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ted chair of state covered with black. Before him stands a table covered with black and a fiery coloured carpet, on which is a bible, a sceptre and a dagger*. Solomon strikes with his sceptre, and Stolkin strikes with his poignard, which he holds in his hand, as " a symbol of revenge.
Form of opening. Q. Are you an elected Knight?
Å. One cavern received me, one lamp gave me light and one spring refreshed me.
Q. What is the clock?
The master knocks 8 and l. The inspector initiates him, and the brethren clap the same number with their hands. The master says—This chapter is opened.
Form of reception. The Master of the Ceremonies brings the candidate to the door, knocks 8 and 1, which are repeated by the master, all the brethren being in their proper postures. The inspector rises and receives the candidate, whom he brings into the middle of the chamber, opposite to the Thrice Puissant. After a little silence, he is asked by the master :—What do you want here?
A: I am come to solicit the favour of being initiated into the degree of the Nine Elected Knights.
Q. What motives induce you to think that you deserve to have the honour conferred upon you.
A. My zeal, fervour and constancy, which I promise shall be doubled hereafter, have made me aspire to this favour.
T.P.M.Learn, my brother, that you are to impute your present admission into this chapter, less. to a desire in us to confer this degree upon you, than to an inclination to make a trial of your conduct and courage, and of your compliance with the obligations which
you have contracted in the different degrees through which you have already passed. Know, my brother, that, at this moment we have in our power one of the murderers of our respectable master, Hiram Abiff, who groans under the enorinity of his guilt and expects every instant to undergo the rigorous torture which his crimes justly merit, to serve as an example to deter others. This I have learnt from a stranger, who will conduct those I send to the place where the miscreant is hidden.
My dear brother, this chapter is fully convinced of your zeal and is much disposed to confer higher degrees on you. So, now, the opportunity offers, of your being the first to revenge the craft, by. bringing this villain to condign punishment, if possible, adequate
* A very becoming emblem of the Trinity in Unity. We have daggerwork and revenge here approaching somewhat to the French Degree of Kadosh.
to the enormity of his crimes.—Do you find yourself disposed to vindicate the royal art, and to sacrifice the traitor, in honour of masonry ?---Give me an answer.
A. I shall be happy of the opportunity to revenge the death of our dear Grand Master.
T. P. M. I must previously inform you, that this man is perhaps one of your acquaintances, probably, your friend, or your brother; but in such a case as this, every sentiment must give way to that of revenge, which, with you, is to stifle every other consideration, because, no bąd consequences will attend your accomplishment of this revenge. Besides, this is the only opportunity that offers of making us sensible of your zeal, by which you will be admitted into this degree; therefore, determine immediately.
A. I am determined.
T. P. M. Suffer yourself to be conducted and follow the stranger, to the place where the criminal is hidden ?
The candidate is now blind-folded and conducted to the cave, where he is seated on a stone, opposite to the sleeping murderer. When seated, the guide tells him, that he shall have to leave him for a while; another brother shakes a parcel of chains and groans heavily. The guide places the candidates left hand on the table, tells him to lay his head on his arm, and his right hand on his thigh : and thus addresses him :~My dear brother, I must leave you a little while, be of good courage, and not daunted. Promise me faithfully, that you will remain in the posture in which I now leave you, however much alarmed you may be, by any noise which you may hear. Attend to what I say; for if you neglect it, your life may be the cost. As soon as you hear a masonic knock, take the bandage from your eyes and closely examine every object that is around you. When
you hear a second knock, drink out of the cup, which you will find near your left hand. When you hear a third knocking, you must do exactly as a voice shall bid you. Although I leave you alone, believe me the
eyes of the whole chapter are upon you; therefore, I beg, that
you will not fail to comply with these instructions. Farewell, I leave you. He quits the room and shuts the door sharply after him*. În a minute or two, he knocks three distinct knock's after a while, he knocks again, as before: and then, again, when a voice tells the candidate, to take that dagger and strike the villain, first on the head, then in his heart. Cut off the head and follow me with it in your left hand and the dagger in the
* The dramatic representation is here contemptible. Here is along instruction and ceremony performed, with a noisy shutting of the door, in the face of a sleeping murderer, who is to be the victim of the plot ! Nothing is supposed capable of waking him, not even the subsequent masonic knockings and the voice that orders his destruction. This niasonry is a detestable and wicked science as a whole.
right. "He is again brought to the door of the lodge and knocks 8 and 1. The door being opened. the master says, who comes there.
A. Joabert, who has discovered where the traitor was concealed and having revenged the death of our respectable master, Hiram Abiff, comes to lay the villain's head at the feet of Solomon, King of Israel.
He is then admitted. Holding the head out, he strikes at it with the dagger, which brings him to the throne, where he falls on his knees with the head and dagger exposed in his hands. The King, seeing the candidate rises with great indignation and says :Wretch! what have
done? My orders were, that the traitor should be taken and brought to me, not that you should put him to death. Your obedience of orders shall therefore cost you
Stolkin, put him to death. (On hearing this the brethren fall on one knee and beg pardon from Solomon for the candidate, saying, that it was an excess of zeal and love for the memory of our respected master, Hiram Abiff, that prompted him to disobey the king's orders. While this entreaty is making Stolkin seizes the candidate and stands ready to execute his orders, Solomon says stop :-My Brother Joabert, I freely forgive you, the second time, as you meant no wrong, ; but beware of the third offence.-The head and poignard are then taken from him and the obligation is administered.
The penalty of this obligation embraces those of all the foregoing, with a promise to revenge masonry in general* ; to protect the order of one's brethren with all one's might and power : to submit one's self to perish by the same weapon which will be given as an honourable mark of this order, and as a reward for zeal and constancy.
The Thrice Puissant raises the candidate and gives him the dagger, saying :- I deliver to you this vindictive weapon: make a good use of it when required.
The first sign of this order is for one to take a poignard or sword and stab another on the forehead. The one that is struck claps his hand to his forehead to see if it is bloodyt!
The second sign is to strike your poignard to the heart of another and
The other answers, by laying his hand upon his heart and saying--Joabert.
The grip is to take the thumb of the other's right hand, and, in the bottom of yüur's, clench all the fingers of both hands and place the thumb erect. It signifies the elect eight close and one by itself.
The pass-words are N-m Joabert and Stolkin.
* What can this mean?
The grand word is Begulgal, signifying, faithful guardian or chief of the Tabernacle, friend and chosen favourite,
The candidate is led to his seat, the brethren resume their proper attitudes, and the Thrice Puissant delivers the following
Discourse. Thrice respectable brother elect, the unanimity and earnestness, with which this respectable assembly required your pardon, disposed my heart to grant it, especially, as your crime was only an overflow of zeal. In this, you have imitated Joabert, the favou. rite of Solomon King of Israel, as I am about to relate. You, doubtless, recollect the lamentable catastrophe of our respectable master, Hiram Abiff. His death is the constant subject of our grief and tears, and, in this, we imitate the wisest of kings, who bemoaned the irreparable loss which he had sustained. You know, that Solomon, on hearing that he was missing, put a stop. to the building, and swore, that no person should be paid his wages, until this great man was found dead or alive. You also recollect, that, the brethren went in search of him, and that Stolkin, at length, found him assassinated and buried under or near a sprig of Cassia. Stolkin's good luck, on this melancholy occasion, endeared him to the king, and procured him his greatest confidence. Nor was Solomon contented with having the funeral obsequies of that great man celebrated with as much splendour and magnificence as possible; but was also determined to take public satisfaction on the perpetrators of that horrid crime, and to sacrifice them to the manes of his deceased friend. He issued a proclamation, offering a reward to any person, who would give information where the villains were concealed; and that he would even forgive the real assassin, if he would come into his presence, acknowledge guilt, and give up his accomplices, so that they might suffer condign punishment for the expiation of the greatest of crimes. This proclamation was long out to no purpose. But, one day, when Solomon was sitting in his hall, giving audience to more than ninety masters and other-officers of the order, Jerbel, Captain of the Guards, entered and informed him, that an unknown person wanted to speak to him in private, as he had a matter of the highest importance to impart. The brethren were alarmed at the readiness with which the king consented to a private audience, from fear of danger to bis person; but the audience being short, a speedy return removed those fears. He informed them, that this unknown person was acquainted with the retreat of the murderers of Hiram Abiff, and had offered to conduct such people as would accompany him and inform themselves of the truth of what he asserted. The brethren, to a man, immediately stood up and offered their services on the occasion. The. King was highly pleased at their zeal, but declared, that, among such a number of virtuous brethren, they who should be employed in the honour of taking these victims of vengeance, should be determined by lot. The names of the intendants of the buildings who were present, were put in a box, when the king declared the nine whose names should be first drawn should follow the unknown stranger and bring the traitors alive, to be made an example to the latest posterity. Lots were accordingly drawn and joy gladdened the faces of those whose names came out. These received instructions from the king to follow the unknown man, who would conduct them to the cave, which was the retreat of the traitors. They departed, but one of the nine, Joabert, whom you this day represent, animated with uncommon ardour, and thinking his brethren walked too slow, got before them, and was the first that came to the cave, which was situated near the sea side, not far from Joppa. Near it was a bush, which seemed to burn; and a star, which had conducted them, stood fixed over the cave. Joabert; inflamed with rage, entered, and by the help of a lamp which was burning, saw the villain asleep, laying on his back. A dagger lay at his feet, which Joabert seized and struck with all his might, first on the head, and then in the heart. The villain sprang up with fury; but, immediately dropped dead at his feet, and pronounced the word N-m. Joabert cut off his head and then quenched his thirst at the spring in the cave, when he was joined by his brethren, whom he was just going to meet. They, seeing the head of the Villain, represented to Joabert, that he had committed a fault by his zeal, and that thus putting an end to the villain's life, he had rescued him from the tortures which Solomon had prepared for him. They promised to intercede and use their influence with the king to procure his pardon, All quenching their thirst, Joabert taking the head, they walked back to Jerusalem. On seeing them, Solomon was about to give orders for the intended tortures; but espying the villain's head in the hands of Joabert, he could not restrain his wrath, and ordered Stolkin to put him to death. This would have been instantly executed, had not all the brethren thrown themselves on their knees and begged him off, as the illustrious brethren of this chapter have done for you,
From the historical circumstances related, you may see what useful instructions can be drawn. First, by the traitor's death, you see that crimes never go unpunished; but that, sooner or later, they meet their deserts. Secondly, you may learn from Joabert's danger, how unsafe it is to exceed orders; and that it is a necessary duty, strictly to comply with the orders of your superiors. Thirdly, by the pardon procured for this zealous brother, you may learn, how easily the heart of a good king is influenced to be merciful. You also see how necessary it is to have friends, who will interest themselves warmly for us on critical occasions. And, now, my dear brother, we will put an end to this discourse, by applauding your reception with 8 and 1.