Grand United Order of True Reformers
Ritual of the Fourth, or Friendship Degree
Conductor examines the members and reports.
W. G. M.: The members will rise while the D. G. M. opens the Lodge in the Fourth, or Friendship Degree.
D. G. M.: By the desire of the W. G. M., I declare this Lodge opened in the Fourth, or Friendship Degree, for the purpose of conferring its honors.
W. G. M.: I declare it so opened.
A. C. gives four loud knocks on the door.
D. G. M.: Who comes there?
C.: Those of the Charity Degree desiring to be initiated into the mysteries of the Friendship Degree.
D. G. M.: Admit them.
C. enters the candidates and conducts them to the chair of the W. G. M.
D. G. M.: Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise, and he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
W. G. M.: Who hath woe, who hath sorrow, who hath contentions, who hath babblings, who hath wounds without cause?
D. G. M.: They that tarry long at the wine, they that go to seek mixed wine.
D. G. M. and W. G. M. together: Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its color in the cup; at last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder.
W. G. M.: Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink. You will now please listen to the love of Jonathan and David.
D. G. M.: And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan: What have I done, what is mine iniquity, and what is my sin before thy father that he seeketh my life?
And he said unto him, God forbid, thou shall not die; behold my father will do nothing either great or small but that he will show it me, and why should my father hide this thing from me? Is it not so.
And David sware moreover and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes, and he saith let not Jonathan know this lest he be grieved; but truly, as the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth, there is but one step between me and death.
Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth I will even do it for thee.
Then said David to Jonathan, Who shall tell me, or what if thy father answer thee roughly?
Then Jonathan said to David, To-morrow is the new moon and shalt be missed because thy seat will be empty; and when thou hast stayed three days, then thou shall go down quickly, and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself when the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone Ezel, and I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark; and behold, I send a lad, saying, go find out the arrows; if I expressly say unto the lad, behold the arrows are on this side of thee, take them, then come thou, for them is peace to thee and do hurt, as the Lord liveth; but if I say thus unto the young man, behold the arrows are beyond thee; go thy way, for the Lord hath sent thee away; and as touching the matter which thou and I have spoken, of, behold the Lord be between thee and me forever.
So David hid himself in the field, and when the new Moon was come the king sat him down to eat meat; and the king sat upon his seat as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall; and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side and David's place was empty; nevertheless, Saul spake not anything that day, for he thought something hath befallen him; he is not clean, surely he is not clean.
And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David's place was empty; and Saul said to Jonathan, his son, wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat neither yesterday nor to-day?
And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem. For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground thou shalt not be established nor thy kingdom; wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.
And Jonathan answered Saul, his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done?
And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him, whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David.
So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.
And it came to pass in the morning that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a lad with him; and he said unto his lad run, find out now the arrows which I shoot; and as the lad ran he shot an arrow beyond him.
And when the lad was come to the place of the arrows which Jonathan had shot, he cried after the lad und said, Is not the arrows beyond thee?
And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not; and Jonathan's lad gathered up the arrows and came to his master.
But the lad knew not anything, only Jonathan and David knew the matter.
And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city.
And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the South and fell on his face to the ground and bowed himself three times, and they kissed one another and wept with one another until David exceeded.
And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn, both of us, in the name of the Lord, saying, the Lord is between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed forever,
And he arose and departed and Jonathan went into the city.
W. G. M.: You discover, in the lesson just read, what true friendship is and what a covenant of this kind implies. In like manner you are pledged to each other, to render such aid as circumstances may from time to time require. You will receive the obligation.
In the presence of' the members of the Friendship Degree here assembled, I, ..., do solemnly promise, declare and say, that I will keep sacred and inviolable all the secrets of this Degree; that I will neither write, indite, or cause to be written or indited, in part or in whole, any of them upon anything movable or immovable, so that the same may be by any means obtained. And I furthermore promise that I will keep them in accordance with the instructions contained in this Degree, as far as possible, to the faithful performance of all which I pledge my most sacred honor.
There are to this Degree a Countersign, Token and Word.
The countersign is given by crossing both hands on each shoulder and let them fall to your side.
The token is the word Truth.
The pass is the word Stranger, and is to be used as in other degrees.
In the name of the Grand Lodge, I declare you fully instructed in the Fourth, or Friendship Degree. You will now salute the chairs and retire into the ante-room.
W. G. M.: The members will rise while the D. G. M. closes the Lodge in the Friendship Degree.
D. G. M.: By the desire of the W. G. M. I declare this Lodge closed in the Fourth, or Friendship Degree.
W. G. M.: I declare it so closed. One rap.
Conductor examines the members and reports.