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the masonic manual
THIS degree is indescribably more august, sublime and important than all which precede it; and is the summit and perfection of ancient Masonry. It impresses on our minds a belief of the being and existence of a Supreme Deity, without beginning of days or end of years; and reminds us of the reverence due to his holy name. It also
brings to light many essentials of the craft, which were, for the space of four hundred and seventy years, buried in darkness; and without a knowledge of which the Masonic character cannot be complete.
The lecture of this degree is divided into two sections, and should be well understood by every Royal Arch Mason; upon an accurate acquaintance with it, will depend his usefulness at our assemblies; and without it, he will be unqualified to perform the duties of the various stations in which his services may be required by the Chapter.
This section furnishes us with many interesting particulars relative to the state of the fraternity, during and since the reign of King Solomon; and illustrates the causes and consequences of some very important events which occurred during his reign. It explains the mode of government and organization of a Chapter; it designates the appellation, number and situation of the several officers, and points out the purposes and duties of their respective stations.*)
*) A Chapter of Royal Arch Masons consists of any convenient number of members, and the following officers, exlusive of the Treasrer, Chaplain, Stewards and Tyler, viz: M. E. High Priest, - his station is in the East of the Sared Sanctuary; E. King, in the East, on the right of the M. E. H. P.; E. Scribe, in the East. on the left of tle M. E. H. P.; Captain of the Host, on the right, in front of the E. K.; Principal Sojournr, on the left, in front of the E. Scribe; Royal Arch Captain, within the Fourth Veil, or Sanctuary; M. of Third Veil, within the Third Veil; M of Second Veil, within the Second Veil; M. of First VeiI, within the First Veil.
Now we command you, brethren, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition that ye received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us; for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you. Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you; not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. Foreven when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such, we command and exhort, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well-doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as all enemy, but admonish him as a brother. Now the LORD of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The LORD be with you all - II THESR. iii.6 -16. *)
*) Isaiah lxi. 4-9 should be used instead of above, which is inappropriate to this degree. - ED.
This section is fully supplied with illustrations of historical truth. It amplifies, in beautiful an striking colors, that prosperity and happiness ar the sure attendants of perseverance and justice while dishonor and ruin invariably follow the practice of vice and immorality. It contains much that is beautifully illustrative of the preceding degrees; a perfect knowledge of which is essential to the accomiplished and well-informed Mason.
The following prayer, charges and passages of Scripture are introduced during the ceremony of Exaltation.
I will bring the blind
by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not
known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things
straiglit. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. - ISA.
"O thou eternal and omnipotent JEHOVAH, the glorious and everlasting I
AM, permit us, thy frail, dependent and needy creatures, in the name of
our Most Excellent and Supreme High Priest, to approach thy divine
Majesty. And do thou, who sittest between the Cherubim, incline thine ear to the voice of
our praises, and of our supplication; and vouchsafe to commune with us
from off the mercy seat. We humbly adore and worship the
unspeakable perfections, and thy unbounded goodness and benevolence. We
bless thee, that when man had sinned, and fallen from his innocence and
happiness, thou didst still leave unto him the powers of reasoning, and
the capacity of improvement and of pleasure. We adore Thee, that amidst
the pains and calamities of our present state, so many means of
refreshment and satisfaction are afforded us, while traveling the
rugged path of life. And O, thou who didst aforetime appear unto
thy servant Moses, in a fame of fire out of the midst of a bush,
enkindle, we beseech thee, in each of our hearts, a flame of devotion to
thee, of love to each other, and of benevolence and charity to all
mankind. May the veils of ignorance and blindness be removed from
the eyes of our understandings, that we may behold and adore thy mighty
and wondrous works. May the rod and staff of thy grace and power
continually support us, and defend us from the rage of all our enemies,
and especially from the subtilty and malice of that old serpent,
who with cruel vigilance seeketh our ruin. May the leprosy of sin
be eradicated from our bosoms; and may Holiness to the Lord
be engraven upon all our thoughts, words and actions. May the incense of
piety ascend continually unto thee, from off
the altar of our hearts, and burn day and night, as a
sweet-smeiling savor unto thee. May we daily search the records of
truth, that we may be more and more instructed in our duty; and may
we share the blessedness of those who hear the sacred word and keep
it. And finally, O merciful Father, where we shall have passed through
the outward veils of these earthly courts, when the earthly
house of this tabernacle shall be dissolved, may we be admitted into the
Holy of Holies above, into the presence of the Grand Council
of Heaven, where the Supreme High Priest forever presides, forever
* * * * * * * *
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the back side of the desert, and came to the mountain of GOD, even to Horeb. And the Angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire, out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, GOD called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses! And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover, he said, I am the GOD of thy father, the GOD of Abraham, the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Jacob. And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon GOD." - EXOD. iii. 1-6.
* * * * * * * *
Zedekiah was one-and-twenty years old when he began to reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his GOD, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD. And he also rebelled aginst king Nebuchadnezzar, and stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart, from turning unto the LORD GOD of Israel. Moreover, all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and poiluted the house of the LORD, which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. And the LORD GOD of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of GOD and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.
Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age; he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of GOD, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of GOD, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, * * * * * and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword, carried he away to Babylon; - where they were servants to him and his sons, until the reign of the kingdom of Persia.- II CHRON xxxvi 11-20
* * * * * *
Now, in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus, king of Persia, the LORD GOD of Heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his GOD be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD GOD of Israel, (he is the GOD) which is in Jerusalem. - EZRA i. 1-3.
* * * * * *
And Moses said unto GOD, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The GOD of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And GOD said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: And he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. EXODUS iii 13, 14. * * * * * *
Lord, I cry unto thee:
make haste unto me: give ear unto my voice. Let my prayer be set before
thee as an incense, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening
sacrifice. Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
Incline not mi heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men
that work iniquity. Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness;
anrid let him reprove me, it shall be an excellent oil. Mine eyes are unto
thee, O GOD the LORD; in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.
Keep me from the snare which they have laid for me, and the gins of the
workers of iniquity. Let the wicked fail into their own nets, whilst that
I withal escape. - PSALM cxli.
* * * * * * * *
I cried unto the LORD
with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. I
poured out imy complaint before him: I shewed before him my trouble. When
my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way
wherein I walked, have they privily laid a snare for me. I looked on my
right hand and beheld but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O
LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge, and my portion in the land of the
living. Attend unto my cry; for I am, brought very low: deliver me from my
persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison,
that I may praise thy name. - PSALM cxlii.
* * * * * * * *
Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer we, and in thy righteousness. And enter not into judgment with thy servant; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. Hear me speedily, O LORD; my spirit faileth; hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust cause me to now the way wherein I should walk for I lift up my soul unto thee. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my GOD; bring my soul out of trouble, and of thy mercy cut off my enemies, for I am thy servant. - PSALM cxliii.
And Moses answered and said. But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice, for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand. That they may believe that the LORD GOD of their fathers, the GOD of Abraham, the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. - EXODUS iv. 1-5.
* * * * * * * *
And the LORD said
furthermore unto him, Put now thy hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand
into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold his hand was leprous as
snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his
hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and behold, it
was turned again as his other flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they
will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign,
that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. - EXODUS iv. 6-8
* * * * * * * *
And it shall come to pass, if
they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy
voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon
the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of thet river, shall
become blood upon the dry land. - EXODUS iv. 9
* * * * * * * *
now to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua,
the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, Who is
left among you, that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see
_....... it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?
Yet now be strong, O Zeruhbbabel; and be strong, O Joshua, son of
Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, for I
am with you, saith the LORD of Hosts.
In that day will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee. - HAGGAI ii. 2-23.
* * * * * * * *
The working tools of a Royal Arch Mason are the Crow, Pickax, and Spade.
* * * * * * * *
The hands of
Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also
finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of Hosts hath sent me unto
you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall
rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those
seven. - ZECHARIAH iv. 9, 10.
* * * * * * * *
In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old. - AMOS ix. 11.
* * * * * * * *
The following passages of Scripture are read by the High Priest:
In the beginning GOD created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of GOD moved upon the face of the waters. And GOD said, Let there be light; and there was light. - GENESIS i 1-3.
And it came to pass,
when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book,
until they were finished that Moses commanded the Levites which bare the
ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, Take this book of the law, and
put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your GOD, that
it may be there for a witness against thee. - DEUT. xxxi. 24-26.
And the LORD said unto
Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a
token. - NUMBERS xvii, 10
And Moses said, This is the thing
which the LORD commandeth, Fill an omer of the manna, to be kept for your
generations; that Do they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in
the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt. And Moses
said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and
lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations. As the Lord
commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony to be kept. -
EXODUS xvi. 32-34.
* * * * * * * *
And thou shall put the mercy-seat above, upon tie ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. - EXODUS xxv. 21.
For there was a tabernacle made; the first wherein was the candlestick. and the table, and the shew-bread; which is called the Sanctuary. And after the veils, the tabernacle, which is calledl the Holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant, overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it, the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy-seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. - HEBREWS ix. 2-5.
And GOD spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord; and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of GOD ALMIGHTY; but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. - EXODUS vi. 2-3.
* * * * * * * *
The High Priest will then read the following passage:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with GOD, and the Word was GOD. The same was in the beginning with GOD. All things were made by him: and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. - JOHN i 1-5.*)
*) Instead of the above, this lesson should consist of the first chapter Genesis and the first three Verse of the second chapter. - ED.
[The WORKING TOOLS of a Royal Arch Mason may be thus explaned:
The working tools of a Royal Arch Mason, are the Crow, Pickax and Spade. The Crow is used by operative masons to raise things of great weight and bulk; the Pickax to loosen the soil and prepare it for digging, and the Spade to remnove rubbish. But the Royal Arch Mason is emblematically taught to use them for more noble purposes. By them he is reminded that it his sacred duty to lift from his mind the heavy weight of passions and prejudices which incumber his progress towards virtue, loosening the hold which long habits of sin and folly have had upon his disposition, and removing the rubbish of vice and ignorance, which prevents him from beholding that eternal foundation of truth and wisdom upon which he is to erect the spiritual and moral temple of his second life]
* * * * * * * *
WORTHY COMPANION: By the consent and assistance of the members of this Chapter, you are now exalted to the sublime and honorable degree of Royal Arch Mason. The rites and mysteries developed in this degree, have been handed down through a chosen few, unchanged by time, and uncontrolled by prejudice; and we expect and trust they will be regarded by you with the same veneration, and transmitted with the same scrupulous purity to your successors.
No one can reflect on the ceremonies of gaining admission into this place, without being forcibly struck with the important lessons which they teach. Here we are necessarily led to contemplate, with gratitude and admiration, the sacred Source from whence all earthly comforts flow. Here we find additional inducements to continue steadfast and imnuoveable in the discharge of our respective duties; and here we are bound by the most solemn ties, to promote each other's welfare, and correct each other's failings, by advice, admonition, and reproof. As it is our earnest desire, and a duty we owe to our companions of this order, that the admission of every candidate into this Chapter should be attended by the approbation of the most scrutinizing eye, we hope always to possess the satisfaction of finding none among us, but such as will promote, to the utmost of their power, the great end of our institution. By paying due attention to this determination, we expect your will never recommend any candidate to this Chapter, whose abilities, and knowledge of the preceding degrees you cannot freely vouch for, and whom you do not firmly and confidently believe, will fully conform to the principles of our order, and fulfill the obligations of a Royal Arch Mason. While such are our members we may expect to be united in one object, without like warmness, inattention or neglect; but zeal fidelity, and affection will be the distinguishing characteristics of our society; and that satisfaction, harmony and peace may be enjoyed at our meetings which no other society can afford.
The Chapter is closed with solemn ceremonies, and the following prayer is rehearsed by the Most Excellent High Priest:
By the Wisdom of the Supreme High Priest, may we be directed; by his Strength may we be enabled, and by the Beauty of virtue may we be incited, to perform the obligations here enjoined on us; to keep inviolably the mysteries here unfolded to us; and invariably to practice all those duties out of the Chapter, which are inculcated in it."
Response - "So mote it be Amen."
* * * * * * * *
Thus famous fabric was situated on Mount Moriah, near the place where Abraham was about to offer up his son Isaac, and where David met and appeased the destroying angel. It was begun in the fourth year of the reign of Solomon; the third after the death of David; four hundred and eighty years after the passage of the Red Sea, and on the second day of the month Zif, being the second month of the sacred year, which answers to the 21st of April, in the year of the world, 2992; and was carried on with such prodigious speed, that it was finished, in all its parts, in little more than seven years.
By the Masonic art, and the wise regulations of Solomon, every part of the building, whether of stone, brick, timber or metal, was wrought and prepared before they were brought to Jerusalem; so that the only tools made use of in erecting the fabric were wooden instruments prepared for that purpose. The noise of the ax, the hammer, and every other tool of metal, was confined to the forests of Lebanon, where the timber was procured; and to Mount Libanus, and to the plains and quarries of Zeredatha, where the stones were raised, squared, marked and numbered; that nothing might be heard among the Masons at Jerusalem, but harmony and peace.
In the year of the world 3029, King Solomon died, and was succeeded by his son Rehoboam, who, immediately after the death of his father, went down to Sbechem, where the chiefs of the people were met together to proclaim him king.
When Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who was in Egypt, whither he had fled from the presence of Solomon, and whose ambition had long aspired to the throne, heard of the death of the king, he hastened to return from Egypt, to put himself at the head of the discontented tribes, and lead them on to rebellion. He accordingly assembled them together. and came to King Rehoboam, and spake to him after this manner.
"Thy father made our yoke grievous; now therefore, ease thou somewhat the grievous servitude of thy father, and his heavy yoke that he put upon us, and we will serve thee. And he said unto them, Come again unto me, after three days. And the people departed. And King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give ye me, to return answer to this people? And they spake unto him saying, If thou be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be thy servants forever. But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel of the young men that were brought up with him, that stood before him. And he said unto them, what advice give ye, that we may return answer to this people, which have spoken to me, saying, Ease somewhat the yoke that thy father did put upon us? And the young men that were brought up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou answer the people that spake unto thee saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it somewhat lighter for us thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins. For, whereas my father put a heavy yoke upon you, I will put more to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come again to me on the third day. And the king answered them roughly, and King Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men, and answered them after the advice of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. And when all Israel saw that the king would not hearken unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? and we have none inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to your tents, O! Israel: and now, David, see to thine own house. So all Israel went to their tents." - II CHRON. x.
After a series of changes and events, of which an account may be found in the history of the Temple, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, with his forces, took possession of Jerusalem, and having made captive Jehoiachim, the king of Judah, elevated his uncle Zedekiah to the throne, after binding him by a solemn oath neither to make innovations in the government, nor to take part with the Egyptians in their wars against Babylon.
At the end of eight years, Zedekiah violated his oath to Nebuchadnezzar, by forming a treaty offensive and defensive with the Egyptians; thinking that jointly they could subdue the king of Babylon. Nehuchadnezzar immediately marched and ravaged Zedekiah's country, seized his castle and fortress, and proceeded to the siege of Jerusalem Pharaoh, learning how Zedekiah was pressed, advanced to his relief, with a view of raising the siege. Nebuchadnezzar, haring intimation thereof, would not wait his approach, but proceeded to give him battle, and in one contest drove him out of Syria. This circumstance suspended the siege.
In the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign, the king of Babylon again besieged Jerusalem with a large army, and for a year and a half exerted all his strength to conquer it; but the city did not yield, though enfeebled by famine and pestilence.
In the eleventh year the siege went on vigorously; the Babylonians completed their works, having raised towers all around the city, so as to drive the invaded party from the walls. The place, though a prey to plague and famine, was obstinately defended during the space of a year and a half. But at length, want of provisions and forces compelled its surrender, and it was accordingly delivered, at midnight, to the officers of Nebuchadnezzar.
In the seventieth year of the captivity of the Jews, and the first of the reign of Cyrus, king of Persia, he issued his famous edict purporting that the GOD adored by the Israelites was the Eternal Being through whose bounty he enjoyed the regal dignity; and that he had found himself honorably mentioned by the prophets of ancient date, as the person who should cause Jerusalem to be rebuilt, and restore the Hebrews to their former state of grandeur and independency; he, therefore, gave orders for the release of the captives, with his permission to return to their own native country, to rebuild the city, and the house of the Lord.
The principal people of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, with the priests and Levites, immediately departed for Jerusalem and commenced the undertaking; but many of the Jews determined to remain in Babylon, rather than relinquish the possessions they had obtained in that city.
The Jews who accepted the proposals of Cyrus, for rebuilding the city and temple, applied themselves with the greatest industry to prepare the foundations thereof, but had made no considerable progress when application was made by some of the neighboring nations, requesting the princes and governors, who had direction of the work, to prevent further proceedings. The most strenuous opposers of the intended structure were the Chuthites, who resided on the other side of the river, and whom Salmanezer, king of Assyria, had led to re-people Samaria, after he had expelled the Israelites.
During the year 3484, Joshua and Zerubbabel incited by Haggai and Zechariah, continued the work by order of Darius.
In the course of the year 3489, the second temple was completed.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014