Loyal Order of
Jonathan and David
First Degree Ritual
At the appointed hour of meeting
the Commander will give the signal, when the Captain will advance with the
COMMANDER: Before the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David
enters into executive session, it devolves upon you, Captain, to see that the
Sentry is at his post of duty lest any pass to and fro who are not qualified
to enter here, and mark the approach of any enemy and to sound alarm of his
coming; and it is likewise incumbent upon you to have this immediate presence
protected by a Guard, upon whom chiefly depends the preservation of the
secrets of our Order from the inquisitive, the vulgar and the malicious.
Retire, Captain, and make investigation as to whether this environment is
properly protected, and report.
Captain salutes and retires.
COMMANDER: My trusted Armor-Bearer, ascertain whether there
be any present not fully qualified to remain, and if so, forthwith report.
CAPTAIN: The Sentry is at his post and the Guard is on
duty, loyal Commander.
COMMANDER: The Scribe will call the roll of officers, that
the places of absentees may be filled.
If any be absent their places
filled by the Commander, and this fact must be noted in the minutes.
COMMANDER: The chief purpose of the Loyal Order of Jonathan
and David is to cultivate in the hearts of its membership the noble qualities
of Courage, Fidelity and Mercy, that so characterized the lives of the
founders of our great institution; to plant the seeds of brotherly love, to
elevate the morals of its members, to strengthen the weak, protect the frail,
and by mutual friendship promote the interests and general welfare of each
other. Especially is it the
purpose of this great Order to relieve the distressed brother; and, finally,
at all hazards, to minister to and befriend the widows and the orphans of
deceased Loyal Brothers
SCRIBE: Courage, the first of the cardinal principles of
our ancient and honorable Order, is the virtue that so marked the lives of
Jonathan and David as to give them a distinction among their fellow men
without compare, and which even unto the present time has not been equalled
TREASURER: Fidelity, the second of our cardinal principles,
is emblematic of the endearing link that binds men of Courage and Honor
together, as it bound Jonathan and David in bands stouter than ribs of steel,
and more enduring.
ARMOR-BEARER: I retire to do thy bidding,
SEER: Mercy is the last of the cardinal principles of
our Order. It is the gem that radiates the constellation: Courage, Fidelity,
Mercy—for “A merciful Heart maketh a cheerful countenance.” It is
God’s smile upon human benefaction. Mercy is born of Love, and God is Love.
COMMANDER: Most loyal Scribe, do the proceedings as kept of
record in your office discover the name of any applicant for initiation into
the mysteries of our ancient, beneficent and noble Order, who has been duly
approved by this Lodge?
SCRIBE: Most noble Commander, the records show the name of
… as having been elected to membership in the Loyal Order of Jonathan and
COMMANDER: Trusted Treasurer, have the entrance fees and
other charges required by our laws been paid into your hands by this
TREASURER: The entrance fees and other charges required by
our laws have been paid into my hands.
COMMANDER: You will retire to the ante-room, my most trusted
Armor-Bearer, and make diligent inquiry concerning the present status,
morally, of the applicant, and straightway make faithful report hither.
The Armor-Bearer will address the
applicant as follows: Your application for initiation
into the mysteries of the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David has been duly
considered and you have been elected to membership in this Order. It now remains
for me to inquire of you whether, since the date of your application, any cause
has intervened that would tend toward making you unworthy the love and
fellowship of those with whom you are now about to plight your faith. If any
impediment exists say so now, ere it be
I will now make report of your answer to
Armor-Bearer will give signal at
the door, and advancing to front of altar will say: Since the entry of the candidate into the ante-room I have made diligent
inquiry of him concerning the matters you gave me in charge, loyal Commander,
and I am grateful to be able to report that he is now as worthy of our
confidence and brotherly love as when, by our solemn vote, we decided to admit
him here into full fellowship.
If report is adverse it will
be submitted to Committee on Membership.
COMMANDER: Loyal Brothers, ye have hearkened unto the report
of my Armor-Bearer. The candidate is worthy and awaits the revelation of our
Captain, retire and discharge with fidelity your
Captain retires to ante-room and
without comment blindfolds initiate, and by his left arm leads him to the door,
which will be only partially opened on proper signal.
GUARD: Who comes there?
CAPTAIN: One whose merit has been tested and who has been
pronounced worthy of our recognition.
GUARD: Let him enter, but woe be unto him and his
posterity forever if he prove faithless to the solemn obligations he is about to
Captain conducts the
candidate around the hall, during the song, “Saul has slain his thousands,
David his ten thousands,”
SEER: In the
beginning God created the heaven and the earth and the seas and all that in them
is. The earth was without form and
void and utter darkness hung over the face of the deep. And the Lord God divided
the waters from the land. He set the several constellations in their respective
spheres in the firmament, lighting the universe, and with the hand of
Omnipotence He touched the earth as it swung
upon its axis: it sprung into motion and there was life instant and eternal. And
the great Jehovah, with a single glance of His Omnicient eye, compassed the
universe with its myriad worlds and limitless proportions, and pronounced His
handiwork good, when the morning stars sang together and all creation shouted
And the Lord God planted beautiful garden eastward
in Eden, and He placed therein the Man He had made to dress and keep it.
In that garden there was every fruit and herb baring tree, and the Tree
of Eternal Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Such a garden
was there as only the hand of God would plant. Therein was every growth that
could contribute to the sustenance of man or minister to his pleasure. The
senses were delighted with the presence of every flower. The air was filled with
the melody of birds of every feather. The brooks therein that watered the
vegetable and animal kingdoms laughed and sparkled in the virgin sunshine. Peace
reigned supreme there. There God and Man communed together. But the Man and the
Woman that God had given him fell from their high estate and were driven thence,
the Man in sorrow and by the sweat of his brow forced to
wring his living from the bosom of old Mother Earth for all coming
When Man begun to multiply on the face of the
Earth, the first subject demanding his attention was that of Architecture. The
clefts in the rocks, the spreading branches of the trees and the circumscribed
quarters of the cave, proved inadequate to cope with the elements of Nature. The
scorching rays of the sun and the chilling blasts of winter, and the storms that
swept the earth at all seasons, made it necessary that Man should provide
shelter for himself. Accordingly, the rude hut was evolved, and finally the
science of Architecture advanced to such a degree of perfection that even now
the ruins of the Old World are the school houses of the modern architect.
Hand in hand with Architecture, the science of
Government necessarily provoked the attention of Man. The safety of society
demanded that his evil impulses be restrained. The law that Might makes Right
bred discord and anarchy. Crime was unchecked and the weak receded before the
strong. Hence, out the community of interests, Clans and Tribes were formed. The
motives moving men to such combinations were varied. Under divers forms and for
divers purposes they still exist. They will ever exist so long as Man feels the
necessity for comradship with his fellows.
COMMANDER: You are now within the sacred precincts of an
Order that antedates the founding of any other secret organization. While
Solomon, during the building of the Temple, planted the seeds of brotherly hove
among the toilers engaged on that structure, out of which a great secret order
grew, King David, the father of Solomon, had already in his covenant with
Jonathan, the son of King Saul, formed the nucleus from which was evolved the
Loyal Order of Jonathan and David, the same being the most ancient brotherhood
known to man.
The Prophet Samuel, one of the Judges of Israel,
became sorely distressed when the people of Israel besought him to give them a
King to rule over them as other nations had. Samuel warned them of evil likely
to overtake them under such form of government, but they were so importunate in
their demand that Samuel, who had now become a Seer, invoked the direction of
God. And it came to pass that the Lord bade him annoint Saul, the son of Kish,
to be King over his people. Now, Saul was a young man of most pleasing
appearance, but withal most powerful and large of stature, standing shoulders
and head over any man of his race; and when Samuel annointed him, the people
cried, “God save the King.”
Saul had three sons, the eldest named Jonathan, and
two daughters. When he had reigned two years he organized his military forces,
for himself reserving immediate command over two thousand men and placing
Jonathan as Captain over one thousand men.
Shortly thereafter he became involved in war with
the Philistines; and while the hosts of the
contending armies were lying in their tents. Jonathan, accompanied only by his
armor-bearer, stole away and by a difficult and dangerous path, entered the
garrison of the Philistines. They made a terrific assault upon him as soon as
they discovered his identity. There was a great tumult, and Jonathan with his
own hands slew twenty of the enemy. The noise of the fight attracted the
attention of Saul’s army, and it forthwith became engaged, with the result
that there was a great slaughter there that day, the same being the first
victory that Israel had won over the Philistines. The courage displayed by
Jonathan was magnificent, and won for him great glory as a soldier. When Saul
undertook to enforce his judgment of death against him for alleged breach of
military discipline, in that he recklessly exposed himself as
against great numbers, and without authority, the people protested,
saying “Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation for Israel?
God forbid: as the Lord liveth, not a hair of his head shall fall to that
ground.” So the people rescued him, arid Saul suffered him to retain the
position of Captain over a thousand.
SCRIBE: For a time Saul made a wise
and just ruler, but finally, failing to obey the commandments of the
Lord, Samuel was directed by the Divine Spirit to annoint another to be ruler
over His people; and under Heavenly inspiration he besought Jesse, the
Ephrathite, who had eight sons. Now, Jesse’s house was the humblest of the
humble tribe of Bethlemite; and when he found him, Jesse caused seven of his
sons then present to pass before Samuel, but the Prophet said he did not
recognize in any of them the Lord’s annointed. So, the youngest of the sons of
Jesse— David—who was then absent tending his father’s sheep, was sent for,
and when he passed before Samuel, the Prophet was greatly impressed, and the
spirit of the Lord directed that he annoint the had to be King over Judah, and
Samuel did so annoint David. Straightway he returned to the care of his
father’s sheep. Neither Samuel, Jesse, David or his brothers thereafter made
mention of what had transpired.
Shortly after this occurrence Saul made another
invasion against the Philistines, and the brothers of David joined the hosts of
Saul. The legion of the Philistines were drawn up in battle array, led by the
mighty giant. Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span, and who
wore a helmet of brass upon his head and who was armed with a coat of mail, the
weight of which was 5,000 sheckels of brass, the staff of his spear being hike a
weaver’s beam and the head of his spear weighing 600 shekels of iron, and
having one bearing a shield to go before him. this giant stood forth and cried
unto the armies of Israel: “Why are you come out to set your battles in array?
Choose you a man and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me and
to kill me, then will we be your servants, but if I prevail against him and kill
him, then shall ye be our servants and serve us.” Saul’s armies were greatly
alarmed, for there was none who dared to do him battle.
Finally, it came to pass that David’s father sent
him to the trenches where Saul’s forces hay
to carry food to his brothers and to learn how they were faring. When
David had reached the trenches, behold, Goliath, the giant, again appeared
before the hosts of Israel arid repeated his threats against and challenge to
Saul’s armies; and again there were none to do him battle. David then cried
out: “What have I done? Is there not a cause?”
TREASURER: When Saul, who was then present in chief command
of Israel’s forces, heard of David’s words he sent for him, and David said
“Thy servant will go out and fight
with this Philistine.” “But,” said Saul “thou art not able to go and
fight against him, for thou are but a youth and he a man of war.” “Thy
servant,”’ answered David, “kept his father’s sheep and there came a
lion and a bear that took a lamb out of the flock. I went out after them and
smote them and delivered the lamb out the mouth of the lion. When he arose
against me I caught him by his beard and smote him and slew him. Thy servant
slew both the lion and the bear. Moreover,” continued David, “the Lord that
delivered me out of the paw of the lion and the paw of the hear, will deliver me
out of the hands of the Philistine
Whereupon, Saul armed David with his own armor, and
he put a helmet of brass upon his head, and armed him with a coat of mail, and
David girded the King’s sword about himself. Thus equipped he essayed to go as
Saul had bidden, but he finally told Saul he could not go thus armored, as he
had not proved them. He therefore put them aside, and, taking his staff in his
hand and choosing five smooth stones from the brook, he put them in the
shepherd’s hag which he wore, and with his sling in his hand he stepped forth
to meet the mighty Goliath of Gath. The giant disdained the youth, scoffed at
him, and at first refused to do battle, but David advanced upon him, and, taking
from his bag a stone, slung it and smote the Philistine in the forehead, when he
fell upon his face to the earth. Thereupon, David ran and stood upon the
Philistine, and, with the giant’s own sword, which he drew from its sheath, he
cut off his head and bore it back to Jerusalem.
COMMANDER: Saul took David that day auth would not let him
return to his father’s house. As they journeyed homeward from the field of
battle, Saul and David, the multi-tuck shouted and the women sang:
“Saul has killed his thousands, David his ten
This grand demonstration by the people in honor of
David excited the fear and jealousy of Saul, although he was not yet aware that
David was of God’s annointed, to supersede him in his kingdom. But as to
Jonathan, the son of Saul, there was naught in his heart but love for David.
Immediately that they saw each other, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the
soul of David; and they made a covenant, because they loved each other as their
souls. Jonathan stripped himself of his robe and put it on David, giving unto
him even the sword that he wore. That day they wore a mighty oath of fidelity to
each other, mo their kindred, and even unto their posterity, forever And thus
was the most ancient Loyal Order of Jonathan and David established, which has
been perpetuated even unto the present day.
The Captain will now retire with the initiate.
SCRIBE: You are now about to take upon yourself the solemn
pledge that will make you one of us. If you feel that your courage is equal to
the ordeal, so indicate, for if you are weak and timid you now have the
opportunity to withdraw from this presence, first giving your word of honor that
under no circumstances will you ever reveal what has transpired here. This
opportunity is offered because no coward is admitted here.
Repeat alter me the pledge that will place you in
fellowship with the dear friends that now surround you.
“By the Holy Word of God, that I pray henceforth
may be my guide through life, I do solemnly promise to keep sacred and
inviolate, the pass-words, signs, grips, signals and all secrets of this Order,
so help me, God.”
SEER: Courage. This is one of the cardinal principles of
the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David. As this virtue is typified in the lives
of the founders of this Order, so we hope to emulate it, and may he who
withholds effort in that behalf have his right hand forget its cunning and his
tongue cleave unto the roof of his mouth. By a faithful adherence the grand and
lasting principles of our Order, we hope to better our several conditions,
elevate mankind, and glorify our Heavenly Commander.
My Brother, for such we now call you, would
admonish you that those who have lived long in the land which God hath given us,
have found that Man is the best study of Mankind. I have applied myself to hum,
to his deeds and the motives that control his conduct rather than to the
sophistry of books or the cunning of logicians, and scanning the horizon of the
centuries for that Quality that more greatly ennobles Man in the esteem of his
fellows, I find that it is his
Courage. Without this virtue there can be no greatness. Divest the human soul of
Courage and you have void. Fill the craven breast with Courage and it is no
longer daunted. God has endowed Man with certain attributes, but if he lack
Courage to maintain those qualities he becomes a thing of shame to his Creator
and a nameless moral excresence.
One of the chief objects of this Order is therefore
the stimulation of the God-given attribute of Courage. While physical prowess
has at all time; and among all peoples received the roost magnificent plaudit, it
is not, by any means, confounded with harsh or cruel barbarity. But true
Courage is that virtue that will maintain the right at all hazards, as did
David, when he rescued the lamb, the personification of gentleness and timidity,
from the monarchs of the forest , and, again, when he saved his people from
destruction by a mighty host.
Likewise, the entry of Jonathan, into the garrison of the enemy was reckless,
but none the less a display of well nigh unequaled Courage. Those are instances
of perfect physical Courage.
There is a spirit of Moral Courage, however, that
transcends in grandeur all the
deeds of physical valor that may be crowded in the compass of the ages, which this Order would especially
infuse into its membership Moral Courage is that quality that nerves the mind
and heart of Man to see, to know, to do the right. Moral Courage is to the true
Man what the rudder is to the ship. Moral Courage enables him to discern the
true path of life and to pursue it though
the way be strewn with dragons’ teeth and heated plowshares, and though the
air he breathes on his journey he freighted with the noxious and withering scorn
of his fellows. Moral Courage brings
strength to the weak, comfort to the afflicted and fills the soul with a manly
self-respect that riches and position can never give.
Admonishing you, my Brother, to cultivate in
your heart the great virtues of Courage and revere it
wherever you find it, I
would assure you of the abiding faith I have that the lessons you have learned
here will prove of incalculable benefit to you in your intercourse with the
TREASURER: You have received with much profit, no doubt, our
teachings, as have
the countless thousands who have preceded you in
these mysteries. David admonished his people to be strong and of good Courage
and to dread not nor be dismayed; for the Lord had mole of him a witness to the
people, a header and a Commander thereof His leadership consisted riot alone in
a display of Courage in warfare, but in the exercise of Courage in the manifold
affairs of life. He had that Courage which makes for progress and on which
achievement is founded. It is the Courage
that saves talent from drowning in the
great sea of timidity. It is the Courage of determination that fosters faith in
one’s own plans and his ability to press them forward to a glorious fruition.
It was Moral Courage that inspired the industry of genius out which has sprung
the magnificent in architecture, in the arts, in science and in mechanics, until
Man has subdued the forces of Nature to his own use, verifying the acclaim of
David when he said that God made Man little lower than the Angels, and hath
crowned him with glory and honor, giving him dominion over the works of His
hands and put all things under his feet.
It now becomes the duty of the Commander to instruct you in the secret work of
the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David, after which you will take your place in
the membership; and while you are now a Brother of the Order, you will have
become a Loyal Brother when you shall have received the two remaining Degrees in