Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret
It is suggested that, where possible, the officers wear either dinner jackets
or full evening dress.
Swords are to be worn.
Appropriate collar and jewel (32º or 33º) to be worn.
C. in C., raps *, followed in succession by 1st L.C. and 2nd L.C.: Ill. Capt. of the Guard, see that the sentinels are stationed, inform them that this Consistory is about to be opened, and instruct them to permit no one to approach who is not a S.P.R.S.
Capt. of Guard salutes, retires and returns.
C. of G., saluting: Very Ill.Com.-in-Chief, the sentinels are stationed and instructed. We are secure against intrusion.
C. in C.: Ill. 1st and 2nd L.Cs., it is not enough for us to be so protected. Visit your respective camps and satisfy yourselves that no spy or enemy has intruded himself among us. Raps * * *. To order, Sublime Princes.
1st L.C. with Gr. Expert and 2nd L.C. with Asst. Gr. Expert proceed from W. to E. and receive P.W. On returning to their stations:
2nd L.C.: Ill. 1st L.C., there is no spy or enemy in my camp.
1st L.C.: Very Ill.C. in C., there is no spy or enemy among us; we have met none but friends and brethren, ready to act as soon as the signal is given.
C. in C., raps *: Be seated, my brethren. Ill.1st L.C., at what hour are we to act?
1st L.C.: At the fifth hour after sunset, Very Ill.C. in C.
C. in C.: Why can we not act before?
1st L.C.: Because, if our action were premature, our enemies might learn and defeat the plans we have formed for the regeneration of humanity. Gunfire *** * from balcony.
C. in C.: Ill.2nd L.C., what is the hour?
2nd L.C.: Very Ill.C. in C., the alarm guns have warned us that the fifth hour after sunset already belongs to the past.
C. in C.: Then the hour for action has come. Ill.1st and 2nd L.Cs., inform the Sublime Princes in your respective camps that I am about to perform my duty.
1st Ill.C.: Sublime Princes in my camp, the Very Ill.C. in C. informs you that he is about to perform his duty.
2nd L.C.: Sublime Princes in my camp, the Very Ill.C. in C. informs you that he is about to perform his duty.
C. in C., raps * * *: To order, Sublime Princes.
C. in C., raps *: S…!
1st L.C., raps *: N…!
2nd L.C., raps *: T…!
All: Spes mea in Deo est!
C. in C.: With me, my brethren. Battery, followed by sign and plaudit 3 x 3.
C. in C.: To the glory of the great Source and Origin of all that is, and in the name and under the auspices of the Supreme Council of Sov.Gr.Ins.Gen. of the 33rd and last Degree of the A. and A.S.R. of Freemasonry of Canada, and by virtue of the power in me vested, I do hereby declare … Consistory to be duly opened and its labours resumed. Raps *. Be seated, Sublime Princes.
Prel. Moves forward — opens bible — returns to position.
Candidate is wearing the black robe, collar and jewel of the 31º, and a black cord is fastened about his body.
Ill.Gr.M.of C. with drawn swords, knocks **** *.
C. of G.: Ill.2nd L.C., there is an alarm.
2nd LC.: Ill.C. of G., ascertain the cause of the alarm.
C. of G., opens door: What is the cause of the alarm?
M. of C.: The Ill. Master of Ceremonies desires admission to present to the Very Ill.C. in C. a worthy I.I.C. who seeks to receive the last secrets of the A. and A.S.R. of Freemasonry.
C. of G.: Has he well considered the lessons which he has received in the preceding degrees?
M. of C.: He has.
C. of G.: Is he willing to unite with all his heart in the great work in which we are engaged?
M. of C.: He is.
C. of G.: Does he know that none ought to come here but earnest and sincere men, whose philanthropy is not merely a name but a practical reality? And is he such a man?
M. of C.: He does, and he is. I vouch for him.
C. of G., closes door: Very Ill.C. in C., the alarm is caused by the Ill. M. of C., who desires admission to present to you a worthy I.I.C. who seeks to receive the last secrets of the A. and A.S.R. of Freemasonry; one who has well considered and understood the lessons which he has received in the preceding degrees; who is willing to unite with all his heart in the great cause in which we are engaged; who knows that none ought to come here but earnest and sincere men, whose philanthropy is not a mere name but a practical reality; and for whom the Ill.M. of C. vouches that he is such a man.
C. in C.: Sublime Princes, I am willing to see this brother introduced among us, because we cannot enlist too many champions of our sacred cause. Our Ill.M. of C. has vouched for him in such terms as our usages require; nevertheless, he cannot be admitted here without your sanction. Do you consent to his admission? If so, give me the sign. If any dissent, let him give me the sign. Since all assent, let the brother enter in charge of the Ill. Master of Ceremonies.
M. of C. places Cand. before 1st L.C. Candidate pulls back as led in.
1st L.C.: Who is this that comes as if reluctantly into our holy sanctuary?
M. of C.: He is a lover of wisdom, who seeks to unite with those who labour for the progress of mankind.
1st L.C.: What has he done hitherto toward that mighty work?
M. of C.: He has advanced from the degree of E.A. to that of I.I.C.
1st L.C. speaking to Candidate: Alas! too many who do so learn little or nothing on the way. Most men value only their material interests, and few care to learn the lessons that the symbols of Masonry teach. Some are Masons out of mere, idle curiosity; some because it may profit them in their business or secure them aid in distress or help in danger; some because of its supposed mysteries, its titles, its decorations, and the distinction it is deemed to confer. Many are satisfied with degrees that teach but little; some value idle parade and unprofitable display. Few appreciate as they should its exalted morality, making it the law of their daily lives; and fewer care for and value the great truths it teaches and become interested in the study of its ancient symbols. Do you, my brother, care for these?
Cand.: I do.
1st L.C.: Very Ill.C. in C., I present to you the worthy for whom the Ill.M. of C. vouches. Cand. faces C. in C.
C. in C.: By what principles above all others does this I.I.C. now profess to be governed?
1st L.C.: By those of Justice and Equity.
C. in C.: What is it he now desires?
1st L.C.: To be admitted a Prince of this Consistory that he may the more effectually aid in the great struggle for which Masonry is preparing, and in which the liberty and happiness of Humanity are at stake.
C. in C.: What means does he possess, and with what arms is he supplied, that can render him an efficient soldier in our ranks?
1st L.C.: He has courage and pure intentions.
C. in C.: Are these enough?
1st L.C.: No; he needs further instruction, to have finally removed the veil that has so long interposed between him and the true Masonic light; to attain the summit of the mountain up whose slopes he commenced to toil as an E.A.; and, above all, the aid of Him in the hollow of Whose hand are victory and disaster, and Who alone can give strength to overcome.
C. in C.: We rejoice to receive these answers. My brother, your motives are worthy of all praise. If you are sincere, your claim to be admitted among us is legitimate. Have you heard and understood all the answers that have been made for you before and since your entrance here?
Cand.: I have.
C. in C.: And do you adopt and now reiterate the same in all their parts, in the spirit as well as in the letter.
Cand.: I do.
C. in C.: Ill.M. of C., free the brother from his bonds.
1st LC. returns to station
Black cord is removed from Cand.
C. in C.: The cause to which you desire to devote yourself is a noble one. Their devotion to it has made illustrious the great patriots and philanthropists of all ages of the world, and their memories the richest inheritance of the human race. It is most honourable in you to seek to follow their example and so to strive to be the benefactor of your kind. He hath but a poor ambition who doth not long to do some good that shall last beyond the limits of his life. Everyone who earnestly desires it may be useful to his fellowmen and so may aid us in our great controversy.
But, to be eminently useful, as you are ambitious to be, requires knowledge such as few possess and none can secure without long study and profound reflection. If you have learned all that the A. and A.S.R. has offered you the means of learning, you are prepared. We must know that you have at least endeavoured to do so. Have you learned the first lesson? Have you fitted yourself to command by first learning to obey? Are you ready, now and always hereafter, to obey the orders of this Consistory and of its Commander in Chief? Do you dare to do and to suffer for your country, your Order and your kind? Do you answer these questions in the affirmative?
Cand.: I do.
C. in C.: Then your hopes of admission here are well founded. You seek to be invested with almost the highest by rank and to take upon yourself the responsibility of command.
To wear that honour worthily and to perform well the duties it will impose you must possess intellect and information. If you have made yourself familiar with the lessons taught in those degrees of this Rite through which you have already passed you are competent to advance,
But before you can advance further we must recall to your mind not only what you have learned and understood but also somewhat of that which has been hinted at obscurely in the preceding degrees. We would again present to your view eloquent symbols of Masonry, and ask how far you have succeeded in unveiling the secrets which they so carefully conceal.
To the end that your memory may be thus refreshed, we place you in charge of our Ill.M. of C., who will conduct you to our Camp, the great symbol of this degree, and remind you of the lessons you have learned and the glimpses of Truth that have been afforded you in the degrees through which you have passed to the threshold of this.
Ill.M. of C. conduct our brother to the 1st L.C.
Done, quick march with music.
1st L.C.: My brother, the 32º of the A. and A.S.R. which we are now conferring upon you, is the military organization, as the 31º is the judicial organization of the Order. The Camp, which you are about to enter, and its several parts, are symbols as to whose meaning we can now do no more than give you a few hints. As you pass around and through this symbolic Camp we shall give you the necessary explanations as to its external form and features, and recall briefly to your mind the characteristics of those degrees whose standards float over the Camp.
Martial music. Entry of Commanders of Tents and Standards.
1st L.C.: Ill.M. of C., you will conduct the brother to the Camp of the Masonic army and present him to the commanders thereof, who will instruct him in the degrees appropriate to their several tents and standards, and when all have so instructed him you will present him to the Very Ill.C. in C.
M. of C. places Cand. in the W. in front of the Camp.
M. of C.: Commanders of the Tents and Standards, I present to you a worthy I.I.C. upon his journey through the Camp, to receive the instruction required by the Very Ill.C. in C., without which he cannot be admitted into the army of the S.P.R.S.
Ezra, with signs of the 1º, 2º and 3º: This is the 9th Tent, whose letter is I. Here are encamped the E.As., F.Cs. and M.Ms. The First Degree shows you Man helpless and blinded by ignorance. As a F.C. you were taught the value of association and the necessity of knowledge. The Third Degree shadowed forth to you the great doctrine of another life and the immortality of the soul.
Joshua, with signs of the 4º and 5º: This is the 8th Tent, whose letter is N. Here are encamped the Secret Masters and the Perfect Masters. In the 4º you commenced your ascent toward the heights on which Truth sits enthroned.
You were reminded that your duty as a Mason is to serve your fellows, your country and mankind. In the 5º you were taught that the most excellent reward of human virtue is the regret for our loss of those whom we have served; and you were enjoined to do that which is right because it is right.
Abda, with signs of 6º and 7º: This is the 7th Tent, whose letter is O. Here are encamped the Intimate Secretaries and the Provosts and Judges. In the 6º you were taught to be disinterested and generous, and were admonished to heal dissension and to restore peace and harmony among men. In the 7º you were taught to be just, to decide impartially and to punish the wrongdoer.
Jehoiada, with signs of 8º: This is the 6th Tent, whose letter is N. Here are encamped the Intendants of the Building. In this degree you were taught the rights of the labouring classes and your duties toward them; and you were reminded that every man is your brother, and entitled to your regard and assistance.
Phaleg, with signs of 9º, 10º and 11º: This is the 5th Tent, whose letter is X. Here are encamped the Knights Elect of Nine, the Illustrious Elect of Fifteen and the Sublime Knights Elect of Twelve. In these degrees you pledged yourself to war against ignorance, tyranny and despotism, in the cause of true freedom of the people, and you promised that none should ever repent of having relied upon your word.
Johaben, with signs of 12º and 13º: This is the 4th Tent, whose letter is I. Here are encamped the Grand Master Architects and the Knights of the Royal Arch Ecossais. In the 12º you were taught that you were now to deal with spiritual problems as distinguished from those material problems represented by the working tools of the masonry of the craft lodges. In the 13º you were solemnly devoted to Honour and Duty, having descended through the nine arches into the secret vault, and having seen, without knowing it, the Great Word.
Nehemiah, with signs of the 14º: This is the 3rd Tent, whose letter is L. Here are encamped the Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Masons. In this degree you were put in possession of the True Word, the great symbol of this Rite.
Zerubbabel, with signs of 15º and 16º: This is the 2nd Tent, whose letter is A. Here are encamped the Knights of the East and the Princes of Jerusalem. In the 15º you were consecrated to the cause of freedom of thought, speech and action. In the 16º you were taught the symbolic meaning of the rebuilding of the Temple in the purposes of Scottish Rite Masonry.
Malachi, with signs of 17º and 18º: This is the 1st Tent, whose letter is S. Here are encamped the Knights of the East and West and the Sovereign Princes Rose Croix, In the 17º was symbolized the search of the human soul for the True Light which should be the guide to eternal life. In the 18º an attempt was made to point out the Way by which we may attain completion, perfection, salvation. You saw the three pillars of the Craft degrees renamed Faith, Hope and Charity, and you heard the proclamation of the New Law— ‘Peace on earth, goodwill toward men."
Amariah, with signs of 19º and 20º: This is the 5th Standard, whose letter is U. Here are encamped the Grand Pontiffs and the Grand Masters of all Symbolic Lodges. In the 19º you were taught that the human race must wait patiently till Truth, Honour and Charity shall have crushed out Falsehood, Baseness and Intolerance. In the 20º you were taught how to govern your brethren when they have selected you to do so.
Guardimond, with signs of 21º and 22º: This is the 4th Standard, whose letter is G. Here are encamped the Patriarchs Noachite and the Princes of Libanus. In the 21º you were shown how indispensable to human progress is a free and independent judiciary. In the 22º you were taught to recognize the dignity of labour,
Mahusen, with signs of 23º, 24º and 25º: This is the 3rd Standard, whose letter is N. Here are encamped the Chiefs of the Tabernacle, the Princes of the Tabernacle, and the Knights of the Brazen Serpent. In these three degrees you learned something of the Ancient Mysteries and the origin of the Master’s Degree, You heard, also, the mystic utterances of the Hebrew philosophers, and saw their symbols.
Aholiab, with signs of 26º, 27º and 28º: This is the 2nd Standard, whose letter is E. Here are encamped the Princes of Mercy, the Grand Commanders of the Temple, and the Knights of the Sun. In the 26º you saw shadowed forth the early Christian doctrines of the Deity. In the 27º you declared yourself again the soldier of Truth and Loyalty, and in the 28º you received your final instructions in philosophy.
Bezaleel, with signs of 29º and 30º: This is the 1st Standard, whose letter is T. Here are encamped the Knights of St.Andrew of Scotland and the Grand Elect Knights Kadosh.
And now, my brother, you must be ready to agree that Masonry is practical, and that in all its degrees it teaches that practical use should be made of its philosophy. None of its lessons are valueless. Everywhere it insists that the duties of life are imperative, and that only by constant labour in the daily walks of life can the Knight Kadosh become in truth the soldier of the Holy House of the Temple of Solomon, and the mason of the A. and A.S.R. be recognized by all the world as the benefactor of mankind.
M. of C.: My brother, we congratulate you upon your proficiency. The letters of the several Tents and Standards are significant and worthy of being remembered. When combined in proper order, they form the words, S…, N…, T…, which, as a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, you will often hear.
Within the Nonagon, at the nine angles of which the Tents are placed, is traced a Heptagon, or figure of seven equal sides. Inscribed within the Heptagon is a Pentagon, at the five angles of which the Standards are raised.
Enclosed within the Pentagon you see an Equilateral Triangle. At its three angles are encamped the Inspectors, Inquisitors, Commanders, and the Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, or the masons of the 31º and 32º.
Within the Triangle is a Circle, the rendezvous of the Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General of the 33rd and last degree. And within the Circle is a St. Andrews Cross, at the intersection of the shaft and transverse bar whereof are the quarters of the Sov.Gr.Com.
Martial music. Commanders retire with Tents and Standards.
Altar is replaced. Lights are lowered.
M. of C.: Very Ill.C. in C., this I.I.C. has gone through all the Camp, has been instructed by the Commanders thereof, and has been found worthy to be admitted into the grand masonic army.
C. in C.: Ill.M. of C., conduct this I.I.C. to our Holy Altar that he may receive the Obligation of a S.P.R.S.
M. of C. puts a poniard in each hand of Cand. and conducts him to Altar.
M. of C.: Very Ill.C. in C., this I.I.C. stands at our Holy Altar prepared to assume the Obligation of a S.P.R.S.
C. in C. approaches Altar, hesitates, and retires a step or two, saying:
C. in C.: Why do you come into this sanctuary and to our Holy Altar, armed with the weapons of violence and bloodshed?
M. of C.: He was told to do so; that one was intended to punish penury and the other to protect innocence.
C. in C.: You have been told also that penury is no longer punished by the dagger, but in the world by law, and in masonry by expulsion; and that innocence is now protected otherwise than by the bravo’s weapon. Yet these were not given you without a purpose. Symbols are the language of masonry as they are the language of God and of nature. There is no word or sign or thing in masonry, however trivial it may seem, that does not have a meaning for the true initiate. These daggers, with their handles half black, half white, symbolize the apparently antagonistic forces in the Deity, nature and man, from the equilibrium whereof results Harmony in the Deity and His universe, and in the physical, moral and intellectual world. They also symbolize the contest between light and darkness, good and evil, truth and error, a struggle which began with Time, and which is typified in masonry by the efforts and anxieties of the Candidate to attain the Light.
Lay these weapons aside, my brother; let the M. of C. receive them, and, in their stead, arm you with the appropriate weapon of a knight and a prince of masonry, the symbol of honour, of justice, of truth, and of command.
M. of C. removes black gown from Cand. and invests him with belt, sword and scabbard. Hat cape & sword in his hand.
C. in C.: Before you can advance, my brother, you must assume the Obligation of this Degree. Then, if you prove yourself competent and qualified, you may approach nearer to Light.
Kneel at our Altar, lay your sword upon the V.S.L. and the many. Constitutions of the Order, your left hand upon them and your right hand over your heart, and repeat after me:
C. in C., raps * * *: To order, Sublime Princes. All rise.
I, …, of my own free will and accord, in the presence of the G.A.O.T.U. and of these S.P.R.S. faithful guardians of the Sacred Treasure, do most solemnly promise and vow, under all the penalties of my former obligations, that I will never, directly or indirectly, reveal or make known to any person whatever, any part or parts of this royal degree, unless it be to one who has been regularly initiated in a sublime consistory, duly constituted, and then only after severe examination.
I furthermore promise and vow that I will be governed by and in my conduct conform to the Statutes and Regulations of the Order, which now lie before me.
I furthermore promise and vow that I will never consent to the admission of anyone to this degree who has not evidenced his zeal for and his appreciation of the preceding degrees, and that my own conduct shall never reflect any stain on this Consistory or on myself; and may God aid mc to keep and perform the same. Amen.
C. in C.: Arise, my brother.
Cand. rises, takes his sword from the Altar, and returns it to the scabbard. Light up by C. of C.
C. in C., raps *: Be seated, Sublime Princes.
G.Exp.: When the Knights of the Order of the Temple were multiplied until they became armies, that happened which at length comes to pass in all mysteries, orders and rites whatever. The large mass of the Knights, mere soldiers, rude and unlettered men, were unfit to be entrusted with the chief secrets of the order, and these were communicated to a select few, forming an inner circle; and pains were taken, while seeming to make all known to all, to conceal these secrets by symbols, enigmatical expressions and trivial explanations.
After a portion of the Templars assumed the title, and established the Order of Kadosh, the same evil was not slow to manifest itself, and to compel the creation of a still higher degree, a circle within the circle, to whose members alone the higher secrets were entrusted.
Into that degree you now seek to be admitted. Even when the thirty-second degree was created, in order that its profoundest doctrine might be confined to the select few, it was deemed necessary to teach it by word of mouth only, and to conceal its mysteries by the great symbol of the military camp, and to give no key to its meaning except by a word or two, intended to appear to have been taken at random and without particular motive or object. In the meantime, the practical purposes of the Order remained the same, and were pursued with untiring assiduity. While by their philosophical tenets they asserted their independence in matters of faith and creed, and denied the right of dictation by any church, the knights adopted the forms of masonry, and united their order with the A. and A.S.R., with the intent, by accepting Hiram AB. as their exemplar, to teach the doctrines of equality and fraternity. The brotherhood of the human race was taught by Christianity, but it was left to masonry to preach the doctrine of political equality.
Clement the Fifth and Philip the Fair, who had murdered Jacques de Molai, and had plundered and suppressed his great Order, had long since become mere names in history; but the mitre of the one and the crown of the other were the symbols, and still remain the symbols, of the enemies against whom it is the purpose of the Order of the Temple of Solomon, of the Holy House of Jerusalem, to war without remission or relaxation.
If you still desire to be received in this degree, you desire to be numbered among the apostles of human liberty. You seek neither an easy, nor a safe, nor a profitable task. The crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth was clamourously demanded by the people whom He sought to serve; and it is the malefactor whose release is most commonly demanded by the multitude. Even if the history of Jesus were not true, it would be not less instructive to-day as a lesson in human nature. Knowing what you may have to encounter, are you still desirous to proceed?
Cand.: I am.
C. in C.: Be it so! I warn you that you will be expected to keep the promises you make here; to obey, where you promise to obey; to toil, as you promise to toil; to recognize your obligations everywhere and in all circumstances; to risk danger and persecution, if necessary; and to recognize no law higher than and no duty paramount to those which will be imposed upon you here. This is no idle ceremonial, and these no unreal obligations. I ask you again, are you still desirous to proceed?
Cand.: I am.
C. in C.: It is well. You place yourself unreservedly in our hands. If you should ever repent having done so, remember that you were fully warned.
The Order of the Temple of Solomon has five principal enemies against whom to contend. In our warfare against these we require your solemn pledge of co-operation, which you will give symbolically. Armed, therefore, as a soldier, you will march against these five foes of humanity, and we will accept your journey as your most solemn pledge, given in the sight of God, that you will always hereafter actively contend against Ignorance, Spiritual Tyranny, Despotism, Demagogues, and Selfishness.
Off stage the battery is sounded * * * * *.
C. in C.: My brother, you hear the signal. Prepare to make your campaign against the five enemies of the human race by undergoing the ceremony of purification.
M. of C. directs Cand. to B., where are two pedestals, one bearing a layer of pure water, the other a vessel containing fire, burning with a naked flame.
Prelate: The sword is a common weapon, worn alike by the oppressors of the people and by their protectors. Give me yours, wait for sword before proceeding, that it, and your hand which holds it, may be purified by the ancient, oriental rite, so that hereafter you may never use it, or your intellect, or your power, or your influence, except to protect the weak against the strong; and to keep those who possess power within the limits of the law. Holding sword by blade, hilt up.
Do you swear only so to use it?
Cand.: I do.
Prelate dips R.H. of Cand. in water, and dries it with a napkin. Then he dips the hilt of Cand.’s sword in water and dries it.
Prelate: You are now purified by your oath and by the baptism of water, the emblem of purity and sanctification, both of body and of soul. Your sword also is purified and devoted to the service of Justice and Honour alone. If you ever act in a manner unworthy of a mason and a knight, by striking a blow in an unjust cause, or by failing, when it is your duty to strike in a just one, you will be guilty of violating this your oath. Approach now to the test and baptism of fire. Lay sword on table holding fire.
Prelate passes R.H. of Cand. five times through the naked flame.
Prelate: Thus do I sanctify and devote to the service of Truth, Justice and Equity forever your right hand and arm.
Take up sword.
Prelate passes blade five times through flame.
Prelate: In like manner do I sanctify your sword, symbol of Truth and Honour. May it hereafter be drawn in their cause alone; and if sword or hand or arm ever desert that service let the one be broken and the others accursed. Returns sword to candidate. Wait for candidate to sheath sword. Let us pray! Raps * * *.
Prelate: Almighty and Eternal Father of the great family of men! Supreme Intelligence, Author of Life and Light! aid us in our efforts to make this world more worthy of Thee! Bless with Thy favour this our brother who desires to restore to light those who have forgotten Thee and Thy Truth. For the infinite love Thou bearest to Thy suffering children, aid him and us in our warfare against the enemies of mankind, and against all those who mislead and deceive Thy people, and let Thy Truth be known in all the corners of the earth. Amen.
Response: So mote it be!
C. in C., raps *: Armed with Truth and Hope, and strong in the purity of your intentions, depart now, Kadosh, Commander of the Temple, Child of Light and Knight of the Sun!
Intro to the Drama or Allegory
By C. in C., Prelate, or any Bro. appointed for the purpose: Illustrious Brother, S.P..R.S., Mason of the 32nd Degree, you have reached the end of your journey. All the mysteries and beauties of this A. and A.S.R. have been unfolded before your eyes, and, although in the multitude of for drama its treasures and the volume of its teachings you must have missed much, because of the lavish wealth of its display, yet you cannot have failed to grasp much of its beautiful symbolism, and something of the tremendous significance of its doctrine. These will abide in your heart and memory for all time.
In the degrees of Perfection, the virtues of a mason, so dimly and imperfectly outlined and suggested in the Craft degrees, were expanded and elaborated for your entertainment, enlightenment and education.
In the solemnly impressive degrees of our Rose Croix series the lessons taught by the building of the second Temple were shown to you, followed by the philosophical teachings leading to the beautiful and inspiring lessons of the Christian dispensation; while throughout these degrees of the Consistory, the last of which you have just witnessed, you met with constant and unforgettable suggestions and admonitions to live and act as a true mason and chivalrous consecrated knight.
And now, although this last degree is still fresh in your mind, it may be because the picture is so near that its details appear dim and indistinct in the general outline. You may be asking yourself—What is the purpose of this degree? What is its outstanding lesson, its salient feature? And you will agree with us, we think, that the central truth of its attempted teaching lies in the figurative campaign against the five chief enemies of man’s moral goodness: Ignorance, Spiritual Tyranny, Despotism, Demagogues and Selfishness.
We think, too, that you will also agree that these enemies, real though they be, are not all equal in their danger to mankind. As foes of the soul, none wage war against us so constantly and so relentlessly as Spiritual Tyranny and Selfishness.
Now the converse of Spiritual Tyranny is Freedom of Conscience, and the opposite of Selfishness is Self-Sacrifice. Surely, then, he who labours to win for himself these surpassing virtues, if he succeed, has achieved a glorious fruition of his toil.
Such a man will be portrayed to you in the drama which has been prepared to exemplify the lessons of this degree. The chief character in it might have been yourself.
After conclusion or this speech, the Consistory is darkened even further.
After a short pause the 1st Gun is fired.
Enter candidate (alone) bearing Sword in R.H. and torch in left. Proceeds once around room while voice recites.
Voice during 1st circuit: To educate the people truly is to teach them their rights as men and their duties as citizens. To eradicate false ideas and gross errors in religion and in government, and to replace them with sound and true principles is the education which the people need and which Masonry would fain give them.
Cand.: Who art thou who thus stands in my way? I have been told to proceed upon a campaign against the five enemies of humanity and am seeking first to destroy Ignorance; Out of my way! I cannot pause to talk with thee.
Sp.of Ig: Not so fast, Sir Knights Know thee that I am Ignorance and thou wouldst attempt to destroy me armed with a sword. Foolish man, — that sword will not serve thee. My strength is such that I can crush to earth any who oppose me. Throughout the ages I have guided the human race. Millions have blindly followed my directions. Mighty indeed am I, father of Tyranny and Superstition, those hounds of hell who, at my bidding do enslave and degrade mankind. Thou And thy puny sword are powerless to overthrow me. Against it I am immune.
Cand.: ‘Tis shame that thy words are true, but know this, I alto bear the Torch of Truth. Against it Ignorance must cringe and grovel. "Behold".
Candidate raises torch and presses switch to brilliant illumination.
Spirit of Ignorance cowers back and as he passes into shadow.
Voice: "Fortunate is he who bears the light of truth, for so only can he withstand the inertia of ignorance. But take heed; more subtle enemies lie in wait upon the journey."
Torch dims, light in W. fades, Sp.of Ignorance disappears and
Second gun is fired.
Candidate proceeds around the hail as a voice recites.
Voice during 2nd circuit: Masonry is of no church, but it respects all, so far and so long as they only teach and persuade, and allow freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, and the right of private judgment. As masons, we deny the right of any church to prescribe to men what they shall believe, on pain of persecution, and to make honest belief or disbelief a crime.
Again there is a brightening in the West and Spiritual Tyranny stands disclosed.
Spirit of Tyr: Whither goest thou with such solemn mien and armed as if for combat?
Cand: I travel on a holy mission enjoined upon me as a S.P.R.S. Who art thou?
Spirit of Tyr: I? In an incredulous tone of voice: Knowest thou not? Same tone My spiritual garb should tell thee who and what I am.
Know thou that I hold in my hands the keys of heaven and hell. All through the ages men have sought to propitiate the Deity. But I, ordained in Holy Orders, stand between the anger of the outraged Godhead and miserable man, whose sins condemn him to everlasting torment. It is I, who tells the sinner how he may approach redemption, through me he learns the penance and the prayer that alone may stone.
Cand.: It was well said by my late foe, Ignorance, that thou would’st stand in the way against me. I know thee for what thou art — Spiritual Tyranny, offspring of Ignorance, brother of Superstition and thriving on the credulity of men. Fanaticism erects its Awn cruel and remorseless nature into a vindictive and Persecuting God, teaching those of one sect to hate those of another.
As one man, alone, I cannot overcome thee, but the doctrines of Masonry will ultimately overthrow such tyranny as thine, should her members be but true to her teachings and bear as I do her only weapons: Truth and that Logic of Reason of which the sword of a knight is the symbol. Know therefore that I will strive to wield those weapons with all my power and with the help of God end my Brethren thy hold over mankind will cease and freedom of thought will become the heritage of all mankind. Out of my way, thou heat no power to stop my campaign for the enlightenment of men. Truth must and shall prevail.
Again the torch blazes and the Spirit of Spiritual Tyranny cringes and draws back.
Third gun is fired.
The Knight Prince continues with his journey again around the darkened chamber, as the Voice repeats 3rd Circuit.
3rd circuit: Everywhere the Tree of Liberty grows watered by the blood of patriots. Men and nations will not be free until they are fitted to be so. Masonry, a great living example of freedom, in the calm, silent dignity of its strength and peace, governing itself by means of its best and wisest, will be ever the mightiest antagonist of Despotism and arbitrary power.
Once more he is aware of a new and menacing figure in armor which stands in his way.
Spirit of Despotism: Who art thou who dares to set foot here without my permission? None may come or go through all this land unless I say the word. The rabble answer my command and all who think to stay my will pay with their liberty and even with their lives.
Cand.: Full well I know that men like thee have held their fellow men enslaved by arbitrary power and fear, but I am a sworn champion of the people; one who has dedicated himself at the Altar of Masonry to war unceasingly against that foe which thou dost represent: Despotism. Patriots there are in every land who wait but the time and the opportunity to rouse and rally to the leaders who will guide them to the overthrow of such as thee. My sword is ready and I fain would test thy vaunted power.
They engage and "Despotism" is overcome, fleeing unarmed into the darkness.
Candidate drops on one knee and prays: Almighty Governor of the Universe, I thank Thee that Thou hast given me the victory. May all men at last, in Thy good time, become fitted to enjoy that Freedom which Masonry has striven to bring to them. May they find liberty, equality and fraternity everywhere in the world and may our great Fraternity ever continue to be the mightiest antagonist of Despotism and Arbitrary power. Amen.
The fourth gun is fired, all lights out.
Cand. Rises, very dim illumination, and again circuits the room.
Voice during 4th Circuit: Demagogues have never been wanting under any form of government, and never was there a people that was not prone to be deceived and deluded by them. To expose these architects of ruin whenever it shall be in your power, to diminish their influence, prevent their success, and defeat their attempts to mislead the people is henceforth for you a sworn and solemn duty.
As candidate reaches the West of the Chamber a dimmed spotlight shines on a figure seated in the West. He is garbed in flowing robes and preferably bearded and of learned and sage appearance.
Candidate pauses and figure speaks: Constans, my Brother. Thou art aware that thy fourth campaign is against Demagogues. Among the enemies of Freedom none are more potent than the Demagogues and none more difficult to recognize or to prevent. Therefore there is no symbolic figure with which thou mayest strive. Thy sword would not serve to overcome such as they and the torch of Truth does not shine in their presence. I am here to warn thee against the devices, the base practices, the falsehood and slander that are the usual and common expediants of this class. They need neither honesty, nor honor, nor principle, neither intellectual capacity nor statesmanship, nor learning; but only a certain kind of eloquence, plausibility, cunning and a total disregard for the ultimate consequences td the public of the courses to which they urge it, if only they are likely to result in profit to themselves.
To expose these architects of ruin whenever it shall be in thy power and prevent their success is henceforth for thee a sworn and solemn duty and though it may seem to thee that thy influence may be but slight and however little thou mayest seem to effect, remember that constant and oft repeated teaching of Masonry, that he who sews does not always reap nor can he tell the extent of his influence.
The fifth gun is fired.
The figure continues: Constans, thou art now to make thy 5th and last campaign against the most obstinate and dangerous enemy of all. If this last enemy can be overcome, victory over the others will surely follow. Thy sword will be useless in the struggle against selfishness. Therefore, sheath thy sword but carry thy torch, for the light of Truth can search out selfishness and enable thee to see, find and ultimately to conquer it. Proceed then, on thy final journey, in deep humility, summoning all thy powers of heart and mind.
C. sheaths sword and with bowed head and unlighted torch more slowly circles the room in almost total darkness.
A Figure dressed exactly like Constans, made up the same, of substantially the same height and build, but without sword or torch, follows in closely behind Constans, about one pace, and keeps step with him.
C. flashes his torch occasionally throwing its light ahead of him and into certain predetermined places (on the side of the Lodge, or in the corners) and which are other figures in modern dress, apparently making circuits as well. These figures have nothing to say, and when once exposed by the light, exit in darkness. Three such figures are required, C. ignores them, does not seem to recognize them as other men just like any of the candidates.
Than, proceeding slowly, and in thoughtful meditation (still followed by his shadow) at a gradually slowing pace, finally stops under the ceiling spot (which is not on) C. facing the East and says in soliloquy:
Constans: Selfishness! Me thought ‘twas everywhere, strangling charity and kindness in the hearts of men. Even my torch of truth has not revealed it, and if I cannot find it, how can I strive to conquer it? Yet, my Mentor told me that truth would search out selfishness, that I might find, see, and conquer it.
Altar ceiling spot comes on.
It startles Constans, who is holding his torch at his waist, facing upwards.
C. involuntarily flashes hit torch in his own face. C. and his shadow are now revealed in the spot light.
The shadow steps to the right of C., who makes a right turn and discovers the shadow, facing him,
Constans: Who art thou, so strangely like myself?
Shadow: I am thyself, Constans, thy alter ego, the man thou really art; revealed by thy torch of truth, which availed thee naught, until it shone upon thyself. Thou canst recognize the truth, but it cannot conquer selfishness until thou turn its bright and revealing light upon thyself, because truth will make thee completely honest with thyself.
Then, selfishness, the great and final enemy, will stand exposed in all its naked ugliness, rooted at birth in the very fibre of man’s own life and conduct. There can be no easy, sudden and complete victory over selfishness. Therefore, keep the torch of truth ever shining into thine own heart. Then, as the days and the years go by, thou canst conquer man’s final enemy within thyself, and finally possess the "Royal Secret".
Constans: Now I see and know where selfishness is to be found and conquered; in mine own heart. With the help of God I will strive to root it out of my life and conduct.
But what is this "Royal Secret", oh image of myself?
Shadow: Ah Constans, if thou perseverest in thy resolution to conquer all selfishness within thyself thou wilt indeed come to possess the ‘Royal Secret". It is no mystic formula, no secret password. Thou canst possess it only, if, over the years thou keepest the resolution thou hast just made. If thou dost, then, at last it will clown upon that love alone can banish selfishness. God has given Man the ability to love and to love so deeply that all which is base, mean and hateful may be overcome. Would Man, even imperfectly, emulate that transcendent love which shone forth in the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, this earth would become a paradise. His teachings of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man is the very root of our Masonry. Such love as He showed forth culminated in His great and wonderful example of self-sacrifice, for Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.
Ceiling spot and torch blacked out Shadow exits in darkness. Gradual re-lighting of auditorium. Constans slowly exits in deep thought. Consistory Officers resume places.
M.of C. re-enters with Constans and Ritual resumes.
M.of C. placing C. at W.of Altar says: Very Ill.Commander-in-Chief, our brother has returned in safety from his symbolic campaign.
C. in C.: Take then, with me, this solemn vow: Cand. with uplifted right hand, repeats: I do hereby give my solemn pledge, in the sight of God and before these my brethren, that I will, so long as I live, contend with all my might against these five enemies of humanity, Ignorance, Spiritual Tyranny, Despotism, Demagogues and Selfishness.
C. in C.: Ill.M. of C., conduct our brother to the station of our Ill.Second Lieut.Com.
2nd L.C.: My brother, we have given you such hints as to the symbolic meaning of this Degree as should stimulate your desire to investigate its full meaning for yourself. In addition thereto, we may indicate one obvious lesson it is meant to teach, the key to which is found in the meanings of the two Pass-words of this Degree.
…, it is said, means Separated; separated as masons have sometimes been for many years by intestine dissensions and by the jealousies of rival rites; separated as mankind has been for ages be differences of religious belief, by the ambitions and interests of rulers, by natural lines or by mere imaginary boundaries that have made one people haters of another and kept the world miserable with wars; separated as men have often been from Truth and Knowledge by the arts and crafts of the advocates of different systems of religion: separated as Man has been from his God by his passions and vices, the fruits of his ignorance;—
And, …, it is said, means Re-united, that union of masons of all degrees, of which the Camp is the apt and fitting symbol, by which we hope to accomplish the great ends of masonry; to heal all dissensions within and to produce peace and harmony without; to make toleration and charitable judgment universal; to elevate our fellowmen and teach them their true interests; to substitute brotherhood for despotic power; to dethrone anarchy and license, and to canonize law and order; and, in the place of the smoking altars of Fanaticism and Superstition, to set up those of true Freemasonry, garlanded with flowers, and sending up toward Heaven, mingled with their perfume as with incense, the thanks and gratitude of the human race to a beneficent Father, Who loveth all the children of His creation.
That, my brother, is the Holy City of Jerusalem, of which the army of masonry hopes to take possession, the heritage which Our Father intended His children to enjoy; no particular spot on this earth, but the blessings of freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech, everywhere common as the light and the air. Ill.M. of C., conduct our brother to the Very Ill.C. in C., that he may be received and constituted, and invested as one of the poor fellow-soldiery of the Temple of Solomon.
M. of C. conducts Cand. to B. and causes him to kneel before C. in C.
C. in C., raps * * * and draws sword. All rise: In the name of God, and under the auspices of the Supreme Council of Sov.Gr.Insp.Gen. of the 33rd and last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Canada, with the consent and sanction of the S.P.R.S. here present, and by virtue of the powers with which I am invested as Commander-in-Chief of this Consistory, I do receive and constitute you a S.P.R.S., to the end that you may have and enjoy all the rights, franchises, privileges and prerogatives appertaining to the degree and dignity now conferred upon you strikes * * * * * blows with sword.
Arise, my brother. Sublime Princes, be seated. Raps *. Receive this Collar. Its colour is an emblem of sorrow and mourning for the miseries and sufferings of humanity. You have worn the same colour in other degrees and you are familiar with its meaning. We still wear it because our efforts have not yet secured the happiness of our brethren, and the higher we ascend in masonry the more we feel and deplore the miseries of mankind.
Receive, also, and wear this Teutonic Cross of gold, the Jewel of the Order. Deserve it by the services you shall render hereafter to the good cause in which you may now claim to be a chief and a leader. Its motto is SPES MEA IN DEO EST.
Ill.M. of C., place our brother in possession of the S…s, P.Ws., S.Ws., B…y, H…rs of L…br, M…ch and W.Ws. of a S.P.R.S. Done.
M. of C.: Very Ill.C. in C., our brother is in possession of the … of a S.P.R.S.
C. in C.: Ill.M. of C., conduct this youngest of our princes under the Banner of the Order, that the Princes, his brethren, may look upon him, and that he may look upon them, and let him be proclaimed.
Raps * * *. All rise.
M. of C. and Cand. with drawn swords at carry pass once around L. by S., W. and N., followed by Gr. Standard Bearer with Banner, behind whom follow Gr. Exp. and Asst. Gr. Exp., also with drawn swords at carry". Returning to E., Cand. and escort halt and face W.
M.of C.: S.P.R.S. of … Consistory, by command of the Very Ill.Com.in C., I proclaim our Ill.Bro. … a S.P.R.S. of the 32nd Degree of the A. and A.S.R. of Freemasonry, and I require you S and you W and you N and all S.P.R.S. wheresoever to recognize and acknowledge him as such.
Cand. and escort face E.
C. in C., raps *: I congratulate you, my brother, upon your reception as a S.P.R.S. and on your admission as a member of this Consistory. I beg you to accept our sincere assurance of brotherly affection and esteem, and to be seated among us.
M. of C. seats Cand. Gr.St.B. and escort resume their seats.
2nd L.C.: Sublime Princes in my camp, the Very Ill.C. in C. informs you that the Box of Fraternal Assistance will now be presented to you.
After this is done:
C. in C.: Ill.Bro.1st L.C., what remains to be done?
1st L.C.: Very Ill.C. in C., the hours of the future will have their own duties; those of the present moment are done.
C. in C.: Since the duties of the present are done, let us rest, that we may be able in due time to perform those of the future. Ill. Brethren 1st and 2nd L.Cs., inform the Sublime Princes in your respective camps that I am about to close this Consistory.
1st L.C.: Sublime Princes in my camp, the Very Ill.C. in C. informs you, etc.
2nd L.C.: Sublime Princes in my camp, the Very Ill.C. in C. informs you, etc.
C. in C., raps * * *: To order, Sublime Princes.
All stand at sign of order.
C. in C., raps *: S…!
1st L.C., raps *: N…!
2nd L.C., raps *: T…!
All: Spes mes in Deo est.
C. in C.: With me, Sublime Princes.
Battery: * * * * *.
Plaudit: Laus Deo! 3 x 3.
C. in C.: Ill. .Brethren 1st and 2nd Lt. Commanders, if you have anything to offer for the benefit of the A. and A. S.R. or this Consistory, the floor is yours.
1st L.C.: ….
2nd L.C.: ….
C. in C.: Ill. Brethren 1st and 2nd Lt. Commanders, be pleased to inform the Sublime Princes in your respective camps that if any of them has anything to offer for the benefit of the A. and A.S.R. or this Consistory, the floor is his.
1st L.C.: Sublime Princes in my camp, the Very Ill.C. in C. informs you, etc.
2nd L.C.: Sublime Princes in my camp, the Very Ill.C. in C. informs you, etc.
2nd L.C., after sufficient opportunity has been given for response: Ill.1st L.C., silence prevails in my camp.
1st L.C.: Very Ill.C. in C., silence prevails in both camps.
C. in C.: Ill. Brethren, 1st and 2nd L.Cs., be pleased to inform the Sublime Princes in your respective camps that the Box of Fraternal Assistance will now be presented to them.
1st L.C.: Sublime Princes in my camp, the Very Ill.C. in C. informs you that the Box of Fraternal Assistance will now be presented to you.
C. in C.: To the glory of the Supreme Deity, Author of the Universe, in the name and under the auspices of the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General of the 33rd and last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Canada, and by virtue of the power vested in me as Commander-in-Chief, I close this Consistory. Go in peace, my brethren; obey all the mandates of duty, and hope for the success of our endeavours to benefit humanity, and for such rewards here and hereafter as it may please the infinite love and wisdom of God to bestow upon us.
But first, give me assurance that you will disclose nothing, to mason or profane, which has occurred here and which is improper to be revealed. The 1st and 2nd L.C.’s will come forward and take the vow of secrecy.
Prelate closes Bible.
In formal 32º — sing ‘God Save the Queen’ and officers then march out.
It is suggested that, where possible, the officers wear either dinner jackets
or full evening dress.