Shibboleth: A Templar Monitor, by George Cooper Connor, , at sacred-texts.com
There is a legend told beyond seas to this effect: When the Papacy decided to suppress the Templars it sent out spies to apply to the Order as neophytes, and if admitted, to betray the secrets to the Church. Absolution from vows so taken was promised.
The Templars sought to protect themselves from treason of every kind, and it is said that when a neophyte was not absolutely above suspicion the Commander directed that he be tested by a solemn imprecation, accompanied by a draft from a cup containing blood taken from his veins at that moment, and mingled with wine. This in imitation of the blood and water that flowed from the Saviour's side. That ceremony was truly appalling in those days of superstition; it would have small influence were it practiced in this age of intelligence.
1. Fear God and keep his commandments.
2. Embalm in acts of charity, and deeds of pure beneficence.
3. Yield up life rather than forfeit integrity.
First Lesson.Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
Now, the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?
And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.
And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.
Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.
And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said. Matt. xxvi: 14-25.
The extinguishment of light was the ancient symbol of the direst punishment for crime. Ezekiel xxxii: 7, says: "And when I shall put thee out (extinguish), I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark." How forcibly is this thought brought to the mind of the neophyte in this ceremonial.
Second Lesson.Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.
And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
The lowering of the ls alludes to the allegory related by Ezekiel, in regard to covering the heavens, and making the stars thereof dark.
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that Both betray me.
And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, Master; and kissed him. Matt. xxvi: 41-49.
Uncovering with great solemnity, and with soft music, desirable.
It is the creed of the Templar that all the hopes of his poor perishing body rest upon the truths revealed in the Word of God; and that amid all the vicissitudes of life an unswerving faith in those truths can alone afford him that strong consolation which the world can neither give nor take away.
Third Lesson. * * *
When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.
And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
They gave him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
And sitting down, they watched him there;
And set up over his head his accusation written, This is Jesus, the King of the Jews. Matt. xxvii: 24-37.
Let each so wear the cross as to be deemed worthy to wear the crown.
The ecclesiastical legend that Simon of Cyrene was the "early friend and companion of our Saviour," and that "he fell a martyr to his faith," is not accepted by the Order of the Temple. It is probable that Simon was a chance spectator of the procession to Calvary, and that the Romans, scorning to burden themselves with the cross of execution, impressed this foreigner, and forced him to bear the fatal tree after Jesus had fallen under its weight. There appears to be some proof that Simon afterwards became a member of the Christian community.
Well might the suppliant, now more haughty than humble, be required to meditate upon the uncertainty of all things earthly. O death! who shall resist thy imperious mandate; who shall bid thee defiance!
The petitioning Knight was now required to devote the remaining year of Preparation to penitence and self-abnegation. Clothed in an emblem of innocence, and bearing symbols of Faith and Humility, he was enjoined to so let his light shine before men that they might glorify his Father which is in heaven.
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other
[paragraph continues] Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matt. xxviii: i-6.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the, sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Heb. ix: 27, 28.
And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. Matt. xxviii: 7-10.
I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever
liveth and believeth in me shall never die. John xi: 25, 26.
And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. Luke xxiv: 50, 51.
AIR, Old Hundred. L. M.
Break off your tears, ye saints, and tell
How high our great delivrer reigns,
Sing how he spoild the hosts of hell,
And led the tyrant, death, in chains.
AIR, Hendon. 7s.