Sisters of the Mysterious Ten
Second or Mercy Degree
W.P. says: Officers and members of Temple No. …, S. M. T., by authority in me vested I hereby call said Temple from the work of the First Degree, in order that we may labor in the Second or Mercy Degree. * * Bro. Joshua, are all present members of the Second Degree?
B.J.: I am not certain, W.P., but with the assistance of the Marshal, will proceed to take up the password of this degree, and if it is your desire, will conduct such as are not in possession of the same to the anteroom, unless they can prove themselves in this degree.
W.P.: Such is my desire, and I command you to act accordingly.
Password is taken up, result reported, after which W.P. gives one rap; V.P. one rap, add members rise.
From Justice to Mercy we’re journeying on,
This Temple advancing, come join in our song;
We’ll, never cease working in this noble band,
‘Till Canaan we’ll reach: our long promised land.
Chorus: Life, joy, peace and love,
Save us in Thy kingdom,
Bright mansions above.
W.P.: Attend to giving signs of the Second Degree.
Signs are given; members resume their seats * *.
W.P. gives * *: Worthy Secretary, you will, in company with Sister Zilla, the Pilot, and such others as may be necessary, repair to the ante-room and prepare the candidates, if there be any, for further advancement in the Order, by giving them the necessary examination in the First Degree, and
you find them proficient, collect the required fees, etc. and return and report the result of your investigation.
Secretary, Zilla, and Pilot salute and pass cult; examine and blindfold candidates, and robe them in white; the room is arranged for the Second Degree
After examination, collection of fees, etc., the Secretary returns and says: Most Worthy Princess, I find in the ante-chamber … candidates, who are seeking further instructions in the mysteries of our time-honored Order.
W.P.: Have they fully complied with the requirements of our law?
Sec.: They have. Secretary salutes and takes her seat.
W.P.: Brother Joshua, you will please instruct Sister. Zilla, the Pilot, and those attending the candidates, that we are ready to receive them, with candidates, provided they present themselves in due form.
Brother Joshua returns to the ante-room and says: It is the order of our W.P. that you new present yourself to the entrance of the Temple that you may be more fully equipped for your pilgrimage.
Candidates are conducted to the inner door, and bunches of grass placed in their hands.
Caleb, in a loud voice: In the name of the Father of Jacob, and the Ancient House of Israel, who comes there, and what do you desire?
Sister Zilla or one of the conductors: Sisters who have served their Temples faithfully, and have proved proficient in the First Degree, and are desirous of obtaining further instructions in our sublime mysteries by being advanced to the Second or Mercy Degree.
Caleb: What has she brought to recommend her (or them)?
Candidate: My good name, and the love of my friends.
Bro. Caleb: Have you some token to present?
Candidate: Nothing but grass! nothing but grass.
Bro. Caleb: You will then wait with patience until your request is communicated to the W.P., and her answer returned. Reports to the W.P.: Our doors are alarmed by candidates desiring to advance one more step in the mysteries.
W.P.: This being their desire, let the doors fly open wide, and bid them enter in, in the name of Mercy and Charity.
Candidate, led by Brother Joshua, gives two loud raps, and then is conducted at once to the W.P.
Brother Joshua: Worthy Princess, your orders have been obeyed and the candidates await your further orders.
W.P.: This being the case, Brother Joshua, before we proceed further you will conduct the candidates to the station of Mercy, or V.P., who will direct what is best for them to do. Hurries them twice around the room.
V.P., gives two loud raps: What means this confusion?
Bro. Joshua: Our W. P. directs that you to give these candidates further instruction.
V.P.: The best thing for them to do, Brother Joshua, is to always keep within them a pure heart, free from envy, hatred, strife and malice, but in order that you may receive that moral instruction necessary to guide them to that Heavenly Canaan or Land of Promise, you will at once conduct them to the station of Truth, that the Worthy Chaplain may point out to them the path to the land that flows with milk and honey. Hurries them rapidly to the Chaplain.
W.C.: I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one cometh to the Father except by me. Let us pray.
All kneel; very short prayer or Lord’s Prayer.: Members rise but candidates remain kneeling. W.P. approaches candidate and says: Since you have stood
satisfactory examination, passed the Stations of Justice and Mercy, and are now kneeling at the Altar of Truth, you will place yourself in the attitude for making the obligations of this degree. Place right hand on heart and left hand on Bible.
I, …, solemnly declare, in the presence of Almighty God and the members here assembled, that I will never reveal the secrets of this degree to any person in the known world who is not entitled to receive them. Further, I will answer all signs or tokens of this degree when given by a worthy sister or brother. Further, I will not assist in or be at the initiation of a person of the First Degree who is in arrears, suspended or otherwise disqualified. Should I in any way violate this, my solemn obligation, may I lose my good name and the love of my friends and be ever discarded by the members of this and every other Temple working under the State and National Grand Lodge of the United Brothers of Friendship.
All members here assembled bearing witness to what I say and do and may God help me to keep my promise true.
Members all respond: Amen, amen.
W.P.: Having just taken this binding obligation, you will now seal your vow by kissing the Holy Bible twice. You are yet in darkness, but may now be
brought to light; but notice what sights appear before you, and remember the explanation given thereof.
The veil is then raised, and the candidate is caused to look on some hideous looking object or objects that have been arranged before her.
Father Jacob: These horrible objects (or object) are to remind you of the results of a violation of your obligation. As hideous as these look, more so would you look in the eyes of all true Brothers and Sisters, should you knowingly violate or break any of the solemn vows you have taken; but we have formed a more favorable opinion of you, therefore, go forward on your journey, hand in hand.
Candidates join hands, and Father Jacob says: Depart, depart, depar!.
A curtain or screen is then drawn, concealing the hideous objects and Father Jacob. Candidates continue to march, singing:
"The Lord is my support,
And He that doth me feed.
How can I then want anything
Whereof I stand in need.
The veil is again dropped over their faces while singing, and the hideous objects and Father Jacob take off their disguises. When the march is completed, the candidates are restored to light with two slaps of the hands.
Signs and instructions are then given. Should you have occasion to test a person in the Second Degree, you will do so with this recognition sign Place the hands of the first and middle fingers of the right hand between the lips, and let the hand fall to the side. The sign represents Nebuchadnezzar eating grass.
Answer: Raise both hands as high as the waist; extend them with the palms upward; elbows resting on the sides, and let both hands fall to the sides.
Distress Sign: Take handkerchief in right hand; place it against right temple; push it across to the left side of the face, as if wiping off the forehead, at the same time raise left hand as high as left breast and drop the handkerchief in it; let the right hand fall, then the left one to the side.
Answer: Place both hands before the face as if weeping, and let them fall to the sides.
Salutation: Raise the right arm up at full length, twice each time; bringing it down, strike the left breast; and as the hand falls the second time, bow to the W.P., then turn and bow to the V.P., then be seated.
Grip: Clasp hands, thumb on knuckle of middle finger; shake twice.
Distress word: Oh! our poor father.
Answer: Nebuchadnezzar has fallen.
Degree Word: Given inner door: L E I N A D.
Pass Word: Second Degree, to be taken up inside: S T S A E B – H T I W – G N I T A E.
Raps: * *.
Moral lesson (IV Chapter Daniel), comment on Nebuchadnezzar’s fall
Nebuchadnezzar, the king unto all the people, nations and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied unto you. I thought it good to show the signs- and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. How great are His signs! and how mighty are his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation. I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace; I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. Therefore I made a decree to bring in all the wise men of
Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers; and I told the dream before I them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof. But at the last Daniel came in before
me, whose name was Belshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and before him I told the dream, saying: O
Belshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof. Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed: I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The tree grew and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of the earth; the leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it there was meat for all; the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heavens dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and behold a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven. He cried aloud and said thus: Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches; nevertheless leave the stump. of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth; let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. This, matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones, to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and setteth up over it the beast of men. This dream, I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now then, O Belshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, for as much as all the wise men Of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the. interpretation; but thou art able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee. Then Daniel, whose name was Belshazzar, was astonished for one hour and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said: Belshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation thereof trouble thee.
Belshazzar answered and said: My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpreter thereof to thine enemies. The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heavens, and the sight thereof to all the earth; whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heavens had their habitations, it is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong; for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. And, whereas, the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven and saying: Hew the tree down and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and: let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him. This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which is come upon my lord, the king: That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. And, whereas, they commanded to leave the stump of the tree-roots, thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility. All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said: Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of thy majesty. While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken, the kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field; they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever she will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar; and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. And at the end of the days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation, to generation; and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honor and brightness, returned unto me; and my counselors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of Heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment; and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.