Loyal Order of Jonathan and David
Second Degree Ritual


COMMANDER: Scribe, examine the records of your office and report the name of any Brother who is entitled to induction into the Second Degree of our Order?
SCRIBE: I find, most worthy Commander, that Brother … was, at the meeting on the … day of …, A.D. … duly invested with the cabalistic work of the First Degree of the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David, and therefore qualified for further advancement.
COMMANDER: Most loyal Treasurer, do the records of your office show whether the Brother has paid all fees and charges entitling him to advancement in fellowship?
TREASURER: They do, loyal Commander. He has paid.
COMMANDER: The Captain will report whether the Brother is in waiting.
CAPTAIN: The Brother is in waiting, worthy Commander, under the protection of the Sentry.
COMMANDER: My Armor-Bearer will retire and examine the Brother further and report as to his worthiness for advancement.
Armor-Bearer will retire and addressing the Brother, say: The Commander has directed that I approach you with certain inquiries that will test y our fitness for further advancement in the Degrees of our Order Have you been faithful to the vow you made on your induction into the mysteries of the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David?
On receiving affirmative answer Armor-Bearer will blindfold initiate and leave him thus. On returning will say: I find the Brother worthy, most loyal Commander.
COMMANDER: Captain, you will retire to the ante-room, and making sure that the vision of the Brother is securely obscured, escort him hence.
CAPTAIN: Commander, the Brother awaits your further instruction.
COMMANDER: The Captain will restore the vision of the Brother that he may the more clearly perceive the beauties of the lesson as they are revealed unto him.
Captain Removes Hood.
The Courage of Jonathan and David, the emulation of which is so necessary to the making of a Worthy Brother of the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David, was graphically portrayed to you in your induction into the mysteries of our First Degree. In the recital of a few incidents in their careers, we recounted the triumphs of David and marked the gratification of Jonathan thereat. The triumphs of Jonathan were likewise portrayed, and the jealousy that possessed the soul of Saul toward David was hinted at. The covenant of friendship and brotherly love between Jonathan and David, their kindred and their seed forever, was recalled.
Shortly after the slaying of Goliath, in manner as recited, Saul sent David out as Captain over his men of War to fight against the Philistines, and the soldiers of Saul accepted him as their Commander. The people, after a great slaughter of the enemy, came out of all the cities of Israel, the women, as on the former great occasion, dancing, and with taborets and instruments of music, singing “Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands.”
And the soul of Saul was wrath. In his anger he cried “They have ascribed unto David ten thousand and to me they have ascribed but thousands. What can he have more but the kingdom?”
Saul eyed David from that day forward.
And it came to pass on the morrow that while David was playing upon his harp in Saul’s presence the King cast a javlin at him, saying: “I will smite David even to the wall with it”. But David evaded the blow, and thereupon Saul removed him from his house and made him Captain over a thousand. David went out and came in before the people, and in all respects conducted himself with great prudence and because thereof Saul was afraid of him. His fear was accentuated because of the fact that all Israel and Judah appeared to love David.
Saul in his soul greatly desired the death of David, and on finding that the people were fond of him he durst not kill him himself or even have him slain in a public manner, but conceived the purpose to have him exposed to the Philistines for slaughter. Accordingly, he said to David: “Behold my elder daughter, Merab, her will I give thee to wife, only be thou valiant for me and fight the Lord’s battles.”
David was greatly surprised at the honor Saul had offered him and answered: “Who am I, what is my life, and my father’s family in Israel that I should be son-in-law to the King.” Thereupon, Saul gave his elder daughter to another. But finding that Michal, a younger daughter, loved David, Saul said. “I will give him her that she may be a snare unto him that the hands of the Philistines may be against him.” Wherefore, Saul said to David. “Thou shalt this day be my son-in-law.”
Accordingly Saul commanded his servants to commune with David secretly and to assure him of his love and to urge him to accept the King’s daughter. But David said it was no light thing for him to aspire to, he being a poor man; and thereupon Saul’s servants told him that the King demanded no dowry other than the foreskins of an hundred Philistines. Saul hoped and expected to have David killed in the prosecution of this great undertaking. But David was, greatly pleased at the offer. Forthwith David and his men arose and went against the  Philistines, slaying two hundred of them, and David brought their foreskins and gave them to the King.
Saul kept his promise and gave David his younger daughter to wife, who proved to be very fond of him. The affection of David’s wife’ for him contributed to his increasing glory among the people. The King thereupon spoke to Jonathan, his son, and to all his servants, directing that they kill David.
But Jonathan was true to the covenant he had made with David, and hastening to him, said: “Saul, my father, seeketh to kill thee. Now, therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning and abide in a secret place and hide thyself. And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee and what I see that will I tell thee.”

And Jonathan spoke good of David unto Saul, his father, saying “Let not the King sin against his servant, David, because he hath not sinned against thee. All his works have been to thee-ward very good. Did he not take his life in his hands and slay the Philistine? Through him the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel. Thou sawest it and did rejoice. Wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood and slay David without a cause?” Saul thereupon repented and swore that David should not be slain.
Jonathan forthwith told David what Saul had said and brought him to Saul and he was in the King’s presence as in times past.
SCRIBE: Shortly after Saul had become reconciled to David and had sworn not to have him slain, there was again war, and David went out and fought the Philistines with great slaughter and they fled before him. Bu Saul’s jealousy was again aroused. Again while he sat in his house with David, who was playing upon his harp, he hurled his javlin at him, but David evaded it as before and fled. lie escaped that night to the forest and messengers that Saul sent to seek him were unable to find him.
After a time David returned secretly and saw Jonathan. He reminded him that he was fleeing, not through fear of personal injury, but because of his fidelity to the covenant of brotherly love he had made with Jonathan, for himself, his kindred and his seed, forever. And, continuing, he said: “What have I done? What is mine inquity and what is my sin before your father that he should seek my life?” And Jonathan said “God forbid: thou shalt not die. Behold, my father will do nothing either great or small but that he will show it me. Why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so.”
But David swore moreover, and said: “Thy father certainly knowest that I have found favor in thine eyes. He hath said ‘Tell not Jonathan this lest he be grieved’ But as truly as the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth there is but a step between me and death.” Then Jonathan said to unto David: “Whatsoever thy soul desireth I will even do it for thee”
“Behold, tomorrow is the new moon,” said David, “and I should not fail to sit with the King at meat: but let me depart that I may hide myself in the field until the third day at evening. If thy father miss me, then you say to him: ‘David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem, his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all his family.’ If he raise no objection thereat, then thy servant shall have peace, but if he be wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him. Therefore, thou should deal with candor and with kindness toward me, for thou hast brought thy servant into a covenant of the Lord with thee. If there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself, for why shouldst thou bring me to thy father?” And again Jonathan reassured David of his fidelity, and said: “Oh, Lord God of Israel, when I have sounded my father about tomorrow any time or on the third day, and if there be good toward David and I send not unto thee, then the Lord do so and much more to Jonathan; but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I will show it thee and send thee away that thou may goest in peace.”
David and Jonathan renewed their vow of fidelity, Jonathan yet being ignorant of the annointing of David to be King, and on parting, he sand to David: “Tomorrow is the feast of the new moon and thou shalt be missed because thy seat at my father’s table will be vacant. When thou hast stayed three days return to the place where thou didst hide thyself by the stone Ezel; and I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof as though I shot at a mark And, behold, I will send a lad saying: ‘Go find out the arrows.’ If I expressly say unto the lad:
‘Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee, take them,’ then come thou, for there is peace to thee and no hurt; but if I say unto the young man, ‘Behold, the arrows are beyond thee,’ then go thy way.”
TREASURER: So, when David departed from Jonathan at their last meeting, he hid himself in the field. When the new moon was come Saul sat himself down to feast; and Abner was by his side and Jonathan was there, and the King said naught that day concerning the absence of David. But on the morrow, when his place was again empty, Saul said to Jonathan: “Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday nor today?” Jonathan answered: “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem where his family hath a sacrifice and where all his brethren are. Therefore he cometh not to the King’s table.”
Saul was greatly angered against Jonathan, and he said unto him: “Thou son of Perverse rebellious woman, do not I know thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thy own confusion and unto the confusion; of thy mother’s nakedness. For as long as David, the son of Jesse, liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established nor thy kingdom. Now, therefore, send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.”
“Wherefore shall he be slain? What hath he done?” asked Jonathan.
Whereupon Saul cast a javlin at Jonathan to smite him. He then knew that it was determined of his father to slay David. So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, The next morning he went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and had a little lad with him, to whom he said: “Run find out now the arrows which I shoot.” When the lad was come to the place of the arrows which Jonathan had shot; he cried to him: “Are not the arrows beyond thee? Make haste, speed, stay not.”
Jonathan gathered up the arrows and be gave the lad his bow and sent him back to the city. When the lad was gone David came out of his hiding place, and he and Jonathan kissed each other and wept together, and Jonathan told David “Go in peace, for as much as we have sworn both of us, in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord be between me and thee, between my kindred and thy kindred, and between my seed and thy seed, forever.’” Thereupon, David departed and Jonathan returned to the city.
Ever afterward David was an exile from the Court of King Saul. He fled from place to place and finally went to Adullum, where his brethren and people rallied about him to the number of four hundred. He continually fled from Saul, who sought him with chosen troops. He finally retreated to the wilderness of Zipp, whither Jonathan went, and there they renewed their covenant. Still fleeing, David sought safely in the desert, and he and his men lodged there in a cave. Saul, searching the country for him, entered into the cave to sleep during the heat of the day. David’s friends advised him, while he had the opportunity, to kill Saul, but he refused and only cut off the skirt of his robe, refraining from taking his life because of his covenant with Jonathan.
After a time the Philistines defeated the Hebrews at Biboa, when Saul and his three sons, including Jonathan were slain. An Amilkite brought David the crown of Saul, expecting reward, but David ordered him executed, thereby giving further evidence of his purpose to remain true to his covenant of friendship and brotherly love with Jonathan.
The Princes of Judah now made David King, but Abner made Ishbosheth, a son of Saul, King over the rest of the tribes. Subsequently two Benjamites murdered Ishbosheth and carried his head to David Again he evidenced his fidelity to his covenant with Jonathan by killing his brother’s slayers.
In the course of time David became King over all Israel, him and his seed, forever. He forthwith made inquiry as to whether there were any left of the House of Saul, “Thor,” said he, “I desire to show them kindness fur Jonathan’s sake.”
And David found that Mephibosheth, the lame son of Jonathan, yet lived. He sent for him and said to him: “Fear not, for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan, thy father’s sake. I will restore thee all the lands o Saul, thy grandfather, and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually, as one of the King’s sons.”
COMMANDER: Fidelity is the second of the cardinal principles of this noble Order. You have harkened to the beautiful story of the fidelity with which Jonathan kept his covenant of friendship. You have seen how Jonathan, a Royal Prince, formed a friendship for David at a time when he appeared to be naught but a poor and humble shepherd boy, and how the affection of Jonathan was reciprocated. You have seen that David, though apprehensive that his interests would clash with the interests of Jonathan, so loved him that he made a covenant of friendship with him. Equally the chances appeared that such a covenant would be to hurt of Jonathan, but obeying the promptings of a pure affection, they flung all worldly consideration aside, and swore eternal friendship for each other in the covenant that proved the salvation of themselves and their seed for all time and which for centuries has stood as the embodiment of brotherly love. You have seen how, not so much by the making of the covenant as by the fidelity with which it was kept, has the memory of the founders of our Order been immortalized by all succeeding generations. In that covenant, and the faithful keeping thereof, are our members bound together for mutual protection, so that in the fierce conflict of life they may know who are their friends and upon whom in time of sorrow and trial they may call for succor and comfort.
Captain, you will retire from this presence with the Brother
SCRIBE: You are now kneeling in the presence of your Heavenly Commander, and in the presence of the loyal members of the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David, with your right hand upon your heart, while your left hand is laved in the blood of one who beheld these mysteries and betrayed them. In this solemn posture repeat after me the obligation that will entitle you to the fidelity of your Brothers:
“I do solemnly promise to be true and faithful to all members of this Order. I will not maliciously injure or intentionally defraud a Brother and will do all in my power to promote the welfare and prosperity of all members of the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David, consistent with a due regard to my own interests and welfare; and I do promise to cultivate the God-given attribute of fidelity in the keeping of my promise of brotherly love. So help me God.”
The Captain will see to the removal of the blood of our traitor Brother, whose name we do not pronounce in this sacred hall, and to the cleansing of our Worthy Brother’s hand; and may the Lord God bless and keep him in his noble resolve.
Captain, withdraw with the Worthy Brother.
CAPTAIN: I obey, Commander.
ALL OFFICERS: Death to traitors. Death to traitors.
SEER: Courage! Fidelity! Can there be a fusion of greater virtues? The lesson that you have learned, wherein we compass the true definition of a perfect, glorious Courage, is not more essential to a perfect life than is that Fidelity that enables Man to surrender the selfish, sordid side of his nature to those generous impulses that impel him to respond to the distress of his brother.
We do not simply teach the commonplace fidelity of husband to wife or parent to child. The law of nature rules supreme in that sphere and Nature’s Law is emphasized by Divine command, coupled with the threat of punishment for its non-observance. Fidelity is the synonim of Loyalty. No man can be loyal lest he likewise hath fidelity. No man can be morally courageous who lacks fidelity to tine right. Thus we find in the affairs on life that Courage and Fidelity consort. The one can not stand without the other as its guardian angel.
But the Fidelity which we the more especially teach is that Fidelity which holds men together as brothers by the bonds of friendship, as typified by the covenant of Jonathan and David. A friendship that is reciprocal is pure in its conception and holy in its application. Fidelity to a covenant of brotherly affection strengthens the soul, brings succor to the bleeding heart, and nerves the energies of man to great and noble deeds. Fidelity to the principles of this ancient Order, its precepts and examples, brings to the human soul a peace passing all understanding. As a soft word turneth away wrath, so the cultivation of a spirit making a pure, unselfish friendship possible, allays strife, lightens the burdens of the heart, and brings joy to the worn and jaded spirit. Hence the social relations of life must remain cold and strained did not faithful friendship intervene to soften the sterner nature of man.
Fidelity to your pledge of friendship will mollify the asperities of life within your environment. It will require of you honorable and just dealing with your brother, which in turn you will receive at his hands. It will demand of you that you succor and comfort him in his hour of trial, and in turn, in your day of woe, which in one form or another comes to us all alike, he will comfort and succor you.
Whatever be your station in life, there is more of the alloy of sorrow than the sense of joy therein. Whether your days be many in this mundane sphere or whether they be few, you can not escape the necessity for human assistance. Far better is it, then, to feel that you have a covenant with certain of your fellow creatures to whom you have the sacred privilege of appealing for advice, comfort and aid.
As the North star is fixed in its orbit: steadfast, immovable, always darting forth its resplendent rays, lighting the mariner in his course, so were the vows of eternal fidelity to the cardinal principles of our Loyal Order implanted in the breasts of its founders: firm, unwavering, from which they never faltered. In the hour of triumph they were true—faithful to each other. In the day of adversity they forgot not their covenant of friendship and .brotherly love. God blessed their covenant and men revered their fidelity.
COMMANDER: I congratulate you, my Worthy Brother, upon the Courage you have displayed in your journey to that goal where you will be crowned a Loyal Brother. Let your Fidelity keep peace with your Courage in its growth. I will now instruct you in the secret work of the Second Degree.