Each candidate shoulders his working tools and follows the Principal Sojourner, going single file to a corner of the room where a quantity of blocks or bricks are scattered around. These they stir up a little, when they come to a ring in a trap-door, which they pull up, and find it shaped like a keystone of an arch. Each one examines it, and then looks down the trap, when the Principal Sojourner suggests that it be at once taken up to the Grand Council. He then leads the candidates back.

High Priest–Companion King, have you further business to lay before this Grand Council?

King–I have nothing, Most Excellent.

p. 242

High Priest (to Scribe.)–Have you any thing, worthy companion?

Scribe–I know of nothing, Most Excellent.

High Priest–I know of nothing, unless the workmen from the ruins have articles for inspection. The workmen will please come forward and give an account of their labors.

Principal Sojourner–Most Excellent, in pursuance of orders of this Grand Council, we repaired to the ruins and commenced our labors. After laboring several days, we discovered what seemed a rock, but on striking it with a crow it gave a hollow sound, and upon closer examination we discovered in it an iron ring, by help of which we succeeded in removing it from its place, when we found it to be the keystone of an arch, and through the aperture there appeared to be an immense vault, curiously arched. We have brought this keystone up, that it may be examined by the Grand Council.

High Priest–You will present it.

Principal Sojourner presents the keystone, or trap.

High Priest (looking closely at it.)–Companion King, this is a very valuable discovery indeed. It must be a keystone of a Mark Master Mason.

King–I think that is the stone wrought by our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff.

High Priest–What think you of it, Companion Scribe? Scribe–It is undoubtedly the stone wrought by our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff.

High Priest (drawing the keystone across his forehead, and giving the sign.)–The keystone of a Mark Master! Holiness to the Lord.

King and Scribe do and say the same.

High Priest (to candidates.)–This is a very valuable discovery indeed. No doubt it will lead to some important treasure, of inestimable value to the craft. Are you willing to pursue your labors, and endeavor to penetrate this secret vault?

Principal Sojourner (after consulting candidates.)–We are, even to the risk of our lives.

High Priest–Go; and may the God of your fathers be with you. Preserve every thing that falls in your way.

The Principal Sojourner returns with the candidates to the place where they lifted the trap, and they there consult together as to who shall descend into the vault. One of the candidates agreeing to go, they put a rope seven times around his body, leaving two long ends.1

p. 243

Principal Sojourner (to candidate who is about to descend.)–Companion, it is necessary you should take a little precaution. Should you wish to descend still lower, pull the rope in your left hand: if you wish to ascend, pull that in your right hand.

Two companions take hold of each end of the rope, letting the candidate down eight or ten feet, to another trap-door, where he finds three small trying squares; and, giving the signal of ascending, is drawn up.1

Each candidate taking a square, they repair to the Grand Council. As they present themselves, the High Priest reads the following passage from the fourth chapter of Zechariah:

“This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit. Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain, and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven.”

Pin It on Pinterest