Covenantersí Mystic Union
Initiation Ritual,
Second or Progressive Degree


1901


Candidate shall not be hoodwinked. Guardian Knight in Ante-room knocks * * * * on inner door. Cov. Knight answers on door with * * * *, opens the door and says: Guardian Knight, who comes here?
Guardian Knight:
Covenant Knight, I chanced to meet in yonder glen, an honorable, valiant comrade who has passed through our Historic Degree with the dignity and valor becoming a loyal Covenanter, and who is now on his way Eastward, toward the dawning of the morning, in search of more light and true liberty.
Cov. Knight, in a loud voice:
Commander, our trusty Guardian Knight has just informed me that a comrade of the Historic Degree is at our draw-bridge, in his journeying Eastward toward the dawning of the morning in search of more light and true liberty.
Commander, in a loud voice:
Let him be admitted.
Members begin immediately to sing our:

 
 
Initiation Ode
 
Blest be the sacred ties.
That make our lives sublime,
That join our kinship with the skies
In every land and clime.
 
Though foes assail, we stand,
Defend our sacred shrine,
Protect each member of our band.
And fight for truth divine.
 
Marching in bright array,
The breeze our banners wave,
We're marching in our King's highway,
Our God is King, He'll save.
During the singing, the Field-Marshal (with his clarion hanging by his right side, a helmet on his head, a shield in his left hand, and sword hanging at left side from belt) heads the procession, while the Guardian Knight escorts candidates twice or three times around the Lodge arranging that, at the close of the singing of the third verse, the procession shall be approaching the north-east corner of the Lodge where is located a canvas tent or a painted canvas imitating a pile of rocks, from which a Royalist Knight of the King's Bodyguard, with drawn sword, jumps forth and says, with a haughty challenge:
Halt! I am a trusty Knight of His August Majesty the King, Charles the First, and Captain of His Majesty's imperial Bodyguard. Various rumors have come to the ears of His Majesty that divers insurrections resulting in much bloodshed in this Northern realm are now desolating the country, and I have been commanded by His Majesty to inquire into the real causes of these disturbances and to bring the of captive to the capitol, that summary torture and imprisonment may be meted out to those who commit such felonies against His Majesty's government. I therefore command you to tell me who this man is among you whose garb betrays him as one of those felonous Covenanters whom I am hunting down with a greater vengeance than a hound would track and shake a fox. Is he, or is he not, a Covenanter?
Field-Marshal:
This man, John Brown, is a comrade of mine, and a peaceful, industrious, honorable peasant, of a borough of Argyleshire.
Knight of the King's Bodyguard:
Yon have evaded my question. It matters not whether you regard him as an honorable man or not. If he is a Covenanter, he is a felon in the judgment of the law, and must be surrendered to me for imprisonment, torture, and perhaps ... death! I command you therefore, in the name of His August Majesty, Charles the First, to answer my question ..., "Is he, or is he not, ... a Covenanter"?
Field Marshal, draws his sword, steps forward one or two paces, and with a heavy stamp of his right foot forward in fencing position, says with a loud defiant challenge:
Yes, he is a Covenanter, and so am I! You go, ... tell your King that the Lord our God is our only King, ... that our country is free from your tyrants domination, and we are free citizens: and upon our
honor have sworn to shield our honorable Covenanters, even unto ... death!
Here the Field-Marshal and the Knight of the King's Bodyguard immediately engage in a sham-battle ... sword contest, ... where the actual swords shall be made to clash together several times. The Knight of the King's Body-guard falls mortally wounded with his hand over his heart. He is kindly attended, his head raised, and is given a glass of water, by the
Field-Marshal, who says:
We Covenanters are taught in the Holy Scriptures that even a glass of cold water given in charity to our enemies shall not lose its reward; for it is written ... If thine enemy hunger, feed him: if he thirst, give him drink ....
Knight of the King's Bodyguard, in an agonizing, fainting tone:
If your religion and Covenants thus teach you to be so kind, even unto your enemies, I would to God I too were a Covenanter!
The Field-Marshal remains with the dying Knight of the King's Bodyguard, until the Guardian Knight conducts the candidate back to the Ante-room.
Commander:
Covenant and Guardian Knights, you will now conduct the candidate back to the place whence he came, there to await my orders.
During initiation, the Bible upon the altar always remains open. A suitable cushion is placed by the altar for the candidate to kneel upon. The four red lights remain lit upon the Four Tables about the altar, and the four sets of ribbon streamers (of three ribbons each, red, white and blue) are suspended from a wire above the altar to the Four Tables.
The lodge lights are turned low. The Commander stands before the altar; the Field Marshal by his side in full armor, with sword drawn. Four Knights with spears about seven feet long, stand beside the Four Tables and cross the points of spears over each other about six feet above the altar. All members surround the altar forming a square, with hands joined.
leaving a gap behind the altar for entrance of candidate, who is now hoodwinked. An elevated platform or bridge should be prepared by some such device as joining together two doors at the top, with hinges, and place a wooden horse under the center to elevate the center about two feet, which would make the bridge about fourteen feet long. Nail cleats or battens across the doors to prevent candidate from slipping and to make it also appear ... a rough road.
Guardian Knight in ante-room gives * * * * knocks at the inner door, which is answered from within by the Covenant Knight with * * * * knocks.
Cov. Knight:
Who comes here?
Guardian Knight:
Your Guardian Knight with a comrade who is still journeying Eastward, toward the dawning of the morning, in search of more light and true liberty.
Cov. Knight:
Commander, our trusty Guardian Knight with a comrade who is loyal to our cause, are at the draw-bridge of the portal seeking admittance.
Com.:
Escort them into our midst.
The Guardian Knight escorting the candidate, halts before they come to the bridge, when the Commander says:
Our trusty Guardian Knight you have passed many mile-stones in the rugged journey of life. You are now on a rugged road, so I think it well that you should counsel our comrade along this rugged pathway of life that he may not lose his way, in search of light, nor fall over some precipice.
Guardian Knight:
My worthy comrade, thus far you have run well, but beware of dangers ahead, for you must now pass over a rugged foot-bridge which spans a, rushing mountain torrent. Here sheets of tin should be used to resemble distant thunder and rushing water.
Be of good courage and I will point out the safe pathway to you, Life is a rugged road and many lose their way, fall over precipices and are dashed to pieces on the cruel rocks below. Many pilgrims who travel without a trusty guide, fall into the mountain torrents and are swept out into the tempestuous ocean of eternal ruin.
After the candidate is led twice around the room and twice over the bridge, he is led toward the altar, while the Guardian Knight says:
And now my comrade, a loyal Covenanter has guided you safely over many rugged paths, where otherwise you would have met with disaster. Now therefore, let us kneel at this altar by the way side, and with our hands outstretched upon the Holy Scriptures, give thanks unto our God for our deliverance from peril and for the protection afforded by our noble fraternity.
Just before the candidate approaches the altar, the piano should be played softly and the members sing softly:

Rock of Ages cleft for me.
Let me hide myself in Thee:
Let the water and the blood.
From Thy wounded side which flowed.
Be of sin the double cure.
Save from wrath and make me pure.
 
Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no languor know.
These for sin could not atone;
Thou must save and Thou alone:
In my hands no price I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling.
 
White I draw this fleeting breath.
When my eyes shall close in death.
When I rise to worlds unknown.
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
While the last stanza is being sung, the hoodwink is removed from candidate.
Com., to candidate:
You will now arise from the altar. Now that the hoodwink is removed from your eyes, you have come out of darkness into light, and you now behold before you the four great beacon lights of Covenantry on the Four Tables. You now behold the protection afforded you by all loyal Covenanters, which has been symbolized throughout this Degree; and you, in turn, are expected to give that loyal protection to others. In this Degree yon have played the part of John Brown, the loyal Covenanter, known as the ''The Christian Carrier", who was massacred by Claverhouse, the Royalist, because he was true to his convictions. Be ye therefore true and steadfast, even unto death. Where ever you meet a Knight or Lady Covenanter along the pathway of life, it is your duty, to treat them with the true courtesy, kindly consideration and chivalry of the ancient Covenanters; and never refuse the "cup of cold water" even unto your enemies; for "To err is human; to forgive, divine". This concludes the "Second, or Progressive Degree". You will now be conducted through the gate, by the draw-bridge, there to await my instructions.
Guardian Knight conduct the candidate back to the ante-room.


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