The Web of Hiram

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

Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite

4. Secret Master

5. Perfect Master

6. Intimate Secretary

7. Provost and Judge

8. Intendant of Buildings

9. Master Elect of Nine

10. Master Elect of Fifteen

11. Sublime Master Elected

12. Grand Master Architect

13. Royal Arch of Enoch

14. Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Master Mason

15. Knight of the East or Sword

16. Prince of Jerusalem

17. Knights of the East and West

18. Knight of the Rose-Croix de Heredom

19. Grand Pontiff

20. Grand Master of all Symbolic Lodges

21. Noachite or Prussian Knight

22. Knight of the Royal Axe

23. Chief of the Tabernacle

24. Prince of the Tabernacle

25. Knight of the Brazen Serpent

26. Prince of Mercy

27 Commander of the Temple

28. Knight of the Sun

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

30. Knight Kadosh

31. Grand Inspector Commander

32. Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.

33. Inspector-General


The Seventeenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and the First Degree of the Philosopical Series

In all bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, brethren who have attained the degree of Grand, Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason, are entitled to, and should of right, be covered, except when a degree is being worked; at which time all should conform, and lend their endeavours to aiding in the effectiveness of the drama, by robing and costuming accordingly.

The following engraving designates the most appropriate, convenient, and economical form of covering, it being light, composed posed of four sides, purple, with movable joints, in order that It can be pressed flat - fillet of crimson, and crowning-button of white velvet.

"He who discovereth secrets is a traitor; and he who keeps his tongue, keeps his soul."- KING SOLOMON


Bodies of these historical degrees are styled - Sovereign chapters." The diploma of a Knight Rose-Croix is called a Brief. All written documents are called Engraved Columns. The following are the articles for the general government of Knights Rose-Croix:

ART. 1 - The principal festival of the Rose-Croix Knights is held on Thursday preceding Good Friday. It is incumbent on all Chapters to assemble on that day; and if a Knight should be where there is no Chapter, he is to observe the time in communion of spirit with all Knights around the globe.

Art 2. - S.: P: of Rose-Croix are styled Knights, Princes, and Perfect Masons of Heredom.

ART. 3 - The Princes have the right of presiding in all Lodges working under the A.: and A.: rite; and if the chair is refused them, they take their place at the right of the Master: if this honour is not offered them, they may seat themselves on the floor in the N.: E.: of the Lodge in token of humility, when the works will at once cease.

Art. 4. - All Princes of Rose-Croix are forbidden any Chapter or Lodge, without the jewel or order belonging to this degree; and they should never sign any Masonic document without affixing their quality to their name, and dating it "from the Orient of Herodim."

ART. 5. - When a Knight visits a Chapter not his own, he places himself in humility; but the M.: W.: may cause him to take a place by his side in the East. A Knight Rose-Croix is not to be tyled when he presents himself for admission into a Lodge. He should therefore have a special brief evidencing his rank.

ART. 6. - A regular Chapter must meet at least five times in a year; that is, Ash-Wednesday, Thursday before Easter, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Ascension Day, and Christmas. They should also join with their brethren in the observance of St. John's days.

ART. 7. - If a Knight of Rose-Croix, being alone, hears of another Knight sojourning, not over three leagues from him, he should invite him to participate in the observance of Holy Thursday; in which case they meet each other half-way.

ART. 8. - No Chapter can be opened unless five Knights be present. The minutes must be signed by at least three of the Knights present.

Art 9. - A Knight of Rose-Croix must be charitable. He must relieve the indigent, visit the sick and the prisons. No Chapter should be held without a collection for the poor. The Sovereign is the Treasurer of this fund, as necessity may require.

ART. 10. - Duels between Knights are strictly forbidden, under the most severe penalties.

ART. 11. - A Knight of Rose-Croix is bound by his honour to the service of his God, his government, and his country, to the last drop of his blood.

ART. 12. - No Knight of Rose-Croix can refuse to attend the Chapter when summoned, unless sick - when he shall present his reasons to the Chapter.

ART. 13. The Chapter must be lighted with white or yellow wax candles, or pure olive-oil.

ART. 14. - No discussions foreign to the business of the Chapter can be allowed. Calumny, satire, and personal remarks are ever to be avoided as crimes.

ART. 15.-The grade of S.: P.: It.: Croix de II.: should never be conferred without the most scrupulous inquiries and circumspection as to the moral, religious, and other necessary qualifications of the applicant.

ART. 16. - No document can be valid unless signed by the Sovereign Secretary, and sealed by the Keeper of the Seals.

ART. 17. - The officers must be elected annually on Holy Thursday, and immediately enter on their duties. The retiring officers should be prepared to hand their books, accounts, and funds to their successors on that day.

ART. 18. - No serving brother can be admitted in any Chapter. The two brethren last received must act in that capacity.

ART. 19. - If a Knight of Rose-Croix dies, all the Knights must participate in the funeral ceremonies, and wearing under their coats, if they cannot openly display them without scandal, the order and jewel of the grade. Great care must be taken that the deceased is buried with his collar.

ART. 20.-A Knight at his admission adopts as hie own some characteristic, the choice of which is left to himself as Fortitude, Toleration, &c., but expressed in Latin, as Eques a Fortitudine, &c. Those of the first three officers and Master of Ceremonies are always the same - Knights of Wisdom, of Strength, of Beauty, of Alarm.

ART. 21. - A Knight R.: Croix, in writing his name, writes the consonants only; and an unequal number, if there be more than two. To his name may be append + this mark in red ink.


The Seventeenth degree of the Rite Ancient and Accepted, is the first of the series of Modem or Accepted degrees, as used in contradistinction to the term Ancient, It may also be designated, the first of the Philosophic degrees.

The Word is again lost, and, figuratively, the third Temple - in the heart of man - is to be built and dedicated to the God of Truth. The revelations made in the ceremony of initiation cannot be fully understood in this degree, as they are introductory to the succeeding degree of Rose-Croix, in which mysterium consumum est.

When the Knights and Princes united to conquer the Holy Land, they took an oath to spend, if necessary, the last drop of their blood to establish the true religion of the Most High God. Peace having been made, they could not practically fulfil their vows, and therefore, on returning to their respective countries, they resolved to do in theory what they could not do in practice.

They took the name of Princes of Jerusalem and Knights of the East and West, in memory of the place where this Order was first instituted, and because their doctrines came from East and West They have, ever since their first establishment, adhered to their customs and forms of reception. In the year 1118, the first Knights of the Order, to the number of eleven, took their vows between the hands of Armelfo Guavi Mundos, Prince Patriarch of Jerusalem, who hailed from the province of Amiens in France.


But one spacious apartment, beside the Preparation room, is needed. It should be in the form of a heptagon, hung with crimson, sprinkled with stars of gold. In each angle is a square column, on the capitals of which-beginning at the southeast and going round by the southwest, in regular succession-are the initials respectively of the following words: Beauty, Divinity, Wisdom, Power, Honour Glory, Force; and on the bases of these columns are the initials respectively of the words Friendship, Union, Resignation, Discretion, Fidelity, Prudence, and Temperance. On each column is a brilliant light.

In the East is an altar upon a canopied platform, to which you ascend by seven steps, supported or upheld by four lions, having between them a cherabimic figure with six wings and four heads, representing respectively the heads of a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle.

In front of the altar is a throne, always vacant, and a footstool.

The seat of the Master is at the foot of the platform, in front, and over the seat hangs a two-edged sword, surrounded by seven stars

In the East are displayed the Sun and Moon.

In the West are two thrones, raised three steps each, for the two Wardens.

Around the room are twenty-four seats richly decorated.

An assembly of Knights of the East and West is called a Preceptory, and is composed of twenty-four members.

On the right of the Master is a small table, having on it a ewer, napkins, and vase of perfumed oil.

On the altar is a silver basin with perfumed water, a chafing dish with live coals, and a large Book, sealed with seven great seals of green wax, at least two inches in diameter, attached to red ribbons that, at the other end, pass through holes in one lid, being slightly at. tached to it by a drop of wax, so as to be easily sepa. rated, leaving the seals whole.

The tracing-board of the degree is a heptagon, embraced within a circle, the upper portion forming a rainbow. At the angles of the heptagon, on the outside, are the initials of the seven words which are on the capitals of the columns of the degree (B. D. W. P. H ..G. F.); at the angles on the inside are the initials of the seven words which are on the base of the columns, (F. U. R. D. F. P. T.). Near the centre of the heptagon is the figure of a man in a long white robe, with a golden girdle round his waist, and standing on a section of the globe: hair and beard white as snow: his right hand extended, holding seven stars surrounding the ~: his head encircled by a glory emanating from a Delta: a two-edged flaming sword in his mouth. Around him stand seven golden candlesticks, with candles burning; and over each of these, one of the letters E. S. P. T. S. P. L., the initials of the names of the seven Churches-Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea. The Sun and Moon are also depicted, and the basin and chafing dish.


Venerable Master, represents John the Baptist.

Zealous Brother Senior Warden.

Zealous Brother Junior Warden.

Faithful Brother Treasurer.

Faithful Brother Secretary.

Faithful Brother Lecturer.

Faithful Brother Examiner.

Faithful Brother Senior Deacon.

Faithful Brother Junior Deacon.

Faithful Brother Outer Guard.

Faithful Brother Inner Guard.

All brethren are termed Faithful, and represent the disciples of John the Baptist


All are clothed in long white robes, with a red cross on the breast, circlets of gold upon their heads (coronet shaped), and gold belts.

Apron - Yellow satin, triangular in shape, lined with crimson and bordered with gold; on the flap a two edged sword, and in the centre of the area a tetractys.

Order - Broad white ribbon, worn from right to left, and crossed by a broad black one from left to right from the latter is suspended the

Jewel - Heptagonal medal of gold and silver. On one side are engraved the same letters as are on the capitals of the columns, with a star over each: in the centre, a lamb lying on the Book of the Seven Seals: on the obverse side, two swords crossed, with points up, the hilts resting on an even balance: in the corners, the initials of the seven Churches.

Battery - *******-*



(With responses.)

V.: M.: Hear us, our Father, God of the ancient patriarchs, whom they adored on the plains of Chaldea

Response:  Be gracious unto us, O God.

V.: M.: We wander in the desert in darkness - we turn to the East and look for the promised light.

Res. Send us the dawn of day, our Father.

V.: M.: We sit in the shadow of death, and our feet tread the margin of the sea that covers Sodom. Our tents whiten the desert upon its sterile shore. Send us thy light to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Res. Thy light to be the life of men.

V.: M.: Send us the new law of love for which the world pines and languishes. Make wax and bloodshed to cease among the nations, and heartburnings among the faithful to be no more.

Res. Help us to love one another.

V.: M.: Save us from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us. Help us to serve thee without fear all the days of our life.

Res. Amen. So mote it be. Amen.

Soft music upon the organ during the above prayer and responses. The following hymn will then be sung.


Dayspring of eternity, Dawn on us this morningtide, Light from light's exhaustless sea, Now no more thy radiance hide. With new glories put to flight. Shades and cares of lingering night, Flood the earth with peace and joy, And the powers of wrong destroy.

V.: M.: The first faint blush of dawn dims the fight of the morning star, and this preceptory is about to be opened.

Music soft and low during the following.

V.: M.: The glittering seven fade in the north, and the day cometh.

J.: W.: Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary.

S.: W.: Ye shall obey my judgments, and keep my statutes.

V.: M.: Ye shall not profane the name of your God.

J.: W.: Ye shall love and venerate, every man, his father and mother.

S.: W.: Ye shall not glean your vineyards, nor gather every grape, nor wholly reap the corners of your fields, but leave something for the poor and the stranger.

V.: M.: Nor steal nor deal falsely, nor lie one with another.

J.: W.: Nor defraud nor despoil your neighbours,

W... Nor go up and down as tale-bearers among the people.

V.. M Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, nor suffer thy neighbour to go astray for want of warning.

J... W... Ye shall rise up respectfully before the hoary head, and honour the presence of the aged man, and fear your God.

S... W... Ye shall not vex the stranger in your land; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt, These are the statutes and judgments of the Lord your God.


The candidate is subjected to an examination the most strict in regard to the pledges he has given in the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry: also as to his proficiency in the Kabala of those degrees.

(Ceremonies of purification and sanctification are here introduced.)

V.: M.: (* * *)He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the Tree of Life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.

S.: W.: (* * *) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit hath said unto the churches: He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

J.: W.: (* * *) He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no man shall know but him that shall receive it.

V. : M.: He that overcometh, and laboureth in my service unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations and his influence shall control and guide them; and I will give him the morning star.

S.: W.: He that overcometh shall be clothed in robes of white, and I will not erase his name from the Book of Life, but I will own him as mine before our Father and all his angels.

J.: W.: Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the Temple of our God, and he shall remain there forever; and I will write upon him the name of God, and the name of the city of God - the New Jerusalem-and mine own new name.

V.: M.: To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me near my throne, even as I also overcame and am seated with my Father. Be zealous, therefore and repent.


From East to West, o'er land and sea, brothers meet, and friend, agree;

Let incense rise from hearts sincere, The dearest offering gathered here.

Our trust reposed on God alone, Who never will contrite hearts disown;

Our faith shall mark that holy light ,Whose beams our dearest joys unite

V.: M.: Light comes from God. When clouds and darkness are around us, we should implore his aid. Let us do so, my brethren.


Our Father, who, when darkness brooded upon the vast chaos, and the universe lay a confused mass of struggling forces, without form and void, didst move upon it, and saidst, " Let there be light !' and light was; thou who didst set the light against the darkness, and calledst the one Day and the other Night; thou who didst set the lesser and the greater lights in heaven, enable this candidate to find the light he seeketh. Let the dawn of the new day arise to him, and shine upon the clouds of error, and cause the darkness of ignorance to flee away and be seen no more forever. Amen.

Omnes. Amen! amen!

V.:. M.: And amen!

The living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything; neither have they any more a reward, for the memory of them is. forgotten: also their love, and their hatred, and their envy is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything done under the sun.

S.: W.: Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; while the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain.

V.: M.: In the day when the limbs are not yet trembling with age, nor the head bowed with sorrow, nor the eyes dim with weeping; before thou goest to thy long home, and the mourners go about the streets; before the silver cord is loosened, and the golden bowl is broken, and the pitcher shivered at the spring, and the wheel shattered at the cistern; before the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit to God who gave it.


We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Omnipotent, who art eternal, And, to whom the past, the present, and the future are one:

Because thou wilt in due time assert thy power, and vindicate thy justice, thy wisdom and thy goodness, When evil shall reign no more.


I invest you with the apron of this degree: its colour is emblematical of the dawn; its shape, of the Deity and of justice; the Tetractys upon it, of the universe, with the Deity in its centre. I invest you with the order of this degree: its two colors, white and black, are emblematical of the contest between good and evil. I invest you with the jewel of this degree: its heptagonal shape will be explained hereafter, as also will the devices upon it ; its materials, gold and silver, sun and the moon, the great lights of symbolize the day and night - themselves emblems of strength and beauty, the two pillars at the threshold of Masonry. In the year 1127 Pope Honorius II at the request of Stephen, a Patriarch of Jerusalem, ordained the Knights should be clothed in white; to which Pope Eugenius III added a red cross, to be worn on the breast.

I finally present you with this coronet, in token of your present rank in Masonry. Remember that it, like the other insignia of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, is honourable only so long as it is worn with honour. On the brow of the dishonest, the dissipated, the vicious, or the base, honours undeserved are the extremest disgrace. See, therefore, that you wear it worthily and well.


Truth dawns upon the human soul, And error disappears; No longer darkness hath control O'er wearied lengthened years.

No longer for men's sorrow groan, Their sins, their shame, their tears, But still and stately past God's throne, March onward, banish fears.

The sun is radiant in the sky, The earth in regal state Waits but the Hallelujah cry That opens the holy gate.


My brother, this Preceptory is in the form of a heptagon, hung with crimson, and sprinkled with stars of gold. In each angle is a column, on the capitals of which, beginning at the southeast and going round by the southwest in regular succession, are the initials respectively of the words Beauty, Divinity, Wisdom, Power, Honour Glory, and Force - the seven mystic characters of the heptagon, signifying:

Beauty, to adorn our works.

Divinity, to study which is one of our principal aims.

Wisdom to invent and work.

Power to punish and confound the calumnies of wicked brethren and the profane.

Honour is an indispensable quality in a Freemason, to labour with respectability.

Glory, that the true Freemason is an equal to the prince or potentate.

Force, which is necessary to support and maintain us

On the bases of the columns you will observe the initials of the seven qualities which should be possessed by brethren of this grade:


Friendship is a virtue which ought to reign among the brethren.

Union is the foundation of our society.

Resignation to the regulations and decrees of the order without murmuring.

Discretion, that as a Mason you should be on your guard and never suffer yourself to be surprised in relation to our mysteries.

Fidelity, to observe all your engagements.

Prudence, to conduct yourself so that the profane, though jealous, may never be able to censure your conduct.

Temperance, to always avoid every excess which may tend to injure the soul or body.

The seven vices which all good and true Freemasons will ever strive to avoid are:


Hatred injures all the fine feelings of the heart.

Discord is contrary to the very principle of society

Pride prevents the exercise of humility.

Indiscretion is fatal to Freemasonry.

Perfidy should be execrated by every honest man.

Rashness leads into unpleasant and difficult dilemmas

Calumny, the worst of all, should be shunned as a vice which saps the very foundations of friendship and society.

The Book of the Seven Seals, which only one can open, is Masonically explained as representing a Lodge or Council of Masons, which the all-puissant alone has the right or power to convene or open.

The breaking of the first seal displayed a bow, arrows rows, and crown, signifying that the orders of this Preceptory should be executed with as much promptness and exactitude as an arrow sent from a bow, and be received with as much submission as if they came from a crowned head.

The second seal displayed the sword, denoting that this Preceptory and the order in general is always armed for its defence and to punish the guilty.

The third seal revealed the balance - the symbol that Masonry should always act with justice in all her ministrations.

The fourth seal produced the skull, which is the representative of that brother who has caused himself to be excluded from the Lodge or Preceptory.

The fifth seal displayed a white cloth stained with blood, invoking us that we should not hesitate if necessary, to spill our blood in the defence or in the promotion of the cause of Freemasonry.

The sixth seal when opened caused the sun to be darkened and the moon to be changed to blood, as a representation of the power of Supreme Councils to interdict the works of inferior bodies, when irregular, until they shall have acknowledged their error and submitted to the rules and regulations of the Craft.

The seventh seal when broken was followed by silence, broken by the successive blasts of the seven trumpets, signifying that Freemasonry is extended over the surface of the earth on the wings of the wind and fame, and supports itself with honour The perfume from the altar represents the good odour of virtue, and denotes that the life of a good Freemason should be free from all reproach and perfumed by a good report.

Your Masonic age is very ancient, and you are termed a Patmian, as coming from Patmos.

The seven golden candlesticks denote the seven churches - to wit, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea.

The two-edged sword pendent in the East has been explained when referring to the opening of the second seal, and that none, not even the Ven.: Master, is exempt from the exercise of judgment and justice.

The Ven.: Master represents John the Baptist, and the twenty-four seats the twenty-four elders or disciples who were Esseneans.


Lecturer.: This, my brother, is the first of the Philosophical degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, and the beginning of a course of instruction which will fully unveil the heart and inner mysteries of Masonry. Do not despair because you have often seemed on the point of attaining the inmost light, and have as often been disappointed. In all time truth has been hidden under symbols, and often under a succession of allegories - where veil after veil had to be penetrated before the true light was reached and the essential truth stood revealed.

We are about to approach those ancient religions which once ruled the minds of men, and whose ruins encumber the plains of the great Past, as the broken columns of Palmyra and Tadmor lie bleaching on the sands of the desert. They rise before us - those old, strange, mysterious creeds and faiths - shrouded in the mists of antiquity, and stalk dimly and undefinedly along the line that divides time from eternity, and forms of strange, wild, startling beauty mingle in the vast throng of figures with shapes monstrous, grotesque, and hideous.

The religion taught by Moses, which, like the laws of Egypt, enunciated the principle of exclusion, borrowed at every period of its existence from all the creeds with which it came in contact. . While by the study of the learned and wise, it enriched itself with the most admirable principles of the religions of Egypt and Asia, it was changed in the wanderings of the people, by everything that was impure or seductive in the pagan manners and superstitions. It was one thing in the time of Aaron and Moses, another in that of David and Solomon, and still another in that of Daniel and Philo.

At the time when John the Baptist made his appearance in the desert, near the shores of the Dead Sea, all the old philosophical and religious systems were approximating to each other, while the philosophers of Greece, all (except the disciples of Epicurus) more or less Platonicians, seized eagerly upon the beliefs and doctrines of the East. The Jews and Egyptians, before then the most exclusive of all people, yielded to that eclectism which prevailed among their masters, the Greeks and Romans. It was held by a vast number, even during the preachings of Paul, that the writings of the Apostles were incomplete, that they contained only the germs of another doctrine, which must receive from the hands of philosophy not only the systematic arrangement which was wanting, but all the developments which lay concealed therein-mysteries handed down from generation to generation in esoteric tradition.

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

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