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THE MASTER'S DEGREE
Q. Are you a Master-Mason?
A. I am; try me, prove me, disprove me if you can.
Q. Where was you pass'd Master?
A. In a Perfect Lodge of Masters.
Q. What makes a Perfect Lodge of Masters?
Q. How came you to be pass'd Master?
A. By the Help of God, the Square and my own Industry.
Q. How was you pass'd Master?
A. From the Square to the Compass.
Ex. An Enter'd 'Prentice I presume you have been.
R. Jachin and Boaz I have seen;
A Master Mason I was made most rare, With Diamond, Ashler and the Square.
Ex. If a Master Mason you would be, You must rightly understand the Rule of Three. And *M.B. shall make you free: *Machbenah And what you want in Masonry, Shall in this Lodge be shewn to thee.
R. Good Masonry I understand; The Keys of all Lodges are all at my Command.
Ex. You're an heroick Fellow; from whence came you?
R. From the East.
Ex. Where are you going?
R. To the West.
Q. What are you a going to do there?
R. To seek for that which was lost and is now found.
Ex. What was that which was lost and is now found?
R. The Master-Mason' Word.
Ex. How was it lost?
R. By Three Great Knocks, or the Death of our Master Hiram.
Ex. How came he by his Death?
R. In the Building of Solomon's Temple he was Master-Mason, and at high 12 at Noon, when the Men was gone to refresh themselves, as was his usual Custom, he came to survey the Works, and when he was enter'd into the Temple, there were Three Ruffians, suppos'd to be Three Fellow-Crafts, planted themselves at the Three Entrances of the Temple, and when he came out, one demanded the Master's Word of him, and he reply'd he did not receive it in such a manner, but Time and a little Patience would bring him to it: He, not satisfied with that Answer, gave him a Blow, which made him reel; he went to the other Gate, where being accosted in the same manner and making the same Reply, he received a greater Blow, and at the third his Quietus.
Ex. What did the Ruffians kill him with?
R. A Setting Maul, Setting Tool and Setting Beadle.
Ex. How did they dispose of him?
R. Carried him out at the West Door of the Temple, and hid him under some Rubbish till High 12 again.
Ex. What time was that?
R. High 12 at Night, whilst the Men were at Rest.
Ex. How did they dispose of him afterwards?
R. They carried him up to the Brow of the Hill, where they made a decent Grave and Buried him.
Ex. When was he miss'd?
R. The same Day.
Ex. When was he found?
R. Fifteen Days afterwards.
Ex. Who found him?
R. Fifteen Loving Brothers, by Order of King Solomon, went out of the West Door of the Temple, and divided themselves from Right to Left within Call of each other; and they agreed that if they did not find the Word in him or about him, the first Word should be the Master's Word; one of the Brothers being more weary than the rest, sat down to rest himself, and taking hold of a Shrub, which came easily up, and perceiving the Ground to have been broken, he Hail'd his Brethren, and pursuing their Search found him decently buried in a handsome Grave 6 Foot East, 6 West, and 6 Foot perpendicular, and his Covering was green Moss and Turf, which surprised them; whereupon they replied, Muscus Domus Dei Gratia, which, according to Masonry, is, Thanks be to God, our Master has got a Mossy House: So they cover'd him closely, and as farther Ornament placed a Sprig of Cassia at the Head of his Grave, and went and acquainted King Solomon.
Ex. What did King Solomon say to all this?
R. He order'd him to be taken up and decently buried, and that 15 Fellow-Crafts with white Gloves and Aprons should attend his Funeral [which ought amongst Masons to be perform'd to this Day.]
Ex. How was Hiram rais'd?
R. As all other Masons are, when they receive the Master's Word.
Ex. How is that?
R. By the Five Points of Fellowship.
Ex. What are they?
R. Hand to Hand, Foot to Foot, Cheek to Cheek, Knee to Knee, and Hand in Back.
N.B. When Hiram was taken up, they took him by the Fore-fingers, and her Skin came off, which is called the Slip; the spreading the Right Hand and placing the middle Finger to the Wrist, clasping the Fore-finger and the Fourth to the Sides of the Wrist; is called the Gripe, and the Sign is placing the Thumb of the Right Hand to the Left Breast, extending the Fingers.
Ex. What's a Master-Mason nam'd.
R. Cassia is my Name, and from a Just and Perfect Lodge I came.
Ex. Where was Hiram inter'd?
R. In the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Ex. How was he brought in?
R. At the West-Door of the Temple.
Q. What are the Master-Jewels?
A. The Porch, Dormer, and Square Pavement.
Q. Explain them.
A. The Porch the Entring into the Sanctum Sanctorum, the Dormer the Windows of Lights within, the Square Pavement the Ground Flooring.
Ex. Give me the Master's Word.
R. Whisper him in the Ear, and supported by the Five Points of Fellowship before mentioned, says Machbenah, which signifies The Builder is smitten.
N.B. If any Working Masons are at Work, and you have a desire to distinguish Accepted Masons from the rest, take a Piece of Stone, and ask him what it smells of, he immediately replies, neither Brass, Iron, nor Steel, but of a Mason; then by asking him, how old he is, he replies above Seven, which denotes he has pass'd Master.
The End of the Master's Part.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014