THE ANCIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE OF MEMPHIS AND MISRAIM
Extracts from "A New Encyclopaedia
of Freemasonry," by Arthur Edward Waite
Manifestations of the Martinist Order, by Milko Bogaard
In so far as this Tree, which is connected with a memorable event in Masonic Legend, may be regarded as a symbol of immortality, the notion may be referred to its extraordinary persistence, for Du Pratz says that if any of the bark be left on its branches they will take root if planted as posts. There are several species, among which the Acacia vera is called the Egyptian Thorn -- otherwise Acacia seyal -- and produces gum-arabic. It is identified with the Shittah Tree and Shittim-Wood of EXODUS and ISAIAH. It was used in constructing the Ark of the Covenant and the Altar of the Tabernacle. Christian Legend tells us that the Crown of Thorns was made of its spiked twigs, and in the curious pseudo-historical account attached to the Grade of NOVICE AND KNIGHT OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, the wood of the Cross is said to have been of this tree. I do not know whence this fable derives, but perhaps on account of it Horace Walpole calls the Acacia "the genteelest tree of all," following the Elizabethan dramatist who terms Christ "the first true gentleman that ever breathed." The Burning Bush has been identified with Aqua nilotica, by a reflection from Rabbinical Tradition, which calls it simply a thorn-bush. The red and white blossoms were regarded as sacred in Egypt, and in one of the folk-tales ascribed to the nineteenth dynasty the hero is represented as placing his soul for safe-keeping within the petals of the topmost bloom growing in a Valley of Acacia. For Paracelsus it was a healing tree; he used it with other ingredients as a plaster for wounds and apparently to stop bleeding.
A Sign of Immortality. -- I have failed to trace any real connection with funeral rites, and it seems certain that there is no sense in which it can be called emblematic of burial. It belongs to the analogies of hope beyond and life continued henceforward: it is to this that the Master-Mason testified, according to an old French Catechism, when in proof of his status he answered: "The Acacia is known to me." It has been said that it was consecrated to the sun in Arabia, but no evidence is offered. It has been identified also, though in an arbitrary manner, with the Golden Bough of Virgil; but this was evergreen oak. In the Third Symbolical Grade, according to the classification adopted by the MASONIC ORDER OF MEMPHIS, the Worshipful Master explains that "the Branch of Acacia ... is an emblem of that ardent zeal for truth which should be cherished by every Master, encompassed as he is by corrupted men who betray it"; but this is a flimsy artifice, characteristic of the Rite which devised it and of the Masonic period in France to which it belonged at its origin. To sum up therefore, the emblem is -- on the surface -- funereal in Masonry, but in itself is a sign of life, and it has to be remembered that the great pageant with which it is connected is unquestionably one of resurrection. It appears to form part of a story which has a deeper meaning than is found on the surface.
The Hermetic Rose. -- From my own point of view as a mystic, it is a figurative representation of our inward nature, like the Hermetic Rose itself. As that Rose out of a rude mountain, so issues from the inchoate nature of the man of earth the many-petalled flower of spiritual being: so gradually and slowly unfold our potencies -- like petals -- from within. As the beautiful blossoms of the Acacia are put forth successively till the branch is covered and weighed down, so from one root and stock are the powers of our interior and centre manifested outwardly. As the life of the young Pelicans was sustained by the resources of the parent bird of the legend, so are our exterior forces fed from the spirit which is within; so from within is sustained the life of the outward man. And that which is interior is the larger part; our possibilities are greater than our attainments, but there are greater attainments to come; while the mystics tell us that he who is within is older than he who is without. On such a priori considerations, the Acacia typifies that which is immortal in our nature; when planted to signify the place of rest where lay that which was perishable it testified that the Master lived, and so also that which he denoted. The plans of the unfinished temple were not wanting but hidden; the Word was reserved somewhere and would be restored by time or circumstances; and after the shadowed lights of figurative resurrection, there would come the Orient light, the bright and morning-star, heralding a resurrection in the spirit, in the real and imperishable man, full of grace and truth. The motto to be inscribed on the Acacia is therefore Resugamus nos.
A Sign of Innocence. -- The Acacia in Greek is , and the same word signifies simplicity, innocence and the mind turning from evil, as if with instinctive horror. There are no pitfalls comparable to those which are dug for the unwary by mere intimations of words, and I question whether I should have mentioned this fact at all if it had not been cited by others, more especially as the innocence of the Master-Builder was not a subject at issue when the Acacia was planted over his grave, any more than the legendary choice of shittim-wood for the cross erected on Calvary signified -- in the opinion of those who crucified Christ -- that He was the unspotted and stainless victim of the Supreme Sacrifice. It was the makers of the Hiramic myth who saw to it that a thing which was implied in their minds should be symbolised on the grave of their symbolic Master. They placed therefore a sign of resurrection and immortality, as if in some later mystery the grave should give up its dead in the fashion of one who henceforward would be alive for evermore. Meanwhile, in the person of their Candidate of the THIRD DEGREE, they indicated this implicit and shewed forth this mystery to come, as in a glass and darkly, making the darkness for the moment only more visible. As we know, however, the intention which I have ventured to predicate, on the expressed authority of all the Ancient Mysteries and on the transparent implicits of the Master-Grade, came to nothing. But on the continent of Europe, in the holy places of Lyons, under the auspices of Martinism and the STRICT OBSERVANCE, there were those who had eyes for symbolism and they saw clearly. They saw to it also after their own speaking manner, and it came about therefore -- before the end of the eighteenth century -- that Hiram rose. I say therefore with Eliphas Levi: "I also believe in the resurrection of Hiram." Meanwhile, those who are pleased to affirm that the Acacia is a symbol of innocence shall pass unchallenged, but the point is not of consequence to the subject. Could funerary connections be established ever so clearly, they would be of no consequence either, for the greatness of the THIRD DEGREE does not consist in the death or burial of the Master-Builder but in the Raising of the Candidate. I observe that Dr. Frederick Dalcho, famous as a High-Grade Mason in South Carolina, affirmed the connection in an Oration belonging to the year 1802, namely, that the ancient Jews were accustomed to place the Acacia over graves, not as a symbol of immortality -- about which they knew but vaguely -- and not as a sign of resurrection -- about which at that time they knew nothing at all -- but as a warning to their priests who were "prohibited from crossing a grave." The fact -- if it be a fact -- would signify less than nothing, for we are dealing with symbolism and not -- as it happens -- with signposts. I have checked the reference, however, and find that Dr. Dalcho was speaking of the matter as if it were common knowledge and cited no authority. It has been advanced also that Blount in his LEVANTINE TRAVELS includes the planting of evergreens on graves as a Jewish custom belonging to that region. Unfortunately, the Acacia is an evergreen, but all evergreens are not acacias. Moreover, on recourse to these curious old travels it proves that the custom in question is Turkish and not Jewish. The actual terms of the statement are: "They plant such kind of plants or flowers as remain green all the year." I shall remain content therefore with that which I have in evidence: a token of immortality is better than a graveyard warning, and a sign of resurrection shall be preferred before one of death.
Authorities. -- See (1) Dr. Frederick Dalcho: ORATIONS ON FREEMASONRY. Dublin Reprint, 1808, pp. 23, 24. (2) Sir Henry Blount, Knt.: A VOYAGE INTO THE LEVANT: a Brief Relation of a Journey lately performed, etc. 5th Edition. London, 1664, pp. 196, 197.
CHIEF OF THE TABERNACLE
For the symbolism of the Tabernacle set up in the wilderness by Moses, according to Divine Command, we must have recourse to texts like the ZOHAR or to Mystics like Jacob Bohme and not to High Grade Masonry. The Twenty-third Degree of the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE is called CHIEF OF THE TABERNACLE: it has analogues in the RITE OF MIZRAIM and in one at least of those French collections which are of grave importance on paper. It is one of the Levitical Grades, and I have tabulated elsewhere some elements of supreme unreason which entered into its composition.
Royal Arch Connection. -- As it commemorates in particular the institution of the Levitical priesthood, in any other classification than that of the SCOTTISH RITE it might be supposed to lead up in the ritual direction of the ROYAL ARCH, in which there is a distinct though not predominant element of notions and procedure connected with the sacerdotal order in Israel, but the RITE in question knows nothing of the Arch of Zerubbabel and the Grade leads nowhere, except to the next stage in the particular sequence, namely, PRINCE OF THE TABERNACLE, the question of values in which will be considered at a later point.
Revision of Albert Pike. -- There is, however, a version of the Grade which belongs to another category and has eliminated the glaring fatuities. According to the revision of the SCOTTISH RITE produced by Albert Pike, under the auspices of the Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., the Court or Lodge of the Twenty-third Degree represents an encampment of the Twelve Tribes in the desert, near Mount Sinai. The Tabernacle of Moses, as described in Exodus xxvi and xxxi, is represented in the centre of the room, in the form of an oblong tent, stretched upon a frame and having a ridge-pole in the centre. The other furniture of the Lodge corresponds to the Altar of Burnt Offerings, Laver of Brass, Table of the Presence or Shewbread, Seven-Branched Candlestick and Altar of Incense. The Ark of the Covenant stands within the tent and is covered by the Mercy-Seat. The Presiding Officer is robed like the Jewish High Priest and so are his two Wardens, except that they do not wear the breastplate and mitre. The hour of Opening is that of replenishing the fire which burnt continually on the Altar of Burnt Offerings and of preparation for the Morning Sacrifice. That of Closing is when the sacrifices are completed.
Procedure in Outline. -- The Candidate represents Eliasaph, son of Lael and Chief of the House of Gershon, the son of Levi. He desires preparation to perform the service of the people of the Lord in the Tabernacle of the Congregation and to make atonement for the children of Israel. By an ill-starred confusion of chronology, the fate of Korah, Dathan and Abiram is recited, and he is warned not to do likewise. He must approach the Mysteries with a pure heart, desiring the glory of God and the weal of man. A lock of hair is then removed from his head, to indicate in some obscure manner that he must divest himself of every sordid and selfish feeling, and -- by another confusion -- he is shewn a cross as the symbol of that universe of which God is the soul. It is presumably a cosmic cross and not that of Calvary. He is purified and pledged, is instructed on the unity of God and on the false idols of the heathen pantheons. There is also a short lesson on the necessity of faith, after which the symbolism of the furniture is explained: (1) The Seven-Branched Candlestick represents the seven planets, and the names of their angels are enumerated, with the attributions of the mystical number and its correspondence to seven virtues. (2) The censer recalls the incense of good deeds and charitable actions. (3) The blended colours of the curtains about the Tabernacle are significant of the four elements in the following order: Scarlet=Fire; Blue=Air; Purple=Water; while the "Fine linen" =Earth, which is therefore apparently white. Elsewhere White is said to signify the Infinite Beneficence of God ; Blue, His profound and perfect Wisdom; Purple, His power; and Crimson, His glory.
Work of Pike. -- The revisions of Pike always made for reverence and at least for a certain increase of conventional meaning, but it remained within the normal conventions. In the present instance he has done nothing which gives life. There is an elaborate mise en scene, but -- as we can see -- it comes to nothing. As regards the alternative codex and certain points therein, see my SECRET TRADITION IN FREEMASONRY, Vol. I, p. 188.
We have seen that according to the EARLY GRAND RITE, and its curious impertinence or folly of a Grade entitled ARCHITECT, the heart of the Master-Builder was deposited in an urn, and that Candidates for advancement were required -- as a test of integrity -- to "partake of the heart," in the form of a Masonic substitute. It is unconvincing as a test of integrity and, so far as I am aware, is the only instance -- through all the misguided Rites -- of cannibalism moralised and raised into the life of symbolism. It is not, however, the only Grade which is concerned with the heart of the Master and its deposition in a Golden Urn. The RITE OF MEMPHIS has a much more dignified and indeed elaborate Ceremony under the name of DISCREET MASTER, being No. 4 in its system. It takes place in the Holy of Holies -- as if the Temple were already finished -- the Chief Officers being Solomon and the King of Tyre. The Candidate has been pledged, restored to light and his attention directed to a "resplendent luminary," which shines before him in the East. It signifies the Holy Shekinah, but in the muddled attributions of the Grade it represents also the All-Seeing Eye and the Omnipresence of Jehovah. The pageant is at a pause when a Battery occurs without, and it is announced that "the heart of our lamented Grand Master is deposited in the Golden Urn." A procession is immediately formed and the honour of conveying the sacred ashes is conferred upon the Candidate. They pass outside the Chapter -- as if this were the Sanctum Sanctorum -- and return bearing the trophy, which is celebrated as the Heart of Truth, amidst song, prayer and oration. The Urn is crowned in fine with laurel and with olive-branch, invoking peace and glory on the Master-Builder. A moralisation upon these emblems follows, the laurel alluding to the victory which must be gained over lower passions and the olive-branch to the bond of union which should join the Brethren together. The Candidate is then raised to the rank of a Levite and placed among the faithful guardians of the Holy of Holies, as one of the seven "who have been elected to supply the place of our Grand Master." In fine he is appointed "one of the Conductors of the work which is to be raised to Divinity." He becomes in this manner a Discreet Master, because the Jewel of the Grade is a key, described as "a symbol of fidelity and discretion." It does not appear to open anything, and the Ceremony is not less wanting in real emblematic purpose than its correspondence in the EARLY GRAND RITE.
Points of Symbolism. -- As in all the High Grade Order so in the RITE OF MEMPHIS, the Craft Degrees are presupposed and occupy the first three numbers, but they do not appear to have been worked: their possession was the title of admission. It comes about in this manner, that the DISCREET MASTER, while ranking as fourth is really the first, so far as activity is concerned. The Historical Discourse of the Grade deals therefore with the general claims of the Rite, and these have been noticed sufficiently in another section. A few outstanding points may be collected under the following heads: (1) The Shekinah -- represented by a Delta -- is said to signify visible glory, and is a symbol of the Divine Presence. (2) In the RITE OF MEMPHIS it is regarded as an emblem of "the cultivated mind which disperses ignorance." (3) The Delta is encompassed by a serpent, having its tail in its mouth and thus forming a circle, held to represent "the immensity of the power of God," which has neither beginning nor end. (4) A star of five points is placed within the Delta. (5) Within this pentagram is the letter G, interpreted as Glory, Grandeur and Gomel -- Glory in allusion to God; Grandeur by reference to man, since it is possible for him to attain perfection; Gomel, a Hebrew word "which signifies thanks to God for His supreme power." (6) Gomel was the first word spoken by Adam "on discovering the adorable Eve." (7) The name of the Sanctum Sanctorum is Dabri in Hebrew, because God "delivered His oracles" therein: the significance of the word is speech.
The Grades of Elect Masonry are not less extraordinary in number than futile in raison d'etre, if it is permissible to pronounce judgment on the evidence of those which are still extant -- or at least available. The rest are merely names, and as it is unlikely that all are variant accounts of the same events it is barely possible that something of symbolical consequence may lie beyond our criticism. The events in question are the pursuit, discovery and punishment of the three assassins who caused the untimely death of the Master-Builder. In each and every case with which I am acquainted they embody narratives of the pseudo-historical order, apart from symbolism, and are therefore characterised by a radical misconception of the message which inheres in the Central Legend of the Craft. An offence of this kind is of course graver in the makers of Grades than mere failure in the fabrication of a successful dramatic Mystery. The Grades under notice vary between indifferent and bad in this respect also; in other words, they are without titles to existence. Having regard, however, to their existence and diffusion through the chief Rites, their consideration is necessary, and it may be said in the first place that they are side issues of the MASTER GRADE. I have been successful in obtaining certain French versions in manuscript, belonging to the second half of the eighteenth century, and if they are not the prototypes of the Elect series they are varied but slightly therefrom.
Grade of the Dagger. -- The first in my list is entitled FIRST GRADE OF ELECT MASON, and the heads of its instruction follow. (1) All work was suspended and the approaches to the Temple were closed by order of Solomon for the space of nine days when the absence of the Master-Builder became known. (2) After the discovery of the body and its solemn interment a fitting reward was promised for the apprehension of the murderers. (3) An unknown person sought audience of the King and announced that he had discovered the grotto in which one of them had taken refuge. (4) Solomon appointed nine Masons to accompany the stranger to the spot, with instructions that the culprit should be brought alive to Jerusalem. (5) As the company approached the cavern one of the more zealous rushed forward, and seeing the assassin asleep with his head on a table and a dagger lying thereon, he seized the instrument, stabbed the ruffian to the brain and subsequently cut off his head. (6) The head and dagger were carried to the King, who was incensed at a disobedience which forestalled his own vengeance; but he forgave the indiscretion in the end at the prayer of the other Masters. (7) In this manner was the Master-Builder vindicated; the work on the Temple was resumed, and the Nine Masters were recompensed by their incorporation as a Company of Elect Masons, having special signs, tokens and words by which they might recognise and communicate with one another. This Grade corresponds to ELECT OF NINE in the SCOTTISH RITE.
Work of the Candidate. -- The Candidate for reception as ELECT MASON was placed in a Chamber of Reflection, and after a short period of solitary meditation he was told to remove his hoodwink, when he found himself confronted by the actual scene of the Grotto, apparently by means of a transparency, but so devised that the body of the assassin was over against a solid table on which was the effigy of a bleeding head, together with the avenging knife. These trophies are the titles of the Candidate's admission to the Lodge, and these he lays upon the altar. The Master accuses him of disobedience to orders, which he does not appear to have received, and he is forgiven at the solicitation of the Brethren on account of his zeal. He is pledged, entrusted, and hears the Historical Discourse, as also the Catechism of the Grade, which affirms that after the summary execution of the assassin nothing remained to be done, seeing that it was all accomplished.
Alleged Political Meaning. -- When the meaningless procedure of this Grade and its story apart from purpose are contrasted with the elevated practical lessons impressed on the Master Mason by the Legend of the Craft it is scarcely matter for surprise that the enemies of Masonry gave it a murderous political significance. It seemed incredible that sane people should impose upon the Candidate a part of imaginary vengeance, and account for it by a spurious history which carried no consequence whatever. But if the murdered Master represented the destroyed rights of a people and if his assassin were an oligarchy which enslaved them, there was at once a fell significance: there was a Grade of history in its making, while the tokens were not those of symbolism but of conspiracy deeply planned. I touch here upon the Keynote of hostile criticism in respect of the Elect Masonries at large and all Degrees of the Dagger. It will be unfolded as we proceed further.
Second Elect Grade. -- Among the documents to which I refer the SECOND GRADE OF ELECT MASON is almost destitute of procedure, but develops in its recitals some further considerations arising out of the previous Ceremony. Having heard that the two other assassins have perished miserably in the region of Capul, otherwise Cabul, Solomon was desirous only of proceeding with the building of the Temple, and the direction of the work was placed in the hands of the Nine Elect Masters, they to report daily on its progress. Such is the History of this Grade in the part of it which is so denominated. The Catechism divulges the name of the Unknown Stranger, that is to say, Perignan, and we hear at a later period of a Grade called ELU DE PERIGNAN. The stranger made his discovery because he was working by a Burning Bush in the vicinity of the Grotto and came across the assassin in the last degree of want and misery. He gave an ear to the wretch in his pleadings, provided him with food, and did not betray him to Solomon till an edict of the King reached him. A final discourse describes the story as allegorical, and draws from it the lesson that God visits the criminal, there being no escape from the decrees of Divine Justice. It is said also that the Grade is preparatory to the Sublime Mysteries of that which follows thereon. This Grade corresponds to ELECT OF FIFTEEN in the SCOTTISH RITE.
Third Elect Grade. -- Having failed so far to meet with Sublime Mysteries, or indeed any Mysteries at all, except the unaccountable reference to a Burning Bush, one turns with a certain expectation -- after the manner of a forlorn hope -- to the THIRD GRADE OF ELECT MASON, which proves to be one of Knighthood: Chevalier Elu, Troisieme Grade, governed by a Most Illustrious Grand Master. It opens at midnight, but a sun shines thereon, for it is in the full light of Christianity, the chivalry being devoted by day either to warfare with the infidels or to works of hospitality, while at midnight they give account of their progress. The Historical Discourse is important, as it comprises a particular version of the alleged transmission of Masonic secrets from the age of Solomon to that of the Crusades. It sets aside as fabulous those reveries which ascribe the origin of Masonry to Moses, Noah and Enoch. The true history of the Institution begins with Solomon and that of the Elect Grades with the Nine Masters, chosen to go in search of the traitors who assassinated the Master-Builder. When the Temple was finished these Masters elected a Chief, and when they found anyone who deserved to be enrolled among them he was pledged to faith in God, loyalty towards princes, charity towards Brethren and neighbours. They withdrew from worldly business, spending their life in prayer and ministering to the needs of the poor. The majority of these Illustrious Companions embraced Christianity when its light dawned on the world, and were more devoted than ever to works of mercy. The Order is said to have flourished till the end of the seventh century, after which it declined, till at the opening of the twelfth century it was reduced to a few persons gathered in a single Lodge, but following strictly therein its rule of life. This Lodge seems to have been established in Palestine, and indeed it is not suggested that the chivalry had existed so far outside the Holy Land. Various Christian pioneers joined its ranks during the Crusades, all indifferently being pledged to the rebuilding of Christian Temples, for it appears that the Chevaliers Elus still held themselves Masons. A time came when the Order united with that of St. John of Jerusalem. In this manner, carried back by Crusading royalties and nobles, it began to be known in Europe. Lodges were established in Italy, Spain, France, England, whence it passed into Scotland and took root at Kilwinning. When Edward the Black Prince returned from the eighth and last Crusader he became Protector of the Order in England, where it assumed the name of Freemasonry.
A Practical Lesson. -- The Historical Discourse is followed at great length by that of the Orator, who impresses on the Candidate the solemnity and importance of his pledges -- adoration of God, as the Sovereign Architect of the Universe; fidelity to the King, as incumbent on all his subjects, but most especially on those who have attained so eminent a Grade as that of this elect chivalry; defence of the Christian religion and readiness to pour out one's blood to the last drop in its cause. The Candidate is told further that the heart is a living temple and therein is the altar on which sacrifice must be made to the Eternal.
Symbolical Meanings. -- There is also an elaborate Catechism, which is of consequence for the symbols connected with the Grade and for several matters of detail. The chief instructions may be summarised under the following heads: (1) The approach of the Candidate is announced by a Battery of seven knocks, because the erection and adornment of the Temple occupied seven years. (2) The number of Elect Masons was raised by Solomon to twelve -- presumably for symbolical reasons. (3) The Chapter is illuminated by twelve greater and twelve lesser lights, the first signifying the Elect Masons and the second the Tribes of Israel. (4) The tomb situated at the western end of the Chapter represents that of the Master-Builder. (5) The urn is a copy of the Vessel in which the heart of the Master was preserved. (6) The Ark of the Covenant is a symbol of the Temple of Solomon. (7) The Seven-Branched Candlestick represents -- in respect of its branches -- the seven deadly sins, while its seven lights are in analogy with the gifts of the Holy Spirit which watch by day and by night over just men, to keep them from falling. (8) The Golden Coffer signifies the receptacle in which were placed the hearts of those sacrificial victims which were agreeable to the Eternal; and in such coffer should every Elect Knight deposit mystically his own heart -- purified by good actions. (9) The Palm-Trees denote the Cherubim, whose wings covered the Mercy-Seat. (10) Solomon decorated his Twelve Masters with a sash on which was embroidered a flaming heart, as a token of ardent love among Brethren; but a Cross was substituted when the Order became Christian, because it is the Sign of Salvation, which the Elect Chivalry is prepared to defend with its blood. (11) The Grip of the Grade commemorates the triple undertaking of Love to God, loyalty to the King and Charity towards all mankind.
Appeal of this Grade. -- Though it cannot be said to contain Sublime Mysteries, the THIRD GRADE OF ELECT MASON is that which redeems the triad, by atoning for the follies and vacuities which precede it. The dramatic element, so essential in Ritual procedure, is wanting; but this is a recurring characteristic of French High Grades, the good and the bad indifferently, and one is disposed to conclude that in France at that time the Mason was in search of instruction, preferring to receive symbolism largely in the form of discourse or by way of question and answer, exchanged between Officers, rather than by way of pageant. The procedure, such as it is, deserves to be called dignified; the lessons are unfolded with reverence and are put with considerable force. Were materials for judgment in our hands, I suspect that this Grade would prove to be the crown, or chef-d'oeuvre, of the whole Elect Series, properly so-called. As regards the Traditional History, it recalls the romantic legend concerning the Knights of the Morning recited at length by Baron Tschoudy in L'Etoile Flamboyante, and this brings me to my final point.
Adonhiramite Masonry. -- The Grades under consideration form an arbitrary part of Adonhiramite Masonry, being four to six of that Rite, and we have seen that it is referred indifferently to Baron Tschoudy and L. G. de Saint-Victor. In view of the correspondence which I have just established between the Traditional History of the THIRD GRADE OF ELECT MASON and the legend of L'Etoile Flamboyante, I have no doubt whatever that Tschoudy had a hand in the business, and that he married the ELECT OF NINE of the EMPERORS OF THE EAST AND WEST to a Mysterium of his own invention, adapting for this purpose a previous invention in the work already mentioned, which belongs to the year 1766. The Elect Grades are not Adonhiramite Masonry, which substituted the Adoniram of I KINGS v. 13, in place of Hiram, as the name of that "cunning man, endued with understanding" of 2 CHRONICLES iv. 16, possibly because of the opinion held by many that the said craftsman has no name in the Scriptures, Hiram being an allusion to the father of the King of Tyre. But, however this may be, the French collection is named fancifully, as it is obvious that KNIGHT OF THE SWORD and KNIGHT ROSE-CROIX have no more concern in Adoniram than have the Elect Grades.
Elect of Fifteen. -- The FIRST GRADE OF ELECT MASON is in exceedingly close analogy with ELECT OF NINE, otherwise ELECTED KNIGHT OF NINE, in the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE, which may be called a later codex. The Adonhiramite triad excludes, however, the ELECT OF FIFTEEN, which is the sequel to ELECT OF NINE in the SCOTTISH RITE, both being taken over of course with much other baggage from the COUNCIL OF EMPERORS. There is another rare French Ritual in manuscript of approximately the same period, and entitled Grade de Chevalier Elu de Quinze. It is exceedingly short and worthless in every respect. There are three candelabra of five lights each in the Lodge, respectively in front of the Master and his two Wardens. They are lighted one after the other, to the sound of three Batteries, each of five knocks. The number of Elect Brethren must not exceed fifteen, and the hour of Opening is 3 o'clock, by reference presumably to the three assassins. The Candidate enters carrying two death's heads, one being pierced by a dagger. He is pledged, entrusted and learns the story of the Grade. In opposition to that of the SECOND GRADE OF ELECT MASON, or Elu de Perignan, Solomon does not have to rest content with a report, that the two remaining assassins of the Master-Builder have perished miserably -- by presumption, from natural causes. Six months after the crime one of the Intendants of the Building, on quest in the Land of Geth, ascertains that they have found refuge therein. Solomon is apprised in due course, and as the King of Geth is his vassal orders are issued for their delivery into his hands. He appoints fifteen Elect Masters, including the previous nine, and they travel to Geth, bearing a letter from Solomon. To make short of a silly story, the assassins are secured and brought to Jerusalem, where they perish in the utmost tortures. It is prayed that the Candidate may be spared a like misfortune.
Elect Grades Proper. -- The Grades of ELECT MASONRY may be divided into two broad classes, being those which continue the Traditional History of the THIRD DEGREE and those which -- judging by their titles, for they are not available to criticism -- are of other symbolical categories. It should be understood that the first class are represented to all intents and purposes by the few which have been subjected to examination in the present section, but more especially by the First and Fourth Grades. Their critical history is one of variation and alternative, but I have not been able to trace the THIRD GRADE OF ELECT MASON beyond the RITE OF ADONHIRAMITE MASONRY. It is probable that those with which I have been unable to make acquaintance are like those which are known -- impertinent and vacant trifles. Setting aside the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED and the COUNCIL OF EMPERORS, as otherwise dealt with, the particulars are as they here follow: (1) A Grade, entitled ELECT, follows immediately after that of MASTER MASON, and is accordingly numbered 4 in the series of the FRENCH MODERN RITE. (2) There is one under the same title and in the same numerical place in the RITE OF THE PHILALETHES. (3) Gargantuan in all things, the RITE OF MIZRAIM has not only ELECT OF NINE; ELECT OF THE UNKNOWN -- an adaptation probably of the SECOND GRADE OF ELECT MASON, and having references therefore to Perignan; ELECT OF FIFTEEN; but also PERFECT, and finally ILLUSTRIOUS ELECT. (4) The RITE OF MEMPHIS has KNIGHT ELECT OF NINE, ILLUSTRIOUS KNIGHT ELECT OF THE FIFTEEN and SUBLIME ELECT KNIGHT, thus recalling the THIRD GRADE OF ELECT MASON. (5) Pasqually's RITE OF THE ELECT PRIESTHOOD has been credited with a GRAND ELECT Grade as fourth in its series, but I believe that the particular tabulation is wrong. So also the imaginary reformation of this Rite by L. C. de Saint-Martin is provided with a fifth Grade under the name of ELECT.
Other Elect Grades. -- In the second class may be included: (1) Grades of the METROPOLITAN CHAPTER OF FRANCE -- No. 12, PERFECT ELECT; No. 13, ELECT MASTER; No. 14, ELECT SECRET AND STRICT INSPECTOR; No. 15. SUBLIME ELECT; No. 16, SCOTTISH ELECT; No. 17, ELECT OF THE TWELVE TRIBES; No. 70, ELECT OF LONDON; No. 74, SUPREME ELECT. (2) The CHAPTER OF CLERMONT is reported to have included LESSER ENGLISH ELECT, but the authority is doubtful. (3) The GRAND CHAPTER OF BERLIN had ELECT OF THE NEW JERUSALEM among its Apocalyptic Grades. (4) The COUNCIL OF EMPERORS OF THE EAST AND WEST had GRAND ELECT ANCIENT AND PERFECT MASTER and GRAND ELECT KADOSH. (5) The collections of two private unconnected Masons, named Pyron and Fustier. included ELECT COMMANDER; ELECT DEPOSITARY; SUPREME ELECT, or Adjutant of the Tabernacle of Perfect Elect Masons; GRAND PRINCE OF THE THREE ELECT; and SUBLIME ELECT LADY, belonging to some Adoptive Rite. (6) Another collector -- named Viany -- has left record concerning a Grade entitled ELECT PHILOSOPHER AND SUBLIME MASTER. (7) We hear also of KNIGHT ELECT PHILOSOPHER in the PHILOSOPHICAL SCOTTISH RITE; of SYMBOLICAL ELECT, under the name of Baron Tschoudy, and connected with some attempted Masonic Reform. I have intimated that pearls of some price may be hidden among these unknown inventions.
Elect of Truth. -- These enumerations are concerned with Grades and not with Rites making use of the term Elect. A Rite which is said to have been instituted at Rennes in 1776 was called ELECT OF TRUTH, but I have no particulars concerning it. Pasqually's RITE OF ELECT PRIESTHOOD has been dealt with in another section.
There is no need to say -- and it will be made evident by the researches incorporated into the present work -- that the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE, and such mammoth collections as the ORIENTAL ORDER OF MIZRAIM and the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE OF MEMPHIS do not represent Grade sequences which sprang into existence suddenly at particular dates, but are for the most part drawn together from antecedent sources, by which I mean that their Grade-elements pre-existed in a state of isolation or grouped in smaller collections. The Eighth Grade of MIZRAIM is called ENGLISH MASTER, but it was extant in a detached form many years before that Rite appeared on the horizon of Masonic history. I have inspected what is certainly a rare and perhaps an unique French Ritual in a hand belonging to the last decades of the eighteenth century. It consists of (1) Ceremonial Procedure, in which the rubrics and dialogue are combined in a confusing manner; (2) an elaborate Obligation, having clauses reminiscent of the Pledge taken in the ENTERED APPRENTICE DEGREE, according to the ENGLISH RITE; (3) an Historical Discourse, and (4) a Catechism, presenting the chief features of the Grade in summary form. Variants of the Ritual are found under several Obediences.
Story of the Grade. -- The Celebrants or Chief Officers of the Grade are Solomon and the King of Tyre. The symbolical time is subsequent to the death of the Master-Builder. whose mausoleum forms part of the design exhibited by the Tracing Board. In return for the cedars of Lebanon and other materials for the building of the Holy Temple, supplied from the regions of Tyre, Solomon appears to have promised not only the wheat and the barley, the wine and the oil mentioned in Scripture, but a province de trente gouvernements, delivery to take place after the completion of the building. A year has elapsed, however, and the pledge is still unfulfilled. Hiram, moreover, has visited the district to be ceded and has found it a sandy desert, peopled by undisciplined hordes and calculated to prove a burden instead of an advantage. He determines therefore to visit King Solomon in search of a settlement. On arriving at the royal palace he is led to an apartment where Solomon is meditating sorrowfully on the death of his architect, and such is the demeanour of King Hiram that Manon, one of Solomon's favourites, suspects that there is a design against his master. He follows therefore, and listens outside the door while the two kings confer. He is seen by Hiram, who rushes out and seizes him. The execution of the eavesdropper is demanded, and Solomon has considerable difficulty in persuading his visitor that from the favourite's known integrity and devotion to his own person he could be actuated by no selfish motive, or mere criminal curiosity. Seeing at last where his personal interests lie, the King of Tyre is persuaded, and the alliance between the two kings is renewed on a satisfactory basis.
Ceremonial Procedure. -- This is the traditional history and it is this which is represented dramatically in the Grade-procedure. The Candidate represents the favourite, who is seen by King Hiram listening at the door of the Lodge, is dragged violently in, and when after the ordeal and humiliation he has been forgiven at the instance of Solomon, he is taken to the altar, is pledged duly and received not only as an English Master but is told that he is destined to occupy the exalted position left vacant by the untimely death of the Master- Builder.
Follies of the Grade. -- His qualifications for the post do not appear, nor is there any longer need that it should be filled, seeing that the Temple is finished; but this is one incident only in the general imbecility by which the Grade is characterised. I need not speak of the mental impression created by a King in Israel advancing his favourite to the rank of an English Master, nor -- when this is condoned -- of the fact that the Candidate is obligated by Solomon on the Holy Gospels. The limit is perhaps reached when it is explained that the word Jehovah represents not only the Name of Him Who is Grand Architect of the Universe, but signifies in this Grade: "Give thanks to God, because the work is finished" -- meaning the work of the Temple. Finally, Solomon, King of Israel, Hiram, King of Tyre, and the Master-Builder are symbolical of the Theological Virtues -- Faith, Hope, and Charity.
French Origin. -- Such, and so summarised in ample form, is one melancholy example of extensions arising out of the central Craft Legend. Such also is a typical example of side- Grades in the eighteenth century. I believe it to be of French origin, but the question does not signify. It seems to me that only a French Freemason -- and of course one of that period -- could have suggested that the twenty-seven lights which illuminated a Lodge of ENGLISH MASTERS were significant of the thousand candlesticks which lighted the Temple at Jerusalem. The force of folly cannot further go.
Source. -- The authority for this notice is the Ritual in manuscript already mentioned and called MAITRE ANGLOIS OU FAVORI.
The living channels of the Secret Tradition in Israel -- otherwise the successive mouthpieces -- according to the Tradition itself, are Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and then -- after long ages -- one born far after due time, Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai at the beginning of the Christian Dispensation, a Greater Exile for Jewry. The romance-writers -- who passed as historians of Masonry before and after the formation of the UNITED GRAND LODGE -- knew nothing whatever of the last, for Kabalism was reflected into their reveries at second and third hand. But they knew -- confusedly and vaguely -- that there was a Secret Tradition in Israel, and some gleams concerning it were splintered on their glass of vision from people not themselves, and not of the Masonic Brotherhood, who derived certain rumours at a distance from yet others, being those who had dipped into Picus de Mirandula, Reuchlin, Archangelus de Burgo Nuovo and Baron Knorr von Rosenroth. The manner in which it was reflected revealed to them Masonry everywhere, or if any of the goods and chattels in which they and their authorities dealt could not be called Masonry by any stretch of a Georgian cum William IV imagination, it was then a debased substitute. Of Enoch who walked with God till he was not for God took him there are strange theosophical reminiscences in the SEPHER HA ZOHAH and its adjuncts; there are also Talmudic stories. Their final reflection into the annals of Masonry was summarised as follows in the year 1764.
Enochian Initiation. -- The significance of the name Enoch, otherwise Henoch -- -- connects in Hebrew with instruction, which offered to Masonic minds of the past a path of easy transition to the notion of initiation. To him therefore is referred the first institution of Mysteries, or alternatively their specific development and direction. Such a notion is of course implied by the attribution of the Secret Tradition to which I have referred. It is current in two forms, being that according to which he was the recipient of heavenly wisdom sent down from heaven itself, in the shape of arch -- natural books, and that which represents him as taught by earlier patriarchs, who were taught themselves by Adam, that mournful custodian of Divine Science reflected from the lost estate of Paradise. The approximate source of both is the SEPHER HA ZOHAR, behind which lies a mass of oriental tradition, a part only of which has been gathered into the Talmuds.
Enoch in the Zohar. -- The heads of tradition in the ZOHAR may be summarised shortly thus: (1) THE BOOK OF THE GENESIS OF MAN, containing the Mystery of the Name of God, was communicated to the first man, and it taught him the Supreme Wisdom. (2) It came down from heaven, being carried by a Master-Angel. (3) When Adam was driven out of Eden he held it close to his breast, which notwithstanding it vanished out of his keeping, but was restored afterwards because of his tears and prayers. (4) The Angel by whom it was brought originally is he who is called Raziel, and he is the Chief of Supreme Mysteries. (5) The Angel by whom it was returned is named Raphael. (6) The contents were to be kept secret, for Hadraniel -- another angel -- informed Adam, that, none of the heavenly choirs were permitted to know the central secret therein. (7) It related to the foundation of the world in wisdom. (8) Before he left this life, it would appear that Adam had authority for the transmission of the book to his Son Seth, its later custodians being Enoch, Noah and Abraham. (9) The most favoured of all was Enoch, for to him were confided "all treasures of the celestial world," and his place was in the superior heaven. (10) He beheld the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden. (11) This was presumably after his translation, when it is even said that he became Metatron, the Great Angel of the Presence, the vesture of Al Shaddai and the Chief of the Heavenly Legions. (12) After God took him it is said that the Book of Adam was known as the Book of Enoch. These extracts are derived from Section Bereshith and from the Appendix entitled Tossafoth at the end of the Commentary on EXODUS.
The Magical Tradition. -- There is extant a BOOK OF RAZIEL, which belongs to the magical side of Kabalism, and it represents the Secret Tradition as descending from Adam to Enoch, but that tradition is presented under aspects by which it calls to be distinguished from the sacred storehouse of Zoharic theosophy. There is also the BOOK OF ENOCH, to which a place of importance is assigned among Old Testament Apocrypha. It has been referred to various dates and among others to the beginning of the Christian era. As it contains the supposed visions of the patriarch, there is no need to say that it does not pretend to be "the book sent down from heaven." It is of the class of apocalyptic writings, and Augustus Le Plongeon supposes that under this form the author delineated the circumstances and experience of his initiation into the Mysteries -- whether those of Eleusis, Isis or Mithras does not appear. There is as much and as little reason to adopt this scheme of interpretation in the case of the BOOK OF ENOCH as there is in that of REVELATION. Indeed the great dramatic pageant which unfolded for him who was "in the spirit on the Lord's Day" -- were there a choice between two impossibilities -- might be less intolerably regarded as a Rite reserved to epopts under the regis of a Secret Church in Christ. Those who are concerned can make a comparison of the texts on their own part, and I leave it in their hands. Be there added as an obiter dictum that in its true understanding the life of vision is an ordered life of initiation, and this is the sense in which Novalis said that our life is not a dream but that it ought to become one. Is there any initiation in the wide and age-long world of Instituted Mysteries to compare with that vision which was granted in Dominica suprema to the Seer of Patmos?
Masonic Reflections. -- Though Enoch -- if the truth must be said -- neither established nor revised initiations, whatever the implications of his name in Masonic minds, the book of the visions which he did not see has passed into the life of Masonry in a Grade of the SCOTTISH RITE and has been reflected at a far distance into the HOLY ROYAL ARCH. These facts remain for our consideration at a later stage. Here I need say only (1) that God shewed Enoch nine vaults in a vision -- according to the BOOK OF ENOCH; (2) that he and his son Methuselah built an underground temple in the bosom of the mountain of Canaan on the pattern thus exhibited -- vault beneath vault descending -- and every roof vaulted, having Divine Names and Titles emblazoned thereupon; (3) that in fine Enoch constructed two triangles of refined gold and wrote the Great Name thereon; (4) that he deposited one of them in the ninth or lowermost arch and entrusted the other to Methuselah. The last point is one of the familiar devices to indicate that the Secret Tradition passed on from age to age and was never without a witness.
GRADES OF INSTALLATION
The Forty-third Grade of the RITE OF MEMPHIS, according to the second revision of nomenclature and arrangement, was called ADEPT INSTALLATOR. It had not appeared under this title previously, nor is it found in the third and final classification of 1862. When the time came for an abortive attempt to establish the system in England as an ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE of thirty-three Degrees the twenty- irst was entitled GRAND INSTALLATOR. It is in the charge of a CONSISTORY, a denomination which seems to be interchangeable with that of SUBLIME COUNCIL. The form of Opening is a servile imitation of the terms adopted in the case of HERMETIC PHILOSOPHER, so that the work of installation goes on without break or interruption, except when the Experts, Mystagogues and disciples are yielding to the demands of "exhausted nature." As regards the labours involved they are defined as "investigation of the religious dogmas of remote antiquity"; and the Candidate is advised that in combination with two immediately succeeding Ceremonies the Grade of GRAND INSTALLATOR is intended to prepare him for "officiating in the Public Ceremonials of the Rite," as well as to teach him that "our doctrine and faith" are of "the most remote antiquity." Hereof is the kind of Installation.
Recapitulation of Grades. -- With this object in view it is proposed to recall before him the various experiences through which he has passed already, from the time that he served in Masonry as an ENTERED APPRENTICE. They are summarised as (1) Primitive Craft Traditions of the Semitic branch of humanity; (2) Geometry, together with the natural and mechanical sciences; (3) the study of theosophical emblems. It is now his duty "to make a practical application of these in conducting the Installation of the Officers of subordinate bodies of the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE." I present the above statements in their literal terms without adjudicating on the adaptation of Craft Traditions, Geometry and Theosophy to the formal appointment and investiture of Grade functionaries. We are dealing with an ill-starred Rite, and the canons of sane procedure are not to be expected therein.
Lessons of the Grade. -- The Charge after Obligation affirms: (1) that symbols and emblems were the primitive language of the people of the East; (2) that their metaphysical envelope is the basis of the religious dogma and philosophy of Masonry; (3) that they lead the intelligent initiate to discover the essence of truth and "what is good and just in each thing"; (4) that Masonry is divided primarily into three Degrees, because there were three divisions in ancient Temples -- meaning nave, chancel, and sanctuary; (5) that the First Degree teaches morality and love, the Second natural science, and the Third knowledge of the dogma of life beyond the grave -- otherwise, elementary principles, scientific instruction, and sacred theosophy; (6) that this Triad was symbolised of old by "the rough and perfect ashlar, and the white marble stone of true die or square"; (7) that the mosaic pavement signifies the doctrine of good and evil; (8) that the two Pillars mark the solstitial points; (9) that the Blazing Star is Sothis or Sirius; (10) that the seven Steps represent the seven properties of Nature -- attraction, repulsion, circulation, heat, light, sound and corporeity. It is obvious that significations like these are arbitrary in the highest degree, and that most of them lead nowhere.
Grand Consecrator. -- By the hypothesis, however, the Candidate has earned his qualification to install Officers belonging to inferior Grades, and his next step is that of GRAND CONSECRATOR, in which capacity he will be able to consecrate Temples. To this end "a full knowledge of symbolism is of the greatest importance," and here is how he is instructed. (1) The Grand aim of the RITE OF MEMPHIS is to raise a Temple to Wisdom, and there is apparently a Transparency or Tracing-Board, which represents this emblematic edifice. (2) Benevolence is seated in the first portico, on the front of which the image of the sun is emblazoned above the Ineffable Name. (3) The interior of the Temple has bas reliefs, representing the history of man, as also personifications of Beauty and Nature. (4) An Orator addresses the Candidate in the person of the Eternal, giving a general description of the earth and animated things. (5) These are said to be the language which God "holds to our senses." (6) The Candidate is called therefore to contemplate the world which we inhabit and the starry heavens. (7) The Universe is a book which is open to all men, and is that road which leads to the Divine Temple. (8) He is told in fine that when death has detached him from earth he will shine as an angel of light, above the cohorts of passion. Hereof is the consecration of this Grade, that those who are blessed thereby may bless and consecrate in turn. Hereof also is the Fourty-fourth Grade of the RITE OF MEMPHIS -- according to the revision which I have mentioned -- and the Twenty-second of the PRIMITIVE RITE. As regards the externalised Temple which the Candidate is supposed to contemplate, I have given only some points of its description. It could not be contained by a Tracing-Board, nor indeed by the largest Lodge-Room of Freemasons' Hall. It is obvious, however, that the Grade never existed except on paper.
Grand Eulogist. -- And now as to the third of this series, it is called GRAND EULOGIST with characteristic ineptitude, and the Candidate who has learned ex hypothesi how to install and consecrate is here and now taught how he should bury the dead, pronouncing suitable panegyrics over the graves of Brethren. For this purpose he hears much about the Funerary Ritual of Egypt, and is counselled to realise that "beyond the tomb commences our true activity," in a "kingdom of certitude" which is our real country. The universal respect for the dead is held to be a proof that all nations, even the most barbarous, admit the existence of God and the immortality of the human soul. There is finally a diatribe against atheism -- a sterile rehearsal of hackneyed notions in terms of everlasting commonplace.
GRAND AND SUBLIME MASON
In the ROYAL ARCH OF ENOCH the Candidate is supposed to receive the Lost Word of the Holy and Royal Art, but it is communicated -- as we know -- in a number of other Grades, it being understood that there are several modes of restoration, even as the Divine Names -- which are Names and Titles of God -- are numerous under the aegis of the religions of Christ and Israel. The fact that the Lost Word, in whatever manner it is formulated, belongs always to this class indicates the persistence of Jewish theosophy -- meaning Kabalistic tradition -- through every development of Masonry. It is too often apart from any trace of scholarship in the makers of Grades, and too often a clouded reflection, but the traces are always there. In the Grade which I am denominating GRAND AND SUBLIME MASON, as one who uses a shortened codex, that which is revealed in the ARCH OF ENOCH is communicated for a second time under circumstances that will appear immediately. This is the first point and represents a general note of intention. The second point is regarding the claim advanced on the part of the Grade, and as to this it is said in the Lecture that the Grand and Sublime Masons are the only depositaries of Ancient Masonry. We shall see that this claim depends from the traditional history, which belongs to a well-known form, is made in various synonymous terms on behalf of many Degrees or Rites, most of which exclude one another. It is otherwise and of course fabulous. The third and last point is that the Grade is found under a considerable number of obediences, though most belong to the past, and has a marked variety of titles: they may be specified as follows, in order to clear the issues in respect of Masonic nomenclature. It has been known therefore (1) as the GRAND ECOSSAIS MASON OF PERFECTION OF THE SACRED VAULT OF JAMES VI; (2) as the DEGREE OF PERFECTION, a reduced version of the former title; (3) as SCOTCH KNIGHT OF PERFECTION, according to the modern rendering of the ACCEPTED RITE in England; (4) as GRAND ELECT ANCIENT PERFECT MASTER, being its original denomination in the COUNCIL OF EMPERORS; (5) as ECOSSAIS OF PERFECTION, or GRAND ELECT, in the classification of the French SUPREME COUNCIL, during the first half of the nineteenth century; (6) as KNIGHT OF THE SACRED VAULT, otherwise GRAND ECOSSAIS ELECT in the RITE OF MEMPHIS; (7) as GRAND ELECT PERFECT AND SUBLIME MASON, according to the SCOTTISH RITE in America. I have not dealt with it under the ROYAL ARCH OF ENOCH, because of the vast symbolical time which separates the two Grades; nor under the section devoted to ECOSSAIS MASONRY, because it bears none of the characteristics of that series, dubious and fluidic as they are; nor lastly in my summary concerning ELECT Grades, because it is not Elect Masonry.
Heads of the Legend. -- It has passed through almost as many variations in Ritual procedure and motive as in descriptive names. We may compare the summary furnished by Ragon in his account of CAPITULAR GRADES with the recension of Albert Pike, which was based probably on several versions of the past, and offers by derivation from these a variant of the widespread myth concerning the preservation of Masonry in Palestine, from the age of Solomon and his Temple to the epoch of the Crusades, or in other words a theory of the transmission of Secret Tradition from the Covenant of Israel to that of Christ. It is to be regretted that such a subject should not have fallen into more capable hands, whether those of the original inventors or of the American Grand Commander by whom it was revised as usual. The traditional story is given here in its baldest form and recounts how certain Masons, about whom we shall hear in connection with the ROYAL ARCH OF ENOCH, carried the Ineffable Treasure of the True Word from Judea into other countries, giving secret instruction to those who were worthy of being included among the keepers of the Royal Art. Masonry was propagated otherwise in the lower Degrees by far less cautious custodians and degenerated as it extended everywhere, but the Supreme Mysteries were reserved in sacred hiddenness by the Grand and Sublime Masons. They passed into Egypt and Assyria, they crossed over into Europe, and as it was indubitable that the original and historical home of Emblematic Masonry should not be left out, it is said that many settled in England, Scotland and Ireland. After such manner were Kilwinning and Heredom assured their own in legend. The centre of all remained, however, in Palestine, as did Christian Rosy Cross abide in the House of the Holy Spirit while the Brothers travelled abroad. They must have seen therefore the Lamp of Christ uplifted in the Holy Land, and though it is not said that they adopted the New Law, when the time came for the kings, princes and faithful of Europe to deliver Jerusalem from the yoke of unbelief and its miscreants, we are told that they offered their services in that all-holy enterprise and that the Sublime Masons performed prodigies of valour. One result was that the royal and noble crusaders solicited and obtained initiation. The legend breaks off at this point, so that it is left an open question whether the Christian Brethren who returned again to Europe communicated that which they had received under the same seals to others or whether they were received into those Hidden and Holy Houses which, by the hypothesis of the story, were located already in the West.
Version of Baron Tschoudy. -- I have said that there are several versions of this traditional myth, and seeing that it is the key of Templar Masonry, it is desirable at this point to observe how it stands in the earliest available if not original form, being that of Baron Tschoudy in his memorable L'ETOILE FLAMBOYANTE. It is possible that what he offers is drawn from the traditional history communicated in the Fourteenth Degree of the COUNCIL OF EMPERORS, and as I have indicated that this Rite most probably began within more modest dimensions of Ritual, which were expanded as opportunity offered, it is possible also that its GRAND ELECT ANCIENT PERFECT MASTER may have been the work of Tschoudy himself, who composed many Grades and has been credited with the Institution of fully fledged Rites, complete with all their workings. I present therefore his story of Elect Masonry in Palestine in his own words.
Knights of the Morning. -- "The most ancient of military Orders, or otherwise the first to assume a corporate form, was the KNIGHTS OF THE MORNING AND OF PALESTINE, who were, moreover, the ancestors, fathers or founders of the Masonic Brotherhood. I must refrain from indicating the precise date of these illustrious men, and I dare not unveil their Mysteries; but it can be said that they were sorrowful spectators of all those misfortunes which successively befell the Kingdom of Judea. They looked also for that desired time when God would deign to turn an eye of compassion upon those Holy Places, where His presence had been manifested from the days of the Mosaic Law. Most of them were as yet unconvinced that His Divine Incarnation had hallowed those regions for a second time by the Gospel of the Law of Grace. They were dispersed among various hiding-places, where the conspiracy of untoward events and the almost complete destruction of the Jewish nation had driven them. Amidst such surroundings they awaited some future revolution which should place them once more in possession of their ancestral patrimony and enable them for a third time to erect their Holy Temple, to reassume their functions within its blessed precincts and otherwise those exalted occupations which had gathered them in old days about the person of their sovereign. In expectation of this glory to come, they stood guard jealously over their primeval traditions, their laws and their liturgy. The age of the world drew on to that year of grace in the Lord when Peter the Hermit summoned the Princes of Christendom to deliver the Holy Land: it was then that the Secret Companions discerned the approaching term of their long exile. From their concealment in the desert of the Thebaid [LC-1] and from the obscurity of centuries the KNIGHTS OF PALESTINE came forth, reassumed their distinctive insignia and communicated with some of their associates who had remained as watchers in Jerusalem. These had applied themselves to the study of Nature and the profound consideration of her secret forces, making precious discoveries, which might well contribute successfully to the general designs of the Order. Their most especial attention had been directed to the sublime treatise of Morien, an ascetic of the Thebaid, their purpose being to secure those resources which were necessary to encompass their ambitions."
A Hermetic Motive. -- Baron Tschoudy confesses that his narrative is intentionally obscure, since he is discoursing on subjects which should be understood only by a few, and it is indubitable that his KNIGHTS OF THE MORNING are left as to identity in a cloud of his own creation: they might be Essenes, Therapeutae, successors of Prophets or Levites; they might be lineal descendants of Melchizedek, King of Salem, Werner's Sons of the Valley or the Grand and Sublime Masons of the Fourteenth Degree. But about the purpose of the Hidden Sodality there is no obscurity whatever, for Morien was an alchemist of his period and the alleged sublime treatise is still extant. It follows that the consociates at Jerusalem were themselves Hermetic students, aiming at the transmutation of metals to enrich the chivalry. It is said further that they had embraced Christianity, and when the KNIGHTS OF THE MORNING came from the Thebaid desert they were persuaded to do in like manner, from which, adds the author, it follows that the splendid edifice which they had erected so long in their hearts would now be devoted to the offering of "a pure, holy, unspotted, emblematic sacrifice," when it came to be built on earth. It should be understood that Baron Tschoudy was of the Catholic and Roman faith, as well as a literary alchemist.
A Third Temple. -- He affirms further that, under one or another disguise, the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem was the real object of all crusaders; that the solitaries of the Thebaid made common cause with the cross-bearing warriors of Christendom, keeping, however, their peculiar designs a secret, save only that they were in possession of the mystic measurements of the First Temple, being descended from its original builders. It is said also that beneath the pretence of speculative architecture they pursued a more glorious ambition. There is no doubt that this in the implicits of the reverie was the ambition of the Sons of Hermes. Such also, we are left to infer, was the inward secret of Emblematic Freemasonry, which -- by the hypothesis -- is indebted to this Militia Hermetica for its Laws and Constitutions, for its tissue of symbols, if not indeed its Rituals. According to Tschoudy, the KNIGHTS OF THE MORNING assumed the name of Freemasons and were identified as such with the work of the Holy Wars. Their isolation and modest demeanour amidst the turmoil of ambitious crowds drew upon them the attention of the cross-bearing chivalries, who sought to be admitted among them, as affirmed by the traditional history of the GRAND AND SUBLIME MASONS. A fixed method of reception was therefore devised, which is the root and essence of our present Speculative Masonry, as it is also out of this primitive observance that all the crazy medley of bizarre formulae, forced analogies and equivocal symbols has grown up in the hands of unwise imitators. It follows that the KNIGHTS OF THE MORNING were the original founding Masters, creative agents and sole depositaries of the Royal Art.
The Primeval Order. -- Baron Tschoudy says otherwise that this handful of faithful souls who assumed the denomination of Masons -- and whom he distinguishes additionally by a conventional and impossible title -- marks the existence of something most ancient and most noble of all, "the first Order of the world, the trunk of all others, which are nothing more than its branches." Sacred and profane writings are represented as bearing their unqualified testimony to this Order, "apart from all tradition," and "in a manner so clear and positive that the least instructed man can easily verify all its data and attain certitude concerning it." Baron Tschoudy in this seemingly ingenuous affirmation is imitating his alchemical masters, who were invariably most ambiguous when they claimed to be speaking most frankly and apart from all similitude. As his KNIGHTS OF THE MORNING are incorporated from his own dreams and those of the Chevalier Ramsay, in combination with cognate reveries of High Grade legends, it is idle to ask who they were -- as, for example, the Fratres Lucis or the Brethren of the Rosy Cross, referred back in chronology almost to the Gates of Eden; a school of the prophets in Israel perpetuated to Christian times; a priesthood within and behind the Jewish priesthood. They may have been any of these, according to his own mind, or a blending of all the elect companies: it matters nothing historically. Philosophically it is Tschoudy's mode of recognising the fact of a Secret Tradition, its subsistence from generation to generation, even from the earliest days of Israel, and its presumed transmission to Masonry. But it is not without interest to observe how it worked in the mind of another Masonic writer, many years after the author of L'ETOILE FLAMBOYANTE had passed from earthly life, though his work was still in circulation.
Thebald Solitaries. -- An anonymous DICTIONNAIRE MACONNIQUE was issued at Paris in the pseudo-Masonic year 5025 and embodies a collection of outline sketches concerning the various parts of that symbolic edifice known by the name of Freemasonry. One of its perfect ashlars is the legendary history of a particular Templar Grade which represents the Order of the Temple as derived from certain solitaries of the Thebaid, from the healing fraternity of Therapeutae and from those KNIGHTS OF THE MORNING AND OF PALESTINE whose claims were first made known to us by Baron Tschoudy. The instruction sets forth that Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria, was a great ornament of the Order and that so early as the seventh century of this era the vows of the Templars were made in the presence of Simon, Patriarch of Jerusalem. Towards the eleventh century they are believed to have initiated a considerable number of virtuous crusaders, and it was at this epoch that the mythical KNIGHTS OF THE MORNING assumed the historical title of KNIGHTS TEMPLAR. Their abolition at the beginning of the fourteenth century put an end to their visible existence, but the Order was not destroyed: "it has continued in an unbroken succession but secretly to this day and constitutes a Grade of the Elect." Its object is said to be defined in a verse of the Psalmist which is cited by one of its adepts: "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall be ever in my mouth." A sentence from the pledge of the chivalry is cited also as defining its will and purpose: "I will ever assist the poor and regard them as my Brethren."
Knights of the Temple. -- On the faith of this unknown witness, summarising the traditional history of a Templar Grade early in the nineteenth century, the KNIGHTS OF THE MORNING. who appear under such mysterious veils in L'ETOILE FLAMBOYANTE -- as if by way of a commentary on that document -- are explained to be the Knights of the Temple.
Ritual of the Grade. -- In the Ceremony of Admission as revised by Albert Pike the Candidate demands the Perfection of Masonry, which he is not supposed to receive under all obediences except in the Grade of ROSE-CROIX, though he is destined to travel much further if he is to attain the completion of his experience. He desires also to continue his research into the Mystery of that Sacred Word about which he had heard and seen in the ROYAL ARCH OF ENOCH, as one who stands upon the threshold. He is made subject to a minute searching in respect of all previous Degrees and to a Masonic examination of conscience. He is pledged and anointed with oil, which is testified in the symbolism to be that used in the consecration of Aaron, and this is followed by a ceremonial observance of the Eucharistic kind -- according to ancient custom, as it is said in the usual ineffectual formula of procedure. But in respect of the Sacred Word he is told that it is essentially ineffable, as it is spoken only in the heart. In the heart therefore he shall preserve the Sacred Mysteries of Masonry, and in his heart shall the Word be graven. So will he learn how to live in the immediate presence of the Grand Architect of the Universe, whom it is prayed that his eyes may behold face to face. The lesson of the Grade is in reality that he has been upon a false quest in respect of the Word, but the mind of Pike was confused, and he missed the opportunity of enforcing this conclusion, so that it remains as a matter of inference.
From whatever point of view we may approach it, this Grade is of considerable consequence and has a curious history in Masonry. It has suffered as many transformations as that of ROSE-CROIX, though not for the same reason. The story that it was invented at Lyons in 1743 appears to be without foundation, and there are several other myths as to the date and circumstances of its origin. In the present state of our knowledge they must be left open questions. Had the COUNCIL OF EMPERORS OF THE EAST AND WEST come into existence in 1758 with its full complement of twenty-five Degrees, the KADOSH would have been extant at that date, but we do not know its exact dimensions at the beginning nor the periods of its successive extensions.
Motive and Purpose. -- The earliest KADOSH account which I have traced is that of Le Franc in LE VOILE LEVE POUR LES CURIEUX, but there is a slightly anterior record of Monjoie which I know at second hand only. He records that in the course of its ceremonial the Duc d'Orleans had to cast himself bodily from a ladder. However this may be, it is certain (1) that the earlier codices subjected the Candidate to severe trials as a test of his endurance, and (2) that all were concerned in avenging the death of Molay, Grand Master of the Temple, on the temporal and spiritual powers represented by Philippe le Bel and Pope Clement. In this manner there arises ab origine the question of Grade-motive, and it is exceedingly plausible on the surface to affirm that those who devised it aimed at the destruction of monarchical government in France and of the Catholic Religion. Under the auspices of Gerard Encausse, all French Martinism adopted this view at the end of the nineteenth century. Put quite simply, the thesis was that the Templar Grades aimed at revolution in France and that the French Revolution came. On the whole, it is perhaps too plausible to be quite convincing, and the hypothesis over-reached itself by seeking to include too much. There is nothing more certain in Masonic history than is the freedom of the Templar STRICT OBSERVANCE from any political taint, while in respect of religion it is sufficient to say that Baron von Hund, its creator to all intents and purposes, was reconciled to the Latin Church, for reasons connected with the Rite, when it was almost at the zenith of European power and influence. At a later period the French ORDRE DU TEMPLE, depending from the Charter of Larmenius, had some leaning for a period towards jobbery in heretical religion, which caused a fissure in the Rite, but it had no cause in politics. The MILITARY AND RELIGIOUS ORDER, which arose in England, so far as it is possible to say, and was certainly unheard of on the Continent during the eighteenth century, was from the beginning and remains now a high Catholic Grade without one tincture of concern in questions of earthly royalty. In the eighteenth century the Templar Grade of KADOSH may be said to stand alone, with little to account for its inclusion in the sequence of the COUNCIL OF EMPERORS, wherein it is heard of first. The SUBLIME PRINCE OF THE ROYAL SECRET is its supplement and figures later on in the same series. It is known only by comparatively late recensions, through the modifications and added pretensions of which there appears to emerge the original design of the Grade, being the old alleged Templar dream of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem: there is no vengeance motive, no cause against King or Pope. And lastly when the time came to devise or transform the Grade final of the SCOTTISH RITE, being that of SOVEREIGN GRAND INSPECTOR GENERAL, the alleged object was to wreak vengeance, as we shall see, on the KNIGHTS OF MALTA, to whom the treasures of the Temple had passed and from whom they must be wrested. It is the aftermath of the KADOSH judgment on the "sanguinary criminals" who proscribed the Order and martyred its illustrious members. After this manner did the job in revolution pass out by descent into the simple ridiculous, and a day of small things followed, when the Grade of KADOSH was philosophised, talking many platitudes under the aegis of MEMPHIS and MIZRAIM. On account of its historical importance in the scheme of High Grade Masonry, let us observe how it stands ritually at three periods.
Views and Judgments. -- The KADOSH is the regenerated man, for whom all ambiguity ceases, according to Abbe Barruel, whose account -- though confessedly at second hand -- does not differ essentially from antecedent reports of Lefranc and Cadet Gassicourt, on the hostile side, or indeed those of Thory and Reghellini, save only in respect of the design, with which I am concerned no further. We hear of a darksome cave, wherein the Candidate was left to himself, with ropes about him; of subterranean passages; of ascent performed in the darkness; of a sudden fall -- though it involved no real danger; of a ceremonial vengeance achieved; of a solemn obligation taken with a pistol at the breast; and -- after these ordeals -- the ends and purpose of the Grade revealed. It is of course at this point that Barruel introduces his own personal views -- the reduction of kings and pontiffs to the common level of citizens. There is not the least reason to suppose that the Ritual -- whatever its concealed purpose -- betrayed itself in this manner. There is not the least reason to admit Thory's statement that the Degree was invented at Lyons in 1743: Kloss and the German HANDBOOK alike lean towards its rejection. Its position one hundred years later is shewn clearly by Clavel when he says (1) that it cursed the memory of Philippe le Bel, Clement V and the traitor Noffodei; (2) that they were termed the three abominables; (3) that the Candidate ascended a ladder of seven steps; but so far from being steps of vengeance and revolution (4) that they were inscribed with the words Charity, Candour, Mildness, Truth, Perfection, Patience and Discretion. I make no doubt that the Grade in France had suffered a serious revision at that date. The so-called KADOSH of Martinism, KADOSH of the Jesuits, KADOSH of the first Christians and KADOSH of the STRICT OBSERVANCE are figments of imagination. About 1860 Ragon produced a Philosophical Grade which he described as designed to replace the Templar Degree of the SCOTTISH RITE, on the ground that this was passing out of use. The proposed purpose was to make men virtuous and happy. The vengeance motive disappeared, and the Sanctuary became one of peace. The Candidate was called upon to express his views on civilisation, the world beyond, pre-existence, good and evil, etc. He ascended a ladder, the steps of which represented the seven planets, the order being -- Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Moon, Sun; but what the progression signified and why the planets were appropriate symbols within the conception of the Grade I do not pretend to know. It was held to represent Rectified and Rationalised Masonry, but it was in every respect negligible.
Pike's Reconstruction. -- In the recension of Albert Pike the three abominables have become two wretches, being the particular pope and King, while the vengeance of the past has become punishment of crime. In a dark apartment, under the glimmer of a sepulchral lamp, a knight lies mystically dead and within a coffin, but being dead yet speaketh. Beside him are three skulls, one wearing a tiara, the other a regal crown, and these are stabbed by the Candidate. But between them is a third skull, wreathed with laurels and immortelles, representing that of Molay, distinguished as "the immortal martyr of virtue." In its presence the Candidate is pledged to punish crime and protect innocence. He is taken from apartment to apartment, oath is piled upon oath, while ever and continually he is threatened with the dreadful ordeals involved by his determination to proceed. By the hypothesis, he persists however, while from room to room and from pledge to pledge the "great instruction" that is said to replace symbols grows from more to more in the perfection of all banality. Notwithstanding the stabbing of skulls, the execration of Pope and King, the praise, reverence and incense poured out to the memory of Molay, there is nothing which it is proposed to avenge, while all the historical illustration is designed only to enforce the necessity of union in order to resist tyranny and unmask imposture. It does not follow in the logic of the endless verbiage that Kings are symbols of tyranny or popes of imposition. Nothing indeed follows, because nothing is specified; though the world appears to be groaning under the dual "disgraceful yoke." In a word, the Pike recension is the Grade of KADOSH reduced to the ne plus ultra of foolish pretence. The Grand Elect Knights of the eighteenth century knew where they were, if ever they undertook explicitly to destroy royalty and religion, but when they play now at such destruction in the names of liberty, equality and fraternity, no one knows where he is, or in what sense he is saluted as Sacred or Holy Knight, Knight of the White and Black Eagle, and Grand Elect Knight. Better the PHILOSOPHIC KADOSH of the Grand Orient -- when it happened to have a KADOSH -- better MEMPHIS and MIZRAIM, "false in sentiment and fictitious in story," than the deep below the deep in this gulf of unreason.
The Rites, Orders and Degrees of Masonic Chivalry occupy a very considerable place in any comprehensive nomenclature of Grades; but seeing that they are names only, I do not propose to make an exhaustive tabulation. It will be understood that the COUNCIL OF EMPERORS, the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE, the RITE OF MIZRAIM, the ORIENTAL ORDER OF MEMPHIS, and the other great collections incorporate knightly sections. The content of each is given in its proper place, and repetition would serve no purpose. Where it happens that these collections include great and important Grades of chivalry they are considered at length under their proper titles. I have made a selection also of certain minor examples and believe that the result will be adequate for ordinary student purposes. In the present place my intention is to glance briefly at the things which remain over -- a great cohort indeed -- as a guide to those who come after me and may be prompted to attempt research where -- so far at least -- I have not been able to follow it, in Continental Masonic Libraries. Who shall say that there is no Star of Symbolism and Ritual among all the radiant stellar dust of titles? The principle of that old counsel, ex uno disce omnes, is unsafe to accept where Masonic Grades are concerned, and -- though it must be confessed that in the minor chivalries of the Order there is nothing to encourage research -- there is no certitude. Among all Masonic historians past and present, it is I only who have seen and hold the great treasure of Rituals in the JUGIME ECOSSAIS ANCIEN ET RECTIFIE and in that ORDRE INTERIEUR which arises out of it. I tend therefore to think that other quests might not prove unprofitable.
Meanwhile I am dealing here chiefly with detached Grades, but so far as their titles go they may be taken in certain groups.
Metropolitan Chapter of France. -- The Grades of Chivalry included by this great list, which belongs to the matter of archives rather than of a working Rite, are enumerated like the rest of its series in an entirely haphazard manner, and the fact that some are reproduced in other nomenclatures may mean (a) that the Grades travelled from one to another obedience, (b) that distinct Degrees existed under more or less identical titles, or (c) that later Rites could not in every case have produced Rituals of the Degrees enumerated as part of their systems. The METROPOLITAN CHAPTER claimed the following Knightly Grades, which are numbered according to their list. (1) KNIGHT OF THE LION, 20th Grade. (2) KNIGHT OF THE TWO CROWNED EAGLES, 22nd Grade. (3) ILLUSTRIOUS KNIGHT COMMANDER OF THE BLACK AND WHITE EAGLE, 24th Grade. (4) KNIGHT OF ST. JOHN OF PALESTINE, 48th Grade. (5) KNIGHT OF BENEFICENCE, otherwise KNIGHT OF PERFECT SILENCE, 49th Grade. (6) KNIGHT OF UNCTION, 51st Grade. (7) KNIGHT OF THE EAGLE, 56th Grade. (8) KNIGHT OF THE EASTERN STAR, 57th Grade. (9) GRAND SCOTTISH KNIGHT OF ST. ANDREW, 63rd Grade. (10) KNIGHT OF JERUSALEM, 65th Grade. (11) KNIGHT OF THE TRIPLE CROSS, 66th Grade. (12) KNIGHT OF THE SUN, 72nd Grade. (13) KNIGHT OF ST. ANDREW OF THE THISTLE, 75th Grade. (14) KNIGHT OF THE BLACK EAGLE, 76th Grade. (15) KNIGHT OF THE KABALAH, 80th Grade.
Initiated Knights and Brothers of Asia. -- We have seen that this Order or Rite originated in Vienna about 1780, or alternatively in Berlin and that the founders were schismatic Brethren of the Rosy Cross -- presumably FRATRES ROSEAE ET AUREAE CRUCIS, who had an earlier revolution in 1777. See De Luchet: ESSAI SUR LES ILLUMINES, who recounts an extraordinary reception on the authority of an ECLECTIC JOURNAL. I recur to this occult and spiritual chivalry to distinguish it from a semi- chivalrous Rite at Lyons under the name of PERFECT INITIATES OF ASIA. It was supposed to work seven Degrees. The symbolical quest of the INITIATED KNIGHTS was that of an Elixir of Life.
Knights of Light. -- The story of the FRATRES LUCIS belongs to the late eighteenth- century developments of the German Rosy Cross, and its presentation in full must be reserved for my work on that subject which is designed to follow immediately on the present publication. So far as Masonic historians are concerned it is confused with the ASIATIC BRETHREN, being referred also to the same place and date of origin. Another error connects it with the REFORMED RITE of J. A. von Starck, which arose by scission from the STRICT OBSERVANCE and has been miscalled the RELAXED OBSERVANCE. For ordinary purposes there is a sufficient account of the KNIGHTS OF LIGHT in my SECRET TRADITION IN FREEMASONRY: see Vol. II, pp. 218, 369-71. The known Grade system comprised (1) KNIGHT-NOVICE OF THE THIRD YEAR, (2) KNIGHT-NOVICE OF THE FIFTH YEAR, (3) KNIGHT-NOVICE OF THE SEVENTH YEAR, (4) LEVITE and (5) PRIEST. They suppose something antecedent, for the preparation of Postulants, and it has been thought that something came after. We hear also of KNIGHTS OF PURITY AND LIGHT -- apparently an alternative denomination.
Hermetic Rite of Montpellier. -- It is almost impossible to disentangle the confusions respecting this foundation, which is referred to 1760, I770 and I778; to Avignon, Paris and Montpellier; to Abbe Pernety; and to an unknown Mason named Boileau. A harmony between them suggests that the Rite originated at Avignon, migrated to Paris and settled ultimately at Montpellier, the conflicting dates being those of its travels. It may be suggested in the same spirit that Boileau assisted Pernety. The concern in any case was alchemy, in the masque of chivalry, and the Grade conduct was as follows: (1) THE TRUE MASON; (2) THE TRUE MASON IN THE TRUE WAY; (3) THE KNIGHT OF THE GOLDEN KEY; (4) THE KNIGHT OF THE RAINBOW; (5) THE KNIGHT OF THE ARGONAUTS; (6) THE KNIGHT OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE. According to Clavel it assumed at Paris the title of RITE ECOSSAIS PHILOSOPHIQUE, but this is another story of uncritical confusion.
An Latomorum -- A number of Grades belonging to Masonic Chivalry are mentioned by Thory in his work under this title and were incorporated subsequently by the great list of Ragon. Some of them belong to minor High Grade Rites and some are detached. The following enumeration will be adequate for all purposes. (1) CRUSADING KNIGHT, otherwise Chevalier Croise. (2) KNIGHT EVANGELIST, preserved in the archives of the Lodge ST. LOUIS at Calais, together with (3) KNIGHT MAHADON, a word of unknown meaning, if indeed any; (4) KNIGHT OF THE REVERSED EAGLE; (5) KNIGHT OF THE NORTH; (6) KNIGHT OF THE ROSY AND TRIPLE CROSS; (7) KNIGHT OF THE SACRED MOUNTAIN, or KNIGHT OF SACRIFICE, otherwise Chevalier Sacrifiant; (8) KNIGHT OF ATHENS, said to have been included among the archives of the SCOTTISH PHILOSOPHICAL RITE; (9) KNIGHT OF THE MORNING, Chevallier de l'Aurore, described as a Grade in the RITE OF PALESTINE, possibly L'ORDRE DE LA PALESTINE, mentioned by Tschoudy and otherwise unknown; (10) KNIGHT OF MASONRY; (11) KNIGHT OF PALESTINE, being an alleged Grade in the mythical Reform of Saint-Martin; (12) KNIGHT OF ST. JOHN OF JERUSALEM, said to be a mystical Grade in three Points and distinct therefore from the Masonic ORDER OF MALTA; (13) KNIGHT OF THE COMET; (14) VICTORIOUS KNIGHT OF THE EAST; (15) KNIGHT OF THE PRUSSIAN EAGLE; (16) KNIGHT OF THE PYRAMID, specified as the seventh Grade of a KABALISTIC RITE, about which there are no particulars; (17) KNIGHT OF THE TWO EAGLES; (18) ROYAL VICTORIOUS KNIGHT.
Collection of Fustier. -- It should be explained that this person was an officer of the GRAND ORIENT early in the nineteenth century, that he made a large collection of Grades and dealt in transcriptions. His archives included: (1) KNIGHT OF THE ALTAR, a Grade in an alleged RITE OF THE EAST; (2) GRAND SCOTTISH KNIGHT OF ST. ANDREW; (3) KNIGHT OF THE ARCH; (4) KNIGHT OF THE PILLARS; (5) KNIGHT OF THE PRECINCTS, another Grade in the RITE OF THE EAST; and so also are (6) KNIGHT OF THE PORTAL; (7) KNIGHT OF THE INTERIOR; (8) KNIGHT OF THE PURIFICATORY; (9) KNIGHT OF THE SANCTUARY; and (10) KNIGHT OF THE THRONE; (11) KNIGHT OF PERFUMES; (12) KNIGHT OF THE EVER-BURNING LAMP; (13) KNIGHT OF THE MORNING STAR, in the archives of the SCOTTISH PHILOSOPHICAL RITE; (14) KNIGHT OF THE STAR OF JERUSALEM; (15) KNIGHT OF THE TABERNACLE OF DIVINE TRUTHS.
Other Private Collections. -- They are those of Peuvret and Pyron, known in Masonic annals, and are said to have included: (1) FREE KNIGHT OF ST. ANDREW; (2) KNIGHT OF THE CROWN; (3) KNIGHT OF THE EASTERN STAR; (4) KNIGHT JUPITER; (5) KNIGHT OF THE GOLDEN EAGLE; (6) SUBLIME KNIGHT OF THE NORTH: (7) KNIGHT OF THE RED EAGLE; (8) KNIGHT OF THE STAR; (9) STAR OF THE LYRIAN KNIGHTS, in three Points, being (a) NOVICE, (b) PROFESSED, (c) GRAND PATRIARCH.
Nomenclature of Ragon. -- The enumeration which follows must be regarded as mere gleanings, being items of things not otherwise cited in this section or included in the contents of the great Rites: (1) KNIGHT OF THE TRIANGLE, forming part of a Hermetic system, together with (2) KNIGHT OF THE FULMINATING STAR; (3) SUBLIME KNIGHT OF GOD AND HIS TEMPLE; (4) KNIGHT OF THE EIGHT STARS; (5) KNIGHT OF THE MOTHER OF CHRIST; (6) KNIGHT OF THE KABALISTIC SUN; (7) KNIGHT OF THE APOCALYPSE; (8) KNIGHT OF PATMOS, which is mentioned also by Oliver; (9) KNIGHT OF THE TEMPLE OF TRUTH.
KNIGHT OF THE RED EAGLE
A Grade under this title figures as No. 24 in the RITE OF MEMPHIS. and stands 12th in its reduction as the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE. It is typical of the metaphysical principles -- at once false and shallow -- and of the mendacity by which the Rite is characterised. If the red double-headed eagle which constitutes the jewel of the chivalry conferred its title there is no reason on the surface or within why such an emblem was chosen; but if the title of the Grade governed the choice of the jewel there is nothing in the Ritual or procedure to explain, much less to justify, the name, except the purely arbitrary proposition that an eagle with two heads is indicative of aspiration to truth and of the bold spirit which looks steadily thereat "as the eagle contemplates the sun." According to the wording of the Ritual, "the groundwork of true philosophy" is embodied in the conviction that a true Knight-Mason adores God, distinguishing sacred from profane and light from darkness. In order to receive this revelation the Candidate renounces the world, passes through the abode of death, is purified by the four elements and certifies his belief that the soul is an analogue or "emanation from God." He is further bound by what is termed "a terrible oath," though the clauses which are not purely formal prove -- on administration -- to be somewhat banal in character. He has yet to learn and now receives assurance (1) that the origin of the RITE OF MEMPHIS is lost in the night of time; (2) that the most judicious historians assign as its birthplace the plains of Tartary and trace it "through the sages of India, Persia, Babylon, Ethiopia and Egypt."
Traditional History. -- So much in respect of claims advanced on behalf of a Rite which came into being during the first half of the nineteenth century, incorporating Ritual elements belonging to the second half of the preceding period. The Candidate is informed further: (1) that the Master-Builder belonged to the confraternity of Dionysian Artificers; (2) that the King of Tyre was a High Priest of the Kabiric Mysteries; (3) that St. John the Evangelist was an initiate of the same sodality; (4) that the Essenes were depositaries of the Rite in the time of Christ, who was most certainly familiar with it; (5) that the Essenes admitted into their Order men of every religion and every rank of life; (6) that they continued in existence till about the middle of the fifth century, when persecution by the Romans ended in their final abolition.
Claims of Memphis. -- Such are a few examples of the manner in which the history of the Secret Tradition was manufactured by the RITE OF MEMPHIS, which ends its discourse on the old Mysteries much after the way that it began. It is the Venerated Ark of Memphis which has preserved "the real secrets of Masonic principles," the reason being that "it has come down on the stream of time, pure and unchanged, as it was when from the Temples of Thebes and Eleusis it excited the veneration of the world." It is therefore "among the successors of the Sages of Memphis" that the Masonic philosopher will come, if he would ascend to "primary causes in the study of our institution." On the various counts that have been cited it would appear to be more especially a study in the whole art of lying.
KNIGHT OF THE SERPENT
The story is that an "illustrious knight," not otherwise specified, founded the ORDER OF THE BRAZEN SERPENT -- "in the time of the Crusades" -- for the relief of pilgrims to Jerusalem. The allusion is of course to the Serpent uplifted in the wilderness by Moses for the healing of the children of Israel. There is no very convincing analogy between ministration to pilgrims and the restoration of those who had been punished for their disobedience and rebellion, nor can we look for any light of symbolism in the parable of the Brazen Serpent, for the RITE OF MEMPHIS -- which dispenses this Grade -- carries little of such light in its wallet. The Candidate and his sponsor in the Ceremony are children of Israel who have been "wandering in the wilderness for many days" and for no particular reason are arrested as spies. When they have justified themselves there is nothing to do but to pledge, invest and entrust the Candidate, who receives thereafter the accolade of the Grade and then listens to a discourse on the antiquity and diffusion of serpent-worship. It contains no single allusion to the Christian understanding of the story in the BOOK OF NUMBERS, nor to the commentary of alchemists thereon, though in the classification of 1856 this Grade was included in the Senate of Hermetic Philosophers. It ranks as No. 25 in the general enumeration of the RITE OF MEMPHIS and as 15 in the reduction of the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE. It is nothing and leads to nothing.
KNIGHT OF THE TABERNACLE
It is possible to become CHIEF and PRINCE OF THE TABERNACLE on the path of KADOSH, under the obedience of the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE. A simple knighthood was once available in the 23rd Grade of the RITE OF MEMPHIS and in the 14th of its reduction. The Tabernacle is that of Moses, who appears in the ceremonial as Orator, while the Grand Commander is Aaron and the Marshal Joshua. Aholiab and Bezaleel take inferior ranks. It is above all things an Aaron Grade and the Candidate is anointed by his representative after the manner of Eleazer and Ithamar. As he receives in this way a pseudo-sacerdotal consecration, it is -- I suppose -- within the unsearchable logic of extra-Masonic Grades that he becomes Knight rather than Levite. Yet the dignity is without prejudice to priesthood, and he receives the white robe of the latter. The Banners of the Twelve Tribes are explained and their several colours spiritualised. The Tabernacle is carried in procession and there are various expatiations upon it, as for example (1) that it was "created to answer the double purpose of a Temple and a Palace," though (2) it was "only a large Tent," but (3) it will be perceived by reflection thereon that it "had great affinity to architectural structure." The reason does not emerge; but it is explained later that Jewish Masonry was Jewish religion and "was made up chiefly of ceremonies, types and figures," denoting things intellectual and duties of the moral order. The statement stands forth amidst all the verbiage and ineptitude like the vestibule of a great truth, for above Emblematic Freemasonry and its ethics of the man in the street there is a High, Holy and Spiritual Order, so far externalised only in the souls of an elect few. Therein is a sacramental architecture, full of grace and truth.
The Resurrection Body. -- We may note also one other suggestive sentence: "even as the Tabernacle of Moses was a type of the more glorious Temple of Solomon, so is this frail body of the glorified body which shall be hereafter" -- a house not made with hands but meet for the habitation of the self-knowing spirit.
KNIGHT OF THE TEMPLE
In the ordinary records of history and of the literature arising therefrom a Knight of the Temple is of course a Templar Knight; but in High-Grade Masonry certain distinctions are apt to be drawn finely, and they beget confusion, not only in the world without but also in the circles within. It comes about therefore that when the reputable Thory mentions with great seeming plausibility that the denomination Chevalier du Temple belongs generally to all Rites of the Templar system, the statement obtains generally but is subject to particular exceptions. The 69th Grade of the METROPOLITAN CHAPTER OF FRANCE bears this title, and it may be a Templar Grade; so also the 8th Grade of the RITE OF THE PHILALETHES; but the canon of distinction operates respecting the 36th Grade of MIZRAIM and the 34th of MEMPHIS, being No. 13 in the reduction of the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE. It is a chivalry which is no chivalry and it is one of those Grades which by a salutary lapsus memoria bears witness unwittingly to the fact, for there is no accolade and there is no ceremony of knighting. The Candidate is received upon four so-called points of geometry, formed by the square and compasses. When he has been pledged, invested and entrusted, the Brethren form a circle about him and he is the point within the centre. This stands at its value and so does also the explanation, for he is told that the circle represents the Deity "whose centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere." Unfortunately for the image, a circumference which is nowhere can nowhere represent the Deity, not even in that world of chaos which is called the RITE OF MEMPHIS. Were there any object in making such a comparison on either side of the given symbol, it is the Candidate who represents the Deity, and then -- also unfortunately -- in respect of him and his analogical position the Brethren are nowhere. It is a pity that the makers of Grades should quote Hermetic -- or any other -- writings if they cannot make sense out of them.
Emblematic Geometry. -- There is great insistence on geometry, and it is spiritualised for Knights of the Temple after the following manner: (1) There is another geometry besides that which relates to lines and angles. (2) It sees God behind the circle and triangle. (3) Those who can penetrate its intellectual mysteries will understand the geometrical point as representing a given disposition in the state of inaction. (4) A symbolic right line is duty persisted in, uninterrupted pleasure, happiness and so forth. (5) As regards a symbolic right angle, the perfect sincerity of one right line to another is as the line of that angle, the line of duty being radius. (6) An acute angle is imperfect sincerity. (7) An obtuse angle is injustice. (8) A perfect junction between sincerity and duty forms justice, and is equal to an angle of ninety degrees. (9) A symbolical perpendicular signifies fortitude, prudence, temperance; while (10) a symbolic solid "is the whole system of Divine Laws as existing in practice."
Nota Bene. -- A Ritual of this kind is unworthy to wrap the worst commercial fats which are used as substitutes for butter, but it belongs to the Senate, and its "moral geometry" is supposed to purify the Temple of the body. Hence, presumably, its initiates are Knights of the Temple: in any case no other warrant transpires for the name of the Grade and the dignity conferred therein.
LESSER MASONIC PERSONALITIES
Lechangeur. -- We know nothing concerning him prior to his appearance at Milan in 1805, where he took some Degrees of the SCOTTISH RITE, at the hands of its SUPREME COUNCIL, but was refused further advancement on account -- it is said -- of his character. The story is that, by way of reprisals, he constituted the RITE OF MIZRAIM. The authorities are Rebold and Clavel -- at their value. In 1810 he granted a patent to Michael Bedarride for the dissemination of the RITE IN France, doing nothing otherwise on his own part outside the city of Naples. He is supposed to have died in 1812.
There are five patriarchal Grades collected into a sequence under the obedience of the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE. The first and most important bears one of the usual vacant and pretentious names, being PATRIARCH OF TRUTH. It may be compared with GRAND PONTIFF OF TRUTH, figuring as No. 83 in the nomenclature of the RITE OF MEMPHIS. Though in connection with two ceremonials which follow immediately it is called a school of instruction, the Ritual compares favourably with the majority of the series at large and has a certain dramatic element. The Temple represents the interior of the Great Pyramid of Cheops. The Candidate is supposed to have spent many years of life as a pilgrim in search of that knowledge the possession of which is peace. While he is still hoodwinked and led from quarter to quarter, one of the Officers recites the salient features of antique initiation as he beholds them depicted in a "mystic mirror" before which he stands in contemplation. Though there is a great opportunity missed and the result is a vestige instead of a mighty pageant, a considerable impression would no doubt be made upon a Candidate, who hears but does not see. When he reaches the last stage of his journey, amidst versicles on the source of all glory, the Central sun, and the radiant manifestation of Shekinah, he is set to kneel at the East, the Obligation is administered in the darkness, and a loud voice says: Let there be light. The curtains of the East are undrawn, exhibiting a splendour of light therein, and the Postulant is unhooded at the same moment.
Egyptian Masonry. -- He is raised and told that it is a reflection of the Glory of the Holy One. But that which remains is discourse, of which the chief points follow: (1) The spirit of the Mysteries is in the universal Law of Correspondence, which binds all things together; (2) the great triad is indestructible spirit, life and matter; (3) the land of Egypt was the birthplace of all that is sublime in Masonry; (4) it is there that the Rite was formed, in the valley of Memphis; (5) the most learned and powerful of the population were "members of the Mystic Tie"; (6) buildings of enormous magnitude were erected for the celebration of the Mysterious Masonic Rites; (7) the valiant, the learned, the powerful of all nations, sought admission within the sacred portals; and when the time came for the celebration of analogous Rites in Greece and Rome, they were but corruptions and perversions of "the moral teachings of Masonry." So does the Patriarch of Truth encompass the term of his research and receive the lies thereof.
Patriarch of the Planispheres. -- He becomes qualified in due course for the second Grade of scholastic instruction and for the rank of a PATRIARCH OF THE PLANISPHERES, being No. 25 of the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE, otherwise 37 of the original RITE OF MEMPHIS under the name of DOCTOR OF PLANISPHERES. It is unencumbered by procedure of any kind, beyond the Pledge and its connections. The rest is talk, in the course of which the Recipient is told: (1) That Masonic science is exoteric and esoteric, the first being taught and learned, while the second is given from above. Assuredly the maker of this Grade was writing for once only more wisely than he knew. The dictum of Casanova may be recalled and that which has been noted thereon in the present volumes. (2) That primitive religion was adoration of God in spirit and in truth. (3) That the evidences of Divine Being are in the work of His hands -- which does not get further than Paley, and one prefers Paley. (4) That Egyptian and Hebrew Masonry were connected by close ties in the early ages, as shewn by the initiation of Moses. (5) That the Tabernacle built by Moses was emblematical of the three worlds -- terrestrial, celestial and angelical. (6) That it followed herein the plan of Egyptian Temples -- having Court, Holy Place and Holy of Holies. (7) That the first corresponded to the plane of earthly things and the four elements; the second represented the firmament; while the third was the dwelling of the Most High, who communicated with man by the mediation of angels. There is in fine a Charge after Reception which deals with primitive astronomy in its relation to agriculture.
Patriarch of the Vedas. -- In a rational succession the alleged relation between Masonry and Egyptian religion would be carried to its conclusion without going off at a tangent into questions of Vedantic faith. But the Twenty-sixth Grade of the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE is that of PATRIARCH OF THE VEDAS, and it intervenes to the confusion of the Candidate before a substituted Isis unveils in the next section. It may be compared with PRINCE BRAHMIN, which is No. 66 in the original Rite of MEMPHIS, and DOCTOR OF THE SACRED VEDAS, being No. 78. When an Expert introduces the Candidate he is told that he enters an Academy of Eastern Theologies, for the title notwithstanding, it is no less concerned with the Laws of Buddha and the Zend Avesta of Zoroaster than with Sacred Books of the Brahmins. In other words, "the religions of the world are studied, compared and analytically examined." For the rest, there are "no mystic ceremonies, no fearful ordeals to encounter." The origin of the Sacred Vedas and Brahminical doctrine are expounded by the Orator; the First Mystagogue summarises the teachings of Buddha; while a second of that denomination has charge of the tenets embodied in the Zend Avesta. Egypt is said to have derived its religious dogmas from the same primitive source as the Aryan peoples. The unity of all is in the idea of one Supreme Being common to every religion, not excepting those which are polytheistic and idolatrous on the surface.
Lesser and Greater Mysteries. -- The school of instruction ends with this Grade, and the Lesser and Greater Mysteries of the Egyptian priests are subjects of consideration in the Ceremonies which next follow.
Patriarch of Isis. -- The Twenty-seventh Degree of the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE is called PATRIARCH OF ISIS and may be compared with Nos. 45 and 87 of the RITE OF MEMPHIS according to the revision of 1862, their respective titles being SUBLIME SAGE OF ISIS and PONTIFF OF ISIS. The Candidate "has journeyed the length of the Nile to study theosophy and demand the revelation of the Mysteries." There follows, by the hypothesis of the Grade, a summary descriptive account of ceremonial procedure in the Temple of Memphis, with corresponding imitative action on the part of the Officers charged with the advancement of the Candidate. The reflection or reproduction is obviously at a far distance. (1) The Theban Aspirant was led through a masked door into the bowels of the earth, where a hollow voice addressed him from beneath. In the Patriarchal Temple the Candidate is led round and pauses before the First Mystagogue, who discourses of man as the glory, sport and enigma of the world. (2) He is again led round and halts before the Sublime Dai, who tells how a solid wall opened in the profound obscurity, giving free passage into a vast garden, full of fragrance and music. The Theban Aspirant arrived at a great lake, which he crossed, reaching a marble portico. He was led through various crypts to a Door of Death. He received a Golden Bough, a representation of which is given to the Patriarchal Candidate. (3) The Theban Aspirant was veiled with black and entered a Temple guarded by masked men, where he wrote his name in a Red Book laid upon an altar. The Candidate does likewise and is led to the Second Mystagogue, who tells him that the first days of the world were days of the Reign in God, wherein there was one faith and wherein also was one form of government, comprised by the love alike of Deity and man. (4) After the alleged manner of the Aspirant in the Theban Mysteries, the Candidate receives a globe "surrounded with a serpent and sustained by the displayed wings of two vultures." He receives also a mystic staff for the same reason. (5) The Theban Aspirant was led from the Temple to a ravine amidst lightning and thunder; through a path in the mountains, where the wind raged, but the clouds parted continually, revealing the Elysian Fields. (6) A brazen door opened before him and closed as he entered, leaving his Guide without. (7) He advanced, following a light, along an ever narrowing path, till a single plank quivered beneath his feet; but he was seized by powerful arms and drawn into an asylum of the dead. (8) The Patriarchal Candidate is assumed to undergo the same trials. (9) The Theban Aspirant was counselled to learn how to die, and leaving the House of Death ascended a frail ladder, which brought him into a radiant Temple, filled with armed men, where the Grand Hierophant waited to receive him and bestow new life upon him. (10) The Patriarchal Candidate is told that such was the pomp of ancient initiation, and he retires with his Conductor.
A House of Types. -- The philosopher Thales becomes his Guide and they enter a second apartment, described as the Temple of Symbols. They are elected to learn the language and hidden meanings of those which now encompass them, and here are the heads of the instruction. (1) The Compasses symbolise that power which sustains the weak and causes the wicked to tremble. (2) The Asymptote Line is a symbol of eternity. (3) The Level teaches equality and justice, based on a law of reciprocity. (4) The Square is justice par excellence. (5) The Rough Ashlar is an emblem of the primitive age of map. (6) The Seven Columns answer to the seven planets. (7) The Pillars at the entrance of the Temple represent God and Nature. (8) The Two Pillars in the midst of the Temple denote the two equinoxes. (9) The Sphynx typifies the Sages who watched over Egyptian science and philosophy. (10) The Griffin pushing a wheel is an emblem of the Sun, and the four radii of the wheel signify the four seasons. (11) The statue of Isis shews forth teeming Nature. (12) The Winged Bull is a symbol of air. (13) The Winged Egg or Kneph is the world, which renews itself incessantly. (14) The Phoenix is an emblem of immortality. (15) The Pelican symbolises the birth and death of Nature. (16) The Serpent -- having its tail in its mouth -- images the wicked man, a victim of his own crimes. (17) Osiris as the Sun and Typhon as Darkness shew forth the combat between good and evil. (18) The Sun is life and Deity, while the Moon is the Divine Regeneratrix. (19) The Golden Bough is the sign of Initiation. (20) The metals are emblems of vice. (21) Initiation itself is a symbol of the immortality of the soul.
Symbolic Medley. -- We have been introduced already to an admixture of Masonic and Egyptian emblems, but in the instruction which next follows the confusion is worse confounded by a consideration of Jewish types in connection with those of Masonry. (1) The Altar of Shewbread is an emblem of union. (2) The Brazen Sea is supported by twelve bullocks, in allusion to the twelve months of the year. (3) The Pot of Manna represents spiritual science. (4) The Pot of Incense is a sign of those virtues which should warm the heart of the Mason. (5) The Olive-Branch is a gauge of peace. (6) The Mosaic Pavement symbolises the intimate union among initiates. (7) The Indented Tassel as a border indicates the secrecy which should encompass the Temple and its Mysteries. (8) The Apron is a symbol of labour.
Mythical Masonry. -- Having presented to the Patriarch a conspectus of Egyptian Mystery-procedure, in comparison with which Moore's EPICUREAN uplifts a light of scholarship, and having even introduced Zoroaster as a personality in a Temple at Memphis, the Ritual concludes with a Charge concerning the Keepers of the Secret Tradition. It postulates the birth of a great genius who has been named Manu, Ammon, Odin, Prometheus, but not apparently Thrice-Greatest Hermes. At his voice "the primitive arts arose out of chaos"; he announced a Supreme God. The descendants of this sage followed in his path and admitted only privileged men to share in their science. There was founded in this manner a Corporation of Sages dedicated to the civilisation of the world. From the banks of the Ganges to the plains of Persia and thence to Ethiopia they passed as far as Egypt and there instituted Mysteries, which were those of Masonic science. Menes, who united Upper and Lower Egypt, was the first King-Initiate in that region; but a long line followed, while other adepts rose up in the interior of Africa, in Persia and Medea. It came about in this manner that "our sublime institution extended from the plains of Memphis to the palace of the wise David." It was comprised originally within three Degrees, but it is impossible in modern Lodges "to convey the whole doctrine of the sacred science within those limits to initiates," and hence, I presume, the ninety-seven Degrees of the so-called RITE OF MEMPHIS.
Patriarch of Memphis. -- The distinction between a Patriarch of Isis and of Memphis is apparently that between the Lesser and Greater Mysteries which were enacted in the world of the Delta. The Candidate testifies to the eternity of the universe, but above all of each human soul. His soul testifies to itself, in the words of "our ancient books": I am, I am one being: I am one. He is pledged thereupon and clothed in kingly garments, taking the part of Osiris. He is placed in the East and encompassed by all present, who have been in mourning at his absence of three years, during which Isis, the beloved Queen, has held the reins of government. He has tidings of a visit from Typhon his brother, who humbly solicits an audience that he may pledge life and fidelity to his service. He is warned, but persists in seeing him and forgives all his offences. Typhon draws attention to an ark carried by his attendants for the acceptance of Osiris as a token of love. He is asked to view its contents, but it proves empty. He is then suddenly seized, hoodwinked and placed in the coffer. It is then raised by the attendants and taken out of the apartment -- ex hypothesi -- to the banks of the Nile. The Brethren retire to another apartment, in which sounds of lamentation arise for the murdered King, and a search for his body ensues. Its discovery is announced in due course; the ark is brought in and placed in a tomb, after which the Brethren retire to the previous temple. Typhon and his myrmidons enter that which has been vacated, drag out the Ark and affirm that they have divided the body. They retire to cast the various members into the Nile. The violation of the tomb of Osiris is discovered in due course, but a messenger announces that the sacred river has "refused to bear its precious burden to the sea," that the mutilated body has been found and replaced in the ark. It is borne again to the tomb, and the Sublime Dai claims -- in virtue of his office -- the right to raise the Candidate. This is done accordingly, and the Official Secrets are communicated.
Osiris and Hiram. -- A Charge follows, delineating the correspondences, between the myth of Osiris and that of the Master-Builder in the THIRD DEGREE. The tomb in both cases is said to symbolise life, death and immortality; it is also an emblem of the apparent course of the sun. But all this is ridiculous and exceeds moreover the measures of the Craft Legend. What the Charge is trying to say in its confused and illiterate manner is that the Egyptian and Hiramic legends are both particular settings of solar mythology -- an explanation which stands at its value and is now old as the hills. It is recognised, however, that a "real and spiritual signification" lies behind the "physical aspect," and that as the sun dies and rises so also does the soul. In attaining perfection it "becomes an Osiris, or incarnation of Deity."
Serious Defects. -- From the Ritual standpoint the Grade of PATRIARCH OF MEMPHIS is a failure for two reasons: (1) It conveys nothing to the Candidate, who from time immemorial has heard already in the Rite that the soul after death goes on, and there is only a single sentence at the end of the prolonged business to indicate that here is the meaning of all the cumbrous machinery; (2) it is not only colossal in procedure -- apart from the resources of Drury Lane -- but it confers an Office on the Candidate which it is obviously impossible that he should fill, apart from rehearsals, with the result that a "Grand Expert" performs the vital part of the work, while the so-called Osiris stands agaze in the East. The transition from Chamber to Chamber is arranged in complete ignorance of stage limitations. These things are remediable, but the essence of a Mystery must be intimated in the course of a Mystery, and it is made void otherwise.
Craft Secrets. -- There is an attempt at the end of all to separate the "secrets" of a Master Mason under five heads or points: I am afraid that they are five points of a fellowship of confusion, or five shots that miss the mark. They are: (1) Exposition of natural religion -- universal and immutable -- by means of symbols and maxims; (2) Five elements of generation -- being movement, fermentation, putrefaction, life, death -- the operations of which are symbolised by the middle chamber, or womb wherein the mystery of reproduction is accomplished; (3) the perfection of the Temple -- meaning the human heart; (4) victory of darkness and winter over the Sun, and thereafter of the Sun over darkness; (5) victory of errors and passions over truth and of truth over passions and errors, figured by the death and resurrection of the Master-Builder. But the Master-Builder does not rise in the CRAFT DEGREES, nor in the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE. Moreover, these points, which do not belong to one another and do not make a sequence, are matters of fact in the symbolism and are not therefore secrets. I admit that the Grade -- like other Grades of the Rite -- is continually trying to say something that signifies, to be delivered of the truth of which it believes that it is with child, but it brings forth follies and monstrosities.
The Ceremony of this Grade is in one sense supplementary to the ROYAL ARCH and in another is subversive thereof. It opens in the Grand Chapter at Jerusalem, none being present but those who carry the sword as well as the trowel. The Candidate is a Babylonish Master, bearing the name of Zerubbabel. The Chapter is in tribulation and the work of the Second Temple is suspended under circumstances recorded in the third and fourth chapters of EZRA. It is an old story beginning in the days of Cyrus, King of Persia, and continuing through those of Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes, even to the time of Darius. But Darius "hath ever been favourable to the people of God," and could he be informed "how our enemies encompass us about, peradventure he might help us." But who will undertake the mission? The answer is Zerubbabel, the Candidate, because he has had acquaintance aforetime with Darius the King, and he will therefore travel to Persia with the request of the people." So ends the First Point, and in the second -- which takes place on a bridge over the Euphrates -- the ambassador is arrested as a spy. The third is in the Court of Darius, and when Zerubbabel is brought before him he is recognised as a quondam friend and associate. For this reason, and also for the truth of his cause, it is granted unto the ambassador that he shall return to his own land and his own people, bearing written commands to the Governors of Darius, and carrying the Persian Pass. He is reconducted to the Bridge, and so returns in safety to the Grand Chapter at Jerusalem, where -- as a reward for his services -- he is created a Prince Mason.
Grade-Value. -- Amidst all its limitations -- which are those of form and manner, in part peculiar to itself and in part an inheritance from the CRAFT DEGREES -- the ROYAL ARCH is a Grade of speaking symbolism, whereas the PRINCE MASON is merely a Masonic adaptation of Scripture-history. As such, it conveys nothing and marks no stage in the Emblematic Art. It constitutes the Thirty-third Degree of the EARLY GRAND RITE and is an older recension of the Grade known as ORDER OF THE RED CROSS OF BABYLON under the GRAND COUNCIL OF THE ALLIED DEGREES, and otherwise as KNIGHTS OF BABYLON. The last connects with the traditional history of the Grade, according to which Darius is supposed to have instituted an ORDER OF KNIGHTS OF THE EAST, changed afterwards to KNIGHTS OF THE EAGLE, in Palestine to ORDER OF KNIGHTS OF THE RED CROSS, and known finally in France as KNIGHTS OF THE SWORD. An official introduction to the Grade furnishes these points, and they may be derived possibly from a pseudo-historical lecture which is not now extant. The variations of the RED CROSS from the text of PRINCE MASON are of consequence only in respect of one point, being that of the return of Zerubbabel to the Grand Chapter, carrying the evidences of his success. This episode is omitted in the later version, though the Closing takes place in the Chapter and implies the lapse of a considerable space in historical time, for the building of the Second Temple is affirmed to be finished. The Grade is from this point of view a supplement to the ROYAL ARCH.
Magna est Veritas. -- Both recensions embody the well-known debate in I ESDRAS as to which is the greatest -- the strength of wine, of the king, or of women. But Zerubbabel, prince of the people, testifies that "great is troth and mighty above all things," for which he is acclaimed by the King.
Knight of the Sword. -- I have mentioned the Grade denominated KNIGHT OF THE SWORD in connection with the RED CROSS OF BABYLON on the authority of one of its recensions, but there would appear to be several variants. It is included with a sub-title as KNIGHT OF THE SWORD, OR OF THE EAST, by the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE, being No. 15 of the system; under the same title, having KNIGHT OF THE EAGLE added, it ranks as No. 10 in ADONHIRAMITE MASONRY; as CHEVALIER D'ORIENT it is No. 6 of the FRENCH RITE and 41 of the RITE OF MIZRAIM, while one of the private collections mentioned by Thory -- that of Hecart -- had a Grade entitled VICTORIOUS KNIGHT OF THE EAST. As Grades which are similar or identical recur continually under totally distinct titles, so there are distinct Grades which pass under one title. The original classification of the RITE OF MEMPHIS in 1839 had CHEVALIER DE L'EPEE as No. 15 in the series, but when the Order was taken over by the GRAND ORIENT, with the consent of Marconis -- its head -- No. 15 was entitled KNIGHT OF THE EAST, but it was probably the same Degree. In 1866 the mammoth system was reduced to thirty-three Degrees, and No. 10 therein was called KNIGHT OF THE SWORD. The Master represents Cyrus and the Candidate Zerubbabel, petitioning the Persian king "to remedy the condition of his Brothers, who are in captivity." The king affirms that he has long intended to liberate "the children of Judah," but he desires the interpretation of a dream, which he calls upon Daniel -- who is present in the person of the Orator -- to expound if he can. "In my sleep I saw a lion ready to spring upon and devour me, and at a distance Nebuchadnezzar and Balshazzar, my predecessors, chained in the garb of slavery. They were contemplating a halo of glory which the Masons shew as the name of the Supreme Architect of the Universe. Out of it issued the words 'Liberty to the captives.'" The Orator has no difficulty in explaining that the predecessors appeared in chains, because of the wrong which they had done to Israel, while the lion intimates the wrath that will fall upon Cyrus himself, should he elect to follow in their footsteps. On the contrary, if the captives are liberated, the halo signifies the reward which the king will receive hereafter. The king thereupon -- in the person of his Masonic successor -- not only grants the request of Zerubbabel but creates him in the person of the Candidate a KNIGHT OF THE SWORD, he pledging himself to reserve the secrets of the Grade.
Historical Discourse. -- In the homily which follows under the pretence of an Historical Discourse, it is said (1) that the mission of the chivalry is to deliver Brethren from misery; (2) to labour for the good of humanity; (3) to seek knowledge of God and His perfection in the visible marvels of the universe; (4) to follow the voice of Nature -- with other excellent counsels which in no wise emerge logically from the ceremonial itself. For the rest, it will be seen that the PRINCE MASON and the RED CROSS are travesties of Ezra and I ESDRAS to magnify the work of Zerubbabel and that KNIGHT OF THE SWORD substitutes a spurious dream which gives away its own meaning for the ESDRAS debate on wine, women and the king.
Certain Strictures. -- The three Rituals, all in analogy and all differing sufficiently one from another, continue to indicate how the great things are missed in the so-called High Grades of Masonry. Amidst all their operative elements an important symbolism lies curiously imbedded in the Craft Legend and the HOLY ROYAL ARCH, but the various inventions which have been devised to illustrate, explain and extend them cloud the symbolical issues and, even within the conventions of morality and the counsels of conduct, if they seek to convey anything it does not for the most part belong to the subject.
Bibliography of the Grade. -- We have not finished, however, with the sequence of Degrees connected with PRINCE MASON. There is the Grade called KNIGHT OF JERUSALEM, being No. 65 in the METROPOLITAN CHAPTER OF FRANCE and No. 9 of the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE, understood as the reduction of the RITE OF MEMPHIS to thirty-three Degrees. It appears as PRINCE OF JERUSALEM in the unabridged series of 18391 being No. 16; under this title it constitutes the Forty-fifth Grade of the RITE OF MIZRAIM and the Sixteenth of the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE, variations and distinctions understood. It is substantially identical with PRINCE MASON and the RED CROSS, but is sufficiently distinct as a codex. It is much more elaborate than either and in the English version has been revised almost unquestionably by Yarker, who has borrowed from Rituals which belong to other subjects and times, thus creating, according to his wont, an additional and needless confusion. Among points otherwise which are of interest in respect of variations may be cited (1) That according to the Opening the first Chapter of the Chivalry was held amidst the ruins of the First Temple; (2) that the hindrance of the work of rebuilding is ascribed to the Samaritans; (3) that the Candidate -- on the part of Zerubbabel -- discovers, in addition to the Square, Compass, Level and Plumb, the Sacred Delta of Enoch, "which has been lost to the Craft" since the destruction of the Temple by Nebuzaradan, whereupon the Brethren "pronounce the Name which was once the glory of the Temple and of the nation." The KNIGHT OF JERUSALEM is certainly the best of the codices, and in the hands of a true Ritualist might have been worthy of a place in Masonry among the connections of the ROYAL ARCH.
REINCARNATION AND MASONRY
The idea of re-embodiment, and more especially that form which restricts the mode of its operation within a single planet of the solar system, occurs definitely in only one Masonic Rite -- as it happens, being that of MEMPHIS. A so-called Indian Catechism is attached thereby to the Second of the Craft Degrees, and supposes an amicable debate between Reason and Divine Wisdom. It affirms that the souls of men are distinguished from those of other animals by rationality, including a knowledge of good and evil. The souls of good men are liberated from their bodies by death, and being absorbed in the Divine Essence are no longer reincarnated on earth. But the souls of the wicked remain clothed by the four elements and -- after a period of punishment -- assume new bodies. Those who are neither wholly good nor wholly bad suffer in proportion to their guilt, after which they ascend into heaven, to receive a temporal reward for their good actions and then reassume flesh. That participation in the Divine Essence which is the recompense of real virtue does not depend from a doctrine of pure pantheism, as the terminology seems to indicate; for it is said that "the soul is plunged in eternal felicity," implying preservation of identity. Presumably the catechism is called Indian, because it is thought to reflect doctrines of eastern psychology, concerning which, however, no real knowledge is exhibited.
RITE OF THE BLACK EAGLE
In the collection or system of the METROPOLITAN CHAPTER OF FRANCE the Seventy-sixth Grade was entitled CHEVALIER DE L'AIGLE NOIR; in another great garner of Rituals -- being that of Le Morge -- it is said by Thory to be included under the combination-title of GRAND INSPECTOR, GRAND INQUISITOR AND GRAND ELECT; it constitutes further the thirty-eighth Grade of the RITE OF MIZRAIM; it would appear also to represent the ROSE-CROIX HERMETIQUE mentioned by Ragon. These things are names only, but I suspect that the last may lead us direct to that which I have termed in my sectional heading the RITE OF THE BLACK EAGLE, a system of three Grades, which I transcribed long ago from French originals in manuscript belonging to the second half of the eighteenth century. They are all exceedingly bizarre, partly in respect of procedure and for the rest in the elements which they combine, a medley of Christian doctrine, philosophical Hermeticism in the terms of figurative alchemy, and a loose kind of Kabalism. I believe that they may represent the first three Grades of that SCOTTISH PHILOSOPHICAL RITE which is noticed elsewhere and which in this case was made up from several sources -- as suggested otherwise by the names and titles of all its component parts. However this may be, the RITE OF THE BLACK EAGLE is so militantly distinct from the rank and file of High Grades that I propose to notice it at length. The distinction, however, is not intended to signify of necessity and per se an evidence of innate value.
First Grade. -- The Officers or Celebrants of the First Grade were the Grand Master, Grand Prior and Grand Warden. An elaborate transparency or tracing-board depicts: (1) The copse of acacias which grew in the vicinity of the spot where the body of the Master- Builder was very unskilfully interred by his assassins; (2) a cloud descending from heaven to conceal the place, so that the assassins might be unable to find it; (3) nine candlesticks, by allusion to the Nine Elect Masters who were sent in search of the Master, as ordained by Solomon the King; (4) the place of entombment; (5) the sun and moon which enlightened successively the Brethren who went on the quest, so that neither cloud nor darkness hindered them; (6) the Blazing Star, which shone over the grave of the Master; (7) the triangle -- inscribed with the initial letter of the Great Name of Mystery -- which appeared when the body was exposed; (8) the eagle which guarded the grave for the space of nine days and which took flight with the legendary branch of acacia when the body was found. It will be seen that we are in the presence of remarkable symbolical materials. The predominant colour of the Chapter-draperies and clothing is black, relieved by white, gold and red. Between the Pillars of the East is a great black eagle, having the Sun on the right and the Moon on the left side.
Pageant of the Grade. -- The Candidate is prepared in a Chamber of Reflection by being stripped almost to the skin. A short, blood-coloured garment is then put over him and he is given a pair of slippers, after which he is left in solitude, the door being guarded by two Brethren, having drawn swords. His preparation is reported in the Chapter, and the whole assembly passes in procession through the Chamber with drawn swords and so back to their places, with the exception of the Chief Officers, among whom the Master cries out that the innocent man has perished while the criminal still lives. This alludes to the Candidate, whom the guards bind with his arms behind him, and he is then led to an apartment draped throughout in black and lighted by a single lamp, obscured by fumes of sulphur. Clothed only in a bloodstained apron, one of the Brethren has assumed the attitude of a corpse. The eyes of the Candidate are unbound and he is told to contemplate the remains of one who has perished on a false suspicion, remembering the punishment which shall be visited on his own guilt. He is again left alone, the guards being still on the watch without, in case his condition should demand their aid or in the event of his attempting to escape. A second procession, headed by the Master, approaches in a short time, to ascertain whether he has remained unmoved during the ordeal. He is again hoodwinked, and then it is announced by the Warden that he has proved to be more unfortunate than guilty, that the great criminal is he who has suffered already, but that an accomplice has been found who must also die. He is under arrest already, is charged, condemned and executed in dumb show. All depart, with the exception of the Grand Prior, who again unbinds the eyes of the Candidate and leaves him with the supposed corpse, returning after a space, once more replacing the hoodwink and so leading him to the door of the Chapter, into which he is introduced as a worthy Mason who desires to become a KNIGHT OF THE BLACK EAGLE. He is praised for his fortitude, is pledged on the Holy Gospels and receives the Secrets of the Grade, together with its proper insignia.
The Grade Expounded. -- An instruction by way of Catechism explains the ceremonial procedure, as for example: (1) That the Chapter is hung with black to illustrate the impenetrable obscurity which must cover the Mysteries of the Grade; (2) that the Pillars are white, to signify the candour of the chivalry; (3) that the gold of their chapters and pediments represents the purity of the Order; (4) that their number is twelve, by allusion to the Sacred and Mysterious Names inscribed on the Pentacle of Solomon; (5) that the clothing of the Brethren is black to commemorate their grief for the murder of the Master-Builder, but is relieved with white in token of their innocence concerning it, while it is embroidered with red as a symbol of his blood poured out; and finally, (6) that the Battery of six knocks has reference to the six modes of pronouncing the Sacred Word kabalistically; but these modes are not to be disclosed in this Grade.
Second Grade. -- The Officers and the general arrangements are identical in the Second Grade, but the Brethren are addressed in the Opening as Princes who dwell in the Zodiac, and they are counselled to be precise in their work of developing the three kingdoms of Nature. The Candidate is placed in the West and affirms his anxiety for further instruction on the significance of his previous experience. He is shewn the method of passing from West to East by the steps of the four elements, and takes the Pledge of the Grade on his knees, before the Throne of the Master.
Grade Symbolism. -- The rest of the procedure is expository, and in the first place -- as regards the Tracing Board -- is as follows: (1) It depicts the Chapter itself in the form of an oblong square, the greater extension being from East to West, because the sun never leaves the tropics and because antique science never attained the poles. (2) The grand circle in the centre of the diagram represents the Zodiac and its twelve signs encompass a dead body, being that of the Master-Builder, whom the Great Work must bring back to life. (3) This is effected by the divine virtue of a Pentacle which vitalises dead matter. (4) The sun signifies the end and object of the Rosy Cross attained in the Quest of that Sun of Life which insures the happiness of man in the present world and also in the world to come. (5) The Blazing Star represents that stage of the work when the Matter assumes colour. (6) The fire on the altar signifies the elementary fire which purifies the three kingdoms of Nature.
Hermetic Parables. -- In the second place, the Master proposes such an instruction of the Candidate that he shall discover by his own efforts the principle of life hidden in the heart of matter and known under the name of Alkahest, being a spirit of the four elements extracted from the three kingdoms of Nature. But in the Catechism which follows the heads of the consideration are these: (1) That the Brethren must accompany the Sun in its journey through the twelve Houses of Heaven; (2) that these Houses are governed by twelve Sacred Names; (3) that twelve Spirits operate therein by the will of the Supreme Being; (4) that the power of the Divine Name inscribed on the Grand Pentacle is that which moves the Universe, and those who can pronounce it kabalistically shall have at their disposition the forces which dwell in the four elements, and will possess all virtues possible to man; (5) that the KNIGHTS OF THE BLACK EAGLE are called Brethren of the Rose-Cross in commemoration of the Rose Nobles made by their Brother Raymond Lully, a great Mason, the coins in question having a Rose on one side and a Cross on the other; (6) that the work upon base metals for their transmutation into gold is performed by the Balance of Solomon, the use of which has been known to many ancient and modern philosophers; (7) that Solomon made use of the square of 5=25, the square of 3=9, the square of 2=4. the cube of 2=8 and the square of 4=16. the numbers in question being said to represent weights; (8) that whosoever would be initialed into the Kabalistic Art must be like unto the Master-Builder, who chose death rather than betray the secrets committed to his charge.
Practical Questions. -- When the Chapter is Closed in the Second Degree, the Master asks whether the work has progressed and the Matter has assumed form. He is told that the elements are joined, the seven planets are shut up within the Sanctuary and are covered with a white veil.
Third Grade. -- In certain observations prefixed to the Third Grade it is affirmed that the Mason proceeding from Grade to Grade in the Order cannot fail -- if properly instructed -- to realise that the work must be other than raising edifices to the True God or the practice of moral virtues. So sublime an institution must have originated with a different intention. It is built in reality on that high philosophy which was known and practised by Solomon, who initiated certain favoured persons into the most hidden kabalistic secrets. These were the Masons of old, but they transmitted their knowledge to Brethren of later ages in types and hieroglyphs. Those who can interpret them truly will prolong their days and will not be corrupted by vice. The ORDER OF KNIGHTS OF THE BLACK EAGLE possesses the key of all, as transmitted by a Rabbinical doctor named Naamuth, who was chief of the synagogue of Leyden in Holland.
Drama of the Grade. -- The procedure of the Third Grade is a servile copy of the First, including the simulation of death by one of the Brethren, and the hoodwinked Candidate is caused to touch the prostrate figure with his hand. Circumambulations follow, during which he who counterfeits death slips secretly away, leaving a bullock's heart in his place, which the Candidate is required to stab. He is then led to the door of the Chapter, bearing the heart on the poniard, and this constitutes his title of admission as positive proof of fortitude. He is thereupon duly pledged, entrusted and clothed with the insignia of the Grade. The Tracing-Board exhibited is similar to that of the Second Grade. and the Candidate is taught that he must dwell from month to month in each of the Houses of Heaven, awaiting the beneficent visitation of the life-giving Star of Day. It appears for a moment as if there were some work which he must learn to perform on himself; but we hear immediately after of the four elements and of a matter which is to be regarded as dead. It is represented figuratively by the dead body of the Master-Builder, destroyed by bad workmen. The Philosophical Work is its restoration to life, by means of the Tree of Life, signified by the branch of acacia. Among the "instruments" mentioned as belonging to the art and essential thereunto are the before-mentioned Balance of Solomon and Kabalistic Pentacle, comprising all celestial virtues, being a faithful copy of that original which was carried by the Jewish king, the Master-Builder and other Masons of far-off time. The mind of the Candidate is directed also to the region of the Setting Sun and to the mystical Mount Hebron in that quarter. The two Pillars of Emblematical Masonry are said to be raised thereon. That which signifies Strength represents the matter of the work, while that which corresponds to Beauty typifies the work accomplished; but the text is exceedingly corrupt at this point. It is said that the Grade of ENTERED APPRENTICE is comparable to the beginning of the work; in that of FELLOW-CRAFT the Mason sees the beauty of the elementary matter; and he becomes Master when he has designed upon his tracing-board the fixed path of the Sun. The Black Eagle appears to denote the fixed state of the matter, which in itself is formless. When form is impressed thereon it assumes various colours in successive stages, until a brilliant sun is manifested -- meaning the change of the matter into gold. The successive stages are the Houses of Heaven referred to previously, through which the formless matter must be passed, that it may attain form and beauty. The birth of the Sun, or the fulfilment of the term of the work, is represented by the Blazing Star, and it is said that the Morning Star which heralds the birth of the Sun is accompanied by the silver freshness of the Moon. The Rough Ashlar represents the matter in its chaotic state and the Perfect Ashlar -- or pyramidal Cubic Stone -- is the same matter when the perfect form of gold has been impressed thereon.
Alchemical Propositions. -- These considerations are elaborated further in a Catechism attached to the Grade. (1) It is explained that gold is not a metal, physically speaking, seeing that it is all spirit and is an emblem of Divinity because it is incapable of corruption. (2) It is produced by an intimate alliance of the six metals -- Lead, Tin, Iron, Copper, Mercury and Silver, each of which contains a seed. (3) Raymund Lully was one of those great philosophers who accomplished the marriage of the spouse with these six virgins, and the Messias was begotten therefrom. (4) As regards the Alkahest referred to in the Second Grade it is composed by effecting an alliance between the four simple elements extracted from the three kingdoms of Nature.
ROYAL ARCH OF ENOCH
We have seen that this Degree was included in its system by the Council of EMPERORS OF THE EAST AND WEST, and -- whether ab origine symboli or not -- is in this connection that we hear of it for the first time. It was taken over with others from the Council by the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE and by the Rites of MEMPHIS and MIZRAIM. It should be understood by those who are unversed in Masonic Ritual that it is substantially distinct from the so-called completion of Craft Masonry which is denominated the Holy Royal Arch. At the same time, there is a central point of analogy, and at least in one modernised version -- being that of the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE -- the particulars of procedure have been edited to create a superficial resemblance. The true root of correspondence is the concealment and ultimate discovery of a Sacred and Onmific Word, but the times and circumstances of both events differ in the two Grades. In that with which we are dealing, the Patriarch Enoch -- according to one codex -- placed the Great Secret, engraved on a stone of white porphyry, in the bowels of the earth, while according to another it was inscribed on a triangle. In the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE there is an elaborate Historical Discourse which reflects at a far distance and with considerable distortion some elements of the Secret Tradition in Israel, as embodied in the ZOHAR, and elsewhere. There is in particular a description of two Pillars, respectively of brass and granite, erected by Enoch, the first engraved with "the rudiments of the arts and sciences," and the second with an account of the subterranean place in which the Sacred Word had been concealed.
Motive of the Grade. -- The original French codex has suffered many variations at the hands of successive editors and has even changed its name. In one of the reformed systems of ECOSSAIS MASONRY it was split up into three points, being (1) MASTER MASONS OF THE ROYAL ARCH, (2) EXCELLENT ROYAL ARCH MASONS, and (3) MOST EXCELLENT MASONS OF THE ROYAL ARCH, recalling the original division of the Rite referred to Zerubbabel into (1) EXCELLENT MASON, (2) SUPER-EXCELLENT MASON, and (3) HOLY ROYAL ARCH. As there is no question whatever that this Rite or Order is of English and most probably of York origin, or that the fact of its existence can be traced historically by and before 1740, I am certain that the ROYAL ARCH OF ENOCH was planned upon it, in order to provide a more ancient history for the peculiar symbolical discovery with which all versions are concerned. According to the English ROYAL ARCH the precious treasure brought to light in the days of Zerubbabel was concealed in those of Solomon, but according to the Enochain version it was hidden before the Flood and was found in the reign of Solomon. Later on a secret school revealed it to other nations.
Enoch and the Secret Tradition. -- The ROYAL ARCH OF ENOCH is an important memorial of the Secret Tradition in Israel and its perpetuation through successive custodians. By the hypothesis of the symbolism it deals with the first experiment in placing the tradition on record, so that it should resist the destroying hands of fire and flood. It is not only entitled to a place in any logical scheme of the High Grades, but is essential to their proper development. There is no need to say that the extant versions are exceedingly faulty, as the work of persons imperfectly acquainted with the Tradition. The Quest of the Delta in the earliest French codex seems to offer the best material for reconstruction, since it reflects least of all from the ROYAL ARCH of Zerubbabel. The recension of Albert Pike is somewhat encumbered but is a favourable specimen of his work on the SCOTTISH RITE. The SACRED ARCH of the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE is at once pretentious and illiterate in the sense which is attached to those words when such a maker of codices as the late Mr. Yarker is concerned. There are several French versions of various dates and claims.
SAGE OF TRUTH
The title is a little
disconcerting because it does not readily produce an intelligible notion
-- not even when it is complicated further by the variant of
Knight-Sage. This is the sixteenth Degree of the ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE
RITE and is presumably identical with No. 37 of the RITE OF MEMPHIS, as
revised for American use in 1856, when it was called KNIGHT ADEPT OF
TRUTH. Both may be compared with No. 77 of the original nomenclature,
being PRINCE OF TRUTH, and No. 37 of the revised series of 1862, which
was KNIGHT OF SHOTA, otherwise ADEPT OF TRUTH. The Grades of Truth
are, I believe, peculiar to MEMPHIS; but as a canon of criticism on the
subject or as an answer to the question of Pilate they fail to break new
ground. The SAGE OF TRUTH remembers that "truth is God" and reposes
on that brief but pregnant dictum. There is no action whatever. In
certain recitals between the Officers, the Candidate learns (1) That the
distinctions of birth and fortune, opinion and belief are frivolous; (2)
that all men are equal; (3) that man is the slave of necessity; (4) that
liberality is a question of deportment and not of the gift; (5) that
death is less terrible than it is thought to be; (6) that the moral law
is universal -- with other platitudes which do not always stand for
common truths. In a discourse by the Supreme Grand Commander the
Recipient is told how the ten numerals can be extracted -- after a
fashion -- from a perfect square divided into four squares by a
perpendicular and horizontal line. He hears also concerning the Magi
and the Roman pantheon. In the Charge after reception he is assured that
the Degree is of the highest antiquity, and that its main object is "to
render more perfect and draw man nearer to the Divinity from whom he
emanated." The forms are "few and simple," but they "recall the origin
and arrangement of the Universe." There are other affirmations
concerning it which are so remote from the content of the Grade that it
reads like a Charge in Bedlam. This is Yarker on the highest peak of his
particular Darien -- a sorry spectacle of pose in tatters of thought.
SUBLIME CHEVALIER DE LA ROSE CROISSANTE
The Eighteenth Degree of the ORIENTAL RITE OF MEMPHIS bore this title, according to the Constitution of 1861, but it appears to have been interchangeable with that of Chevalier de Rose-Croix, of which it is a variant. It is provided with a historical legend, according to which it belongs to the highest antiquity and originated in the city of Thebes. It has been described as divided into three emblematic classes, being respectively (a) the Sanctuary of Masonic Secrets, corresponding to Prayer, Obligation and Baptism.; (b) the Sanctuary of Hermetic Secrets, which answers to Alliance, Union and Joy; (c) the Sanctuary of Theosophical Secrets, connected with Humanity, Invocation and Light. It was pretended that advancement from one to another class was granted only as a reward of merit; but in reality the three classes were points in a single Ceremony, necessitating three apartments characterised as Temples, precisely as in other obediences.
An Order within Masonry. -- The ROSE-CROIX Grade is in the proper understanding an Order within Masonry and is not correctly allocated as a Degree in a series. In the RITE OF MEMPHIS it is denominated a Maconnerie, as something that stands by itself, upon its own basis and within its own measures. The object of its institution is described as a liberation of the elect from vulgar errors by means of philosophical studies, stimulation of desire after moral perfection, beneficence and the practice of all virtues. In the First Point, the Candidate is subjected to a prolonged examination by way of question and answer, in the course of which he learns: (a) that human life is a sacred and inviolable gift; (b) that wisdom has its root in self-knowledge, for there is divinity in our inward nature; (c) that the true education of man is of that kind by which he is prepared for immortality; (d) that the human spirit is an emanation of the Sovereign Intelligence; (e) that God is pure spirit, and can be attained only in thought.
Seven Virtues Typified. -- When this examination is finished the procedure reflects that of the ROSE-CROIX Grade as it is worked in England under the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE, but is much more elaborate in character. The attainment of the three theological virtues is followed by the ascent of a ladder of seven steps, corresponding to Patience, Moderation, Temperance, Modesty, Prudence, Mildness and Candour, by the help of which virtues the Candidate is taught to overcome egotism, pride and ambition, and so is prepared for the vision of truth unveiled, which closes the Second Point with the following golden counsels:
Sense of the Symbols. -- In the Third Point the Sovereign Chapter hears a catechetical instruction recited by the Most Wise President and the Chief Interpreter. It is partly historical and in part an explanation of symbols. Initiation is defined correctly as representing birth into a new life and in L'ORDRE DE LA ROSE CROISSANTE it seeks a point of union between all religious beliefs and between all human beings, seeing that there is one vital essence, one only spiritual nature, and one Divine Breath. The Red Cross is an emblem of life to come, while the Rose placed thereon signifies the interblended joys and sorrows, pleasures and pains of man's terrestrial lot. On the historical side it is said that the original Freres Rose-Croix had their Sanctuary in the East, that they came West in the twelfth century for the propagation of secret sciences, they being Hermetic philosophers. The Rite founded in Germany by Christian Rosenkranz (sic) seems to be regarded as an independent creation, though drawn from the same sources. There was also -- it is said -- a ROSE-CROIX ALCHIMIQUE at Padua in the thirteenth century, which, in addition to experiments in metals, proposed to discover the Lost Word by means of Oracles -- that is to say, by the operations of animal magnetism.
Defects of the Grade. -- While the MEMPHIS version of the ROSE-CROIX Grade is not without features of interest, its prolonged recitations are fatal to that dramatic element which is so essential to symbolism, presented in the guise of Ritual; its melange of philosophies, represented by inchoate extracts, and its chips of doctrinal thought from a variety of religious sources result in an eclecticism of the most vague and uncritical kind. In a word, it is a product of its period and is without much title to consideration at this day, while on the historical side its inventions are of the clumsiest order. The hand of the rogue in history should at least be a skilful hand.
SUBLIME DIRECTOR OF THE GREAT WORK
As the last working Grade of the RITE OF MEMPHIS, bearing the number 90 in the mammoth sequence of the system, perfection may well be claimed for this the final development and message. But it is in the point of numeration alone that the quality is affirmed to reside, because a right angle is an angle of 90 degrees. It completes also the geometrical division of the system, which -- as we have seen otherwise -- is classified in three series, comparable to the three angles of a right-angled triangle, and ex hypothesi embracing the whole Masonic Science. The DIRECTOR OF SUBLIME MASTER OF THE GREAT WORK is therefore he who has ascended the whole ladder of the Rite and acquired all its Mysteries. The Rite is the Great Work in the generic sense of the expression, and in the individual or particular sense its incorporation in the mind of the Candidate is the Magnum Opus, so far as he is concerned. The extent to which this obtains may be gathered from the Catechism of the Grade, for the question being as to what is the first need of humanity a remarkable answer follows -- namely, that the first need is the existence of the Order -- an almost sublime audacity. The second is the Order's conservation, and the third research into the basis on which it reposes. Apart from assurances like these, it does not appear within the measures of the Ritual itself that the Candidate -- having come so far -- is destined to obtain so much as his travail might lead him to expect.
SUBLIME HERMETIC PHILOSOPHER
When the RITE OF MEMPHIS was reduced to thirty-three Degrees under the name of ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE the Grade which I am about to review was renamed KNIGHT HERMETIC PHILOSOPHER, with characteristic awkwardness. It figured as SUBLIME HERMETIC PHILOSOPHER in the original classification of 1839, being No. 40 of the series. In the revision of 1856 it became HERMETIC PHILOSOPHER, and formed one of a SENATE OF HERMETIC PHILOSOPHERS. In the classification of 1862 it retained the same number but recovered the qualification of Sublime, while its particular Class had attained the title of AREOPAGUS. The Ritual is characterised by grave consciousness of its own serious intent, and as regards the work of Hermetic Philosophers it is said in the Opening that it is always in progress and suffers no interruption except for the repose of the labourers. The Candidate expresses his desire to be admitted into the Philosophical Academy, and is tested respecting his progress in that study of the Hidden Mysteries of Nature and Science which was recommended to him at an early stage of his Masonic experience. The proficiency is supplied by his Conductor, who answers on his behalf, and the Mysteries themselves prove -- as might be expected -- very cheap MEMPHIS substitutes: (1) The qualities of heat, dryness, cold and moisture ascribed to the seven planets; (2) the so-called power of numbers. On such qualifications is the "high Masonic dignity of the Grade" attained, and the recompense which awaits the Candidate is comprised in (1) the heads of an instruction on alchemical notions, and (2) a panegyric of the RITE OF MEMPHIS. The first is by way of explanation concerning the Hermetic Cross. It affirms that alchemy was cultivated by the Egyptian priests, and thereafter borrows from the Hermetic Catechism of Baron Tschoudy; there is also a disquisition on the four elements of old physics. The second says that the Order is founded on religion, science, knowledge and virtue. The proceedings conclude with the "allegorical discourse of the Degree," to which it bears no relation whatever. It describes the arrival of Abel at "the celestial dwelling," where he demands pardon for Cain or permission to return and console him. There was joy in the Blessed Hierarchy, and "God looked kindly upon the sinner." It might serve better if only it were better told, but it would remain nihil ad rem.
Masonic Sublimities. -- I think, on the whole, that a gleam of sanity came upon the revision of 1856 when it struck out that word Sublime, but even so the Candidate does not issue from his experience a Hermetic Philosopher unless he entered as such.
A Grade under this title once existed in the archives of the SCOTTISH PHILOSOPHICAL RITE and it is possibly from this source that it was drawn into the great collection of that chaos embrouille which is called the RITE OF MEMPHIS. It ranks as fifth in the series, following DISCREET MASTER. It would appear to be identical with No. 6 in the RITE OF MIZRAIM, where it is called MASTER BY CURIOSITY, and as such would be in close analogy with INTIMATE SECRETARY, No. 6 in the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE. In respect of the first part it is substantially and almost literally identical with the so- called ENGLISH MASTER of the EARLY GRAND RITE; but the complaint laid against Solomon by the King of Tyre is suppressed, and his presence in Jerusalem has come about at the express invitation of the former, "to assist us with his counsel in the performance of those Rites and Ceremonies" which must characterise the fit interment of the Master- Builder. The "favourite" of Solomon, having been effusively forgiven for his indiscretion, or "error of curiosity," in seeking to protect his master, in case of need, against an unknown stranger, is invited to assist at the obsequies -- as one advanced to the Honourable Degree of SUBLIME MASTER -- and witness an alliance to be established between the two kings. The alliance passes out of sight, but the burial takes place in due ceremonial form, a mausoleum having been erected in the second apartment of the Chapter. According to the moral exhortations which form part of the proceedings, (1) respect is due to the dead because the body is the sanctuary of the soul, and "our mortal members are the fit instruments of an immortal mind": (2) the four sides of the obelisk are indicative of the virtues which should adorn every SUBLIME MASTER, namely, Reverence, Truth, Justice and Purity; (3) the opposites to these are the vices of the ruffians who destroyed the Master-Builder, namely, Ignorance, Falsehood, Envy and Egotism.
Historical Discourse. -- The so-called History of the Grade affirms (1) that the SUBLIME MASTER is a Son of God, and as such entitled to Divine Love; (2) that he perceives the intimacy between Divine and Human Nature, or God and man: (3) that God is his soul; (4) that the doctrine of immortality is taught plainly in the Grade; which (5) "is a solemn initiation into the relations of God with man." I regret that I have failed to find the full complement of this theosophy at large in the ceremonial, but a certain reverential spirit obtains throughout. It remains insufficient, however, to justify the Grade as such. It is comparable to the Lodge of Sorrow in the EARLY GRAND RITE, which against all reason in symbolism advances a Candidate to the Grade of ARCHITECT. The occasion is unsuited to advancements in both cases. Moreover, if it be worth while to point out, it is only under an imbecile obedience that a mourner for the death of an architect becomes himself an architect by attending a Lodge of Sorrow or attains "the Honourable Degree of SUBLIME MASTER" by witnessing the supposed interment of a Master-Builder. Assuredly there were many fools of Masonry in the days of the making of Grades -- meaning France of the late eighteenth century. JACOB'S WRESTLE is called SUBLIME MASTER by the EARLY GRAND RITE, which is folly also, because a Candidate does not attain to that height by hearing that a patriarch of old proved himself strong against God; but it is not an inappropriate title for Jacob, who by the hypothesis of his story attained so strange a mastery.
TRUE SCOTTISH MASTER
The Grade which I have seen under this title in a rare French manuscript is presumably a variant or alternative title of MAITRE ECOSSAIS in the RITE OF ADONHIRAMITE MASONRY. It belongs at least to that sequence and has therefore a connection with the MARK -- indeed one of an intimate kind, so far as a particular event is concerned. It may be related also to ECOSSAIS DES TROIS J J J INCONNUS, which figured in the collection of the METROPOLITAN CHAPTER OF FRANCE and was incorporated subsequently into the RITE OF MIZRAIM. I have followed the quest of Rituals wheresoever it has been possible, in every quarter of the world of Masonry, but I have not exhausted their scheme. I have been taught also to mistrust the common lists which separate things that are identical because of variations in title and confuse things that are distinct in virtue of traditional groupings. A day will come, I hope, when the treasures of Masonic Libraries over the whole continent of Europe and throughout the United States will yield their contents to a great act of collective research, and I would that I might live to take part therein, or at least to see the harvest. As an unaided individual I can offer only a gleaner's work, but I have sifted to the best of my ability the chaff from the wheat and have plucked out some tares from among the ears of corn which others have garnered previously.
Legend of the Grade. -- According to the legend of a TRUE SCOTTISH MASTER, the body of the Master-Builder was interred in the Holy of Holies, thus offering a marked contrast to a well-known episode in the chief English legend. Thereafter Solomon appointed Seven Experts to replace him, and placed Adoniram -- son of Abda, of the tribe of Naphtali -- at their head. This is the first point, and the second affirms that the Master-Word was never lost in reality, thus apparently making void in a sentence the whole claim and meaning of the ROYAL ARCH. The explanation, however, is that when Titus took Jerusalem and demolished the Temple that Sacred Word was found beneath the Pillar J..., where it had been graven on a plate of gold by the Master-Builder. It will be seen in this manner that we are dealing with an alternative to the Arch-Legend but relegated to a ridiculous epoch and described in terms which suggest that Titus destroyed the Temple of Solomon, instead of a Masonic substitute at a far distance, erected by Herod. After such manner do the Masonic Rites continually falsify and exclude one another, being the work of irresponsible inventors who neither knew nor cared what others had established previously. However, they offer a curious commentary on the growth of spurious legend in connection with mendacious claims, made on the part of people who must forsooth have history of sorts to render symbolism valid.
Pageant of the Grade. -- The Grade of TRUE SCOTTISH MASTER was termed Sublime, and it was conferred on the Candidate as a title of Masonic nobility. The Lodge was illuminated by twenty-five lights, but their purpose is not explained. The Master represented Solomon, and had on a table in front of him a representation of what is called curiously and significantly the New Temple of Solomon, as if to indicate a hidden design of the Brotherhood, about which we have heard previously. There was one Warden only, who represented Adoniram and had his seat in the West. There is but little active procedure, the Lodge appearing to be Opened and Closed in general terms at the will of its Officers, while the Candidate -- once introduced -- has mainly the part of a listener, except in taking the Pledge, which is again in general terms and consists of a single clause. The Official Secrets are curious but cannot be cited here because of their analogies in Grades which are still active among us. The Catechism explains (1) That the Candidate reaches the door of the Chapter by Seven Degrees, shewing that the TRUE SCOTTISH MASTER stood eighth in some unknown series; (2) that his arrival was announced by a Battery of 3, 5, and 7 knocks, signifying the Fifteen Experts who raised the body of the Master-Builder, according to the GRADE DE CHEVALIER ELU DE QUINZE: (3) that, moreover, the number three has reference to the Eternal, Almighty and All-knowing Power, while five alludes to the five Orders of Architecture, and seven to the number of experts who succeeded the Master-Builder; (4) that advancement to the Ecossais Grade takes place by passing from the Middle to the Third Chamber, presumably from the Holy Place to the Holy of Holies; (5) that the latter was the most elevated part of the Temple, and corresponded in the Holy City to a high ground on which David and Solomon offered sacrifice to God prior to the building of the Temple; (6) that it was filled with a great light proceeding from a Blazing Star of Seven Rays or Points, being that which the Magi followed, and also the Glory of Shekinah between the Cherubim on the Mercy-Seat in the first Temple; but at this point the scribe of the French Ritual has mangled the reference; (7) that the edifice of a TRUE SCOTTISH MASTER is built upon the Corner-Stone, like that Temple of the Lord which consists of Living Stones, and that the Corner-Stone is Virtue; (8) that the Chapter or Lodge of a TRUE SCOTTISH MASTER is called the Universal Lodge of St. John, by whom it was established, in succession to the Blue or Craft Lodge which was held by St. John Baptist on the banks of the Jordan for the diffusion of Light.
Additamenta. -- I should add that the Candidate at his reception approaches the East as an ENTERED APPRENTICE, and is smitten on the forehead by the Warden; that he continues as a FELLOW CRAFT and is treated in the same fashion; that he finishes as a MASTER MASON and is smitten for the third time. He is then placed in a reclining posture on a chair and there is thrown over him a white drapery bordered with black and embroidered with the Blazing Star. It is in this position that he hears the Traditional History and is then raised up by the Master, who leads him direct to the Altar, where the Pledge of the Grade is imposed. In the logic of the procedure it is to be inferred that an APPRENTICE ECOSSAIS and COMPANION ECOSSAIS should have preceded this Grade, which has certain curious elements -- some of which are not without import in symbolism, while some are merely frivolous. In the first category is the triple J inscribed within a circle placed in the centre of the Lodge. The letters signify (1) that God is the source of all light; (2) that He can so illuminate the mind that it can attain all knowledge; and (3) that the soul is the Throne of God. The circle itself is explained in the usual terms, as exhibiting that God has neither end nor beginning. In the second category is the symbolical age of the Candidate, which is eighty-one years, being those of the Master- Builder at the time of his passion.
Reference. -- The authority for this notice is the MS. Ritual entitled LE VRAI MAITRE ECOSSAIS, and the mangled reference to L'Etoile Flamboyante reads thus: D.-Que signifie cette etoile? R. -- L'etoile qui canduisait les Mages et Sancta (sic) ou reposait la Divinite.
1. Thebaid, by Wikipedia
The Thebaid or Thebais (Greek: Θηβαΐδα, Thēbaïda or Θηβαΐς, Thēbaïs) is the region of ancient Egypt containing the thirteen southernmost nomes of Upper Egypt, from Abydos to Aswan. It acquired its name from its proximity to the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes.
In Ptolemaic Egypt, the Thebaid formed a single administrative district under the Epistrategos of Thebes, who was also responsible for overseeing navigation in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
During the Roman Empire, Diocletian created the province of Thebais, guarded by the legions I Maximiana Thebanorum and II Flavia Constantia. This was later divided in Upper (Latin: Thebais Superior, Greek: Ἄνω Θηβαΐς, Anō Thēbaïs), comprising the southern half with its capital at Thebes, and Lower or Nearer (Latin: Thebais Inferior, Greek: Θηβαΐς Ἐγγίστη, Thēbaïs Engistē), comprising the northern half with capital at Ptolemais.
Around the 5th century, since it
was a desert, the Thebaid became a place of retreat of a number of
Christian hermits, and was the birthplace of Pachomius. In Christian
art, the Thebaid was represented as a place with numerous monks.
"Thebaid". Catholic Encyclopedia. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14561a.htm.