The Web of Hiram

University of Bradford
Home Lectures of the Craft Lectures of the Holy Royal Arch Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite The Royal Order of Scotland York Rite Side Degrees English Knights Templar Order of Women Freemasons Walter Leslie Wilmshurst

Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite

4. Secret Master

5. Perfect Master

6. Intimate Secretary

7. Provost and Judge

8. Intendant of Buildings

9. Master Elect of Nine

10. Master Elect of Fifteen

11. Sublime Master Elected

12. Grand Master Architect

13. Royal Arch of Enoch

14. Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Master Mason

15. Knight of the East or Sword

16. Prince of Jerusalem

17. Knights of the East and West

18. Knight of the Rose-Croix de Heredom

19. Grand Pontiff

20. Grand Master of all Symbolic Lodges

21. Noachite or Prussian Knight

22. Knight of the Royal Axe

23. Chief of the Tabernacle

24. Prince of the Tabernacle

25. Knight of the Brazen Serpent

26. Prince of Mercy

27 Commander of the Temple

28. Knight of the Sun

29. Knight of St Andrew, or Patriarch of the Crusades

30. Knight Kadosh

31. Grand Inspector Commander

32. Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.

33. Inspector-General


The Twelfth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and the Ninth Degree of the Ineffable Series


The degree of Grand Master Architect is alleged to have been established as a school of instruction for the more advanced workmen of the Temple, to assure uniformity in work, vigour in its prosecution, and to reward those more eminent in science and skill. The degree partakes of a scientific nature, in which the rule. of architecture and the connection of the liberal arts with Masonry are dwelt upon, and portions of the Fellow Craft or Companion degree are amplified and extensively illustrated. This grade requires of the neophyte that he be thoroughly qualified intellectually and morally, to be admitted, and instructs him that virtue is as necessary as talents to every Grand Master Architect.


Bodies of this degree are styled Chapters. The hangings are white strewed with crimson flames.

Behind the Master, in the East, are five columns, each of a different order of architecture: Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite.

In the North is painted the North Star, and a little below it the seven stars of the Great Bear. In the East, behind the columns, is a luminous star, representing the morning star rising in the East.

Upon the altar, which is in the centre of the room and covered with a black cloth with tears, are the Great Lights, Book of the Constitutions, and on it, all the contents of a case of mathematical instruments.

The Chapter is lighted by three great lights, one in the East, one in the West, and one in the South.

Over the columns, in the East, hangs a triangle, enclosing the word of the degree.


The same as in the three preceding degrees.


The apron is white, lined and bordered with blue, and fringed with gold. On it are painted or embroidered a protractor on the flap, and in the middle a plain scale, a sector, and the compasses, so arranged as to form a triangle.

The cordon is a broad blue watered ribbon, worn from the left shoulder to the right hip.

The jewel is a triangle of gold: on each angle, on one side, is a star enclosed by a semicircle. In the centre, on the same side, is an equilateral triangle, formed by arcs of circles, in the centre of which is a letter N. On the reverse side are five columns, of the different orders of architecture, with the initial letter of the proper order below each, in old English letters, arranged from left to right, Tusean, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite. Above these columns are a sector and a slide-rule; below them, the three kinds of compasses, the plain scale, and parallel ruler; and between the second and third, and third and fourth columns, are the letters R.: B.:

In front of each brother is a small table, and on it a case of instruments, with paper and other articles for drafting.

The age of a Grand Master Architect is the square of 3 x 5, or 45 years.

Battery -*****-**


In the Opening, the following explanations of the instruments of a Grand Master Architect are given:

Q. What are the instruments of a Grand Master Architect?

A. The different compasses, the parallel ruler, the protractor, the plain scale, the sector and the slide rule.

Q. What lesson do the different compasses teach us?

A. That life and time constitute but a point in the centre of eternity; while the circle of God's attributes is infinity.

Q. What lesson does the parallel ruler teach us?

A. That we should be consistent, firm, unwavering, and of that equanimity of mind and temper which befits a Mason.

Q. What lesson does the protractor teach us?

A. That we should be upright and sincere, frank in all our dealings, moderate in our professions, and exact and punctual in performance.

Q. What lesson does the plain scale teach us?

A. That we live not only for ourselves, but for others, so as in just and proper measure to serve our. selves, our families, our friends, our neighbours, and our country.

Q. What lesson does the sector teach us?

A. That we should multiply our good deeds, divide that which we can spare of our substance among those who need it more than we, and extract the good that is intended to benefit and bless us from the reverses and calamities of life.

Q. What lesson does the slide-rule teach us?

A. That we should strive to grasp and solve the great problem presented by the Universe and involved in our existence; to know and understand the lofty truths of Philosophy, and to communicate freely of our knowledge unto others.

Q. Where were you received and made a Grand Master Architect?

A. In a place representing the Chamber of Designs, assigned to the Master Khurum in King Solomon's Temple.


J.: G.: W.: A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will attain unto wise counsels; to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the word of the sages and their obscure sayings.

J.: G.: W.: Wisdom preventeth them that covet her, so that she first showeth herself unto them. He that awaketh to seek her shall not labour; for he shall find her sitting at his door. The Lord giveth wisdom; out of his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

J.: G.: W.: When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul, discretion shall preserve thee, and understanding shall keep thee, and thou shalt understand righteousness, judgment, equity, and every good path.

S.: G.: W.: I wished, and understanding was given me; and I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came upon me, and I preferred her before kingdoms and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison to her. The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

S.: G.: W.: Get wisdom! Exalt her, and she shall promote thee; she shall bring thee to honour when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thy head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

T.: P.: No evil can overcome wisdom. She glorifieth her nobility by being conversant with God, and the Lord of all things loveth her. For it is she that teacheth knowledge of God and is the expounder of His works.

T.: P.: She knoweth things past, and judgeth things to come. She knoweth the subtleties of speeches, and the solutions of arguments; she knoweth signs. and wonders before they be done, and the events of times and ages. By means of her we shall, have immortality.


It is the true Masonic Light. He who obeys the Masonic law shall find it. The degree which you seek was first conferred upon Adoniram, the son of Abda, when he was appointed Chief Architect of the Temple, and as such the successor of the Master Hiram after having been for a time the chief of the five Intendants of the Building, and after his skill and science as an architect had been thoroughly tested, and he found to be superior to the other four Intendants. It was but the ceremony of his investiture with that office. Afterward it became an honorary degree, conferred first upon the other Intendants, and then upon the Elus, as a mark of honour and distinction. As he advanced, the ancient Freemason ceased to work with the instruments of the labourer the square, the level, the plumb, and the trowel, and assumed those of the Architect and Geometrician. As he advanced, also, he passed from that branch of geometry and mathematics which occupies itself with the earth, its surface and the things, that belong to it, with right lines and angles, and all the figures formed thereby, to the mathematics of the heavens and the spheres. We no longer occupy ourselves with geometry and mathematics as sciences, nor expect of our initiates a knowledge of their problems, or even of their terms. To us the instruments of the geometrician, and all the figures, plane and spherical, drawn by these instruments, have a symbolical meaning. By means of the morality of Masonry, we advance toward its philosophy, and every degree is a step in that direction. If you would succeed to the rank held by Adoniram,. you must assume the obligation which it imposes.


T.: P.: I invest you with the apron, collar, and jewel of this degree. Their colours white and blue, will remind you of what is commonly called symbolic Masonry, or the Blue degrees, - the foundation, but not the completion and perfection of Masonry. Upon the apron and jewel you see the five orders of Architecture, and the instruments of a Grand Master Architect; the symbolic meaning of which you have yet to learn. I now present you with the instruments with which a Grand Master Architect works. Listen, and you shall learn their uses, and of what they are the symbols to us in this degree.

T.: P.: Such are the instruments of a Grand Master Architect, and such the lessons which they teach us. Forget not that you have solemnly sworn to practise all the virtues which they symbolically teach; for thus only can you deserve, how proudly so ever you may wear the title of a Grand Master Architect.


The history of this degree is brief, as its ceremonies are simple. After the murderers of the Master Hiram Abif had been discovered, apprehended, tried, and punished, his monument and mausoleum completed, and the matters which concerned the revenue of the realm provided for, King Solomon, to assure uniformity of work and vigour in its prosecution, and to reward the superior and eminent science and skill of Adoniram.. the son of Abda, appointed him to be chief Architect of the. Temple, with the title of Grand Master Architect, and invested him with that office, as sole successor and representative of the deceased Master Hiram Abif, and at the same time made him Grand Master of Masons and the Masonic peer of and King Hiram of Tyre Afterward the title conferred upon other Princes of the Jewish Court as an honorarium, and thus the degree became established. You have heard what are the lessons taught by the working instruments of a Grand Master Architect, and I shall not now enlarge upon those lessons. The great duties which they inculcate demand much of us, and take for granted our capacity to perform them fully. We hope that we are not mistaken in believing that you possess that capacity, and in expecting that you will be always be found equal to the task which you thus have thus imposed upon yourself.


S.: G.: W.:. The sun has set, and the evening star has risen.

T.: P.: The hour of rest has arrived. Give notice to the Grand Masters that this Chapter of Grand Master Architects is about to be closed, that they may aid in so doing.

S.: G.: W.: Brethren in the North, the Thrice Potent Grand Master is about to close this Chapter of Grand Master Architects, and desires your assistance since the hour of rest has arrived.

Home Lectures of the Craft Lectures of the Holy Royal Arch Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite The Royal Order of Scotland York Rite Side Degrees English Knights Templar Order of Women Freemasons Walter Leslie Wilmshurst

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