by Malcolm C. Duncan
MARK MASTER, OR FOURTH DEGREE.
THE Degree of Mark Master, which is the Fourth in the Masonic series, is, historically considered, of the utmost importance, since we are informed that, by its influence, each operative Mason, at the building of King Solomon’s Temple, was known and distinguished, and the disorder and confusion which might otherwise have attended so immense an undertaking was completely prevented, and not only the craftsmen themselves, but every part of their workmanship was discriminated with the greatest nicety and the utmost facility.
It is claimed by Masonic writers, that this Degree in Masonry was instituted by King Solomon, at the building of the Temple, for the purpose of detecting impostors, while paying wages to the craftsmen. Each operative was required to put his mark upon the product of his labor, and these distinctive marks were all known to the Senior Grand Warden. If any of the workman-ship was found to be defective, it was a matter of no difficulty for the overseers to ascertain at once who was the imperfect craftsman, and remedy the defect. Thus the faulty workman was punished, without diminishing the wages of the diligent and faithful craftsmen. A candidate upon whom this Degree has been conferred is said to have been “advanced to the honorary Degree of Mark Master.”
Eight officers are necessary to open a Lodge in this Degree. viz.:
1. R. W. Master; 2. S. G. Warden; 3. J. G. Warden; 4. Senior Deacon; 5. Junior Deacon; 6. Master Overseer; 7. Senior Overseer; S. Junior Overseer.
The officers of a Chapter rank as follows, viz.: the High Priest, as R. W. Master; King, as Senior Grand Warden; Scribe, as Junior Grand Warden; Captain of the Host, as Master of Ceremonies; Principal Sojourner, as Senior Deacon; Royal Arch Captain, as Junior Deacon; Master of the Third Veil, as Master Overseer; Master of the Second Veil, as Senior Overseer; Master of the First Veil, as .Junior Overseer. The Treasurer, Secretary, and Tyler, corresponding in rank with the same officers in other Degrees. These officers are filled by the officers of the Chapter under whose warrant the Lodge is held.
The symbolic color of the Mark Degree is purple. The apron is of white lambskin, edged with purple, and the collar of purple, edged with gold. But as Mark Lodges are no longer independent bodies, but always held under the warrant of a Royal Arch Chapter, the collars, aprons, and jewels of the Chapter are generally made use of in conferring the Mark Degree.
Lodges of Mark Masters are “dedicated to Hiram, the Builder.”
The interior arrangements of the Lodge, and the positions of the Master, Wardens, Deacons, Secretary, and Treasurer, are the same as those in the Entered Apprentices’ Degree (p. 8). The Master Overseer takes his seat on the right of the Right Worshipful Master in the east. The Senior Overseer sits on the right of the Senior Grand Warden in the west, and his Junior on the right of the Junior Grand Warden in the south.
Right Worshipful Master (giving a rap with his gavel.)–Brethren, I am about to open a Lodge of Mark Master Masons in this place, for the dispatch of business. I will thank you for your attention and assistance. If there is any person present who has not taken this Degree, he is requested to retire.
To Senior Grand Warden:
Brother Senior, are you satisfied that all present are Mark Masters?
S. G. W.–Right Worshipful, I wish the pass-word might be given by the brethren.
The two Deacons thereupon go round and receive the word, which is JOPPA, in the same manner as in the Master Mason’s Degree (p. 20).
R. W M. (giving one rap.)–Brother Junior Deacon, the first care of congregated Masons?
J. D. (rising on his feet, and, at the same time, giving a sign–see Fig. 20, p. 154.)–To see the Lodge tyled, Right Worshipful.
R. W. M.–Perform that part of your duty, and inform the Tyler that we are about to open a Lodge of Mark Master Masons
in this place, for the dispatch of business; and direct him to tyle accordingly.
The Junior Deacon then walks rapidly to the door, and gives four raps (• • • •), which are answered by four without from the Tyler; the Junior Deacon gives one, which is answered by the Tyler with (•); the door is then partly opened, when the Junior Deacon delivers his message. He then returns, gives the sign (see Fig. 20, p. 154) again, and says:
The door is tyled, Right Worshipful.
H. W. M.–How tyled?
J. D.–Within the outer door, by a brother of this Degree, with a drawn sword in his hand.
R. W. M.–His duty there?
J. D.–To keep off all cowans and eavesdroppers, see that none pass or repass without due qualification, or permission from the Right Worshipful Master.
R. W. M.–Let us be clothed, brethren.
Here the officers and members put on their aprons and jewels. The Master gives two raps with his gavel, which brings all the subordinate officers on their feet; and each, standing in his place, recites his duty on being questioned.
R. W. M.–The Junior Overseer’s station in the Lodge?
J. O.–At the south gate.
R. W. M.–Your duty there, Brother Junior Overseer?
J. O.–To inspect all materials brought up for the building of the Temple; and, if approved, pass them on to the Senior Overseer, at the west gate, for further inspection.
R. W. M.–The Senior Overseer’s place in the Lodge?
S. O.–At the west gate.
R. W. M.–Your business there, Brother Senior Overseer?
S. O.–To inspect all materials brought up for the building of the Temple, and, if approved, pass them on to the Master Overseer, at the east gate, for further inspection.
R. W. M.–The Master Overseer’s place in the Lodge?
M. O.–At the east gate.
R. W. M.–Your business there, Brother Master Overseer?
M. O.–To preside at the inspection of all materials brought up for the building of the Temple; and, if disapproved, to call a council of my brother Overseers.
R. W. M.–The Junior Deacon’s place in the Lodge?
J. D.–At the right, in front of the Senior Grand Warden.
R. W. M.–Your duty there, Brother Junior?
J. D.–To carry messages from the Senior Grand Warden in
the west to the Junior Grand Warden in the south, and elsewhere about the Lodge, as he may direct.
R. W. M.–The Senior Deacon’s place in the Lodge?
S. D.–At the right, in front of the Right Worshipful Master in the east.
R. W. M.–Your duty there, Brother Senior?
S. D.–To carry messages from the Right Worshipful Master in the east to the Senior Grand Warden in the west, and elsewhere about the Lodge, as he may direct; to assist in the preparation and initiation of candidates; and to welcome and clothe all visiting brethren.
R. W. M.–The Secretary’s station in the Lodge?
Sec.–At the left hand of the Right Worshipful Master in the east.
R. W. M.–Your duty there, Brother Secretary?
Sec.–To record the doings of the Lodge, collect all money, pay it over to the Treasurer, and keep a true and correct account of the same.
R. W. M.–The Treasurer’s station in the Lodge?
Treas.–At the right hand of the Worshipful Master in the east.
R. W. M.–Your duty there, Brother Treasurer?
Treas.–To receive all money from the hands of the Secretary, to keep a true and correct account of the same, and pay it out by order of the Right Worshipful Master, with the consent of the brethren.
R. W. M.–The Junior Grand Warden’s place in the Lodge?
J. G. W.–In the south, Right Worshipful.
R. W. M.–Your duty there, Brother Junior?
J. G. W.–As the sun is in the south at high twelve, which is the glory and beauty of the day, so stands the Junior Grand warden in the south, to call the crafts from labor to refreshment, and from refreshment to labor, that the Right Worshipful Master may have profit and pleasure thereby.
R. W. M.–The Senior Grand Warden’s place in the Lodge?
S. G. W.–In the west, Right Worshipful.
R. W. M.–Your duty there, Brother Senior?
S. G. W.–As the sun sets in the west, to close the day, so stands the Senior Grand Warden in the west, to assist the Right Worshipful Master in opening and closing his Lodge, pay the crafts their wages, if any be due, and see that none go away dissatisfied; harmony being the strength and support of all institutions, but more especially of ours.
R. W. M.–The Right Worshipful Master’s Station in the Lodge?
S. G. W.–In the east, Right Worshipful.
R. W. M.–His duty there, Brother Senior?
S. G. W.–As the sun rises in the east, to open and adorn the day, so rises the Right Worshipful Master in the east to open and adorn his Lodge, and set the craft to work, with proper instructions for their labor.
R. W. M. (rising.)–After that manner so do I. It is my will and pleasure that a Lodge of Mark Master Masons be opened in this place, for the dispatch of business. Brother Senior, you will please communicate the same to the Junior Grand Warden
in the south, that the brethren may have due and timely notice thereof.
S. G. W. (to Junior.)–Brother Junior, it is the Right Worshipful Master’s order that a Lodge of Mark Master Masons be opened in this place, for the dispatch of business. You will please inform the brethren thereof.
J. G. W. (giving three raps with the gavel (• • •).–Brethren, it is the Right Worshipful Master’s order that a Lodge of Mark Master Masons be opened in this place, for the dispatch of business. You are ordered to take due notice thereof, and govern yourselves accordingly.
R. W. M.–Attend to the signs, brethren.
Here the Right Worshipful Master gives all the signs, in their regular order, from the Entered Apprentice to Mark Master, the brethren all imitating him. (For signs of the Entered Apprentice, or First Degree, see Figs. 1 and 2; for signs of the Fellow Craft, or Second Degree, see Figs. 3 and 4; and for signs of Master Mason, or Third Degree, see Figs. 5, 6, and 7, pp. 16, 17, and 18.)
After the duegard and sign of the Entered Apprentice, the duegard and sign of the Fellow Craft, and the duegard, sign, and grand hailing sign of the Master Mason are given in their regular order, then the Mark Master’s signs are given. First, the HEAVE-OVER, which is given as follows:–
Place the flat back of the right hand in the flat palm of the left hand, and hold them down in front opposite to the right hip, then bring them up to the left shoulder with a quick motion, as though you were throwing something over your left shoulder. In putting your hands together, do so with a sharp slap, the palms facing your shoulder. In old times this sign was made by interlacing the fingers. (See Richardson’s Monitor.) This sign is called the Heave-over, and alludes to the rejection of the keystone in this Degree. (See Fig. 19.)
The second sign is made as follows:
After having made the first sign, drop the arms to each side of the body, and clinch the last two fingers of the right hand, leaving the first two and thumb open, parallel with each other, and about one inch apart. This alludes to the manner in which the candidate is directed to carry the keystone. You then raise the right hand rapidly to the right ear, still holding the thumb and first two fingers open, and with a circular motion of the hand pass the fingers around the ear, as thought you were combing back your earlock, the ear passing between the two fingers and thumb. (See Fig. 20.) This sign alludes to a penalty of the obligation, to have the ear smitten off.
After having completed the sign, as just described, drop the right hand a little to the right side, about as high up as the waist, the palm open and horizontal, and, at the same time, lift up the left hand and bring it down edgewise and vertically upon the wrist of the right. (See Fig. 21.) These motions must all
be made distinctly but rapidly. This sign alludes to the penalty of the obligation, and also to that of an impostor, which is to have his right hand cut off.
The sign of receiving wages is made by extending in front the right arm at full length, the thumb and two first fingers open, about one inch apart, the third and little fingers clinched, palm of the hand up. (See Fig. 22.) It alludes to the peculiar manner in which the Mark Master is taught to receive wages, so that impostors may be detected.
Here it is proper to remark that in the opening of any Lodge of Masons, they commence giving the signs of an Entered Apprentice, and go through all the signs of the different Degrees,
in regular gradation, until they arrive at the one which they are opening, and commence at the sign of the Degree in which they are at work, and descend to the last when closing.
The Master now reads from a text-book the following:
“Wherefore, my brethren, lay aside all malice, and guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious; to whom coming, as unto a
living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious; ye also, as living stones, be ye built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up sacrifices acceptable to God. Brethren, this is the will of God, that with well-doing ye put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. As free, and not as using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honor all men, love the brotherhood, fear God.”
The Right Worshipful Master then gives two raps with his gavel, Senior Grand Warden two, and Junior Grand Warden two, which raps are then repeated.
R. W. M.–I now declare this Lodge of Mark Master Masons opened in due and ancient form, and hereby forbid all improper conduct whereby this Lodge may be disturbed, under no less penalty than the by-laws of a majority of the Lodge may see fit to inflict.
R. W. M. (to Junior Deacon.)–Brother Junior, please to inform the Tyler the Lodge is open.
Junior Deacon informs the Tyler, and returns to his seat.
No business is done in a Lodge of Mark Master Masons, except to initiate a candidate in the Fourth Degree of Masonry. The Degree being under the sanction of the Royal Arch Chapter, all business, such as balloting for candidates, committee reports, &c., is done in the Seventh, or Royal Arch Degree. The Lodge being opened, and ready for such business as it has authority to transact, the Right Worshipful Master directs the Senior Deacon to ascertain if there are any candidates desiring to be advanced to the honorary Degree of Mark Master Mason. The Senior Deacon then retires to the ante-room, and if he finds any candidates in waiting, he returns to the Lodge and informs the Right Worshipful Master. It is the duty of the Senior Deacon to prepare and conduct the candidate (or candidates, as the case may be), during the first part of the ceremony of initiation, and if there are any candidates for advancement, the Right Worshipful Master directs this officer to retire to the ante-room and see them duly and truly prepared. The Junior Deacon, with an assistant, then passes out of the Lodge into the ante-room, where the candidate is in waiting (we will suppose that only one is to be advanced), and requests him to divest himself of his coat and roll up his shirt-sleeves to the shoulder. The Senior Deacon and his associate do the same. When they are thus prepared, the Deacon takes in his right hand a small block of marble or Painted wood, about the size of a brick, weighing five or six Pounds. The Deacon’s associate also takes a similar block to carry. One of the blocks has a square engraved upon it, the
other, a plumb. (See cut.) The candidate is then furnished with a block representing a keystone, which he is requested to carry between the thumb and two first fingers of the right hand, the other fingers clinched with the nails tight against the palm, the arm extended down perpendicularly at the side. The two officers carry their blocks in the same manner. The three are styled “Workmen from the quarries.” As we have before said, the block which the candidate carries represents a keystone, and has the initials H. T. W. S. S. T. K. S. engraved upon it in a circle.
Sometimes this stone weighs twelve or fifteen pounds, and it is considered a very nice job to carry a block of this weight plumb. The blocks which the conductors carry are usually made of wood, and are, therefore, comparatively light. The three “workmen” now form in a line about three feet distant from each other, the candidate being last. The door is then opened without ceremony, and the Junior Deacon, as conductor, together with his associate and the candidate, enter the Lodge, and march four times around the room, halting the last time at the Junior Overseer’s station, at the south gate, where the conductor gives four raps (in couplets) on the floor with his heel (• • • •).
Junior Overseer–Who comes here?
Senior Deacon–Workmen from the quarries, bringing up work.
Junior Overseer–Have you a specimen of your work? Senior Deacon–We have.
Junior Overseer–Present your work.
The Senior Deacon presents his stone to the Junior Overseer, who applies his small trying square to its different angles, and, they agreeing with the angles of the square, he says:
Junior Overseer–This is good work–square work–just such work as we are authorized to receive for the building (returning the block to the Senior Deacon). You will pass on to the Senior Overseer at the west gate, for further inspection.
The second workman then presents his block, and it is tried and returned the same as the conductor’s.
The two workmen move on about six paces, in order to bring the candidate before the Junior Overseer’s station. The Junior Deacon then instructs the candidate how to make the alarm and present his work.
Junior Overseer–Who comes here?
Candidate (prompted.)–A craftsman from the quarries, bringing you work.
Junior Overseer–Have you a specimen of your work? Candidate–I have.
Junior Overseer–Present it.
Candidate presents the keystone.
Junior Overseer (applying his square to it, and finding it does not fit.)–This is a curiously wrought stone, indeed; it is neither oblong nor square; good work, true work, square work is only such as we have orders to receive; neither has it the mark of any of the craft upon it. Is that your mark? (Pointing to the letters on the keystone.)
Candidate–It is not.
Junior Overseer–Owing to its singular form and beauty, I feel unwilling to reject it; you will pass on to the Senior Overseer at the west gate for his inspection.
The conductors and the candidate pass on to the Senior Overseer’s station in the west, when the same scene is repeated, and they are directed to proceed to the Master Overseer at the east gate.
The Senior Deacon here first presents his block or stone to the Master Overseer.
Master Overseer (applying his square.)–This is good work, true work, and square work–just such work as I am authorized to receive and pass for the building. You are entitled to your wages–pass on.
The conductors pass on, and take their seats. The candidate then presents his keystone.
Master Overseer (applying his square.)–This is a curiously wrought stone. It appears to be neither oblong nor square, and the mark upon it is not that of a craftsman. (Looking sternly at candidate.) Is this your work?
Candidate–It is not.
Master Overseer–Where did you get it?
Candidate–I picked it up in the quarry.
Master Overseer–Why do you bring another man’s work to impose upon the Overseers? You will stand aside.
The Master Overseer now stamps on the floor four times with his foot, which brings up the other two Overseers.
Master Overseer–Brother Junior Overseer, dial you suffer this work to pass your inspection?
Junior Overseer–I did; I observed to the young craftsman, at the time, that the stone was not such as we had orders to receive; but, owing to its singular form and beauty, I felt unwilling to reject it, and suffered it to pass to the Senior Overseer at the west gate.
Senior Overseer–I made the same observations to the young craftsman, and for the same reason permitted it to pass to the Master Overseer at the east gate.
R. W. M.–Why, you see the stone is neither oblong nor square, neither has it the mark of any of the craft upon it. Do you know this mark that is upon it?
Junior Overseer–I do not.
Senior Overseer–Neither do I.
Master Overseer–What shall I do with it?
Junior Overseer–I propose we heave it over among the rubbish. 1
The Master and Senior Overseers take up the keystone, and swinging it four times back and forth between them, the fourth time the Junior Overseer catches it over the left shoulder of the Master Overseer (in imitation of the sign of “heave-over,” see Fig. 19), and throws it aside. At this moment all the brethren begin to shuffle around the room, leaving their seats.
R. W. M. (giving one rap with his gavel.)–What is the cause of this disturbance among the workmen?
S. G. W.–It is the sixth hour of the sixth day of the week, and the craft are impatient to receive their wages.
The whole Lodge here rise to their feet and sing the following:
“Another six days’ work is done,
Another Sabbath has begun;
Return, my soul, enjoy thy rest,
Improve the hours thy God hath blest.”
R. W. M.–Brother Senior Grand Warden, it is my order that
you assemble the craft, and march in procession to the office of the Senior Grand Warden, to receive wages.
The members now form two and two (candidate behind), and march round the Lodge, singing the song:
MARK MASTER’S SONG.
Mark Masters, all appear
Before the Chief O’erseer:
In concert move;
Let him your work inspect,
For the Chief Architect,
If there be no defect,
He will approve.
You who have passed the square,
For your rewards prepare,
Join heart and hand;
Each with his mark in view,
March with the just and true,
Wages to you are due,
At your command.
Hiram, the widow’s son,
Sent unto Solomon
Our great keystone:
On it appears the name
Which raises high the fame
Of all to whom the same
Is truly known.
Now to the westward move,
Where, full of strength and love,
Hiram doth stand;
But if impostors are
Mixed with the worthy there,
Caution them to beware
Of the right hand.
Now to the praise of those
Who triumphed o’er the foes
Of Masons’ arts :
To the praiseworthy three
Who founded this Degree,
May all their virtues be
Deep in our hearts.
As they finish the second verse, each brother walks up in his turn to the Senior Warden, who stands behind a lattice-window, and thrusts his right hand, with the thumb and two first fingers open, and the third and little fingers clinched, palm up (see Fig. 22), through the hole in the window, receives his penny, withdraws his hand, and passes on, and so on until the candidate, who comes last, puts his hand through for his penny in this manner (see cut.) The Senior Grand Warden seizes his hand, and, bracing his foot against the window, draws the candidate’s arm through to the shoulder, and exclaims vehemently, “An impostor! an impostor!” Another person exclaims, “Strike off his hand! strike off his hand!” and at the same time runs up with a drawn sword to give the blow. The Senior Deacon now intercedes for the candidate, and says: “Spare him! spare him! he is not an impostor; I know him to be a craftsman; I have wrought with him in the quarries.”
S. D.–If you will release him, I will take him to our Right Worshipful Master, and state his case to him, and if the penalty must be inflicted, I will see it duly executed.
S. G. W.–On those conditions I will release him, provided he can satisfy me he is a Fellow Craft Mason.
The candidate now withdraws his arm, and gives the sign of a Fellow Craft Mason. (See Fig. 4, p. 17.)
The members of the Lodge then take their seats.
S. D. (taking candidate to Master.)–Right Worshipful, this young craftsman has been detected as an impostor, at the office of the Senior Grand Warden, in attempting to receive wages, which were not his due, without being able to give the token.
R. W. M. (looking sternly at the candidate.)–Are you a Fellow Craft Mason?
Candidate–I am. Try me.
R. W. M.–Give me the sign of a Fellow Craft Mason. Candidate gives the sign of a Fellow Craft.
R. W. M. (to Senior Deacon.)–It is well. He is undoubtedly a Fellow Craft. (Turning to candidate.) You have attempted to receive wages without being able to give the token. I am astonished that so intelligent-looking a young craftsman should thus attempt to impose upon us. Such conduct requires severe punishment. The penalty you have incurred is to have your right hand struck off. Have you ever been taught how to receive wages?
Candidate (prompted.)–I have not.
R. W. M.–Ah, this in a measure serves to mitigate your crime. If you are instructed how to receive wages, will you do better for the future?
R. W. M.–On account of your youth and inexperience, the penalty is remitted. Brother Senior Deacon, you will take this young craftsman, and give him a severe reprimand, and take him with you to the quarries, and there teach him how to bring up a regularly wrought stone.
The reprimand thus ordered to be given to the candidate is omitted in most Lodges at the present day, but, for the satisfaction of young Masons, and the curious, we insert it here.
S. D. (taking candidate by the collar.)–Young man, it appears you have come up here this evening to impose upon us; first, by presenting work which was not fit for the building, and then by claiming wages when there was not one farthing your due. Your work was not approved; you are not entitled to any wages, and had it not been for my timely interference, you would have lost your right hand, if not your life. Let this he a striking lesson to you, never to attempt to impose upon the craft hereafter. But go with me to the quarries, and there exhibit some specimens of your skill and industry; and if your work is approved, you shall be taught how to receive wages in a proper manner. Come, I say; go with me. (Shakes the candidate severely, and hurries him off into the preparation-room.)
The Senior Deacon returns to his seat in the Lodge, and the Junior Deacon prepares the candidate for the Degree, by divesting him of his outward apparel, and all money and valuables, his breast bare, and a cable-tow four times around his body; he is also securely blindfolded, with a hoodwink prepared for that Purpose. In this condition he is conducted to the door by the Junior Deacon, who gives four distinct knocks. (• • • •)
S. D.–Right Worshipful, while we are peaceably at work on the Fourth Degree in Masonry, the door of our Lodge appears to be alarmed.
R. W. M.–Brother Senior, attend to the cause of that alarm.
The Senior Deacon then steps to the door, and answers the alarm by four knocks. This is responded to from the outside by one knock, which is returned by the Senior Deacon. The door is then partly opened.
S. D.–Who comes there?
J. D.–A worthy brother, who has been regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason, served a proper time as such, Passed to the Degree of a Fellow Craft, raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason, and now wishes for further light in
[paragraph continues] Masonry, by being advanced to the honorary Degree of Mark Master Mason.
S. D.–Is it of his own free-will and accord he makes this request?
J. D.–It is.
S. D.–Is he duly and truly prepared?
J. D.–He is.
S. D.–Has he wrought in the quarries, 1 and exhibited specimens of his skill in the preceding Degrees?
J. D.–He has.
S. D.–By what further right or benefit does he expect this favor?
J. D.–By the benefit of a pass-word.
S. D.–Has he a pass-word?
J. D.–He has not; but I have it for him.
S. D.–Give it me.
Junior Deacon whispers in his ear the word JOPPA.
S. D.–The pass-word is right. You will let him wait until the Right Worshipful Master is made acquainted with his request, and his answer returned.
Senior Deacon returns to the Right Worshipful Master, where the same questions are asked, and answers returned, as at the door.
R. W. M.–Since he comes endowed with the necessary qualifications, let him enter, in the name of the Lord, and take heed on what he enters.
The door is then opened–the candidate enters.
S. D. (approaching candidate with a mallet and engraving chisel in his hands.)–Brother, it becomes my duty to place a mark upon you which you will probably carry to your grave. As an Entered Apprentice, you were received upon one point of the compasses, pressing your naked left breast; as a Fellow Craft Mason, you were received upon the angle of a square, pressing your naked right breast; as a Master Mason, you were received upon both points of the compasses, extending from your naked left to the right breast. They were then explained to you. The chisel and mallet (placing the edge of the chisel against his breast) are instruments used by operative masons to hew, cut, carve, and indent their work; but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, make use of them for a more noble and glorious purpose. We use them to hew, cut, carve, and indent the mind. And, as a Mark Master Mason, we receive you upon the edge of the indenting chisel, and under the pressure of the mallet.
As he pronounces the last words, he braces his feet, raises his mallet, makes two or three false motions, and gives a violent blow upon the head of the chisel; throws down mallet and chisel, takes hold of the candidate’s left arm. 1
They walk four times round the Lodge, and each time, as he passes the stations of the Master, and Senior and Junior Grand Wardens, they each give one loud rap with their mallet. The Master, in the mean time, reads from a text-book the following passages of Scripture: (•)
“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.”–Psalm cxviii. 22. (• •)
Did ye never read in the Scriptures, “The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner”?–Gospel of St. Matthew xxi. 42. (• • •)
And have you not read this Scripture, “The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner”?–Mark xii. 10. (• • • •)
What is this, then, that is written, “The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner”?–Luke xx. 17.
The reading is so timed as to be completed just as the candidate arrives at the Junior Warden’s post, who gives an alarm of four knocks, and the same questions are asked, and answers returned, as at the door.
The Junior Grand Warden directs him to his Senior, who, on
his arrival, gives four raps, and the like questions are asked and answered. From thence he is directed to the Right Worshipful Master in the east, where the same questions are asked and the same answers are given. The Master then orders that the candidate be conducted back to the Senior Warden in the west, and be taught by him to approach the east by four upright, regular steps, his feet forming a square, and body erect at the altar. The candidate then kneels, and receives the obligation, as follows:–
I, Peter Gabe, of my own free-will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God, and this Right Worshipful Lodge of Mark Master Masons, erected to him and dedicated to Hiram the Builder, do hereby and hereon, in addition to my former obligations, most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, that I will not give the secrets of a Mark Master Mason to any one of an inferior degree, nor to any other person in the known world, except it be a true and lawful brother, or brethren, of this degree; and not unto him nor unto them whom I shall hear so to be, but unto him and them only whom I shall find so to be, after strict trial and due examination, or lawful information given. Furthermore do I promise and swear, that I will support the Constitution of the General Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the United States of America, also the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of this State, under which this Lodge is held, and conform to all the by-laws, rules, and regulations of this or any other Lodge of Mark Master Masons, of which I may at any time hereafter become a member. Furthermore do I promise and swear, that I will obey all regular signs and summonses given, handed, sent, or thrown to me from the hand of a brother Mark Master Mason, or from the body of a just and legally constituted Lodge of such, provided it be within the length of my cable-tow. Furthermore do I promise and swear, that I will not wrong this Lodge, or a brother of this Degree, to the value of his wages (or one penny), myself, knowingly, nor suffer it to be done by others, if in my power to prevent it. Furthermore do I promise and swear, that I will not sell, swap, barter, or exchange my mark, which I shall hereafter choose, after it has been recorded in the book of marks, for any other one, unless it be a dead mark, or one of an older date, nor will I pledge it a second time until it is lawfully redeemed from the first pledge. Furthermore do I promise and swear, that I will receive a brother’s mark when offered to me requesting a favor, and grant him his request if in my power; and if it is not in my power to grant his request, I will return him his mark with the value thereof, which is half a shekel of silver, or quarter of a dollar. To all of which I do
most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, with a fixed and steady purpose of mind in me to keep and perform the same, binding myself under no less penalty than to have my right ear smitten off, that I may forever be unable to hear the word, and my right hand chopped off, as the penalty of an impostor, if I should ever prove wilfully guilty of violating any part of this my solemn oath, or obligation, of a Mark Master Mason. So help me God, and make me steadfast to keep and perform the same.
R. W. M.–Detach your hand and kiss the book four times.
As soon as the candidate has taken the obligation, some brother makes an alarm on the outside of the door.
J. D. (rising.)–There is an alarm at the door, Right Worshipful.
R. W. M.–Attend to the alarm, brother, and see who comes there.
Junior Deacon inquires the cause of the alarm, and returns with a letter for the Right Worshipful Master, who opens it and reads as follows, or something to this effect:–
TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL MASTER ST. JOHN’S MARK LODGE:
DEAR BROTHER–I am at present in a position where the possession of twenty-five dollars will greatly benefit me. Will you please see Brother Gabe, and ask him if he will loan me that amount? I regret to say that the only security I can offer for the loan is my mark, which I pledge until I refund him the money. Please see that he gets it, and send the money per the bearer.
R. W. M. (to candidate, at the same time handing him the mark.)–Well, can you accommodate Brother Jay with this money he asks the loan of?
Candidate receives the mark, says he has no money about him; he cannot grant the request.
S. G. W.–Right Worshipful, I can accommodate Brother Jay with twenty-five dollars, if he will leave his mark with me as a pledge.
R. W. M. (to candidate.)–Will you return the mark, then? Candidate hands it back.
R. W. M.–How is this? Do you return it without the price, and thus break your oath before you rise from the altar? Have you not sworn, that where you could not grant a brother’s request you would return his mark, with the price thereof, viz.: half a Jewish shekel of silver, or the fourth of a dollar?
Candidate is generally embarrassed, and replies that all his money was taken from him in the preparation-room.
R. W. M.–Are you sure that you have not even a quarter-dollar about you?
R. W. M.–Look further. Perhaps some good friend has, in pity to your destitute situation, supplied you with that amount, unknown to yourself: feel in all your pockets, and if you find, after a thorough search, that you have really none, we shall have less reason to think that you meant wilfully to violate your obligation.
The candidate feels in his pocket and finds a quarter of a dollar, which some brother had slyly placed there. He protests he had no intention of concealing it–really supposed he had none about him, and hands it to the Master, with the mark.
R. W. M.–Brother, let this scene be a striking lesson to you: should you ever hereafter have a mark presented you by a worthy brother, asking a favor, before you deny him make diligent search, and be quite sure of your inability to serve him; perhaps you will then find, as in the present instance, that some unknown person has befriended you, and you are really in a better situation than you thought yourself. 1
The above is a true description of the manner in which the candidate was formerly taught his duty as a Mark Master Mason. In these latter days, however, very few Masters countenance this method of instruction, and it is therefore almost entirely discarded. The plan now generally adopted is as follows:–
After the candidate has taken the obligation, and while he is yet kneeling at the altar, the Right Worshipful Master presents him with a small metal mark (usually gold or silver), and requests the loan of a small sum of money upon it. The candidate takes the mark, but upon examination he finds that he has no money, all having been taken from him in the ante-room. He then attempts to give it back to the Right Worshipful Master, but the latter refuses to receive it, saying to the candidate:
I cannot, brother Gabe (or as the case may be), take it back:
were I to do so, I would violate my oath as a Mark Master, and so would you.
Here the Right Worshipful Master calls the candidate’s attention to that part of the obligation.
The Right Worshipful Master now requests one of the brethren present to let the newly made brother Mark Master have the price of the Mark (usually twenty-five cents). Some brother here hands the candidate that sum, and he in turn hands it, together with the Mark, to the Right Worshipful Master. The Right Worshipful Master then administers the caution to candidate, beginning as follows:–
Brother, let this scene, &c. (See line 16, page 168.)
The Right Worshipful Master now takes the candidate by the hand, and says:
Arise, brother, and I will invest you with the pass-grip and word, and also the real grip and word of a Mark Master Mason.
The pass-grip of this Degree is made by extending the right arms and clasping the fingers of the right hands, as one would naturally do to assist another up a steep ascent. It is said to have originated from the fact that the banks of the river at
[paragraph continues] Joppa were so steep that the workmen on the Temple had to assist each other up them while conveying the timber from the forests of Lebanon. The pass-word is JOPPA. 1
R. W. M. (to candidate.)–Will you be off, or from?
R. W. M.–From what?
Candidate–From the pass-grip to the true grip of a Mark Master Mason.
R. W. M.–Pass on.
The grip is made by locking the little fingers of the right hands, turning the backs of them together, and placing the ends of the thumbs against each other; its name is SIROC, or MARK WELL, and, when properly made, forms the initials of those two words: Mark well.
The Right Worshipful Master, after admonishing the candidate never to give the words in any way but that in which he received them, resumes his seat, when the brethren shuffle about their feet.
R. W. M–What means this disturbance among the workmen, Brother Senior?
S. G. W. (rising.)–Right Worshipful, the workmen are at a stand for the want of a certain keystone to one of the principal arches, which no one has had orders to make.
R. W. M.–A keystone to one of the principal arches? I gave our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, strict orders to make that keystone, previous to his assassination. (Gives two raps with his gavel, which brings the three Overseers before him.) Brother Overseers, has there been a stone of this description brought up for inspection? (Exhibiting the figure of a keystone.)
Master Overseers–There was a stone of that description brought up for inspection, but it being neither oblong nor square, nor having the mark of any of the craft upon it, and we not knowing the mark that was upon it, supposed it unfit for the building, and it was thrown over among the rubbish.
R. W. M.–Let immediate search be made for it; the Temple cannot be finished without it; it is one of the most valuable stones in the whole building. (The brethren then shuffle about the Lodge again, and find the keystone, and bring it up to the east.)
The Senior Warden takes the stone from the hands of the brethren, and then reports to the Right Worshipful Master as follows:–
Right Worshipful Master, the stone has been found; it was discovered buried in the rubbish of the Temple, and I herewith transmit it to you, by trusty brothers. (Two or three of the brethren carry it to the Right Worshipful Master in the east.
The Right Worshipful Master receives the keystone and places it in front of him, on the desk, upright and plumb, with the initials on it facing the whole Lodge, but more especially the candidate, who is seated in a chair in front of the Right Worshipful Master. 1
The Right Worshipful Master gives four raps with the gavel (• • • •), when all rise to their feet. (Some Lodges do not do so, but keep their seats.) When he reads the following passages of Scripture, at the end of each passage he strikes the keystone on the top with his gavel–first, one rap; second, two raps; and so on to the fourth passage, viz.:
Right Worshipful Master strikes the keystone once. (•) “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.”–Ps. cxviii. 22.
Right Worshipful Master strikes the keystone twice. (• •) Did ye never read in the Scriptures, “The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner”?–Matt. xxi. 42.
Right Worshipful Master strikes the keystone thrice. (• • •) And have you not read this Scripture, “The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner”?–Mark xii. 10.
Right Worshipful Master strikes the keystone four times. (• • • •)
What is this, then, that is written, “The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner”?–Luke xx. 17.
Master reads to candidate from text-book: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth, saving him that receiveth it.” (Rev. xi. 17.) Come forward, and receive the new name.
Candidate steps forward.
Master–Brother, I will now invest you with the new name
that none but a Mark Master can receive. It is a circle of letters which are the general mark of this Degree.
Here the Right Worshipful Master calls the candidate’s attention to the keystone before him, by pointing out to him the initials on the stone, which he is informed read as follows:–
HIRAM, TYRIAN, WIDOW’S SON,
SENDETH TO KING SOLOMON.
The candidate is here instructed how to read the words when challenged by any stranger, which is as follows:–
R. W. M.–Hiram.
R. W. M.–Widow’s.
R. W. M.–Sendeth.
R. W. M.–King.
R. W. M. (pointing to the centre within the circle of these letters.)–Within this circle of letters every Mark Master Mason must place his own private mark, which may be any device he may choose to select; and when you have selected your mark, and it is once regularly recorded in the Book of Marks of this or any other Lodge of which you may be chosen a member, you have no more right to change it than you have to change your own name.
Marks are not generally recorded; this duty is very much neglected–it should be done, and strictly enforced in every Lodge.
Master reads to candidate: “He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear.”–Rev. iii. 13.
The Master further instructs the candidate in the signs of the penalties of this Degree (see Figs. 19, 20, 21, and 22), and then presents, or points out to him on the chart, the working-tools of a Mark Master Mason, viz.: a mallet and chisel, the use of which he explains as follows:–
The chisel morally demonstrates the advantages of discipline and education. The mind, like the diamond in its original state,
is rude and unpolished, but as the effect of the chisel on the external coat soon presents to view the latent beauties of the diamond, so education discovers the latent beauties of the mind, and draws them forth to range the large field of matter and space, to display the summit of human knowledge, our duty to
[paragraph continues] God and man. The mallet morally teaches to correct irregularities, and to reduce man to a proper level; so that by quiet deportment he may, in the school of discipline, learn to be content. What the mallet is to the workman, enlightened reason is to the passions: it curbs ambition, it depresses envy, it moderates anger, and it encourages good dispositions, whence arises among good Masons that comely order,
“Which nothing earthly gives, or can destroy,
The soul’s calm sunshine, and the heartfelt joy.”
R. W. M. (to candidate.)–Brother, in taking this Degree, you have represented one of the Fellow Craft Masons who wrought at the building of King Solomon’s Temple. It was their custom on the eve of the sixth day of the week to carry up their work for inspection. This young craftsman discovered in the quarries the keystone to one of the principal arches that had been wrought by the Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, and, throwing away his own work, he took it up to the Temple, where it was inspected by the Overseers, rejected as of no account, and thrown over among the rubbish. He then repaired to the office of the Senior Grand Warden to receive his wages; but not being able to give the token, he was detected as an impostor, which like to have cost him his right hand; but King Solomon pardoned him, and after a severe reprimand he was taken back to the quarries. Previous to the completion of the Temple, the progress of the work was interrupted for want of the keystone, which circumstance being communicated to King Solomon, he gave orders that search should be made for it among the rubbish, where it was found, and afterward applied to its intended use.
On the sixth hour of the sixth day of every week, the craft, being eighty thousand in number, formed in procession, and re-paired to the office of the Senior Grand Wardens, to receive their
wages; and in order to prevent the craft being imposed upon by unskilful workmen, each craftsman claiming wages was made to thrust his hand through a lattice window, and at the same time give this token, holding under the two last fingers of his hand a copy of his mark. (See Fig. 22, p. 156.)
The Senior Grand Warden casts his eye upon the corresponding mark in the book (where all the marks of the craft, eighty thousand in number, were recorded), and, seeing how much money was due to that particular mark, placed it between the thumb and two fore-fingers of the craftsman, who withdrew his hand and passed on; and so on, each in his turn, until all were paid off. If any person attempted to receive wages without being able to give the token, the Senior Grand Warden seized him by the hand, drew his arm through the window, held him fast, and exclaimed immediately, “An impostor!” Upon this signal, an officer, who was stationed there for that purpose, would immediately strike his arm off.
The following charge is then given to the candidate by the Right Worshipful Master:
Brother, I congratulate you on having been thought worthy of being advanced to this honorable Degree of Masonry. Permit me to impress it on your mind, that your assiduity should ever be commensurate with your duties, which become more and more extensive as you advance in Masonry. In the honorable character of Mark Master Mason, it is more particularly your duty to endeavor to let your conduct in the Lodge and among your brethren be such as may stand the test of the Grand Overseer’s square; that you may not, like the unfinished and imperfect work of the negligent and unfaithful of former times, be rejected and thrown aside, as unfit for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. While such is your conduct should misfortunes assail you, should friends for-sake you, should envy traduce your good name, and malice persecute you, yet may you have confidence that among Mark Master Masons you will find friends who will administer to your distresses, and comfort your afflictions: ever bearing in mind, as a consolation under the frowns of fortune, and as an encouragement to hope for better prospects, that the stone which the builders rejected, possessing merits to them unknown, became the chief stone of the corner.
The brethren shuffle round the Lodge again, as before.
R. W. M. (giving one rap.)–Brother Senior, what is the cause of this disturbance?
S. G. W.–Right Worshipful, it is the sixth hour of the sixth
day of the week, and the crafts are impatient to receive their wages.
R. W. M.–You will form them in procession, and let them repair to the office of the Senior Grand Warden and receive their wages.
Members form two and two and march around the Lodge against the sun, and sing from the text-book the last three verses of the Mark Master’s Song. The Ceremony of paying the wages is gone through at the Master’s seat in the east, the Master acting as Senior Grand Warden, and paying “every man a penny.”
The members then inquire, each of the other, “How much have you?” The answer is given, “A penny.” Some one asks the candidate the question, and he replies, “A penny.” At this information, all the brethren pretend to be in a great rage, and hurl their pennies on the floor with violence, each protesting against the manner of paying the craft.
R. W. M. (giving one rap.)–Brethren, what is the cause of this confusion?
S. D.–The craft are dissatisfied with the manner in which you pay them. Here is a young craftsman, who has just passed the square, and has received as much as we, who have borne the burden and fatigue of the day; and we don’t think it is right and just, and we will not put up with it.
R. W. M.–This is the law, and it is perfectly right.
J. D.–I don’t know of any law that will justify any such proceeding. If there is any such law, I should be glad if you would show it.
R. W. M.–If you will be patient, you shall hear the law. (Reads.) “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning, to hire laborers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the market-place, and said unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, I will give you. And they went their way. And he again went out, about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise; and about the eleventh hour, he went out and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward. Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came
that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the good man of the house, saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few chosen.”–Matthew xx. 1 to 16.
R. W. M.–Are you content?
Brethren (picking up their pennies.)–We are satisfied.
LECTURE ON THE FOURTH, OR MARK MASTER’S DEGREE–SECTION FIRST.
Question. Are you a Mark Master Mason?
Answer. I am; try me.
Q. How will you be tried?
A. By the chisel and mallet.
Q. Why by the chisel and mallet?
A. Because they are the proper Masonic implements of this degree.
Q. Where were you advanced to the degree of Mark Master Mason?
A. In a regular and duly constituted Lodge of Mark Master Masons.
Q. What were the preparatory circumstances attending your advancement to this degree?
A. I was caused to represent one of the fellow crafts employed at the building of King Solomon’s Temple, whose custom it was, on the eve of the sixth day of each week, to carry up their work for inspection.
Q. By whom was it inspected?
A. By three Overseers appointed by King Solomon, and stationed at the South, West, and East gates.
Q. How many fellow crafts were employed at the building of King Solomon’s Temple?
A. Eighty fellow crafts.
Q. Among so large a number was not our Grand Master liable to be imposed upon by unskillful workmen presenting work unfit for use?
A. They were not, for King Solomon took the precaution that each craftsman should choose for himself a mark, and place it upon his work, so it should be readily known and distinguished when brought up promiscuously for inspection.
Q. What were the wages of a fellow craft whose work had been approved?
A. One penny a day.
Q. Among so large a number was not our Grand Master liable to be imposed upon by unskillful workmen demanding wages not their due?
A. They were not, for King Solomon took the further precaution that each craftsman demanding wages should thrust his right hand into the apartments of the Senior Grand Warden, with a copy of his mark in the palm thereof, at the same time giving this token (see page 156).
Q. To what does this token allude?
A. To the way and manner in which each fellow craft received his wages.
Q. Of what further use is it?
A. To distinguish a true craftsman from an impostor.
Q. When an impostor is discovered, what should be his penalty?
A. To have his right hand chopped off.
Q. Where were you prepared to be advanced to the degree of Mark Master Mason?
A. In a room adjoining a regularly and duly constituted Lodge of Mark Master Masons.
Q. How were you prepared?
A. I was deprived of all metals, divested of my outward apparel, in a working posture, with a cable-tow four times around my body, in which situation I was conducted to the door of the Lodge, where a regular demand was made by four (4) distinct knocks.
Q. To what do the four (4) distinct knocks allude?
A. To the fourth (4th). degree of Masonry, it being that upon which I was about to enter.
Q. What was said to you from within?
A. Who comes here.
Q. Your answer?
A. A worthy brother who has been duly initiated, passed the degree of Fellow Craft, raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, and now wishes for further promotion in Masonry by being advanced to the degree of Mark Master Mason.
Q. What were you then asked?
A. If it was an act of my own free will and accord, and if I was worthy and well qualified, duly and truly prepared; if I had wrought in the quarries and exhibited suitable specimens of skill in the preceding degree, and was properly vouched for; all of which being answered in the affirmative, I was then asked by what further right or benefit I expected to gain this important privilege.
Q. Your answer?
A. By the benefit of the pass.
Q. Give the pass. (Joppa!)
Q. To what does it allude?
A. To the ancient city of Joppa, where the materials for the Temple were landed when brought down from Mount Lebanon. Masonic tradition informs us that the sea-coast at that place was so nearly perpendicular it was difficult for workmen to ascend without the assistance from above, which assistance was afforded them, given by guards stationed there for that purpose. It has since been adopted as a proper pass to be given before gaining admission to any regular and well-governed Lodge of Mark Master Masons.
Q. What was then said to you?
A. I was directed to wait until the Right Worshipful Master could be informed of my request, and his answer returned.
Q. What was his answer?
A. Let the candidate enter and be received in due and ancient form.
Q. How were you received?
A. On the edge of the engraver’s chisel, applied to my naked left breast, and under the impression of the mallet, which was to teach that the moral precepts of this degree should make a deep and lasting impression upon my mind and future conduct.
Q. How were you then disposed of?
A. I was conducted four (4) times regularly around the Lodge to the Worshipful Junior Warden in the South, where the same questions were asked and answers returned as at the door.
Q. How did the Worshipful Junior Warden dispose of you?
A. He directed me to be conducted to the Worshipful Senior Warden in the West, where the same questions were asked and answers returned as before.
Q. How did the Worshipful Senior Warden dispose of you”
A. He directed me to be conducted to the Right Worshipful Master in the East, where the same questions were asked and answers returned as before.
Q. How did the Right Worshipful Master dispose of you?
A. He ordered me to be reconducted to the Worshipful Senior Warden in the West, who taught me to approach to the East, advancing by four (4) upright regular Masonic steps, my feet forming a square and my body erect, to the Right Worshipful Master.
Q. How did the Right Worshipful Master dispose of you?
A. He made me a Mark Master Mason.
A. In due form?
Q. What is that due form?
A. Kneeling upon both knees, both hands covering the Holy Bible, square and compasses, in which due form I took upon myself the solemn oath or obligation of a Mark Master Mason.
Q. Have you that obligation?
A. I have.
Q. Will you give it?
A. I will, with your assistance.
Q. Proceed. I, A. B., &c., &c.
Q. Have you a sign in this degree?
A. I have several.
Q. Show me a sign? (Chopping off the right ear.)
Q. What is that called?
A. The duegard.
Q. To what does it allude?
A. To the penalty of my obligation, that I should suffer my right ear to be smote off sooner than divulge any of the secrets of this degree unlawfully.
Q. Show me another sign? (Chopping off right hand.)
Q. What is that called?
A. The sign.
Q. To what does it allude?
A. To the additional portion of the penalty of my obligation, that I would sooner have my right hand stricken off as the penalty of an imposter than divulge any of the secrets of this degree unlawfully.
Q. Show me another sign? (Carrying the key-stone.)
Q. What is that called?
A. The grand hailing sign of distress of a Mark Master Mason.
Q. To what does it allude?
A. To the way and manner each brother is obliged to carry his Work while being advanced to this degree.
Q. Show me another sign? (Heave over.)
Q. What is that called?
A. The principal sign.
Q. To what does it allude?
A. To the principal words of this degree.
Q. What are they?
A. Heave over.
Q. To what does it further allude?
A. To the rejection of the “Key Stone” by the Overseers.
Q. How happened that circumstance?
A. Just before the completion of the Temple, our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, was slain, as we have had an account in the preceding degree. It so happened on the eve of the sixth day of a certain week, when the craftsmen were bringing up their work for inspection, a young fellow craft seeing this piece of work, and concluding it designed for some portion of the Temple, brought it up.
Q. What followed?
A. On presenting it to the Junior Overseer at the south gate, he observed that it was neither a regular oblong nor a square, nor had it the mark of any of the workmen upon it; but, from its singular form and beauty, he was unwilling to reject it, and suffered it to pass to the Senior Overseer at the west gate.
Q. What followed?
A. He, for similar reasons, suffered it to pass to the Master Overseer at the east gate for his inspection.
Q. What followed?
A. The Master Overseer called together his brother Overseers and held a consultation, observing that it was neither a regular oblong nor a square; neither had it the mark of any of the workmen upon it; nor did they know that which was upon it, and concluding it unfit for use, agreed to heave it over among the rubbish.
Q. What followed?
A. The Senior Grand Warden informed King Solomon that the Temple was nearly completed, but the workmen were nearly at a stand for the want of a certain “key-stone,” which none of them had had orders to furnish.
Q. What followed?
A. King Solomon observed that that particular piece of work had been assigned to one Grand Master Hiram Abiff; and, from his known skill and punctuality, he no doubt had completed it agreeable to the original design; ordered inquiry to be made of the Overseers, to see if any piece of work bearing a certain mark had been presented for inspection.
Q. What followed?
A. On inquiry being made it was found that there had; but it being neither a regular oblong nor a square, nor had it the mark of any of the workmen upon it; and they, not knowing that
which was upon it, and concluding it unfit for use, agreed to heave it over among the rubbish.
Q. What followed?
A. King Solomon ordered strict search to be made in and about the several apartments of the Temple, and among the rubbish, to see if it could be found.
Q. What followed?
A. Search was accordingly made, the stone found, and after-wards applied to its intended use.
Q. Have you a grip to this degree?
A. I have several.
Q. Communicate it to me. (Give grip.)
Q. Has that a name?
A. It has.
Q. Give it? (Mark Well.)
Q. On what is this degree founded?
A. The key-stone to a certain arch in King Solomon’s Temple.
Q. By whom was it wrought?
A. Our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff; but before he had given orders to have it carried up, he was slain, as we have had an account of it in the preceding degree.
Q. What was its color?
A. White; and to it alludes a certain passage of Scripture, which says: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and in that stone a new name written, which no man knoweth save him that receiveth (or receives it).
Q. What is that new name?
A. It is composed of the words of which the letters on the “key-stone” are the initials.
Q. What are they?
A. “Hiram, Tyrian, Widow’s, Son, Sendeth, To, King, Solomon.”
Q. Of what use is this circle of letters?
A. It was the mark of our G. M., H. A.; it is now a general mark of this degree, in the centre of which each brother places his own private mark, to which the tie in the obligation particularly alludes.
Q. What is the price of a brother’s mark?
A. A Jewish half shekel of silver, equal in value to one-quarter of a dollar.
Q. Were you, at any time during your advancement to this degree, called upon with this portion of your obligation? A. I was.
Q. At what time?
A. While on my bended knees at the altar.
Q. Why at that particular time?
A. To impress upon my mind in the most solemn manner that I should never hastily reject the application of a worthy brother, especially when accompanied by so sacred a pledge as his mark, but grant him his request if in my power; if not, return him his mark with the price thereof, which will enable him to procure the common necessaries of life.
Q. By whom was this degree founded?
A. Our three Grand Masters–Solomon King of Israel, Hiram King of Tyre, and Hiram Abiff.
Q. For what purpose was it founded?
A. To be conferred upon all those who should be found worthy and well qualified, not only as an honorary reward for their zeal, fidelity and attachment to Masonry, but to render it impossible that any brother who should be found worthy of being advanced to this degree should ever be reduced to such extreme indigence as to suffer for the common necessities of life, when the price of his mark would procure the same.
Q. Who does a brother represent, presenting a mark and receiving assistance?
A. Our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, who was a poor man, but for his regular and upright deportment, his great skill in architecture and the sciences, became eminently distinguished among the craftsmen.
Q. Who does a brother represent, receiving a mark and granting assistance?
A. Our Grand Master, Solomon, King of Israel, who was a rich man and eminently distinguished for his great liberality.
Q. What are the working tools of a Mark Master Mason?
A. The chisel and mallet.
Q. What is the use of the chisel?
A. It is used by operative Masons to cut, carve, mark and engrave their work.
Q. What does it Masonically teach?
A. The chisel morally demonstrates the advantage of discipline and education. (See Monitors, it is Monitorial.)
Q. What is the use of the mallet?
A. It is used by operative Masons to knock off excrescences and smooth surfaces.
Q. What does it Masonically teach?
A. The mallet morally teaches to correct irregularities and to reduce man to a proper level, so that by quiet deportment he may, in the school of discipline, learn to be content. (See Monitor, it is Monitorial.)
PRAYER AT THE CLOSING OF A MARK MASTER’S LODGE.
Supreme Grand Architect of the Universe, who sittest on the throne of mercy, deign to view our labors in the cause of virtue and humanity with the eye of compassion; purify our hearts, and cause us to know and serve thee aright. Guide us in the paths of rectitude and honor; correct our errors by the unerring square of thy wisdom, and enable us so to practise the precepts of Masonry, that all our actions may be acceptable in thy sight. So mote it be. Amen. 1
150:1 This Degree is said to have been instituted to detect impostors, in paying the wages to the craftsmen, as we have just seen. It is a well-known fact, that such a system of distinction was practised in the Masonry of all ages. Mr. Godwin, speaking of buildings of more modern construction than the Temple of Solomon, says: “The marks, it can hardly be doubted, were made to distinguish the work of different individuals. At the present time, the man who works a atone (being different from the man who sets it) makes his mark on the bed or other internal face of it, so that it may be identified.–Historical Landmarks, vol. i., p. 427.
160:1 By the influence of the Mark Master’s Degree, the work of every operative Mason was distinctly known. The perfect stones were received with acclamations; while those that were deficient were rejected with disdain. This arrangement proved a superior stimulus to exertion, which accounts for the high finish which the Temple subsequently acquired.–Historical Landmarks, vol. i. p. 421.
164:1 There can be no doubt that the quarries from whence the Masons received their materials were situated very near to the Temple. Mr. Prime visited one of these quarries, situated beneath the City of Jerusalem, in 1856, and thus speaks of it: “One thing to me is very manifest. There has been solid stone taken from this excavation sufficient to build the walls of Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon. The size of many of the stones taken from here appears to be very great. I know of no place to which the stone can have been carried but to these works, and I know of no other quarries in the neighborhood from which the great stone of the walls would seem to have come. These two connected ideas impelled me strongly toward the belief that this was the ancient quarry whence the city was built; and when the magnitude of the excavation between the two opposing hills and of this cavern is considered, it is, to say the least of it, a difficult question to answer, what has become of the stone once here, on any other theory than that I have suggested.”–Tent-Life in the Holy Land, p. 113.
Another modern traveller, speaking of this quarry, says: “I have penetrated it for nearly half a mile, and seen there many large stones already cut, which were prepared for work but never removed. This new discovery is one of the greatest wonders of Jerusalem. It seems to extend under the Temple itself, and the stones were all finished and dressed there, and then raised up at the very spot for their appropriation.”–Christian Witness, September 11, 1857.
165:1 The hoodwink is raised from over the candidate’s eyes while this scene is being then enacted, it is replaced again, and he is marched around four times.
168:1 MARK.–It is a plate of gold or silver worn by Mark Masters. The form is generally that of a Mark Master’s keystone. within the circular inscription there being engraved a device selected by the owner. This mark, on being adopted by a Mark Master, is recorded in the Book of Marks, and it is not lawful for him ever afterward to exchange it for any other. It is a peculiar pledge of friendship, and its presentation by a destitute brother to another Mark Master, claims from the latter certain offices of friendship and hospitality, which are of solemn obligation among the brethren of this Degree.–Lexicon.
169:1 Yesterday morning at daybreak, boats put off and surrounded the vessel to take us to the town (JOPPA), the access to which is difficult, on account of the numerous rocks that present to view their bare flanks. p. 170 The walls were covered with spectators, attracted by curiosity. The boats being much lower than the bridge, upon which one is obliged to climb, and having no ladder, the landing is not effected without danger. More than once it has happened, that passengers in springing out have broken their limbs, and we might have met with the like accident if several persons had not hastened to our assistance.–Lexicon.
There is an old tradition among Masons, that the banks of the river at Joppa were so steep as to render it necessary for the workmen to assist each other up by means of a peculiar locking of the right hand, which is still preserved in the Mark Master’s Degree.–Historical Landmarks, vol. i. p. 425.
171:1 Some Lodges here call the candidate’s attention to the indenting chisel and mallet, before reading the Scripture relative to the stone.
183:1 The legend of the Degree is in substance as follows: “A young Craftsman found in the quarries of Tyre a stone of peculiar form and beauty, which was marked with a double circle, containing certain mysterious characters that greatly excited his curiosity. He had the ambition to produce this stone to the inspecting Mark Master as a work of his own. But as it was neither a single nor a double cube, nor of any other prescribed form, it was rejected, notwithstanding the beauty of its execution, and cast forth among the rubbish. The young man then frankly told the Master that the work was not his own, but that he was induced to bring it up on account of its perfect workmanship, which he thought could not be equalled. Some time afterward, when one of the arches in the foundations of the Temple was nearly completed, the keystone was missing. It had been wrought in the quarries by H. A. B. (Hiram Abiff) himself, and was marked with his mark. Search was made for it in vain, when the adventure of the young Fellow Craft was recollected, and among the rubbish the identical stone was found, which completed the work.”–Historical Landmarks, vol. ii. p. 126.