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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.

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