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sided over the twelve tribes; also one other grand master architect. Nine ancient grand masters, eminent for their virtue, were chosen knights of the royal arch, and shortly afterwards were admitted to the sublime degree of perfection.
You have been informed in what manner the number of the grand elect was augmented to twenty-seven, which is the cube of three: they consisted of two kings, three knights of the royal arch, twelve commanders of the twelve tribes, nine elected grand masters, and one grand master architect.
This lodge is closed by the mysterious number.
Perfection, or Orand Elect, Perfect and Sublime
THE lodge of perfection, or ultimate degree of ancient masonry, should represent a subterraneous vault, painted red, and adorned with many colours, and columns of a flame colour. Behind the master must be a light to shine through a triangular sun; and before him there must be a pedestal appearing to be broken.' There ought to be several other lights, arranged numerically, according to the different stages of masonry.
The most perfect, grand elect and sublime master, in this degree, is to represent Solomon, seated in the east, dressed in royal robes, and having a
and sceptre placed on a pedestal before him. The two grand wardens are seated in the west. On the right hand of the most perfect sits the grand treasurer, having a table before him, upon which must be placed some perfumes, with a small silver hod, and a trowel of gold. On his left hand sits the grand secretary, with a table also before him, on which must be seven loaves of shew bread, with a cup of red wine for libation, and also jewels for the candidates at their reception.
The jewels appertaining to this degree are a crowned compass, extended to ninety degrees; or, a quadrant, a sun in the centre; and on the reverse, a blazing star, enclosing a triangle, hung to a broad flame coloured ribbon, of a triangular form, round the neck; and also, a gold ring with this motto, “ Virtue unites what death cannot part.”
The apron must be flamed with red, a blue ribbon round the edge, and the jewel painted on the flap. The brethren must be dressed in black, with words in their hands.
Prayer at Opening. Almighty and Sovereign Architect of Heaven and Earth, who by thy divine power dost ultimately search the most secret recesses of thought ; purify our hearts by the sacred fire of thy love ; guide us by thine unerring hand, in the path of virtue, and cast out of thy adorable sanctuary all impiety and perverseness; we beseech thee that our thoughts may be engaged in the grand work of our perfection, which, when attained, will be an ample reward for our labour; let peace and charity link us together in a pleasing union, and may this lodge exhibit a faint resemblance of that happiness which the elect will enjoy in thy king. dom. Give us a spirit of holy discrimination, by which we may be able to refuse the evil and choose the good; and also that we may not be led astray by those who unworthily assume the character of the grand elect. Finally, be pleased to grant, that all our proceedings may tend to thy glory, and our advancement in righteousness. Bless us and prosper our works, O Lord! Amen.
When a candidate is introduced, after certain solemn forms, the master of the ceremonies says, "I impress you, my brother, with an ardent zeal for the honour of the Grand Architect of the Universe; to the end that you may live always in his adorable presence with a heart disposed to every thing that is pleasing to bim."
The most perfect then presents the candidate with the bread and wine, saying, “Eat of this hread with me, and drink of the same cup, that we may learn thereby to succour each other in time of need by a mutual love, and participation of what we possess." He then presents to him a gold ring, saying, “ Receive this ring, and let it be remembered by you as a symbol of the alliance you have now contracted with virtue and the virtuous. You are never, my dear brother, to part with it whilst you live ; nor to bequeath it at your death, except to your wife, your eldest son, or your nearest friend."
When this part of the ceremony is ended, the brethren make a libation, according to ancient usage.
The most perfect then decorates the candidate according to the ornaments of the order, saying, “I now with the greatest pleasure salute you, my brother, as a grand elect, perfect and sublime mason, which title I now confer on you, and grace you with the symbols thereof. Receive this ribbon, the triangular figure of which is emblematical of thie divine triangle. The crown upon your jewel is a symbol of the royal origin of this degree. The compass, extended to ninety de
grees, denotes the extensive knowledge of the grand elect.
These jewels, suspended on your breast, should make you attentive to your duty and station."
Charge. Thus, my venerable brother, by your unblama. ble conduct, assiduity, constancy and integrity, you have at last attained the title of grand elect, perfect and sublime mason, which is the summit of ancient masonry, and upon your arrival to which, I most sincerely congratulate you
I must earnestly recommend to you the strictest eare and circumspection in all your conduct, that the sublime mysteries of this degree be not profaned or disgraced.
As to what remains of completing your knowledge in the ancient state of masonry, you will find it by attending to the following
History. When the temple of Jerusalem was finished, the masons who were employed in constructing that stately edifice, acquired immortal honour. Their order became more uniformly established and regulated than it had been before. Their delicacy in admitting new members of their order, brought it to a degree of respect.; as the merit of the candidate was the only thing they then