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pears. He likewise wears the same round his neck, pendant from a rich black watered ribbon, of the breadth of three fingers.
The mantle which the knights receive, when they take their vows, is black; and on the ribbon of the order, the mysteries of the passion, sufferings, and death of our Lord and Saviour, are represented in embroidery. The sleeves of this mantle are about a yard long, and one and a half in breadth. The ends are pointed.
The dress of the knights-grand-crosses, when they assist at divine service, is a sort of garment, called clocia, or cloak. It is open before, and has large sleeves, and on the left shoulder and breast, is the cross of the order. The jewel-cross, or badge, is worn pendant from the ribbon. They wear their swords upon such occasions. When they assist in council, they wear the same dress buttoned: the grand-cross is worn upon the breast; but the sword and ribbon of investiture are laid aside, being reserved only for the grand ceremonies of the order *
From the time of its foundation until the loss of the Island of Rhodes, this order flourished in a state of unabating splendour; and when established at Malta, it rose again from its ashes. Its situation seems at present extremely precarious. The English are at this juncture masters of the island; and a schism prevails among the members. The transactions relative to this illustrious body of Chris. tian militia, so long and so justly considered as one of the strongest bulwarks of Europe; and which have taken place since it was captured by the French in 1798, are of so extraordinary and complicated a nature, that time alone can unravel them. The last grand master, duly elected, was Ferdinand Baron de Hompesch.t On the 17th of July, 1797, he succeeded to that dignity, upon the death of Emanuel de Rohan de Polldux, the last grand master. The bailiwick of Brandenburg, now an appanage of the royal family of Prussia, is a branch of this order, which at the time of the reformation was dismembered therefrom. It was confirm
*See Vertot's account of the origin of the order, as recorded by Grand Master Webb, in his work entitled, “The Freemason's Monitor.”- Compiler.
t«When the grand-master dies, they suffer no vessel to go out of the Island till another is chosen, lest the pope should interfere in their election, which is conducted as follows: the several seminaries name two knights each, allowing also two for the English; and those sixteen from among themselves choose eight; those eight choose a knight, a priest and a serving brosher; and they three, out of the sixteen great crosses, elect the grand master."
See clark's Hist. pag. 50. Vol. 2.
ed to the elector of Brandenburg by the treaty of Westphalia, in 1648; and the decorations worn by the knights of this branchi, are in every respect similar to those of the order of Malta. Of this order, a junior prince of the house of Brandenburg is always grand master. H. R. H. prince Ferdinand of Prussia, great uncle to his reigning majesty, is at present invested with that dignity; to which the king of Prussia enjoys the exclusive nomination.
On the 24th of November, 1798, Paul first, the emperor of Russia, assumed the dignity of grand master of this order.
QP Although we have derired equal assistance and information from Mr. Clark's concise history, with respect o the notes we have added to that of the order of Malta, and for which he has our particular thanks; nevertheless we must request the reailer to observe, that with equal justice, we might have quoted the history of the Knights of Malta, by the Abbe de Vertot," “ Bridone's Tour," and several modern writers, rchose works treat of this order, and who express themselves in nearly the same terms.
Vertot, one of the authors before named, amongst other extraordinary accounts of the Knights, states, that a Templar and a citizen of Beziers, having been anprehended for some crime, and committed together to a dungeon, for want of a priest confessed each other; that the citizen, having heard the Templar's confession, in order to save his own life; accused the order to Philip, king of France; charging them, on the anthority of what his fellow prisoner had told him, with idolatry, sodomy, robbery, and murder; adding, that the Knight Templars being secretly Mahometans, each Knight, at his admission into the order, was obliged to renounce Jesus Christ, and to spit on the cross, in token of his abhorrence of it. Philip, on hearing these accusations, pardoned the citizen, and disclosed to the pope this extraordinary consession, with a request that their order should be suppressed.
Not only every Knight Templar must know to a certainty the absolute falsehood of these charges, but every unprejudiced reader of Vertot's history must perceive that the whole of this accusation was the production of Philip's own brain, in order to accomplish his long wished for object of suppressing the order, and getting possession of their vast riches in his dominions. It is therefore evident, that the story of the Templar's confession was all a forgery, and that the citizen was no other than the tool of Philip, who, to ensure his own pardon, was prevailed on to make oath of such a confession having been made to him by the Templar.
This historian proceeds to say, that in consequence of this accusation, the Knight Templars in France, and other parts of the pope's dominions, were imprisoned by his order, and put to the most exquisite tortures, to make them confess themselves guilty. They, however, bore these tortures with the inost heroic fortitude, persisting to the last in asserting their own innocence and that of their order.
In addition to these proceedings, the same author observes, that pope Clement, in the year 1312, issued his bull for the annibilation of the order of Knights Templars, which he caused to be published throughout every country in Christendom.
He at the same time gave their possessions to the Knights of Malta, which appropriation of the Templar's estates was assented to by most of the sovereigns in Europe; and there is now extant among the English statutes, an act of parliament, whereby, after setting forth that the order of the Templars has been suppressed, their possessions in England are confirmed to the order of St. John. Those most conversant with Masonry, will not hesitate to ad
mit, in the fullest extent, this part of the historian's account; for it is a melancholy fact, that even in this enlightened age, the head of the church of Rome, who styles himself infallible, with many of his minor auxilliaries, have, from time to time, issued their bulls and proclamations, not only against this order, but every thing relating to Freemasonry.
Who does not know, that even in the Uuited States many worthy brethren have been compelled to withdraw from that social intercourse which is the concomitant of all true masons, or forfeit all claim to clairch-membership; and may I not add, dreadful to relate, all hopes of future
happiness. What well informed mason, may I not ask, is not well as
sured, that some of their order, renowned for virtues, I mean the christain virtues, which are inseparable from truc Masonry, have been denier christian burial, for no other
crime, than because they were Freemasons. Thut these things are so, we know, but why they are so, let
those who practise them say, and let them justify their conduct, not with Masons, but with those who know it only by name-let them come forward boldly, we court investigation, and are fully prepared to refute calumny, and vindicate the rules of an Order, which next to Divine Herelation, is, us has been before requirked, the richest behest from heaven to man. Charity, however, induces cur per
to add, that these misguided zealots are probably unable to discriminate between the conduct of real Masons, and those miscreants, who according to professor Robinson and the Abbe Barreuil, have, under the character of Illuminati,
miscalled Masonry, deluged the world in blood. Will any person not actually deprived of his reasonable facul.
ties, conceive for a moment, that most of the croroned heads* of Europe, with a host of nobility and gentry in their train, would be among the most forward to promote and inculcate the principles of an institution which has for its tendency, the subversion of the virtue and allegiance of their subjects. But why need we cross the Atlantick, or call in the aid of monarchs or princes to prop our flourishing institution? If it were necessary, we could add, that a Washinzłon was the friend and patron of Masons, and not unfrequently presided at their meetings, and that his love for the brethren and their work, ceased only at his dissolution, We might also add a Franklin, a Hamilton, with a host of worthies, and conclude, by observing, that one of the most accomplished statesmen our country can boast,t at the present day, considers it an honour to preside at the head of ancient Masonry in America. If it should be said, that we are in any respect deviating from
an established rule by indirectly introducing either religion or politicks in our work: let it be remembered, that we are bound to expose and refute calumny. It would indeed show a criminal indifference to suffer our excellent institution to be traduced without raising our standard; nay, as knights, unconnected by the foregoing degrecs, we are bound to protect our holy coile; and we will defend it, notwithstanding the raillery and opposition of Jews, Turks and Infidels, and unbelievers and scepticks of every description--for under our banner, our motto inspires us with, and insures success. In loc signo vinces.
COMPILER. The same author, Vertot, further says, that in Germany, the historians of that nation relate, that pope Clement having sent his bull for abolishing the order, to the archbishop of Metey, for hiin to enforce, that prelate summoned all his clergy together, that the publication might be made with greater solemnity; and that they were suddenly surprised by the entry of Wallgruffor Count Sauvage, one of the princi
* Sve Visonic Unity, parr 3?, Appendis. † As Excellency De Witt Cünton, Governor of the state of New-York.
pals of the order, attended by twenty other templars, armed, and in their regular habits.
The count declared that he was not come to do violence to any body, but having heard of the bull against his order, came to insist that the appeal which they made from that decree to the next council and successor of Clement, should be received, read, and published. This he pressed so warmly, that the archbishop, not thinking it proper to refuse men whom he saw armed, complied. He sent the appeal afterwards to the pope, who ordered him to have it examined in a council of his province. Accordingly a synod was called, and after a lengthy trial, and various formalities which were then observed, the templars of that province were declared innocent of the crimes charged upon them.
Although the templars were thus declared innocent, it does not appear that either their possessions or their government, as a distinct order, were restored; but that their estates in the German empire were divided between the knights of Malta and the Teutonic knights; to the first of which orders, many knights templars afterwards joined themselves. This appears altogether probable from the following circumstance, viz. It is unquestionable, that the habit of the knights iemplars was originally white; but we now observe they distinguish themselves by the same colour as the knights of Malta, viz. black; which change cannot be accounted for in any other way than by an union with the knights of that order.
I shall close these preliminary remarks, by the following obsertations drawn from the erudite pen of the author of the spirit of Masonry; the reader will be constrained to observe that he entertains the same opinions we have expressed in the introductory parts of this history.--See page (278)
Soon after the progress of christianity in England, all Europe was inflamed with the cry and madness of an enthusiastic monk, who prompted the zealots in religion to the holy war; in which, fo: the purpose of recovering the holy city and Judea out of the hands of infidels, armed legions of saints, devotees, and enthusiasts, in tens of thousands, poured forth from every state of Europe, to waste their blood and treasure, in a purpose as barren and unprofitable as impolitic.
It was deemed necessary that those who took up the ensign of the cross in this enterprise, should form into such societies as might secure them from spics and treacheries;