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Shibboleth: A Templar Monitor, by George Cooper Connor, [1894], at

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THE learned Sir Alfred Creigh, whose name is a household word among American Knights Templar, used the following language in a report to the Grand Commandery of Pennsylvania, September, 1867:

"The Ritual of the Red Cross was manufactured by Webb and his associates from kindred degrees not of this Order. It requires no argument to demonstrate that this degree has no connection whatever with the orders of Christian knighthood, nor never should have been incorporated into an order whose sublime teachings are of Jesus as the Redeemer of the world—in his mediatorial character, as the way, the truth and the life."

The equally scholarly and thoughtful Sir George S. Blackie made a report to the Grand Commandery of Tennessee, May 9, 1871, in which he used the following strong language:

"The inconsistency is glaring—the ceremonies are foreign to Christian knighthood. How utterly out of place does the Christian candidate appear when, as a preliminary to the glorious truths of the New Testament, he is introduced to a Jewish Sanhedrin, captured by pagan soldiers, and after having been entertained with an apocryphal legend at the banquet of a pagan monarch, he is sent out into the world without having heard of the name of Christ."

The unanimous adoption of the revised Ritual of the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross by the Grand Encampment, in Denver, on August 10, 1892, explains and settles the misconceptions of these dear Fratres forever, and yet a few words may not be out of place at this time.

The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross is not a pagan rite, nor is it a mere social observance. It is an Order founded upon Truth, recognizing the God of Truth as the only one true and living God. As such it is a proper preparation for the solemnities of the Order of the Temple.

Darius believed in the same one that Israel did when he registered a vow with that God to rebuild His Temple in the destroyed

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city of Jerusalem. No doubt he registered that vow under the promptings of his Jewish friend, Prince Zerubbabel, who was the recognized Chosen of God. Darius kept that vow, demonstrating his love of Truth and his reverence for Judah's Jehovah.

The most exalted Truth was present implicitly, in Judaism, and the Law of Judaism was the schoolmaster that brought us to Christianity. The most exalted Truth is now explicit in Christianity. In Judaism it was the seed, then the blade, and then Christianity ripened it into the ear. So is the Truth of all truths implicitly in the Order of the Red Cross, and the candidate finds that same truth, but explicitly, in the Order of the Temple.

As Judaism was a preparation for Christianity, so let, the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross be a preparation for the Christian Order of the Temple.


The Scriptures inform us that for their own sins, and those of their forefathers, the Jewish people were led into captivity by Nebuzaradan, chief Captain of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. As slaves they tilled the valleys of the Euphrates, and of the Tigris, until Cyrus destroyed the Chaldean dynasty.

During that captivity Zerubbabel, Crown Prince of the House of Judah, and Darius, son of Hystaspes, formed an alliance of friendship which was probably terminated with death only.

One of the first acts of the conqueror Cyrus was the liberation of the Jewish captives; he then permitted them to return to Judea, that they might rebuild the city of Jerusalem and its Temple, which Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed.

The foundation stone of the Second Temple was laid 535 years before Christ; Zerubbabel, the Royal Prince, Joshua, the High Priest, and Haggai, the Prophet, laying the same.

Cyrus died, and his son, Cambyses, succeeded him on the Medo-Persian throne. On complaint of the Cutheans, and other contiguous tribes, Cambyses commanded the work upon the city and Temple to cease. During the nine years that followed, scarcely anything was done on the walls of Jerusalem, or its Temple.

Cambyses died and the Magians seized the throne, from which their usurper was driven with great slaughter, in a little over a year. Then the Seven Great Families of Persia laid hold of the government, and Darius ascended the throne. He appointed Zerubbabel,

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his friend, to be the Governor of the Jews that had returned to Jerusalem under the decree of the great Cyrus, and afterwards made him stand in the royal bed-chamber, as the Guard of his body. There were three of these Guards, and they were chosen because of the monarch's implicit confidence in their loyalty.

Fifteen years after the Jews had laid the foundation of the Second Temple they were forced to call a Grand Council to consult about the state of the country. Cambyses was dead, and the Magian usurper, Smerdis, had been driven from the throne, to give place to Darius, son of Hystaspes, whose favoring of the Jews was believed to be almost as marked as was that of the great Cyrus.

Darius spread a feast at his capital, and invited thereto the Princes of Persia and the Rulers of the Medes. That feast having been thoroughly enjoyed, "they every one departed to go to bed at their own houses, and Darius, the King, went to bed."

The King slept lightly, and awakening he fell into conversation with his three Guards. He suggested, as a part of the festivities of the morrow, that they three engage in a public discussion of some interesting question, as had been the custom on similar occasions from time immemorial, and that he would reward with a princely gift the successful contestant. The King then proposed the following question:

"Whether Wine was not the strongest? Whether Kings were not such? Whether Women were not such, or whether Truth was not strongest of all?"

Esdras makes the Guards suggest both the questions and the prize, but we follow the story as related by Josephus.

Again the King slept, and the Guards prepared for the contest of the morning. When the King arose he sent for the Princes and Rulers to meet him in the Audience Chamber, and witness the contest between his Guards.

This contest began, in time, by one of the Guards declaiming in favor of the strength of Wine, followed by another in favor of the power of the King. Then the Jew, Zerubbabel, contended for the supremacy of Woman, concluding with a noble deliverance in favor of Truth.

The brilliant assembly burst forth into applause when Zerubbabel concluded, and the King awarded him the prize in these words: "Ask for somewhat over and above what I have promised, for I would give it unto you because of your wisdom."

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Then "Zerubbabel put him in mind of the vow he had made in case he should ever have the kingdom. Now this vow was to build Jerusalem, and to rebuild therein the Temple of God, as also to restore the vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had pillaged and carried to Babylon."

And behold the King was pleased to arise and to kiss his eloquent Guard, and to grant his request. Zerubbabel returned to his people in Jerusalem with great joy, and the rebuilding of the city and Temple was immediately resumed. Darius not only kept his vow, but he made large contributions to the rebuilding out of the royal treasury.

The details adapted to more beautifully round out the drama, and to more pointedly teach the lesson of the almighty force and the importance of Truth are esoteric.



Sovereign Master



Prince Chancellor



Prince Master of the Palace



Excellent High Priest



Master of Cavalry



Master of Infantry



Master of Finance



Master of Dispatches



Standard Bearer



Sword Bearer












Princes and Rulers


The Sovereign Master, Prince Chancellor and Prince Master of the Palace will wear the regulation oriental robes. The Master of Cavalry should be in Persian Uniform, and not in the Uniform of the Red Cross. The members designated as the Princes and Rulers should be in oriental dress. The Uniform of the Red Cross is as follows:

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Green Sash, Belt and Sword. A Red Cross may be on the Sash. A Cap, with the Red Cross of the Order in front.

A Companion of the Red Cross should always appear in the Audience Chamber clad in dark garments.


The "Fatigue Uniform" of a Knight Templar should not appear in the ceremonies of the Order of the Red Cross. The Templar Baldric turned inside out will serve as a Sash. If the Passion Cross on the Templar Cap is movable it can be replaced by the Red Cross of the Order, or a cover, on which is the Red Cross of the Order, may be put on the Templar Cap. The Templar Sword will be sufficient.

In the Grand Council the High Priest wears the regulation Robes of the Royal Arch Chapter, but these should not be worn by him in the Audience Chamber.

The Grand Council should be clothed in Jewish Robes and Turbans, as should also be the Companion Conductor and Warder, while in attendance upon the Grand Council. The Jewish Guards should also be in Jewish Robes and Turbans.

When a Commandery is unable to furnish these Jewish Robes, the members of the Grand Council, Companion Conductor, Guards and Warder should appear in plain civilian dress, and not in Red Cross Uniform, while in attendance upon the Grand Council.

It is of importance that full equipments should be provided for the ceremonies of the Red Cross. These equipments should be prepared with good taste, and should always be kept in good order and ready for immediate use.

The Fetters, Garb of Slavery, Robe and Coronet should be easily put on and taken off.

The "Altar of Masonry" may be small, so as to be easily moved from place to place, and may be placed in the northwest corner of the Audience Chamber, ready for use when called for.

The "Bridge" and the "Banners" in the discretion of the Commanderies.

Next: To Open a Council of the Red Cross