet and making the sign of a Master Mason.)–Nothing, Worshipful.
W. M.–Have you any thing to offer, Brother Junior Warden?
J. W. (making sign.)–Nothing, Worshipful.
W. M.–Have you any thing on your desk, Brother Secretary?
Sec. (makes the sign, see Fig. 6, p. 18.)–Nothing, Worshipful.
W. M.–Has any brother present any thing to offer for the benefit of Masonry? (nothing being said, Worshipful Master continues): We will then proceed to close; but, before doing so, I would say to Brother Gabe (the candidate)–Is he present?
Some Brother–He is.
W. M.–Brother Gabe, you will please approach the east.
Conductor (S. D.) leads the candidate up in front of the Master’s seat in the east.
(The author would here remark, with regard to the matter of closing the Lodge, and asking the Wardens if they know any thing further before the Lodge, previous to closing, that it is a ruse to deceive the candidate, as the Master has no intention of closing until the ceremony of initiation has been concluded.)
After the candidate is conducted to the east, before the Master, the conductor takes his position behind the candidate, with a hoodwink either in his hand or secreted in his pocket.
W. M. (looking candidate seriously in the face.)–Brother Gabe, I presume you now consider yourself a Master Mason, and, as such, entitled to all the privileges of a Master Mason, do you not?
W. M.–I presumed that you did from the jewel that you wear, it being the Senior Warden’s jewel.
W. M.–Brother Gabe, you are not yet a Master Mason, neither do I know that you ever will be, until I know how well you will withstand the amazing trials and dangers that await you. The Wardens and brethren of this Lodge require a more satisfactory proof of your fidelity to your trust, before they are willing to intrust you with the more valuable secrets of this Degree. You have a rough and rugged road to travel, beset with thieves, robbers, and murderers; and should you lose your life in the attempt, it will not be the first instance of the kind, my brother. You will remember in whom you put your trust, with that divine assurance, that “he who endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Heretofore you have had some one to pray for you, but now you have none. You must pray for yourself. You will therefore suffer yourself to be again hoodwinked, and kneel where you are, and pray orally or mentally, as you please. When through, signify by saying Amen, and arise and pursue your journey.
The candidate then kneels, and the conductor ties a hoodwink very closely over both eyes, so that he cannot see.
After the candidate has said Amen, and the Lodge-room has been darkened by turning down the gaslights or lamps, the conductor takes the candidate by the right arm, assists him to arise, and they proceed to travel three times around the room, travelling with the sun. As they start, the conductor commences to relate to the candidate the following:
Conductor–Brother, it was the usual custom of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff (this is the first he hears about Hiram Abiff), to enter into the unfinished “Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies,” of King Solomon’s Temple, each day at high twelve, while the craft were called from labor to refreshment, for the purpose of drawing out his designs upon the trestle-board, whereby the craft might pursue their labors; after which, it was further his custom to offer up his devotions to the Deity. Then he would retire at the south gate of the outer courts of the Temple; and, in conformity with the custom of our Grand Master, whose memory we all so reverently adore, we will now retire at the south gate of the Temple.
They have now passed around the Lodge three times, and as
they approach the Junior Warden’s station in the south, he steps silently out from his seat to the floor, and confronts the blind-folded candidate, clinching him by the collar in a very rough manner, and at the same time exclaiming:
The First Ruffian
J. W. (Jubela, First Ruffian.)–Grand Master Hiram, I am glad to meet you thus alone. I have long sought this opportunity. You will remember you promised us, that when the Temple was completed, we should receive the secrets of a Master Mason, whereby we might travel in foreign countries, work, and receive Master’s wages. Behold! the Temple is now about to be completed, and we have not obtained that which we have so long sought. At first, I did not doubt your veracity; but now I do! (Gives candidate a sudden twitch by the collar.) I therefore now demand of you the secrets of a Master Mason!
Conductor (for candidate.)–Brother this is an unusual way of asking for them. It is neither a proper time nor place; but be true to your engagement, and I will be true to mine. Wait until the Temple is completed, and then, if you are found worthy and well qualified, you will unquestionably receive the secrets of a Master Mason; but, until then, you cannot.
Ruffian–This (shaking candidate) does not satisfy me! Talk not to me of time or place, but give me the secrets of a Master Mason, or I will take your life!
Conductor–I cannot; nor can they be given, except in the presence of Solomon, king of Israel, Hiram, king of Tyre, and myself.
Ruffian–That does not satisfy me. I’ll hear no more of your cavilling! (Clinches candidate more fiercely.) Give me the Master’s word, or I will take your life in a moment!
Conductor–I shall not!
The Second Ruffian
The Ruffian gives the candidate a brush across the throat with his right hand, and at the same time relinquishes his hold with his left, steps quietly to one side, and permits the conductor and candidate td pass on to the Senior Warden’s station in the west, which is done by the conductor advancing very rapidly, pulling the candidate along with him. As they approach the west, the Senior Warden steps out as did the Junior Warden, facing the candidate, and, clinching him by the collar more roughly than the Junior Warden, exclaiming as follows:
S. W. (Second Ruffian.)–Give me the secrets of a Master Mason!
Conductor (for candidate.)–I cannot.
Ruffian–Give me the secrets of a Master Mason! (Shakes candidate.)
Conductor–I shall not.
Ruffian–Give me the Master’s word, or I will take your life in a moment! (Gives candidate a sudden shake.)
Conductor–I will not!
Ruffian (i.e., S. W.) gives candidate a brush with his right hand across the left breast, and at the same time lets him pass, the conductor hurrying him on toward the east end of the Lodge, where the Master is stationed to perform the part of the Third Ruffian, Jubelum, who is generally provided with a buckskin bag stuffed with hair, to represent a setting-maul.
As the candidate is hurried along toward Jubelum (Worshipful Master), the latter seizes him with both hands by the collar of his coat, and swings him round, so as to place his back toward the east, with his heels a few inches from the edge of the canvas before alluded to. This canvas is usually held behind the candidate, in an inclined position, by some of the brethren, and is for the purpose of catching him when he is tripped up by the assumed ruffian, Jubelum. The Master (Third Ruffian) then exclaims:
W. M. (as Third Ruffian.)–Give me the secrets of a Master Mason!
Conductor (for candidate.)–I cannot!
Ruffian–Give me the secrets of a Master Mason, or I will take your life!
Conductor–I shall not!
Ruffian–You have (here Master seizes the candidate more fiercely, and affects a great earnestness of purpose) escaped “Jubela” and “Jubelo”; me you cannot escape; my name is “Jubelum!” What I purpose, that I perform. I hold in my hand an instrument of death; therefore, give me the Master’s word, or I will take your life in a moment!
Conductor–I will not!
The Worshipful Master here gives the candidate a blow on his head with a buckskin bag, or setting-maul; 1 at the same
time, pushing him backward, brings the candidate’s heels against the edge of the canvas, trips him up, and the candidate falls upon his back, caught in the canvas clear of the floor, unharmed, but, in many instances, badly frightened.
The Third Ruffian
Members of the Lodge, in the act of holding the canvas to catch the candidate.
It is the general belief (and it would be readily inferred from most exposures of Masonry) that a candidate is knocked down with a large setting-maul kept for that purpose, but no reasonably sane person would for one moment entertain any such idea of the ceremony of making a Master Mason. The candidate is not intentionally injured in any Degree of Masonry, impressions of a lasting nature being all that are intended by the ceremonies.
As the candidate falls into the canvas the brethren lower it to the floor, when the following dialogue ensues between those who held the canvas and the Master, or the brother acting as the Third Ruffian.
Ruffian–Is he dead?
Answer–He is, his skull is broken in.
Ruffian–What horrid deed is this we have done?
Answer–We have murdered our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff,
and have not obtained that which we have sought: this is no time for vain reflection–the question is, what shall we do with the body?
Answer–We will bury it in the rubbish of the Temple, until low twelve, and then we will meet and give it a decent burial.
They roll the canvas around and over the candidate where he fell, which is in the east or northeast corner of the Lodge, and, for a few moments, retire, when the Lodge becomes still as the hour of midnight; not a sound is permitted to be made; all go–if at all–from place to place on tiptoe. The Master silently steps to the east, near the candidate’s head, and strikes the hour of low twelve (which is twelve o’clock at night) on a triangle or bell. As the last sound of twelve dies away, the three ruffians cautiously approach the body, and converse among themselves nearly as follows:
First Ruffian–Is that you, Jubela?
Second Ruffian–Is that you, Jubelum? 1
Third Ruffian–Is that you, Jubelo?
First Ruffian–Well, we have all met as agreed upon: the question is, what shall we do with the body? It is now past mid-night, and if we do not act with decision, daylight will be upon us, and we will be discovered and taken. We will carry the body a westerly course from the Temple to the brow of the hill west of Mount Moriah, where I have dug a grave due east and west, six feet perpendicular.
A sufficient number of the brethren now take up the body (yet rolled up in the canvas), and, raising it on their shoulders, proceed to carry it around the Lodge, head foremost, three times, in representation of ascending a hill, the last time halting in the west end of the Lodge, nearly in front of the Senior Warden’s station, and a little to the right. Upon arriving there they commence to lower it into the grave, as they style it, but in reality only from their shoulders to the floor. After the candidate is lowered, one of the ruffians says:
Let us plant an acacia at the head of the grave, in order to
conceal it so that the place may be known should occasion hereafter require.
Some Lodges have a small box with a house-plant or dry twig in it, which is set down on the floor near the candidate’s head. One of the ruffians exclaims:
Now let us make our escape out of the country.
And immediately one of the most intelligent brethren stations himself at the door of the ante-room, and when those who have been acting the part of the ruffians approach him, the following colloquy ensues:
First Ruffian–Hallo, friend! Are you a sea-captain?
Second Ruffian–Are you going to put to sea soon?
Third Ruffian–Whither are you bound?
Ruffian–The very port to which we wish to go. We three should like to take a passage with you.
Captain–Very well, you can have a passage. I suppose you are brothers, workmen from the Temple, and journeying, are you not?
Captain–I should be glad of your company. You have a pass from King Solomon, I presume?
Ruffians (affecting surprise.)–No, we have no pass; we did not know it was necessary. We were sent in haste and on urgent business; there was nothing said about giving us a pass, and we presume it was forgotten, or not deemed necessary.
Captain–What! no pass. What! no pass. If this is the case, you cannot get a passage with me, I assure you. That is strictly forbidden; so you may set your minds at rest.
Ruffians–We will go back and get a pass, if that is the case.
Captain–The sooner the better! Suspicious characters!
The Ruffians now return near to the body, when the following conversation takes place:
First Ruffian–What shall we do in this case?
Second Ruffian–We will go to some other port.
Third Ruffian–But the rules are as strict in other ports as in this.
First Ruffian–If such are the regulations, we shall not get a pass at any port, and what will become of us?
Second Ruffian–We shall be taken and put to death.
Third Ruffian–Let us secrete ourselves until night and steal a small boat and put to sea.
First Ruffian–We cannot make our escape in that way. It is a dangerous coast, and we shall be taken; for before this time our escape is discovered, and the sea-coast will be lined with our pursuers.
Second Ruffian–Then let us flee into the interior parts of the country, and avoid being taken as long as possible.
They now retire from the body, in different directions. When all has been again quiet in the Lodge for a few seconds, the brethren jump up, commence laughing, singing, &c., exclaiming:
No work to-day. Craftsmen, we are having good times; I wonder if it will last.
They shuffle about a few moments, when they are called to order by the sound of the gavel from the Master’s seat in the east, who inquires in a loud voice as follows:
W. M. (now styled King Solomon.)–Brother Junior Grand Warden, what means all this confusion among the workmen? Why are they not at work as usual?
S. W. (now styled J. G. W.)–Most Worshipful King Solomon, there is no work laid out for us, and it is said we can have none. No designs are drawn on the trestle-board, and for this reason many of us are idle.
K. S.–No work laid out–no designs drawn on the trestle-board? What is the meaning of this? Where is our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff?
J. G. W.–We do not know, Most Worshipful King Solomon. He has not been seen since high twelve yesterday.
K. S.–Not been seen since high twelve yesterday! I fear he is indisposed. It is my orders that strict search be made for him through the apartments of the Temple, and due inquiry made. Let him be found, if possible.
The brethren commence, in loud voices to inquire of one another:
Have you seen any thing of our Grand Master Hiram Abiff? Not since high twelve yesterday, &c., &c.
J. G. W.–Most Worshipful King Solomon, diligent search has been made. He cannot be found. He has not been seen in or about the Temple.
K. S.–I fear that some accident has befallen him. Brother Grand Secretary (turning to the Secretary of the Lodge), you will go out and see to calling the several rolls of the craft, and report to me as soon as possible.
G. Sec.–Assemble, Craftsmen! It is King Solomon’s orders that the several rolls be called, and report made as soon as possible.
At this command the Secretary passes out of the Lodge, accompanied by ten or fifteen of the brethren, into the ante-room, leaving the door open, so that the candidate can hear the rolls called. The brethren form around the Secretary like a class at school. The Secretary commences to call off a lot of Bible names, to which each brother responds “Here!” in a loud voice, until he calls that of the First Ruffian, “Jubela! Jubela!! Jubela!!!” After calling a few more names, which are responded to by the brethren, he says: “Jubelo! Jubelo!! Jubelo!!!” and after a few more names, that of the Third Ruffian, “Jubelum! Jubelum!! Jubelum!!!” finishing with a few other names; when he leaves the brethren in the ante-room, closes the door, and reports as follows to King Solomon:
G. Sec.–Most Worshipful King Solomon, the several rolls have been called, and reports made, by which it appears that three Fellow Crafts are missing, namely, Jubela, .Jubelo, and Jubelum, who, from the similarity of their names, I presume are brothers, and men from Tyre.
J. G. W.–Most Worshipful King Solomon, there are at the gate twelve Fellow Crafts, who wish to be admitted: they say they come with important tidings.
K. S.–Let them be admitted.
Here the Warden opens the ante-room door, and says: “Come in, you twelve Fellow Crafts;” when all those that were left out by the Secretary come into the Lodge, stamping and scuffling along, especially if only a few of them, to impress upon the candidate’s mind the idea that there are more. They advance before the Master in the east, and form across the Lodge, when all make the duegard and sign of a Fellow Craft (Figs. 3 and p. 17) which is responded to by the Master. Then one of the best posted relates the responded following, in a clear and distinct voice:
“Most Worshipful King Solomon, we come to inform you that fifteen of us Fellow Crafts, seeing the Temple about to be completed, and being desirous of obtaining the secrets of a Master Mason, by which we might travel in foreign countries, and receive Master’s wages, entered into a horrid conspiracy to extort them from our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, or take his life; but, reflecting with horror on the atrocity of the crime, twelve of us recanted; but the other three persisted in their murderous design, and we fear that they have taken the Grand Master’s life. We therefore now appear before your Majesty, clothed with white gloves and aprons, in token of our innocence, and, acknowledging our premeditated guilt, we humbly implore your pardon.” (They all kneel.)
K. S.–Arise, you twelve Fellow Crafts, divide yourselves into parties and travel–three east, three north, three south, and three west–with others whom I shall appoint, in search of the ruffians.
The brother who has acted the part of sea-captain now takes his station at the door again, when these Fellow Crafts approach him in the west.
First Craftsman–Hallo, friend! have you seen any strangers pass this way?
Capt.–I have, three.
Craftsman–Describe them, if you please.
Capt.–They were three brothers, workmen from the Temple, seeking a passage to Ethiopia, but, not having King Solomon’s pass, were not able to obtain one, and returned back into the country.
Second Craftsman–The very fellows of whom we are in pursuit. You say they turned back into the country?
Craftsman–We will go in pursuit of them; they are the fellows we want. (Moving off, one says:)
Let us report.
And at the same time he steps to the Master’s desk, and re-ports as follows:
“Most Worshipful King Solomon, I, being one of those who pursued a westerly course, coming down near the port of Joppa, met a seafaring man, of whom I inquired if he had seen any strangers pass that way; he informed me that he had–three–who from their appearance were workmen from the Temple, seeking a passage to Ethiopia, but not having King Solomon’s pass, were not able to obtain one, and returned back into the country.
K. S.–Divide yourselves and travel, as before, with positive instructions to find the ruffians, and with as positive assurance that, if you do not, the twelve shall be deemed the murderers, and suffer severally, for the crime committed.
They now separate about the Lodge, saying to each other:
“This is very unjust of the King. We are told, if we do not find the ruffians we must be punished–put to death, probably. What have we done? It is very true, we have been associated with these three ruffians, but we have not committed any actual crime”
By this time they have got near the candidate (who is still lying on the floor, rolled up in the canvas), when one of the party sits down near his head, and at the same time says:
“Well, brothers, I am very weary; I must sit down and rest before I can go any farther.”
One of his companions exclaims: “I am tired, too!” and sits down near the candidate.
Another says: “What course shall we pursue? we must not go and report ourselves; if we do, the twelve will be put to death. Here are three of the poor fellows with us; we must not go and give them up, to be put to death; rather let us take a northwesterly or a southwesterly course. Which way shall we go?”
One of the brethren then replies: “We will go a southwesterly course, and will come up with our brothers.” Attempting to get up, he exclaims, “Hallo! what’s this?” at the same time pulling up the evergreen–or acacia, as it is styled–at the head of the grave. 1 “What means this acacia coming up so easily? The ground has been newly broken; this has the appearance of a grave,” pointing to the candidate on the floor.
One of the brothers, representing one of the three ruffians, in a corner near by, is now heard to exclaim, in a loud, but deep tone of voice:
“Oh! that my throat had been cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots, and buried in the rough sands of the sea, at low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, ere I had been accessory to the death of so good a man as our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff.”
“Hark! that is the voice of Jubela.”
“Oh! that my breast had been torn open, my heart plucked out, and placed upon the highest pinnacle of the Temple, there to be devoured by the vultures of the air, ere I had consented to the death of so good a man as our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff.”
“Hark! that is the voice of Jubelo.”
“Oh! that my body had been severed in two, my bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes, the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven, that no more remembrance might be had of so vile and wicked a wretch as I. Ah! Jubela, Jubelo, it was I
that struck him harder than you both: it was I that gave him the fatal blow; it was I that killed him.”
“That is the voice of Jubelum.”
The three craftsmen, having stood by the candidate all this time, listening to the ruffians, whose voices they recognize, say one to another:
“What shall we do? There are three of them, and only three of us.”
Our cause is just; let us rush in and seize them.”
Upon which the three Fellow Crafts rush forward over benches and chairs, and secure the ruffians in no very gentle manner, and lead them to the Worshipful Master’s seat in the east, when one of them reports to the Master:
“Most Worshipful King Solomon, I, being one who pursued a westerly course, and, on my return, after several days of fruit-less search, being more weary than my companions, sat down on the brow of a hill to rest and refresh myself; and, on rising, accidentally caught hold of a sprig of acacia, 1 which, easily giving way, excited my suspicions. Having my curiosity aroused, I examined it, and found it to be a grave.”
As soon as the craftsman has finished this report, another party arrives with the ruffians, and reports as follows:
“Most Worshipful King Solomon, while sitting down to rest and refresh ourselves, we heard the following horrid exclamations from the clefts of the adjacent rocks. The first was the voice of Jubela exclaiming: 2 ‘Oh! that my throat had been cut across,
my tongue torn out by its roots, and buried in the rough sands of the sea, at low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, ere I had been accessory to the death of so good a man as our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff.’ The second was that of Jubelo, exclaiming: ‘Oh! that my breast had been torn open, my heart plucked out and placed upon the highest pinnacle of the Temple, there to be devoured by the vultures of the air, ere I had consented to the death of so good a man as our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff.’ The third was the voice of Jubelum, exclaiming, louder than the rest: ‘It was I that gave the fatal blow, it was I that killed him. Oh! that my body had been severed in two, my bowels taken from thence, and burned to ashes, the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven, that no more remembrance might be had of so vile and wicked a wretch as I. Ah! Jubela! Jubelo! it was I that struck him harder than you both; it was I that gave him the fatal blow; it was I that killed him.’ Upon which we rushed in, seized and bound the ruffians, and now have them before your majesty.”
K. S.–Jubela, you stand charged as accessory to the death of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff. What say you, guilty or not guilty?
One answers, in a very penitent manner:
Guilty, my lord.
K. S.–.Jubelo, you also stand accessory to the death of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff. What say you, sir, guilty or not guilty?
Answer–Guilty, my lord.
K. S.–Jubelum, you stand charged as the wilful murderer of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff. What say you, sir, guilty or not guilty?
Answer–Guilty, my lord.
K. S.–Vile, impious wretches! despicable villains! reflect with horror on the atrocity of your crime, and on the amiable character of your Worshipful Grand Master, whom you have so basely assassinated. Hold up your heads, and hear your sentence. It is my orders that you be taken without the gates of the court, and be executed, according to your several imprecations, in the clefts of the rocks. Brother Junior Grand Warden, you will see my orders duly executed. Begone!
They all pass out of the Lodge with a rush, into the ante-room, where they form into a circle. One, acting as the principal mover, raises his right foot from the floor, at the same time his hands, in the manner of slapping them together, makes two false motions, but at the third all bring down their right feet and hands together, producing a very sharp noise. A momentary silence then ensues, during which one of the party groans, as if nearly dying. This is all intended to produce its effect upon the ears of the candidate. It also represents the execution and dying groans of Jubela, the first ruffian, and is repeated twice more to represent the death of the other two ruffians. Some Lodges use a large drum, others roll a large cannon-ball across the ante-room floor, letting it strike on a cushion placed against the wall. This is not, however, practised in city Lodges.
The ruffians being executed, the brethren all return quietly to the Lodge, when one of them reports, in a loud tone of voice:
“Most Worshipful King Solomon, your orders have been duly executed upon the three murderers of Grand Master, Hiram Abiff.” 1
K. S.–You twelve Fellow Crafts will go in search of the body, and, if found, observe whether the Master’s word, or a key to it, or any thing that appertains to the Master’s Degree, is on or about it.
The brethren representing the twelve repentant conspirators now walk out near the spot where the candidate is lying, and, when close to him, one of the party says:
“Well, brothers, can we find where the acacia was pulled up?”
Approaching the candidate, another replies:
“Yes, this is the place; let us remove the rubbish and dig down here.”
A third, lifting up the canvas, says:
“Yes, here is the body of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, in a mangled and putrid state. Let us go and report. But what were our orders? We were ordered to observe whether the Master’s word, or a key to it, or any thing appertaining to the Master’s Degree, was on or about the body; but, brothers, we are only Fellow Crafts, and know nothing about the Master’s word, or a key to it, or any thing appertaining to the Master’s
[paragraph continues] Degree; we must, however, make an examination, or we will be put to death.”
They then commence to search about the candidate, lifting off the canvas, feeling about his neck, &c., &c.: finally, one of the brethren, taking hold of the jewel which is attached to the yoke about the candidate’s neck, exclaims:
“This is the jewel of his office.”
“Let us go and report that we find nothing on or about the body excepting the jewel of his office.”
One of the brothers now takes off the jewel from the candidate’s neck, and all repair to the Master’s seat in the east, and report:
“Tidings of the body.”
K. S.–Where was it found?
Answer–A westerly course, where our weary brother sat down to rest and refresh himself.
K. S.–Was the Master’s word, or a key to it, or any thing appertaining to the Master’s Degree, on or about it? 1
Answer–Most Worshipful King Solomon, we are but Fellow Crafts; we therefore know nothing about the Master’s word or the Master’s Degree. There was nothing found on or about the body excepting the jewel of his office, by which his body was discovered.
They present the jewel to the Master, who, on examination of it, says:
“This is the jewel of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff; there can be no longer any doubt as to the identity of the body.”
K. S.–You twelve Fellow Crafts will now go and assist in raising the body.
Turning in his seat toward the Treasurer’s desk, he says to the Treasurer:
“My worthy brother of Tyre, as the Master’s word is now lost, the first sign given at the grave, and the first word spoken, after the body is raised, shall be adopted for the regulation of all Masters’ Lodges, until future generations shall find out the right.”
All now form in a circle around the body, the Master and
[paragraph continues] Wardens at the head, when the Master makes the sign of “distress” of a Master Mason, which is done by raising both hands and arms above the head. (See grand hailing sign of distress, Fig. 7, p. 18.) As the Master makes this sign, he says:
“O Lord my God, I fear the Master’s word is forever lost!”
I would remark here, that in some Lodges the Master does not make the sign of distress first at the body, but only gives the sign of a Master Mason, which is done by drawing the right hand across the body, with the thumb inward. (See sign of a Master Mason, Fig. 6, p. 18.) After the sign is made, the whole party commence marching around the body with the sun, singing the following dirge; and, if the Lodge has an organ or melodeon, it is played on this occasion, in a very solemn and impressive manner.
“Solemn strikes the funeral chime,
Notes of our departing time;
As we journey here below,
Through a pilgrimage of woe!”
“Mortals, now indulge a tear,
For Mortality is here:
See how wide her trophies wave
O’er the slumbers of the grave!
“Here another guest we bring.
Seraphs of celestial wing,
To our funeral altar come:
Waft this friend and brother home.
“Lord of all! below–above–
Fill our hearts with truth and love;
When dissolves our earthly tie,
Take us to thy Lodge on High.”
Master (as K. S.) makes the “grand hailing sign of distress” (see Fig. 7, p. 18–some Masters make this sign twice), accompanied by the following exclamation, viz.: “O Lord my God, I fear the Master’s word is forever lost!” He then turns to the Junior Warden, and says: “You will take the body by the Entered Apprentice grip, and see if it can be raised.”
The Junior Warden then takes hold of the candidate’s right hand, giving him the Entered Apprentice’s grip (see Fig. 9, p. 36), and then lets his hand slip off in a careless manner, and reports:
“Most Worshipful King Solomon, owing to the high state of putrefaction, it having been dead already fifteen days, the skin slips, and the body cannot be raised.”
K. S. (making grand hailing sign of distress.)–O Lord my God, I fear the Master’s word is forever lost!
Turning to the Senior Warden, he continues:
K. S.–My worthy brother of Tyre, I will thank you to endeavor to raise the body by the Fellow Craft’s grip.
The Senior Warden then takes the candidate’s right hand, giving the real grip of a Fellow Craft (see Fig. 12, p. 67), and letting his hand slip off quickly, he reports as follows:
“Owing to the reason before given, the flesh cleaves from the bone, and the body cannot be so raised.”
K. S.–O Lord my God! O Lord my God!! O Lord my God!!! Is there no hope for the widow’s son?
At each exclamation he gives the grand hailing sign of distress (see Fig. 7, p. 18), which would be three times, then, turning to the Senior Warden, says:
“My worthy brother of Tyre, what shall we do?”
S. W.–Let us pray.
The brethren now all kneel around the body on one knee. The Master kneels at the head of the candidate, and, taking off his hat, repeats the following prayer, which may be found in all the Masonic Monitors:
Thou, O God! knowest our down-sitting and our uprising, and understandest our thoughts afar off. Shield and defend us from the evil intentions of our enemies, and support us under the trials and afflictions we are destined to endure, while travelling through this vale of tears. Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth as a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee; thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; turn from him that he may rest, till he shall accomplish his day. For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will
sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. But man dieth and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up, so man lieth down, and riseth not up till the heavens shall be no more. Yet, O Lord! have compassion on the children of thy creation, administer them comfort in time of trouble, and save them with an everlasting salvation. Amen.
Response–So mote it be.
All the brethren now rise to their feet.
K. S. (to the S. W.)–My worthy brother of Tyre, I shall endeavor (with your assistance) to raise the body by the strong grip, or lion’s paw, of the tribe of Judah. (See Fig. 17.)
The Master steps to the feet of the candidate, bending over, takes him by the real grip of a Master Mason, places his right foot against the candidate’s
right foot, and his hand to his back, and, with the assistance of the brethren, raises him up perpendicularly in a standing position, and, when fairly on his feet, gives him the
grand Masonic word on the five points of fellowship. (See Fig. 18.) In the mean time, the canvas is slipped out of the Lodge, and as the Master commences to give or whisper the word in the candidate’s ear, some one of the brethren slips off the hoodwink, and this is the first time he has seen light, probably, in an hour. The following is the representation of the Master giving candidate the grand Masonic word, or at least this is a substitute, for, ac-cording to Masonic tradition, the right one was lost at the death of Hiram Abiff. 1 This word cannot be given in any other way, and by Masons is considered a test of all book Masons.
The Master having given the word, which is MAH-HAH-BONE, in low breath, requests the candidate to repeat it with him, which is in this wise:
Master whispers in candidate’s ear–Mah.
Master telling candidate never to give it in any other way than that in which he has received it. The Master, stepping back one pace, now says:
“Brother Gabe, you have now received that grand Masonic word, which you have solemnly sworn never to give in any other way or form than that in which you have received it, which is on the five points of fellowship, and then in low breath. (See page 247.)
‘The five points of fellowship are–foot to foot, knee to knee, breast to breast, hand to back, and cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear.
It is done by putting the inside of your right foot to the inside of the right foot of the one to whom you are going to give the word, the inside of your own knee to his, laying your breast close against his, your left hands on each other’s back, and each one putting his mouth to the other’s right ear.
“1st. Foot to foot–that you will never hesitate to go on foot, and out of your way, to assist and serve a worthy brother.
“2nd. Knee to knee–that you will ever remember a brother’s welfare, as well as your own, in all your adorations to Deity.
“3d. Breast to breast–that you will ever keep in your breast a brother’s secrets, when communicated to and received by you as such, murder and treason excepted.
“4th. Hand to back–that you will ever be ready to stretch forth your hand to assist and save a fallen brother; and that you will vindicate his character behind his back, as well as before his face.
“5th. Cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear–that you will ever caution and whisper good counsel in the ear of an erring brother, and, in the most friendly manner, remind him of his errors, and aid his reformation, giving him due and timely notice, that he may ward off approaching danger.”
All the brethren take their seats but the Master and candidate, when the Master continues:
“Brother Gabe, you will now repair to the east, and receive an historical account of this degree.”
Master now takes his seat in the east, and requests candidate to stand before him.
W. M.–Brother Gabe, the second section of this degree exemplifies an instance of virtue, fortitude, and integrity seldom equalled, if ever excelled, in the history of man.
You have this evening represented one of the greatest men, and perhaps the greatest Mason, the world ever knew, viz., our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, who was slain just before the completion of King Solomon’s Temple. His death was premeditated by fifteen Fellow Crafts, who, seeing the Temple about to be completed, and being desirous of obtaining the secrets of a Master Mason, whereby they might travel in foreign countries and receive Master’s wages, entered into a horrid conspiracy to extort them from our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, or take his life; but, reflecting with horror on the atrocity of the crime, twelve of them recanted; the other three persisted in their murderous designs.
Our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, was slain at high twelve. It was his usual practice at that hour, while the craft were called from labor to refreshment, to enter into the unfinished “Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies,” of the Temple, and there offer up his adorations to the Deity, and draw his designs on the trestle-board.
The three Fellow Crafts who persisted in their murderous designs, knowing this to be his usual practice, placed themselves at the south, west, and east gates of the inner courts of the temple, and there awaited his return.
Our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, having finished his usual exercises, attempted to retire by the south gate, when he was accosted by Jubela, who thrice demanded of him the secrets of a Master Mason, or the Master’s word, and, on his being refused, gave him a blow with the twenty-four-inch gauge across his throat, upon which he fled and attempted to pass out at the west gate, where he was accosted by Jubelo, who, in like manner, demanded of him the secrets of a blaster Mason, or the Master’s word, and, on his being refused, gave him a blow with the square across his breast, upon which he fled, and attempted to make his escape out at the east gate, where he was accosted by Jubelum, who, in like manner, thrice demanded the secrets of a Master Mason, or the Master’s word, and, on his like refusal, gave him a violent blow with the setting-maul on his forehead, which felled him dead on the spot.
The ruffians buried the body in the rubbish of the Temple until low-twelve, or twelve at night, when they met by agreement and carried it a westerly course from the Temple, to the brow of a hill west of Mount Moriah, where they buried it in a grave dug due east and west, six feet, perpendicular, at the head of which they planted an acacia, in order to conceal it, and that the place might be known, should occasion ever require, and made their escape.
Our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, was found to be missing on the following day; his absence was discovered by there being no designs drawn on the trestle-board.
King Solomon, believing him to be indisposed, ordered strict search and due inquiry to be made for him through the several apartments of the Temple, that he might be found, if possible. But nothing could be seen or heard of him.
Then, fearing some accident had befallen him, the king ordered the several rolls of the workmen to be called, and there appeared to be three missing, namely: Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, who, from the similarity of their names, were supposed to be brothers and men from Tyre.
About this time, the twelve Fellow Crafts, who had recanted from their murderous designs, appeared before King Solomon, clothed in white gloves and aprons, in token of their innocence, acknowledging their premeditated guilt, and, kneeling, implored his pardon.
King Solomon then ordered them to divide themselves into parties, and travel three east, three west, three north, and three south; and that they should, with others whom he should appoint, go in search of the ruffians.
The three that pursued a westerly course, coming down near the port of Joppa, met with a seafaring man, of whom they made inquiry, if he had seen any strangers pass that way; he informed them that he had, three, who, from their appearance, were work-men from the Temple, seeking a passage into Ethiopia, but not having King Solomon’s pass, were not allowed to obtain one, and had returned back into the country.
They returned and bore this information to King Solomon, who ordered them to disguise themselves and travel as before, with positive instructions to find the ruffians and with as positive assurance that, if they did not, they twelve should he deemed the murderers, and suffer severely for the crime committed.
They travelled as before, and after fifteen days of weary travel and hardships, one of the brethren, being more weary than the rest, sat down on the brow of a hill, west of Mount Moriah, to rest and refresh himself, and, on attempting to rise, caught hold
of an acacia, which easily giving way, excited his curiosity: upon examination they found it to be a grave.
About this time a party arrived with the ruffians, and related that while sitting down to rest and refresh themselves, they heard the following horrid exclamations from the clefts of an adjacent rock.
The first was the voice of Jubela, exclaiming:
“Oh! that my throat had been cut across,” &c., &c.
The second was the voice of Jubelo, exclaiming:
“Oh! that my body had been cut in two,” &c., &c.
The third was the voice of Jubelum, exclaiming:
“Oh! that my body had been cut in two,” &c., &c.
Upon which they rushed in, seized, bound, and brought them before King Solomon; who, after a due conviction of their guilt, ordered them to be taken without the gates of the courts of the Temple, and executed according to the several imprecations upon their own heads.
King Solomon then ordered the twelve Fellow Crafts to go in search of the body, and, if found, to observe whether the Master’s word, or a key to it, or any thing appertaining to the Master’s Degree, was on or about it.
The body of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, was found in a westerly course from the Temple, where our weary brothers sat down to rest and refresh themselves.
On removal of the earth, they came to the body of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, which they found in a high state of putrefaction, and in a mutilated and mangled condition, it having been buried already fifteen days: the effluvia which arose from it compelled them to place involuntarily their hands thus (Master here places his hands in form of a duegard of a Master Mason, which alludes to the manner in which his hands were placed when he took the oath of a Master Mason), to guard their nostrils–but nothing was found on or about the body excepting the jewel of his office, by which his body was easily discovered. 1
King Solomon then ordered them to go and assist in raising the body; and it was agreed between him and Hiram, king of Tyre, that as the Master’s word was then lost, the first sigh given at the grave, and the first word spoken after the body should be raised, should be used for the regulation of all Masters’
[paragraph continues] Lodges, until future generations should find out the right one.
They repaired to the grave, when King Solomon ordered one of the Fellow Crafts to take the body by the Entered Apprentice grip, and see if it could be raised; but, on account of its high state of decomposition, it could not be raised–the flesh cleaved from the bone.
King Solomon then ordered them to take it by the Fellow Craft grip; but on trial, for the reason before given, the Fellow Craft’s grip failed to benefit any–it could not be raised.
King Solomon then exclaimed:
“O Lord my God, I fear the Master’s word is forever lost! My brother of Tyre, what shall we do? Let us pray.”
After prayer, King Solomon took the body by the strong grip of a Master Mason, or lion’s paw, and raised it on the five points of fellowship, which have been explained to you. The body was then carried to the Temple for a more decent burial, and was interred in due form.
The body of our Grand Master was buried three times: first, in the rubbish of the Temple; secondly, on the brow of a hill west of Mount Moriah; and, thirdly and lastly, as near the “Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies,” of King Solomon’s Temple, as the Jewish law would permit; and Masonic tradition informs us that there was erected to his memory a Masonic monument, consisting of “a beautiful virgin, weeping over a broken column; before her was a book open; in her right hand a sprig of acacia, in her left an urn; behind her stands Time, unfolding and counting the, ringlets of her hair.”
The beautiful virgin weeping over the broken column denotes the unfinished state of the Temple, likewise the untimely death of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff; the book open before her, that his virtues lay on perpetual record; the sprig of acacia in her right hand, the divinity of the body; the urn in her left, that his ashes were therein safely deposited, under the “Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies,” of King Solomon’s Temple.
Time, unfolding the ringlets of her hair, denoted that time, patience, and perseverance accomplish all things.
The Master now gives and explains to the candidate the several signs and tokens of this Degree, commencing with the first (see Figs. 5, 6, and 7, pages 17 and 18) and ending with the grips. (See Figs. 16 and 17, pages 97 and 120; also see Note L, Appendix.)
The Master next calls the candidate’s attention to the three grand Masonic pillars, usually delineated on Master’s carpet (a
[paragraph continues] Master’s carpet is a large map that Lodges generally keep, which is highly embellished with Masonic emblems).
Master, pointing to these pillars, says: “These are called the three grand Masonic columns or pillars, and are designated Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty.
“The pillar of Wisdom represents Solomon, King of Israel, whose wisdom contrived the mighty fabric; the pillar of Strength, Hiram, king of Tyre, who strengthened Solomon in his grand undertaking; the pillar of Beauty, Hiram Abiff, the widow’s son, whose cunning craft and curious workmanship beautified and adorned the Temple.
“The construction of this grand edifice was attended with two remarkable circumstances. From Josephus we learn, that although seven years were occupied in building it, yet, during the whole time, it rained not in the daytime, that the workmen might not be obstructed in their labor, and from sacred history it appears that there was neither the sound of hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house while it was building. This famous fabric was supported by fourteen hundred and fifty-three columns, and two thousand nine hundred and six pilasters–all hewn from the finest Parian marble.
“There were employed in its building three Grand Masters; three thousand three hundred Masters, or overseers of the work; eighty thousand Fellow Crafts, or hewers on the mountains and in the quarries; and seventy thousand Entered Apprentices, or bearers of burdens. All these were, classed and arranged in such a manner, by the wisdom of Solomon, that neither envy, discord, nor confusion was suffered to interrupt that universal peace and tranquillity which pervaded the world at that important period.” 1
“Brother Gabe, seven constitute a Lodge of Entered Apprentices–one Master Mason, and six Entered Apprentices. They usually meet on the Ground Floor of King Solomon’s Temple.
“Five constitute a Lodge of Fellow Crafts two Master Masons and three Fellow Crafts. They usually meet in the Middle Chamber of King Solomon’s Temple.
“Three constitute a Lodge of Master Masons–three Master Masons. They meet in the Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies of King Solomon’s Temple.”
The Master either reads or repeats the following from a Monitor, which by many is committed to memory; but when he has the “work” (i.e., that part which is not monitorial), it is not necessary that he should commit to memory what is called the Master’s carpet of emblems, but as it is a part of the initiation of the Third Degree, the author proposes to give it in its regular order of Lodge business.
Usually delineated upon the Master’s carpet, are emblematic of the three principal stages of human life, viz.: youth, man-hood, and age. In youth, in Entered Apprentices, we ought industriously to occupy our minds in the attainment of useful knowledge; in manhood, as Fellow Crafts, we should apply our knowledge to the discharge of our respective duties to God, our neighbors, and ourselves; so that in age, as Master Masons, we may enjoy the happy reflections consequent on a well-spent life, and die in the hope of a glorious immortality.
The Pot of Incense
Is an emblem of a pure heart, which is always an acceptable sacrifice to the Deity; and as this glows with fervent heat, so should our hearts continually glow with gratitude to the great and beneficent Author of our existence, for the manifold blessings and comforts we enjoy.
Is an emblem of industry, and recommends the practice of that virtue to all created beings, from the highest seraph in heaven to the lowest reptile of the dust. It teaches us that, as we come into the world rational and intelligent beings, so we should ever be industrious ones; never sitting down contented while our fellow-creatures around us are in want, when it is in our power to relieve them without inconvenience to ourselves.
When we take a survey of nature, we view man, in his infancy, more helpless and indigent than the brute creation; he lies languishing for days, months, and years, totally incapable of providing sustenance for himself, of guarding against the attack of the wild beasts of the forest, or sheltering himself from the in-clemencies of the weather.
It might have pleased the great Creator of heaven and earth to have made man independent of all other beings; but, as dependence is one of the strongest bonds of society, mankind were made dependent on each other for protection and security, as they thereby enjoy better opportunities of fulfilling the duties of reciprocal love and friendship. Thus was man formed for social and active life, the noblest part of the work of God; and he that will so demean himself as not to be endeavoring to add to the common stock of knowledge and understanding, may be deemed a drone In the hive of nature, a useless member of society, and unworthy of our protection as Masons.
Reminds us that we should be ever watchful and guarded in our thoughts, words, and actions, particularly when before the enemies of Masonry; ever bearing in remembrance those truly masonic virtues, silence and circumspection.
may be hidden from the eyes of man, yet that demonstrates that justice will sooner or later overtake us; and although our thoughts, words, and actions ALL SEEING EYE!
The All-seeing eye whom the sun, moon, and stars obey, and under whose watchful care even comets perform their stupendous revolutions, beholds the inmost recesses of the human heart, and will reward us according to our works.
THE ANCHOR AND ARK
The Anchor and the Ark
Are emblems of a well-grounded hope and a well-spent life. They are emblematical of that divine ark which safely bears us over this tempestuous sea of troubles, and that anchor which shall safely moor us in a peaceful harbor, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary shall find rest.
This was an invention of our ancient friend and brother, the great Pythagoras, who, in his travels through Asia, Africa, and Europe, was initiated into several orders of priesthood, and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. This wise philosopher enriched his mind abundantly in a general knowledge of things, and more especially in geometry or masonry. On this subject he drew out many problems and theorems, and, among the most distinguished he erected this, which in the joy of his heart he called “Eureka,” In the Grecian language signifying, “I have found it; “and upon the discovery of which he is said to have sacrificed a hecatomb. It teaches Masons to be general lovers of the arts and sciences.
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 the 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 still aspiring, he falls, like autumn leaves, to enrich oar mother earth.
Is an emblem of time, which cuts the brittle thread of life, and
launches us into eternity. Behold! what havoc the scythe of time makes among the human race: if by chance we should escape the numerous evils incident to childhood and youth, and with health and vigor arrive at the years of manhood, yet withal we must soon be cut down by the all-devouring scythe of time, and be gathered into the land where our fathers have gone before us.
Brother Gabe, permit me to call your attention to the last emblem on the carpet–the spade, setting-maul, coffin, grave, and sprig of acacia.
The spade, which dug the grave of our Grand Master, may soon dig ours; the setting-maul, which terminated his earthly existence, may be among the casualties which will, sooner or later, terminate ours; the coffin, which received his remains, may soon receive ours; the grave, that abode for the dead, may soon be our grave; the acacia (that evergreen which once marked the temporary resting-place of the illustrious dead), that bloomed and flourished at the head of our Grand Master’s grave, and was the cause of its timely discovery, is an emblem of our faith in the immortality of the soul, which never! never–no, never dies.
COFFIN, GRAVE, AND ACACIA
This, my brother, may soon designate our last resting-place in that everlasting and silent abode, that haven of rest, that peaceful home, “where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.”
Let me admonish you, in the most serious manner, in reference to the close of life, that, when the cold winter of death shall have passed, and the bright summer morn of the resurrection appears, the Sun of Righteousness shall descend and send forth His angels to collect our ransomed dead; then, if we are found worthy, by the benefit of his “pass” we shall gain a ready admission into that celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides, where we shall see the King In the beauty of holiness, and with him enter into an endless eternity.
Some Masters add the following:
Thus, brother, we close our lecture on the emblems with the solemn thought of death. We are all born to die; we follow our friends to the brink of the grave, and, standing on the shore of a vast ocean, we gaze with exquisite anxiety until the last struggle is over, and we see them sink into the fathomless abyss. We feel our own feet sliding from the precarious brink on which We stand, and a few more suns, and we will be whelmed ’neath death’s awful wave, to rest in the stilly shades, and darkness Said silence will reign around our melancholy abode. But is this
the end of man, and of the aspiring hopes of all faithful Masons? No! blessed be God, we pause not our feet at the first or second step; but, true to our principles, look forward for greater light. As the embers of mortality are faintly glimmering in the sockets of existence, the Bible removes the dark cloud, draws aside the sable curtains of the tomb, bids hope and joy rouse us, and sustains and cheers the departing spirit; it points beyond the silent grave, and bids us turn our eyes with faith and confidence upon the opening scenes of our eternity.
The Worshipful Master gives three raps with his gavel, which brings the whole Lodge to their feet.
CHARGE TO THE LODGE
And now, my brethren, let us see to it, and so regulate our lives by the plumb-line of justice, ever squaring our actions by the square of virtue, that when the Grand Warden of Heaven may call for us, we may be found ready; let us cultivate assiduously the noble tenets of our profession–brotherly love, relief, and truth–and, from the square, learn morality; from the level, equality; from the plumb, rectitude of life. Let us imitate, in all his various perfections, him who, when assailed by the murderous band of rebellious craftsmen, maintained his integrity, even in death, and sealed his pledge with his own blood. Let us emulate his amiable and virtuous conduct, his unfeigned piety to his God, his inflexible integrity to his trust; and as the evergreen that bloomed at the head of the grave be. tokened the place of his interment, so may virtue’s ever-blooming loveliness designate us as free and accepted Masons. With the trowel, spread liberally the cement of brotherly love and affection; and, circumscribed by the compass, let us ponder well our words and actions, and let all the energies of our minds and the affections of our souls be employed in the attainment of our Supreme Grand Warden’s approbation. Thus, when dissolution draws nigh, and the cold winds of death come sighing around us, and his chilly dews already glisten on our foreheads, with joy shall we obey the summons of the Grand Warden of Heaven, and go from our labors on earth to everlasting refreshments in the Paradise of God. Then, by the benefit of the pass–a pure and blameless life–with a firm reliance on Divine Providence, shall we gain ready admission into that Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Grand Warden forever presides–forever reigns. When, placed at his right hand, he will be pleased to pronounce us just and upright Masons, then shall we be fitted as living stones for that spiritual temple, “that house not made
with hands, eternal in the heavens,” where no discordant voice shall be heard, but all the soul shall experience shall be perfect bliss, and all it shall express shall be perfect praise, and love divine shall ennoble every heart, and hallelujahs exalted employ every tongue.
The Master gives one rap with his gavel, when all take their seats except the candidate, who remains standing before the Master, by whom he is addressed as follows:
W. M.–Brother Gabe, in closing this Degree, I now give you the following
Brother, your zeal for the institution of Masonry, the progress you have made in the mystery, and your conformity to our regulations, have pointed you out as a proper object for our favor and esteem.
You are now bound by duty, honor, and gratitude, to be faithful to your trust; to support the dignity of your character on every occasion; and to enforce, by precept and example, obedience to the tenets of the Order.
In the character of a Master Mason, you are authorized to correct the errors and irregularities of your uninformed brethren, and to guard them against a breach of fidelity.
To preserve the reputation of the fraternity unsullied must be your constant care; and, for this purpose, it is your province to recommend to your inferiors obedience and submission; to your equals, courtesy and affability; to your superiors, kindness and condescension. Universal benevolence you are always to cultivate; and, by the regularity of your own behavior, afford the best example for the conduct of others less informed. The ancient landmarks of the order, intrusted to your care, you are carefully to preserve; and never suffer them to be infringed, or countenance a deviation from the established usages and customs of the fraternity.
Your virtue, honor, and reputation are concerned in supporting with dignity the character you now bear. Let no motive, there-fore, make you swerve from your duty, violate your vows, or betray your trust; but be true and faithful, and imitate the example of that celebrated artist whom you this evening represent. Thus you will render yourself deserving of the honor which we have conferred, and merit the confidence we have reposed.
W. M.–Brother Gabe, you will now take your seat in this Lodge as a Master Mason, after stepping to the Secretary’s desk,
and signing your name to the constitution and by-laws–which will then make you a member of this Lodge.
There is a lecture to this Degree, as well as in the other Degrees, but it is not generally given by the Master to the candidate on the night of his “raising.” The candidate generally gets this from some of the brethren who are well posted in the work. This Degree is very lengthy, and to give the lecture at an initiation would take up too much of the night; but if there is time, the Master and Senior Warden usually go through with the first section before closing the Lodge, so that the candidate and brethren may become conversant with it. The lecture is as follows:
Q. Are you a Master Mason?
A. I am.
Q. What induced you to become a Master Mason?
A. In order that I might travel in foreign countries, work and receive Master’s wages, being better enabled to support myself and family, and contribute to the relief of worthy distressed Master Masons, their widows and orphans.
Q. What makes you a Master Mason?
A. My obligation.
Q. Where were you made a Master Mason?
A. In a regularly constituted Lodge of Masons.
Q. How were you prepared?
A. By being divested of all metals, neither naked nor clothed, barefoot nor shod, hoodwinked, with a cable-tow three times around my body, in which condition I was conducted to the door of the Lodge by a brother.
Q. Why had you a cable-tow three times around your body?
A. To signify that my duties and obligations become more and more binding as I advance in Masonry.
Q. How gained you admission?
A. By three distinct knocks.
Q. To what do they allude?
A. To the three jewels of a Master Mason, which are friend-ship, morality, and brotherly love.
Q. What was said to you from within?
A. Who comes here?
Q. Your answer?
A. Brother A. B., who has been regularly initiated Entered Apprentice, passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft, and now wishes
further light in Masonry, by being raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason.
Q. What were you then asked?
A. If it was of my own free-will and accord, if I was worthy and well qualified, duly and truly prepared, had made suitable proficiency in the preceding Degree, and was properly vouched for; all which being answered in the affirmative, I was asked by what further right or benefit I expected to gain admission.
Q. What followed?
A. I was directed to wait with patience until the Worshipful Master should be informed of my request, and his answer returned.
Q. What answer did he return?
A. Let him enter, and be received in due form.
Q. How were you received?
A. On both points of the compasses, extending from my naked left to my right breast, which was to teach me that, as the most vital parts of man are contained within the breast, so the most excellent tenets of our institution are contained between the points of the compasses, which are, friendship, morality, and brotherly love.
Q. How were you then disposed of?
A. I was conducted three times around the Lodge, to the Junior Warden in the south, where the same questions were asked, and like answers returned as at the door.
Q. How did the Junior Warden dispose of you?
A. He directed me to the Senior Warden in the west, and he to the Worshipful Master in the east, where the same questions were asked, and like answers returned as before.
Q. How did the Worshipful Master dispose of you?
A. He ordered me to be returned to the Senior Warden in the west, who taught me to approach the east by three upright regular steps, my feet forming the angle of a perfect square, my body erect at the altar, before the Worshipful Master in the east.
Q. What did the Worshipful Master do with you?
A. He made me a Master Mason in due form.
Q. What was that due form?
A. Kneeling on both my naked knees, both hands resting on the Holy Bible, square, and compasses; in which due form I took the solemn oath of a Master Mason, which is as follows:
(Here give the obligation; but it is never required–being only a matter of form.)
Q. After the obligation, what were you asked?
A. What I most desired.
Q. Your answer?
A. Further light in Masonry.
Q. Did you receive it?
A. I did, by order of the Worshipful Master and the assistance of the brethren.
Q. On being brought to light, what did you discover more than you had heretofore discovered?
A. Both points of the compasses elevated above the square, which was to teach me never to lose sight of those truly Masonic virtues, which are friendship, morality, and brotherly love.
Q. What did you then discover?
A. The Worshipful Master approaching me from the east, under the duegard of a Master Mason, who, in token of further continuance of his brotherly love and favor, presented me with his right hand, and with it the pass and token of the pass of a Master Mason, and ordered me to arise and salute the Junior and Senior Wardens as such.
Q. After saluting the Wardens, what did you first discover?
A. The Worshipful Master, who ordered me to the Senior Warden in the west, who taught me how to wear my apron as a Master Mason.
Q. How should a Master Mason wear his apron?
A. With the flap and corners turned down, which is to distinguish him as a Master Mason, or an overseer of the work.
Q. After being taught to wear your apron as a Master Mason, how were you then disposed of?
A. I was conducted to the Worshipful Master in the east, who presented me with the working-tools of a Master Mason, which are all the implements of Masonry indiscriminately, but more especially the trowel.
Q. What is the use of these tools?
A. The trowel is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to spread the cement, which unites a building into one common mass; but we, as free and accepted Masons, are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection, &c., &c. (See Monitor for the balance of this answer, or page 99 of this work.)
Q. How were you then disposed of?
A. I was ordered to be returned to the place from whence I came, and reinvested of what I had been divested of, and wait the Worshipful Master’s will and pleasure.
Q. What does a Master’s Lodge represent?
A. The unfinished Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies, of King Solomon’s Temple.
Q. Did you ever return to the Lodge?
A. I did.
Q. On your return to the Lodge, where were you placed?
A. In the centre, where I was caused to kneel, and implore the blessings of Deity.
Q. After imploring the blessings of Deity, what followed?
A. I arose, and on my passage around the Lodge was accosted by three Fellow Crafts, who thrice demanded of me the secrets of a Master Mason; and, on being refused, the first gave me a blow with the twenty-four-inch gauge, across my throat; the second with a square, across my breast; the third with a setting-maul, on my forehead, which felled me on the spot.
Q. What did you then represent?
A. Our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, who was slain just before the completion of King Solomon’s Temple.
Q. Was his death premeditated?
A. It was, by fifteen Fellow Crafts, who, seeing the Temple about to be completed, and being desirous of obtaining the secrets of a Master Mason, whereby they might travel in foreign countries, work, and receive Master’s wages, entered into a horrid conspiracy to extort them from our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, or take his life; but, reflecting with horror on the atrocity of the crime, twelve of them recanted; the other three persisted in their murderous designs.
Q. At what hour was our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, slain? A. At high twelve. 1
Q. How came he to be assassinated at that hour?
A. It was his usual practice at high twelve, while the Craft were called from labor to refreshment, to enter into the unfinished Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies of the Temple, and there to offer up his adorations to Deity, and there to draw his designs on the trestle-board. 1
Q. Who were the murderers?
A. The three Fellow Crafts who persisted in their murderous designs, knowing this to be his usual practice, placed themselves at the south, west, and east gates of the inner courts of the Temple, and there awaited his return.
Q. What followed?
A. Our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, having finished his usual exercises, attempted to retire at the south gate, where he was accosted by Jubela, who thrice demanded of him the secrets of a Master Mason, or the Master’s word; and, on being refused, gave him a blow with the twenty-four-inch gauge across the throat, upon which he fled, and attempted to pass out at the west gate, where he was accosted by Jubelo, who, in like manner, thrice demanded of him the secrets of a Master Mason, or the Master’s word; and, on his being refused, gave him a blow with a square across his breast, upon which he fled, and attempted to make his escape out at the east gate, where he was accosted by Jubelum, who, in like manner, thrice demanded of him the secrets of a Master .Mason, or the Master’s word: and, on his being refused, gave him a violent blow with a setting-maul, on his forehead, which felled him dead on the spot. 2
Q. What did they do with the body?
A. They buried it in the rubbish of the Temple until low twelve, or twelve at night, when they met by agreement and carried it a westerly course from the Temple, to the brow of a hill west of Mount Moriah, where they buried it in a grave dug due east and west, six feet perpendicular, at the head of which they planted an acacia, in order to conceal it, and that the place might be known, should occasion ever require; and then made their escape.
Q. When was our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, found to be missing?
A. On the following day.
Q. How was his absence discovered?
A. By there being no designs drawn on the trestle-board.
Q. What followed?
A. King Solomon, being informed of this, supposed him to be indisposed, and ordered strict search to be made for him through the several apartments of the Temple, and due inquiry made; search and inquiry were accordingly made, but he could not be found.
Q. What followed?
A. King Solomon, fearing some accident had befallen him, ordered the several rolls of the workmen to be called; and, after roll-call, it was found that three Craftsmen were missing, namely, Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, who, from the similarity of their names, were supposed to be brothers, and men from Tyre.
Q. What followed?
A. At this time, the twelve Fellow Crafts, who had recanted from their murderous designs, appeared before King Solomon, clothed in white gloves and aprons, in token of their innocence, acknowledging their premeditated guilt, and humbly imploring his pardon.
Q. What followed? /
A. King Solomon ordered them to divide in parties, and travel three east, three west, three north, and three south, with others whom he should appoint, in search of the ruffians.
Q. What followed?
A. The three, as they were passing a westerly course, coming down near the port of Joppa, met a seafaring man, of whom they inquired if he had seen any strangers pass that way. He informed them that he had seen three, who, from their appearance, were workmen from the Temple, seeking a passage into Ethiopia; but, not having King Solomon’s pass, were unable to obtain one, and had returned back into the country.
Q. What followed?
A. They returned and bore this intelligence to King Solomon, who ordered them to divide themselves, and travel as before, with positive instructions to find the ruffians, and with as positive assurance, that if they did not the twelve should be deemed the murderers, and suffer severely for the crime committed.
Q. What followed?
A. They travelled as before, and, after many days of hardships and toil, on their return one of the brethren, more weary than the rest, sat down on the brow of a hill to rest and refresh himself, and on attempting to rise, accidentally caught hold of an acacia, which easily giving way, aroused his curiosity; upon which he hailed his companions, and on examination found it to be a grave.
Q. What followed? (See Note P, page 272.)
A. At this time a party arrived with the ruffians, and related that, while sitting down to rest and refresh themselves, they heard the following horrid exclamations from the clefts of an adjacent rock: the first was the voice of Jubela, exclaiming, “Oh! that my throat had been cut across,” &c., &c.; the second was the voice of Jubelo, exclaiming, “Oh! that my breast had been torn open.” &c., &c.; the third was the voice of Jubelum, exclaiming, “Oh! that my body had been severed in two, my bowels taken from thence,” &c., &c. (See p. 112.) Upon which they rushed in, seized, bound, and brought them before King Solomon; who, after due conviction of their guilt, ordered them to be executed according to their several imprecations upon their own heads, uttered from the clefts of the rocks. 1 (See Note P, page 271.)
Q. How long was the Temple in building?
A. Seven years; during which it rained not in the daytime, that the workmen might not be obstructed in their labor.
Q. What supported the Temple?
A. Fourteen hundred and fifty-three columns, and two thousand nine hundred and six pilasters; all hewn from the finest Parian marble.
Q. What further supported it?
A. Three grand columns or pillars.
Q. What were they called?
A. Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty.
Q. What did they represent?
A. The pillar of Wisdom represented Solomon, king of Israel, whose wisdom contrived the mighty fabric; the pillar of strength, Hiram, king of Tyre, who strengthened Solomon in his grand undertaking; the pillar of Beauty, Hiram Abiff, the widow’s son, whose cunning craft and curious workmanship beautified and adorned the Temple.
Q. How many were there employed in the building of King Solomon’s Temple?
A. Three Grand Masters, three thousand three hundred Masters or overseers of the work, eighty thousand Fellow Crafts, and seventy thousand Entered Apprentices, &c., &c. (See p. 126.)
Q. How many constitute an Entered Apprentices’ Lodge?
A. Seven; one Master and six Entered Apprentices.
Q. Where did they usually meet?
A. On the Ground Floor of King Solomon’s Temple.
Q. How many constitute a Fellow Crafts’ Lodge?
A. Five; two Masters and three Fellow Crafts.
Q. Where did they usually meet?
A. In the Middle Chamber of King Solomon’s Temple.
Q. How many constitute a Masters’ Lodge?
A. Three Master Masons.
Q. Where did they usually meet?
A. In the Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies, of King Solomon’s Temple.
Q. Have you any emblems in this Degree?
A. We have several, and they are divided into two classes.
Q. What are the first class?
A. The Pot of Incense, the Beehive. the Book of Constitutions guarded by the Tyler’s Sword, the Sword pointing to a Naked Heart, the All-seeing Eye, the Anchor and Ark, the Forty-seventh
[paragraph continues] Problem of Euclid, the Hour-Glass, the Scythe, and the Three Steps on the Master’s Carpet.
Q. How are they explained?
These answers are monitorial. (See pp. 127-130.)
Q. What are the second class of emblems?
A. The Setting-Maul, Spade, Coffin, Grave, and Sprig of Acacia; and are thus explained. 1 (See p. 130.)
Reader, I have given you the whole of the first three Degrees in Masonry. This ends the third, or Master Masons’ Degree.
But few Masons take sufficient interest in Masonry to be advanced further, and consequently do not get the password which was lost by the tragical death of Hiram Abiff.
King Solomon is said to have substituted, in place of the lost one, the word now used in the Master Masons’ Degree, viz.: Mah-Hah-Bone, which is given on the five points of fellowship, and in low breath.
The missing word was found, after four hundred and seventy years, and was then, and still is, used in the Royal Arch Degree, as will be seen in the ceremonies of that Degree.
CLOSING THE LODGE.
The Lodge is closed in nearly the same manner that it is opened, and, in fact, all three of the Degrees are closed alike.
We will suppose the business of the Lodge finished, and that the Master proceeds to close.
W. M.–Brother Senior Warden, do you know of any thing further before this Lodge of Masons previous to closing?
S. W. (rising to his feet, and giving the sign of a Master Mason, if opened on that Degree.)–Nothing, Worshipful (some say), in the west. (Sits down.)
W. M.–Any thing in the south, Brother Junior Warden?
J. W. (makes the same sign as the Senior Warden.)–Nothing, Worshipful.
W. M.–Brother Secretary, have you any thing on your desk?
W. M.–Has any brother around the Lodge any thing to offer for the benefit of Masonry before we proceed to close?
W. M.–Reading of the present communication. (Secretary reads the minutes, &c., &c.)
W. M.–Brother Senior Warden, have you any alterations or additions to make to the minutes?
S. W. (rising to his feet and making the sign.)–I have none, Worshipful.
W. M.–Brother Junior Warden, have you any to make?
J. W.–None, Worshipful.
W. M.–Has any brother present any?
W. M.–Brethren, the minutes will stand approved, if there are no objections. (Gives one rap (•), when the Junior Deacon, at the inner door of the Lodge, rises to his feet.) Brother Junior Deacon, the last as well as the first care of Masons, when convened?
J. D. (makes sign.)–To see that the Lodge is duly tyled.
W. M.–You will attend to that part of your duty, and inform the Tyler that we are about to close this Lodge, and direct him to tyle accordingly. (Deacon opens the door, and delivers his message.)
J. D.–The Lodge is tyled, Worshipful.
W. M.–How tyled?
J. D.–By a brother of this Degree within the outer door.
W. M.–His duty there?
J. D.–To keep off all cowans and eavesdroppers, and suffer none to pass or repass, except such as are duly qualified and have the Worshipful Master’s permission. (Sits down.)
W. M. (one rap, Senior Warden rises to his feet.)–Brother Senior Warden, at the opening of this Lodge you informed me that you were a Master Mason. What induced you to become a Master Mason?
S. W.–In order that I might travel in foreign countries, work, and receive Master’s wages, being better enabled to support myself and family, and contribute to the relief of worthy distressed Master Masons, their widows and orphans.
W. M.–Have you ever travelled?
S. W.–I have; from west to east, and from east to west again. Some Lodges use the following questions and answers, both at opening and closing:
W. M.–Why did you leave the west and travel to the east?
S. W.–In search of that which was lost.
W. M.–To what do you allude, my brother?
S. W.–The Master’s word.
W. M.–Did you find it?
S. W.–I did not, but found a substitute.
This is also used occasionally by some Masters in the lecture:
W. M.–The Junior Deacon’s station?
S. W.–At the right hand of the Senior Warden in the west.
W. M. (two raps, all the officers rise to their feet.)–Your duty there, Brother Junior Deacon?
J. D.–(See opening ceremony, p. 14.)
W. M.–The Senior Deacon’s station?
J. D.–At the right hand of the Worshipful Master in the east.
W. M.–Your duty there, Brother Senior Deacon?
S. D.–(See opening ceremony, p. 14.)
W. M.–The Secretary’s station?
S. D.–At the left hand of the Worshipful Master in the east.
W. M.–Your duty there, Brother Secretary?
Sec.–(See opening ceremony, p. 14.)
W. M.–The Treasurer’s station?
S. D.–At the left hand of the Worshipful Master in the east.
W. M.–Your duty there, Brother Treasurer?
Treasurer–(See opening ceremony, p. 14.)
W. M.–The Junior Warden’s station?
Treasurer–In the south, Worshipful.
W. M.–Why in the south, and your duty there, Brother Junior?
J. W.–(See opening ceremony, p. 15.)
W. M.–The Senior Warden’s station?
J. W.–In the west, Worshipful Master.
W. M.– Why in the west, and your duty there, Brother Senior?
S. W.–(See opening ceremony, p. 15.)
W. M.–The Worshipful Master’s station?
S. W.–In the east, Worshipful.
W. M.–Why in the east, and his duty there?
S. W.–As the sun rises in the east, to open and govern the day, so rises the Worshipful Master in the east (here the Master gives three raps (• • •), when all in the Lodge rise to their feet, the Master rising first), to open and govern his Lodge, set the Craft to work, and give them proper instructions.
W. M.–Brother Senior Warden, it is my orders that this Lodge be now closed, and stand closed until our next regular communication (barring emergency), when all, or a suitable number, shall have due and timely notice. In the mean time, it is hoped and expected that every brother will demean himself as becomes a man and a Mason. This you will communicate to the Junior Warden in the south, and he to the brethren about the
[paragraph continues] Lodge, that they having due and timely notice, may govern themselves accordingly.
S. W.–Brother Junior Warden, it is the orders of the Worshipful Master, &c., &c.
J. W.–Brethren, you have heard the orders of the Worshipful Master, as communicated to me through the Senior Warden in the west–you will take notice, and govern yourselves accordingly.
W. M.–Brethren, together on the signs. (The signs are just the same as at opening. See pp. 16, 17, 18; also p. 155.)
After the signs are gone through with by the whole Lodge, the Master gives one rap with his gavel, which is responded to by the Senior Warden, and then by the Junior Warden, and then again by the Master, one rap. Senior Warden, one. Junior Warden, one. Again, the Master, one. Senior Warden, one. Junior Warden, one. Rapping three times each.
W. M.–Brother Senior Warden, how should Masons meet?
S. W.–On the Level.
W. M.–And how act, Brother Junior?
J. W.–On the Plumb.
W. M.–And part on the Square; and so let us ever meet, act, and part.
Master takes off his hat, and repeats the following prayer:
“May the blessing of Heaven rest upon us, and all regular Masons; may brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue cement us. Amen.”
Response–So mote it be.
Some Lodges sing the following, to the air of “Bonny Doon”;
“Adieu! a heart-warm, fond adieu,
Ye brothers of our mystic tie,
Ye favored and enlightened few,
Companions of my social joy.”
See Monitors for balance of the verses.
CHARGE AT CLOSING A LODGE
BRETHREN:–You are now about to quit this sacred retreat of friendship and virtue, to mix again with the world. Amid its concerns and temptations, forget not the duties you have heard so frequently inculcated and so forcibly recommended in this Lodge. Be diligent, prudent, temperate, discreet. Remember that you have promised to befriend and relieve every brother
who shall need your assistance; you have promised to remind him, in the most friendly manner, of his errors, and, if possible, to aid him in a reformation. These generous principles are to extend further. Every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. Do good unto all. Remember it more “especially to the household of the faithful.”
Finally, brethren, be ye all of one mind, live in peace, and may the God of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you.
W. M.–Brother Senior Warden, I now declare this Lodge duly closed. Brother Junior Deacon (turning to that officer), you will inform the Tyler.
Worshipful Master gives one rap with his gavel, when the Lodge is closed, and the brethren divest themselves of their regalia, preparatory to returning to their respective homes. 1
The “work,” or rather the lectures in the several degrees of Masonry, more especially in the first three degrees (masonically termed the Blue Degrees, or Blue Lodge), differ so much in each State that it would be a difficult thing to get exactly at the proper responses to some of the Masonic interrogatories. No three States in the Union “work” alike. Each Grand Lodge has a “work” of its own, which is taught the subordinate Lodges annually by its Grand Lecturer. 1
It is generally known among Masons, that in the Northwestern States the lectures and “work” are those as taught by Barney. There is a great degree of uniformity in Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin–also in Indiana and Iowa. The Barney “work” is that adopted by the Baltimore Convention. The “work” in Minnesota and New York is strongly impregnated with what is called, among Masons, “Morganry”–very similar to the disclosures of Morgan and Richardson–so much so, that many Masters purchase these publications for their instruction in their duties and in the ritual. Masonry has but little changed, and a knowledge of the alterations which have been made since Morgan’s exposure was written is all that is requisite to make a “bright Mason.” The only alterations which occur in the lectures of each degree are in the commencement. A concise sketch of Brother Barney, the author of the three lectures introduced in
this work, would not be out of place, as it will account to the reader for the difference existing between Masonic “works” in the several States, and in Europe:
“In the year 1817, Brother John Barney, formerly of Charlotte, Vermont, went to Boston, and obtained possession of the Preston Lectures, taught there by Gleason, and approved by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. With these lectures he returned to Vermont, and submitted them to the Grand Lodge, at its annual session in October, 1817. The subject was there referred for examination to a committee, which reported that these lectures were according to the most approved method of ‘work’ in the United States, and proposed to give Brother Barney letters of recommendation to all Lodges and brethren in all parts as a brother well qualified to give Masonic information to any desirous of his services.
“This report of the committee was accepted and adopted by the Grand Lodge, and Brother Barney, provided with the recommendation thus obtained, visited many of the Lodges of the State, and imparted to them a knowledge of these lectures. At this time Brother Barney wrote a portion of them in cipher. Subsequently to 1818, Brother Barney went to the Western and Southwestern States, and, being in delicate health, adopted the profession of Masonic lecturing as a means of subsistence.
“A few years afterward, on his return to his brethren in Vermont, he stated to them, as I have been credibly informed and believe, that he found in the Western and Southwestern States different systems of lecturing prevailing, and that, upon presenting Gleason’s Lectures to them, they were objected to by the different Grand Masters, who would not sanction his lecturing in their respective jurisdictions, unless he would adopt the lectures then in use among them; that, desiring to pursue his occupation there, he learned the different systems of lecturing existing among them, and made use of his newly acquired knowledge under the sanction of the respective Grand Masters.” (See Note Q, Appendix.)
These facts will account for the want of agreement between the East and the West and Southwest, as to what are the true Barney Lectures.
From the foregoing remarks, it will be seen that the essential points of Masonry are identical the world over, and that the differences, which are of minor importance, may be gathered by comparing the present work with Richardson’s Monitor or Allyn’s Ritual.
The “work” known among Masons as the “Webb Work,”
and inculcated by Robert Morris, 1 is generally accepted as the “Work” of ancient origin, and there is not much doubt but that it will be adopted by the Grand Lodges throughout the United States.
87:1 Our present Third Degree is not architectural, but traditionary, historical, and legendary; its traditions being unfortunately hyperbolical; its history apocryphal, and its legends fabulous.–The Freemason’s Treasury, p. 222.
96:1 Here the conductor or some brother draws his hand across candidate’s naked belly: the sword is often used, especially if the initiation takes place in winter, the sword is left in a cold place–and when it is drawn across candidate’s belly, it has a very shocking effect, causing the candidate to jump or tremble.
97:1 What does it denote? Worldly possession.–Dr. Hemming.
That Tubal Cain gave first occasion to the name and worship of Vulcan been very probably conceived, both from the very great affinity of the names, and that Tubal Cain is expressly mentioned to be an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron; and as near relation as Apollo had to Vulcan, Jubal had to Tubal Cain, who was the inventor of music, or the father of all such as handle the harp and organ, which the Greeks attribute to Apollo.–Historical Landmarks, vol. ii. pp. 204–5.
99:1 The jewels of a Masters’ Lodge are suspended from blue velvet collars, bordered and embroidered with silver. At the point is a blue rosette, in the centre of which is a silver five-pointed star.
The apron is white, lined and bordered with blue. On the flap is delineated an eye, and on the area selections from the Master’s carpet. A blue silk scarf, trimmed with silver, having a blue rosette at the shoulder and hip, is worn from left to right.
The following are the jewels:
The Worshipful Master
The Past Master
a compass opened on a quarter-circle.
The Senior Warden
The Junior Warden
The Senior Deacon
square and compass, with sun.
The Junior Deacon
square and compass, with quarter moon.
The Masters of Ceremonies
105:1 In the progress of Masonry during the last century the fatal weapons underwent several changes. At the revival in 1717, they were called setting-tool, setting maul, and setting-beetle; later in the century, it was the twenty-four-inch gauge, square, and gavel; then the setting-tool, square, and rule; and now the plumb-rule, square, and strong or heavy maul.–The Freemason’s Treasury, p. 306.
107:1 Professor Stuart, of Andover, one of the most skilful linguists and earned men in the United States, has endeavored to show that the legend of the Third Degree is an imposture, “since the names of the criminals are formed from the Latin language, and not from the Hebrew, to which they have no affinity whatever.”–The Freemason’s Treasury, p. 213.
112:1 The system of Freemasonry, as practised in different countries and at different periods, is not uniform on this subject; and I feel so little at liberty to bring forward evidence on such a delicate point, that I am afraid it will he impossible to place it clearly before the brethren. One system says fifteen Fellow Crafts went in search; another, twelve; and asserts that the three (murderers) left the sprig of acacia: others affirm that it was the recanters who placed it there as a mark. Some say, that many days were expended in the search, and that the lost (body) was found near the seaside; others, that it was soon discovered near Jerusalem. The York Masons name the seaside; the Americans say, Mount Moriah; the French, Monet Lebanon. In one account, the brethren disperse widely, east, west, and south; in another, they keep within hail of each other.–Historical Landmarks, vol. ii. p. 148.
113:1 CASSIA–sometimes improperly and ignorantly used for acacia. (See ACACIA.) According to the Jewish law, no interments were permitted within the walls of the city, and as it was unlawful for the cohens or priests to pass over a grave, it became necessary to place marks wherever a dead body had been interred, to enable them to avoid it. For this purpose the ACACIA was used.–Lexicon.
113:2 Brother Goodacre, of the Witham Lodge, Lincoln, suggests that the various penalties which have been introduced into Freemasonry appear to have reference to a particular kind of covenant which was common among the Hebrews. but which, he adds, “I can find only twice particularly described. Godwyn says: ‘Making a covenant was a solemn binding of each other to the performance of a mutual promise, by outward ceremonies of cutting a beast in twain, and passing between the parts thereof’ (Jer. xxxiv. .18); as if they would say–Thus let it be done to him, and thus let his body be cut in two, who shall break this covenant. This reference to Jeremiah, where the prophet denounced the curse of the Lord upon the Princes and rulers who had broken the covenant which they had made with King Zedekiah, may explain the self-imposed penalty of J—— (Jubelum).” But we must look a little closer into the manner of making a covenant, in order to discover the connection of the different penalties as references to one entire ceremony. After an animal had been selected, his throat was cut across with one single blow, so as to divide the windpipe, arteries, and veins, without touching any bone. The next ceremony was to p. 114 tear the breast open and pluck out the heart, and if there were the least imperfection, the body would be considered unclean. The animal was then divided into two parts, and placed north and south, that the parties to the covenant may pass between them from east to west, and the carcase was then left as a prey to voracious animals. The other example of such a covenant is in Genesis xv.–Historical Landmarks, vol. ii. p. 178.
115:1 Their real names (if there be any thing real in the whole transaction, which is more than doubtful), as preserved in a subsidiary degree. were GRAVELOT, QUIBO, and AKIROP. In one form of the Degree of Elect of Fifteen, they assume the Protean names of JUBELA-KURMAVIL (another corruption of Cromwell), JUBELO-GRAVELOT, and JUBELUM-AKIROP.–The Freemason’s Treasury, pp. 305-6.
116:1 The occasion of the brethren searching so diligently for their Master was, to receive from him the secret word of Masonry, which should be delivered down as a test to the fraternity of after ages.–Historical Land marks, vol. ii. p. 175.
120:1 Respecting the lost word and its substitute, some say that King Solomon advised the change, while others affirm that the three Fellow Crafts adopted the substituted word without consulting him. And Dalcho observes that the interpolated word is not to be found in any language that ever was used. It is, in fact, not a word, but merely a jumble of letters, forming a sound without meaning.”–The Freemason’s Treasury, p. 301.
124:1 Can any living Mason be simple enough to believe that Dr. Anderson, in his “Defence of Masonry,” intended to prove a real historical fact when he explained the exhumation of the body of H. A. B.? Why, it is well known that the celebrated artist was living at Tyre many years after the Temple was completed.–The Freemason’s Treasury, p. 291.
126:1 Among such a vast concourse of people as were assembled together at the construction of this edifice, it is natural to expect every variety of propensities, both good and evil. Accordingly our traditions furnish in stances, both among the Apprentices and Craftsmen, of treachery–violation of sacred pledges–and the commission of actual crime. . . These instances, some of which have been thought worthy of preservation in the ineffable Degrees, were not numerous. . . From the above causes. however, the connection of the widow’s son with the building of the Temple was endeared to the two monarchs; and, to preserve and consecrate his memory, a new arrangement of discipline was adopted; and a legend incorporated into the system, which served to promote a similar object with the fabulous narrative used in the spurious initiations, viz., to inculcate and impress on the candidate’s mind the doctrine of a resurrection and a future state–Theo. Phil., p. 232.
None but he who has visited the Holy of Holies, and travelled the road of peril, can have any conception of the mysteries unfolded in this degree. . The MASTER MASON represents a man under the doctrine of love, saved from the grave of iniquity, and raised to the faith of salvation. p. 127 It testifies our faith in the resurrection of the body, and while it inculcates a practical lesson of prudence and unshrinking fidelity, it inspires the most cheering hone of that final reward which belongs alone to “just made perfect.”–Lexicon.
129:1 THEOREM.–In any right-angled triangle, the square which is described p. 130 upon the side subtending the right angle, is equal to the squares described upon the sides which contain the right angle.–Euclid, Lib. i. Prop. 47.
137:1 We are told that when the Temple was nearly finished, it was customary at the hour of H. (high) XII., when the men were called from labor to refreshment, for H. A. B. (Hiram Abiff) to retire to the Most Holy Place, to draw his plans and designs, and offer up his orisons, &c. But flow could this be accomplished before the Sanctum Sanctorum was built. And, if finished, he would not have been permitted to enter it; for one living person alone possessed that privilege, viz., the High Priest, and he only once a year. Besides, when a work is nearly completed, the necessity of Plans and designs ceases altogether. But we are assured, that not only were the plans drawn and the specifications approved, but every other preparation was made for completing the work before the foundations were laid; even the stone and timber were carved, marked, and numbered before they were removed from the quarry and the forest; and, hence nothing was required, when the materials were conveyed to Jerusalem, but skilled labor to make it perfect and complete from foundation to cope-stone.
Again, some of the rituals taught that H. A. B. divided the operatives the three classes, viz., Apprentices, Fellow Crafts, and Masters; paying the wages of the former at the pillar of J (Jachin), and the Masters in the Middle Chamber. Now, as in p. 138 the former case, this arrangement would be impossible before the pillars were erected or the Middle Chamber built: and if it he pretended that any such plan was adopted after they were finished, the tragic drama could not be true because it professes to have been enacted before the Temple was completed.
And finally, the veracity of the legend is completely ignored by a reference to the Holy Scriptures. which constitute our authority for affirming that no such event ever happened; for H. A. B. not only lived to finish all the work, in whatever capacity he might have been engaged, but also, according to the testimony of Josephus, who calls him ABDEMON, he returned to Tyre, and died there at a good old age.–The Freemason’s Treasury, pp. 299-300.
138:1 Our traditions further say, that the time when this celebrated use went into the H. of H. (Holy of Holies) to offer up his orisons to God, at the hour of H (high) twelve, the Ark of the Covenant had not been removed thither, for that took place at the dedication, after which no one was permitted to enter but the H. P. (High Priest), and he only ours a year, on the great day of expiation, at which time he had a string or belt around his waist, which extended into the court of the tabernacle, that he might be drawn forth from the S. S. (Sanctum Santorum) in case sudden death should occur while he officiated there.–Historical Land-marks, vol. it. p. 154.
138:2 A similar divergence from uniformity will be found in describing the p. 139 places where the above-mentioned instruments were supposed to have been used with such terrible effect. In the primitive lectures–i.e., those which were used after the Revival in 1717, for the subject was never ventilated before that date–they were called “the three principal entrances to the Temple”; but subsequently it was thought expedient to particularize these entrances; and the passage was altered at first to “the east, west and south doors”; and, at the Union in 1813, the version became “north, south, and east entrances.” In the United States they say that the first attack was made at the south door, the second at the west door, and finally at the east. In Scotland the arrangement is east, south, and west. In France, it was originally south, north, and east, but now west, south, and east. In the Adonhiramite Masonry, which was used there about 1787, the doors are not mentioned at all.–The Freemason’s Treasury, p. 307.
140:1 The questions and answers in this lecture, relative to the disposition of the body and its discovery, &c., &c., are precisely like the historical part of this Degree, page 122, or that portion describing the conferring of the Degree, page 107.
142:1 LECTURE.–In the Masters’ Degree, the first section illustrates the ancient and proper mode of raising a candidate to this sublime Degree. In the second section, the historical traditions of the Order are introduced, and an important instance of Masonic virtue is exemplified. In the third section, our emblems are explained, and the construction of Solomon’s Temple described.–Lexicon.
146:1 “In the performance of a ceremony so solemn and momentous as the closing of a Mason’s Lodge, every member has a lively interest. At the usual report, preceded by an inquiry involving the best interests of Masonry, the brethren are again reminded what is the chief care of a Mason. The avenues to the Lodge are carefully inspected by the meridian officer, whose knowledge and fidelity have entitled him to the confidence of the brethren, and, after he had publicly proclaimed the security of the Lodge, the business of closing proceeds. The particular duties of the leaders of the respective bands of craftsmen are rehearsed. At the command of the Worshipful Master, the Senior Warden performs his duty, after seeing that the brethren have received their due proportion of Masonic instruction and improvement; and the whole concludes with an impressive address to the brethren on their respective duties as men and Masons, when pursuing their accustomed avocations in the world; and with a fervent petition to the Deity, supplicating his blessing on the fraternity wheresoever dispersed under the wide canopy of heaven.”–Theo. Phil., p. 297.
This Degree has a reference to the Christian dispensation, when the day of salvation is more fully revealed; atonement is made for sin; and the resurrection from the dead plainly communicated and confirmed by the resurrection of Christ from the grave. The Jewish law had degenerated into a mass of rottenness and corruption:–piety, which planned the Temple at Jerusalem, was expunged; the reverence and adoration due to the Divinity was buried in the filth and rubbish of the world; and religion and morality were scattered to the four winds of heaven. Three ruffian nations from the south, the west, and the east–the Syrians, the Chaldeans, and the Romans–gave in succession this temporary dispensation its death-blow; those who sought religion through the wisdom of the ancients were not able to raise her; she eluded their grasp, and the polluted hands were also stretched forth in vain for her restoration. Her tomb was in the rubbish and filth cast forth from the Temple, and acacia waved its branches over her monument. In this state of darkness and despair she lay until the Saviour came, instituted the five points of Christian fellowship, and raised her from the dust, in which she had been indecently interred, to a more glorious inheritance.”–Theo. Phil., p. 309.
This interpretation is borne out in the higher Degrees of sublime Masonry. Thus, in the thirty-second, or Degree of Prince of the Royal Secret, according to the Continental nomenclature, the following analogies are p. 147 explained: “The symbolical mystery of the death of (Hiram Abiff) represents that of the Messiah; for the three (blows) which were given to him at the three gates of (the Temple) allude to the three points of condemnation against Christ at three separate places, viz.: before Caiaphas. Herod, and Pilate. It was from the last that he was led to that most violent and excruciating death. The three (blows) were given with the three (tools, i.e., gauge, square, and gavel). These are symbols of the blow on the cheek of Christ, the flagellation, and the blow with the spear. Some substitute for the latter, but with less propriety, the crown of thorns. The brethren assembled around the grave of (Hiram Abiff) is a representation of the disciples lamenting the death of Christ. The Word, which was said to be lost, was pronounced upon the cross, which the Jews could not comprehend. The false brethren are represented by Judas, who proved false to his Master; and the sprig of cassia represented the cross, of which wood it is said to have been composed.”–Historical Landmarks, vol. ii. p. 176.
I am decidedly of opinion that our tradition is merely allegorical; for there can be no doubt but the Chief Architect was present at the dedication of the Temple. Thus we find that “Hiram made an end of doing all the work that he made King Solomon for the house of the Lord.” (1 Kings vii. 40.) To place the fact of Hiram’s being alive at the finishing the Temple beyond all doubt, it is said (2 Chron. iv. 11), “And Hiram finished the work that he was to make for King Solomon for the house of God,”–Historical Landmarks, vol. ii. p. 166.
147:1 A Grand Lecturer is elected annually at the session of the Grand Lodge of each State. His business is to teach the subordinate Lodges the Ritual of Freemasonry, and he is paid generally by salary, or so much from each Lodge before whom he may lecture.
149:1 See Robert Morris’s Freemason’s Monitor, 1860.