Illustrations of Masonry, by William Morgan, , at sacred-texts.com
"Did you ever return to the sanctum sanctorum or holy of holies of King Solomon's Temple?"
Ans. "I did."
"Was there anything particular took place on your return?"
Ans. "There was, viz.: I was accosted by three ruffians, who demanded of me the Master Mason's word."
"Did you give it to them?"
Ans. "I did not, but bid them wait with time and patience till the Grand Lodge assembled at Jerusalem; and then, if they were found worthy, they should receive it; otherwise they could not."
"In what manner were you accosted?"
Ans. "In attempting to retire to the south gate, I was accosted by one of them, who demanded of me the Master Mason's word, and on refusing to comply with his request he gave me a blow with the twenty-four inch gauge, across my breast, on which I fled to the west gate, where I was accosted by the second, with more violence, and on my refusing to comply with his request he gave me a severe blow with the square, across my breast, on which I attempted to make my escape at the east gate, where I was accosted by the third, with still more violence, and on my refusing to comply with his request he gave me a violent blow with the common gavel on the forehead, and brought me to the floor."
"Whom did you represent at that time?"
Ans. "Our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, who was slain at the building of King Solomon's Temple."
"Was his death premeditated?"
Ans. "It was, by fifteen Fellow Crafts, who conspired to extort from him the Master Mason's word; twelve of whom recanted, but the other three were base enough to carry their atrocious designs into execution."
"What did they do with the body?"
Ans. "They carried it out at the east gate of the Temple and buried it till low twelve at night, when they three met, agreeable to appointment, and carried it a westerly course from the Temple, and buried it under the brow of a hill in a grave six feet due east and west, six feet perpendicular, and made their escape."
"What time was he slain?"
Ans. "At high twelve at noon, when the Crafts were from labor to refreshment."
"How come he to be alone at this time?"
Ans. "Because it was the usual custom of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, every day at high twelve, when the
[paragraph continues] Crafts were from labor to refreshment, to enter into the sanctum sanctorum or holy of holies, and offer up his adorations to the ever living God, and draw out his plans and designs on his trestle-board, for the Crafts to pursue their labor."
"At what time was he missing?"
Ans. "At low six in the morning, when King Solomon came up to the Temple, as usual, to view the work, and found the Crafts all in confusion, and on inquiring the cause, he was informed that their Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, was missing, and no plans or designs were laid down on the trestle-board for the Crafts to pursue their labor."
"What observations did King Solomon make at that time? Ans. "He observed that our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, had always been very punctual in attending, and feared that he was indisposed, and ordered search to be made in and about the Temple, to see if he could be found."
"Search being made and he not found, what further remarks did King Solomon make?"
Ans. "He observed he feared some fatal accident had befallen our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff; that morning twelve Fellow Crafts, clothed in white gloves and aprons in token of their innocence, had confessed that they twelve, with three others, had conspired to extort the Master Mason's word from their Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, or take his life; that they twelve had recanted, but feared the other three had been base enough to carry their atrocious designs into execution."
Ans. "King Solomon ordered the roll of workmen to be called to see if there were any missing."
"The roll being called, were there any missing?"
Ans. "There were three, viz.: Jubela, Jubelo, Jubelum."
"Were the ruffians ever found?"
Ans. "They were."
Ans. "By the wisdom of King Solomon, who ordered twelve Fellow Crafts to be selected from the band of the 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."
Ans. "The three that traveled a westerly course from the Temple, coming near the coast of Joppa, were informed by a way-faring man that the three men had been seen that way that morning, who from their appearance and dress were workmen from the Temple, inquiring for a passage to Ethiopia, but were unable to obtain one in consequence of an embargo, which had recently been laid on all the shipping, and had turned back into the country."
Ans. "King Solomon ordered them to go and search again, and search till they were found, if possible, and if they were not found, that the twelve who had confessed should be considered as the reputed murderers, and suffer accordingly."
Ans. "One of the three that traveled a westerly course, from the Temple, being more weary than the rest, sat down under the brow of a hill to rest and refresh himself, and in attempting to rise caught hold of a sprig of cassia, which easily gave way, and excited his curiosity and made him suspicious of a deception, on which he hailed his companions who immediately assembled, and on examination found that the earth had recently been moved, and on moving the rubbish discovered the appearance of a grave; and while they were confabulating about what measures to take, they heard voices issuing from a cavern in the clefts of the rocks; on which they immediately repaired to the place, where they heard the voice of Jubela exclaim, 'O that my throat had been cut across, my tongue torn out, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea, at low watermark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, ere I had been accessary to the death of so good a man as our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff!' On which they distinctly heard the voice of Jubelo, 'O that my left breast had been torn open, and my heart and vitals taken from thence and thrown over my left shoulder, carried into the valley of Jehosaphat, and there to become a prey to the wild beasts on
the field, and vultures of the air, ere I had conspired the death of so good a man as our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff!'
The third, 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 centre, and the ashes scattered by the four winds of heaven, that there might not the least track or remembrance remain among men or Masons of so vile and perjured a wretch as I am; ah! Jubela, and 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 outright!'
On which they rushed forward, seized, bound and carried them up to the Temple of King Solomon.
"What did King Solomon do with them?"
Ans. "He ordered them to be executed agreeably to the several imprecations of their own mouths."
"Was the body of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, ever found?"
Ans. "It was."
Ans. "By the wisdom of King Solomon, who ordered fifteen (in some lodges they say twelve) Fellow Crafts to be selected from the bands of the workmen and sent, three east, three west, three north, three south and three in and about the temple, to search for the body."
"Where was it found?"
Ans. "Under a sprig of cassia, where a worthy brother sat down to rest and refresh himself."
"Was there anything particular took place on the discovery of the body?"
Ans. "There was, viz.: on moving the earth till we came to the coffin, we involuntarily found our hands in this position, to guard our nostrils against the offensive effluvia which arose from the grave."
"How long had the body lain there?"
Ans. "Fourteen days."
"What did they do with the body?"
Ans. "Raised it in a Masonic form and carried it up to the temple for more decent interment."
"Where was it buried?"
Ans. "Under the Sanctum Sanctorum, or holy of holies of King Solomon's Temple, over which they erected a marble
monument, with this inscription delineated thereon: A virgin weeping over a broken column, with a book open before her, in her right hand a sprig of cassia, in her left ant urn. Time standing behind her, with his hands infolded in the ringlets of her hair."
"What do they denote?"
Ans. "The weeping virgin denotes the unfinished state of the temple; the broken column, that one of the principal supports of Masonry had fallen; the book open before her, that his memory was on perpetual record; the sprig of cassia, the timely discovery of his grave; the urn in her left hand, that his ashes are safely deposited under the Sanctum Sanctorum, or holy of holies of King Solomon's Temple, and Time, standing behind her, with his hands infolded in the ringlets of her hair, that time, patience and perseverance will accomplish all things."