Obrazy na stronie

We have at length arrived at the mark to which all our attention has been uniformly directed ; namely, a History, and so far as bas been practicable, an elucidation of the several degrees of ancient masonry, so called. It will be readily perceived that the last two very important degrees, viz. the Most Excellent Master and Royal Arch Mason-particularly the former, are printed verbatip from the Freemasons? Monitor, and for this very obvi. ous and consolatory reason, that it is the mode pursued in all the regular chapters of the United States, and we belicve, with a few unimportant variations, throughout the habitable globe.

It will no doubt be remarked, that we have incorporated in the latter degree, certain additional extracts from Holy Writ, which will serve to expand the mind of the industri. ous companion ; inasmuch as they serve in a very eminent manner to explain not only to the novitiate, but even to some who consider themselves well instructed in this highly important and mysterious degree, a variety of useful information. This has been done at the instance of an enlightened brother, high in office, whose opinions on most subjects in musonry, are always regarded with an interest bordering on reverence.

CHAPTER XIII. Charges on the installation of the Officers of a Royal

Arch Chapter.

Charge to the High Priest. as COMPANION,

“In consequence of your cheerful acquiescence with the charges which you have heard recited, you are now qualified for installation as the high priest of this royal arch chapter; and it is incumbent upon me, on this

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occasion, to point out some of the particulars appertaining to your office, duty, and dignity.

5 Let the Milre, with which you are invested, remind you of the dignity of the office you sustain, and its inscription impress upon your mind a sense of your dependence upon God; that perfection is not given unto man upon the earth, and that perfect holiness belongeth alone unto the Lord.

16 The Breastplate, with which you are decorated, in im. itation of that upon which were engraven the names of the twelve tribes, and worn by the high priest of Israel, is to teach you that you are always to bear in mind your respon. sibility to the laws and ordinances of the institution, and that the honour and interests of your chapter and its members should be always near your heart.

" The various colours of the Robes vou wear are emblematical of every grace and virtue, which can adorn anal beautify the human mind; each of which will be briefly illustrated in the course of the charges to be delivered to your subordinate officers.

« You will now take charge of your officers, standing upon their right, and present them severally in succession to the deputy grand high priest, by whom they will be presented to me for installation.”?

Charge to the Second Oficer, or King. 5 COMPANION,

" The important station to which you are elected in this chapter requires from you exemplary conduct; its duties demand your most assiduous attention; you are to second and support your chief in all the requirements of his office, aud, should casualties at any time prevent his attendance, you are to succeed him in the performance of his duties.

" Your badge (the level, surmounted by a crown) should remind you, that although you are the representative of a king, and exalted by office above your companions, yet that you remain upon a level with them, as respects your


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duty to God, to your neighbour, and to yourself; that you are equally bound with them to be obedient to the laws and ordinances of the institution, to be charitable, humane, and just, and to seek every occasion of doing good.

“ Your office teaches a striking lesson of humility. The institutions of political society teach us to consider the king as the chief of created beings, and that the first duly of his subjects is to obey his mandates ; but the institutions of our sublime degrees, by placing the king in a situation

rdinate to the high priest. teach us that our duty to God is paramount to all other duties and should ever claim the priority of our obedience to man; and that however strongly we may be bound to obey the laws of civil society, yet those laws, to be just, should never intermeddle with matters of conscience, nor Jictate articles of faith.

" The scarlet robe, an emblem of imperial dignity, should remind you of the paternal concern you should ever feel for the welfare of your chapter, and the ardent seal with which you should endeavour to promote its prosperity.

In presenting to you the crown, which is an emblem of royalty, I would remind you, that to reign sovereign in the hearts and affections of men must he far more grateful to a genervus and benevolent mind, than to rule over their lives and fortunes ; and that to epable you to enjoy this pre-emi. nence with honour and satisfaction, you must subject your own passions and prejudices to the dominion of reason and charity.

“ You are entitled to the second seat in the council of your companions. Let the bright example of your illustri. ous predecessor in the grand council at Jerusalem, stimulate you to the faithful discharge of your duties; and when the King of kings shall summon you into his immediate presence, from his hand may you receive a crown of glory which shall neper fade away..

"Charge to the Third Officer, or Scribe.

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" The office of scribe, to which you are elected, is very important and respectable; in the absence of your superior officers, you are bound' to succeed them, and to perform their duties. T'he purposes of the institution ought never to suffer for want of intelligence in its proper. officers; you will therefore perceive the necessity there is of your possessing such qualifications as will enable you to accomplish those duties which are incumbent upon you in your appropriate station, as well as those which may occasionally devolve on you, by the absence of your superiors.

The Purple Robe, with which you are invested, is an emblem of union, and is calculated to remind you that the harmony and unanimity of the chapter should be your constant aim; and to this end you are studiously to avoid all occasions of giving offence, or countenancing any thing that may create divisions or dissentions. You are, by all the means in your power, to endeavour to establish a permanent union and good understanding aniong all orders and

egrees of masonry; and, as the glorious sun at its meridian height dispels the mists and clouds which obscure the horizon, so may your exertions tend to dissipate the gloom of jealousy and discord whenever they may appear.

"Your badge (a Plumb-rule, surmounted by the Turban) is an emblem of rectitude and vigilance; and while you stand as a watchman upon the tower to guard your companions against the approach of those enemies of hu. man felicity, intemperance and excess, let this faithful monitor ever remind you to walk uprightly in your station ; admonishing and animating your companions to fidelity and industry, while at labour, and to temperance and moderation while at refreshment. And when the great Watchman of Israel, whose eye never slumbers nor sleeps, shall relieve you from your post on earth, may he


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"Such as the saints in glory love,

And such as angels eat.” Charge to the Fourth Officer, or Captain of the Host. 16 COMPANION,

“ The office with which you are intrusted is of high importance, and demands your most zealous consideration. The preservation of the most essential traits of our ancient customs, usages, and landmarks, art within your province; and it is indispensably necessary that the part assigned to you, in the immediate practice of our rites and ceremonies, should be perfectly understood, and correctly admivistered.

“ He that brings the blind by a way that they know not and leads them in paths that they have not known, should always be well qualified to make darkness light before them, and crookcd things straight.

6 Your office corresponds with that of marshal, or master of ceremonies ; you are to superintend all processions of your chapter when moving as a distinct hody, either in public or private; and as the world can only judge of our private discipline by our public deportment, you will be careful thai the utmost order and decorum be observed on all such occasions.

" I invest you with the badge of your office, anů présume, that you will give to your duties all that study and aiten: tion which their importance demands.”

Charge to the Fifth Oficer, or Principal Sojourner. " COMPANION,

" The office confided to you, though subordinate in degree is equal in importance to any in the chapter, that of your chief alone excepted. Your office corresponds with that of junior deacon in the preparatory degrées. Among the duties required of you, the preparation and

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