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the masonic manual
THIS degree of Masonry was not less useful in its original inistitution, nor are its effects less beneficial to mankind, than those which precede it. By the influence of this degree, each operative Mason, at the erection of the Temple of Solomon, was known and distinguished by the Senior Warden. By its effects the disorder and confusion, that might otherwise have attended so immense an undertaking was completely prevented; and not only the craftsmen themselves, who were eighty thousand in number, but every part of their workmanship, was discriminated with the greatest nicety, and the utmost facility. If defects were found in the work, by the help of this degree, the Overseers were enabled, without difficulty, to ascertain who was the faulty workman; so that its deficiencies might be remedied without injuring the credit, or diminishing the reward of the industrious and faithful of the craft.
A more appropriate lesson for the opening ceremonies of this degree may be found in Isaiah xxviii. 16,17,18.
"Wherefore, brethren, lay aside all malice, and guile, and hypocrisies, and envies and all evil speakings. 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 welldoing, 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."
This section explains the manner of opening the lodge. It also teaches the stations *) and duties of the officers, and the preparation and introduction of canditates.
In this section is exemplified the regularity and good order that was observed by the craftsmen on Mount Libanus, and in the plains and quarries of Zeredatha, and ends with a beautiful display of the manner in which one of the principal events originated, which characterizes this degree.
*) A Mark Master's Lodge, when fully organized for work, consists on
the members of the Chapter to which it is attached, and the following
officers, viz: R. W. Master, in the East; Senior Warden, in the, West;
Junior Warden, in the South: Treasurer on the right, and Secretary, on the
left, near the chair; Marshal, or Master of Ceremonies on the left, in front of the Secretary, Senior Deacon, on the right, in
front of the Treasurer; Junior Deacon, at the right of the Senior Warden
Master Oveseer, at the East Gate; Senior Overseer at the West Gate Junior
Overseer, at the South Gate; Stewards on the right and left of the Junior
Warden; Chaplain, in the East, on tie left of the Master.
* * * * * * * *
Illustrates the foundation and history of the degree, and impresses upon the mind of the candidate, in a striking manner, the Importance of a strict observance of his obligation to be ever ready to stretch forth his hand for the relief of indigent and worthy brethren. The number of workmen employed in building the Temple of Solomon, and the privileges they enjoyed, are specified; the mode of rewarding merit, and of punishing the guilty, are pointed out: and the marks of distinction, which were conferred on our ancient brethren, as the rewards of excellence, are named.
* * * * * * * *
The following passages of Scripture are introduced and explained.
The stone which the builders refused, is become the head stone of the corner. - PSALMS cxviii. 22.
Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? - - MATT. xxi. 42.
And have ye 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, the same is become the head of the corner? LUKE xx. 17.
This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. - - Acts iv. 11. * * * * * *
He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear. - - R.EV. iii. 13.
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 he hat receiveth it. - - REV. ii. 17
And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need; and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa, and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem. - - II CHRON. ii. 16.
* * * * * * * *
Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary, which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. And the Lord said unto me, Son of man, MARK WELL, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary. - - EZEKIEL xliv. 1-5.
* * * * * * * *
The working tools of a Mark Master are the chisel and mallet.
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 virtues of the mind, and
draws them forth to range the large field of master and space, to display
the summit of human knowledge, our duty to God and to man.
Morally teaches to correct irregularities, and reduce man to a proper level; so that, by quiet deportment, he may, in the shhool 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,
Music - " God save great Waslington."
MARK MASTERS all appear,
Let him your work inspect,
You who have passed the square,
HIRAM, the widow's son,
On it appears the name
Now to the westward move,
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 again he 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 bath 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 not thou 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 mine own? Is thine eye evil because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for man be clled, but few ehosen. - MATT. xx. 1-16.
* * * * * * * *
BROTHER: - I congratulate you on having been thought worthy of being promoted 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.
The situation to which you are now promoted, will draw upon you not only the scrutinizing eyes of the world at large, but those also of your brethren, on whom this degree of Masonry has not been conferred; all will be justified in expecting your conduct and behavior to be such as may with safety be imitated.
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 forsake you, should envy traduce your good name, and malice persecute you; yet may you have confidence, that among Mark Master Masons you will have friends who will administer relief to your distresses, and comfort in your afflictions; ever bearing in mind, as a consolation under all 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.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014