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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.
This degree 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 following passage of scripture is read at opening :
2 THESSALONIANS iii. 6-17.
“ Now we command you, brethren, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us, for we behaved ourselves not disorderly among you.
Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought, but wrought with labour and travel day and night, that we might not be chargeable to any of you. Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an example unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any'would not work, neither should he eat : For we hear there are some who walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busy-bodies. Now them that are such, we command and exhort, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be ye not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always. The salutation of Paul, with mine own hand, which is the token : so I write."
Observations on the Seventh Lecture. 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.
The First Section.
The first section opens to our view a large field for contemplation and study. It 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.
This section explains the mode of government in this class of masons ; it designates the appellation, number, and situation, of the several officers; and points out the purposes and duties of their respective stations.
The Second Section.
This section contains much valuable historical information, and proves, beyond the power of contradiction, and in the most striking colours, that prosperity and happiness are ever the ultimate consequences of virtue and justice, while disgrace and ruin invariably follow the practices of vice and immorality
A proper arrangement of the following charges, &c. is essentially necessary to be observed in every chapter; and their application should be familiar to every royal arch mason.
Isaiah xlii. 16. “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 the darkness light before them, and crooked things straight: These things will I do unto them, and will not forsake them.”
Prayer rehearsed during the Ceremony of Exal
tation to the Degree of Royal Arch Mason.
“ Supreme Architect of Universal Nature, who, by thine almighty word, didst speak into being the stupendous Arch of Heaven, and, for the instruction and pleasure of thy rational creatures, didst adorn us with greater and lesser lights ; thereby magnifying thy power, and endearing thy goodness unto the sons of men: we humbly adore and worship thine unspeakable perfection. We bless thee that when man had fallen from his innocence and his happiness, thou didst still leave unto him the powers of reasoning, and capacity of improvement and of pleasure. We thank thee that amidst the pains and calamities of our present state, so many means of refreshment and satisfaction are reserved unto us, while travelling the rugged path of life. Especially would we at this time render thee our thanksgiving and praise for the institution, as members of which we are at this time assembled, and for all the pleasures we have derived from it. We thank thee that the few here assembled before thee, have been favoured with new inducements, and laid under new and stronger obligations, to virtue and holiness. May these obligations, Oh blessed Father, have their full effect upon us. Teach us, we pray thee, the true reverence of thy great, mighty and terrible name. Inspire us with a firm and unshaken resolution in our virtuous pursuits. Give us grace diligently to search thy word in the Book of Nature, wherein the duties of our high vocation are inculcated with divine authority. May the solemnity of the cesemonies of our institution be duly impressed on our minds, and have a lasting and happy effect upon our lives. Oh thou who didst aforetime appear unto thy servant Moses in a flame 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 charity to all mankind. May all thy miracles and mighty works fill us with the dread, and thy goodness impress us with the love, of thy holy name. May holiness to the Lord be engraven on all our thoughts, words and actions. May the incense of piety ascend continually unto thee from the altar of our hearts, and burn, day and night, as a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savour, well pleasing unto thee. And since sin has destroyed within us the first temple of purity and innocence, may thy heavenly grace guide and assist us in rebuilding a second temple of reformation, and may the glory of this latter house be greater than the glory of the former. Amen."