Imágenes de página

deputy grand high priest then presents the first officer of the new chapter to the grand high priest, saying,

Most Excellent Grand High Priest, I present you my worthy companion

-nomi. nated in the warrant, to be installed high priest, of this new chapter; I find him to be skilful in the royal art and attentive to the moral precepts of our forefathers, and have therefore no doubt but he will discharge the duties of his office with fidelity.”

The grand high priest then addresses him as follows:

Most Excellent Companion, I feel much satisfaction in performing my duty on the present occasion, by installing you into the office of high priest of this new chapter. It is an office highly honora. ble to all those who diligently perform the important duties annexed to it; your reputed masonic knowledge however, precludes the necessity of a particular enumeration of those duties; I shall therefore only observe, that by a frequent recurrence to the constitution, and general regulations, and a constant practice of the several sublime lectures and charges, you will be best able to fulfil them; and I am confident, that the companions who are chosen to preside with you, will give strength to your endeavours, and support your exertions—I shall now propose certain questions to you, relative to the duties of your office, and to which I must request your unequivocal answer.

1. Do you solemnly promise that you will re double your endeavours, to correct the vices, purify the morals, and promote the happiness of those of your brethren who have obtained this sublime degree:

2. That you will never suffer your chapter to be opened unless there be present nine regular royal arch masons:

3. That you will never suffer either more or less than three brethren to be exalted in your chapter at one and the same time:

4. That you will not exalt any one to this degree, who has not shown a charitable and humane disposition; or who has not made a considerable proficiency in the foregoing degrees:

5. That you will promote the general good of our order, and on all proper occasions be ready to give and receive instructions, and particularly from the general and state grand officers:

6. That to the utmost of your power you will preserve the solemnities of our ceremonies, and behave, in open chapter, with the most profound respect and reverence, as an example to your companions:

7. That you will not acknowledge or have intercourse with any chapter that does not work under a constitutional warrant or dispensation:

8. That you will not admit any visitor into your chapter who has not been exalted in a chapter legally constituted, without his being first formally healed:

9. That you will observe and support such by-laws as may be made by your chapter, in conformity to the general grand royal arch constitution and the general regulations of the grand chapter:

10. That you will pay due respect and obedience to the instructions of the general and state grand officers, particularly relating to the several lectures and charges, and will resign the chair to them, severally, when they may visit your chapter:

11. That you will support and observe the general grand royal arch constitution, and the general regulations of the grand royal arch chapter under whose authority you act.

Do you submit to all these things, and do you promise to observe and practice them faithfully?”

These questions being answered in the affirmative, the companions all kneel in due form, and the grand high priest or grand chaplain, repeats the following, or some other suitable prayer.

«Most holy and glorious Lord God, the great High Priest of heaven and earth.

“We approach thee with reverence, and implore thy blessing on the companion appointed to preside over this new assembly, and now prostrate before thee; fill his heart with thy fear, that his tongue and actions may pronounce thy glory. Make him steadfast in thy service; grant him firmness of mind; animate his heart, and strengthen his endeavours; may he teach thy judgments and thy laws;a nd may the incense he shall put before thee, upon thine altar, prove an acceptable sacrifice unto thee. Bless him, O Lord, and bless the work of his hand. Accept us in mercy; hear thou from Heaven, thy dwelling place, and forgive our transgressions.

“Glory be to God the Father; as it was in the beginning, &c.” Response, so mote it be.”

All the companions except high priests and past high priests, are then desired to withdraw, while the new high priest is solomnly bound to the performance of his duties; and after the performance of other necessary ceremonies, not proper to be written, they are permitted to return.

The grand high priest then addresses the new high priest, as follows:

Most Excellent Companion; “In consequence of your cheerful acquiesence with the charges and regulations just recited, I now declare you duly installed and anointed high priest of this new chapter; not doubting your determination to support the reputation and honor of our sublime order. I now cheerfully deliver unto you the warrant under which you are to work; and I doubt not you will govern with such good order and regularity, as will convince your companions that their partiality has not been improperly placed.”

The grand high priest then clothes and invests the new high priest with the various implements and insignia of the order, with suitable charges to each of them.

The grand high priest then installs the several subordinate officers in turn; and points out to them the duties appertaining to their respective offices; after which, he pronounces a suitable address to the new chapter, and closes the ceremony, with the following benediction:

The Lord be with you all; let brotherly love continue; be not forgetful to entertain strangers. Now the God of peace, our supreme high priest, make you perfect to do his will.

“Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace and good will to men.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, &c.”

SECT. 2. At the institution of all lodges of mark master masons, under this jurisdiction, the same ceremonies as are prescribed, in the foregoing section, are to be observed, as far as they will apply to that degree.

Sect. 3. Whenever it shall be inconvenient for the gen. eral grand officers, or the grand or deputy grand high priests, respectively, to attend in person, to constitute a new chapter or lodge, and install the officers, they shall severally bave power and authority, to appoint some worthy high priest, or past high priest, to perform the necessary ceremo: nies.



SECT. 4. The officers of every chapter and lodge under this jurisdiction, before they enter upon the exercise of their respective offices, and also the members of all such chapters and lodges, and every candidate upon his admission into the same, shall take the following obligation, viz: “I, A. B. do promise and swear, that I will support and maintain the general grand royal arch constitution.”

I hereby certify, that the foregoing is a true copy of the general grand royal arch constitution for the United States of America, as altered, amended and ratified, at a meeting of the general grand chapter, begun and holden at New-York, in the State of New-York, on the 6th day of June, A. D. 1816.


JOHN ABBOT, G. G. Secretary.

The following Emminent Companions, at the above Chapteral

communication, were elected to the offices attached to their

respective names. M. E. His Excellency, the Hon. DE WITT CLINTON,

Governor of the State of New York, General Grand

High Priest. M. E. THOMAS SMITH WEBB, Esq. of Boston, Mas

sachusetts, Deputy General Grand High Priest. M. E. JOHN H. LYNDE, Esq. of New Haven, Connecti

cut, General Grand King. M. E. PHILIP P. ECKEL, Esq. of Baltimore, Mary

land, General Grand Scribe. M. E. JOHN ABBOT, Esq. of Westford, Massachusetts,

General Grand Secretary. M. E. PETER GRINNEL, Esq. of Providence, Rhode

Island, General Grand Treasurer. M. E. and Rev. JONATHAN NYE, of Newfane, Vermont,

General Grand Chaplain. M. E. JOHN HARRIS, Esq. of Hopkinton, New-Hamp

shire, General Grand Marshal.

[ocr errors]



Observations on the order of Knighthood.

THE order of Knighthood as it relates to freemasonry las given rise to much speculation among the different writers, who have at different periods, published their opinions to the world. It will doubtless be admitted, that those only, who have made themselves perfectly acquainted with the order, by having been regularly dubbed, and thus put in legal possession of every thing relating to the order, can be competent to judge of its merits, and particularly of its connexions with what is usually denominated ancient masonry. There are among those with whom I have frequently conversed, (not a few) who insist that every thing relating to the first seven degrees, terminating with the degree of Royal Arch, was utterly unknown in Europe, until after the crusades; in short, that all its important secrets were communicated to European Knights, by enlightened Jews, and the few remaining Christians, at that period, inhabitants of the holy land.

Be that as it may, it is not our intention at present, to enter the lists, knights as we are, with those who may be opposed to our opinion on this subject, but to give a faithful history of the or. ders now practised among masons. Before we enter upor our work, it will however, be expedient and proper, to give some account of the origin of knighthood, and to add the opinions of the most eminent writers on this interesting subject.

“The different orders of knighthood, are divided into two classes; the first consists of the religious, which not only includes the defence of the princes or rulers, the state and of christianity, but also by particular vows and other rules, is rendered entirely subject to the chief. The second class comprehends, the military, which sovereigns have established to encourage and cherish emulation among their subjects, in the wars, and the management of state affairs.”

The institution of orders of knighthood, as a recompense for the heroick achievements of a hero, is traced to the highest antiquity.* Although it cannot be denied, that many military orders, seem also to have been instituted from quite a different cause, the promotion of loyalty, literary pursuits, and other virtues; and are conferred on those who have deserved well of the prince, or of the state.

•Vid. Aubert. Miracus de Origin. equestr. lib. i. cap. i. † Mirabas, I. c.

« AnteriorContinuar »