A. The broken column denotes the untimely death of our Grand Master Hiram Abiff; the beautiful virgin weeping, the temple unfinished; the book open before her, that his virtues lie on perpetual record; the sprig of acacia in her right hand, the timely discovery of his body; the urn in her left, that his ashes were then safely deposited to perpetuate the remembrance of so distinguished a character; Time unfolding the ringlets of her hair, that time, patience, and perseverance accomplish all things.

Q. Have you a sign belonging to this Degree?

A. I have several.

Q. Give me a sign? (Penalty.)

Q. What is that called?

A. The duegard of a Master Mason.

Q. Has that an allusion?

A. It has, to the penalty of my obligation, and when our ancient brethren returned to the grave of our Grand Master Hiram Abiff, they found their hands placed in this position to guard their nostrils from the disagreeable effluvia that arose there from the grave.

Q. Give me a token. (Pass grip.)

Q. What is that called?

A. The pass grip from a fellow craft to a Master Mason.

Q. What is its name?

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A. Tubal Cain.

Q. Who was Tubal Cain?

A. The first known artificer or cunning worker in metals.

Q. Pass that? (Strong grip.)

Q. What is that?

A. The strong grip of a Master Mason, or lion’s paw.

Q. Has it a name?

A. It has.

Q. Give it me?

A. I cannot, nor can it be given except on the five (5) points of fellowship, and heard then in a low breath.

Q. Advance and give it.

A. The word is right.

Q. How many grand masonic pillars are there?

A. Three.

Q. What are they called?

A. Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.

Q. Why are they so called?

A. Because it is necessary there should be wisdom to contrive, strength to support, and beauty to adorn, all great and important undertakings.

Q. By whom are they represented?

A. By Solomon, King of Israel, Hiram, King of Tyre, and Hiram Abiff, who were our first three Most Excellent Grand Masters.

Q. Why are they said to represent them?

A. Solomon, King of Israel, represents the pillars of wisdom, because by his wisdom he contrived the superb model of excellence that immortalized his name; Hiram, King of Tyre, represents the pillar of strength, because he supported King Solomon in this great and important undertaking; Hiram Abiff represents the pillar of beauty, because by his cunning workmanship, the temple was beautified and adorned.

Q. What supported the temple?

A. It was supported by 1453 columns and 2906 pilasters, all hewn from the finest Parian marble.

Q. How many were employed in building the temple?

A. Three Grand Masters, three thousand three hundred masters, or overseers of the work, eighty thousand fellow crafts in the mountains and in the quarries, and seventy (70) thousand entered apprentices, or bearers of burdens. All these were classed and arranged in such a manner by the wisdom of King Solomon, that neither envy, discord, nor confusion was suffered to interrupt that universal peace and tranquillity which pervaded the world at this important period.

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Q. What is meant by the three steps usually delineated on the Master’s carpet?

A. They are emblematical of the three principal stages of human life, viz.: youth, manhood, and age, etc., etc. (Monitorial.)

Q. How many classes of Master’s emblems are there?

A. Nine.

Q. What is the ninth (9th)?

A. The setting maul, spade, coffin, and sprig of acacia. The setting maul was that by which our Grand Master Hiram Abiff was slain; the spade was that which dug his grave; the coffin was that which received his remains, and the sprig of acacia was that which bloomed at the head of his grave. These are all striking emblems of morality, and afford serious reflections to a thinking mind; but they would be still mere repining were it not for the sprig of acacia that bloomed at the head of the grave, which serves to remind us of that imperishable part of man which survives the grave and bears the nearest affinity to the Supreme Intelligence which pervades all nature, and which can never, never, never die. Then, finally, my brethren, let us imitate our Grand Master Hiram Abiff in his virtuous conduct, his unfeigned piety to his God, and his inflexible fidelity to his trust, that like him we may welcome the grim tyrant Death, and receive him as a kind messenger, sent by our Supreme Grand Master to translate us from this imperfect to that all perfect, glorious, and celestial lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the universe presides.

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