Shibboleth: A Templar Monitor, by George Cooper Connor, , at sacred-texts.com
On the morning succeeding the great feast at the capital of the Persian empire, Darius listened to the oratorical contests of the three Guards of the Bed-chamber, in reply to the question, "Which is the greatest, the strength of Wine, the power of the King, or the influence of Woman?"
O ye Princes and Rulers, how exceeding strong is Wine! it causeth all men to err that drink it; it maketh the mind of the King and the beggar to be all one; of the bondman and freeman, of the poor man and the rich; it turneth also every thought into jollity and mirth, so that a man remembereth neither sorrow nor debt; it changeth and elevateth the spirits, and enliveneth the heavy hearts of the miserable. It maketh a man forget his brethren and draw his sword against his best friends. O ye Princes and Rulers, is not Wine the strongest, that forceth us to do these things?
It is beyond dispute, O Princes and Rulers, that God has made man master of all things under the sun; to command them, to make use of them, and to apply them to his service as he pleases; but, whereas men have only dominion over other sublunary creatures, Kings have an authority even over men themselves, and a right of ruling them by will and pleasure.
Now, he that is master of those who are masters of all things else, hath no earthly thing above him.
O Princes and Rulers, the force of wine is not to be denied, neither is that of Kings, that unites so many men in one common bond of allegiance; but, the supereminency of Woman is yet above all this: for Kings are but the gifts of women, and they are also the mothers of those that cultivate our vineyards. Women have power to make us abandon our very country and relations, and many times to forget the best friends we have in the world, and, forsaking all . other comforts, to live and die with them.
But when all is said, neither they, nor Wine, nor Kings are comparable to the almighty force of Truth.
As for all other things, they are mortal and transient, but Truth alone is unchangeable and everlasting; the benefits we receive from it are subject to no variations or vicissitudes of time or fortune.
In her judgment is no unrighteousness, and she is the strength, wisdom, power, and majesty of all ages.
"Great is Truth, and mighty above all things."
"Blessed be the God of Truth."
O King, remember thy vow, which thou hast vowed, to build Jerusalem in the day when thou shouldst come to thy kingdom, and restore the holy vessels which were taken away out of Jerusalem. Thou hast also vowed to build up the Temple, which was burned when Judah was made desolate by the Chaldees.
And now, O King, this is that I desire of thee, that thou make good the vow, the performance whereof with thine own mouth thou hast vowed to the King of Heaven.
Moreover, I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered. And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail: that they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons. Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this. Ezra vi: 8-11
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
The Princes of Persia and Rulers of the Medes having arisen to witness the Vow, resume their seats with approbation.
To the Royal Prince it was a perpetual incentive to the performance of every duty; to a Companion of the Red Cross it is a reminder that Truth is a divine attribute, and the foundation of every virtue.
It is worthy of being worn by a Companion of the Red Cross, as well as by the Crown Prince of the House of Judah.
The Banner of the Order is of green color. In its center there is a Star of seven points, within which is a red Cross of equal arms and angles, surrounded by the Motto: "Magna est Veritas, et Prævalebit,""Great is Truth, and it will Prevail."
The Cross of the Order is of equal arms and angles, of blood-red color, with the letters D T J L on the extremities of the arms. The arms indicate Deity, Truth, Justice, Liberty.
With joy the new Companion is welcomed to a seat among his Companions.
Never was banquet spread under more joyous surroundings. It is invariably served after the Council closes, if served at all.
The same precautionary steps precede the Closing as precede the Opening of a Council of the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross.
The Sovereign Master, in his discretion, may hold Rehearsal of Duties before closing.
O LORD our God, we thank thee, we praise thee, we magnify thee for the gift of thy holy Light. Make it to shine into our hearts, and write thy Law upon our consciences.
And now as we go out into, the world again may the words of our mouths, and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer. Amen! Response, Amen!
S.M.Companions, the priceless Jewels of humanity are "the beauty of Love, the charm of Friendship, the sacredness of Sorrow, the heroism of Patience, the courage of Truth"! Go in peace, and, "May 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."