Ritual of the Nineteenth Degree
Explanation of Chapter-Room Home
1970s - AASR-Canada
There need be but one apartment besides the Preparation Room.
The drapery of the Chapter—room should be blue, sprinkled with stars of geld. Behind the curtains that conceal the platform in the Last, should be a fine representation of the New Jerusalem — to be used when required. This City — four square — is seen in the clouds, and is so arranged that, at a signal, it slowly descends from the heavens to the earth, and in so doing conceals a representation of the ruined City of the Lid Jerusalem, in which is a triple — headed and chained serpent. The New City is surrounded by a halo, and has twelve gates of pearl — three on each side. At each gate is an angel, with the initial of a name written on his crown, which names are those of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. A sparkling river runs through the City.
When the Chapter Room has no stage proscenium curtain, there should be a curtain across the East of the room, dividing in the centre, so that when separated the "Shades of Reformers of the Past" may be seen through a gauze, or the descending City disclosed.
Costumes, Regalia, etc,
The first six officers should be clothed in rich ecclesiastical costumes of Pontiffs, of no particular date or faith, as the representation is an allegory. The G. Pontiff wears a breastplate.
Philetus, the Novice, is a Rose Croix Knight, and suppliant Philosopher in continuous search for the True Light; and is costumed as on ecclesiastical student with tight sleeves and body belted.
Hermes, Manu, Philo and John are in their turn apotheosized, and appear as the Egyptian, Indian, Hebrew and Evangelical Philosophers or reformers of their respective days, and are costumed accordingly.
The Chief Spirits of Good and Evil, and their several attendants, should be respectively clothed in crimson or white, with golden head-pieces and body belts. The six Spirits of Evil bear the vials of wrath, the Chief having a light fling torch. The six Spirits of Good may wear chasubles, cordons and fillets with stars of gold end each bears a burning taper. The Gonfalonier is in white and has charge of the Gonfalon. The Thurifiers and Acolytes are in gown and dalmatique, the former swinging the thuribles and the latter carrying burning candles.
The Captain of the Guards, the Guards and the Sentinel are appropriately costumed as ecclesiastical guards; the first armed with a halberd, the others with swords.
CORDON. — A crimson sash three inches wide, edged with white, with twelve silver stars in line on the front, worn from the left shoulder to the right hip.
JEWEL. — A golden parallelogram, with the Greek Alpha on one side and the Omega on the other.
FILLET. — Of sky-blue satin, worn round the forehead, having on it twelve golden stars.
BATTERY. — *** *** *** ***.
The G. Pontiffs style each other "Faithful Brothers".
G.Pontiff, *** *** *** ***: Faithful Brothers, Grand Pontiffs, I am about to open a Chapter of Grand Pontiffs. Brother Junior Deacon, are we properly guarded?
J.Deacon, ascertains: Illustrious Grand Pontiff, we are securely guarded.
G.P.: How are we guarded?
J.D.: By a Brother Grand Pontiff without, armed and vigilant.
G.P., *: Faithful Brother Senior Deacon, what is the hour?
Senior Deacon: The hour foretold to all nations. Truth has arisen; the struggle between good and evil continues; the Cubic Stone has become the Mystic Rose, and the Lost Word has been found.
G.P.: Faithful Brother, what is that Word?
S.D.: It is Alpha and Omega — the first and the last.
G.P.: Then, let us all repeat the password.
G.P.: To order, my Brethren! To the Glory, etc.
To be read in the presence of the Candidate and Brethren, preceeding the conferring of the Degree.
Brethren, the Officers of the Consistory are about to confer with full service the degree of Grand Pontiff. This is the third of the Philosophical grades, the first and second having been conferred in the Rose Croix Chapter, This is the first Degree coming under the jurisdiction of the Kadosh of the Consistory. It is devoted to the search for the pure, primitive, or ethical Truth. It is an ecclesiastical allegory, and represents the consecration and ordination of a Pontiff, or Priest co the Order of Melchizidek.
The purpose and teaching is to war against the seven prominent Evils that pervade the World, and through Divine aid to overcome these evils by purity of thought, word and deed.
The dozen Evil Agents or Spirits are Injustice, Intolerance, Ignorance, Superstition, Indolence, Ingratitude and Intemperance, subject to and under the control of the Spirit of Darkness.
The Seven Good Agents or Spirits are Faith, Hope, Charity, Justice, Toleration, Intelligence and Truth, subject to and under the control of the Spirit of Light or Masonry.
The drama which you will witness is continuous, although divided into three sections, and
portrays the combat between the two forces, Good and Evil. The second or middle section is the Vision.
A Chapter of Pontiffs is first opened for the induction of a Novice, who is a Philosophical Student, called Philetus, in search of the Primitive Truth, and represents the Candidate, pending the services, the Spirit of Evil obtains the mastery over the Candidate and Priests, who are overcome with physical drowsiness and sleep, symbolic of moral lassitude. The Seven Vials of Wrath, or evil principles, are then poured out upon the world, or humanity, and the Evil One holds high carnival.
This representation or Vision continues unti1 the supremacy is assorted by the Guardian Angel, or spirit of’ Light, or Good; after which the initiation of the Novice proceeds to his anointment and investiture as a Priest.
Much of this Drama is founded upon the Revelation of St. John, and the ecclesiastical mysteries contained in the allegory.
The efficacy of Prayer is maintained and becomes an essential element in the degree.
Lights at one - half.
At the sound of a gong the main doors will be thrown open. The Organ will play a March. The Cof G. with ten guards will enter. The Guards will break to the right and left, meet, meet at the East and face West. C. of G. proceeds to the East, and standing front centre will command in suppressed voice:
C. of G.: Attention, Guards! By file, right and left, March!
Guards march to entrance, face inwards, and open ranks.
C. of G.: Present Arms!
Trumpet. Doors thrown open, J.D. enters, proceeds to East, and gives battery ***.
J.D.: The Grand Chapter is about to enter the Chapter Hall.
Organ March. Enter procession of Pontiffs
After passing the Guards, those preceding G.P. will open ranks, and G.P. proceeds to East. All Pontiffs face the East under sign of Good Shepherd; Guards come to a "carry" and a Grand Chorus is sung. As the chorus ceases, the following Apothegms are recited, all standing fast.
G.P.: Lord our God! Thou art the Eternal and Self-existent. Thou dost read our thoughts before they are known to ourselves. Thou rulest the movements of the Universe, and all events and revolutions are the creatures of Thy will; for Thou art the Infinite Mind and Supreme Intelligence.
Music. All Chant: Amen.
S. Prelate: God is the author of everything that exists, from whom nothing in the Universe is hidden. Make of Him no idols, but rather worship Him in the deep solitude of the forest.
Music. All Chant: Amen.
J. Prelate: God had this thought: "I create Worlds"; and lo! the Universe and the laws of harmony are the fruits of that thought. Light, air and the mysterious currents are under His dominion.
Music. All Chant: Amen.
G. Orator: In the beginning man had the Word, and that Word was from God, and by that Word communicated to man came the light of his existence.
Music. All Chant: Amen.
G. Pontiff: God had this thought: I will create man, the child of Mercy, whose soul shall be My image; he shall possess the Ethical Truth, and he shall rule." And God did so.
G.P. faces the West: Before the World grew old, the Primitive Truth had faded away, and man had wandered amid the mazes of error, struggling in the sloughs of materialism, or beating his wings vainly in the vacuum of abstractions.
Let us, Faithful Brethren, endeavour to return to the Primitive Truth; and to that end, I now declare this Chapter of Pontiffs open.
Excellent Priests and Faithful Brethren, to your service!
*. All seated. Lights up. An alarm is shortly heard at the entrance of four times ***.
J.D.: Grand Pontiff, there is an alarm.
G. Pontiff: Ascertain what it means.
J.D. opening the doors says: Who approaches this Chapter?
Philetus: A Knight Rose Croix, who desires to attain to th grade of Grand Pontiff.
J.D.: How long have you served?
Phil.: Probationally, three years.
Phil.: In the Ranks of Truth.
J.D.: Against what enemies?
Phil.: Intolerance and Oppression.
J.D.: How were you armed?
Phil.: With Faith, Fore and Charity.
J.D.: Why do you desire to attain the grade of Sublime Ecossais?
Phil.: That I may be enabled the better to serve the cause of Truth and Right.
J.D.: What other weapons do you require than Faith, Hope and Charity?
Phil.: Patience, to be content to wait.
J.D.: Then you will take your first lesson now, and wait with patience until the Grand Pontiff has been informed of your request and his will ascertained.
The J.D. closes the entrance.
J.D.: Revered Pontiff, a Rose Croix Knight, who has probationally served three years in the ranks of Truth, armed with Faith, Hope and Charity, desires to be admitted into this Grand Chapter.
G.P.: Ascertain who it is that presumes to seek admission within our sacred portals. If perchance an eavesdropper, see to it that he receives the punishment his audacity merits.
J.D. goes to entrance.
J.D.: Who are you that presumes to present yourself at this unseemly hour? If your object is idle curiosity, your fate is sealed. Speak!
Phil.: I am an humble searcher in the ranks of Truth, and have been summoned hither. my name is Philetus.
J.D.: You will again await until I have further commands.
J.D.: Revered Pontiff, it is Philetus, the Philosopher, who has been elected to fill the vacancy caused by the death of the sage Urban.
G.P.: The Philosopher Philetus has permission to enter; but let him enter with caution.
J.D. retires to entrance.
J.D.: Enter, Philetus, and take heed on what you enter.
Philetus enters hurriedly, approaches Altar, and is about to kneel.
Phil.: Great Pontiff —
G.P.: Hold! Philetus, arise! Here none bends the knee save to to pour out the soul in thanksgiving, praise, or supplication to the Grand Omnipotent above. If such is your desire, proceed. ***.
Faithful Brethren, face the East.
Phil.: O Mighty and Inscrutable Being! I bow before Thee as the Primitive Creator, the absolute and sole Original Existence. Aid me so to keep and observe all the duties and responsibilities I am about to assume, that I may strengthen my glorious inheritance in the world to come. Confirm and sustain me in my good resolutions, and keep me steadfest at the post of duty; and to Thee, Eternal and Merciful God, be all praise forever. Amen.
Music. The Lord’s Prayer chanting; as is closes, the G.P. proceeds.
G.P.: Our Father, which art in Heaven, look now upon this Suppliant about to become Thy servant. Strengthen his resolution. Suffer not temptation to overcome him. Teach him to exercise whatever powers he hath for the benefit of mankind, which will tend to Thy glory, and let his earthly pilgrimages but preparatory to his final initiation into the mysteries of that sacred assembly over which Thou rulest. Amen!
*. All seated.
S.D.: My Brother, we are still engaged in the search for Light and Truth. But, if you expect to find it in any particular creed or religion, your search will be in vain. For what is Truth in one man is not Truth to another.
It is the great Primitive Truth, revealed to man in the beginning, that we desire to find. Let us then, devote all our energies to remove the mutilated and perverted philosophies that obstruct the passage to the great arcane of Light and Truth.
In all ages rosy gleams of light tingeing the dark clouds of error have taught mankind that Truth and Light, perfect and glorious, linger below the horizon of mortal vision, in time to rise like the sun, and fill God’s Universe with light and glory at the dawn of the promised day. Fortunate the Mason who, with firm Faith and Hope, accepts these rays as ample evidence that in God’s good time His dawn of Truth will come and be Eternal.
Be patient, therefore, and wait. Be not weary of well doing. Be not discouraged at man’s apathy, nor disgusted with his follies. Care not for returns or results, but see only what there is to do, and do it, leaving the result to God.
G.P.: Philetus, repair to the Junior Prelate for examination.
Philetus proceeds to Junior Prelate.
J.P.: Do you respect the character of all Reformers that have appeared on earth to teach men virtue and morality?
Phil.: I do.
J.P.: Do you regard with toleration the religious opinions of others?
Phil.: I do.
J.P.: Are you willing to meet as Brothers all who believe in One God end the Immortality of the Soul, whether they have received their teachings from Confucius, Moses, Zoroaster, Mohammed, or the Founder of’ the Christian religion?
Phil.: I am.
J.P.: ‘Tis well! The great enigma of all ages to the human mind has been the existence of evil; the antagonism of the good and of the evil principle has always existed. It is our to battle against the Spirit of Evil. Light, and not darkness, is eternal. Truth, and not error is immortal.
Return with my approval to the Grand Pontiff.
G.P.: Before you can participate with us, my Brother, in this work of lifetime, it will be necessary for you to travel four periods in search of the Primitive Truth, and in order to prepare yourself for the great work in which you are to be engaged.
Excellent Junior Deacon, invest our Brother with the Sword of undying Faith, the Mantle of
Charity and the Staff of Hope in Immortality.
The J.D. complies.
And now Philetus, depart on your four journeys, ever remembering the Lord of Truth seeth.
Philetus salutes with the sign of G.S., and passes toward the East by the North, where the Shade of Hermes appears. The J.D. follows at a short distance, during the four journeys. From the commencement of each journey to the appearance of the shade.
Hermes: Philetus, listen! I am the Shade of Hermes, the Egyptian. While in mortal form I was but an exile from my native country. I have returned to that celestial abode, whither all must go in their turn: for there is God; there only is Truth. Prepare thy soul for the trial.
Phil.: Spirit of Immortality, teach me how to attain Truth on earth.
Herm.: Truth is not on earth. Truth is beyond the comprehension of Mortality. Prepare thyself for its revelation and reception, by increasing thy love and veneration for the Supreme Father. Possess thyself not with a slavish fear of the Eternal, omnipotent Deity, but a pure love and reverence for the Infinitely Wise, Good and True. Thus will you be prepared for Truth in the great hereafter.
Phil.: One word more. Gone! So it is always with our human endeavors. When knowledge and truth are almost within our grasp, they vanish from our senses like a vapour. But I must continue my journeys.
Music during the second circuit. The Shade of Manu appears.
Manu: Philetus I am the Spirit of Manu, the Hindoo. My mortal body has long been scattered ever the face of the earth; but my soul has returned to the immortal Spirit of God: there only is Truth. Prepare thy soul for the coming trial.
Phil.: Good Spirit, how may I attain Truth on earth?
Manu: It is not there. Practise Charity, relieve misery and distress, console the broken-hearted, forgive the errors and judge kindly of the motives of others, and thus be prepared for Truth in the Great Hereafter.
Phil.: Again in darkness. Oh! may this soul of mine, which mounts in waking hours as an ethereal spark, be in time united with Spirits supremely blessed.
Music during third circuit. The Shade of Philo appears.
Philo: I am the spirit of Philo, the Jew. Thou seekest Truth. It is not on earth. Learn that the soul is immortal, not the result of organization, but an existence — a living spark of the great Celestial Light — which at death returns to God who gave it, while our mortal bodies moulder away and become in atoms a part of the material world.
Phil.: Alas! then my search for Truth is in vain.
Philo: No! but seek it in the greet Hereafter; prepare thy soul on earth for its reception in that celestial abode where Truth end Light, the emanations of Deity, forever reign.
Phil.: Most glorious is this philosophy. It is the soul alone that gives value to the things of this world; and by raising the immortal Spirit within us, we can look rightly upon the purposes of being, and prepare ourselves to commune with God and His angels.
Music during the Fourth Circuit. The Shade of John the Evangelist appears.
John: I am John, the Christian Evangelist. The Moslem, the Jew, the Pagan and the Christian have all sought for Truth on earth. It was not there; for God and Truth are inseparable. In the new life in the great Hereafter, man will be no longer isolated by metaphysics, philosophies and creeds, but will be a part of the eternal harmonies surrounding him. In God’s eternity all grow, move and live in him, surrounded by infinite Truth, infinite Bounty and infinite Goodness.
Phil.: Although glorious and inestimable would be the result, yet vain must be the effort. If my labors in search of Truth on earth are to be fruitless, why need I care for creed or dogma? I do wrong to none. Let the world move on its way, and each care for himself.
Philetus remains in deep thought. J.D. approaches.
J.D.: Neophyte, is this to be the result of the lessons taught by the Sages of the past? Arouse thee, to learn and to do; that is the soul’s work. It hath its powers of action and, like the body, may be cultivated; for he who cannot appreciate a noble thought or heroic action lives only upon the level of the brute creation. Learn to do and work earnestly for mankind, then shall we draw nigh to Primitive Truth.
Phil.: I am weary of this world, and why should I not be indifferent to the next? To the next!
Sophistry! What proof is there of another?
Philetus raises his arms, and a strong white light from behind throws his shade; (a cross) where the Shades had appeared.
And yet another sign! Shades of the past, you have but mocked me. But no, this is the Cross. Will you speak, and tell me of Truth and Immortality? It speaks not, but vanishes.
The white light has been withdrawn.
Away with these phantoms! Is there no proof? Must we have Faith only in Truth and Immortality, or must we live merely for a high Morality? Am I answered? Again, behold the Cross! and yet again it has vanished.
The Cross a second time appears and disappears. I challenge thee. If Truth and Immortality in the great Hereafter are to be known only through Faith, once more give evidence.
The Cross appears a third time.
Thrice, in answer, have I behold the sign. Thrice the symbol of Faith! Faith in him, who was, and is, and ever will be — the fountain of all Truth, who through Faith promises Immortality. Ah! how breaks the light upon my troubled soul! What said the beloved disciple? "God and Truth are inseparable." And in the Great Hereafter knew Him and His Truth, if on earth I keep Faith in Him, and in service to my Brethren do His Holy Will.
J.D.: Come with me, my Brother.
J.D. and Phil. approach the Alter.
G.P.: Philetus, the influence of the words and deeds of these who have lived, through dead, control our destinies. Thus unconsciously we obey the dead; and the living, when we are dead, will obey us, whether for weal or wee. The desire to do something that shall benefit the world, is the noblest ambition attained by man. To this end you have been instructed in words of wisdom, imparted by eminent Shades of the past.
Have you pondered upon them, and do you believe in them? If so, what is your desire?
Phil.: Great Pontiff, for a moment I wavered in my duty, not from want of Faith, but from an unaccountable lassitude and drowsiness that overcame my good resolves. Even now, the evil influence is resisted only by the exercise of a powerful will, that evidently emanates from the holy light that shone upon me from above, filling me with inspiration to persevere and search in the ranks of Truth.
G.P.: Hear ye the voice of the Lord; for He shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of an Archangel, and with the trump of cod.
Chant "Amen" after each expression.
S.Prel.: The day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night; and when you say, Peace and safety. then sudden destruction cometh upon you, and you shall not escape.
G.Orat.: But you, Brothers, are not in darkness, that day should overtake you as a thief.
G.P.: We are the Sons of Light and the Children of the day. We are not of the night or darkness.
S.Prel.: Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch, and be sober.
G.Orat.: See that none renders evil for unto any man, but follows that which is good unto every man.
G.P.: Let me utter words of confidence and encouragement, Faithful Brothers. We are Rose Croix Knights; we have obtained the Sacred Word; we have been faithful and have accomplished all; our success in life is complete; we have no fears; we can live on in the even tenor of our way; the Spirit of Darkness will not tempt us. Yet we will watch and pray that the Spirit of Good may not be overcome by the Spirit of Evil.
Derisive and demoniacal laughter is heard from without.
Hark! Whence comes this sudden and appalling stupor, this congealing of the blood, and paralysis of the heart and brain! The functions of nature refuse obedience to the will! I sink! Give me air! Help! Help!
Lights down. The G.P. and all his officers, and Philetus sink into apparent sleep. When the G.P. is first seriously affected, the officers make a movement as if to save him from falling, but are themselves retarded by an unseen power, and finally sink.
The Spirit of Evil enters through the curtain or an upright vampire trap situated in the East. Red Light on the Spirit until he disappears. This Spirit gloats over the fallen, senseless G.P.
S. of E.: Insensate Fools that dare advance your antagonism to the mysterious forces that exist in Infinity. Atoms of the earth, what know you of Good or Evil? Mere words without meaning, invented to deceive the ignorant. See the long array of Martyrs that have been persecuted and slain by Intolerance and Bigotry. Search the records of the past, and you will find engraved on the tablets of time that the most unnatural and foulest of crimes were animated and inspired by what you would call the very essence of the Spirit of Good.
Deluded mortals, that know not what you are, and yet in your fanatical zeal would attempt to cope with infinity. Digest, analyze as you will all the knowledge you possess, and it will resolve itself into two words, Life and Death. Nay! what is life, with all its wondrous mighty energies, that constant miracle, the essence and nature whereof has eluded all your philosophers, all their grand dissertations ending in a mere jargon of words?
Man was created in Truth, he found error, he has continued and will continue to wander in darkness, and in and around him Sin and Shame will hover in this life. Worms of the earth, where is your boasted watchfulness; this triumph of Light over darkness? Ha! Ha! List to the Oracle.
A voice from one unseen, and in a sepulchral tone.
Voice: Men of earth, if there is a Supreme Intelligence, who has foreseen and knows all that will occur, how has man free will? If all is done according to that will, how exists any wrong or evil? Death is the end of all. There is a Here, but no Hereafter. Man is a component Material Being: mind is matter: there is no soul! Die, and return to your dust. Banish hope! Banish Heaven! Live ,and enjoy the present.
Spirit of Masonry, unseen
S. of M.: Answer not, you who have a soul to save. Fear God, repent, and turn from all your transgressions. Lo! A Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder; and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sang a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth, Then make you a new heart and a new spirit, for why will you die?
E. Spirit: It has gone! Will this torture never cease? Yet my fearful destiny urges me on. Away with these compunctions. Ye Spirits of Darkness, that revel in the brain of man, appear! Appear!!
Music - Organ Pedal. Six spirits appear, clad in crimson and black, and make evolutions, each bears a vial of colored fire, and, approaching the receptacle in the centre of the Hall, pours from his vial, as he says:
E.Spirit: And now to your hellish work! Pour out the vials of wrath.
1st. S.: Justice shall not be known, and strife shall never cease.
2nd. S.: Intolerance and Bigotry shall weigh down the soul and corrupt the body.
3rd. S.: Superstition shall pervade society, and every hamlet shall be its abiding place.
4th. S.: Ignorance shall creep over the world; as the locust upon the harvest field.
5th. S.: Industry shall cease, and indolence and folly shall seize upon every creature.
6th. S.: Ingratitude shall enthrone the breast of man, and he shall curse his maker.
S. of Evil.: Intemperance shall be the bane of every creature with Delirium, Cruelty, Murder.
The Spirits vanish, crying: Murder! in a suppressed voice.
S.of E.: Again alone with evil thoughts. Will the just anger of the Omnipotent never be appeased? Oh! how I have fallen from my high estate, the result of insatiable ambition. Doomed for a time to control the destinies of man; infusing, by subtle influence into his heart, the demons of Ambition, Avarice, Envy, Hatred and Lust, with their attending fiends; environing the world in corruption and baseness, cursing and afflicting with sorrow, while the soul is writhing in agony at the devastation I have made, yet am I pressed onward in my evil career by an all-powerful force, over which I have no control, until I shall be freed from the tyranny of the principle of Evil. O misery! Misery!!! Misery!!!
Music — Miserere. S. of E. disappears. The Chamber gradually becomes brilliant with a white light, and the S. of Masonry clothed in white, appears an the East.
Spirit of Masonry
S. of M.: O you criminal sleepers! listen to the Saint of Masonry. Is it thus you watch and pray. while the Demons of Evil revel in your heart and brain — stealing away by sophistry the Saint of Light end Truth?
The white halo light is turned on.
Behold, the Darkness has passed, and the True Light shineth. You have just heard repeated by the Oracle, that which man must endure until Time shall be no more; the struggle of Truth against Error.
To every true Mason, the infinite justice and benevolence of God gives assurance that Evil will ultimately be enthroned, and the good, the pure, the true and the beautiful will reign triumphant and eternal.
Spirits of Immortality, I summon your presence to disperse the moral darkness that enshrouds the heart and brain of these sleepers. Appear I command you!
Music — March. Spirits of Good form Cross.
1st. S.: Truth teaches us that God, our infinitely good and just. Thus let the Light of Justice illumine our work.
1st. S. lights his taper.
2nd. S.: Truth teaches us to have Faith in God, to hope for the redemption of all mankind. So let the Light of Tolerance illumine our work.
2nd. S. lights his taper.
3rd. S.: Truth teaches us that, without a belief in God life would be aimless, and the mind, like a star struck from its sphere, would wander in the infinite waste, haunted by its own conceptions. Then let the Light of Intelligence illumine our work.
Third Spirit lights his taper.
4th. S.: Truth teaches that the circumstances of this life, however adverse, are not indications of God’s anger. So let the Light co Truth shines and Ignorance disappear.
Fourth Spirit lights his taper.
5th. S.: Truth teaches us that there is an Infinite God, soon everywhere, and always caring for everything en the great stream of life; and so let, the Light of Industry shine on our work, and Indolence vanish.
Fifth Spirit lights his taper.
6th. S.: Truth teaches that God’s Providence enfolds the Universe in its embrace, feeding all His dutiful creatures with the bread of everlasting life. Let the Light of Gratitude shine on our work.
Sixth Spirit lights his taper.
S. of M.: And now, ye Spirits of Immortality, to work Away, and counteract the evil influences of the Spirits of Darkness!
Sleepers, rouse from your despondency! Do good cheer. The True Light has risen. The emanations from those brilliant beacons of light — Intelligence and Education — have illumined the great sea of thought, revealing on its shores the dark caverns of Ignorance end Error, in which mankind has for ages been engulfed.
Intellect and Reason, God’s highest gifts to man, have riven the shackles that bound immortal Truth.
To work, then; and may all the Holy Angels assist you in your labours!
Awake! Arise! To work, to work!
Music — while the Spirits are retiring. The white light disappears, and the full natural light takes is place; the Curtain closes on the Spirit of Masonry. The G.P. and Officers slowly recover and rise.
G.P.: Awake! Arouse! Arise! Faithful Brothers! Oh! what a fearful vision overwhelmed us; but we are now happily relieved by the Spirit of Good, The Seven hydraheaded Evils, Injustice, Intolerance, Ignorance, Superstition, Indolence, Ingratitude, Intemperance, which have been poured out of the vials of wrath, as we sew in the vision, and which are scattered broadcast over the world, must be combated and successfully overcome by man. We, as Pontiffs, are the sworn enemies of these evils. All our energies must be summoned, and, by the aid of the All-powerful Intelligence, we must drive back into the pit of darkness the foul friends that blight this else happy earth,
Let us humble ourselves before the All Wise and Supreme Being, and trust that He may hear our Prayer.
Kneel in Prayer.
S.Prel.: O Thou dread, eternal, and most merciful Being! who alone canst aid Thy servants in their mighty task of battling against the evils of this world, in expelling Ignorance and Intolerance, hear our Prayer.
Music — Chant — Hear our Prayer.
Thou who dost ever listen to the breathing, burning Prayer of Justice and of Truth, guide
Thine erring children in the paths of righteousness, and teach them to dhun all Injustice and Superstition. Oh! Hear our Prayer.
Chant — Hear our Prayer.
We humbly pray Thee, that Thou wilt also imbue our hearts with the True Light, that dark Ingratitude, Indolence and Intemperance may find no shelter there. Against all such, Father of Light and hear our Prayer,
Chant — Hear our Prayer.
Heavenly Father, in the earnestness of our Prayer, let now this awful embodiment of woe and the emblem of foul evils pass from us; for we know without Prayer we cannot drive from our hearts these demons of the souls destruction.
Change, O Heavenly Father: change the spirit within us. Teach us what is good: Teach us Thyself, and may we understand: Let evil give place to good, as we now vow henceforth as true and devoted Pontiffs, to devote ourselves — our hearts and hands to the cause of Truth and Justice, as against all the evils of the world. In this, our vow, hear our Prayer.
Chant — Hear our Prayer.
And now, unto the Great Jehovah be all praise, and honor and Glory; and may we all say, Amen!
Chant — Amen.
G.P.: Philetus, depart again on a journey unto the Valley of Truth. Make diligent search for wisdom, and return to us, bearing its fruits.
Appropriate Music until Philetus returns.
Philetus is seen standing as a statue in the doorway, he then slowly enters, holding the Cross in his hand, saying:
Phil.: And the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of God and His Anointed, for ever and ever, The long war between Evil and Good shall end; the Kingdom of God and Truth shall come; sorrow and shame shall disappear. In the name of Faith, Hope and Charity, I place the emblem of Truth on this sacred Altar; and, through the eternal ages, may the light of God’s beneficence shine, proclaiming, consecrating and rewarding those who deserve reward. Then shell we see what now we can only believe. The cloud will be lifted, the gate of mystery passed, and the full light of heaven shine forever.
Philetus kneels, and says:
We give Thee thanks, O lord God Omnipotent! to whom the past, present and future are one; for Thou wilt, in due time, assert Thy power and vindicate Thy Justice, Wisdom and Goodness, when Evil shall reign no longer. Amen
G.P.: Once more, let us supplicate cur Father to grant our Prayer. Face the East, Faithful Brothers.
J.Prel.: O Heavenly Father! source of all intelligence and goodness, we appear before Thee, clothed in white garments, symbolic of the purity of our hearts, and of that beneficence and virtue we would crave from an All-Merciful Providence. Grant our Prayer!
Chant — Grant our Prayer!
Give us Faith, that we shall see the New Jerusalem; that we may receive Thy commendation for our works, and join in the singing, with the innumerable throng that surrounds Thy throne: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of Sabbath!
Chant — Grant our Prayer!
Give us Hope for the salvation of the soul, and aid us in the struggle for the perfection of our intelligence, and in the advancement of man toward a true understanding of Thy will.
Chant — Grant our Prayer!
Fill our souls with the love of God, and of a just appreciation of our fellow man. May the immensity of Thy love, and Thy care, even of the falling sparrow, imbue our hearts with never-failing Charity.
Chant — Grant our Prayer!
By the Mystic Rose and Cross, by the power of Thy Word, as Thou art the Alpha and the Omega, grant us Wisdom and the exercise of Justice, and fill our hearts with gratitude to our Maker for all His goodness to us.
Chant — Grant our Prayer!
G.P.: Salvation, Glory, Honor and Power to the Eternal God and Infinite Father! Just and righteous are His judgements. Blessed are they who obey. His law and trust in His goodness; and though the appointed time may seem to draw no nearer, even during our lives, and our labors and exertions appear to produce no fruit, may we have patience, and not weary, but sew, that others may reap, if God so wills it.
J.Prel.: I saw a new Heaven and a now earth; for the first Heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Curtain drawn apart in the East, revealing the Celestial City descending from the clouds.
And I saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a treat voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with then, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
S. Prel.: Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, write: for these words are true and faithful, and He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end: I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My Son.
G.P.: And I saw no Temple in the New Jerusalem: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it. And the City had no need of the sun neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the Glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day; for there shall be no night there. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
My Brother, you have listened to these solemn promises, go now to the Altar of Obligation and there assume the vows of a Grand Pontiff.
Both hands resting on the two Great Lights.
I, …, in the presence of the eternal and ever-living God, do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and vow, that I will never reveal the secrets of this degree of Grand Pontiff to any person in the world, except to whom the same may lawfully belong, and then only when I am constitutionally authorized and empowered so to do.
I do further promise and vow that I will obey the laws, rules and regulations of any Chanter of this degree, of which I may become a member; the edicts, laws and mandates of the Consistory of Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, under whose jurisdiction it may be holden; and the Constitution, Regulations and edicts of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree, within whose jurisdiction I may reside, so far as the same may come to my knowledge.
I do further promise and vow, that I will devote my heart, my hand, my speech and my intellect to the cause of Truth, Justice and Toleration, to struggle against injustice, intolerance, ignorance, superstition, ingratitude, intemperance and that I will in all things consider what is right and just for me to do, and not whether any benefit will necessarily result to myself therefrom.
All of which I do most solemnly and sincerely promise and vow, binding myself under no less a penalty than that of being hailed a false Knight and faithless Priest, by every honest man and true Knight throughout the world, if I wilfully fail in this my voluntary obligation.
So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due and punctual performance of the same. Amen.
Salute the Holy Volume once.
G.P.: Melchizedek, King of Salem, and Priest of the Most High God, met Abram at the Valley of Shaveh, which is the King’s dale, as he was returning from the slaying of the kings and the recovery of his brother; and he gave him bread and zinc, and blessed Abram, and said, Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, Possessor of Heaven and earth; and he offered him tithes of all. So do I, my Brother, in like manner, give you my blessing, and raise my hands, as did Melchizedek, and crave from Heaven a tithe of God’s goodness upon you.
The G.P. then taking the perfumed oil, annoints the Suppliant on the crown of his head, saying:
I annoint and sanctify you. Be thou a Priest for ever after the Order of Melchizedek — virtuous, sincere, equitable, true and temperate — Minister of Justice and Priest of Toleration. Be faithful to God, thy country, thy duty and thyself, and thus deserve the term of Sublime Pontiff, or Scottish Mason, which you are hereafter entitled to wear.
Rise and, receive the attributes of this degree.
This Robe of white linen, with which I now invest you, is emblematical of that equity and purity which should characterize one who is consecrated to the service of Truth, and reminds us of the vesture of the one hundred forty and four thousand, who refused to wear the mark of the beast on their foreheads; for it is so written, They shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the sate shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.
This Cordon of crimson, bordered with white, teaches you that the zeal and order of a Knight and Pontiff ought to be set off with the greatest purity of morals and in perfect charity and beneficence; the twelve stars upon it and upon the fillet allude to the twelve gates of the Now City.
This Fillet, also brilliant with twelve stars, is the peculiar emblem of your Pontificate; and as the slightest contact with earth will soil its spotless purity, remember that so the least indiscretion will soil the exalted character you have now voluntarily assumed.
Receive this jewel, and let the letters upon it — the first and last of the Greek and Hebrew Alphabets — remind you of Him who was from the beginning, and ever shall be — the Alpha and Omega —the Aleph and Tau — the first and the last — on whose promises we rely, and in whose mercy and goodness we implicitly trust.
You will now listen to the Grand Orator, who will give you further instruction.
G.Orat.: My newly sanctified Brother, the True Mason labors for the benefit of these who come after him, as well as for the advancement and improvement of his race. That is the poor ambition which contains itself within the limits of a single life. All men who deserve to live, desire to survive their funerals, and to live afterward in the good that they have done mankind, rather than in the marble of men’s memories.
Most man desire to leave some work behind them that may outlast their own day and generation: that is the instinctive impulse given by God., end often found in the rudest human heart — the sweet proof of the soul’s immortality and of the fundamental difference between men and the wisest brutes. To plant the tree that, after we are dead, shall shelter our children: is as natural as to love the shade of those cur fathers planted,
Long ages ago the Temple built by Solomon and our Ancient Brethren sank into ruin, when the Assyrian Army sacked Jerusalem; the Holy City is a mass of hovels; the Kings of Egypt and Assyria who were contemporaries of Solomon are forgotten, and their history is a mere fable; the Ancient Orient is a shattered wreck bleaching on the shores of tine; but the quiet and peaceful Order of Masonry, of which the Son of a tear Phoenician widow was one of the Grand Masters with the Kings of Israel and Tyre, has continued, and increased in stature and influence, defying the angry waves of time end the storms persecution. Age has not weekened its wide foundations, nor shattered its columns, nor marred the beauty of its fair proportions.
This is one of the precepts of its philosophy: "It is the dead that govern: the living only obey;" and if the soul sees, after death, what passes on this earth, and watches over the welfare of those it loves, then must its greatest happiness consist in seeing the current of its beneficient influences widening out from age to age, as rivulets widen into rivers, and aiding to shape the destinies of individuals, families, states — the world: and its bitterest punishments, in seeing evil influences causing mischief and misery, and cursing and afflicting men long after the frame it dwelt in has become dust, and when both name and memory are forgotten.
Thus we obey the dead; and thus shall the living, when we are dead, for weal or wee, obey us.. The thoughts of the past are the laws of the present or future. That which we say or do, if its effects last not beyond our lives, is unimportant; that which shall live, when we are dead, as part of the great mass of law enacted by the dead, is the only act worth doing — the only thought worth speaking.
The desire to do something that shall benefit the world when neither praise nor obloquy can reach us — when we sleep soundly in the grave — is the noblest ambition entertained by man, It is the ambition of a true and genuine Mason, knowing the slew processes by which the Deity brings about results, who acts, but does not expect to reap as well as sow in a lifetime. The Mason who would benefit his race must frequently look for apathy and cold indifference in those whose good he seeks, and in those who ought to sock the good of others. The sluggish deaths of the human mind are broken we and tossed, as if by a storm, only when a great reformer comes, end a new faith springs up and grows with supernatural energy.
The progress of Truth is slower than the growth of oaks, and he who plants need not expect to gather. It is enough for us to know that the fruit will come in due season: when, or who shall gather it, does not in the least concern us to knew. It is our business to plant the seed: it is God’s right to give the fruit to whom he pleases.
To sew that others may reap, to work and plant for those that are to occupy the earth when we are dead, to project our influence far into the future and live beyond our time, to rule as the kings of thought over men as yet unborn, to bless with the glorious gifts of truth and light and liberty those who will neither know the name of the giver nor care in what grave his unregarded ashes repose — is the true office of o Mason and the proudest destiny of a man.
We build slowly, and destroy swiftly. Our ancient brethren, who built the Temples at Jerusalem, with myriad blows felled, hewed and squared the cedars, and quarried the stones, and carved the intricate ornaments which were to compose the Temple; by stone after stone, with the combined efforts and long toil of Apprentices, Fellow Crafts and Masters, the walls arose; slowly the roof was framed and fashioned; and many years elapsed before at length the building stood finished, all fit and ready for the worship of God, gorgeous in the sunny splendors of Palestine. So they were built, single motion of the arm of a rude, barbarous Assyrian, or drunken Roman or legionary Goth of Titus, moved by a senseless impulse of the brutal will, flung in the blazing brand and with no further human agency, a few short hours sufficed to consume and melt the Temple to a smoking mass of black and unsightly ruins.
Be patient, therefore, my Brother, and wait.
The issues are with God, to do if right belongs to us.
Therefore faint net, my Brother nor be weary in well-doing; be not discouraged at men’s apathy, nor disgusted with their fillies, nor tired of their indifference. Care not for returns and results, but see only what there is to do, and do it, leaving the result to God.
Sworn Knight of Justice, Truth and Tolerance — Good Knight and true — Grand Pontiff — be patient and work.
G.P., *: Grand Pontiffs, I am about to close this Chapter of Grand Pontiffs.
Brother Junior Deacon, inform the Guard. * *. Brother Junior Prelate, what is the hour?
J.Prel.: Grand Pontiff, the hour is accomplished..
G.P.: Faithful Brother, let us rejoice. What remains for us to do?
J.Prel.: To work, wait and be patient.
G.P.: Work, then, my Faithful Brothers and Pontiffs while it is day: behold, the night cometh, when no man can work.
Brother Senior Prelate, for what do we wait?
S.Prel.: For the light of noonday.
G.P.: Let us, then, close this Chapter, and be patient. Brother Senior Prelate, inform the Faithful Brothers and Pontiffs that I am about to close this Chapter.
S.Prel., * * *: Faithful Brothers and Pontiffs, the Grand Pontiff is about to close this Chapter.
G.P.: To order, my Brethren.
* * *.
The sun climbs towards the zenith; therefore,
Glory be to the Grand Architect of the Universes
In the name and under the auspices of the Supreme Council, etc. etc.
Explanation of Chapter-Room