« PreviousContinue »
whose deeds have made the names of Acre, Rhodes, and Malta, stir the heart of many readers of ancient history.
Every remnant of this remarkable edifice also indicates the handiwork of the same craftsmen who erected the Temple of Solomon, as its emblems, signs, and inscriptions are closely analogous to those found on the ruins about the Temple Area, other ruins in Palestine, and in the Cathedrals of Europe, especially, in the ancient Cathedral in Glasgow, where may be seen characters nearly identical with those found on the Sanctuary Walls at Jerusalem.
THE PRIVATE MARKS OF THE BUILDERS AND THE GREAT SUBTERRANEAN QUARRY.
Marks found on Stones in the Foundation Walls of the Temple Area.-Marks found in Samaria and in Hebron.-The Great Subterranean Quarry.
It is a matter of the highest interest, while carrying on antiquarian researches, to discover the evidences which preceded us in our particular calling.
Although Free Masonry is now speculative, still there was a time when the Master Mason was the real director of the construction of Beautiful Edifices, of which the Magnificent Temple of Solomon, and latterly the wonderful Cathedrals dotted all over Europe, are specimens; the evidences of which. work in the written record has long been familiar on the page of history, but the symbolic private marks of the builders, used by the master workman, for the guidance of the craft in laying the stones in their places, have escaped their proper notice. Many of these marks have been found on stones, in the foundation walls of the Temple enclosure, at Jerusalem. They are also found in other parts of Palestine, and in every country where the Craft have since left evidences of their skill and industry. These marks have been found on a large number of stones, in different courses in the Sanctuary Wall, and having been
covered with earth, were protected from the action of the elements, and the busy hands of men.
The few of which sketches are given, give a complete idea of the whole, as they are almost repetitions of similar characters, found wherever edifices and other works have been constructed by the Craft, and were doubtless put on by the Master workmen to indicate the position of the stones in the walls or structures where found. These marks have been found on the east of Jordan, on the stones of Palmyra, Bozrah, and other cities that were built since the time of Solomon, and, wherever the characters are found, they are of the same style and color, being made with red paint. The base of this paint is red chalk, which is a natural production and nearly indestructible by time or the action of the elements. It is found on the Egyptian monuments, where it has stood fresh and bright for 35 centuries.
Several of the groups of these characters were recently discovered by Captain Warren, R. E., while carrying on explorations around the south-east corner of the Sanctuary Wall (wall of the Temple enclosure). A shaft was sunk at about twenty feet southeast of this corner of the wall, and at a depth of fiftythree feet a gallery was excavated westward, which reached the Wall about six feet north of the corner; from this point galleries and shafts were excavated which uncovered the wall at several places, and here were found most of the following groups of these marks:
Group No. 1 was found cut in on stones in the third and fifth courses.