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or adjourned meeting of the Grand Encampment, in which a distant Encampment is particularly interested, without previous notice to that Encampment; and if such Encampment request it, (unless in cases which two thirds of the Encampments present shall judge to be too urgent to admit of delay) the decision shall be referred to the next an. nual meeting of the Grand Encampment.
9. No alteration shall be made in the above By-Laws, or any article that will affect them, except at an annual meeting, and then two thirds of the Sir Knights present agreeing to the same.
List of the various Masonic Degrees. In a late publication, 1816, we find the following list of Masốnic Degrees, which the author states are conferred in the Sublime Grand Lodges in Charleston, S. C. in the city of New York, and in Newport, R. I. 1. Entered Apprentice.
24. Perfection. 2. Fellow-Craft.
25. Knight of the East. 3. Master Mason.
26. Prince of Jerusalem. 4. Mark Master.
27. Knight of the East and West 5. Past Master.
28. Sovereign Prince of Rose Croix 6. Most Excellent Master.
de Heroden. 7. Royal Arch.
29. Grand Pontiff. Royal Master.
30. Grand Master of all Symbolic 9. Knight of the Red Cross.
Lodges. 10. Knight of Malta.
31. Patriarch Noachite, or Chevalier 11. Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.
Prussien. 12. Knight of the Christian Mark. 32. Prince of Libanus. 13. Knight Templar.
33. Chief of the Tabernacle. 14. Secret Master.
34. Prince of the Tabernacle. 15. Perfect Master.
35. Prince of Mercy. 16. Intimate Secretary.
36. Knight of the Brazen Serpent. 17. Provost and Judge.
37. Commander of the Temple. 18. Intendant of the Building. 38. Knight of the Sun. 19. Elected Knights of Nine. 39. Knight of the Holy Ghost. 20. Illustrious Elected Fifteen. 40. 41. 42. Prince of the Royal Se21. Sublime Knight Elected.
cret, Prince of Masons. 22. Grand Master Architect.
43. Sovereign Grand Inspectors Gen23. Knight of the Ninth Arch.
eral. Besides those degrees, (observes the same author) which are in regular succession, most of the Inspectors are in possession of a number of detached degrees, given in different parts of the world, and which they generally communicate, free of expense, to those brethren who are high enougb to understand them. Such as Select Masons of 27, and the Royal Arcli, as given under the Constitution of Dublin. Six degrees of Maconnerie d'Adoption, Compagnon Ecossais; le Maitre Ecossais, et le Grand Maitie Ecossais, &c. &c. making, in the aggregate, 53 degrees.
to this arrangement I have taken occasion to make the following comments:
His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. &c. is at present the presiding officer of the degree K–H. in England.
The ist, 2d, and 3d degrees are given in the Symbolic Lodge. From the 14th to the 24th inclusive, in the Sublime Grand Lodge, and the officers of both, are elected annually. The 25th and 26th are given by the Council of Princes of Jerusalem, the officers of which are also elected annually, From the 27th to the 43d inclusive, are given by the Inspectors, who are Sovereigns of Masonry. The Officers of the Supreme Council are appointed for life.
A brief sketch of the respective degrees of Ancient Freema
sonry, with the appendant degrees, agreeably to ancient form and usage, with occasional remarks.
There are (I am bold to assert) but four Degrees in Ancient Freemasonry. This opinion accords not only with the sentiments of the oldest and best informed masons, with whom I have conversed, but is also agreeable to written and printed documents in my possession; some of the latter of which are almost as old as the art of Printing, itself. They are as follows:
1. Entered Apprentice.
4. Royal Arch Mason. The following orders which have within a few years past, been manufactured into degrees, are merely elucidatory of the second, third, and fourth degrees, namely:
Ark Master, or Noachite, The fifth, or past-master's degree so called, is, it is presumed, sufficiently explained under that head, page 197. We pass on, therefore, to the next in order, namely, the mark which appertains to, and is illustrative of the second or fellow-craft's degree; and was no doubt originally connected with the lectures in that degree. Of late years, however, it has been customary to work in the mark under a distinct, and in many respects, separate jurisdiction. But since the establishment of grand royal arch chapters, that body has very properly taken upon themselves the entire jurisdiction of this and other preparatory or introductory degrees; and in future, no brother, however worthy, will be acknowledged; nor is his preparation for exaltation considered complete, unless he bas obtained his knowledge from a lodge of mark masters, working under a dispensation or warrant, granted by this august body.
Remarks on the Degree of Select Master. * This beautiful degree, as well as that of Most Excellent Master, but particularly the former so illustrative of that
*For a sketch of the history of this degree, see page 221.
most important degree of ancient Masonry, the Royal Arcli, is, I am bappy to find, disseminating itself into every part of our widely extended country, and wherever it has been introduced, has met with a cordial reception; indeed without it, the above very sublime degree discovers to the strict enquirer a chasm, the bottom of which, notwithstanding its native and artificial brilliancy, is enveloped in darkness.
Royal Master and Ark Master or Noachite. These are considered as merely preparatory, and are usually conferred immediately before the solemn ceremony of exaltation.
The following passages from holy writ, will sufficiently elucidate these degrees: a satisfactory history of neither of which is to be found in any of our authorities; they are therefore altogether traditional.
Revelations, ch. XXI. V, 3-6. “And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the begin. ning and the end: I will give unto him that is athirst, of the fountain of the water of life, freely.”
Chap. XXII, 12-14. “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I an Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandinents, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."
Genesis, ch. VIII, V, 4-9. “And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually, until the tenth month: in the tenth ononth, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen. And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from of the earth. Also he sent forth
à dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground: But the dove found no rest for the Bule of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark; for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark."
Knight of the Red Cross. After having, as we had supposed, satisfactorily shown that the order of Knights Hospitalers of the order of St. John of Jerusalem, who were afterwards called Knights of Rhodes, and now Knights Templars, and Knights of Malta, is indisputably the oldest order of Knighthood in the world:* we are suddenly transported into the distant regions of Persia, and instructed to believe that the order of the Cross was instituted 520 years before the birth of Christ, uamely, during the reign of Darius. We must leave our readers to reconcile these seeming contradictions.
This order has not, until of late years, been practised in America. I have indeed conversed with well in formed Knights, who received the Degree in Ireland; perhaps it may bave originated there be that as it may, it has found its way into our books, and is practised, though very imperfectly in some of our Encampments, usually preceding the degrees of Knights l'emplars, and Knights of Malta. A reference to the aforegoing list, will show us that the author has given us two other Degrees, which are intended to precede the two last mentioned, namely, Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, and Knights of the Christian Mark, nor shall we have cause to wonder, if in process of time an attempt should be made to precede the important Degree of Knights Templar, &c, with that of Knight of the Golden Spur, Knight of the white Elephant, or of the Golden Fleece.
The following passages of scripture are considered by knights of this order as applicable to their institution, and are occasionally rehearsed in their councils.
Ezra 111. 8—u. “Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second mouth, beyan Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites,
gee remarks on the Order of Knighthood, page 279.