GOLDEN RULE, OR SECOND ENCAMPMENT DEGREE.
Junior Warden (having retired to the ante-room addresses the Candidate there as follows): You are now to be advanced to the Degree of the Golden Rule. There is a solemn and impressive ceremony through which you must pass. Be candid and firm, and answer truly and without hesitation such questions as may be put to you.
JW. (three raps).
Inside Sentinel: Who comes there?
JW.: A Patriarch who wishes to be instructed in the Golden Rule.
I Sent.: Is he prepared to learn the mysteries and practice the duties of this degree?
JW.: He has hitherto proved himself a faithful and true man, and I have no doubt he is worthy of further confidence.
I Sent.: He has permission to enter
The Junior Warden enters with Candidate and conducts him to the Chief Patriarch.
JW.: Chief Patriarch, I present to you Patriarch ..., who has faithfully served his time as a herdsman in the field, and has been admitted to the rank of a Patriarch. He has been instructed to bestow upon those in want a generous hospitality, and he now wishes to be taught the principle of Toleration.
Chief Patriarch: Patriarch, I congratulate you on having a desire to comprehend the cardinal virtue of Odd-fellowship. Practical toleration is one of the noblest of human actions. The authority of conscience should be respected in all the relations of life; and our Order teaches that there should be no discrimination in the exercise of this right.
Junior Warden, present the Patriarch to the Senior Warden for obligation.
JW.: Senior Warden, by direction of the Chief Patriarch, I present to you Patriarch who desires to take the obligation of the Golden Rule Degree.
SW.: Patriarch ..., the lesson of this degree is toleration. It permits others to think and act according to their convictions of duty. If you are willing to recognize this principle of action, you will place yourself in the attitude in which you were initiated into this Order, and repeat after me the following (two raps calling up the Encampment):
I, ..., do sincerely promise; that I will never reveal the secrets of the Degree of the Golden Rule to any one not legally authorized to receive them. And I do further promise on my sacred honor, that I will truly endeavor to practice the principles of this degree.
SW. (one rap, seating the Encampment): Junior Warden, you will present the Patriarch to the Most Excellent High Priest for further instruction.
JW.: Most Excellent High Priest, I present to you Patriarch ..., who has taken the obligation of this degree.
High Priest: Patriarch, you have been taught to recognize as a cardinal virtue the golden rule, which commands us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Here we endeavor to inculcate a just observance of those high moral affections and duties for the enforcement of which society can enact no code.
Here no artificial distinctions of nation, sect, or tribe are recognized. All stand upon one common level, and are alike entitled to that consideration and regard which each claims for himself. The rule by which we walk is founded upon the immutable truth that all men are brethren: but the code of society regulates the degree of association. From one common source the existence of all is derived, and we are bound to each other by common ties. A nerve of the same life runs through the human race, and gives to each an interest in the welfare of all that live. Recognizing as we do this bond of union, the evils that afflict our brother-man become in a measure our own; his misfortunes are our misfortunes, and his sufferings do but increase the pains that shoot through our systems, and render life so feverish and fitful. If we smite him, we smite a member of our own body; and if we strike for his blood, our own flesh shall feel the wound. From all this vast brotherhood we claim sympathy in distress, truth in intercourse, and full and free toleration. As we claim these for ourselves, and, yield them up at the mandate of none, so we are bound freely and fully to accord them to others.
Junior Warden you will retire with the Candidate.
The Junior Warden and Candidate now retire to the ante-room, where they both remain for a few moments. After the Encampment room has been properly prepared, and the lights tamed down low, they proceed to the door and are permitted to enter without interruption.
In this degree the Patriarchs are supposed to personate the different races that inhabit the earth. In order to work the degree intelligently and with effect, the brethren should as far as possible, employ the characteristic costume and national emblems of the particular race they are supposed to represent.
JW. (to Candidate): You see before you representatives of the different peoples of the earth.
There is the WHITE RACE, now scattered throughout the world. Its origin was in ancient Asia. the region once occupied by Adam, Noah, and Abraham, but now overrun by semi-barbarous hordes as different in religious faith as in manners. Many of them still cling to the ancient worship of Judaism, some to the Crescent and some to the Cross. The religion of the Cross prevails where civilization exists, and yet its devotees are divided into sects as antagonistic in creed as though they were dissimilar in origin.
The BROWN RACE inhabits parts of southern Asia. it is far advanced in the arts and sciences. Its temples of worship are of great splendor, and exhibit architectural skill equaling that of any other people. Its religion is paganistic; and its social habits are defined by strict and rigid caste.
The YELLOW RACE, consisting of the Mongolians of Asia, are votaries of Pagan rites, according to the teachings of Confucius. For centuries they have given practical evidence of advanced mental power, by the production of handiwork whose mysteries have remained unfathomed by other races.
The RED RACE consists of unlettered savages, roaming through the pathless wilderness, chasing the fleet deer with the quiver and bow. The sun, moon, and the myriads of stars receive their profound adoration as symbols of an eternal Great Spirit.
And there you behold the BLACK RACE. It inhabits, as hordes, the wilds of Africa. In general they are barbarians and monsters in the practice of the most dire rapine; yet some of them are more gentle; as the Nubians, who dwell upon the burning sands of the Equator and dance to the music of a reed beneath the spreading palm.
These races are employed to some extent as artisans, by whose hands are constructed palaces, temples, and all the implements required for man’s convenience and mental culture. Some are devoted to the pursuit of letters or the sciences, such as chemistry, geography, and astronomy. By their genius and mental power man is educated and advanced to a higher and better condition.
In recognition of the Benign Power that created all things, man seeks to honor the Creator by ceremonies of adoration. That group embraces men of different creeds, who are followers of the Christian religion, and there is the Pagan, a worshiper of idols, or of the elements of fire.
And here are the intolerant and persecuting Mohammedans, who are ever ready to immolate the man of another creed upon the altar of their own peculiar faith.
Mohammedan: Of what country are you?
Moh.: What is your religion?
Moh. (all hurriedly rise and exclaim): Seize him! Bind him in chains! Cast him into prison! Put him to the sword!
The First and Second Watches, who represent Mohammedans, rush to seize the Candidate; and the Third and Fourth Watches, who represent Christians, rush to defend him. This produces a general confusion. No rough usage is permitted. The Candidate is bound with chains.
CP. (one rap, calling to order): Silence! What means this uproar and confusion?
They all remain motionless until the Chief Patriarch gives another command.
JW.: The Patriarch having declared that he is and , they have seized and bound him.
CP.: Junior Warden, bring hither the disturbers of the peace; also the Patriarch.
JW.: Let us proceed to the presence of the Chief Patriarch.
The Mohammedans follow the Junior Warden and Candidate, and form a semicircle in front of the chair of the Chief Patriarch, who rises to his feet.
CP. (to the Junior Warden): Remove the chains which have been imposed by the intolerance of man, and let our brother feel that a code prevails here which tramples on human prejudices, and asserts the high birthright of humanity.
To the Candidate: My friend, be always just and fear not. You have not hesitated when occasion demanded, though surrounded with danger, to avow your principles. This is the solemn duty of every honest man.
To the Junior Warden: Warden. you will proceed in the duties of your office. Chief Patriarch resumes his seat.
The Candidate is again blindfolded and conducted by the Junior Warden at a slow pace around the room. Meanwhile the brethren representing the different races, creeds, and pursuits of the earth seat themselves among the Patriarchs. The lights are turned up.
JW. (on arriving at the chair of the Chief Patriarch): Chief Patriarch, I present Patriarch ..., to you for further instruction.
CP. (standing): Restore him to light done. Patriarch, look around you. Behold the change a few moments have wrought! emblematic of that change which shall occur when the Golden Rule shall have asserted its power and obtained its dominion over the world. The high and impassable barriers that separate man from his fellow-man are broken down. All sit together as brothers in harmony and love. The descendants of Abraham and the followers of the Crescent are commingled with those of the Cross as one happy family, knowing no diversity of faith or
creed, and a calm repose has come upon the elements of strife. The spear of the warrior is broken and the sword of the conqueror lies rusting in the scabbard, and discord and contention shall be known no more.
If the following be not sung, the High Priest shall read it.
No more shall nation against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be covered o’er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more,
But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end;
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear,
From every face be wiped off every tear;
All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail,
Returning Justice lift aloft her scale;
Peace o’er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend.
If the preceding be read, then another ode may be sung. During the singing a procession may be formed, including the representatives of the different races, creeds, and pursuits of the earth, and pass slowly around the room, the Junior Warden and Candidate in the rear. When the last verse of the ode is being sung, the Junior Warden and Candidate retire to the ante-room, where the Candidate is permitted to remain for a short time.
After the Encampment has been restored to order and the room properly prepared, the Junior Warden and Candidate re-enter.
JW. (proceeding with the Candidate to the chair of the Chief Patriarch): I present to you Patriarch ..., who desires final instructions in the Golden Rule.
CP.: Patriarch, it is now my duty to instruct you in the mysteries of this degree.
In this degree there is an Alarm at the inner door, or Entersign; a Password and Explanation of the Password; a Sign and Answer to the Sign; a Check Sign and Answer; and a Grip.
The Chief Patriarch now instructs the Candidate in these secret details, and continues as follows: Junior Warden, you will now present the Patriarch to the Most Excellent High Priest for further instruction.
JW.: Most Excellent High Priest, by direction of the Chief Patriarch, I present to you Patriarch ..., for further instruction in this degree.
HP.: Patriarch, the scene that has been presented to you illustrates an era for which kings and patriarchs waited and sought, but never found. We trust that the lessons of this occasion will be deeply engraven on your heart. The ceremonies you have witnessed are especially designed to impress you with the great principle of Toleration. In the present condition of mankind, owing to the prejudices of education or habit, it cannot be expected that men should think alike. This is philosophically impossible. But, honest in our own opinions, we should accord the same honesty to others; and, while we should in no instance tolerate licentiousness or vice, we should overlook all differences of a minor nature which may divide us from our brethren, and cordially unite with the virtuous and good, irrespective of country, religion, or politics, in the discharge of those duties which all agree to be paramount. As a brother of this sublime degree, it is expected that you will always act upon the Golden Rule, doing unto others as you would have them under similar circumstances do unto you. Thus will you cooperate with the great mission of Odd-fellowship and hasten the period when man shall hail his
brother-man with fraternal greetings; when falsehood shall be driven from the earth, and the race of man form a universal family acknowledging the God of the universe as Father, and every child of man as a brother.
Junior Warden, you will present the Patriarch to the Chief Patriarch.
An ode may be sung and a procession formed, to move around the room during the singing. After the ode the Junior Warden presents the Candidate before the Chief Patriarch.
Chief Patriarch, by direction of the High Priest, I present to you Patriarch
CP.: Recognizing you as a Patriarch of the Golden Rule, the Junior Warden will invest you with a black apron trimmed with yellow, emblematical of this degree. An apron is placed upon the Candidate. Patriarch ..., in the name and by the authority of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, I declare you duly advanced as a Patriarch of the Golden Rule Degree.