Loyal Order of Jonathan and David
Third Degree Ritual


COMMANDER: Scribe, examine the records of your office and report the name of any Worthy Brother who is entitled to receive the Third Degree of our Order.
SCRIBE: Commander, I find that Worthy Brother … has passed the Second Degree, and is therefore qualified for further advancement
COMMANDER: Loyal Treasurer, do the records of your office discover whether the Worthy Brother has paid all fees and charges entitling him to final advancement in the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David?
TREASURER:            They do, honored Commander. All fees and charges have been paid into the treasury.
COMMANDER: Captain, make inquiry and report whether the Worthy Brother is in waiting.
CAPTAIN: He is in waiting, Commander.
COMMANDER: Then, Captain, you and my Armor-Bearer, retire to the ante-room, and take you this throng and with it bind the hands of the initiate and darken his vision, and you and my Armor-Bearer escort him hence.
COMMANDER: Before frail humanity enters the portals of these hallowed walls, his vision is darkened by stolid prejudice and sordid selfishness, and the mortal man is bound by thongs that stay his hands from deeds of valor and acts of mercy. But under the teachings of our Order his vision is cleared and the thongs are burst asunder
Captain and A-B remove bandage and throngs simultaneously.
As the thunderbolt succeeds the flash, or sunshine follows the shower, or the verdue of spring follows the hoar of winter; or, as surely as Death walks in the wake of Life, so surely does Mercy fill the sphere inhabited by Courage and Fidelity. The trinity: Courage, Fidelity, Mercy—are one and inseparable.
Each begets the other in the human breast. As Jonathan and David were courageous and faithful, likewise their lives were the embodiment of Mercy. As David is described in the Word of God as a man whose heart was as the heart of the lion, he is likewise portrayed therein as possessed of a Mercy as beneficent and as abundant as the cry of distress is prolific.
SEER: The Courage and Fidelity of Jonathan and David have been exemplified before you, and in the lessons you have received I know you have not failed to discern therein the true Mercy that marked their intercourse with all men. Their quality of Courage and Mercy was not by chance or haphazard. It was the fruit of their solemn covenant, the outgrowth of which is this fraternal Order.
Mercy inspires benevolence. It fosters good-will; and it breeds liberality in judging of men and their actions, and inclines a disposition among men to put the best construction on the words and deeds of others. The highest exercise of Mercy is to be merciful to the unmerciful. “Let not Mercy and Truth forsake thee,” sayeth the Lord, “but write them upon the table of thy heart.”
Forbearance to inflict harm under circumstances of provocation when one has the power to inflict it is compassion adorned in Mercy’s purest robes. But compassionate treatment of the unfortunate and helpless is the most God-like of all Mercy’s ministrations. Since the dawn of time the widow and the orphan have been esteemed fit objects of Mercy in its most refined application. Their bereft condition, even though they be endowed with worldly goods, presents a spectacle of appeal to the most generous impulses of the human soul.
The Captain will retire with the Worthy Brother and prepare him for the last solemn pledge.
SCRIBE: You are now about to be granted the rare privilege of taking upon yourself the obligation that will make you a Loyal Brother, when you will be entitled to the fullest confidence of all who have preceded you in the study of our sacred mysteries, and you will then be qualified to fill any position of trust within the gift of the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David.
COMMANDER: Through the darkness that envelops mortal vision penetrate the illimitable space that intervenes between thee and the throne of the Heavenly Commander, and with a grateful heart for the Mercy He hath through life manifested toward you. Repeat after me the oath I am now about to utter:
“I do solemnly promise to try to stimulate within my heart Courage, Fidelity and Mercy no my intercourse with the Brothers of this Order. I do further promise and vow that I will never wrong or injure the wife, or the child or the widow or the orphan of any Brother of the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David; nor will I, if within my power to prevent, suffer any man to wrong them or either of them. So help me, God.”
Thou art now a Loyal Brother. Lead the life typified by the founders of our Order. Choose the right and eschew the evil.
The Captain will now restore our Loyal Brother to light and present him to our trusted Treasurer for further admonition.
TREASURER: You will never ask pecuniary aid of a Loyal Brother unless in dire extremity, and you are not expected to extend it unless the Loyal Brother soliciting it is in distress. An irnprovident giving of alms encourages indolence; likewise selfish withholding of gifts is sinful. But you can not be too prodigal of kind words and thoughtful deeds.
SEER: My Loyal Brother, you have now received the instructions and taken the obligations, which, if strictly adhered to, will enable you to lead a perfect life. A life of Courage, Fidelity and Mercy is a perfect one, though it be spent before the forge, in the workshop, in the field, or in the banking house, or in the pulpit or the forum or in the busy marts of trade, or in the quiet and seclusion of the pastoral pursuit in which we first find David. Though you may not ascend a temporal throne, a faithful adherence to the several obligations you have taken here will insure you a spiritual crown when life’s fitful fever has vanished and with it your soul has winged its flight to brighter spheres.
COMMANDER: The cardinal principles of the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David—Courage—Fidelity—Mercy— having exemplified, and it having been made manifest that the sacred observance of those principles will inevitably elevate and strengthen your moral being, it now only remains for you to receive the final instruction in the secret work of the Order.