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The Fourth Degree of the American Rite. The traditions of the Degree make it of great historical importance, since by them we are informed that by its influence each Operative Mason at the building of the Temple was known and distinguished, and the disorder and confusion which might otherwise have attended so immense an undertaking was completely prevented. Not less useful is it in its symbolic signification. As illustrative of the Fellow Craft, the Fourth Degree is particularly directed to the inculcation of order, regularity, and discipline. It teaches us that we should discharge all the duties of our several stations with precision and punctuality; that the work of our hands and the thoughts of our hearts should be good and true not unfinished and imperfect, not sinful and defective but such as the Great Overseer and Judge of heaven and earth will see fit to approve as a worthy oblation from his creatures.
If the Fellow Craft's Degree is devoted to the inculcation of learning, that of the Mark Master is intended to instruct us how that learning can most usefully and judiciously be employed for our own honor and the profit of others. And it holds forth to the desponding the encouraging thought that although our motives may sometimes be misinterpreted by our erring fellow mortals, our attainments be underrated, and our reputations be traduced by the envious and malicious, there is one, at least, who sees not with the eyes of man, but may yet make that stone which the builders rejected, the head of the corner. The intimate connection then, between the Second and Fourth Degrees of Freemasonry, is this, that while one inculcates the necessary exercise of all the duties of life, the other teaches the importance of performing them with systematic regularity. The true Mark Master is a type of that man mentioned in the sacred parable, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord" (Matthew xxv, 21).
In America, the Mark Master's is the first Degree given in a Royal Arch Chapter. Its officers are a Right Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, Secretary, Treasurer, Senior and Junior Deacons, Master, Senior and Junior Overseers The Degree cannot be conferred when less than six are present, who, in that case, must be the first and last three officers above named. The working tools are the Mallet and Indenting Chisel, which see. The symbolic color is purple. The Mark Master's Degree is now given in England under the authority of the Grand Lodge of Mark Masters, which was established in June, 1856 and is a Jurisdiction independent of the Grand Lodge. The officers are the same as in America, with the addition of a Chaplain, Director of Ceremonies, Assistant Director, Registrar of Marks, Inner Guard or Time Keeper, and two Stewards. Master Masons are eligible for initiation. Brother Hughan says that the Degree is virtually the same in England, Scotland, and Ireland. It differs, however, in some respects from the American Degree.
In a letter to the Masonic Home Journal, Louisville, Kentucky (see Proceedings, Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, Michigan, 1920), Companion Alfred A. A. Murray offers the following note to correct an error relating to the Mark Degree in Scotland
As regards the Mark Degree itself it was not worked in the Fellow Craft Lodges, but there were really two Degrees, namely, that of Mark Man, which was given to a Fellow Craft, and that of Mark Master, which was given to a Master Mason. The Degree of Mark Man was worked down to within fifty years ago by various Craft lodges, and given to Fellow Crafts. The Degree of Mark Master was conferred as a separate Degree in the same way as the Royal Arch, and was expressly cut off by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, about 1800, in the same way that the Royal Arch and the Temple were cut off. Before that date they used to be worked by an inner circle of the Lodge as a sort of side issue not under the Grand Lodge of Scotland at all.
The Royal Arch and the Temple wore, after 1800, organized as governing Bodies, and then the Mark Master Degree was taken under the sole control of the Supreme Grand Chapter, and continued so 'til, as I say, about fifty years ago, then an agreement was made between the Grand Lodge and the Supreme Chapter that the two Degrees of Mark Man and Mark Master were to be amalgamated, and were to be conferred under the authority of either Body but only upon Master Masons. It is wise to get a clear statement made upon this point, because I observe a very large amount of mistaken information is being gnnted from time to time, which is derived from conuson. of thought and want of knowledge, and results roanetunes in mistaken action.
Brother W. J. Hughan (Trestle Board, California, volume xxnii, No. 4, October, 1919) wrote:
During the centuries which immediately preceded the establishment of the premier Grand Lodgo of England and the World, the mark was directly connected w ith operative and speculative Freemasonry, and from time immemorial, it has been the custom for the skilled Craftsman to chisel his distinctive Mark on the stones he fashioned, so as to indicate his workmanship. It is this fact that differentiates the Mark Degree from all other ceremonies additional to the first three, and justified the formation of the Mark Grand Lodge, nearly fifty years ago, so as to take under its wing those lodges which worked with interesting and suggestive ceremony the English Craft agreement excluding it from the formally recognized series, according to the Articles of Umon of A.D. 1813-4.
The antiquity of Mark Masonry cannot be doubted. Operatively considered and even speculatively, it has enjoyed special prominence for centuries; records of the custom being followed by speculative Brethren, accordmg to existing records, dating back to 1600, in which year, on June 8, "Ye principal warden and chief master of maisons, Wm. Schaw, master of work to ye Kingis Maistie," met members of the Lodge of Edinburgh-- now No. 1--at Holyrood House, at which meeting the Laird of Auchinleck was present, and attested the Minutes of the Assembly by his Mark as did the Operatives, in accordance with the Schaw Statutes of December 28, 1598, which provided: "That the day of reassauying, or receiving, of said fallow of craft or master be ord'lie buikit and his name and Mark insert in the said buik."
That theoretical Masons selected their Marks just as the Operatives did. during the seventeenth century is abundantly manifest, by an examination of the old Scottish records of that period. One of the most noteworthy instances out of many is the Mark Book of the Lodge of Aberdeen--now No. 1 tri-which started in l670 A.D., and is signed by forty-nine members, all of whom but two have their Marks inserted opposite their names. The Master of the 'Honorable Lodge of Aberdeen' in that year was Harrie Elphingston, Tutor of Airth and Collector of the King's Customs, and only a fourth part of the members were Operative Masons, the roll of Brethren including the Earl of Findlater, the Earl of Dumferline, Lord Pitsligo, the Earl of 'Errolle, a professor of mathematics, several ministers, doctors and other professional men and tradesmen, such as wrights, or carpenters, plaiters, glaziers, ete. The names of the apprentices were entered in another list, the Marks chosen by such being evidently similar to the fathers in several instances (see Marks of the Craft).
When the special and elaborate ceremony, with a distinctive legend, was first used it is not possible to decide, but probably about the middle of the eighteenth century, soon after the arrangement of the Royal Arch as a separate Degree. The oldest preserved records date from the year 1769, and there is no lack of evidence as to the observance of the custom in Speculative Lodges during that century and later either in separate Lodges or under the wing of the Royal Arch. The Mark continued to be worked in England as an unauthorized ceremony until the year 1856, when the Mark Grand Lodge was founded and has proved a conspicuous success, having ultimately secured the support of all the ' time immemorial ' and other Lodges in the country, besides having warranted several hundreds of Lodges to work the Degree in England and the Colonies and dependencies of the British Crown.
The ceremony is very popular, especially in North America, and is recognized by all Grand Chapters of Royal Arch Masons there and elsewhere, excepting in England. The Grand Lodge of Ireland includes it with the additional Degrees belonging to the other Masonic Grand Bodies recognized in it and acting in union with it, and the Grand Lodge of Scotland authorizes the Mark to be conferred on Master Masons. and the secrets only to be communicated in presence of those who have taken the step in a Lodge entitled to grant it. The Mark Grand Lodgo in recent years has incorporated the Mark Man with the Mark Master; and wisely so, as it was the former that was conferred on yellow Crafts, and the latter on Master Masons during the eighteenth century.
MARK MASTER'S WAGES.
Companion George W. Warvelle commented thus upon the longestablished custom of a penny a day paid as the wages of a Mark Master:
This ridiculously low wage scale seems to have been the work of the early American Titualists. I have in my possession two old English rituals, of Mark Man and Mark Mason, in both of which there is a specification of wages. In the former the rate was ' nine shekels, equal to one pound, two shillings, six pence of our money,' and in the latter it gas 'twenty-five shekels, equal to three pounds, two shillings, six pence of our money.' What the present rate may be in England I am unable to say, but no Englishman would work for the beggarly stipend paid in the American Mark Lodges. I am inclined to believe, however, that our English Brethren have fixed these abnormally high prices to make up for the actual wages formerly paid in England to the Operative Craft. As late as the year 1689 the wages of Freemasons were prescribed by law at one shilling and four pence a day. To demand more subjected them to severe penalties. In fact, it was really the passing of restrictive laws commencing say, about 1356, that led to the present speculative institution, and Masonic scholars of eminence assign the year 1424 as the cessation of English Freemasonry as a strictly operative association (from Tyler Keystone, Michigan, December, 1914) .
MARK OF THE CRAFT, REGULAR.
In the Mark Degree there is a certain stone which is said, in the instructions, not to have upon it the regular mark of the Craft. This expression is derived from the following tradition of the Degree. At the building of the Temple, each workman placed his own mark upon his own materials, so that the workmanship of every Freemason might be readily distinguished, and praise or blame be justly awarded. These marks, according to the lectures, consisted of mathematical figures, squares, angles, lines, and perpendiculars, and hence any figure of a different kind, such as a circle, would not be deemed "the Regular Mark of the Craft." Of the three stones used in the Mark Degree, one is inscribed with a square and another with a plumb or perpendicular, because these were marks familiar to the Craft; but the third, which is inscribed with a circle and certain hieroglyphics, was not known and was not, therefore, called regular (see also Marks of the Craft).
Companion Alfred A. A. Murray, submitted a Memorandum in 1919 to the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, which was in part as follows:
A clear statement has frequently been requested as to the exaet rules governing the form of Marks. In particular, a prominent Chapter has specially asked to be provided with a definite rule. In consequence the following Memorandum was submitted to Supreme Grand Committee for the purpose of information so that they might consider the subject and, if so advised, give an official ruling on the meaning of the Committee on Marks, and in the interval the Memorandum has been revised and corrected.
In Ireland there are no definite rules, and the Marks are accepted just as they are sent in. No attention is paid practically to the matter, and not one Mark Mason in twenty adopts a Mark of any kind. Those who do frequently select designs quite unsuitable for the purpose, such as crests or monograms, but they are all registered in Grand Chapter books without question.
I am informed that by a resolution of the Grand Mark Lodge of England, on 14th Deeember, 1864, the regulation confining Speculative Masons' Marks to any specified number of points was abrogated. But straight lines are imperative.
In America, so far as can be ascertained, there is no rule specifying what should be selected as a Mark, this being left entirely to the candidate himself to determine,
The Grand Lodge of Scotland has never, so far as can be ascertained, laid down any rule whatever, and diselaims any responsibility for any ritual on the subject.
The way, therefore, appears to be quite open to this Committee to suggest a definite ruling for themselves and to let others follow it or not as they choose. The instructions as they stand at present substantially eonsist of a direction that any Mark adopted by a candidate and member must consist of any number of odd points connected by lines, with the exception of one special figure containing three points. The old manuscript copy of the working, in the possession of Supreme Grand Chapter, says, "3, 5, 7, 9 or 11 points joined together to form any figure they please except, ete." It may be interesting to add, in parenthesis, that according to the old independent Yorkshire working early last century, the members present had also to be 3, 5, 7, 9, etc., and the fee was "one mark, Is lHd., neither more nor less."
The theory held by some is that the Mark was, and is still supposed to be, made by the workman with the edge of a chisel, not by its corner point, so that each stroke therefore will make nothing but a straight line. This would apply to the Mark on the blade of the chisel, but I should rather think the Mark cut on a stone would be made by a pointed chisel, and therefore that so far it would be conveniently possible to form a curved figure. As the Mark was reproduced on the hewn stones, it should have been the same as that which was struck on the blade of the Mason's own tools to identify them in the boxes, or when returned from sharpening, or for any other necessary purposes. While the actual wording of the instructions do not expressly say straight lines this is commonly understood to be implied.
The old ritual of Chapter Esk, No. 42, however, expressly says, "straight or curved lines." There may be others giving the same reading. Among the Operative Masons of Scotland for centuries genuine curved Marks are by no means unknown, but are very few. For instance, at Fortrose Cathedral out of 265 Marks there is only one with curved lines--representing a vessel. A heart is also an emblem not uncommon. But, on the whole, out of the many thousand specimens from the thirteenth century downwards, it is almost unusual to find a Mark with curved lines. The Speculative Masons are lineal descendants of the Operative Craft, though not the only branch, and theoretically they are subject to the same rules of work and interpretation as the Body from which they sprang.
The first question which arises is as to the regulation about the number of points. This regulation may hold with the present speculative systems, but it has nothing whatever to do with King Solomon's Temple, where not a single Mason's Mark has ever been found. Indeed there are no Mason's Marks on any known historic and ancient Jewish building, or at least if so I am not aware of it. The story about a Mark of approval made by an equilateral triangle and about juxtaposition Marks is apocryphal. The regulation has no sanction or foundation in the practice of the Operative Claft. No system of counting will ever prove that such a rule existed operatively. Numberless specimens prove the contrary.
There used to be a story eurrent in the Craft some thirty years ago that there was a distinction between the Mark of a Fellow of Craft and that of a Master Mason, the former having an even number of points and the latter an odd number. The idea v,as a fad of some theorists and had no foundation in fact, except that when the agreement between the Grand Lodge of Seotland and the Supreme Grand Chapter of Seotland regarding the Mark Degree was entered into, it evidently ignored the fact that the Stark Man and the Mark Master were two separate Degrees--the former worked after the second Degree and the latter after the third. But the Mark was chosen bv the Mark Man, and the indiscriminate use of any number of Points for a Mark, odd or even, is therefore, according to the basis of the theorv mentioned, correct. Incidentally. it rnay be added that the part of our present ritual referring to the infliction of the penalty is incorrectly expressed. It was the Entered Apprentice who suffered. because he had no Mark to present, not the Fellow Craft who presented his own Mark. It is absurd to suppose that he suffered because he used the triangle instead of his proper Mark.
The American ritual I have seen solves this difficulty by making the Mark Master present and withdraw his hand in a different way to that of his workmen. Assuming, however, that the rule according to the ritual is to be observed, a difficulty arises as to what precisely is meant by a point which has to be counted.
The instruction is that the Mark must have a certain number of odd points connected by straight lines. Now every straight line consists of an innumerable number of points. Logically, therefore, the definition means and implies that every point in a straight line is not to be counted solely because it is in that line. Any point to be counted must be Selected for some other reason. Now, according to the definition it is quite clear that the end points of a straight line must be and are intended to be counted because they are the points which are connected by a straight line. It is therefore beyond question that any point which is the beginning, or ending, of one or more straight lines must be a point to be counted according to the rules of the Degree.
The difficulty arises as to the counting when two straight lines intersect, or rather when they not merely intersect but cross one another. In such a case is the point of intersection a point within the meaning of the instructions for the Degree? Varying opinions have for the past half-century been held among Freemasons about this, but the old records rather support the rule that a mere intersection or crossing does not constitutes a point. The point is and must be the end of a line and not merely a part of it in the middle.
In the petition to Lodge Mother Kilwinning in 1677 on which the Warrant to Lodge Canongate Kilwinning was granted, nine out of the twelve petitioners append their Marks. They are all composed of straight lines connected together. If crossings are not counted, there were eight even and one odd. If crossings are counted, there were three even and six odd. one of them was even and had no crossing point. In the first Minute-Book of the Lodge of Edinburgh, if crossings are not counted, about two-thirds of the Marks are odd and the remaining one-third even. If crossings are counted, there is a slight preponderance of odd points. Robert Burns' Mark had eleven points, but if the crossing is counted it had twelve.
In the Mark Book of Chapter Edinburgh for the first fifty years or so, if erossings are not counted, there are thirty-three odd and forty even. If crossings are counted, the same proportion remains. But one hundred and thirty-four out of two hundred and thirty-three Marks transgress the rules that straight lines only must be counted. The use of curved lines has, however, in this case ceased for several decades. As in the case of the Roman Eagle Lodge, when the Mark Degree was intro duced in 1785, a large number of the transgressing Marks are not Marks at all, but representations of Masonic symbols and emblems such as the hive, the irradiated sun, the ladder, the skull and cross-bones, the heart, and so on. There are Jewish and other letters, a hand grasping an arrow, or a sword, or a pen, or a musket. There is a horse vaulting a gate, and a lion passant, a clam shell a stag's head, a man in the moon, a harp, the Volume of the Sacred Law, an irradiated star, and a laurel branch, etc., all drawn illustratively. There are also several Marks with points alone and no lines at all.
There are also instances of, say, a shield with a triangle or a cross, or some entirely separate figure within it Latterly, it is only too common to find puerile attempts to combine initials. To sum up, the main points for decision are:
1. Whether a point--a mere dot--can be counted if it is shown alone and not as part of a line.
2. Whether a point means the end of a separate and distinct line or a free salient angle.
3. Whether the lines must be straight or may be curved.
4. Whether the lines must all be connected or whether they may he disconnected as, for example, a triangle within a shield, or dots or a snall or large circle.
5. Whether the points must be odd in number.
6. Whether in this case a crossing point must be counted.
7. Whether in the same ease n crossing point need not be counted unless desired, and, if one is counted, must all in the same figure be counted.
8. Whether the points may be odd or even in number. In this case it is not necessary to trouble about crossing points, because they can make no difference to the ultimate result
As a closing remark it ought to be added that, looking at the number of different Marks required for the large number of members now being admitted, if any mere point of intersection is allowed to be counted it will make it greatly easier to multiply the available number of possible Marks. If such a point of mere intersection is not to be counted and is ruled out, the number of available Marks with a reasonable number of lines will be cut down probably by one-fourth. This is admittedly an argument ad conrenientiam, but in certain eases expedieney rises to the height of principle. The rule suggested is simply that ah Marks in future must be composed of straight lines joined together, and the counting of points be discontinued. If this rule be adopted no further question can apparently arise, and the simplicity of the rule is greatly in its favour. It would involve, however, that the ritual should be subject to a slight correction to bring it into conformity with the rule, but this can easily be done.
Further information will be found in Doctor Macay's revised History of Freemasonry, some sixty-five items being indexed. Many valuable references to the subject are in the Appendix to the Proceedings (Grand Chapter, Royal arch Masons, Michigan, 1920), contributed by Companion Charles A. Conover, General Grand Secretary. Additional references are in a paper read by Professor George Godwin, Roval Institute of British Architects, 1868; four articles by John E. Dove, Builder, London, April 4 and 18, June 6, and July 11, 1863, also a paper on Masonry and Masorls' Marks, Brother T. Hayter Lewis, Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge (volume iii, 1890).
The pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, famous American humorist, born November 30, 1835, at Florida, Missouri. He petitioned Polar Star Lodge No. 79 of St. Louis under date of December 26, 1860, as follows:
The subscriber, residing in Saint Louis, of lawful age and by occupation a Pilot, begs leave to state that unbiased by friends and uninfluenced by mercenary motives he freely and voluntarily offers himself as a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry and that he is prompted to solicit this privilege by a favorable opinion conceived of the Institution, a desire of knowledge and sincere wish of being serviceable to his fellow creatures. Should his petition be granted he will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the Fraternity.
Recommended by John M. Leavenworth, Tom Moore. Committee: H. T. Taylor, Defreiz, Wannall.
(Signed) Sam L. Clemens.
The petition was received on the same day and the Committee made a favorable report February 18, 1861. He was Initiated May 22, 1861, Passed, June 12, 1861, and Raised July 10, 1861. On June 12, he paid the Lodge $20 cash and made a further payment of $10 on July 10. During a trip that he made to Palestine he sent his Lodge at St. Louis a mallet accompanied by the following memorandum:
This Mallet is of Cedar cut in the Forest of Lebanon, whence Solomon obtained the Timbers for the Temple. The handle was cut by Brother Clemens himself from a cedar planted just outside the walls of Jerusalem by Brother Godfrey DeBoullion, the first Christian Conqueror of that City, nineteenth of July, 1099.
This gavel in its present form was made at Alexandria Egypt, by order of Brother Clemens.
From Brother Sam'l L. Clemens
to J. H. Pottenger, M.D.
March 25, 1868
Presented to Polar Star Lodge No. 79
By J. H. Pottenger, W.M.
April 8, 1868.
In 1869 he asked for a dimit but this is not known to have ever been presented to any Lodge. Mark Twain has many racy books of travel and adventure, as well as a number of humorous autobiographical novels to his credit. He received the degree of Doctor of Literature from Oxford. For many years he was considered the most outstanding and popular American personality in the world of letters. During the later years of his life he was able to amass a considerable fortune although most of his life was harassed by a constant struggle against poverty. He died at Redding, Connecticut, on April 21, 1910.
MARES OF THE CRAFT.
In former times, Operative Masons, the Steinmetzen, or Stone Cutters, of Germany, were accustomed to place some mark or sign of their own invention, which, like the monogram of the painters, would seem to identify the work of each. They are to be found upon the cathedrals, churches, castles, and other stately buildings erected since the twelfth century, or a little earlier, in Germany, France, England, and Scotland. As Professor George Godwin has observed in his History in Ruins, it is curious to see that these marks are of the same character, in form, in all these different countries. They were principally crosses, triangles, and other mathematical figures, and many of them were religious symbols. Specimens taken from different buildings supply such forms as are here illustrated.
The last of these is the well-known vesica piscis, the symbol of Christ among the primitive Christians, and the last but one is the Pythagorean pentalpha. A writer in the London Times (August 13, 1835) is incorrect in stating that these marks are confined to Germany, and are to be found only since the twelfth or thirteenth centuries. More recent researches have shown that they existed in many other countries, especially in Scotland, and that they were practiced by the builders of ancient times. Thus Ainsworth, in his Travels (ii, 167), tells us, in his description of the ruins of Al-Hadhv in Mesopotamia, that "every stone, not only in the chief building, but in the walls and bastions and other public monuments, when not defaced by time, is marked with a character which is for the most part either a Chaldean letter or numeral."
M. Didron, who reported a series of observations on the subject of these Masons' Marks to the Comity Historique des Arts et Monuments of Paris, believes that he can discover in them references to distinct schools or Lodges of Freemasons. He divides them into two classes: those of the overseers, and those of the men who worked the stones. The marks of the first class consist of monogrammatic characters; those of the second are of the nature of symbols, such as shoes, trowels, mallets, etc.
A correspondent of the Freemasons Quarterly Revieto states that similar marks are to be found on the stones which compose the walls of the fortress of Allahabad, which was erected in 1542, in the East Indies. He says:
The walls are composed of large oblong blocks of red granite, and are almost everywhere covered by Masonic emblems which evince something more than mere ornament. They are not confined to one particular spot, but are scattered over the walls of the fortress, in many places as high as thirty or forty feet from the ground. It is quite certain that thousands of stones on the walls, bearing these Masonic symbols, were carved, marked and numbered in the quarry previous to the erection of the building.
In the ancient buildings of England and France, these marks are to be found in great abundance. In a communication, on this subject, to the London Society of Antiquaries, Professor George Godwin states that, "in my opinion, these marks, if collected and compared might assist in connecting the various bands of operatives, who, under the protection of the Church--mystically united--spread themselves over Europe during the Middle Ages, and are known as Freemasons." Professor Godwin describes these marks as varying in length from two to seven inches, and as formed by a single line, slightly indented, consisting chiefly of crosses, well-known Masonic symbols, emblems of the Trinity and of eternity, the double triangle, trowel, square, etc. The same writer observes that, in a conversation, in September, 18U, with a mason at work on the Canterbury Cathedral, he "found that many Masons, all who were Freemasons, had their mystic marks handed down from generation to generation; this man had his mark from his father, and he received it from his grandfather."
MARROW IN THE BONE.
An absurd corruption of a Jewish word, and still more absurdly said to be its translation. It has no appropriate signification in the place to which it is applied, but was once religiously believed in by many Freemasons, who, being ignorant of the Hebrew language, accepted it as a true interpretation. It is now universally rejected by the intelligent portion of the Craft.
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