Occult Science in Masonry ⬩ Officers and Titles ⬩ Official Secrets ⬩ Old Charges ⬩ George Oliver ⬩ Operative and Speculative Masonry ⬩ Order of Christ ⬩ Order of Light ⬩ Order of the Cross ⬩ Order of the Scarlet Cord ⬩ Order of the Secret Monitor ⬩ Order of the Temple ⬩ Order of Woodcutters ⬩ Oriental Rite of Memphis ⬩ Orphic Mysteries
Occult Science in Masonry
The development of Freemasonry in France of the eighteenth century may be said truly to have exhausted all branches of that collocation of inchoate practices which is described technically as occult science. How much and how little they connect with the true subject of research in Mysticism, and therefore with the spiritual ends of the Greater Initiation, has been indicated sufficiently in previous papers; and there is no need to say that the developments now noted, or the Grades and Orders which represent them, are open too often to the charge of frivolity and did as little in consequence to secure and advance their own interests as to promote those of Masonry. The most insignificant, notwithstanding, has here an extrinsic importance because of the impulse which actuated it, and in this respect I could wish that there were space available to give account of them all. Broadly speaking, they may be distinguished into two classes, of which the first would include those Rites less or more avowedly established for the purpose of transforming Masonry—in part or wholly—in the interests of some occult scheme—e.g. the Egyptian Masonry of Cagliostro; while in the second would be comprised those less ambitious systems which, though they interpreted Masonry in accordance with their particular dedications, were content to pursue their objects under the aegis of the Craft.
Various Occult Grades.—This classification will serve also—though again I am speaking broadly—the purposes of another distinction; for as the Rites of the first section were distributed in most cases over a long series of Grades so they represented a general rather than a specific propaganda, while into the second section those fall naturally which were concerned with one or other only of the given occult arts. They were all, as I have said, represented—Alchemy, Astrology, Kabalism, Ceremonial Magic and even Animal Magnetism—all claiming on one or another pretext a connection with Masonry. Some of the associations were ephemeral, a few only outlived the century of their origin, and of all indifferently it will be understood that—although requiring Masonic qualifications from their Candidates and possessing a Masonic complexion in their symbols and ceremonial procedure—they were more properly institutions arising out of the Craft, technically connected but actually independent thereof. It we bracket them for a moment with the enormous volume of Grades which represent the claims and concerns of Masonic chivalry, we are in the presence of a sum total which, to say the least, is of signal interest, while the point and centre of that interest is France of the eighteenth century. To that country in particular, though in a lesser sense to Germany, is confined the main historical connection between Masonry and the various departments of occult knowledge and research, as well as of quests in chivalry.
French Developments.—The occult movements, sometimes tinged with Mysticism, which originated in Germany at the close of the sixteenth century and thence passed into England, found their final field in France at the period in question. There Rosicrucians reappeared; there Anton Mesmer restored and made public an important elementary process of psychic practice; there the Marquis de Puységur discovered clairvoyance; there Martines de Pasqually instructed his disdples in a most remarkable variant of ceremonial magic; there the illustrious Saint-Martin, le philosophe inconnu, developed his metaphysics of spiritual reintegration; there the central doctrines of inward life took possession of some great minds within the fold of the Gallican Church; there Alchemy flourished; there both spiritual and political princes sought after an elixir of life; there also rose up a line of magnificent impostors who posed as initiates of occult sciences, as possessors of the Great Secret and Grand Magisterium; and there in consequence the Higher Mysteries—real or alleged—of Emblematic Masonry took root and grew and flourished, developing an hundred splendours of romantic legends, of sonorous names and titles. In a word, the quixotic side of all metaphysical invention concentrated its forces at Paris and Lyons, gathering under the shadow of the Square and Compasses—a natural centre to which they all gravitated, from which they all worked.
Occult and Mystical Orders.—There is only one purpose tolerated by real initiation, but the occult societies which in virtue of a formal curriculum impart—by their hypothesis—some kind of secret knowledge, less or more connected with psychic processes, are comparatively speaking numerous in the records of the past. During the course of the eighteenth century their objects ranged from attempted communications with the Christ of Nazareth, performed under the guise of Masonry, to the common practices of professional magic and the frivolities or impostures connected almost indissolubly therewith. Of such workings we know little and their memorials are otherwise next to nothing. The warrants of occult and psychical claims must be sought in the open day and not in the Sanctuaries. The phenomena of Animal Magnetism, of Hypnotism, of Spiritualism, of Thought-Transference have developed their several testimonies, owing nothing to concealed methods of procedure. They are said by professional occultists to have trespassed unwittingly on the procedure and knowledge of the Secret Orders. The occult processes have thus in part transpired, and the natural divulgation of more has become inevitable. There is no evidence before us in support of this contention; but there is just that kind of connection or bond of similarity between what is known and proved in the domain of psychical research and that which can be gleaned, surmised or inferred from the hints and half-revelations of old esoteric books to indicate that the old workers were concerned with similar researches and to make it tentatively possible that some may have carried them further. In the past also there are traces of Magian Schools which were not of an occult order, and in the seventeenth century there seems little doubt that there was a higher side of the Rosy Cross to which this statement applies.
Psychic and Occult Research.—While fully recognising the possibilities which open in the field of psychical research and in its barely possible extensions of the occult order, it remains to say that they do not lead the soul to its sure and only end. The psychic man must be distinguished from the spiritual man; and the development of the one, so far from tending to the awakening of the other, may constitute a very real hindrance to the attainment of the greater objects. The history of what is called supernaturalism is over-written everywhere with the fullest evidences that no psychic phenomena produce any spiritual result if pursued for their own sake, that those who have so pursued them, more especially if they have experienced them in their proper persons, have suffered in proportion to the extent and prolongation of the experiments. It may well enough seem convincing to unwary inquirers if, under given circumstances, the levitation—shall I say?—of a human body can take place in the absence of all mechanical appliances; if writing can be produced between slates that are undoubtedly locked and have not been tampered with either before or after; if spirits appear to obey the formulae of evocation. These things serve to indicate that there is more in heaven and earth than is compassed by material philosophy, but they bring and can bring the seeker to nothing approaching finality. An accounting knowledge of the great mysteries of life in the universe and the Providence which rules therein must come to him through other channels than those of psychic phenomena.
A Hidden Sanctuary.—It is above the realms of psychic visions and auditions, in the dissolution of the world of images, that man enters into real experience in the spirit. The old alchemists used to seek what they termed paradoxically the Universal Dissolvent. By some who understood them literally they have been held up to ridicule for supposing that such a substance could be contained in a vial. There is, however, a gift in man which in its way is an universal dissolvent, by the operation of which all externals are transmuted and—to prolong the alchemical illustration—the matter of his work is found everywhere in the condition that he requires for the attainment of his mystical end. It is the gift of Divine Love. He who is possessed of this faculty can and does act as his own initiator until God becomes the hierophant, and he finds within the compass of his own being a hidden Sanctuary, in which the great and last secrets are imparted.
Terminus ad Quem.—If anywhere in this world of ours there abide those Greater Mysteries which have proposed to themselves such ends as these, the difference between them and all the Lesser Initiations which are grouped chaotically together under the name of occult sciences—with all their processes, methods of eduction and education—is generic rather than particular. The analogies also between them are few and next to nothing, outside the bare fact which I have mentioned—that experiences of the psychic order are indications and finger-posts pointing to spiritual possibilities, though they cannot really lead up to them. Towards the attainment of these the province of the Instituted Mysteries is one of awakening only. As in the majority of other respects, outside himself there is no help for man herein. But the awakening hint may become a clue, and a mind which follows it may be led thereby—with some profit from the experience of others—in that direction which shall be called the King’s Secret.
Officers and Titles
Whether a list like that of the present section is likely to serve a purpose and justify even the brief space which it occupies I am not perhaps the best person to judge. I am disposed to rule in the negative, but as it is usual to burden a work of Masonic reference with particulars of this kind, I proceed to give under protest (1) details of the governing headships in the various denominations of Masonry and (2) the titles of officers in the several Rites and Grades. What has been scattered heretofore is presented now in a concise form, so that if any one can profit by the bare points of knowledge he may be enabled so to do with the least inconvenience, while I on my part can furnish it with the least trespass on pages which should be reserved for better things.
United Grand Lodge of England.—The rank in succession of Grand Lodge members and officers is as follows: (1) The Most Worshipful Grand Master, (2) The Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master, (3) The Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, (4) The Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden, (5) The Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden, (6) The Very Worshipful Grand Chaplain, (7) The Very Worshipful Grand Treasurer, (8) The Very Worshipful Grand Registrar, (9) The Very Worshipful Deputy Grand Treasurer, (10) The Very Worshipful President of the Board of General Purposes, (11) The Very Worshipful Grand Secretary, (12) The Very Worshipful President of the Board of Benevolence, (13) The Very Worshipful Grand Director of Ceremonies, (14) The Worshipful Senior Grand Deacons, (15) The Worshipful Junior Grand Deacons, (16) The Worshipful Assistant Grand Chaplains, (17) The Worshipful Assistant Grand Registrars, (18) The Worshipful Grand Superintendent of Works, (19) The Worshipful Assistant Grand Superintendent of Works, (20) The Worshipful Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, (21) The Worshipful Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, (22) The Worshipful Grand Sword Bearer, (23) The Worshipful Assistant Grand Sword Bearer, (24) The Worshipful Grand Standard Bearers (25) The Worshipful Assistant Grand Standard Bearers, (26) The Worshipful Grand Organist, (27) The Worshipful Deputy Grand Organist, (28) The Worshipful Grand Pursuivant, (29) The Worshipful Assistant Grand Pursuivants, (30) The Worshipful Grand Tyler, (31) The Worshipful Grand Stewards. Officers of Past Grand Rank are Officers of Grand Lodge.
Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.—Officers and Members: (1) First Grand Principal, (2) Pro First Grand Principal, (3) Second Grand Principal, (4) Third Grand Principal, (5) Grand Scribe E, (6) Grand Scribe N, (7) President of the Committee of General Purposes, (8) Grand Treasurer, (9) Grand Registrar, (10) Deputy Grand Registrar, (11) Principal Grand Sojourner, (12) First Assistant Grand Sojourner, (13) Second Assistant Grand Sojourner, (14) Grand Director of Ceremonies, (15) Grand Sword Bearer, (16) Deputy Grand Sword Bearer, (17) First Grand Standard Bearer, (18) Second Grand Standard Bearer, (19) Third Grand Standard Bearer, (20) Fourth Grand Standard Bearer, (21) Fifth Grand Standard Bearer, (22) Sixth Grand Standard Bearer, (23) Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, (24) First Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, (25) Second Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, (26) Third Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, (27) Fourth Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, (28) Grand Organist, (29) Grand Janitor.
Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons.—The Grand Officers are those of the Craft, with the following additions: (1) Grand Master Overseer, (2) Grand Senior Overseer, (3) Grand Junior Overseer, it being understood that the following offices are wanting: (1) Deputy Grand Registrar, (2) President of the Board of Benevolence, (3) Assistant Grand Superintendent of Works, (4) Assistant Grand Sword Bearer, (5) Assistant Grand Standard Bearer, (6) Deputy Grand Organist. The Grand Superintendent of Works has the title of Grand Inspector, while the Grand Pursuivant and his assistants are termed Inner Guards.
Ancient and Accepted Rite.—The chief Officials of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree are (1) Grand Patron, (2) Sovereign Grand Commander, (3) Lieutenant Grand Commander, (4) Grand Chaplain, (5) Grand Treasurer General, (6) Grand Chancellor, (7) Grand Chamberlain, (8) Grand Marshal, (9) Grand Captain General, (10) Grand Secretary General. There are also the following subsidiary Officials: (1) Director of Ceremonies, (2) Assistant Directors of Ceremonies, (3) Organist, (4) Assistant Organist, (5) Chief Clerk, (6) Outer Guard, (7) Auditors.
Great Priory.—A.—The Temple and Hospital. Officers: (1) Grand Master, (2) Pro Grand Master, (3) Great Seneschal, (4) Great Prelate, (5) Great Chancellor, (6) Great First Constable, (7) Great Second Constable, (8) Great Treasurer, (9) Great Registrar, (10) Great Vice-Chancellor, (11) Great Marshal, (12) Great Almoner, (13) Great Herald, (14) Great Standard Bearers, (15) Grand Master’s Banner Bearer, (16) Great Sword Bearer, (17) Great Aides de Camp, (18) Great Chamberlain, (19) Great Captains of Guards, (20) Great Organist. B.—Order of Malta. Officers: (1) Great Prior, (2) Great Sub Prior, (3) Great Captain General, (4) Great Lieutenant General, (5) Great First Lieutenant, (6) Great Second Lieutenant, (7) Great Prelate, (8) Great Mareschal, (g) Great Hospitaller, (10) Great Admiral, (11) Great Conservator, (12) Great Baillie, (13) Great Turcopolier, (14) Great Chancellor, (15) Great Treasurer, (16) Great Banner Bearer, (17) Great Sword Bearer, (18) Great Chamberlain, (19) Great Captains of Outposts, (20) Great Organists.
Red Cross of Constantine.—A.—Grand Council: (1) Grand Sovereign, (2) Viceroy, (3) Senior General, (4) Junior General, (5) High Prelates, (6) High Chancellor, (7) Treasurer, (8) Recorder, (9) High Almoner, (10) Chamberlain, (11) Architect, (12) Marshal, (13) Orator, (14) Historiographer. B.—Grand Senate: (1) Preceptor, (2) Examiner, (3) Prefect, (4) Sub-Prelate, (5) Vice-Chancellor, (6) Assistant Recorder, (7) Sub-Almoner, (8) Inspector of Regalia, (9) Standard Bearers, (10) Sword Bearer, (11) Organist, (12) Precentor, (13) Vice-Chamberlain, (14) Assistant Marshals, (15) Heralds. The title of Honour is Grand.
Allied Masonic Degrees.—(1) Grand Master, (2) Deputy Grand Master, (3) Senior Warden, (4) Junior Warden, (3) Secretary, (6) Treasurer, (7) Chaplain, (8) Senior Deacon, (9) Junior Deacon, (10) Director of Ceremonies, (11) Assistant Director of Ceremonies, (12) Sword Bearer, (13) Standard Bearer, (14) Inner Guard, (15) Steward, The title of Honour is Grand.
Royal and Select Masters.—(1) Grand Master, (2) Deputy Grand Master, (3) Principal Conductor of Works, (4) Chaplains, (5) Treasurer, (6) Recorder, (7) Lecturer, (8) Director of Ceremonies, (9) Assistant Director of Ceremonies, (10) Conductor of Council, (11) Captain of the Guard, (12) Marshals.
Other Masonic Offices.—It should be understood that the Grand Offices and Titles arise out of those which are below, with two kinds of exceptions: (1) those which imply expert knowledge, as in the case of Grand Registrar; (2) those which are devised to relieve appointments of an onerous nature, e.g. Pro Grand Master and Deputy; (3) those which lend dignity to great ceremonial procedure, among which are the Grand Bearers of Swords and Standards. The ordinary Lodge has its Master, Wardens and Deacons, its Inner and Outer Guard. The Chapter has Principals and Scribes. The High Grades have their Sovereigns, Preceptors, Priors, Generals, Constables, Chaplains, Marshals, Heralds and so forth. These Offices were in being long before Grand Obediences came into existence and would continue, by their hypothesis at least, did some revolution in the world put an end to all the latter; for I have sufficient belief in Masonry to be assured that it would survive in secret if it passed out of public view.
Insignia.—There are certain collars, jewels and other insignia, by which Officers and Grand Officers in all Rites and Degrees are distinguished from the rest of the Brethren. They are in the fullest possible evidence, by means of illustrated handbooks. Constitutions, Statutes and so forth, to which therefore I refer. It is sufficient here to register the fact of their existence. For the most part, Official Jewels carry their meanings on the surface.
The concealed part of Masonry, the things by which its Members are known to one another and distinguished from the rest of the world, are too often supposed to consist in certain external conventions which are a ready means of recognition, and in what is termed the arrangement of interiors, meaning decorations of Lodge or Chapter. But these are accidents and conventions, and it is a matter of open knowledge that they have been betrayed times out of number, while on the continent of Europe there is no concealment about them on the part of Masonic writers. As I have indicated otherwise, the true secret is the peculiar life of Masonry which is incommunicable to the uninitiated by the irrepealable nature of things. There is a sense in which Masonic symbolism is a part of this life, as belonging to the modes of its manifestation and to the vesture which it wears. In view of these truths one school of interpretation has gone so far as to affirm—and not without justification—that the Mysteries are not taught openly even in the Orders themselves, being acquired in the course of the life. What happens actually is that certain Keys are put into the hands of the Brethren, as each initiate in his turn passes through the successive Grades; and it is for him—if he is able—to open the Temple into which they do or may give entrance. It comes about in this manner that there are always Mysteries behind the Mysteries and a more withdrawn adytum behind the Holy of Holies, because growth in the knowledge of Masonry is growth in its life and consciousness. This is how the building continues of that structure which the Entered Apprentice is told that it is for him to erect, until it is
“Self-withdrawn into a wondrous depth,
Far sinking into splendour.”
We have seen that the Regius MS. contains Points, Articles or Charges both for Masters and Craftsmen, it being understood that Masters were those who took and bound Apprentices. We have seen also that later documents contained other Charges. When Anderson digested the “Old Gothic Constitutions” he produced his version of the Old Charges under six general heads, which, however, are substantially seven and are so marked in his edition of 1738. The heads are (1) Concerning God and Religion; (2) of the Civil Magistrate; (3) of Lodges; (4) of Masters, Wardens, Fellows and Apprentices; (5) of the Management of the Craft in Working; (6) of Behaviour, in and out of the Lodge; (7) concerning Lawsuits. The second version of these Charges is varied considerably from that of 1723. I have dealt fully with the Charge concerning God and Religion elsewhere in these volumes. That concerning the Civil Magistrate binds every Mason to be a peaceable subject of the Civil Powers. In the third he is told that it is his duty to belong to some Lodge, obeying its Bye-Laws and the General Regulations. The fourth assures him that preferment depends upon real worth, not seniority, and it is therefore by their merit that Master or Warden is chosen. This notwithstanding a Warden must have passed Fellow Craft and a Master must have acted as Warden. But in 1738 it is said that “the Wardens are chosen from among the Master-Masons.” As regards “the management of the Craft,” it is said in 1723 that “the most expert of the Fellow Craftsmen shall be chosen or appointed the Master,” otherwise the Overseer; but in 1738 this reads: “A Master-Mason only must be the Surveyor or Master of Work.” The Charge on Behaviour insists on becoming reverence in Lodge, decency at table, avoiding quarrels about Religion or State Policy, caution towards strangers, silence at home about Lodge matters, and—in 1738—the cultivation of moral and family virtues is counselled. The seventh charge directs that no “legal course” shall be taken against a Brother “till the cause cannot be otherwise decided.”
After all an epoch in Masonry is marked by George Oliver. There was never a more devoted craftsman, and he is not without moment at his best. Out of his vast collection of treatises on the Royal and Emblematical Art it might not be impossible to make a Book of Extracts which would carry a lawful warrant, even at this day. He had taken his subject into a heart which loved it honestly but was unfortunately without discernment. In place of the Pierian spring he had drunk unwisely and too well from those turbid waters of the Deluge which were conveyed in his day through the conduits of Jacob Bryant, Faber, Higgins, Vallancey, and other makers of dreary Noachian myth; and it was given him to see Masonry everywhere as a firstborn of Holy Writ, the patriarchs of Scripture everywhere, the Instituted Mysteries one and all—no matter when they flourished and no matter in what place—as so many base-born reflections of Mosaic wisdom and travesties of that Masonic Science, the grand periods of which began with creation itself and reached their zenith at the building of King Solomon’s Temple.
Events of Life.—Those who are interested—if any—in the chief events of his life may consult a serviceable summary made by Kenneth MacKenzie. Here it is sufficient to say that he was born in 1782 and taking Holy Orders somewhat later than is commonly done—namely, in 1814—he held various livings, by which he was removed from that sphere of grammar school teaching in which his activities began. He entered Masonry in 1801, and his first important Masonic work belongs to the year 1823. His long and not unmemorable career closed on March, 1865.
Bibliography.—He wrote too much and too often; it is only within recent years that a few of his books have begun to be rare in the market; and I do not think that they can be regarded as in more than tolerable demand. There is no call here for a complete enumeration, and it might not signify if some which are included here were omitted. In any case the list which follows will serve all purposes, it being understood that his contributions to ecclesiastical antiquities do not concern Masons. (1) Antiquities of Freemasonry . . . from the Creation of the World to the Dedication of King Solomon’s Temple, 1823. (2) Theocratic Philosophy of Freemasonry, 1840. (3) Signs and Symbols of Freemasonry, 1841. (4) The History of Initiation, 1841. (5) Star in the East, 1842. (6) History of Freemasonry, from 1829 to 1840. (7) Historical Landmarks and other Evidences of Freemasonry, 2 vols, 1845-46. (8) Stray Leaves from a Freemason’s Note-Book, 1846. (9) A Mirror of the Johannite Masons, 1848. (10) The Book of the Lodge, 1849. (11) The Symbol of Glory, 1850. (12) Dictionary of Symbolical Masonry, 1853. (13) Revelations of a Square, 1855. (54) Institutes of Masonic Jurisprudence, 1859. (15) Freemason’s Treasury, 1862. (16) Origin of the Royal Arch, 1867. (17) Pythagorean Triangle, 1875; Discrepancies of Freemasonry, 1875. Dr. Oliver also edited: (1) Hutchinson’s Spirit of Masonry, 1843 ; (2) Preston’s Illustrations of Masonry, 1829; and (3) Golden Remains of Early Masonic Writers, 5 vols., 1847-1850.
Operative and Speculative Masonry
The interest in Operative Masonry and its records, though historically of great importance, has proceeded from the beginning on a misconception as to the aims and symbolism of Speculative Masonry. It was and remains natural, while it has not been without its results, but there has been a confusion of the chief issues. The sole connection between the two Arts and Crafts rests on the fact that the one has undertaken to uplift the other from the material plane to that of morals on the surface and of spirituality in the real intention. Many things led up thereto, and a few of them were at work unconsciously within the limits of Operative Masonry. At a period when there was a tendency to symbolise everything roughly, so that it might receive a tincture of religion—I speak of the Middle Ages—the duty of Apprentice to Master and of Master to pupil had analogies with relations subsisting between God and the creature, and these were not lost sight of in old Operative documents. Here was a rudiment capable of indefinite extension. The placing of Lodges and of the Craft at large under notable patronage, with the subsequent custom of admitting persons of influence, offered another and distinct opportunity. But, these facts notwithstanding, the traces of symbolism which may in one sense be inherent in Operative Masonry did not produce by a natural development the speculative Art and Craft, though they helped undoubtedly to make a possible and partially prepared field for the great adventure and experiment.
Moral Allegory.—The Three Craft Degrees bear upon the surface of their Rituals the seals and marks of a conventional, arbitrary and forcible conversion of operative symbols and procedure into an emblematic system. It is true, in fact, to say that they have been wrested rather than changed, very often in the absence of all felicity in the process and of all persuasiveness in the result. It is not possible to set out the evidence, but let any Mason reflect seriously upon the Gauge, Gavel and Chisel in the light of Masonic allegorising and decide for himself whether they can be taken seriously, whether conviction can be produced in the mind of a reasonable being by such a mode of figuration and whether their shallow artifice is not devoid of any shadow of art. Had the speculative system come out of the operative by any process of natural development it would not have fared thus with the result. There are sound reasons for concluding that the Third Degree was added to the First and Second at a period which was later than these, though the three have been brought into tolerable conformity one with another by a process of editing, which is of course latest of all. It follows that there is a question of fact at issue and one also of aspect. It is not impossible to suppose a Master-Grade of building symbolised which might belong to a working Guild; but that which is known among us would have been ridiculous in such a setting, while there is not one particle of evidence that it existed in operative times.
Operative Records.—While it is conceivable that the ends of the Mysteries—in the opinion of their Wardens—might be served in some ordered fashion by the appropriation of the mechanism belonging to a Trade Guild, it is not conceivable that a Trade Guild as such, either in its outward history or its inward archives, can be of interest from the standpoint of the Mysteries otherwise than as bare memorials. It follows that prior to the alleged absorption and coincident transmutation of a Practical Craft into a Speculative Science there is little to attract us in extant records of the Masonic Fraternity: they shew forth and signify nothing beyond their operative measures. That a few of the Scottish Lodges—Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kilwinning or Scoon and Perth—possess early records is interesting and even momentous within its own lines; but it does not help us towards an elucidation of Masonry, considered as a system of initiation which reflects or summarises the Mysteries of past ages, nor are the memorials at their proper valuation of sufficient extent and importance to make even the historical side clear, so that neither alternative offers any finality. The history of Lodges as such, the rolls of their members are useful in their own degree but can effect little towards the greater considerations. Outside these there are of course the Old Charges, the vestiges of Old Constitutions and Landmarks; these are of great value as evidence of Operative Laws, of that which was required of members and the forefront of ideals; but they belong to another branch of our research and have been discussed therein.
The Master Grade.—Mary’s Chapel and other early Lodges which are now important and honoured Houses of Speculative Masonry have records which exhibit, up to their point, that the immediate antecedents of our Symbolical Art are the old Building Guilds. But if this be a matter of certitude rather than of debate I am not less assured that such antecedents are as incapable of accounting for the root-matter of the Third Degree in the Craft as of the Thirtieth Degree in the Ancient and Accepted Rite or the Rosy Cross of Heredom—to contrast some extremely divergent cases. No one suggests that any one of the Grades of Kadosh or the rhymed interlocutory discourses of the other remarkable Order developed in a natural manner out of Operative Masonry. My contention is that the Master Grade is in precisely the same position. It follows that the old Craft Mystery was transformed into another Mystery, or that some deeper element of secret life was brought into it entirely from without, and this with such result that Speculative Masonry—as we know it—carries with it precisely those marks and seals which made even the foolish old scholars of the past see through their scoriated glasses some part of what it actually is. Hence, in the midst of much idle talk, they helped to provide, unconsciously to themselves, a possible Key to the Sanctuary.
Mystification.—It comes about in this manner that a number of mystifications which were like current coin in the past, though absurd in their literal sense and therefore like base coin, have— apart from any real intention—done yeoman service by referring us to that Secret Tradition which at this day we are qualified to understand after another and saner manner. With better equipment and larger opportunities I think that some few of these old Masonic dreamers would have come to understand in their hearts the real nature of the issues raised by them, could they have searched their hearts so deeply.
Order of Christ
When the Knights Templar were suppressed, spoliated and murdered in the days of Philippe le Bel it is to the glory of the Crown of Portugal that, notwithstanding a sovereign Pontiff and a powerful political neighbour, the great chivalry was protected in that country. About ten years after the immolation of Jacques de Molay it underwent certain changes and became the Order of Christ. As such it has continued to the present day, practically as reward of merit conferring titles of honour, and has been an appanage of the Crown. I suppose that the King of Portugal became its titular head in the fourteenth century. Whether it has fallen asleep in the arms of the present republic must be left an open question. About the period of the French Revolution there would seem to have been a more considerable membership than can be traced at this day, but no statistics are available, within my knowledge, for any period. When the spurious French Order of the Temple was at the beginning of its activity under Fabré-Palaprat, and proffering great claims in 1804 on the basis of the Charter of Larmemus, an attempt was made to obtain recognition from the Order of Christ, but the appeal was very wisely ignored. Three years later, however, a Portuguese named Nunez appeared at Paris with a concoction presumably his own and consisting of several Degrees, of Masonic complexion by their titles. They are included by Ragon in his chaotic List of Orders and Rites, as if they formed an unquestioned series in the genuine Order of Christ. I have found nothing concerning them anywhere except some bare titles, the sucesssion of which is as follows: (1) Knight of the Triple Cross; (2) Knight of the White and Black Eagle, otherwise Grand Elect Kadosh; (3) Knight Adept or Cherubim; (4) Sublime Elect of Truth; (5) Knight of the Black Eagle; (6) Sovereign Grand Commander; (7) Knight Kaes; (8) Knight of the Order of Christ.
Order of Light
A quaint invention with a queer story attached to it, the Order of Light was founded originally by Maurice Vidal Portman on his return from the Andaman Islands, where he claimed to have been initiated in a bath of Mercury. The literal side of this story seems to be that he was murderously attacked by certain natives, sustaining an injury to the skull, and that on his return to England it was too late for trepanning. He hired a house at Kilburn and there initiated various persons, including the Rev. W. Alexander Ayton and Robert Palmer-Thomas, both Masons. The adventure of the Order of Light could have been in embryo only, for subsequently Palmer-Thomas wrote up the Rituals. Both sexes seem to have been admitted and a lucid named Estelle was employed—that is to say, Mrs. Lilith Ellis, an actress and writer of verse. When still in its early days a conviction came upon the members that it was being assailed insidiously by the Jesuits, and one story is that it was disbanded. What actually occurred was that Mrs. Ellis had decided on being advanced from a lucid in the Order of Light to membership of the Roman Catholic Church, and a great fear of persecution fell upon the elect, lest the mysteries of the bath of Mercury should be revealed in the confessions of a penitent. The refuge was self-effacement. My readers will be in a position to gauge the quality of illumination which was to be found in the invention at that period. Whether it went to sleep utterly for a season I am not prepared to say, but after a considerable space it came into the hands of certain Masonic Brethren in Bradford, who were connected also with a certain association familiar in the annals of folly as Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, not otherwise calling for mention in these pages. The Bradford Brethren went to work on the Order of Light and reconstructed it in all respects, but failed to induce Mr. Portman to have any hand in its revival. They installed it, however, in their city, where it is still at work. It is said to be Oriental in complexion, like the Sat B’Hai, of which we shall hear elsewhere.
Order of the Cross
The Twenty-seventh Degree of the Early Grand Rite is called the Holy and Illustrious Order of the Cross and may be taken with several other Grades of Christian Chivalry belonging to the same series as examples of exceedingly obscure points of ceremonial procedure which—at least in their extant form—are as much devoid of purpose or meaning as of known history. They are little else than casual examples of things preserved as memorials because they happened to exist and to have been met with by the makers of the Rite. There is not the least reason to suppose that they were ever worked under the Obedience in question, and indeed it cannot be said that they offer sufficient materials for presentation in Ritual form. They belong properly to the region of archives, and as such are entitled to preservation. The Grand Council of the Allied Degrees—as we have seen—has a long list of similar relics of the past, but—being guided by better counsels—has not converted them into an arbitrary system.
The sole significance that can be attached to the Order of the Cross is its intention to commend respect for the Christian Symbol of Redemption. There is also the Knight of the Black Cross, which is held—with others to be named in succession hereafter—under a Council of Knights of St. Andrew. The Candidate beholds a transparency depicting the Crucifixion, of which the Ceremony is a simple commemoration. The Knight of Bethany is a Grade held in the first hour of the first day of the week, when “Christ arose from the dead, leading captivity captive.” The chivalry testifies to the event, and the Candidate certifies that having “mourned the loss of the Word” he desires to visit the Sepulchre wherein that Word was laid. He is asked thereupon: “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” and is told that “the eye of faith alone can see the Word,” until obedience to His Divine Precepts shall have promoted us to the Council that is above. The Candidate undertakes to obey these precepts, and is enrolled among the Knights of Bethany. There follows hereon the Grade denominated Knight of the White Cross, which commemorates the Ascension, and the event is depicted in a transparency. In this manner the Council of St. Andrew is an official custodian of workings which cover the closing scenes of the Divine Life in Palestine. But there remains the Knight of Patmos, the motives of which are the Glory of Christ in the Supernal World and the doctrine of his Second Coming. They are illustrated only by extracts from the Book of Revelations. In the natural reason of things it might be thought that the work of the Council would close at this point. Its last Grade is, however, called Knight of Death, otherwise Gates of Death, in which the Lodge represents a burial vault and the Candidate is prepared for advancement as for his own interment. This notwithstanding, he does not enter symbolically the rest of the grave, nor does he receive instructions concerning figurative or mystical death. He listens to a lecture on “the mutability of mundane things,” on “the necessity of preparing for death” and “the ushering in of the great change.” A great opportunity is missed—as in other cases innumerable. The eternal commonplaces of arid convention are substituted for the Word of Life, and moral reflections are the crown of thought presented to him who after Bethany and Patmos might have looked to be taught in what manner a true Soldier of the Cross should hope to fall asleep in Christ.
Order of the Scarlet Cord
Among the unsubstantial shadows of forgotten Side-Degrees which flicker about the horizon of Masonry, there is no picture so ghostly or forlorn of motive as the Order of the Scarlet Cord. It is said, however, to have been “known under different Masonic systems,” and indeed under more than a single name, for it is identified with Knight of Jericho, which does not increase our knowledge. It is founded on Joshua ii, concerning Rahab the harlot and the scarlet cord suspended by her from the window of her house, as a sign of warning which saved the spies of Israel. We know that this was counted to her for righteousness, though not of that kind which calls for commemoration in Masonry—even under the guise of what used to be termed “a sidestep.” There is no attempt at symbolism; the scriptural story is recited, the pledge imposed and the secret part communicated. A moral is then drawn concerning “the reward reaped by those who place implicit confidence in the power of God to prevail always against the powers of this world.” A resolution follows, and is good: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” The Order of the Scarlet Cord is the Fifteenth Degree of the Early Grand Scottish Rite; but it has been edited, reduced and mismanaged as usual. In further defence of Rahab she is said to have been an innkeeper, “who had a house of entertainment on the city walls.” The Authorised Version is termed a mistranslation, and has unwittingly labelled her memory by applying to her the epithet of harlot. Unfortunately the Vulgate does not make for emendation by rendering the passage in the text: Ingressi sunt domum mulieris mereiricis, nomine Rahab. The Hebrew word bears out both versions.
Order of the Secret Monitor
There are various forms of this innocent and not unpleasing trifle I will speak of them all in succession, adding a word on its origin. The Order of Brotherly Love is a miserable and emasculated version which constitutes the Sixteenth Degree of the Early Grand Scottish Rite, through which the shadows of Noah, Shem and Japhet are projected in a long series of Degrees. In the present instance we meet with them, certifying that “David and Jonathan knew the matter,” because of the love between them. The recital of the scriptural story instructs the Candidate as to the field covered by the Grade, and he receives the counsel of the Order, being a certain course of action to be adopted when a Brother is about to do anything which might prove injurious to himself. It is to be questioned whether the Grade was ever worked in Scotland, being probably communicated by name in a Series, after the manner of the Intermediate Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Rite. Alternatively the Ritual-Shadow, as edited by the ignoramus hands of the Rite, is conveyed with a heap of kindred phantasmagoria to Candidates who have taken some higher and ruling point of the system. A better version is in the keeping of the Council of Allied Degrees and is worked, I believe, on certain rare occasions. It is unnecessary to dwell upon it in view of another obedience, denominated the Order of the Secret Monitor, having certain accessories and subsisting as an Independent Rite. It is governed by a Grand Council of the Order and consists of Three Degrees: (1) That of Induction; (2) The Assembly of Princes; (3) The Installation of a Supreme Ruler, which ranks as a Third Degree. There is not the least reason to suppose that it derives from the Dutch Roman Catholic Order of Jonathan and David, which was instituted circa 1770 for the propagation of the Latin faith and could have been neither Masonic nor secret. The Secret Monitor arose in America as a business or “side” Degree, which could be conferred by any Mason who had received it himself. It was brought into England by Dr. Issachar Zacharie, and has been extended and elaborated under the auspices of the Grand Council. But under all transformations it remains that which it was—an Order of faithful friendship and brotherly love.
Order of the Temple
When we pass in the mythical accounts of Masonic origins to the middle period of the Christian Era, we find Masonry identified with the Institution of Chivalry and especially with the Knights Templar. It would seem at first sight that no pleader in historical specialism would venture to affirm that Militant Guardians of the Holy Sepulchre or other Knighthoods of the West were disciples of an occult wisdom, nor would it appear more probable that they were architects in a material sense, or that if in the modes of their reception any element of symbolism can be postulated it would assume the aspect of an art of building spiritualised. This notwithstanding, that section of Masonic speculation which ascribes to the Fraternity (a) an origin among the chivalries of Christendom, or (b) some kind of interconnection and of such a close character that one became the veil of another, has on various occasions and by different spokesmen been committed to these views. As regards all, it was out of this belief or claim that some two hundred knightly Grades originated in the eighteenth century. I am making indeed a very moderate estimate, and there is hence no question that the notion was deeply rooted and a successful candidate for a conspicuous show of favour. As a historian whose sole concern is the truth, whatever the consequences, I should be acting unwisely if I underrated its import and influence. On the contrary, I am willing to admit that the last word has not been said upon the subject or the last researches made, nor have certain follies been exposed to their fullest extent.
The Spoliation.—As regards the first of those three views which I have mentioned briefly, it must not be forgotten that the Templars at the time of their spoliation in 1307 were accused of practices by which they are connected hypothetically (a) with occult knowledge under the decried name of Magic, and (b) with religious observances in secret of an heretical, blasphemous and idolatrous kind. While it is obvious that the Masonic ascription is merely the child of these charges—though with another end in view—the latter remain and it is possible again that the last word is not spoken nor may the last light have been cast thereon. Even Crusading Knights—or at least a few among them—might have learned strange things in the East, and behind the crass terminology of accusation something may be concealed. As regards the second we shall see shortly the kind of building which Knights Templar are said to have planned in their hearts and after what manner it merges into the notion of the third view, for while it was literal and material on the one side it was at least emblematic on the other of a most remarkable ascribed plan. I proceed to offer in outline the history of the connection instituted between Freemasonry and the Knights Templar.
Masonry and Chivalry.—We have seen that the Chevalier Ramsay was the first to put forward a hypothesis of the chivalric origin of Masonry, and that in so doing he made no reference to the Templars. So far as records are concerned, the first definite attempt to derive Speculative Masonry from the Knights Templar was made by the Rite of the Strict Observance, which—as we have seen otherwise—was inaugurated in or about the year 1754 and embodied what I propose to call the First Legend of Perpetuation, the heads of it being as here follow: (1) At the date of suppression in the days of Philippe le Bel, the Marshal of the Knights Templar was Pierre d’Aumont. (2) He fled to Scotland with seven other Brethren, in the disguise of Operative Masons. (3) In that country they established Freemasonry in its present form, meaning that of the Craft. This is the traditional story of that paramount Templar Rite, which will demand full consideration in another place.
Charter of Larmenius.—The second Legend of Perpetuation is that of the French Order of the Temple, which is connected with the name and claim of Fabré-Palaprat. It began to be heard of in Paris about 1804 and was founded wholly on imposture. The only question concerning it which remains for criticism to determine is whether its chief document was forged in 1705 or at a much later period. Its evidence in chief was the Charter of Larmenius, called otherwise the Charter of Transmission, now fortunately in the possession of the Great Priory of England and Wales. It is a cipher-document which decodes into the Latin tongue and purports to be the resignation of Johannes Marcus Larmenius and the appointment in succession to him of Franciscus Thomas Theobaldus, of Alexandria, as Master of the Knights of the Temple. Larmenius himself held next after and by “secret decree of the venerable and most holy martyr,” Jacques de Molay, as confirmed by “a General Council of the Brethren.” The words are:
Dei gratia ci secretissimo sanctissimique
Martyris, Supremi Templi Militiae Magistri
(cui honos et gloria) decreto, communi
Fratrum Concilia confirmato.
Fabré-Palaprat.—The Charter is signed by Larmenius, with the formula—Ego, Johannes Marcus Larmenius, die decima tertia Februarii 1324; by his successor, with the formula—Ego, Franciscus Thomas Theobaldus Alexandrinus, Deo juvante, Supremum Magisterium acceptum habeo, 1324; and in precisely the same terms by twenty-two succeeding Grand Masters, the last of whom brings down the date to 1804 and to the signature of Bernardus Raymundus Fabré-Palaprat. I am in agreement with the general consensus of hostile criticism that this document betrays itself at every point of its wording. The Latin of the Larmenius preamble—as others have shewn—is not the Latin of its alleged period; the references to Molay would not have been made in their particular manner at that period; the last historical Grand Master, J. B. Molay, at the period when he might have proposed to appoint a successor, was not in a position to hold a Chapter-General of the Order; the cipher made use of in the manufacture of the document has no evidence to connect it with the period of Philippe le Bel; the tenor of the document does not justify its subsequent execution by every supposed Grand Master, while—on the contrary—the successive signatures do warrant the opinion that they are part of a device to provide the requisite links in a long chain. My point is not, however, to make a study of the so-called Charter—about which very much remains to be said. It is simply to indicate the very eloquent fact—which no one seems to have noticed—that we are confronted by two independent and mutually exclusive lines of alleged perpetuation and transmission, one of which was manfuactured in a Masonic interest while the other is quite foreign to the Craft and any of its developments. I have dealt with it fully and all its Grade developments in The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry, Bk. IV, § 6, shewing that it initiated both sexes and demanded no Masonic qualification, though it has been alleged on doubtful authority to have adapted Masonic Grades. Its spurious Gospel of St. John is also discussed.
Swedish Rite.—The third Legend of perpetuation is that of the Swedish Rite, which affirms in its traditional history that Molay committed the Order into the hands of his nephew, the Comte Beaujeu, who carried it to Sweden, together with the ashes of his uncle. The source of this story is unknown, but it was possibly invented at Stockholm as an alternative to the legend of the Strict Observance, which had made a bid for recognition in that city about 1765.
Éliphas Lévi.—There is, in the last place, a fourth Legend of Perpetuation, but it will not detain us long. In the year 1861 the famous French occultist, writing as Éliphas Lévi, affirms as follows:
“Prior to his death, the Chief of the Temple—that is, Jacques de Molay—organised and instituted Occult Masonry. From the purlieus of his dungeon the Grand Master erected four Metropolitan Lodges, at Naples for the East, at Edinburgh for the West, at Stockholm for the North and at Paris for the South.”
Perpetuation Legends.—He does not tell us what happened to these foundations, but the statement seems designed to account for a group of Templar-Perpetuation Legends in connection with Scotland, Sweden and France, while the reference to Naples may account for other groups referable to Germany and Austria, as parts of the Holy Roman Empire. I leave it an open question whether the Legend is one more invention among many which are to be credited to the genius of Éliphas Lévi, or whether he has drawn from a pseudo-historical discourse attached to some French Grade with which neither I nor anyone else have the fortune to be acquainted. He was a contemporary and—I believe—an acquaintance or friend of Jean Marie Ragon, who was either in possession or had access to a host of Masonic Rituals, a considerable proportion of which could have existed only on paper.
Secret Transmission.—It remains to say that the first requisition which we are entitled to make on those who maintain that the Order of the Temple continued to be perpetuated in secret after its suppression in public is to take their choice between these Legends of succession, and to indicate by which of the three they are prepared to stand or fall.
Secret Templar Object.—We owe also to Éliphas Lévi an extension concerning the secret object of Knights Templar which is met with there and here in the world of dream, but after the manner of bare allusions only. He affirms that their defence of the Holy Sepulchre had always concealed an ulterior design—being that of rebuilding the Temple of Jerusalem. Under one or another guise it was the real object of all Crusaders—meaning, presumably, those who led and planned—not obviously the rank and file or the rabble which followed the armies. Moreover, certain secret associations which—from a very early period of the Christian era—are said to have dwelt in the Thebaid, made common cause with the cross-bearing warriors from the West for the promotion of the same purpose. They claimed not only to be in possession of the mystical measurements of the First Temples, but to be descendants of the original builders.
Brethren of the Thebaid.—It is left to be inferred that these Brethren of the Thebaid were remnants of older Essenian sodalities, and thus one hypothesis of a romantic and speculative character concerning the origin of Freemasonry is combined with another and was doubtless supposed to derive additional strength therefrom. The intimation does not mean that the Templars were Jews at heart: their aim was sovereign political dominion and sovereign priesthood, under the aegis of a Gnostic Christianity. It was to be attained amid the architectural splendours of a restored Jerusalem and a renovated sanctuary, together constituting a metropolis of the Church and the world. In a word, we are in the presence of a particular example of that “anti-papal spirit which preceded the Reformation,” by the hypothesis of Gabriele Rossetti: It was an antidote or counterblast to be offered by that spirit to the claims and predominance of the Roman See.
The Alleged Conspiracy.—It is almost a pity to spoil so brave a scheme more than it was spoilt otherwise by Philippe le Bel and his tool, the wretched pontiff, when they combined to suppress the Templars; but there is no question that the secret conspiracy had no other local habitation than the brain of the French occultist who put it forward in 1862. He shewed therein after his own persuasive manner in what literal sense the Templars deserved by their intention to be called Masons. But they were content in reality with building churches to the glory of God for the Holy Masses and Canonical Hours of that Church which we now denominate the Latin Rite—not for Gnostic ceremonies, not for the worship of Baphomet or Secret Mysteries of any kind. If they had acquired any strange knowledge or strange practices in the East, they were hidden in their chapter-houses and preceptories.
Templar Survival.—It is antecedently much less improbable that the Order of the Temple continued to subsist in secret after its suppression than that it sought refuge in the Lodges of Operative Masons and emerged long afterwards as a kind of Emblematic Chivalry. When institutions lose the principle of life they fall into desuetude and presently cease to be, following a law of Nature; but when their sudden proscription takes place amidst acts of violence it seems reasonable to think that such suppression may not always connote extinction. The Temple in particular was at the height of its power and splendour in the days of Philippe le Bel and an Order of this kind does not die easily. It is, moreover, historically certain that it was not annihilated but on the contrary remained alive in the persons of very numerous members, who suffered only canonical punishments, fines or terms of imprisonment. In places remote from the centre of Franco-papal conspiracy—in Scotland, Ireland and northern Europe—there could have been secret Templar meetings and plans laid down for the future. I can conceive a perpetuation therefore independent of early Masonic connections, which indeed appear to me the least likely of all. In particular, if the Templars had a secret knowledge—and this is one hypothesis concerning them—it is certain to have been communicated from without the circle of chivalry, not to have originated in preceptory or chapter-house. To that secret centre the Order would have looked in the day of utter dereliction, and could we turn in the same direction a light on this question of survival might yet reach us. There are many mysteries of chivalry and after more than a century of speculation—though we have ingarnered various materials—we have constructed no certain theory as to anything which lay behind it. In literature, in symbolism and by evasive suggestions of intention which manifest there and here, the student stumbles continually on apparent traces of something perdue in the deeps which may have cast up the rough, feudal Knighthood as a veil of its hidden project. I do not know that as such it is more than part and parcel of that strange growth of secret life which characterised the Middle Ages. On this side and on that it opens paths of speculation, and I know not where they may lead.
Viscount Dundee.—It remains to be said that there is one captivating story which, if we can take it as given, will carry back evidence of an Order of the Temple to the year 1689 and to Scotland. It has been said that the well-known French historian and theologian Dom Calmet has lent the authority of his name to three important statements: (1) That John Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, was Grand Master of the Order of Templars in Scotland; (2) that when he fell at Killiecrankie on July 27, 1689, he wore the Grand Cross of the Order; (3) that this Cross was given to Calmet by his brother. If this story be true we are brought at once into the presence of a Templar survival or restoration which owes nothing to the dreams or realities of the Chevalier Ramsay, nothing to the passion for High Grades of Masonry, and nothing—so far as can be told—to Masonry itself, whether Operative or Speculative. We know that evidence is wanting at every point for the alleged perpetuation of the old Templar Order in connection with Masonry and that the legends of such perpetuation bear all the traces of manufacture. They are of course long posterior to the tragedy of Killiecrankie, and it has been a common practice of Masonic writers in the past to say that the hypothesis of survival was invented by Ramsay, who also manufactured Templar Grades. Both statements are untrue, as I have shewn elsewhere. It is very curious that such a legend should have arisen in connection with Masonry, and if it originated circa 1740 or later, there is no question that it was prompted by Ramsay’s Oration, though the Knights Templar were not named therein. But if a Grand Cross of the Temple was actually and provably found on the body of Viscount Dundee, it is certain that the Order of the Temple had survived or revived in 1689. It may have been quite informal, apart from all organisation; but a time may have come thereafter when Scottish Masonry may have joined up with the Templar vestige by the simple fact of Templars becoming Masons or vice versa. By the year 1736 they may have been confused sufficiently together in Scotland to justify the sincerity of the Scotchman Ramsay in putting forward his chivalric origin or early connection of Masonry.
Question of Transmission.—As regards the secret continuation of the Order and its reappearance in the eighteenth century under the guise of Templar Masonry, in one or other of its several forms, an almost irresistible conclusion is negative to all such claims, though the soul of the Order may have survived—as we have seen—in its ideals, aspirations, traditions, even its secrets, supposing that it had any except in a technical sense. My personal impression, however, is that the last word has not yet been said on either side of this fascinating but obscure question. When the Rite of the Strict Observance first put the claim forward evidence was certainly wanting, and yet the history of this German Masonic Order leaves an impartial student with awkward feelings of uncertainty. That the French Order of the Temple was a purely modern invention seems—on the other hand— beyond question at this day. Conversely, the Military and Religious Order of the Temple and Holy Sepulchre—a large and flourishing body, both here and in America—is so much without father or mother as regards known origin that it is very difficult to pronounce upon it. As we shall see, it is one of the few Masonic Orders of Christian Chivalry which is not founded on a mendacious legend.
Templar Grades.—Amidst the multitude of chivalrous Grades we must distinguish those which represented an alleged perpetuation or renewal of historical orders of chivalry—the Knights Templar, Knights of Malta, Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, and so forth—from those which were purely fanciful—Masonic Chivalries of their own—Knights of the Eagle, Knights of the Swan, Knights of the Golden Fleece—their name is legion. The bulk of these make no claim upon history, but a few—like the Red Cross of Constantine—are curious inventions presenting fables in the guise of fact, as if with intent to deceive. We are concerned, however, at the moment with Templar claims and elements in Masonic Grades of Chivalry. We can set aside those which in one sense or another have ceased to exist, like the original Rite of the Strict Observance; we can set aside those from which the Templar element has been practically expunged under all obediences: such are the Kadosh Grades; we can set aside in fine those which are of no real importance historically or symbolically, such as Knight-Templar Priest. They have been dealt with in their proper places.
Military and Religious Order.—We are left in this manner with the Military and Religious Order of the Temple, of which there are several codices or variant modes of working. They differ widely from each other, but they have one point of agreement in the fact that there is no historical discourse or legend attached to any. They are Templar Grades pure and simple, without preface, apology or explanation. Furthermore they are concerned with the one and only duty out of which the Order arose—the guardianship of the Holy Sepulchre and the protection of pilgrims to the Holy Places. We have to take or leave them as such, and their position is obviously much stronger than if they put forward specific claims in lectures or orations, if they depended from a so-called ancient charter or warrant. They are—as I have said—without father or mother in documents, content to stand at their value, making no fatal explanations. Now, it is reasonable, I think, to infer from the fact of those four English codices already mentioned that when we hear of a Templar Grade being worked in the British Isles under some Masonic aegis in the eighteenth century, it was either one of these texts or alternatively that Ritual which was the common basis of all. The four are one at the root, however much they differ, as we shall see, in development. They represent English, Scottish and Irish workings. There is in fine no doubt that the Baldwyn Ritual is very old. Our next step is to ascertain the earliest references to the existence of a Templar Grade in the British Isles.
The Jacobite Question.—I propose to set aside in the first place any conclusion that may be drawn from the fact of two rude brasses among the muniments of the Stirling Antient Lodge. One of them is concerned with the Knights of Malta, the other with the Order of the Temple. They have been referred speculatively to the first half of the eighteenth century, but their date is much too uncertain for them to possess any evidential value. I shall set aside in the second place an alleged “genuine letter,” dated September 30, 1745, and written by the Duke of Perth to Lord Ogilvie. It reports that “our noble prince”—meaning Charles Edward Stuart—“looked most gallantly in the white robe of the Order” and “took his profession like a working knight.” This document is cited in an Historical Notice attached to the Statutes of the Chapter-General of Scotland, published in 1897. The letter says further (1) that Lord Mar had demitted the Office of Grand Master and that therefore no General Meeting had been called except “in your own North Convent”—meaning that of the Lord Ogilvie; (2) that Lord Atholl had demitted as Regent and H.R.H. had been elected Grand Master—meaning presumably Prince Charles. There is no doubt that this document is a literary imposition. Finally, I shall set aside whatever arguments might be drawn from the fact that on August 29, 1805, the Early Grand Encampment of Ireland—as alleged—contested a proposal of the Grand Lodge—supposititiously that of Ireland—to take over the control of the Encampment, which—it was claimed specifically—had existed in Dublin for more than a century. I cannot find that any serious writer has regarded this statement seriously. It reminds me of a quest which I followed once in the district of Kilmarnock, when shepherds who were Masons came from over the hills, telling stories of strange High Grades, to which their fathers and grandfathers had belonged from time immemorial. Such accounts are interesting unquestionably, but they are not evidence.
Early Traces.—Passing now towards firmer ground, the following points may be taken in chronological succession: (1) A Minute of the American St. Andrew’s Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, under date of August 28, 1769, contains a reference to the Grade of Knight Templar. (2) According to John Yarker, a body of Irish Templars, working under a Craft Charter, applied to Kilwinning in 1770 and obtained a Templar Charter, apparently under the designation of Kilwinning Lodge of High Knights Templar. Under what pretence Kilwinning in Ayrshire believed itself empowered to issue such a Warrant does not emerge in the statement, and the story looks apocryphal. As a matter of fact, it belongs to the year 1779, and represents only a claim put forward by the Kilwinning Lodge of Ireland. (3) Chetwode Crawley says that the earliest record of Knights Templar is that of St. John’s Day in the summer of 1774, “when the Knights Templar of Ireland, Royal Arch, Excellent and Super-Excellent, Free and Accepted Masons”—all apparently of Lodge No. 506—dined together at the Thatched Cabin, Castle Street, Dublin, the evidence being certain advertisements in Dublin newspapers of the period. (4) This statement notwithstanding, he speaks of other Lodges being warranted in 1773 and 1774 to bring Dublin Masons in connection with the High Knight Templar Degree. (5) It is believed that the Templar Grade was worked at Portsmouth in 1778. (6) The Order of Knights Templar is said to have received formal recognition from the Grand Lodge at York in 1780, for on July 6 of that year a Charter was granted to Rotherham. (7) On December 20, 1780, a certain Charter of Compact executed by the Templars of Bristol is evidence that there was a body in existence—at that time and in that place—under the title of Supreme Grand and Royal Encampment of the Order of Knights Templar, St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitallers, Knights of Malta, etc. The document is not in existence, but certain rules arising therefrom or attached thereto have reference to subordinate Encampments, among other subjects. (8) In 1786 we hear vaguely of a York Templar Charter which warranted a Royal Encampment at Manchester and assigned to it the Number 15. It is said to have met for the first time at the Fleece Tavern, Old Shamble in that city. (9) Between 1769, the first date at which we have arrived, and 1790, various Encampments came into existence in England, Scotland and Ireland. An Early Grand Rite in Ireland is believed to have chartered a Rite in Scotland under a similar name. There are traces also of an Early Grand Encampment in England, the Minutes of which are said to have passed into the hands of the Duke of Sussex, as Grand Master. Others have been mentioned in Lancashire and at Carisbrook in the Isle of Wight, but I have met with no evidence concerning them. All these titles suggest bodies which either issued or were prepared to issue Charters of Constitution to subordinates. (10) In 1790 and 1791 Thomas Dunckerley projected the centralisation of the scattered English groups. On July 24, 1791, he informed a York Encampment of Redemption that he had been invited to assume the Office of Grand Master by the Knights Templar of Bristol. York appears to have favoured the proposal, and he accepted in due course. The following groups, probably among several others, came under his charge: (a) The Observance of London; (6) the Redemption of York; (c) the Eminent of Bristol; (d) the Antiquity of Bath. He formed a Grand Conclave under the style and title of The Royal Exalted Religious and Military Order of Heredom, Kadosh, Grand Elected Knight Templars of St. John of Jerusalem. Palestine, Rhodes and Malta.
Modern Grand Masters.—Dunckerley died in 1795, his successors in the Headship being Baron Radcliffe, 1796; Judge Waller Rodwell Wright, 1800; the Duke of Kent, 1805; the Duke of Sussex, 1812; and so forward to the Prince of Wales, who was afterwards King Edward the Seventh, and finally, H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, 1902. Among legendary or mythical Grand Masters are—in Scotland—Viscount Dundee, the Earls of Mar and Atholl, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, John Olivant of Bachilton and Alexander Deuchar. In 1770 Baron Donoughmore is said to have been Grand Master of the Kilwinning Lodge or Encampment of Ireland, while ten years later a certain Joshua Springer enjoyed this rank at Bristol, but if true it was probably a local rank. So far as evidence goes, Dunckerley was the first person whose jurisdiction extended from York to the West of England.
Baldwin Encampment.—Opinion is divided as to whether the Templar Grade, as it now exists under the obedience of the Great Priory of England and Wales, the Chapter-General of Scotland, the Grand Encampments of Ireland and the United States, is indigenous to the British Isles or an importation from France. On August 2, 1862, Dr. H. Beaumont Leeson delivered an address at Portsmouth and affirmed that the Baldwin Encampment of Bristol was founded by French Masons who brought it from Canada towards the end of the eighteenth century. The evidence of this was certain “original books” in his possession; but these are not forthcoming. He was further of opinion that the French original was the Grade of Kadosh, but from all that we know of the latter at the date in question this is certainly untrue. The titles of Kadosh and Heredom, as connected with the Order of the Temple by Dunckerley, seem to have been purely fanciful. On the contrary Chetwode Crawley, speaking of the Templar Grade of 1774 in Ireland, has recorded that he found nothing indicative of its derivation from any foreign body. The truth is that direct evidence is wanting for either view. In its absence, all that we have is the internal testimony of the Ritual in its various forms. In my personal opinion this does not encourage us to regard it as of foreign birth, which would mean a French origin. I speak with a wide knowledge of French Masonic Rituals, and that of the Temple is not after their manner. I place this view on record, apart from all insistence, for the independent consideration of others.
Masonic Connections.—There is one more question which may be dealt with at this point—namely, the original Masonic character of the Templar Grade. The Early Grand Encampment of Ireland is said to have issued occasional Warrants which constituted bodies of non-Masonic Templars of St. John, and it is alleged also that a similar practice obtained from time to time in England and Scotland, as if at the back of the minds of various Grand Bodies there was a notion that Templary was not in reality a Masonic Grade. The question was discussed and the fact of the practice recorded long since by Dr. Folger, an American writer. Hughan also has hazarded an opinion that Scottish Templars of the eighteenth century were not organised Masonically, though “their combination as Knights may have suggested a similar arrangement under the Craft.” My own opinion is that we are concerned partly with a question of fact and this being once established nothing follows therefrom. A very large number of High Grades were not organised Masonically in any strict sense of the term. The so-called Rite of Illuminés d’Avignon was open, as we have seen, to any one who felt drawn thereto. The Grades which drifted over to England came into Masonic hands, being those only which were open to receive them, but regular procedure there was none. An Encampment of Knights Templar might and occasionally did confer the Holy Royal Arch and the Degrees of Excellent and Super-Excellent Mason. It might and did in one case concern itself with the Rite of Perfection in twenty-five Degrees. There is a tradition among the Bath Templars that their original Warrant was dated 1811 and that it included the whole of the Scottish Rite, Prince of the Tabernacle excepted. There is evidence that the Cross of Christ Encampment conferred the Grade of Rose-Croix. Mr. Chetwode Crawley has suggested that a Craft Warrant was held to empower any Lodge to confer any supposed Degree, assuming that one or other of its Members was in a position to work it, meaning that he had received it himself. This is probable enough and so is the alternative that an Encampment could confer anything, the Craft Degrees excepted—unless it was chartered for these.
Templars and Craft Degrees.—When, according to the Rite of the Strict Observance, the Grand Marshal of the Knights Templar, Pierre d’Aumont, fled to Scotland with seven other Brethren in the guise of Operative Masons, it is claimed that in that land they constituted Symbolical Freemasonry in its “present form.” This is a Grade thesis, a traditional history, and one of a thousand as such. As it is not of the nature of myth—like the Legend of the Third Degree—or of sacred allegory—like the story of Christian Rosy Cross—but was put forward and intended to be taken as matter of fact, it belongs to the inventions of spurious history. The world of Masonry has been filled with them ab origine symboli. The makers of Rites made also the Ritual-traditions concerning them, and there is no difficulty respecting the category to which they belong. The intellectual position of their apologists a century or more later is not so easy to characterise. I will give a single example because it is curious in substance and will illustrate what is put into the hands of a critical student who proposes to investigate an inextricable subject like the Masonic aspects of Modern Templar Grades. The late John Yarker had the Pierre d’Aumont fable in his notebooks, but they were presumably like his printed works, very muddled in their references, or without references at all; but observing that the legendary Grand Marshal bore a French name, he brought forward this personality as belonging to the French Templar Tradition, on which basis he proceeds to explain some features of the allegorical edifice which the Marshal and his companions erected ex hypothesi under the name of Masonry. They are reducible to the following points, (1) The Three Grades are symbolised by the letters J. B. M., by reference to certain words attaching to certain Degrees. (2) These are the initials of Jacobus Burgundus Molay, the last Grand Master. (3) The working tools typify the skill and prudence necessary to rebuild the Temple—i.e., to restore the Order. (4) The prefix Free was adopted because the knights were known in the East under the denomination of Chevaliers Francs. (5) The term Royal Art was applied to Masonry in memory of Baldwin, King of Jerusalem. (6) The word Masters corresponds to the Latin Magistri—otherwise the Masters of the Temple. (7) The assembled Lodge is a copy of the Templars convened in their Chapters. (8) Freemasons are accustomed to admit persons of all religions indifferently, because Knights Templar included both Greek and Latin Christians. (9) The black and white ballot-balls used by Masons represent an ancient Templar custom—not otherwise specified. (10) The Candidate was despoiled of metals, to signify that the Templars lost all their possessions, (11) The particulars connected with the death of the Master-Builder are the same as those attending the assassination of Carolus de Monte Carmel, Sub-Prior of Montfaucon. (12) The cord has allusion to the hanging of the traitor Noffodei. (13) The three assassins are Philippe le Bel, Pope Clement and Noffodei. (14) A certain word which is notable in the Third Degree alludes to the death of Molay.
A Maniacal Thesis.—According to the mind of Yarker, these particulars belong to the Hermeneutics of the French Templar legend, and he offers no strictures concerning them, either on the points of fact or values. It does not occur to him that the Masonic reception of persons belonging to all religions was a recruiting method subsequent to 1717, though he remembers that—according to Nicolai—certain Templar Preceptories were affirmed to have had a secret form of reception which was “unitarian” in character, and alleged to correspond with the doctrine of Sarrancius.
The Temple in Scotland.—As the story of Masonic Templars in Scotland is chequered and contentious, I will cite in the first place certain heads of a traditional claim, presumably of common acceptance by all parties amidst the warfare of the past. It is said: (1) That the Order of the Temple was first introduced into Scotland about the middle of the twelfth century by King David I, who established it on the South Esk. (2) That its original endowments were extended by Malcolm, William the Lion and Alexander II. (3) That at the time when the Order was suppressed by Pope Clement VII the whole energies of Scotland were employed in resisting English encroachments. (4) That there was consequently other business in hand than the persecution of Knights Templar under the warrant of a Papal Decree. (5) That the chivalry continued to exist, and without being merged therein was united with the Order of the Knights of St. John. (6) That the history of Scottish Templars as a military and religious body came to an end only in 1560, when the last of the Temple lands were surrendered to the State. (7) That those knights who “held by the Roman See” were expatriated subsequently. (8) That others who had adopted the reformed religion united with the building fraternities and continued under that aegis to practise the Rites of the Temple; but there is little known concerning them. (9) That they emerged in the early part of the eighteenth century “as the protectors and conservators of High-Grade Masonry, ruling all Grades above the Blue or Craft Degrees.” (10) That this is proved by the minute-books of many Lodges, especially in the West of Scotland, (11) That the custodians of the High Grades constituted in each Lodge an imperium in imperio. (12) That things continued in this manner until the year 1800.
Masonic Fusion.—The traditional story ends at this point, and as the old minute-books containing the alleged evidences are neither specified nor forthcoming the alleged fusion of the Temple with Masonry remains what we should expect it to be—a romantic legend. We are not, however, concerned with its value in the present connection. What follows is more or less of the historical order, and it is here that the contention begins. I must summarise again briefly.
Heads of the Claim.—(1) In or about 1800, the Scottish Grand Lodge forbade the practice within its jurisdiction of any and all Degrees beyond those of the Craft. (2) It is said to have been actuated by the reported spread of republican and atheistical doctrines under the guise of Masonry, “and also to comply with the Illegal Oaths Act.” (3) The High-Grade Masons applied thereupon for Charters to the Early Grand Encampment of Ireland; “and in a short time between forty and fifty Encampments were working under that Constitution in Scotland.” (4) It is argued that the difficulty created by Grand Lodge was overcome thus in a constitutional manner. (5) In 1811-12, Alexander Deuchar, Eminent Commander of Edinburgh Encampment, No. 31, under the Early Grand Constitution, established what is termed a schismatic body, with the style and title of the Supreme Grand Conclave of Scotland. (6) He is said to have assumed the office of Grand Master for life, notwithstanding the displeasure of his associates. (7) The Conclave appears to have been moribund in 1830. (8) In 1836 it was remodelled, vacating its Masonic position and admitting non-Masons to membership, including the Bishop of Aberdeen and the Duke of Leeds. (9) The Conclave of 1812 obtained recognition and assistance from the English Grand Conclave, then newly formed under the rule of the Duke of Kent. (10) In its revised form as a non-Masonic body, it gave proof of its gratitude by invading the English jurisdiction and creating the Duke of Leeds Grand Prior of England. (11) A second revision took place in 1856, with reversion to Masonic qualifications. (12) Meanwhile the Scottish Encampments which remained under the obedience of Ireland had moved for self-government by regular and legitimate means. (13) A petition was presented to the Early Grand Encampment of Ireland by Robert Martin on behalf of four or five Encampments, “praying that the Scottish Encampments be erected into a Sovereign Jurisdiction.” (14) This petition was granted by the governing body of Ireland on June 22, 1822. (15) Martin was appointed Provisional Grand Master, and an Early Grand Encampment of Scotland was founded in July of that year, when the appointment of Martin was confirmed.
Encampment Rulers.—The history of the Grand Encampment has been described as quiet and uneventful, though the so-called schismatic body is said to have made many efforts against it. Its headquarters seem to have been located at Kilmarnock until about the year 1880. The Roll of Grand Masters is as follows:—
- Robert Martin, Kilmarnock: 1822-1857.
- Robert Chambers, Ayr: 1858.
- William Martin, Ayr: 1859-1871.
- Thomas Weir, Muirkirk: 1871.
- James Pollock, Newmilors: 1872-1874.
- John Hodge, Kilmarnock: 1874.
- Alexander Pollock, Stewarton: 1875.
- Matthew Pollock, Newmilors: 1876.
- Matthew M’B. Thomson, Ayr: 1877-1881.
- Thomas Colquhoun, Ayr: 1881-1886.
- William Young, Newmilors: 1886-1889.
- John Crombie, Aberdeen: 1889-1891.
- Peter Spence, Airdrie: 1891-1909.
The Feud.—It will be seen that the charge of illegitimacy preferred against the Supreme Grand Conclave is based on the fact that it was created in an unconstitutional manner when it might presumably have been erected into a Sovereign Jurisdiction in virtue of the same procedure as the Encampments of Ayrshire adopted some ten years later. It must have been otherwise an exceedingly irregular body from any Masonic standpoint by its abandonment of all Masonic characteristics during a period of twenty years. It gave birth also unwittingly to another “schism,” being the General Grand Chapter of Glasgow, about which I have ascertained little beyond its bare title and the fact that at an uncertain date it sought union with the Grand Encampment. It is said that the negotiations fell through “owing to irreconcilable differences in working.” They must have been radical indeed to deserve such a qualification, having regard to the difference between the workings of Baldwyn, the Grand Encampment, and the Great Priory of England and Wales.
A Council of Rites.—It is recorded by the Early Grand Rite of Forty-seven Degrees that in a rearrangement belonging to the year 1880 there took place what was called rather obscurely a delimination of powers, in virtue of which the control of Red Masonry was transferred to an Early Grand Mother Chapter, that of Black Masonry to the Grand Encampment and the Green and White Series to a Scottish Grand Council of Rites. The delimination seems to imply change of locality as well as transfer of powers. It was probably at this time and thenceforward that the Annual Meeting was held in the city of Glasgow on Holy Cross Day, or the Saturday nearest thereto. As in other cases, so under this obedience, “the soldiery of the Temple” were divided into Knights Companions, Knights Commanders and Knights Grand Cross. According to official description, the style and title of “the Supreme Governing Body for the Orders of Knights of the Temple of Zion and the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem”—otherwise Knights of Malta—in Scotland, was the Grand Encampment of the Temple and Malta in Scotland. The Officers of Grand Encampment were (1) the Most Eminent Grand Master, (2) Grand Deputy Master, (3) Grand Representative, (4) Grand Marshal, (5) Grand Captain-General, (6) Grand Central Captain, (7) Grand Recorder, (8) Grand Secretary for Foreign Correspondence, (9) Grand Beaucennifer (sic), (10) Grand Sword Bearer, (11) Grand Conductor, (12) Grand Receiver, (13) Grand Treasurer, (14) Grand Prelate, (15) Grand Captain of the Blue, Red, and Black, (16) Grand Jeweller, (17) Grand Bearer of the Vexillum Belli, (18) Two Grand Ushers, (19) Grand Herald, and (20) Grand Sentinel. Finally, the Grand Encampment was divided—“for the better government of the Soldiery of the Temple in Scotland”—into four Priories, thus: (1) For Aberdeen and the Northern Counties, located in Aberdeen; (2) for the Lothians and Eastern Counties, located in Edinburgh; (3) for Ayrshire, Wigton, Kirkcudbright and Dumfriesshire, located in Ayr; and (4) for the remaining Counties the Priory of Glasgow. In so far as this general and summary account, which is frankly partisan, can be regarded as accurate, or may so be proved on sifting, it follows that the Grand Encampment was the first Constitutional Body of the Order of Knights Templar in Scotland, while for a period of twenty years there was no other working under a Masonic aegis. There came, however, a desirable end to the whole debate; some twelve or more years ago, when the Grand Encampment was merged in the Chapter-General, so that there is one faith and one obedience among Knights Templar in Scotland.
Modes of Working.—We have seen that the Order of the Temple has existed under various denominations and there are four workings which more especially merit our attention. They are (1) the Ritual adopted by the Great Priory of England and Wales, which has also a general jurisdiction over the Colonies and Dependencies of the British Isles: it is called the Military and Religious Order of the Temple and Holy Sepulchre; (2) the time-immemorial Ritual of the Baldwyn Encampment of Knights Templar at Bristol; (3) the Ritual connected with the name of Canongate Kilwinning, under the title of Knight Templar Masonry; and (4) the Ritual in use by the Grand Encampment of the Temple and Malta in Scotland, now in desuetude, this Encampment being merged in the Chapter-General of Scotland. The Rituals of Canongate Kilwinning and the Grand Encampment bear a marked resemblance to each other and are divided in respect of the first into Pilgrim and Delta Points, but in respect of the second into Pilgrim and Knight Templar. The two last constituted, moreover, the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Degrees of the Early Grand Scottish Rite. The other workings are so distinct among themselves and in comparison with the third and fourth that their only meeting-point of a vital kind is in their common claim to be Rituals of a Masonic Order of the Temple. We are not therefore in the presence of such trivial variations of wording and procedure as characterise, e.g., the Emulation, Emblematic and Oxford workings of the Craft Degrees. There are slight elements of kinship in the obligations of the four codices, and there are prayers common to all.
Grand Encampment Working.—The Candidate for reception into the Grand Encampment of the Temple appeared as a penitent pilgrim travelling from afar for the purpose (1) of visiting sacred places which religion had consecrated in his heart, and (2) of depositing the sins and follies of a lifetime at the foot of the Cross. He was recommended to place his trust in Him Who offered up His own body as an expiatory sacrifice on Calvary, and so proceeded on his pilgrimage, finding momentary refuge at various caravanseraies, where he obtained ministration to his needs and also spiritual counsel. From point to point he was wished God-speed on his journey. In this way he was brought at length to an altar and took the pledge of a pilgrim, after which his eyes were uncovered, and when he saw the Cross upon the altar a burden which he had borne upon his back fell suddenly behind him. With the exception of the Official Secrets, this ended the procedure of the First or Pilgrim Point.
Within the Veils.—In that of Knight Templar he was introduced as one who had so far prosecuted his pilgrimage that he had visited the sacred shrines and holy places, and having reached a Templar Encampment solicited the privilege of reception within the Veils of the Temple. After due examination he was admitted by pushing his way through the Red and Blue Veils. He was now confronted by the third or Black Veil, but this divided at his approach, its Guardian testifying that the Veil of the Temple was rent in twain from the top even to the bottom when Emmanuel died. There remained now only a White Veil between the Candidate and the Encampment, and in front of it his Sponsor testified that he desired to be admitted as a member of the “magnanimous Order,” that he might consecrate the remainder of his life to the protection of the Holy Land. He was brought within the final veil and took the pledge of the chivalry before the Altar, after which he was shewn thirty pieces of silver, in remembrance of the treachery of Judas and as a solemn warning against deceit on his own part. He was raised subsequently into the Honourable Order of Knighthood as one of the Temple of Jerusalem. The ceremony of clothing him as a Knight was performed with solemn elaboration.
Question of Antiquity.—There is no doubt in my mind that this Ritual represents an old Scottish working—in so far of course as antiquity can be predicated of any Order of the Temple, as now or until recently extant among us. It calls in the first place for no Masonic qualification whatever on the part of the Candidate, though in so far as it was incorporated into the system of the Early Grand Rite there is no question that this was implied. In the second place, the newly-made knight undertakes in an especial manner to wield his sword against Jews, Turks, Infidels and “other gainsayers” of the Christian religion. The first point bears out a very general feeling that the revived Order of the Temple was taken over by Masonry but at first existed independently, and this appears to be an accidental memorial of the fact. The second is a curious survival from an early Masonic past of the hostility to Jews in Masonry. There are other vestiges of old procedure, notions and feeling; but among these I will mention only (1) the idea that it was the custom of Knights Templar to prepare pilgrims for visiting the Holy Sepulchre; (2) the very curious misconception that “Christ arose at High Meridian”; (3) that the seat of an Eminent Commander is in the East, because “it is evident that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Light of Whose Gospel has illuminated the whole world, sprang from the East.” The great blunder of the Grade is obviously to hoodwink a Candidate who was supposed to be engaged on pilgrimage. There is also the idle introduction of Veils as barriers to the entrance of a Camp; but it suggests an intention to spiritualise the whole Ceremony, shewing that it is no camp of material warfare, no external chivalry and no pilgrimage to places on earth. However, nothing follows therefrom or unfolds an inward meaning.
Canongate Kilwinning.—-I have placed the so-called Ritual of Canongate Kilwinning in distinction from that of the Early Grand Rite; but it appears to be a later version of the Grand Encampment codex. This also hoodwinks the Candidate, requires—on its surface—no Masonic qualification, but omits the reference to the Jews and the Veils protecting the Encampment. The condition of the Candidate’s enrolment under the Banner of the Temple is to make a pilgrimage to Jericho and the banks of the Jordan, which he performs figuratively. It has borrowed something from the working of the English Great Priory which I do not propose to specify, and it communicates a Password of the night at each meeting, after the old manner of camps and fortified places. There is no doubt that this working has also passed into desuetude.
Baldwyn Encampment.—The Baldwyn Ritual is of great importance on account of the traditional claims which have so long attached to it, but it would appear to have suffered revision within a comparatively recent period for the purpose of bringing it into a certain conformity with the working of Great Priory, from which it is otherwise sufficiently distinct. It is perhaps a more picturesque Ceremony than those which have been noticed previously and the dedication of the Preceptory to God in the Form of Opening, adds to the general solemnity a peculiarly sacred touch. There is, however, a grave inconsequence, which is almost ridiculous in its effect on an observant mind. At the beginning of the proceedings “a countless host” of Saracens is offering battle to the chivalry; the Warder of the Christian Camp “gives note of hasty preparation”; a Herald sounds the alarm; and there is a general call to arms and to horse. In a word, “the Saracen is on the march to our Holy City.” But in place of paying heed to the summons the Brethren hold “a solemn conclave of Knighthood,” and admit—in what may be termed ample form—a Candidate into the Order, the danger at the gate passing entirely out of mind, for when the installation is complete the Preceptory is adjourned during the pleasure of its Master in charge.
Initial Procedure.—A particular Masonic qualification is required of the Candidate, who enters as a poor pilgrim, directing his steps to the Tomb and Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He has been exposed to great dangers in the wilderness of Judea until he met with some Knights of the Order, who have safeguarded him to the end of his journey and brought him to the Holy City. Before he has expressed any desire to be enrolled in the chivalry he is asked whether he is “willing to embrace a new rule.” An affirmative reply is given, and the next question is whether he has worked at the Second Temple, which is nihil ad rem—so far as all that follows is concerned—but on the surface has reference to the Masonic qualification and by inference is an allusion to a recurring assertion that the old Knights Templar were pledged to rebuild the House of God in Salem. The answer being satisfactory, and the Candidate having certified further that he is “prepared to protect the Christian faith with his life,” the Brethren prepare to receive him into their “noble fraternity,” firstly by pledging him as a servant of the Hospital of St. John, and secondly as a Knight Templar. This is a distinctive and notable feature, being a rare example among the great multitude of Chivalric Grades in Masonry of a hypothetical union between the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, and the “Holy Order of the Temple.” There is no need to say that it runs counter to all tradition on the subject and all history. A certain proviso enacted by the modern but non-Masonic Order of the Temple, under the warrant of the Charter of Larmenius, is one commentary hereon.
Second Point.—Between the first and second reception the Candidate has to “perform a caravan against the Infidels,” which is discharged in the usual figurative manner, and after his second Obligation he is made a guard of the Sanctuary. The procedure connected with this temporary office being complete, there arises the curious and seemingly inconsequent question whether the Candidate has learned to forgive injuries. Consequent upon an affirmative answer a highly sacramental ceremony takes place in token of hospitality and brotherhood. The act of installation follows as the last point of the Ceremony, together with the communication of the official secrets belonging to the two chivalries.
Counsels of the Chivalry.—The Candidate has been admonished to persevere in the true faith; to sympathise with the poor, sick and unprotected; to imitate the glorious example of St. John the Evangelist; to defend Virtue and Innocence; to conquer the enemies of the body and soul through the Cross; and finally—on the hypothesis of the chivalry—“to guard the Temple and Sanctuary of our Lord against all Jews, Turks, Infidels, Heathen and other oppressors of the Gospel”—being the pledge of the Grand Encampment already quoted.
Great Priory Working.—So far as I am aware, the Baldwyn Ritual is confined to the old Baldwyn Encampment—now called Preceptory—at Bristol, and to the Percy Preceptory of Knights Templar at Adelaide; the Grand Encampment workings have been put permanently to sleep, as already stated; but the Ritual for the Installation of a Knight Templar under the obedience of the Great Priory of England and Wales is diffused widely over the whole English-speaking world, the American continent excepted—where the working differs generically and can be scarcely said to concern us. The Ritual adopted by the Great Priory at its institution has been subjected to successive revisions, but among the several peers and co-heirs in Masonic Templar Chivalry its nearest kinship is unquestionably with the Baldwyn working. I believe that this obtained—so to speak—ab origine symboli, Baldwyn being the elder sister; but as I have intimated the critical position has been rendered, in my opinion, still more difficult by borrowings on the part of Baldwyn, these having probably taken place when the Bristol Encampment passed under the obedience of Great Priory.
Meritorious Titles.—The Ritual of Great Priory is free from such defects and inconsistencies as I have noted in the other codices: it is harmonious within its own measures and is dignified and simple in procedure. It is by no means so notable a pageant as that of Baldwyn and it wants some high intimations in the Rituals of the Grand Encampment. On the other hand, its years of pilgrimage, warfare and penance are quite clearly spiritualised, remote as any notion of pilgrimage must be from the original conception of Templar chivalry. It differs from the other workings by its insistence on Masonic connections and descent.
Scottish Rite.—A word should be added on Knight Commander of the Temple, which is the Twenty-seventh Degree of the Scottish Rite, is alternatively Grand Commander and has suffered various transformations, including that of Albert Pike. In respect of its earlier forms I must refer to my Secret Tradition in Freemasonry, Vol I, pp. 384, 385. I have shewn there that it was originally a Templar Grade. It was less than little and is nothing still from any ceremonial standpoint under the auspices of the American Grand Commander. For the Templar connection he has substituted, however, that of the Teutonic Knights, and a short history of this German institution is given in a lecture attached to the Grade. The suggestion that the Teutonic Knights were called alternatively Commanders of the Temple is of course a Masonic myth. The Candidate receives a Crown of Laurel and a palm ornamented with five crosses, this so-called trophy being inscrutably held to announce the antiquity of the Order. The apron, gloves and jewel with which he is invested are described also as trophies.
Templar Symbolism.—-The Epistle addressed by St. Bernard to the first Templars was entitled by himself, or alternatively was called by his editors: The Book Concerning the Praise of the New Militia, understanding this last word as describing a cross-bearing sodality which—whether in peace or war—dwelt under a banner of Spiritual Chivalry, and this banner was the Gospel of Christ. They were therefore Militia Crucifera Evangelica, and the Holy House which—according to Solomon—was built of old in wisdom is presented in the discourse as an outward symbol of that interior and more Holy House of Grace to which the Order was dedicated at its foundation. The Templar prototype was hence like that of Masonry: it was built above all in the heart; and this is the first answer to those who say that Masonic connections of Modern Templary are of an accidental kind only. To this extent at least they are integral ab origine symboli, on the authority of the first instructor, who was present also at that Council of Troyes which framed the Rule of the Order. To institute such a connection may seem to imply that Modern Templary descended from the great chivalry; but the fact is that either it came down in this manner or was devised in imitation of a prototype, on which hypothesis we are not less the sons of St. Bernard than were those to whom he spoke of the Holy City, the promises made to Zion, and the heritage of Templar Chivalry in the treasures of heaven.
Houses of the Temple.—If this, however, is the native quality of the link which binds the old Houses of the Temple with the moral and spiritual edifices erected in the heart of Masonry, there are other bonds of consanguinity which unite the Craft Grades to the Military and Religious Order. That which is offered to the Candidate in the Craft Grades and in the Holy Royal Arch is the material by which he can realise—if he be prepared properly—a higher side of the dispensation under the reign of law in Israel; but in the Order of the Temple what is offered him is a means of realising a higher side of that law of grace which is in Christ. The Temple represents the passage from one dispensation to the other, and it follows that the Masonic qualification required of Candidates is living matter of the symbolism and no accident or arbitrary rule in procedure. Those who were responsible for the ordination in earlier days may not have known what they were doing, and if so they were guided by the Providence which shapes our course in the Instituted Mysteries.
A Sacramental Word.—The Candidate learns in the Craft Grades that certain secret things, summarised as a Sacramental word, were lost by the untimely death of a Master-Builder in Israel. The quest proposed to the Mason is the recovery of this, and it implies that the loss can be retrieved: otherwise the Closing in the Third Degree would be a hollow pretence instead of—as it is—perhaps the most pregnant indication of inward meaning behind conventional forms that has been ever expressed in language. At the next stage of his progress, or in his passage through the Royal Arch, that which was lost is found—by the hypothesis of the Grade. The Word is restored to the Mason, being unfolded in a dual aspect, and it looks at first sight as though his quest was finished. We have seen, however, that certain implicits of the Restored Word are likely to carry him further, and that the simple monotheism of Israel, as enshrined in its most characteristic sacrament of language—is beginning already to emerge into trinitarian theosophy. Should he follow this leading he may enter the Masonic Order of the Temple, there to receive the imputed revelation of a New Name in a wonderful symbolical manner, and to find that the last message of Masonry in the search after that which was lost, and in its recovery by efforts and instruction, is that truth and grace are in Christ, that He is the term of quest in the long pageant of Masonry, even as in the life of religion. Hereof is St. Bernard’s heritage of Templar Chivalry in the treasures of heaven.
Order of Woodcutters
This association has been confused ignorantly by Yarker with that of the Carbonari, owing presumably to his ignorance of French. Its sole connection with Masonry resides in the fact that it is supposed to have been founded by the Chevalier Beauchaine, one of those Irremovable Masters who reached the term of their existence on the establishment of the Grand Orient. He is said to have illustrated the indefectibility of his titles by communicating “all the Degrees of Freemasonry” for the sum of six francs. The reference is presumably to those of the Blue Lodge. On the Beauchaine hypothesis, L’Ordre des Fendeurs was instituted at Paris on a certain August 17 in one of two dubious years, namely, 1743 or 1747. It was open to both sexes and had a legend of the forest of Lebanon.
Oriental Rite of Memphis
The lying legend advanced on behalf of this colossal system, comprising ninety-seven Degrees, may be summarised under the following heads: (1) Certain Greek Initiates emigrated to Asia Minor, where they established the Antient and Primitive Rite of Memphis, under the name of Dionysian Mysteries, about 1060 B.C. (2) The headquarters were at Byblos, identified with the Scriptural Gebal. (3) At the beginning of the Christian Era an Egyptian sage named Ormus, represented as a convert of St. Mark, married the Mysteries of Egyptian priests with those of the New Law, and so produced the Grade of Rose-Croix, according to the Memphis version. (4) In 1118 A.D. a chivalric body, vaguely denominated Knights of Palestine—a name borrowed from Baron Tschoudy—seem to have reached Edinburgh, and there founded a Grand Lodge for the purpose of reviving the knowledge of Ormus. These transactions notwithstanding, the Rite did not emerge above the horizon of history till about 1814, when an obscure adventurer, calling himself Sam Honis of Cairo, is said to have brought it to France—ready-made, apparently, with all its Senates and Classes. In conjunction with Gabriel Matthieu Marconis, and a few others, he is reported to have founded a Lodge at Montauban in 1815. If there is any truth in the story—which seems doubtful—the experiment proved a failure, there being other business in hand during the year of Waterloo. The Rite slept accordingly till 1838, when Jacques Etienne Marconis de Nègre, succeeding his father, established a Grand Lodge Osiris at Brussels, which I take to be the real foundation of the Rite, the antecedent experiment being mythical—or negligible, if matter of fact. Whether or not without prejudice to Dionysian Mysteries, the Sage Ormus and Knights of Palestine, it has been advanced further that the Rite of Marconis was an incorporation of various Primitive Rites which are heard of in the eighteenth, and especially that of Narbonne.
Grouping.—In the tabulation which follows I have grouped together the Grade system after such a manner as to shew at a glance all its variations under the original headship. The reduction of the Oriental Rite of Memphis to a supposed working system of Thirty- three Degrees as the Antient and Primitive Rite will be dealt with under the latter title at the end of this section. It may be noted that specific denominations of the several classes were adopted as a later decoration, and these will be enumerated separately.
FIRST SERIES: Comprising an introduction to the historical part of the Order, ethical teaching and explanation of symbols, for the direction of Members to the practical ends of philanthropy.
CLASS I.—(1) Apprentice. (2) Companion, corresponding to Fellow Craft. (3) Master. (4) Discreet Master, otherwise Secret Master . (5) Perfect Master, otherwise Master Architect . (6) Sublime Master, otherwise Intimate Secretary . (7) Just Provost, otherwise Just and Perfect Master , or Provost and Judge . (8) Knight Intendant of the Buildings, otherwise Knight of the Elect , or Master in Israel [Ragon]. (9) Knight Elect of Nine. (10) Illustrious Knight Elect of Fifteen, (11) Sublime Knight Elect. (12) Knight Grand Master Architect. (13) Royal Arch.—As regards the first three Degrees, being those of the Blue or Symbolic Lodge, they are said to have embodied the distinctive features of the Rite of Perfection or Council of Emperors of the East and West, reproduced in the Scottish Rite, according to its French recension.
CLASS II.—(14) Knight of the Sacred Vault, otherwise Grand Scottish Elect . (15) Knight of the Sword, but according to Ragon, Knight of the Sword or of the East, otherwise Knight of the East . (16) Prince of Jerusalem. (17) Knight Prince of the East and West, otherwise Knight of the East  or Knight of the East and West . (18) Knight Prince of the Rose of Heredom, otherwise Knight of Rose-Croix . (19) Knight Grand Pontiff of Jerusalem, otherwise Knight Prince of the West , or Grand Pontiff . (20) Knight Grand Master of the Temple of Wisdom, Chief of the First Series, otherwise Grand Master of Lodges , or Venerable Grand Master of all Lodges [Ragon], (21) Knight Noachite or Knight of the Tower, otherwise Prussian Noachite , or Master of the Key of Masonry [Ragon]. (22) Knight of Libanus, otherwise Prince of Lebanon , or Noachite Knight otherwise Knight of the Tower [Ragon]. (23) Knight of the Tabernacle, otherwise Chief of the Tabernacle , or Knight Royal Axe, otherwise Knight of Libanus [Ragon]. (24) Knight of the Red Eagle, otherwise Prince of the Tabernacle , or Knight of the Tabernacle [Ragon], (25) Knight of the Brazen Serpent, otherwise Knight of the Red Eagle, or Prince of the Tabernacle [Ragon], (26) Knight of the Holy City, or Scottish Trinitarian , otherwise Knight of the Brazen Serpent [Ragon].
CLASS III.—(27) Sovereign Grand Commander of the Temple, otherwise Knight of the Holy City, or Prince of Mercy [Ragon], (28) Knight of Johan or of the Sun, otherwise Grand Sublime Knight of St. Andrew of Scotland . (29) Knight of St. Andrew, otherwise Knight of Johan or of the Sun . (30) Knight Grand Kadosh, Sovereign Grand Inspector, otherwise Knight Kadosh , or Knight of St. Andrew [Ragon], (31) Grand Inquisitor Commander, otherwise Grand Master Commander , otherwise Knight Grand Kadosh [Ragon], (32) Sovereign Prince of the Royal Mystery, otherwise Prince of the Royal Secret , or Grand Inquisitor Commander [Ragon], (33) Knight Grand Inspector General, otherwise Grand Master General , otherwise Sublime Prince of the Royal Mystery [Ragon].
SECOND SERIES: Comprising instruction in natural sciences, the philosophy of history and poetical myths of antiquity, for the stimulation of research into causes and origins, having in view the development of a humanitarian and sympathetic sense.
CLASS III (continued).—(34) Knight of the Temple, otherwise Knight of the Red Eagle , or Knight of Scandinavia , also Knight Grand Inspector [Ragon]. (35) Knight of Scandinavia, otherwise Knight Master of Angles , or Sublime Commander of the Temple . (36) Knight Philalethes, otherwise Knight of the Holy City , or Sublime Negotiate, Commander of the Luminous Triangle .
CLASS IV.—(37) Doctor of the Planispheres, otherwise Knight Adept of Truth , or Knight of Shota=Adept of Truth . (38) Master of the Great Work, otherwise Wise Siviast , or Sublime Knight Elect of Truth , and Sublime Elect of Truth, or Philalethes . (39) Prince of the Zodiac, otherwise Knight Philalethes , or Grand Elect of the Eons . (40) Sublime Hermetic Philosopher, otherwise Doctor of the Planispheres , or Wise Siviast, and Perfect Sage . (41) Knight of the Seven Stars, otherwise Wise Siviast , or Knight of the Arch of Seven Colours  and Knight of the Seven Stars [Ragon]. (42) Knight of the Arch of Seven Colours, otherwise Hermetic Philosopher , or Sublime Hermetic Philosophers . (43) Knight Supreme Commander of the Stars, otherwise Adept Installator , or Doctor of the Planispheres . (44) Grand Pontiff of Isis, otherwise Adept Consecrator , or Sublime Sage of the Zodiac . (45) Sovereign Master of Mysteries, otherwise Shepherd King of the Hutz , or Adept Eulogist  and Sublime Sage of Isis . (46) Sublime Prince of the Sacred Curtain, otherwise Adept of Sirius , or Sublime Pastor of the Hutz . (47) Interpreter of Hieroglyphs, otherwise Sage of the Pyramids , or Adept of Babylon  and Knight of the Seven Stars .
CLASS V.—(48) Pastor-King of the Hutz, otherwise Philosopher of Samothrace , or Adept of the Rainbow  and Sublime Guardian of the Sacred Mount . (49) Prince of the Sacred Curtain, otherwise Titan of the Caucasus, or Adept of the Seven Stars  and Sublime Sage of the Pyramids . (50) Sage of the Pyramids, otherwise Child of the Lyre , or Commander of the Zodiac  and Sublime Philosopher of Samothrace . (51) Philosopher of Samothrace, otherwise Knight of the Phoenix, or Knight Banuka  and Sublime Titan of the Caucasus . (52) Prince of the Golden Fleece, otherwise Sublime Scald , or Knight of the Luminous Triangle  and Sage of the Labyrinth . (53) Titan of the Caucasus, otherwise Knight of the Sphinx , or Knight Zaradust  and Sage of the Phoenix . (54) Child of the Lyre, otherwise Knight of the Pelican , or Knight of the Luminous Ring  and Sublime Scald . (55) Knight of the Phoenix, otherwise Sublime Sage of the Labyrinth , or Prince Magus  and Sublime Orphic Doctor . (56) Orphic Doctor, otherwise Pontiff of Cadmea , or Doctor of the Sacred Vedas  and Sage of Cadmus . (57) Sublime Scald, otherwise Sublime Mage , or Prince Brahmin . (58) Knight of the Sphinx, otherwise Prince Brahmin , or Sublime Scald  and Wise Brahmin . (59) Perfect Master of the Sloka, otherwise Pontiff of Ogygia , or Scandinavian Knight , and Sublime Sage of Ogygia . (60) Knight of the Pelican, otherwise Scandinavian Knight , or Prince of the Sacred Name , and Sublime Guardian of the Three Fires . (61) Sublime Sage of the Labyrinth, otherwise Knight of the Temple of Truth  or Prince of the Golden Fleece  and Sublime Unknown Philosopher .
CLASS VI.—(62) Pontiff of Cadmus, otherwise Sage of Heliopolis , or Prince of the Lyre  and Sublime Sage of Eleusis , or Sage of Heliopolis [Ragon], (63) Wise Siviast, otherwise Pontiff of Mithras , or Prince of the Labyrinth , and Adept of Sirius . (64) Grand Architect of the Mysterious City, otherwise Guardian of the Sanctuary , or Prince of the Lybic Chain , and Adept of Babylon . (65) Sublime Magus, otherwise Prince of Truth  and Sublime Sage of Eleusis . (66) Brahmin Prince, otherwise Sublime Kavi , or Prince of the Covenant , and Companion Zaradust . (67) Guardian of the Three Fires, otherwise Most Wise Mouni , or Prince of the Sanctuary , and Companion of the Luminous Ring . (68) Pontiff of Ogygia, otherwise Grand Architect of the Mysterious City , or Prince of the Temple of Truth  and Companion of the Sacred Vedas . (69) Sovereign Grand Master of the Light, Chief of the Second Series, otherwise Sublime Prince of the Sacred Courtine , or Commander of the Second Series , and Companion of the Sacred Name .
THIRD SERIES: Comprising the complement of the historical part of the Order, instruction on high philosophy, studies of religious myths belonging to different ages of humanity.
CLASS VI (continued).—(70) Doctor of the Sacred Fire, otherwise Interpreter of Hieroglyphs , or Orphic Sage  and Companion of the Golden Fleece . (71) Knight of the Luminous Triangle, otherwise Orphic Doctor , or Sage of Eleusis  and Companion of the Lyre . (72) Theosophic Knights, otherwise Guardian of the Three Fires , or Companion of the Lybic Chain . (73) Sage of Heliopolis, otherwise Guardian of the Incommunicable Name , or Sage of Mithras , and Companion of the Sanctuary . (74) Pontiff of Mithras, otherwise Supreme Master of Wisdom , or Sage of Delphos , and Patriarch of Truth . (75) Guardian of the Sanctuary, otherwise Sovereign Prince of Senates of the Order , or Sage of Samothrace , and Sublime Master of the Secrets of the Order .
CLASS VII.—(76) Prince of Truth, otherwise Sovereign Grand Master of Mysteries , or Sage of Eleusis , and Sage of Elia . (77) Sublime Kavi, otherwise Supreme Master of the Sloka , or Sublime Sage of the Mysteries , and Sage of Mithras . (78) Doctor of the Sacred Vedas, otherwise Doctor of the Sacred Fire , or Sage of Wisdom , and Sage of Delphi or Sacred Curtain . (79) Most Wise Mouni, otherwise Doctor of the Sacred Vedas , or Sublime Sage of the Mysteries , and Wise Theosopher . (80) Knight of the Redoubtable Sad, otherwise Sublime Knight of the Golden Fleece , or Priest of the Sphinx , and Sublime Sage of Symbols, Interpreter of Hieroglyphs . (81) Guardian of the Incommunicable Name. otherwise Sublime Knight of the Luminous Triangle , or Priest of the Phoenix , and Sublime Sage of Wisdom . (82) Supreme Master of Wisdom, otherwise Sublime Knight of the Redoubtable Sadah , or Priest of the Pyramids , and Sublime Sage of the Mysteries . (83) Grand Pontiff of Truth, otherwise Sublime Knight Theosopher , or Priest of Heliopolis , and Sublime Sage of the Sphinx . (84) Grand Inspector Intendant, otherwise Sovereign Grand Inspector , or Priest of On . (85) Sovereign Prince of Masonry, Chief of the Third Series otherwise Grand Defender of the Order , or Priest of Memphis . (86) Sovereign Grand Master Constituent of the Order, otherwise Sublime Master of the Luminous Ring , or Pontiff of Serapis . (87) Sovereign Prince, General Ruler of the Order, otherwise Regulator-General of the Order , or Priest of Isis , and Pontiff of Isis . (88) Sovereign Grand Inspector-General, Chief of the Supreme Representative Council of the Order, otherwise Sublime Prince of Masonry , or Priest of Knef , and Pontiff of Knef . (89) Knight of the Knef, Member of the Supreme Grand Council General, otherwise Sublime Master of the Great Work , or Pontiff of the Mystic City . (90) Prince of Memphis, Member of the Sovereign Tribunal, Defender of the Order, otherwise Sublime Knight of the Knef , or Perfect Prince Sublime Master of the Great Work . (91) Sovereign Patriarch Grand Commander of the Order: Grand Empire, otherwise Sovereign Prince of Memphis, Chief of the Government of the Order , or Past Grand Defender of the Rite , and General Inspector of the Order . (92) Sovereign Prince of the Magi of the Sanctuary of Memphis , otherwise Sublime Interpreter of Science and of Hieroglyphs , or Grand Defender of the Order . (93) Grand Inspector Regulator of the Rite , otherwise Grand Regulator General of the Order , (94) Sovereign Prince of Memphis , otherwise Sovereign Prince of Memphis or of Masonry . (95) Sovereign Patriarchal Grand Conservator of the Rite , otherwise Sublime Prince of the Magi . (96) Sublime Magus , otherwise Sovereign Pontiff of Magi of the Sanctuary of Memphis . (97) Grand Hierophant.
It will be understood that the initial title of each Grade is that of the Rite in its original promulgation of 1839. The variations are largely accounted for as transpositions of place, but there are also changes of title, some of which do not appear to predicate any serious Ritual differences. On the other hand, the recension of 1856 has Grade names suggestive of Grade Officers, to which nothing corresponds previously, while they were abandoned in the final revision. The recension of 1839 comprised ninety-one Degrees, extended to ninety-two in 1849, to ninety-seven in 1856, and reduced in 1862 to ninety-six. Subject to the expansions stated, the Grade content of each of the Three Series was identical in the recensions of 1839, 1849 and 1856. In that of 1862 Class I, containing thirteen Degrees, preceded the First Series, as a kind of Ritual Prolegomena to the whole Rite. The Grade content of the Seven Classes according to the recensions of 1839 and 1849 is not in exact correspondence with those of 1856 and 1862, but a tabulation of differences would serve no useful purpose. I append, however, the variant denominations of Classes according to the third and fourth recensions: they may be compared with those of the Antient and Primitive Rite.
Class I: Lodge; Class II: College; Class III: Sub-Section A—Senate of Hermetic Philosophers; Sub-Section B—Academy of Masonic Science ; Chapter ; Class IV: Sub-Section A—Conclave of Masonic Magi; Sub-Section B—College of Princes of Truth ; Areopagus ; Class V: Council of Masonic Mysteries ; Senate ; Class VI: Council of Sublime Masters of the Great Work ; Consistory ; Class VII: Sub-Section A—Mystic Temple of the Sovereign Grand Council General, ninety-first to ninety-fourth Degree; Sub-Section B—Sovereign Sanctuary of Memphis, ninety-fifth Degree; Sub-Section 6—Sanctuary of Sublime Magi, ninety-sixth Degree; Sub-Section D—Supreme Council of Sublime Masters of the Light, ninety-seventh Degree ; Council .
Antient and Primitive Rite.—It would seem that ab origine symboli the Oriental Order was alternatively the Antient and Primitive Rite of Memphis. We have seen in another section under what circumstances it was taken into the custody of the Grand Orient and placed in one of its proverbial pigeon-holes. We have seen how its Grand Master Marconis sought to establish it in other countries. Something is said to have been done in Roumania and Egypt, but I have not met with the evidence. It was certainly taken to America and came into the hands of Mr. H. J. Seymour, who received or assumed the title of Grand Master of the Rite of Memphis in America, circa 1867. In or about 1872 it came over to England, and then or subsequently Mr. John Yarker became its custodian and worked it spasmodically, chiefly by the mode of communication. Whether under his auspices or antecedently perhaps in America, it was reduced to Thirty-Three Degrees, under the title of Antient and Primitive Rite, thus constituting a direct challenge to the Scottish Rite, already established and flourishing. The historical questions are obscure and would not repay research. The sequence of Grades is as follows. Series I.—Class I, Lodge: Craft Grades. Class II, College: (1) Discreet Master; (2) Sublime Master; (3) Knight of the Sacred Arch; (4) Knight of the Secret Vault. Class III, Chapter: (1) Knight of the Sword; (2) Knight of Jerusalem; (3) Knight of the Orient; (4) Knight of the Rose-Croix. Series II.—Class IV, Senate: (1) Knight of the Red Eagle; (2) Knight of the Temple; (3) Knight of the Tabernacle; (4) Knight of the Serpent (5) Knight Sage of Truth; (6) Knight Hermetic Philosopher. Class V, Areopagus: (1) Knight Kadosh; (2) Knight of the Royal Mystery; (3) Knight Grand Inspector. Series III, Sublime Council.—Class VI, Consistory: (1) Grand Installator; (2) Grand Consecrator; (3) Grand Eulogist; (4) Patriarch of Truth; (5) Patriarch of the Planispheres; (6) Patriarch of the Vedas. Class VII, Council: (1) Patriarch of Isis; (2) Patriarch of Memphis; (3) Pontiff of the Mystic City; (4) Perfect Pontiff. Series IV, Official—(1) Grand Defender of the Rite; (2) Sublime Prince of Memphis; (3) Sovereign Grand Conservator of the Rite. In their English form the Grades of this Rite bear the marks of editing and occasional extension by Yarker; they represent notwithstanding the original content of Memphis and are curious as such, while a few of them are not unimportant, in spite of egregious titles of dignity and of ridiculous claims. I have given considerable space to some of them on the side of Ritual.
In Heaven, on Earth and in Hades we know that ecstasy suspended all who heard the lyre of Orpheus. But he was the spouse of Eurydice, whom the serpent stung to death, and to the gates of the underworld he followed in quest of her. As the gates opened to his music, so opened the palace of Pluto. It is said that the Furies were appeased, the wheel of Ixion stood still and the stone of Sisyphus. The heart of Pluto softened and Proserpine remembered another quest, when Demeter went over the world in search of her. They placed Eurydice in his keeping; but we know also the condition—that he was not to look back till he had left the underworld. It came about that Eurydice was behind him as they approached the light of day: he looked and lost. There were no Orphic Mysteries which celebrated this mission of love and its final frustration, and the reason is that—by their nature—all Instituted Mysteries end—-and must end—in attainment. Demeter recovers her daughter, the Kabiric death is followed by resurrection, the murdered Osiris ascends into highest heaven. And in the greatest exile and return formula which has even been put into words, the Lord of Glory comes forth, and the Lord goes back. This is the crown of all Mysteries, and those elected thereto return with Him. The Mysteries are a Divine Comedy.
Orpheus as Hierophant.—There is, however, a second epoch of the Orphic fable, and this depicts him, whom a Nemesis denied fruition in quest, as carrying the Rites of attainment from Egypt or otherwhere into Thrace or Greece at large. I have indicated that Eleusis incorporated Iacchic elements—whether late or early—and the Orphic Mysteries were Rites of Dionysios or Iacchos, whose story is so familiar that it does not bear repetition. He was torn to pieces by the Titans, and this is the death in his Mysteries. He was mourned by all the people, and these are his sorrowful Mysteries. He was sought by Rhea, and this is their quest formula. He was restored again to life, and hereof are his joyful Mysteries, with the attainment reached therein. The Orphic Rites are, however, a later modification, though administered in the guise of ancient doctrine and practice, deriving from their alleged true source in the world of the Delta. Those initiated therein were required to abstain from flesh meat and every blood-sacrifice. The god of these Mysteries was represented as having first wielded the sceptre of the universe, and according to Proclus he would resume his empire, so that he who was the first sovereign would be also the last. The doctrine like the Rites ended therefore in attainment. The rule of life imposed suggests that these Orphic Mysteries were pure at their beginning; but they became abominations subsequently, and the fable of Orpheus was corrupted in like manner.
The Apotheosis.—There is finally a third epoch, in which Orpheus merges into the symbolism of those Mysteries which he taught, for he was torn to pieces, like Iacchos, by Thracian women. But it is said that he was raised into the pantheon, receiving divine honours; that the Muses buried his remains; that his lyre was translated to the sky and became one of the constellations. So he attained in the end. Masonry is also a quest, and if followed to the term of its symbolism there is attainment of the Lost Word. But if this is understood in the heart, not heard with the ear only, it may happen that a higher end is reached and that on a Horeb height of the Mysteries the Epopt becomes the Word. Benedictus Dominus Deus noster qui dat nobis Verbum.