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Moabon, an architect, is in waiting, to be examined for a superior degree.)
The work has met with obstacles that have impeded its progress; but it cannot with propriety be longer suspended. Our choice must be speedily made. It is fortunate for that architect whose report you have just witnessed, that he has applied in time to be a candidate: let him be, according to his request, examined, and with caution, for it is the work only of Grand Architects to erect structures in the air. The task is too great for inferior craftsmen. They only know by admiring them at a distance when done. . Let us now put the finishing stroke to the Temple. If Moabon is qualified, may he succeed and ever after live with glory, happiness and prosperity, and may his name exist to the end of time, as a mighty and respectable word among Great Architects.
(The brethren place their hands thrice upon the drawing, which is the sign of assent for his examination; he is introduced and placed in the west, and thus addressed by the master.)
Worthy Architect, the degree to which you aspire, is a point of elevation to which you are a stranger. The superior art required to be displayed on this occasion, makes us apprehensive, that your abilities are by no means equal to the task. The difficulties
you have to encounter are great, and can only be surmounted by the extent of your knowledge and the utmost exertions and limits of your skill. A perfect design for the third structure of . the temple is required from you, and as the necessity of raising it is urgent and will not admit of delay, you must return to us as soon as you have completed your design.
The candidate is then led twenty-seven times round the room and a drawing of the temple (usually on paste board) with a third elevation, is put into his hands. He is stopped in the west and acquaints the master, that he is prepared with a design, and presents it for their approbation. With three steps, he is led to the throne, to deliver it to the master, who passes it round the lodge. Whilst this is doing the candidate kueels, his right hand is on the bible and his left on a sword, with a pair of compasses over the wrist. In this position, he takes the obligation, which is, not to reveal the secrets of the degree to any one who has not produced a design for the third elevation, under the penalty of expulsion from the order and the lodge.
Master. Rise and let the veil of absurdity be removed, for Moabon is worthy of beholding our labours. (At a signal, the brethren salute him.)
Master. My brother, it is a satisfaction that we have been witnesses of your skill and ability and of your endeavours to give satisfaction in the task prescribed to you. The execution of your design impels us to admit you a Grand Architect. May this new favour conferred on you stimulate you to merit the illus
trious degree which succeeds, and which derives its splendour from the circumstance, that it will fall to the lot of one of us to be recognised therein as a Grand Master. Approach and receive the marks of rank to which you are entitled, and to which alone your perseverance has elevated you. To distinguish ourselves as grand architects, there is a sign, a grip, and a word. The sign is to place the two hands on the head, to form a triangle with the thumb and fore finger of each hand. It is to be answered by the hands being in the same form above the head.
The grip is to take one another by the right-hand indiscriminately and to turn then thrice alternately above and below each other. The word is your name Moabon, to be pronounced by syllables, in making the turning of the hands.
This sash and this jewel are indicative of the degree of which you are now in possession, and it is the only mode of your expressing yourselfto be such out of the lodge. The sign, word, and grip are considered as sacred, and are not to be used elsewhere. If accident should occasion your visiting the lodges of the inferior degrees, and you are not provided with your sash and jewel, you are at liberty to tuck the left corner of your apron into the band, and by that, you will be recognised a grand architect. You will now pay your respects to the brethren and afterwards attend to the
CATECHISM. Q. 'Are you a Grand Architect?
A. I am.
Q: Where were you received ?
A. The lodge was held there when the second elevation was finished.
Q. Who gave the design of the temple ?
were you employed in the middle chamber?
A. In designing a third elevation.
A. By the perfection of the drawing which I presented to the master.
Q. What reward did you receive in return?
Q. Deliver them to the next brother. (This is done.) What was the word pronounced ?
A. The name of a great architect.
A. Mighty master, I will give you one syllable, if you will give me another.
Q. I am agreeable ?
The master strikes twenty-seven times and declares ļthe lodge to be concluded.
Finch's Catechism in this degree. Right Worshipful Ruler. Brother Senior Overseer, why do we open and close this degree with seven reports.
S. O. In allusion to the six days of the creation and the insti. tution of the seventh as a sabbath.
R. W. R. How is it represented in the lodge ?
S: 0. The R. W. R. gives two reports on the base of the column containing the first great light. The senior overseer gives two on the shaft of his pillar containing the second great light. The junior overseer gives two on the chapter of his column containing the third great light. And the seventh representing the holy sabbath is given by the R. W. R. with his Hiram on the holy writing Ř. W. R. How is the candidate prepared in this degree?
S. O. With the inward plans of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
R. W. R. What reason do we assign for this ? S. O. To prove to the brethren present, that he has been duly initiated into the degree of Architect, and then stands fully prepared to receive the promotion of Grand Architect of the Temple as the representative of our inspired grand superintendant Hiram Abiff.
R. W. R. In what manner did you make your entry into the lodge?
s. O. By three distinct and two quick reports.
R. W. R. Is there a second reason why we give these reports ?
S. O. That the squares of the Nos may be represented by u s
when we enter the Lodge of the Grand Architects, which our grand master King Solomon, in conjunction with his worthy colleague, the learned King of Tyre, commanded to be practised, for the better understanding of the basis of that valuable discovery made by our grand master, Hiram Abiff, on the morning that the foundation stone of the Temple was laid by the hand of that wise and superexcellent King of the Jews.
R. W. R. Why is the ceremony of traversing the lodge in this degree observed.
S. O. Because King Solomon, with the High Priest and elders of the Israelites, went, in public procession, round the Temple, when the cape stone was laid and the building completed.
R. W. R. To what does the sign of this degree allude? S. O. To the second or inward elevation of the Temple. R. W. R. To what does the token allude? S. O. To the number of lodges that compose the secret words of this degree.
R. W R. To what do the words allude?
s. 3. To the dignity which King Solomon conferred on the brethren of this order.
R. W. R. What was the chief masonic employ of the brethren of this degree?
S. O. To give the plans and elevations of the inner Temple.
R. W. R. What were the number of Lodges and what branch of masonry formed this degree?
S.O. One Lodge consisting of the Masters of the twelve Master Masons' Lodges. : R. W. R. How were these Masons arranged and in what manner did they assemble during the time in which they were employ. ed in the plains of Zarthan.
S. O. In the same manner as in the holy city of Jerusalem.
R. W. R. In what manner were they arranged in the Quarries of Tyre?
s. 0. In one lodge with eight in No.
S. O. Forty-nine shekels of silver equal to £6. 2s. 6d. our money t.
R. W. R. What was the sum total paid to them?
* Ah! Brother Finch, thou art gone to glory; but thou wert a poor Architect whatever thou mightest have been as a tailor. If there were but twelve in all, of the eight in the Quarries of Tyre and four in the Forests of Lebanoa; how many were there left to be at Jerusalem and in plains of Zarthan?
R. C. + Brother Finch seems to have had a very high potion of masonic pay and to have regulated bis own charges atcordingly.
S. 0. Two hundred and three thousand, three hundred an seventy-four pounds, ten shillings.
R. W. R. By what is the right worshipful ruler distinguished ?
S. O. By a scarlet robe with a broad belt round the waist for holding the plans of the inner ornaments of the Temple.
R. W. Ř. What other distinguishing mark of honour does the right worshipful ruler bear?
S. (. That famous banner which distinguished the brethren of this degree that were enrolled as the Knights in the Holy Wars.
R. W. R. I will thank you, Brother Senior Overseer, to describe that banner?
S. O. The banner was made of black velvet, in the form of a geometrical square. In the centre, were their own peculiar arms quartered; and the whole circumscribed by a star, with twelve points containing the twelve letters, forming the characteristic words of this degree. In the first quarter, was painted, the left hand; in the fourth, the right hand; the palms outwards. In the second quarter, a hand and two fingers; and in the third, the hands with the backs outwards. The crest was a brother in ancient armour, with an emblematic representation of a part of the sign of this order. The words of this degree formed the motto.
R. W. R. In what part of the lodge is this banner placed ?
R. W. R. What is the Jewel of this degree belonging to the Right Worshipful Ruler?
S. O. The compasses, open at an angle of ninety degrees, with the points circumscribed by the Holy Bible, so as to form a triangle; and in the centre, a geometrical square formed by the two hands and two fore fingers.
R. W. R. Be pleased to describe the Jewel worn by the Senior Overseer?
S. O. Two hands, one forming a level, the other a perpendicular.
R. W. R. What is the Jewel by which the Junior Overseer is distinguished ? S.O. Two fingers forming a right angle.
Finch's description of closing the lodge in this degree. R. W. R. Brethren, I will thank you to assist
me in closing the lodge in this degree. What is the last duty, Brother Senior Overseer?
S. O. To see that we are properly tiled externally.
S. O. To see that we are properly closed internally, to deposit the royal standard in the pedestal, and to crave a blessing on the work.