You have this evening represented one of the greatest men, and perhaps the greatest Mason, the world ever knew, viz., our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, who was slain just before the completion of King Solomon’s Temple. His death was premeditated by fifteen Fellow Crafts, who, seeing the Temple about to be completed, and being desirous of obtaining the secrets of a Master Mason, whereby they might travel in foreign countries and receive Master’s wages, entered into a horrid conspiracy to extort them from our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, or take his life; but, reflecting with horror on the atrocity of the crime, twelve of them recanted; the other three persisted in their murderous designs.

Our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, was slain at high twelve. It was his usual practice at that hour, while the craft were called from labor to refreshment, to enter into the unfinished “Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies,” of the Temple, and there offer up his adorations to the Deity, and draw his designs on the trestle-board.

The three Fellow Crafts who persisted in their murderous designs, knowing this to be his usual practice, placed themselves at the south, west, and east gates of the inner courts of the temple, and there awaited his return.

Our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, having finished his usual exercises, attempted to retire by the south gate, when he was accosted by Jubela, who thrice demanded of him the secrets of a Master Mason, or the Master’s word, and, on his being refused, gave him a blow with the twenty-four-inch gauge across his throat, upon which he fled and attempted to pass out at the west gate, where he was accosted by Jubelo, who, in like manner, demanded of him the secrets of a blaster Mason, or the Master’s word, and, on his being refused, gave him a blow with the square across his breast, upon which he fled, and attempted to make his escape out at the east gate, where he was accosted by Jubelum, who, in like manner, thrice demanded the secrets of a Master Mason, or the Master’s word, and, on his like refusal, gave him a violent blow with the setting-maul on his forehead, which felled him dead on the spot.

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The ruffians buried the body in the rubbish of the Temple until low-twelve, or twelve at night, when they met by agreement and carried it a westerly course from the Temple, to the brow of a hill west of Mount Moriah, where they buried it in a grave dug due east and west, six feet, perpendicular, at the head of which they planted an acacia, in order to conceal it, and that the place might be known, should occasion ever require, and made their escape.

Our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, was found to be missing on the following day; his absence was discovered by there being no designs drawn on the trestle-board.

King Solomon, believing him to be indisposed, ordered strict search and due inquiry to be made for him through the several apartments of the Temple, that he might be found, if possible. But nothing could be seen or heard of him.

Then, fearing some accident had befallen him, the king ordered the several rolls of the workmen to be called, and there appeared to be three missing, namely: Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, who, from the similarity of their names, were supposed to be brothers and men from Tyre.

About this time, the twelve Fellow Crafts, who had recanted from their murderous designs, appeared before King Solomon, clothed in white gloves and aprons, in token of their innocence, acknowledging their premeditated guilt, and, kneeling, implored his pardon.

King Solomon then ordered them to divide themselves into parties, and travel three east, three west, three north, and three south; and that they should, with others whom he should appoint, go in search of the ruffians.

The three that pursued a westerly course, coming down near the port of Joppa, met with a seafaring man, of whom they made inquiry, if he had seen any strangers pass that way; he informed them that he had, three, who, from their appearance, were work-men from the Temple, seeking a passage into Ethiopia, but not having King Solomon’s pass, were not allowed to obtain one, and had returned back into the country.

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