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most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth : and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lifted up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take from a thread even to a shoe-latchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich : Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre ; let them take their portion.”
Numb. vi. 22-26. “ And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; the Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee : the Lord lift up
his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
Hebrews vii. 1-6. « For this Melchizedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him ; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; (first being, by interpretation, King of righteousness, and after that also, King of Salem, which is, King of peace ; 'without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God ;) abideth a priest continually. Now, consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham."
“ For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedec.
« And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest.
“ For those priests (under the Levitical law) were made without an oath ; but this with an oath, by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedec.”
Of the Government of Royal Arch Chapters.
THE first three degrees of masonry are holden under the authority of Grand Lodges, composed of the master and wardens of all the lodges within a certain district, together with the proper grand officers; the organization of which, will be noticed in another part of this work.
In like manner chapters of royal arch masons, with power to confer the preparatory degrees of mark master, past master, and most excellent master, are holden under the authority of grand chapters, composed of the three principal officers of all the royal arch chapters within a certain district, together with the proper grand officers.
Until the year 1797, no grand chapter of royal arch masons was organized in America. Previously to this period, a competent number of companions of that degree, possessed of sufficient abilities, under the sanction of a master's warrant, proceeded to exercise the rights and privileges of royal arch chapters, whenever they thought it expedient and proper ; although in most cases the approbation of a neighbouring chapter was deemed useful, if not essential.
This unrestrained mode of proceeding was subject to many inconveniences ; unsuitable characters might be admitted ; irregularities in the mode of working introduced ; the purposes of the society perverted; and thus the order degraded, by falling into the hands of those who might be regardless of the reputation of the institution. If differences should arise between two chapters, who was to decide upon them? If unworthy characters, who for want of due caution had gained admission, should attempt to open new chapters, for their own emolument, or for the purposes of conviviality or intemperance, who was to restrain them? If the established regulations, and ancient landmarks, should be violated or broken down, where was there power sufficient to remedy the evil ?
Sensible of the existence of these, and many other inconvenienoes to which the order were subjected, the chapters of royal arch masons, in various parts of the United States, have, within a few years past, taken the proper and necessary measures for forming and establishing grand royal arch chapters, for their better government and regulation.
In the year 1797, a convention of representatives from the several chapters in the state of Pennsylvania, met at Philadelphia ; and, after mature deliberation, came to a resolution of forming and opening a grand royal arch chapter, which was accordingly accomplished in good harmony.
Actuated by similar motives, on the 24th of October, 1797, a convention of committees, from several chapters in the northern states, assembled at Mason's Hall, in Boston ; being appointed as expressed in their credentials) “ To meet with any, or every chapter of royal arch masons, within the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, and NewYork ; or with any committee or committees, duly appointed and authorised, by any or all of said chapters, and to deliberate upon the propriety and expediency of forming and establishing a grand ehapter of royal arch masons, for the government and regulation of the several chapters within the said states."
M. E. THOMAS SMITH WEBB was chosen Chairman.
Comp. WILLIAM WOART, Scribe.
The convention, having taken the matter into consideration, came to a determination to forward