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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

GRAND PONTIFF

or

SUBLIME SCOTCH MASON

The Nineteenth Grade of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish rite and the First Degree of the Historical and Philosophical Series

PREFATORY

The Eleven degrees of the Areopagus, conferred under the authority of the Chapter of Knights Kadosh, and which form the fifth series of the A.: A.: Scottish Rite, most beautifully unfold the errors and frailties of humanity, and most thoroughly instruct us how to overcome them and advance toward that perfect state hoped for by mortality. We still proceed in the construction of the Third Temple as initiated in the degrees of the Rose-Croix, and with the hope and endeavour to make the world a Temple fit for the dwelling-place of the G.: A.: of the Universe.

The laws governing the Consistory rule and control in the Areopagus.

No Rose-Croix Knight should attempt to enter upon this series, unless he has fully made up his mind to calmly, thoroughly, and with the best of his intellect, study to fully comprehend its teachings and follow its revelations, deductiions, and analogies to a complete issue, for otherwise he is treading upon dangerous ground.

With the Areopagus ends all instruction in the A.: A.: Scottish Rite; what follows is practical, and is intended as the summing up of all Masonry.

Let the Historical and Philosophical degrees of the Areopagus be well heeded.

The novitiate, before embarking in them, should be warned to take due heed of these culminating degrees of Universal Religion.

ARGUMENT

1n entering upon a new series or division of the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, we are still in pursuit of good, and labouring for the destruction of evil, following the same laws as those laid down in the two preceding degrees, and taking another bold step toward the purification of our own souls, and sowing, for others to reap fruits of eternal happiness.

This degree is founded upon certain apocalyptic mysteries relating to the New Jerusalem; it rests upon the three characteristic virtues taught in the Eighteenth degree, and proclaims the Alpha and Omega.

APARTMENTS

The apartments are two, beside the Preparation Room

THE FIRST APARTMENT

is styled the Chapter Room, and is hung with blue hangings, sprinkled with stars of gold; it is lighted from the East by the triple interlaced triangle, with the sun in the centre, in full blaze. Behind the curtain that conceals the platform in the East should be a fine representation, by scenic effect, of the New Jerusalem - a square city, suspended in the clouds, and represented as descending from the heavens to the earth by slowly unrolling or lowering the same. The city is represented surrounded by a halo; it has twelve gates of pearl-three on each side-and at each gate an angel, with a name written on his crown, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. Through the city flows a river, on either side of which is a flourishing tree, bearing twelve fruits, answering to the twelve precious stones in the Grand Pontiff's breastplate.

Under this movable painting is a representation of the city of Jerusalem in ruins; and in it a serpent, with three heads, in chains, as if about to be crushed by the descending celestial city.

An empty salver is stationed in the centre of the Chapter-room.

THE SECOND APARTMENT

is a plain dark room, with a portion divided off by a dropped curtain; in the room, a single chair.

OFFICERS, AND THEIR DECORATIONS

Thrice Potent (wearing a breastplate with twelve precious stones).

Warden.

Orator.

Senior Deacon.

Junior Deacon.

Master of Ceremonies.

Captain of the Guard.

All the officers and Grand Pontiffs wear long white robes; as also a fillet of sky-blue satin round the forehead, having twelve golden stars embroidered thereon.

Order - A broad crimson sash, edged with white, with twelve silver stars on the front of the same, and worn from the left shoulder to the right hip.

Jewel - A golden parallelogram, with the Greek Alpha on one side and the Omega on the other.

The Grand Pontiffs style each other "Faithful" or "True Brothers."

Battery -***-***-***-***

The following is the arrangement of the Chapter at the commencement of a

RECEPTION

The Chapter-room is hung in black, and the altars are draped; all the brethren are robed in black; the sun is turned to blood.

HYMN

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

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

The sun is radient in the sky, The earth in regal state, Waits but the "Halleujah" cry Then hope's the Holy Gate.

And ancient time waits but the Light, That lifts the fearful pall; Then sin no more the world shall blight, And Good shall conquer all.

PRAYER

T.: P.: O thou dread, eternal, and most merciful Being, who alone canst aid thy servants in their mighty task of battling against the evils of this world, in expelling ignorance and intolerance - hear our prayer.

Seven Breth.: Hear our prayer.

T.: P.: Thou who dost ever listen to the breathing, burning prayer of justice and of truth, guide thine erring children in the paths of righteousness, and teach them to shun all injustice and superstition- hear our prayer.

Seven Breth.: Hear our prayer.

T.: P.: We humbly pray thee, that thou wilt also imbue our hearts with the true light, that dark ingratitude, indolence, and intemperance may find no shelter there; that the hallowed spirit of our Maker may hold dominion over our souls, while instructing others; that they may be in like manner imbued with the Holy Spirit, and may successfully struggle against the demons of darkness and perdition. Against all such, Father of light and life, hear our prayer.

Seven Breth.: Hear our prayer.

T.: P.: Heavenly Father, in the earnestness of our prayer, let now this awful embodiment of woe and the emblem of foul evils pass from us, for we know without prayer we cannot drive from our hearts those demons of the soul's destruction.

Change, O heavenly Father, change the spirit within us! Teach us what is good! Teach us thyself and may we understand! Let evil give place to good, as we now pledge our vows henceforth, as true and devoted Pontiffs, to devote ourselves, our hearts and hands, to the cause of truth and justice as against all the evils of the world. In this, our vow, hear our prayer.

Seven Breth.: Hear our prayer.

T.: P.: And now, unto the Great Jehovah be all praise, and honor, and glory; and may we all say, Amen.

Seven Breth.: Amen.

The Chapter is now arranged with the blue hangings and stars of gold; the sun is changed to its bright appearance; and the curtain in the East is drawn aside, displaying a large gold cross with a white rose upon it placed on a prominence on the staging.

PRAYER

O Heavenly Father, source of all intelligence and goodness, we appear before thee clothed in white garments, symbolic of the purity of our hearts, and of that beneficence and virtue we would crave from an all-merciful Providence-grant our prayer.

Omnes.: Grant our prayer.

T.: P.: Give us Faith, that we shall see the New Jerusalem, that we may receive thy commendation for our works, and join in singing with the innumerable throng that surrounds thy throne, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of Sabaoth!

Omnes.: Grant our prayer.

T.: P.: Give us Hope for the salvation of the soul, and aid us in the struggle for the perfection of our intelligence, and in the advancement of man toward a true, understanding of thy will.

Omnes. :Grant our prayer.

T.: P.: Fill our souls with the love of God and of a just appreciation of our fellow-man. May the immensity of thy love, and thy care even of the falling sparrow, imbue our hearts with never-failing Charity.

Omnes.: Grant our prayer.

T.: P.: By the Mystic Rose and Cross, by the power of thy Word, as thou art the Alpha and Omega, grant us wisdom and the exercise of justice, and fill our hearts with gratitude to our Maker for all his goodness to us.

Omnes.: Grant our prayer.

INVESTITURE

This Robe of white linen with which I now invest you is emblematical of that equity and purity which should characterize one who is consecrated to the service of Truth; and reminds us also of the vesture of the one hundred forty and four thousand who refused to wear the mark of the beast on their foreheads; for it is so written, They shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy; he that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.

This Cordon of crimson, bordered with white, teaches you that the zeal and ardour of a Knight and Pontiff ought to be set off by the greatest purity of morals and perfect charity and beneficence: the twelve stars upon it, and upon the fillet, allude to the twelve gates of the new city.

This Fillet is the peculiar emblem of your Pontificate; and as the slightest contact with earth will soil its spotless purity, remember that so the least indiscretion will soil the exalted character you have now voluntarily assumed.

Receive this Jewel, and let the letters upon it - the first and last of the Greek and Hebrew alphabets - remind you of him who was from the beginning, and ever shall be the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last - on whose promises we rely with perfect confidence; in whose mercy and goodness we implicitly trust, and for the fulfillment of whose wise purposes we are content to wait.

LECTURE

O.: My brother, the true Mason labours for the benefit of those who come after him, as well as for the advancement and improvement of his race. That is a poor ambition which contains itself within the limits of a single life. All men who deserve to live desire to survive their funerals, and to live afterward in the good that they have done mankind, rather than in the marble of men's memories. Most men desire to leave some work behind them that may outlast their own day and generation: that is an instinctive impulse given by God, and is often found in the rudest human heart - the surest proof of the soul's immortality and of the fundamental difference between men and the wisest brutes. To plant the tree that, after we are dead, shall shelter our children, is as natural as to love the shade of those our fathers planted. The rudest unlettered husbandman, painfully conscious of his own inferiority, will toil and stint himself, to be enabled to educate his child, that he may walk in a higher sphere of usefulness in this world.

We build slowly and destroy swiftly. Our ancient brethren who built the temples at Jerusalem, with myriad blows felled, hewed, and squared the cedars, and quarried the stones, and carved the intricate ornaments which were to compose the temple: by stone after stone, with the combined efforts and long toil of Apprentices, Follow Crafts, and Masters, the walls arose; slowly the roof was framed and fashioned; and many years elapsed before at length the building stood finished, all fit and ready for the worship of God, gorgeous in the sunny splendors of Palestine. So they were built. A single motion of the arm of a rude, barbarous Assyrian, or drunken Roman or legionary Goth of Titus, moved by a senseless impulse of the brutal will, flung in the blazing brand; and with no further human agency, a few short hours sufficed to consume and melt the temple to a smoking mass of black and unsightly ruin.

Be patient, therefore, my brother, and wait. The issues are with God, to do if right belongs to us. Therefore faint not, my brother, nor be weary in well-doing; be not discouraged at men's apathy, nor disgusted with their follies, nor tired of their indifference. Care not for returns and results, but see only what there is to do, and do it, leaving the result to God.

Sworn Knight of Justice, Truth, and Tolerance - good Knight and true - Grand Pontiff - be patient, and work.

The hour is accomplished.



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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