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masonry, even as a Royal Arch Mason, you have learnt nothing but the secrets of folly, and bave made yourself my butt and laughing stock. Having said this, I will confirm , it, by shewing you and the public, A DESCRIPTION OF THE DEGREE OF ROYAL ARCH
MASONRY. The assembly of this order is called a chapter, and the individuals, when in a chapter, are so arranged, as to form an arch or semi-circle. The three principal officers, Zerubbabel as Prince, Haggai as Prophet, and Jeshua as High Priest, are placed as the key stones of the arch. Three, called Sojourners, Principal, Senior and Junior, are at the bottom. And two, Ezra and Nehemiah, called Senior and Junior, Scribes, are placed one on each side. The deficiency of the figure is filled up with the companions. The order is a species of Masonic Knighthood. In the middle of the arch stands an altar with the initials of the names of Solomon King of Israel, Hiram, King of Tyre, and Hiram Abiff. There is, or should be, where convenient, an organ in the room in which the chapter is held. The chapter is also considered a type of the Sanhedrim of the Jews,
Form of opening. The members having arrived and the principal officers having robed and taken their sceptres, all things being in order they retire to a room adjoining to theintended chapter, with the exception of the scribes, who take their stand on each side of the door. There is then a sort of procession formed to enter the chapter. At the entrance, each gives the sign of sorrow, or, as others call it, the reverential sign, which is done by bowing the head and body, placing the right hand on the forehead. This sign is repeated as they approach the altar or pedestal. Then they place their sceptres in their left hands, with the right under the left breast, and make the following pronunciation:
Zerubbabel. In the beginning was the word.
J. Omniscient. (All rise kneel and say together,) Before which, we three do agree, in love and unity, the sacred word of a Royal Arch Mason to keep, and not to reveal it to any in the world, unless it be, when three such as we, do meet and agree.
The sign of sorrow is now given the third time, and each advances to his proper place, standing before a chair.
Z. Companions, assist me to open this chapter. Companion Junior Sojourner, what is the chief and constant care of a Royal Arch Mason?
J. S. To see the chapter properly tiled.
Z. Companion Junior Sojourner, what is your duty in this chapter.
J. S. To be guardian of the first vale; to allow none to enter therein, but those who are in full possession of all pass-words, signs and tokens thereunto belonging, and not even then without first acquainting the Senior Sojourner.
2. Companion Senior, Sojourner what is your duty in this chapter ?
S. J. To be guardian of the second vale; to allow none to enter therein, but those who are in possession of all pass-words, signs and tokens thereunto belonging and not even then without first acquainting the principal sojourner.
Z. Companion Principal Sojourner; what is your duty in this chapter ?
P. S. To be guardian of the third vale; to allow none to enter therein, but those who are in possession of all pass-words, signs and tokens thereunto belonging; and not even then without first acquainting the High Chiefs.
2. Companion Ezra, what is your duty in this chapter ? E. To register all records, acts, laws and transactions, for the general good of the chapter.
Z. Companion Nehemiah, what is your duty in this chapter ?
2. Let us pray.-0 God, thou great and grand architect of the universe, grand prince, causer of all existence, at thy words the pillars of the sky* were raised and its beauteous arches formed. Thy breath kindled the stars, adorns the moon with silver rays and gives the sun its resplendent lustre t. We are assembled in thy great name, to acknowledge thy power, thy wisdom and thy goodness; and to implore thy blessing. We pray thee, O gracious god, to bless us in our undertaking through life for this great end. Endue us with a competence of thy most holy spirit, that we may be enabled to trace thee out in all thy wonderful works, as far as it is agreeable to thy divine will, that thy praises may resound with the fervent love of thy creatures from pole to pole, and rebound from the vaulted canopy of the heavens through universal nature 1. Grant this O God Amen.
* What, my royal duke, are the pillars of the sky, and where to be found ?
R. C. + Abominable trash fit only for royal dukes?
R. C. | Ridiculous bombast! There is not a word of sense or mean
Z. In the beginning was the word.
Z. Companions, Chiefs what are the great attributes of these great words?
2. Omnipresence. To the all wise, all powerful, and all present being, around whose throne we may hereafter. encircle.
Z. Most excellent Haggai, from whence came you?
H. To assist in rebuilding the second temple and to endeavour to obtain the secret word.
2. Then, Companions let us celebrate this grand design. (The obligation of “ We three do agree, &c.,” is here renewed.) I now declare this chapter duly opened, in the name of the great Jehovah,
CHARGE. (Usually given immediately on the opening of the chapter.). Companions, the Masonic system exhibits a stupendous and beautiful fabric founded on universal piety, unfolding its gates to receive without prejudice or discrimination the worthy professors of every description of genuine religion: concentrating as it were into one body their just tenets, unincumbered by the disputable peculiarities of all sects and persuasions. This system originated in the earliest of ages and among the wisest of men. But it is to be lamented, that the suggestions of some weak minds among our own fraternity, that the prejudices of the world against our invaluable institution are in a great measure imputable. Unable to comprehend the beautiful allegories of ancient wisdom, they ignorantly assert that the rites of Masonry are futile*—its doctrines ineffi..
ing in the whole prayer; not a word that relates to a thing as connected with that thing. Your God must breathe fire with a vengeance to kindle the stars with it! Like Moloch, his belly must be the real hell.
R. Ci * And Dr. Hemming, or any other Royal Arch Mason, as ignorantly asserts that they are not futile. At present, the masonic institution is so far futile as to be void of all meaning or purpose, other than that of a congregation of fools for silly play. If any of you do know the beautiful allegories of ancient wisdom, it is
cient. To this assertion, indeed, they give, by their own misconduct, a semblance of truth, as we fail to discern that they are made wiser or better men by their admission to our mysteries.
Companions, I need not tell you, that nature alone can implant the seeds of wisdom; but Masonry will teach and enable us to cultivate the soil and to foster and strengthen the plant in its growth. Therefore, to dispel the clouds of ignorance, so inauspicious to the noble purposes of our order, and to hold forth a moral whereby we may see the power and greatness of the all-wise disposer of events.
The Royal Arch Degree gives us an ample discussion, by which we are shown, by the sad experience of the once favourite people of God, a lesson, how to conduct ourselves in every situation of our existence; and that when fortune, affluence, sickness or adversity attend us, we ought never to lose sight of the source from whence it came, always remembering, that he who gave can also take away.
Such is the intent of the Lecture now before us, and such is the intention of Masonry in general: having in itself this grand moral, which ought to be cultivated by every man among us:--to do unto others as we would wish to be done by :and it is the ultiinatum of all terrestial happiness, imitating in itself every virtue man can possess. May we, as companions, study that virtue, so as to hand down to posterity a name unspotted by vice and worthy of imitation.
Z. Companion Ezra, you will read the minutes of the last chapter. This being done. Z. asks if any one has any thing to propose for the good of the chapter. If not, and if there be no new candidate, the following Lecture or Catechism commences, which I shall introduce here, and subsequently describe the form of initiation in its further particulars.
Catechism. Q. Companion, what are you. A, A companion of the most excellent Royal Arch Chapter. Q. How shall we know you to be such. A. By the grand arch sign.
Q. Give me the grand arch sign. Gives it. Where did you learn that.
A. In a regular chapter.
A. Companion Zerubbabel, the prince of the people; Haggai the Prophet; and Jeshua the High Priest; with the rest of the companions, men 'chosen for virtue and moral rectitude, the better
criminal to conceal such knowledge. But I flatter myself that I have given proof that there is no such knowledge among ma
to enable them to superintend the carrying on of the works of the second temple. Q. How gained you
admittance. A. Having been initiated in the first degree of Masonry, served my time duly and truly as an entered apprentice, passed the degree of a fellow-craft, raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, and by, being in possession of the Past Master's word, which pone but Past Masters know.
Q. Do you recollect the word.
A. On my both knees to receive the benefit of a prayer, the better to remind me that sincerity and truth should accompany all my undertakings through life. Q. What was then demanded of
A. I was then told to arise and follow my leader; for that one whose faith is well founded has no need to fear dangsti
Q. After you arose, what was then said to you.
A. I was desired to be attentive to a portion of scripture, which was then read to me, after which I was brought to light. Q. When brought to light, what was presented to you.
A. The image of the B. B.* and the Serpent. I was also entrusted with the pass-word.
Q. How gained you admittance into the first vale.
A. I was desired to be attentive to a portion of scripture and was taught the signs of the second vale.
* Brazen Bull, I presume; but all these initials shall be filled up by a key