KNIGHTS OF THE EAST AND WEST
The Seventeenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and the
First Degree of the Philosopical Series
In all bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, brethren who have
attained the degree of Grand, Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason, are entitled
to, and should of right, be covered, except when a degree is being worked;
at which time all should conform, and lend their endeavours to aiding in
the effectiveness of the drama, by robing and costuming accordingly.
The following engraving designates the most appropriate, convenient, and
economical form of covering, it being light, composed posed of four sides,
purple, with movable joints, in order that It can be pressed flat - fillet
of crimson, and crowning-button of white velvet.
"He who discovereth secrets is a traitor; and he who keeps his tongue, keeps
his soul."- KING SOLOMON
Bodies of these historical degrees are styled - Sovereign chapters." The
diploma of a Knight Rose-Croix is called a Brief. All written documents are
called Engraved Columns. The following are the articles for the general
government of Knights Rose-Croix:
ART. 1 - The principal festival of the Rose-Croix Knights is held on Thursday
preceding Good Friday. It is incumbent on all Chapters to assemble on that
day; and if a Knight should be where there is no Chapter, he is to observe
the time in communion of spirit with all Knights around the globe.
Art 2. - S.: P: of Rose-Croix are styled Knights, Princes, and Perfect Masons
ART. 3 - The Princes have the right of presiding in all Lodges working under
the A.: and A.: rite; and if the chair is refused them, they take their place
at the right of the Master: if this honour is not offered them, they may
seat themselves on the floor in the N.: E.: of the Lodge in token of humility,
when the works will at once cease.
Art. 4. - All Princes of Rose-Croix are forbidden any Chapter or Lodge, without
the jewel or order belonging to this degree; and they should never sign any
Masonic document without affixing their quality to their name, and dating
it "from the Orient of Herodim."
ART. 5. - When a Knight visits a Chapter not his own, he places himself in
humility; but the M.: W.: may cause him to take a place by his side in the
East. A Knight Rose-Croix is not to be tyled when he presents himself for
admission into a Lodge. He should therefore have a special brief evidencing
ART. 6. - A regular Chapter must meet at least five times in a year; that
is, Ash-Wednesday, Thursday before Easter, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Ascension
Day, and Christmas. They should also join with their brethren in the observance
of St. John's days.
ART. 7. - If a Knight of Rose-Croix, being alone, hears of another Knight
sojourning, not over three leagues from him, he should invite him to participate
in the observance of Holy Thursday; in which case they meet each other half-way.
ART. 8. - No Chapter can be opened unless five Knights be present. The minutes
must be signed by at least three of the Knights present.
Art 9. - A Knight of Rose-Croix must be charitable. He must relieve the indigent,
visit the sick and the prisons. No Chapter should be held without a collection
for the poor. The Sovereign is the Treasurer of this fund, as necessity may
ART. 10. - Duels between Knights are strictly forbidden, under the most severe
ART. 11. - A Knight of Rose-Croix is bound by his honour to the service of
his God, his government, and his country, to the last drop of his blood.
ART. 12. - No Knight of Rose-Croix can refuse to attend the Chapter when
summoned, unless sick - when he shall present his reasons to the Chapter.
ART. 13. The Chapter must be lighted with white or yellow wax candles, or
ART. 14. - No discussions foreign to the business of the Chapter can be allowed.
Calumny, satire, and personal remarks are ever to be avoided as crimes.
ART. 15.-The grade of S.: P.: It.: Croix de II.: should never be conferred
without the most scrupulous inquiries and circumspection as to the moral,
religious, and other necessary qualifications of the applicant.
ART. 16. - No document can be valid unless signed by the Sovereign Secretary,
and sealed by the Keeper of the Seals.
ART. 17. - The officers must be elected annually on Holy Thursday, and
immediately enter on their duties. The retiring officers should be prepared
to hand their books, accounts, and funds to their successors on that day.
ART. 18. - No serving brother can be admitted in any Chapter. The two brethren
last received must act in that capacity.
ART. 19. - If a Knight of Rose-Croix dies, all the Knights must participate
in the funeral ceremonies, and wearing under their coats, if they cannot
openly display them without scandal, the order and jewel of the grade. Great
care must be taken that the deceased is buried with his collar.
ART. 20.-A Knight at his admission adopts as hie own some characteristic,
the choice of which is left to himself as Fortitude, Toleration, &c.,
but expressed in Latin, as Eques a Fortitudine, &c. Those of the first
three officers and Master of Ceremonies are always the same - Knights of
Wisdom, of Strength, of Beauty, of Alarm.
ART. 21. - A Knight R.: Croix, in writing his name, writes the consonants
only; and an unequal number, if there be more than two. To his name may be
append + this mark in red ink.
The Seventeenth degree of the Rite Ancient and Accepted, is the first of
the series of Modem or Accepted degrees, as used in contradistinction to
the term Ancient, It may also be designated, the first of the Philosophic
The Word is again lost, and, figuratively, the third Temple - in the heart
of man - is to be built and dedicated to the God of Truth. The revelations
made in the ceremony of initiation cannot be fully understood in this degree,
as they are introductory to the succeeding degree of Rose-Croix, in which
mysterium consumum est.
When the Knights and Princes united to conquer the Holy Land, they took an
oath to spend, if necessary, the last drop of their blood to establish the
true religion of the Most High God. Peace having been made, they could not
practically fulfil their vows, and therefore, on returning to their respective
countries, they resolved to do in theory what they could not do in practice.
They took the name of Princes of Jerusalem and Knights of the East and West,
in memory of the place where this Order was first instituted, and because
their doctrines came from East and West They have, ever since their first
establishment, adhered to their customs and forms of reception. In the year
1118, the first Knights of the Order, to the number of eleven, took their
vows between the hands of Armelfo Guavi Mundos, Prince Patriarch of Jerusalem,
who hailed from the province of Amiens in France.
APARTMENTS AND DECORATIONS
But one spacious apartment, beside the Preparation room, is needed. It should
be in the form of a heptagon, hung with crimson, sprinkled with stars of
gold. In each angle is a square column, on the capitals of which-beginning
at the southeast and going round by the southwest, in regular succession-are
the initials respectively of the following words: Beauty, Divinity, Wisdom,
Power, Honour Glory, Force; and on the bases of these columns are the initials
respectively of the words Friendship, Union, Resignation, Discretion, Fidelity,
Prudence, and Temperance. On each column is a brilliant light.
In the East is an altar upon a canopied platform, to which you ascend by
seven steps, supported or upheld by four lions, having between them a cherabimic
figure with six wings and four heads, representing respectively the heads
of a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle.
In front of the altar is a throne, always vacant, and a footstool.
The seat of the Master is at the foot of the platform, in front, and over
the seat hangs a two-edged sword, surrounded by seven stars
In the East are displayed the Sun and Moon.
In the West are two thrones, raised three steps each, for the two Wardens.
Around the room are twenty-four seats richly decorated.
An assembly of Knights of the East and West is called a Preceptory, and is
composed of twenty-four members.
On the right of the Master is a small table, having on it a ewer, napkins,
and vase of perfumed oil.
On the altar is a silver basin with perfumed water, a chafing dish with live
coals, and a large Book, sealed with seven great seals of green wax, at least
two inches in diameter, attached to red ribbons that, at the other end, pass
through holes in one lid, being slightly at. tached to it by a drop of wax,
so as to be easily sepa. rated, leaving the seals whole.
The tracing-board of the degree is a heptagon, embraced within a circle,
the upper portion forming a rainbow. At the angles of the heptagon, on the
outside, are the initials of the seven words which are on the capitals of
the columns of the degree (B. D. W. P. H ..G. F.); at the angles on the inside
are the initials of the seven words which are on the base of the columns,
(F. U. R. D. F. P. T.). Near the centre of the heptagon is the figure of
a man in a long white robe, with a golden girdle round his waist, and standing
on a section of the globe: hair and beard white as snow: his right hand extended,
holding seven stars surrounding the ~: his head encircled by a glory emanating
from a Delta: a two-edged flaming sword in his mouth. Around him stand seven
golden candlesticks, with candles burning; and over each of these, one of
the letters E. S. P. T. S. P. L., the initials of the names of the seven
Churches-Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea.
The Sun and Moon are also depicted, and the basin and chafing dish.
Venerable Master, represents John the Baptist.
Zealous Brother Senior Warden.
Zealous Brother Junior Warden.
Faithful Brother Treasurer.
Faithful Brother Secretary.
Faithful Brother Lecturer.
Faithful Brother Examiner.
Faithful Brother Senior Deacon.
Faithful Brother Junior Deacon.
Faithful Brother Outer Guard.
Faithful Brother Inner Guard.
All brethren are termed Faithful, and represent the disciples of John the
All are clothed in long white robes, with a red cross on the breast, circlets
of gold upon their heads (coronet shaped), and gold belts.
Apron - Yellow satin, triangular in shape, lined with crimson and bordered
with gold; on the flap a two edged sword, and in the centre of the area a
Order - Broad white ribbon, worn from right to left, and crossed by a broad
black one from left to right from the latter is suspended the
Jewel - Heptagonal medal of gold and silver. On one side are engraved the
same letters as are on the capitals of the columns, with a star over each:
in the centre, a lamb lying on the Book of the Seven Seals: on the obverse
side, two swords crossed, with points up, the hilts resting on an even balance:
in the corners, the initials of the seven Churches.
Battery - *******-*
V.: M.: Hear us, our Father, God of the ancient patriarchs, whom they adored
on the plains of Chaldea
Response: Be gracious unto us, O God.
V.: M.: We wander in the desert in darkness - we turn to the East and look
for the promised light.
Res. Send us the dawn of day, our Father.
V.: M.: We sit in the shadow of death, and our feet tread the margin of the
sea that covers Sodom. Our tents whiten the desert upon its sterile shore.
Send us thy light to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Res. Thy light to be the life of men.
V.: M.: Send us the new law of love for which the world pines and languishes.
Make wax and bloodshed to cease among the nations, and heartburnings among
the faithful to be no more.
Res. Help us to love one another.
V.: M.: Save us from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us.
Help us to serve thee without fear all the days of our life.
Res. Amen. So mote it be. Amen.
Soft music upon the organ during the above prayer and responses. The following
hymn will then be sung.
Dayspring of eternity, Dawn on us this morningtide, Light from light's
exhaustless sea, Now no more thy radiance hide. With new glories put to flight.
Shades and cares of lingering night, Flood the earth with peace and joy,
And the powers of wrong destroy.
V.: M.: The first faint blush of dawn dims the fight of the morning star,
and this preceptory is about to be opened.
Music soft and low during the following.
V.: M.: The glittering seven fade in the north, and the day cometh.
J.: W.: Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary.
S.: W.: Ye shall obey my judgments, and keep my statutes.
V.: M.: Ye shall not profane the name of your God.
J.: W.: Ye shall love and venerate, every man, his father and mother.
S.: W.: Ye shall not glean your vineyards, nor gather every grape, nor wholly
reap the corners of your fields, but leave something for the poor and the
V.: M.: Nor steal nor deal falsely, nor lie one with another.
J.: W.: Nor defraud nor despoil your neighbours,
W... Nor go up and down as tale-bearers among the people.
V.. M Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, nor suffer thy neighbour
to go astray for want of warning.
J... W... Ye shall rise up respectfully before the hoary head, and honour
the presence of the aged man, and fear your God.
S... W... Ye shall not vex the stranger in your land; for ye were strangers
in the land of Egypt, These are the statutes and judgments of the Lord your
R E C E P T ION
The candidate is subjected to an examination the most strict in regard to
the pledges he has given in the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry:
also as to his proficiency in the Kabala of those degrees.
(Ceremonies of purification and sanctification are here introduced.)
V.: M.: (* * *)He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto
the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the Tree of Life
which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.
S.: W.: (* * *) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit hath said
unto the churches: He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
J.: W.: (* * *) He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit
saith unto the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the
hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name
written, which no man shall know but him that shall receive it.
V. : M.: He that overcometh, and laboureth in my service unto the end, to
him will I give power over the nations and his influence shall control and
guide them; and I will give him the morning star.
S.: W.: He that overcometh shall be clothed in robes of white, and I will
not erase his name from the Book of Life, but I will own him as mine before
our Father and all his angels.
J.: W.: Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the Temple of our God,
and he shall remain there forever; and I will write upon him the name of
God, and the name of the city of God - the New Jerusalem-and mine own new
V.: M.: To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me near my throne,
even as I also overcame and am seated with my Father. Be zealous, therefore
From East to West, o'er land and sea, brothers meet, and friend, agree;
Let incense rise from hearts sincere, The dearest offering gathered here.
Our trust reposed on God alone, Who never will contrite hearts disown;
Our faith shall mark that holy light ,Whose beams our dearest joys unite
V.: M.: Light comes from God. When clouds and darkness are around us, we
should implore his aid. Let us do so, my brethren.
Our Father, who, when darkness brooded upon the vast chaos, and the universe
lay a confused mass of struggling forces, without form and void, didst move
upon it, and saidst, " Let there be light !' and light was; thou who didst
set the light against the darkness, and calledst the one Day and the other
Night; thou who didst set the lesser and the greater lights in heaven, enable
this candidate to find the light he seeketh. Let the dawn of the new day
arise to him, and shine upon the clouds of error, and cause the darkness
of ignorance to flee away and be seen no more forever. Amen.
Omnes. Amen! amen!
V.:. M.: And amen!
The living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything; neither
have they any more a reward, for the memory of them is. forgotten: also their
love, and their hatred, and their envy is now perished; neither have they
any more a portion forever in anything done under the sun.
S.: W.: Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil
days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure
in them; while the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars be not darkened,
nor the clouds return after the rain.
V.: M.: In the day when the limbs are not yet trembling with age, nor the
head bowed with sorrow, nor the eyes dim with weeping; before thou goest
to thy long home, and the mourners go about the streets; before the silver
cord is loosened, and the golden bowl is broken, and the pitcher shivered
at the spring, and the wheel shattered at the cistern; before the dust returns
to the earth as it was, and the spirit to God who gave it.
We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Omnipotent, who art eternal, And, to whom
the past, the present, and the future are one:
Because thou wilt in due time assert thy power, and vindicate thy justice,
thy wisdom and thy goodness, When evil shall reign no more.
I invest you with the apron of this degree: its colour is emblematical of
the dawn; its shape, of the Deity and of justice; the Tetractys upon it,
of the universe, with the Deity in its centre. I invest you with the order
of this degree: its two colors, white and black, are emblematical of the
contest between good and evil. I invest you with the jewel of this degree:
its heptagonal shape will be explained hereafter, as also will the devices
upon it ; its materials, gold and silver, sun and the moon, the great lights
of symbolize the day and night - themselves emblems of strength and beauty,
the two pillars at the threshold of Masonry. In the year 1127 Pope Honorius
II at the request of Stephen, a Patriarch of Jerusalem, ordained the Knights
should be clothed in white; to which Pope Eugenius III added a red cross,
to be worn on the breast.
I finally present you with this coronet, in token of your present rank in
Masonry. Remember that it, like the other insignia of the Ancient and Accepted
Rite, is honourable only so long as it is worn with honour. On the brow of
the dishonest, the dissipated, the vicious, or the base, honours undeserved
are the extremest disgrace. See, therefore, that you wear it worthily and
Truth dawns upon the human soul, And error disappears; No longer darkness
hath control O'er wearied lengthened years.
No longer for men's sorrow groan, Their sins, their shame, their tears, But
still and stately past God's throne, March onward, banish fears.
The sun is radiant in the sky, The earth in regal state Waits but the Hallelujah
cry That opens the holy gate.
My brother, this Preceptory is in the form of a heptagon, hung with crimson,
and sprinkled with stars of gold. In each angle is a column, on the capitals
of which, beginning at the southeast and going round by the southwest in
regular succession, are the initials respectively of the words Beauty, Divinity,
Wisdom, Power, Honour Glory, and Force - the seven mystic characters of the
Beauty, to adorn our works.
Divinity, to study which is one of our principal aims.
Wisdom to invent and work.
Power to punish and confound the calumnies of wicked brethren and the profane.
Honour is an indispensable quality in a Freemason, to labour with respectability.
Glory, that the true Freemason is an equal to the prince or potentate.
Force, which is necessary to support and maintain us
On the bases of the columns you will observe the initials of the seven qualities
which should be possessed by brethren of this grade:
FRIENDSHIP, UNION, RESIGNATION, DISCRETION, FIDELITY, PRUDENCE, TEMPERANCE.
Friendship is a virtue which ought to reign among the brethren.
Union is the foundation of our society.
Resignation to the regulations and decrees of the order without murmuring.
Discretion, that as a Mason you should be on your guard and never suffer
yourself to be surprised in relation to our mysteries.
Fidelity, to observe all your engagements.
Prudence, to conduct yourself so that the profane, though jealous, may never
be able to censure your conduct.
Temperance, to always avoid every excess which may tend to injure the soul
The seven vices which all good and true Freemasons will ever strive to avoid
HATRED, PRIDE, DISCORD, INDISCRETION, PERFIDY, RASHNESS, CALUMNY.
Hatred injures all the fine feelings of the heart.
Discord is contrary to the very principle of society
Pride prevents the exercise of humility.
Indiscretion is fatal to Freemasonry.
Perfidy should be execrated by every honest man.
Rashness leads into unpleasant and difficult dilemmas
Calumny, the worst of all, should be shunned as a vice which saps the very
foundations of friendship and society.
The Book of the Seven Seals, which only one can open, is Masonically explained
as representing a Lodge or Council of Masons, which the all-puissant alone
has the right or power to convene or open.
The breaking of the first seal displayed a bow, arrows rows, and crown,
signifying that the orders of this Preceptory should be executed with as
much promptness and exactitude as an arrow sent from a bow, and be received
with as much submission as if they came from a crowned head.
The second seal displayed the sword, denoting that this Preceptory and the
order in general is always armed for its defence and to punish the guilty.
The third seal revealed the balance - the symbol that Masonry should always
act with justice in all her ministrations.
The fourth seal produced the skull, which is the representative of that brother
who has caused himself to be excluded from the Lodge or Preceptory.
The fifth seal displayed a white cloth stained with blood, invoking us that
we should not hesitate if necessary, to spill our blood in the defence or
in the promotion of the cause of Freemasonry.
The sixth seal when opened caused the sun to be darkened and the moon to
be changed to blood, as a representation of the power of Supreme Councils
to interdict the works of inferior bodies, when irregular, until they shall
have acknowledged their error and submitted to the rules and regulations
of the Craft.
The seventh seal when broken was followed by silence, broken by the successive
blasts of the seven trumpets, signifying that Freemasonry is extended over
the surface of the earth on the wings of the wind and fame, and supports
itself with honour The perfume from the altar represents the good odour of
virtue, and denotes that the life of a good Freemason should be free from
all reproach and perfumed by a good report.
Your Masonic age is very ancient, and you are termed a Patmian, as coming
The seven golden candlesticks denote the seven churches - to wit, Ephesus,
Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea.
The two-edged sword pendent in the East has been explained when referring
to the opening of the second seal, and that none, not even the Ven.: Master,
is exempt from the exercise of judgment and justice.
The Ven.: Master represents John the Baptist, and the twenty-four seats the
twenty-four elders or disciples who were Esseneans.
Lecturer.: This, my brother, is the first of the Philosophical degrees of
the Ancient and Accepted Rite, and the beginning of a course of instruction
which will fully unveil the heart and inner mysteries of Masonry. Do not
despair because you have often seemed on the point of attaining the inmost
light, and have as often been disappointed. In all time truth has been hidden
under symbols, and often under a succession of allegories - where veil after
veil had to be penetrated before the true light was reached and the essential
truth stood revealed.
We are about to approach those ancient religions which once ruled the minds
of men, and whose ruins encumber the plains of the great Past, as the broken
columns of Palmyra and Tadmor lie bleaching on the sands of the desert. They
rise before us - those old, strange, mysterious creeds and faiths - shrouded
in the mists of antiquity, and stalk dimly and undefinedly along the line
that divides time from eternity, and forms of strange, wild, startling beauty
mingle in the vast throng of figures with shapes monstrous, grotesque, and
The religion taught by Moses, which, like the laws of Egypt, enunciated the
principle of exclusion, borrowed at every period of its existence from all
the creeds with which it came in contact. . While by the study of the learned
and wise, it enriched itself with the most admirable principles of the religions
of Egypt and Asia, it was changed in the wanderings of the people, by everything
that was impure or seductive in the pagan manners and superstitions. It was
one thing in the time of Aaron and Moses, another in that of David and Solomon,
and still another in that of Daniel and Philo.
At the time when John the Baptist made his appearance in the desert, near
the shores of the Dead Sea, all the old philosophical and religious systems
were approximating to each other, while the philosophers of Greece, all (except
the disciples of Epicurus) more or less Platonicians, seized eagerly upon
the beliefs and doctrines of the East. The Jews and Egyptians, before then
the most exclusive of all people, yielded to that eclectism which prevailed
among their masters, the Greeks and Romans. It was held by a vast number,
even during the preachings of Paul, that the writings of the Apostles were
incomplete, that they contained only the germs of another doctrine, which
must receive from the hands of philosophy not only the systematic arrangement
which was wanting, but all the developments which lay concealed therein-mysteries
handed down from generation to generation in esoteric tradition.