be made distinctly but rapidly. This sign alludes to the penalty of the obligation, and also to that of an impostor, which is to have his right hand cut off.
The sign of receiving wages is made by extending in front the right arm at full length, the thumb and two first fingers open, about one inch apart, the third and little fingers clinched, palm of the hand up. (See Fig. 22.) It alludes to the peculiar manner in which the Mark Master is taught to receive wages, so that impostors may be detected.
Here it is proper to remark that in the opening of any Lodge of Masons, they commence giving the signs of an Entered Apprentice, and go through all the signs of the different Degrees,
in regular gradation, until they arrive at the one which they are opening, and commence at the sign of the Degree in which they are at work, and descend to the last when closing.
The Master now reads from a text-book the following:
“Wherefore, my brethren, lay aside all malice, and guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking. 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 well-doing 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.”
The Right Worshipful Master then gives two raps with his gavel, Senior Grand Warden two, and Junior Grand Warden two, which raps are then repeated.
R. W. M.–I now declare this Lodge of Mark Master Masons opened in due and ancient form, and hereby forbid all improper conduct whereby this Lodge may be disturbed, under no less penalty than the by-laws of a majority of the Lodge may see fit to inflict.
R. W. M. (to Junior Deacon.)–Brother Junior, please to inform the Tyler the Lodge is open.
Junior Deacon informs the Tyler, and returns to his seat.
No business is done in a Lodge of Mark Master Masons, except to initiate a candidate in the Fourth Degree of Masonry. The Degree being under the sanction of the Royal Arch Chapter, all business, such as balloting for candidates, committee reports, &c., is done in the Seventh, or Royal Arch Degree. The Lodge being opened, and ready for such business as it has authority to transact, the Right Worshipful Master directs the Senior Deacon to ascertain if there are any candidates desiring to be advanced to the honorary Degree of Mark Master Mason. The Senior Deacon then retires to the ante-room, and if he finds any candidates in waiting, he returns to the Lodge and informs the Right Worshipful Master. It is the duty of the Senior Deacon to prepare and conduct the candidate (or candidates, as the case may be), during the first part of the ceremony of initiation, and if there are any candidates for advancement, the Right Worshipful Master directs this officer to retire to the ante-room and see them duly and truly prepared. The Junior Deacon, with an assistant, then passes out of the Lodge into the ante-room, where the candidate is in waiting (we will suppose that only one is to be advanced), and requests him to divest himself of his coat and roll up his shirt-sleeves to the shoulder. The Senior Deacon and his associate do the same. When they are thus prepared, the Deacon takes in his right hand a small block of marble or Painted wood, about the size of a brick, weighing five or six Pounds. The Deacon’s associate also takes a similar block to carry. One of the blocks has a square engraved upon it, the
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