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Obserrations on the Order of High Priest.
This order appertains to the office of High Priest of the Royal Arch Chapter, and no one can be legally entitled to receive it until he čias been elected to sustain that office in some regular chapter of Royal Arch Masons.
The following passages of scripture are made use of dus ring the ceremonies appertaining to this order, viz.
66 And they tuok Lot, Abram's brother's son (who. dwelt in Sodom,) and his goods, and departed. And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eschol, and brother of Aner : and these were confederates with Abram. And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three huudred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought brack all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, (after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him,) at the valley of Sheveh, which is the king's dale. And Melchisedec, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thing enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, i have listed up mine band unto the
Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take from thee a thread even to a shoe-latchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, sest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich ; save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshchol, and Mamre, let them take their portion.”-Gen. xiv. 12—24.
w And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; the Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”-Num. vi. 22, 26.
“For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the sings, and blessed him ; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all : (first being, by interpretation, king of Righteousness, and after that also king of Salem, which is, king of Peace; without father, without descent, having , neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto
the Son of God;) abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham."--Heb. vii1–6.
“ For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec."
“ And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest.”
“For those priests (under the Levitical law) were made without an oath, but this with an oath, by him that said unto him, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec,"
We have at length arrived at the mark to which all our attention has been uniformly directed ; namely, a history, and so far as has 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 verba. tip 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 be. licve, 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 jadustri. ous companion ; inasmuch as they serve in a very eminent maạner 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 masonry, are always regarded with an interest bordering on reverence.
CHAPTER XIII. Charges on the installation of the Officers of a Royal
Charge lo the High Priest. 46 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
occasion, to point out some of the particulars appertaining to your office, duty, and Jigoity.
Let the Mitre, with which you are invested, remind you of the dignity of the office you sustaio, and its inscrip. tion 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.
"The Breastplate, with which you are decorated, in imitation 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 mealbers should be always near your heart.
"The various colours of the Robes you wear are emblematical of every grace and virtue, which can adorn and 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 Officer, or King.
" The important station to which you are elected in this chapter requires from you exemplary conduct; its duties depiand 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 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 subordinate 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 dictate 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 generous and benevolent miod, than to rule over their lives and fortunes ; and that to enable you to enjoy this pre-emirience 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 io 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 bis hand may you receive a crown of glory which shall never fade away."