Ancient Order of Scottish
or Master Builder
Ritual of the Sixth Degree
or Master Builder
W.M.: Officers be upstanding and assist rue to open the Lodge in the Sixth Degree.
Brothers all, brother deputy, what is the first and chief care in a Lodge of the Sixth Degree?
D.M.: To see that the Lodge is duly tiled.
W.M.: Order that duty to be done, and report the case to me.
D.M.: Brother Junior Deacon, see the Lodge is duly tiled
J.D.: Brother Deputy, the Lodge is duly tiled.
D.M.: Worshipful Master, the Lodge is duly tiled.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, what is the next care in a Lodge of the Sixth Degree?
S.D.: To see that every person present prove himself a brother of the Sixth Degree by the word and sign of that degree.
W.M.: Direct that duty to be done; and should you, or any brother present, have any doubt, look with an eye of scrutiny.
S.D.: Brothers, you are requested to prove yourselves of the Sixth Degree by the word and sign of that degree.
The S.D. proceeds to examine the Lodge and reports: Worshipful Master, the brethren present having proved themselves of the Sixth Degree by the word and sign of that degree: I, in conformity with their example, demonstrate the same to you.
W.M.: Brother Deputy, Officers and Brothers all, our Lodge being duly proved by the word and sign of the Sixth Degree, let us, before I declare it opened, invoke a blessing from the Sublime Power of the Universe.
Chap.: Almighty Jehovah! Maker and Ruler of the Universe, at whose creative fiat all things were made, we, the frail creatures of Thy providence, humbly implore Thee to prosper this our institution.
W.M.: Brother Deputy, Officers and Brothers all, I declare this Lodge duly opened for the purpose of the Sixth Degree.
All: Stands opened accordingly.
During the opening of the Lodge, the Candidate is prepared by the Senior Deacon in the following manner, viz. his coat taken off, his left arm and right knee made bare, left heel slip-shod and is hoodwinked. The Senior Deacon will advance to and alarm at the outer door by three distinct raps. The J.D. or Inner Guard will report as follows: Worshipful Master, there is an alarm at the door of the Lodge.
W.M.: See to the cause, Brother Junior Deacon.
J.D.: Who is there! who is there! who is there?
Immediately opening the wicket he is informed by the S.D.: Brother ..., who bas passed in the fifth or Fifth Degree of Building, now comes prepared to take the Sixth Degree or Master's degree.
J.D.: Wait until I report.
Closing the wicket the J.D. reports addressing the W.M.: Worshipful Master, the cause of the alarm is Brother ..., who has been regularly initiated and passed the preceding degrees with such progress as he hopes will recommend him to be raised to the sublime degree of a Master Builder, for which ceremony he comes properly prepared at the door of the lodge.
W.M.: How does he hope to obtain the privileges of the sixth or Master's degree?
J.D.: By the help of God, the united aid of the square and compasses, and the benefit of a password.
W.M.: We acknowledge the powerful aid by which he seeks it: Do you, brother Junior Deacon, vouch that he is legally in possession of the password and that he is duly and properly prepared?
J.D.: I do, Most Worshipful.
W.M.: Then let him be admitted in due form.
The door is opened, the lodge called up, and the Candidate admitted preceded by a procession with the chaplain, and conducted around the Lodge-room three times, when a suitable ode may be sung and at the third round is brought at the right of the W.M., and presented by the S.D. or Conductor: Worshipful Master, I present to you Brother ... who has passed in the Fifth Degree or fifth degree and is wishful of taking up the sixth or Master's Degree.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, kindly conduct the Brother to our Worthy Chaplain for his instruction.
Chap. reads Eccl xii, v 1-7.
The Candidate will be instructed to kneel on both knees at the foot of the altar, while the Chaplain invokes the blessing of this degree: Almighty and eternal God, the Architect and Ruler of the Universe, at who se creative fiat all things were made, we the frail creation of Thy providence humbly implore Thee to pour down on this convocation assembled in Thy Holy Name the continual dew of Thy blessing and especially, we beseech Thee, to import Thy Grace to this Thy servant, who offers himself a candidate, with such fortitude, that in the hour of trial he fails not, but pass him safely under Thy protection, through the valley of the shadow of death, that he may finally arise from the tomb of on to shine as the stars, forever and ever.
All: So mote it be.
The Candidate is raised and conducted six times around the lodge, and presented to the W.M. by the S.D.
W.M.: The brethren will observe that Brother ..., who has been regularly initiated in Building and has passed the degree of Ancient Scottish Builder, is about to pass in view before them, showing the signs from the first to the fifth degree and finally at the seat of the Master to whom he will give the grip of an Ancient Scottish Builder to show that he is properly prepared to be raised to the sixth degree.
S.D.: Worshipful Master, I present to you Brother ..., a candidate, properly prepared to be raised to the sublime degree of a Master Builder.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, reconduct the candidate to the Deputy Master.
Brother Deputy Master, you will direct the Deacons to instinct the candidate to advance in due form.
D.M.: Brother Deacons, it is the Worshipful Master's command that you instruct the candidate to advance to the east in due form.
The candidate being instructed is presented to the Worthy Master.
W.M.: Do you pledge your honor as a man and your fidelity as a Builder that you steadily obey and preserve obedience and offer no resistance while passing through the ceremony of being raised to the sublime degree of a Master Builder?
W.M.: It is but fair to inform you that a most solemn obligation awaits you; are you prepared, my brother, to take this obligation?
W.M.: Then you will kneel on both knees, place both hands on the volume of the Sacred Law, repeat your name at length and say after me:
The Lodge is here raised.
I, ..., in the presence of the Most High and this worthy worshipful lodge, properly dedicated, and of my own free will and accord, do hereby and hereon most solemnly promise and swear, that I will always hail, conceal and, never reveal any or either of the secrets or mysteries of, or belonging to, the degree of Master Builder, to any one in the world, unless it be to him, or them, to whom the same may justly and lawfully belong; and not even to him or them, until after due trial, strict examination and full conviction, that he is (or they are) worthy of that confidence, or in the bosom of a Master Builder's Lodge:
I further solemnly engage that I will the secrets of the Sixth Degree keep from him who is but a Fellow Scottish Builder, with the same strict caution as I will those of the Fifth Degree, from him who is but an Entered Builder, the same or either of them from anyone in the known world, unless to true and lawful brothers.
I further solemnly engage myself to advance to the pedestal of the square and compasses to answer and obey all lawful signs and summonses sent to me from a Master Builder's Lodge, and to plead no excuse, except sickness or pressing emergency of my own private or public avocations.
I further solemnly pledge myself to maintain and support the Five Points of Fellowship in acts as well as in words, that my hands given to a Builder shall be the sure pledge of brotherhood; that my foot shall traverse through danger and difficulties, to unite with his, thereby forming a column of mutual defense and safety. That the posture of my daily supplications shall remind me of his wants and dispose my heart to succour his distress and relieve his necessaries as far as may fairly be done, without detriment to myself and connections.
That my breast shall be the sacred repository of his secrets when delivered to me as such, murder, treason, felony and all offenses contrary to the Law of God or the ordinances of the Realm, being at all times most especially excepted, or at my own option; and finally, that I will support a Master Builder's character, in his absence, as well as I would if he were present. I will not revue him myself nor knowingly suffer others to do but will boldly repel the stander of his good name, and strictly respect the chastity of those who are most dear to him in the person of his wife, sister or his child, that I will not knowingly have unlawful carnal connection with either or any of them, I furthermore solemnly vow and declare that I will not defraud a brother Master Builder or see him defrauded of the most trifling amounts without giving him true and timely notice thereof: That I will not wrong this Lodge to the value of a farthing, nor suffer it to be done by any: That I will also prefer a brother Master Builder in all my dealings, and recommend him to others as much as lies in my power, and so long as he shall continue to act honorably, honest and faithful towards me and others; All these several points and others I promise to observe without evasion, equivocation or mental reservation of any kind under no less a penalty on the violation of them, than to have my body severed in two, my bowels torn therefrom and burnt to ashes in the center, and those ashes scattered before the four cardinal points of Heaven, so that no trace or remembrance of me shall be left amongst men, more particularly among Master Ancient Scottish Builders:
So help me Almighty God and keep me steadfast in this grand and solemn obligation of a Master Builder.
W.M.: Brother ..., as a pledge of your fidelity and to render this a solemn obligation, for as long as you shall live, I will thank you to seal it with your lips three times on the volume of the Sacred Law.
The brethren will, simultaneously with the oath, the Lodge seated and the candidate brought to light.
W.M.: Arise, newly obligated Master Builder.
Let me, once more, call your attention to the position of the square end compass: When you were made an Entered Builder, both points of the compass were bidden; in the second, third, fourth and fifth degrees, one was disclosed, in this degree the whole is exhibited, implying that you are now at liberty to work with both of those points, in order to render the circle of your Builders duties complete.
W.M.: Brother ..., you having now entered into the solemn obligation of a Master Builder, are entitled to demand of me that last and greatest trial by which alone you can be admitted to a participation of the secrets restricted to the sixth degree of Building: But it is my duty, previously, to call your attention to a retrospect of those degrees of Building through which you have already passed whereby you will be able to distinguish and appreciate the connection with the whole system, and the relative dependence on its several branches.
Your admission among Scottish Builders in a state of helpless indigence was an emblematic representation of the entrance of all men upon their mortal existence. It inculcated the stirring lessons of natural equality and mutual dependence: It taught you the active principles of universal beneficence and charity, to seek the solace of your own distress, and to extend relief and consolation to your own fellow creatures in the hour of affliction. It enabled you to free the soul from the dominion of pride and, prejudice and to look beyond the narrow limits of any particular institution, whether civil or religious, and to view in every son of Adam a brother of the dust; above all, it taught you to bend with humility and resignation to the Supreme and Sublime Architect of the Universe; to dedicate your heart, thus purified from every malignant passion and to prepare for the reception of truth and wisdom, to His glory and the good of your fellow creatures.
Proceeding onward and still guided in your progress in the principles of moral truth, you were passed in the second, third, fourth and fifth degrees of Building, wherein you were enable to contemplate the intellectual faculties and trace them from their development through the paths it heavenly science, even to the throne of God Himself.
The secrets of nature and the principles of moral truths were thus unveiled before you; you learnt the just causes of those wondrous faculties which God has endowed after His own image, and feel the duty which He has thereby imposed on you, of cultivating this Divine attribute with the most diligent and unremitting care and attention, that you may be enabled to show forth His Glory and render yourself to the happiness of mankind.
To the man whose mind has thus been modeled to virtue and science, nature presents one more great and useful reason, viz.: the knowledge of Himself; she prepares you by contemplation for the closing hours of your existence and then by means of that contemplation she has conducted you through the intricate windings of this mortal life, and finally instructs you how to die; such, my brother, are the peculiar objects of the sixth degree of Building, They invite you to reflect on the awful subject and teach you to feel that to the just and honorable man death has no terrors equal to the shame of falsehood and dishonor. Of this grand
The Master here stretching forward addresses the candidate: Brother ... in token of a continuation of brotherly love and esteem, I now present you my right hand and with it you will receive the pass-grip and word of a Master Builder, advance brother Tubal Cain.
Taking the hand alike the grip is given, after which the Master will say: Right Brother Tubal Cain, I greet you, go now and satisfy the Deputy that you are duly obligated a Master Builder.
Candidate is conducted by the S.D. to D.M. who receives the grip.
D.M.: We are satisfied that Brother ... is an obligated Master Builder.
The Candidate is conducted in the usual way to the W.M.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, you will retire with the candidate and invest him of what he has been divested.
The S.D. retires with the
D.M.: Brothers, it is the Worshipful Masters pleasure that this lodge be called from labor to refreshment and be on again at the sound of the gavel.
The Lodge being called off, preparation for a bye-reception is made and again called on amidst confusion, order soon restored, and the Candidate presented by S.D. in the usual form to W.M., who will address him: Brother, you now suppose that you are a Master Builder and are entitled to all our privileges, do you not?
The Candidate will probably say, I do, or so on.
W.M.: Well, sir, it becomes my duty to inform you that you are not a Master Builder, neither do I expect that you ever will be.
You must now undergo one of the most trying scenes that human being ever witnessed.
You must travel a trough and rugged road, beset with much danger on every side, where you will meet with ruffians; you may meet with death; such things have happened to some who have traveled this road before you.
In your preceding degrees, you had a brother to pray for you, but in this you must pray for yourself. You will therefore suffer yourself to be again hood winked and, go and kneel at the altar, where you can pray orally or mentally, as you please, and, when finished, signify the same by raising your right hand.
Chaplain will read 7 and 8 cha. Gen. 11th and 15th vs. respectively.
Hoodwinked, the Candidate is conducted to the Altar and made to kneel on both knees for prayer: after the Chaplain has read Holy Scriptures carried around the lodge room three times to meet the attackers, who have taken up their respective stations.
Position.: South gate: Jubela: Who comes there?
Con.: Your Grand Master Hiram Abiff.
Jubela: Our Grand Master Hiram Abiff? He is the very one we seek; advancing armed he says: Give me the Master's word or I will take your life.
Con.: I cannot give it now, but if you will wait till the temple is completed and if proved worthy you shall then receive, otherwise you cannot.
Violence etc., etc, applying the plumb-rule across the throat.
Position.: Eastgate: Jubelo: Who comes there?
Con.: Your Grand Master Hiram Abiff.
Jubelo: Our Grand Master Hiram Abiff? He is the very one we seek; advancing armed he says: Give me the Master's word or I will take your life.
Con.: I cannot give it now, but if you will wait till the temple is completed and if proved worthy you shall then receive it, otherwise you cannot.
Increase violence, etc., applying the level across the breast.
Position: North gate: Jubelum: Who comes there?
Con.: Your Grand Master, Hiram Abiff.
Jubelum: Our Grand Master Hiram Abiff? He is the very one we seek; advancing armed he says: Give me the Master's word, or I will take your life.
Con.: I cannot give it now, but if you will wait till the temple is completed and if proved worthy you shall receive it, otherwise you cannot.
Greater violence, etc., applying heavy maul on the forehead. Figuratively, death being result, the ruff´ans would assemble only confer wit h each other.
No. 1: What shall we do, now we have killed our Grand Master Hiram Abiff?
No. 2: Let us carry him out at the west gate, and bury him in the rubbish, till low twelve, and then meet and carry him a westerly course and bury him.
The ruffians lurk around and squat behind benches and chairs. Someone strikes 12 of a bell, being a signal for the ruffians to meet over the body and salute each other, etc.
Jubela: The body bas not been discovered?
Jubelo: No, all is safe.
Jubelum: We must bury our Grand Master immediately, for I perceive he begins to smell already, and we shall be discovered. Take him up and carry him to the brow of
The Candidate is taken up in a blanket and carried round the Lodge-room thrice and finally deposited feet to the east and covered over with chairs etc., etc.
Jubela: Let us mark the grave with a sprig of cassia.
Jubelum: We will now endeavor to get a passage to
A shuffling of the feet going from the scene: Confusion.
W.M.: Order, order! Brother Deputy, what is all this confusion.
D.M.: Right Worshipful, our Grand Master Hiram Abiff is missing and there are no plans or diagrams laid down on the trestle board for the craft to pursue their labor.
W.M.: Our Grand Master missing? Our Grand Master has always been very punctual in his attendance. I fear he is indisposed; assemble the craft and search in and about the temple and see if he can be found.
W.M.: Order, order! Brother Deputy, what success?
D.M.: None, we cannot find our Grand Master, Lord.
W.M.: Brother Secretary, please call the roll of workmen and see whether any of them are missing.
The Secretary will call from the list of Master, the names of workmen.
Secy.: I have called the roll, my lord, and find that there are three missing, viz.: Jubela, Jubelo, Jubelum.
W.M.: This brings to my mind a circumstance that took place this morning. Twelve fellow craft, clothed in white gloves and aprons, in token of their innocence, came to me, and confessed that they twelve, with three others, had conspired to extort the Master's word from their Grand Master, Hiram Abiff and in case of a refusal to take his life, they twelve had recanted, but feared the other three had been bad enough to carry their atrocious designs into execution.
I now order that twelve fellow crafts be drawn from the band of workmen, clothed in white gloves and aprons in token of their innocence, and sent, three east, three west, three north and three south, in search of the ruffians, and, if found, to bring them forward.
Prolonged shuffling. Those going West, presumably encountered with an old man traveler and elicited information: Old man, have you seen any traveler passing this way?
Old man: Yes, as down, near the coast of Joppa, this morning, I saw three; from their dress and appearance supposed them to be men of
A shuffling of the feet though retracing their footsteps.
W.M.: Order, order. What tidings, brethren?
Ans.: None from the east;
Ans.: None from the south;
Ans., exclaim aloud: Tidings from the west, Worshipful Master.
W.M.: What tidings from the west?
Ans: As we three fellow crafts were steering a westerly course, we fell in with a wayfaring man, who informed us that he saw three men of Tyre, workmen from the temple; they sought a passage to Ethiopia, but could not procure one in consequence of an embargo which had been recently laid on all shipping, they returned back into the country.
W.M.: I had this embargo laid to prevent the ruffians making their escape: You will go and search again; and search till you find them, if possible; and if they are not found, the twelve who confessed shall be considered as the murderers and suffer accordingly.
A shuffling of the feet is resumed on retiring for a further search, when one fatigued in his travels sits down, at head of the candidate, to rest, and as he rises catch at support and hold on a limb of cassia, is surprised. Stamps his foot three times in alarm and exclaims aloud: Companions. Assemble. States the circumstance of the cassia: on examination of the spot another suggests this looks like a grove; feeling around the candidate, while thus ruminating the three ruffians are heard to exclaim:
Jubela: O, that my throat had been cut serves from ear to ear, my tongue torn out and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea at low water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, ere I had been accessory to the death of so good a man as our Grand Master Hiram Abiff.
Jubelo: O, that my left breast had been tom open and my heart and vitals taken from thence and thrown over my left shoulder into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and there become a prey for the wild beasts of the field and the vultures of the air, ere I had conspired the death of so good a man as our Grand Master Hiram Abiff.
Jubelum: O, that my body had been severed in two in the midst and divided to the north and south, my bowels burnt to ashes in the center, and the ashes scattered by the four winds of heaven that there might not be the least trace of remembrance remain among men of so vile a wretch as I am. Ah, Jubela, Jubelo, it was I that struck him harder than you both; it was I that gave him the fatal blow; it was I that killed him.
F.C.: What shall we do? There are three of them and three of us: our cause in good, let us seize them and take them to the Master. The shuffle returning with the ruffians must assume a serious aspect.
W.M.: Order, order. What tidings from the east?
F.C.: Right Worshipful, as we three fellow crafts were steering a due course, I becoming weary sat down on the brow of Mount Moriah to rest and refresh myself, and rising I accidentally caught bold of a sprig of cassia, which easily giving way excited my curiosity, upon this I hailed my companions and while we were contemplating the novelty of the scene we heard the voice of three ruffians crying from a cliff of the rock near by; we discovered them to be Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum, we rushed upon, ceased, bound them and have brought them before you and await your orders.
The Worshipful Muster rising from his chair will see his Lodge in order and proceed to inflict the dreadful punishment upon the ruffians.
W.M.: Jubela, Jubelo, Jubelum, you are suspected and accused of being accessory to the death of your Grand Master, Hiram Abiff. Jubela, are you guilty or not guilty?
Jubela: Guilty, my lord.
W.M.: Vile and impious wretch, hold up your head and hear your sentence. It is my order that you be taken without the walls of the temple and there have your throat cut across from ear to ear, your body buried in the rough sands of the sea where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours.
W.M.: Jubelo, are you guilty or not guilty?
Jubelo: Guilty, my lord.
W.M.: Vile and impious wretch, hold up your head and hear your sentence: It is my order that you be taken without the gates of the temple and have your left breast tom open, your heart and vitals taken from thence and thrown over your left shoulder, into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and there to become a prey to the wild beast of the field, and vultures of the air.
Jubelum, are you guilty or not guilty?
Jubelum: Guilty, my lord.
W.M.: Vile and impious wretch, hold up your head and hear your sentence: It is my order that you be taken without the walls of the temple and there have your body severed in two and divided to the north and south, your bowels burnt to ashes in the center and scattered to the four winds of heaven.
Brother Senior Deacon will attend to this and see that these penalties are executed.
The formalities must be intelligently carried out free of practical jokes.
S.D.: Right Worshipful, the penalties of their several obligations have been duly executed upon them.
W.M.: Brother Fellow Craft, it is my order that you go in search of the body of our Grand Master Hiram Abiff. It is my opinion he is buried near where you arrested the three ruffians on the brow of
Shuffle of the feet to represent the craftsmen returning as their search.
On arriving at the supposed place: someone saying: Here is something that looks like a grave, let us dig down and see; discerns the body (the sign is here shown): we will return to the temple and inform King Solomon of our discovery: Shuffle.
W.M.: Order! What tidings from
F.C.: Worshipful Master, we have found the grave of our Grand Master Hiram Abiff. It is situated due east near the brow of Mount Moriah, we dug down six feet perpendicularly till we came to the body and involuntarily raised our hands in this position to guard our nostrils from the effluvia arising from the body, we searched on and about the body for the Master's word, or a key to it, but could not find it; we discovered a feint resemblance of the letter G marked on the left breast.
W.M.: Brother Deputy, you will summon twelve Fellow Scottish Builders and go with me to the grave of our Grand Master.
D.M.: Brother Ancient Scottish Builder, our Worshipful Master summons you to attend with him at the grave of our Grand Master Hiram Abiff.
Shuffle. Arriving at the grave, forms a circle: All kneeling except Master standing: The Chaplain will offer a prayer.
Thou, O God, knowest our down sitting and uprising, understandest our thoughts afar off shield and defend us from the evil intentions of our enemies and support us under the trials and afflictions we are destined to endure, while traveling through this vale of tears.
Man that is born of a woman is of few days and is full of troubles; he cometh forth as a flower and is cut down, he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with Thee, Thou hath appointed his bounds that he cannot pass. Turn from him that he may rest till he shall accomplish this day. For there is hope of a tree if it be cut down that it will sprout again and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
But man dieth and wasteth away, yea, man giveth up the ghost and where is he? As the waters fell from the sea, and the flood decayeth and dry up, so man lieth down and rise not again, till the heaven shall be no more.
O Lord, have compassion on the children of Thy creation and administer unto them comfort in time of trouble and save them with an everlasting salvation. Amen.
All: So mote it be.
Then all rise, the Master directs that an Entered Builder search for the Master's word Grand hailing sign.
W.M.: I now direct a brother Entered Builder to raise the body of our Grand Master.
Grand hailing words: O Lord, etc., etc. The same as above by Ancient Scottish Builder.
Grand hailing sign,: etc., etc.
W.M.: I shall now raise the body of our Grand Master by the lion grip, the strong grip of a Master Builder, and as the Master's word is now lost, the first word spoken after the body is raised shall be a substitute for the Master's word until further generations shall find out the right one.
Now raising candidate by lion grip on the Five Points of Fellowship. The word is Mahabone or Macbenak.
W.M.: Foot to foot, knee to knee, etc. As in "Fifth Degree "
The candidate is conducted to the anteroom rind is restored his belongings, returns to the lodge, and presented to the W.M. as previously done, in order to receive the charge.
W.M.: Have you received the White or sixth Degree?
A.: I have.
W.M.: Do the Ancient Order of Scottish Builders consider white as connected with this order emblematical of any peculiarity?
A.: They consider white gloves and white aprons symbols of innocence.
W.M.: Have they no emblem in their lodge expressive of the same meaning?
A.: The lamb is a perfect emblem of innocence, also of meekness, and is strictly symbolical of Him who is the Supreme, Sublime Architect and Universal Builder of the Universe sent on earth as a true pattern of humility, prudence, fortitude and justice, worthy the imitation of every Ancient Builder.
W.M.: What is the dove an emblem of?
A.: The dove, too, is an emblem of innocence, but particularly typical of the dove sent out of the Ark by Noah to see if the waters had subsided when the Great Supreme of the Universe deluged the earth by rain to exurpate from its surface all those that did not fear Him.
W.M.: How long was the deluge announced to Noah previous to its taking place.
A.: About one hundred years.
W.M.: In what year of the creation did the deluge of Noah's flood happen?
A.: Sixteen hundred and fifty-six
W.M.: How long before the birth of Christ?
A.: Two thousand three hundred and forty-eight years.
W.M.: How long did Noah and his family remain in the
A.: Twelve months and ten days.
W.M.: What nations are considered the descendants of Noah's three sons: Shem, Ham and Japhet?
A.: Shem's the Hebrews, Persians and Syrians, Ham's the Egyptians and Ethiopians; Japhet's the Europeans.
W.M.: Which of Noah's three sons is considered the progenitor of Abram, who was afterwards called Abraham?
W.M.: I will thank you brother, to explain to me the meaning of the emblem commonly called Jacob's ladder?
A.: Jacob's ladder is composed of many staves but principally of three.
W.M.: To what do they allude?
A.: They point out to our views so many moral virtues; but the principal ones are faith, hope and charity.
W M.: Why is this ladder based on the Volume of the Law?
A.: Because the doctrines continued therein point out the virtue represented by the several staves by which to attain the summit, figuratively speaking, of the mortal mansion, veiled from mortal eyes by the starry firmament, emblematically depicted in a Scottish Builders' Lodge by the seven stars.
W.M.: To what, besides, do the seven stars bear an illusion?
A.: To the seven officers that constitute a duly formed lodge of the Ancient Order of Scottish Builders, and without which number, no lodge is perfect.
W.M.: What is the symbolical meaning of the hand and heart?
A.: Unity, brotherly love and charity.
W.M.: What inference do we as Scottish Builders draw from the twenty-four inch gauge?
A.: From the twenty-four inch gauge we derive a lesson of daily admonition and instruction, for, as it is divided into twenty-four parts, it points out to our mind the division of the natural day into twenty-four hours and directs us to apportion them to their proper objects, viz., prayer, labor, refreshment and sleep.
W.M.: What does the hourglass point out to our imagination?
A.: That our existence on this earthly globe is but transitory, and that life is but a span.
W.M.: Am I given to understand that death is the peculiar subject of this degree?
A.: You are.
W.M.: From what circumstance?
A.: From the untimely death of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff.
W.M.: What were the implements made use of at his destruction?
A.: The plumb-rule, level and heavy maul.
W.M.: How came you in possession of these secrets?
A.: From having figuratively represented him when I was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Builder.
W.M.: How were you raised?
A.: Upon the Five Points of Fellowship.
W.M.: I will thank you to name them.
A.: 1st, hand to hand; 2nd, foot to foot; 3rd, knee to knee; 4th, breast to breast; 5th, hand over back.
W.M.: Are you in possession of the password of the sixth degree?
W.M.: Will you reveal the same to me?
A.: I cannot reveal it to you, as I am well aware by the interrogations you have put to me, that you are already in possession of it, but have no objections to divide or letter it with you, provided you will name the first half.
W.M.: Why is Tubal Cain your password?
A.: Because he was the first artificer in metals of any upon record.
W.M.: Brother, please retire two steps backwards: I cannot better reward the attention you have paid to the exhortation and charge than by entrusting you with the secrets of this degree. You will advance towards me as an Ancient Scottish Builder, taking another pace with your left foot, and bring the heel of the right in the hollow as before, that is the third regular step in Building and it is in this position that the secrets of the degree are communicated. They consist of signs, tokens and words. Of the signs, the first and second are casual signs; the third is the penal sign. The first, casual sign is called the sign of horror and is given from the Ancient Scottish Builder's hailing sign, by dropping the left hand and elevating the right as it were to screen the eyes from the painful sight. It alludes to the finding of our murdered Master Hiram Abiff by three Fellow Scottish Builders.
The second casual sign is the sign of sympathy or sorrow and is given by bending the head a little forward and striking the forehead with the right hand.
The third is called the penal sign because it alludes to the penalty of your obligation, and is given by drawing the right hand across the body and dropping it to the side, then raising it again to the heart, it implies that as a man of honor sad as a Master Builder you would rather be severed in two than improperly divulge the secrets of this degree.
The grip or token is the first of the Five Points of Fellowship, viz., the taking hold of each others right hand with the points of fingers, piercing the wrist; 2nd, right foot parallel with the other's left: right foot on the inside; 3rd, right knee with right knee; 4th, right breast to right breast; 5th, hand over left shoulder, supporting the back. It is in this position only except in open lodge, and there in a whisper the word is given and received, Mahabone, the meaning of which is marrow in the bone.
W.M.: Brother ..., I now present you with this white apron, an emblem of your degree which I hope you will wear with credit to yourself and satisfaction and advantage to the brethren. You will please hand it to the Senior Deacon, who will teach you how to wear it.
Candidate regaled and again presented to the W.M.
W.M.: Brother ..., I must now state that the badge with which you have been invested not only points out your rank as a Master Builder but is also meant to remind you of those great duties which you have just solemnly engaged yourself to observe, and, while it marks your own superiority, it calls on you to afford assistance and instructions to your brethren in the inferior degrees.
W.M.: We left off at that part of our traditional history which mentioned the death of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, a loss so important as that of the principal architect could not fell being generally and severely felt .The want of those plans and designs which had hitherto been regularly supplied to the different classes of workmen was the first indication that some heavy calamity had befallen our Master.
The master or president, or, familiarly speaking, the overseers, deputed some of the eminent of their numbers to acquaint King Solomon with the utter confusion into which the absence of Hiram Abiff had plunged them, and to express their apprehensions that some fatal catastrophe must be attributed to his sudden and mysterious disappearance.
King Solomon immediately ordered a general muster of the workmen through the different departments when three of the same class of overseers were not to be found.
On the same day twelve Fellow Scottish Builders who had originally joined in the conspiracy came before the King and made a voluntary confession of all they knew down to the time of withdrawing themselves from the conspiracy. This naturally increased the fears of King Solomon for the safety of the chief artist. He therefore selected fifteen trusty Fellow Scottish Builders and ordered them to make diligent search after the person of our Grand Master Hiram Abiff to see if he was yet alive, or if he had suffered death in the attempt to shield the secrets of his exalted degree. Accordingly the day appointed for their return to Jerusalem having arrived they formed themselves into three Fellow Scottish Builders Lodges and reported from the three entrances of the Temple; many days were spent in fruitless search, and one class returned without having made any discovery of importance, a second was more fortunate, for on the evening of a certain day, after they had suffered the greatest privations and personal fatigue, one of the brethren rested himself in a reclining posture, and, in order to assist his rising, caught hold of a sprig that grew near, which, to his surprise, came easily out of the ground, on a closer examination he perceived that the earth had been recently disturbed, he therefore hailed his companions, and with their united endeavor re-opened the ground and found the body of our Grand, Master Hiram Abiff very indecently interred. They covered it again, with all respect and reverence, and, to distinguish the spot, they stuck a sprig of cassia at the head of the grave and hastened to Jerusalem to impart the inflicting intelligence to King Solomon, who, when the first emotion of his grief had subsided, ordered them to return and raise our Grand Master Hiram Abiff to such a sepulchre as become his rank and exalted talents, at the same time informing them that by his untimely death the secrets of a Master Builder was lost. He therefore charged them to be very careful in whatsoever casual sign, token or word might occur while paying this sad office of respect to the departed. They performed their tasks with the utmost fidelity, and on re-opening the ground, one of the brethren, looking around, observed some of his companions in this situation showing the sign of horror, struck with horror at the affecting sight while others viewing the ghastly wound still visible on his forehead smooth their own in sympathy of his sufferings. Two of the brethren descended the grave and attempted to raise him by the grip of an Entered Builder that proved a slip, they then tried the Ancient Scottish Builder's grip, which also proved a slip. Having both failed in their attempt a worthy, zealous and expert brother took a more firm hold of the sinews of the wrist of the hand, and, with their assistance, raised him on the Five Points of Fellowship, while others more animated exclaimed Mahabone. King Solomon, therefore, ordered that those casual signs, token and words should designate all Master Ancient Scottish Builders through the universe until time or circumstance should restore the right ones. It now only remains to account for the 3rd class, who have pursued their researches in the direction of Joppa, and meditating their return to Jerusalem, when accidentally passing the mouth of the cavern they heard sounds of deep lamentations and regret; and on entering to ascertain the cause they found three men answering the description of those missing, who, on being charged with the murder, and finding all chance to escape cut off, made a full confession of their guilt. They were bound and led to
The ornaments of a Scottish Builders Lodge are the porch, domes and square pavement. The porch is the entrance to the Sanctum Sanctorum. The domes, the window that gives light to the same, and the square pavement for the High Priest to walk on.
The office of High Priest to burn incense to the honor and glory to the Most High, praising fervently that the Almighty, through His benign wisdom and goodness, would be pleased to bestow peace and tranquility to the Israelitish nation for the ensuing year.
You have already been informed of the working tools with which our Grand Master was slain: they were the plumb-rule, level and heavy maul. The coffin and skull being emblems of mortality, alludes to the untimely death of our Grand Master Hiram Abiff.
You have likewise been informed of the signs in this degree: the five corresponding in number with the Five Points of Fellowship: they are the signs of horror, sympathy, grief, penal and exhortation, likewise called the grand and royal sign; for the sake of regularity I will go through the whole: this is the sign of horror, sympathy, the penal sign: And the sign of grief is by passing the hand over the forehead, thus. It took its rise from the time when our Master Hiram Abiff was making his way from the north to the south entrance of the temple when his agonies were so great the perspiration stood in large drops on his face and he made use of the sign as a temporary relief to his sufferings. This is the sign of joy, an exclamation, to raise both hands above the head thus and exclaim: O, Worthy Scottish Builders. It took its rise at the time when the temple was finished, when King Solomon and the Princes of his household went to view it and, being so struck with its magnificence that, with one simultaneous feeling they exclaimed: O, Worthy Builder.
The W.M. leaves his seat to congratulate the brother and on resuming his chair will direct that the candidate be seated.
W.M.: Officers be upstanding and assist me to close the Lodge in the Sixth Degree.
Brother Deputy, Officers and Brothers all, our Lodge being of a due form, let us, before I declare it closed, express our gratitude to the Sublime Power above.
Chap.: Thou Universal Benefactor of mankind, we humbly implore Thee to teach us to act conformably to the precepts of Thy Divine will that when we shall be summoned from this subliminary abode, we may ascend to Thy Grand Lodge above, to live triumphant with Thee forever.
All the Officers respond: Amen.
W.M.: I declare this Lodge duly closed, strictly forbidding all cursing, swearing, or any profane language, so long as we are assembled together.