Dissolution of the Monasteries, Civil War, Thomas Cromwell, Oliver Cromwell and the founding of freemasonry and Zionism?

A 1658 engraving which depicts Oliver Cromwell as the Lord Protector of England, surrounded by the symbols of Freemasonry, in traditional Masonic commemorative and triumphal style.

In 1746, the Abbe Larudan, a critic of Freemasonry, published his Les Franc-Macons Ecrasses, apparently the child of the author’s imagination, in which he asserted that Cromwell, in 1648, at a dinner attended by Parliamentarians, Presbyterians, and Independents, first indicated his intentions to form such a society.

The development of this scheme was related by the Abbe with particularity and in detail. Cromwell, he tells us, held his confidants in suspense for four days, after which, he consummated the enterprise in dramatic fashion. Conducting his guests into a dark room, he prepared their minds for what was to follow by a long prayer in which he pretended to be in communion with the spirits of the blessed. After this, he explained his purpose to found a society to encourage the worship of God and to restore peace. Informing the company that they must all pass through a certain ceremony, and, gaining their consent, he appointed a Master, two Wardens, a Secretary, and an Orator. The visitors were then removed to another room in which was a picture of the ruins of Solomon’s Temple. They were next blindfolded, removed to another apartment and invested with the secrets, after which, Cromwell delivered a discourse on religion and politics, so impressing the novices that all sects united with Cromwell’s army in forming a secret association to promote the principles of the love of God and liberty and equality among men, but the real objective of which was the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of the Commonwealth.

The Temple of Solomon, said the Abbe, was used as the symbol of glory or the primitive state of man, which, after some years, was destroyed by an army representing pride and ambition, the people being led away captive. Finally, the Freemasons were privileged to rebuild the Temple. The Order was divided into three degrees, the Master’s degree having a Hiramic legend differing somewhat from that later adopted. The death of Hiram represented the loss of liberty, and the confusion among the workmen represented the state of the people who were reduced to slavery by the tyrants. Cromwell is then said to have spread the Society over England, Scotland, and Ireland, the members being first called Freemasons, then Levelers, then Independents, next Fifth Monarchy Men, and, finally Freemasons.

The Abbe Larudan, like other fabricators, fell into the trap of his own ignorance. He did not know that Elias Ashmole had been made a Mason two years before Cromwell’s supposed theatrical performance, or that lodges had existed in most of the principal cities of Scotland before Cromwell was born, or that the Master’s degree was unheard of, and the Hiramic Legend, too, until sixty-five years after Cromwell’s death. The Abbe’s absurd story appears to have been composed by paraphrasing Edward Ludlow’s Memoirs in which he described Cromwell’s intrigues for the organization of a new political party, but in which nothing was said about Freemasonry.


Have you ever wondered whether the two important Cromwells in British history were related?

Henry VIII’s chief minister Thomas Cromwell who administered the takeover and sell-off, or dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s…

and Oliver Cromwell, Puritan, roundhead & general of the parliamentary army in the 1640s English Civil war…

Yes, indeed they were. Thomas’ sister Katherine was the great-great grandmother of Oliver. Oliver was the great-great grandson of Thomas’ sister,

Oliver’s great-great-grandfather, Morgan Williams, had married Thomas Cromwell’s sister Katherine in 1497. Their three sons, Richard, another Richard and Walter, began the practice of calling themselves Cromwell in place of their true surname of Williams, in honour of their famous maternal uncle.

Thomas Cromwell’s older sister Katharine and her husband Morgan Williams, a Welsh lawyer, had a son, Richard, who later served in Thomas’s household and changed his surname to Cromwell. Oliver Cromwell was Richard’s great-grandson.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/11375601/who-was-thomas- cromwell-facts-trivia-wolf-hall.html

Map of UK monasteries before the dissolution

7 thoughts on “Dissolution of the Monasteries, Civil War, Thomas Cromwell, Oliver Cromwell and the founding of freemasonry and Zionism?”

  1. On a lighter note, Star Trek uses some nice cryptic clues as to who is in charge.

    The Captain of this Star Ship enterprise is James T. Kirk.

    Middle name – Tiberius (as in Roman Emperor).

    Surname – Kirk as in Scottish Church.

  2. Scribe Nehemiah Most Excellent there is a report.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel Companion Scribe Nehemiah see who seeks admission.

    Scribe Nehemiah (Opens the door and addresses the Janitor) Whom have you there?

    Janitor. Three Master Masons from Babylon having heard that you are about to rebuild the Temple to the honour and glory of the Most High are anxious to sojourn amongst you and assist in that great and glorious undertaking.

    Scribe Nehemiah Wait, while I report to the Most Excellent (Closes the door, and returns to the point of address).

    Scribe Nehemiah. Most Excellent three Master Masons from Babylon having heard that you are about to rebuild the Temple to the honour and glory of the Most High are anxious to sojourn amongst you and assist in that great and glorious undertaking.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel Admit them.

    The Sojourners and Candidate are admitted and take up position in the West, Principal Sojourner in the centre with the Candidate at his right and 1st Assistant Sojourner on his left.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel Strangers, whence come you?

    Principal Sojourner. From Babylon Most Excellent

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel What is your request?

    Principal Sojourner Having heard that you are about to rebuild the Temple to the honour and glory of the Most High, we are anxious to sojourn amongst you and assist in that great and glorious undertaking.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel As no strangers can be permitted to assist in that holy work, we must first enquire who you are.

    Principal Sojourner. Brethren of your own tribes and families Most Excellent

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel But are you not descended from those who fled when the City and Holy Temple were sorely oppressed, or are you of those left behind by the Babylonish General for the purpose of tilling the land?

    Principal Sojourner. We would scorn to be descended from those who basely fled when the City and Holy Temple were sorely oppressed; neither are we of those left behind by the Babylonish General for the purpose of tilling the land; but we are nobly born, and like yourselves descended from a race of Patriarchs and Kings. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were our forefathers. Most Excellent we are of the royal line of David and princely tribe of Judah, who, for their sins and those of the people were led into captivity with Jehoiakin their King, by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, there to remain for seventy years as was foretold by the prophet Jeremiah. The period of our captivity expired in the first year of the reign of Cyrus, King of Persia, when it pleased the Almighty to inspire that noble prince to issue the following proclamation: “Thus saith Cyrus, King of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of Heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all His people? The Lord his God be with him and let him go up”. We eagerly availed ourselves of this opportunity of returning to our native land, and have come up accordingly to sojourn amongst you and offer our assistance in rebuilding the Temple to the honour and glory of the Most High who hath promised by the mouth of His Holy Prophet, there to establish His Name for ever and give peace to the whole earth.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel We acknowledge your noble ancestry and cheerfully admit you members of our tribes and families. It only remains to enquire on what part of the holy work you wish to be employed?

    Principal Sojourner Any position to which your Excellencies may be pleased to appoint us will be deemed an honour conferred.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel Humility and docility are sure indications of merit, but, from the lateness of your application, the principal offices are already filled. We will, however, engage you to prepare the ground for the foundation of the Second Temple on the site where the first Temple formerly stood; for which purpose you will be provided with proper working implements; but we lay this strict injunction upon you, that should you, during the progress of your labours make any discovery you deem of importance, you will communicate it to none but the Grand Sanhedrim now sitting.

    Scribe Nehemiah and Scribe Ezra hand the crowbar, pickaxe, shovel, scroll and lifelines as follows: crowbar, scroll and lifelines to the ps., pickaxe to the Candidate, shovel to 1st Assistant Sojourner Scribe Nehemiah goes to the door to be ready for them to leave.

    Principal Sojourner We humbly thank your Excellencies for the trust reposed in us and pledge ourselves to a faithful discharge of the duties thereof.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel Go – (at that point he lifts his right hand with 1st and 2nd fingers upright and together, thumb across palm to close the other two fingers, in the form of a Patriarchal blessing) – and may the God of your Fathers be with you. (Sojourners and Candidate retire). Janitor assists to fix the lifelines, then gives four knocks.

    Scribe Nehemiah Most Excellent, there is a report.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel Companion Scribe Nehemiah see who seeks admission.

    Scribe Nehemiah (To Janitor) Whom have you there?

    Janitor. The three Sojourners who were sent to prepare the ground for the foundation of the Second Temple, having made a discovery they deem of importance, are anxious to communicate the same to the Grand Sanhedrim now sitting.

    Scribe Nehemiah Wait while I report to the Most Excellent (Closes the door) Goes to the point of address. Most Excellent, the three Sojourners who were sent to prepare the ground for the foundation of the Second Temple, having made a discovery they deem of importance are anxious to communicate the same to your Excellencies.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel Admit them.

    The Sojourners and Candidate are admitted and take up positions in the West near the Kneeling Stool, Principal Sojourner in the centre carrying crowbar and Scroll, 1st Assistant Sojourner on his left carrying shovel and holding the end of one of the smaller cords, the Candidate on the right of the Principal Sojourner carrying the pickaxe and holding the end of the other small cord.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel Brethren we understand you have made a discovery you deem of importance. You will therefore communicate the discovery you have made and the circumstances which led thereto.

    Principal Sojourner Resuming our labours early this morning we discovered a pair of pillars of exquisite design and workmanship; proceeding onwards we found six other pairs of equal symmetry and beauty which, from their position, appeared to have supported the roof of a subterranean passage or gallery leading to where the Most Holy Place formerly stood. Our progress was here impeded by the fragments which had fallen during the conflagration of the former Temple. These we cleared away and arrived at what appeared to be solid rock. Accidentally striking it with my crow (strikes the floor) I remarked a hollow sound, I therefore hailed my Companions when the one with the pick loosened the ground, which the other with the shovel cleared away (both go through the motions); when that which at first appeared to be solid rock proved to be a compact piece of masonry wrought in the form of a dome. Aware of who had been the Architect of the former Temple, and that no part thereof had been constructed in vain, we determined to examine it further, for which purpose we wrenched forth two of the arch stones, when a vault of considerable magnitude appeared to view. All being anxious to descend, we cast lots. The lot Most Excellent was mine. My Companions then tied this strong cord or lifeline round my body by which to lower me into the vault, but being apprehensive of dying from damp, noxious vapours or other unforeseen causes, I took a smaller cord in each hand by which to give preconcerted signals should I require more liberty or wish to be drawn up. I was then duly lowered into the vault. On arriving at the bottom I felt something like the base or pedestal of a column, with certain characters engraven thereon, but for the want of light was unable to decipher their meaning. I signalled with my left hand for more liberty and on exploring the vault found this scroll of vellum or parchment, but from the same cause was unable to read its contents. I then signalled with my right hand and my Companions drew me up bringing the scroll with me. On arriving at the light of day we found from the first words thereon recorded that it was part of the long lost Sacred Law promulgated by Moses at the foot of Mount Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai. The possession of this precious treasure stimulated us to further exertions; we therefore enlarged the aperture by removing the keystone and I descended as before. The sun by this time had gained its greatest altitude and darted its rays with meridian splendour into the vault, enabling me clearly to distinguish those objects I had before so imperfectly discovered. In the centre of the vault stood a block of white marble wrought in the form of the Altar of Incense a double cube. On the front were engraven the initials of the three Grand Masters who presided at the building of the former Temple namely, Solomon King of Israel, Hiram King of Tyre, and Hiram Abiff with certain mystic characters, and a veil covered the top. Approaching with reverential awe I raised the veil and there beheld, on a plate of gold, that which I humbly conceived to be the Sacred and Mysterious Name of the True and Living God Most High I carefully re-veiled it with all respect and reverence, gave the agreed-on signal, and was again drawn up. With the assistance of my Companions I closed the aperture, and we have hastened hither to communicate to your Excellencies the discovery we have made and the circumstances which led thereto.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel Your narrative bears every appearance of truth, but to convince us you must state what you saw on that plate of gold.

    Principal Sojourner That Most Excellent we must humbly beg to decline; for we have heard with our ears and our fathers have declared unto us that in their day, and the old time before, it was not lawful for anyone to pronounce the Sacred and Mysterious Name of the True and Living God Most High save the High Priest, nor him but once a year when he entered the Holy of Holies and stood before the Ark of the Covenant to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel We admire your pious caution, and your conduct considerably increases our esteem. We will, however, depute two of our Companions, Ezra and Nehemiah. to accompany you to the spot and their report shall determine your reward.

    Principal Sojourner hands the Scroll and crowbar to 1st Assistant Sojourner who takes charge of the Candidate and prevents him from looking round to watch proceedings. Principal Sojourner and the two Scribes retire to the extreme West corner of the Chapter where the Principal Sojourner says in a whisper, Stand to Order thus. (All three stand with the Reverential or Hailing sign and quietly they share the Name three times, commencing with Principal Sojourner then with Nehemiah lastly with Ezra. He then returns to his position between the Candidate and Assistant Sojourner who restores the Scroll and crowbar to him. Scribes Ezra and Nehemiah go to nearest ensign, Nehemiah in the south and Ezra in the north and make their advance by three steps, commencing with the left foot, halt and bow, no sign, two more commencing with the right foot, halt and bow, two more commencing with the right foot halt and bow. The feet are brought together each time they halt. They remove the veil, verify that the Name is exhibited and then address Most Excellent Zerubbabel. (no sign)

    Scribe Ezra. Right Most Excellent in every particular.

    Scribe Nehemiah Right Most Excellent in every particular.

    They both step backwards to stand in line with the Candidate, Principal Sojourner and Asst. Sojourner: Most Excellent Zerubbabel consults the other two Principals.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel My colleagues in office concur with me in opinion that, as a reward for your zeal and fidelity in having discovered the long lost secrets of the Royal Arch you should at once be called to that exalted rank so long held by your illustrious ancestors. Companions Ezra and Nehemiah divest those worthy Masons of the implements of labour, clothe them with the robes of innocence and instruct them to advance hither that they may be further rewarded.

    The Scribes take the Working Tools and replace them on the floor of the vault in the form of a triangle apex to the east, crowbar at the base, shovel on the left and pick on the right. Lifelines on the left and Scroll on the right. The Candidate is clothed in a white surplice and Master Mason apron is removed. The Sojourners remove their Master Mason aprons, put on Royal Arch clothing white surplice, collar of office over it. The Director of Ceremonies and Assistant Director of Ceremonies should assist the Scribes in this operation.

    Scribe Ezra. You will advance by seven steps, halting and bowing at the third, fifth and seventh. Follow and copy me. (He demonstrates – no sign – then resumes his seat).

    Assistant Sojourner resumes his seat. Principal Sojourner restrains the Candidate whilst the advance is being demonstrated but on conclusion passes the Candidate in front of him to go to the starting position and prompts the Candidate regarding that progress. On arrival in the East he places the Candidate at right angles to Haggai, facing south, and stands on his right. Most Excellent Zerubbabel passes his Sceptre to Joshua and steps down to face the Candidate

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel The robes with which you have been invested are emblems of that purity of heart and rectitude of conduct which should at all times actuate those exalted into this Supreme Degree. We reward you with this Jewel (pins it on the surplice) as a mark of our entire approbation, and admit you Companions amongst us; we decorate you with this ribbon – (sash is put on) – and Badge – (Apron is put on, underneath the sash) – the insignia of our Order; and entrust you with this Staff of Office (the ensign of Judah is given into the right hand of the Candidate) which you will ever have a right to bear unless 72 of the Elders are present; and hereby constitute you Princes and Rulers in the Order, and should you continue to act in the faithful discharge of your duties, you will by a regular gradation be entitled to a full participation of our secrets. It is in this part of the ceremony that the manner of sharing the Sacred Name is communicated. The Sojourners found this Name inscribed on a plate of gold in the vault, and rightly conceived it to be the Sacred and Mysterious Name of the True and Living God Most High because in olden times it was not lawful for anyone save the High Priest to pronounce the Name, it is our custom to divide it into three syllables, each syllable to be spoken by a different Companion, thus forming a token of recognition. Excellent Companion Haggai will you assist?

    Haggai Rises places Sceptre on his seat, turns to face West and is then already in position.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel Stand to order thus. (The two Principals and Candidate show the Reverential or Hailing sign, the Candidate receiving whispered instructions)

    It is given in a series of triangles, first with the right foot, second with the right knee, third right hand on right elbow, and fourth left hand grasping left wrist. The Name. . . . JAHBULON is given in a series of syllables. I will commence and you will follow (Principal Sojourner should prompt as necessary).

    On completion Most Excellent Zerubbabel and Haggai resume their seats, Most Excellent Zerubbabel receives his Sceptre from Joshua, Principal Sojourner conducts the Candidate to the west, Assistant Sojourner rises and they stand in line Principal Sojourner taking centre position with Candidate on his right and Assistant Sojourner on his left. Principal Sojourner gives Reverential or Hailing sign to the Name, but drops it before speaking to Most Excellent Zerubbabel..

    Principal Sojourner Thus invested, rewarded, decorated and entrusted by your Excellencies, it shall ever be our study to merit a continuance of your approbation by faithfully and assiduously discharging the duties of the high vocation to which you have this day been pleased to call us.

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel We congratulate you on being exalted into Royal Arch Masonry, at once the foundation and keystone of the whole Masonic structure. You may perhaps imagine that you have this day taken a fourth Degree in Freemasonry, such, however, is not the case. It is the Master Mason’s completed, for when you were raised to the Third Degree you were informed that by the untimely death of our Master Hiram Abiff the secrets of a Master Mason were lost, and that certain substituted secrets were adopted to distinguish all Master Masons until time or circumstances should restore the genuine.

    These secrets were lost for a period of nearly 500 years, and were regained in the manner which has just been described to you, somewhat in a dramatic form the more forcibly to impress on your minds the Providential means by which those ancient secrets were regained.

    We have now arrived at that part of the ceremony when Excellent Companion Joshua will give the Historical Lecture, Excellent Companion Haggai in the Symbolical, after which I will explain the Mystical portion of this Supreme Degree. Companions be seated.

    (The Sojurners and Candidate resume their seats, Candidate in the centre.)

    Most Excellent Zerubbabel (Knocks). Companions, I claim your attention to Excellent Companion Joshua for the Historical Lecture (Knocks).

    Joshua rises, steps down to floor court bow to Most Excellent Zerubbabel then addresses Candidate.

    Companions, there are three epochs in the history of Freemasonry which particularly merit your attention, namely, the openings of the First or Holy Lodge, the Second or Sacred Lodge and the Third or Grand and Royal Lodge.

    The First or Holy Lodge was opened Anno Lucis 2515, two years after the Exodus of the Children of Israel from their Egyptian bondage, by Moses, Aholiab and Bezaleel, on consecrated ground at the foot of Mount Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai, where the Children of Israel pitched their tents, and gathered themselves together to offer up praises and thanksgivings to the Most High for their signal deliverance from the hands of the Egyptians. There, but before that time, the Almighty was pleased to reveal himself to His faithful servant Moses, and commissioned him His High Ambassador, of wrath to Pharaoh and his people, but of freedom and salvation to the House of Jacob. There were delivered those mysterious forms and prototypes, the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Tables of the Sacred Law engraven by the finger of the Most High with sublime and comprehensive precepts of moral and religious duty. There also were dictated by His unerring wisdom; those peculiar forms of civil and religious polity, which, by separating His once favoured people from all other nations, consecrated Israel a chosen vessel to His service. For these reasons this was designated the First or Holy Lodge.

    Solomon King of Israel, Hiram King of Tyre and Hiram Abiff presided over the Second or Sacred Lodge, which was opened Anno Lucis 2992, in the bosom of the Holy Mount Moriah, on the very centre of the ground where the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Sanhedrim was afterwards erected. On that consecrated spot Abraham proved his intuitive faith by not refusing to offer up his beloved son Isaac, a destined victim on the Altar of his God, when it pleased the Almighty to substitute a more agreeable sacrifice. There on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, David offered up the mediatorial sacrifice by which the plague was stayed; and there, in a vision, were revealed to him the plans of that magnificent Temple after wards erected by his illustrious son, of whom God said, “He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” For these reasons this was denominated the Second or Sacred Lodge.

    The Third or Grand and Royal Lodge was holden at Jerusalem, and opened Anno Lucis 3469, shortly after the return of the Children of Israel from their Babylonish captivity, by Zerubbabel, Prince of the people; Haggai the prophet; and Joshua, the son of Josedech the High Priest. Then it was that the kingly power was restored, in the person of Zerubbabel, to the royal line of David and princely tribe of Judah. Nor was all vestige thereof effaced until after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans under Titus in the 70th year of the present era. Therefore to commemorate the restoration, this was called the. Third or Grand and Royal Lodge; and we have in the present Chapter a resemblance of those Grand Originals. In every regular well-formed and properly constituted Royal Arch Chapter, we acknowledge the representation of the Grand and Holy Royal Arch Chapter of Jerusalem. The three Principals represent (Points to each in turn with his Sceptre) Zerubbabel, Haggai, and Joshua, whose names they bear. The two Scribes (Points to each) represent Ezra and Nehemiah, lectors and expounders of the Sacred Law and attendants on the Grand Sanhedrim.

    Yourselves (Points) represent the Sojourners, who, for their zeal and fidelity in having discovered the long-lost secrets of the Royal Arch, were rewarded with seats among the princes “and rulers of the people, represented (points) by the rest of the companions.

    Gives a court bow to Most Excellent Zerubbabel and resumes his seat.


    Before Most Excellent Zerrubbabel calls upon Excellent Companion Haggai (or Past 2nd Principal or P.z.) to give the Symbolical Lecture the Director of Ceremonies should remove the kneeling stool in the west in order that Candidate may have a better view.

    Most Excellent Zerrubbabel (Knocks) Companions. I claim your attention to Excellent Companion Haggai for the Symbolical Lecture (Knocks).

    Haggai Rises, steps down to the floor and gives a court bow to Most Excellent Zerrubbabel

    Companions, the forms, symbols and ornaments of Royal Arch Masonry, together with the rites and ceremonies at present in practice amongst us, were adopted by our predecessors at the building of the Second Temple, as well to preserve in our minds the Providential means by which those ancient secrets were regained as to impress on our hearts those exalted lessons of morality which we as members of this Supreme Degree are bound to practice.

    The form of a Royal Arch Chapter, when properly arranged, approaches as nearly as circumstances will permit that of a Catenarian Arch. Thus we preserve a memorial of the vaulted Shrine in which the Sacred Name was deposited; whilst from the impenetrable nature of this, the strongest of all architectural forms, we learn the necessity of guarding our mysteries from profanation by the most inviolable secrecy. It also strongly typifies that invariable adherence to social order and spirit of fraternal union which has given energy and permanency to the whole constitution of Freemasonry, thereby enabling it to survive the wreck of mighty empires, and resist the destroying hand of time; and as the subordinate members of the Catenarian Arch naturally gravitate towards the centre or keystone, which compresses and binds the whole structure together, so are we taught to look up with reverence and submit with cheerfulness to every lawfully constituted authority, whether it be of Civil or Masonic regulation.

    The Keystone of the Arch is represented by the Three Principals of the Chapter. For as the secrets of the Royal Arch were regained by wrenching forth the keystone thereof, so a perfect knowledge of this Supreme Degree can no otherwise be obtained than by passing those several Chairs.

    (Points. Steps forward to North side of the Pedestal).

    In Royal Arch Masonry we acknowledge six lights, three lesser (points to them with Sceptre) and three greater (points). The three lesser represent the light of the Law and the Prophets, and by their number allude to the Patriarchal, Mosaical, and Prophetical dispensations. The three greater represent the Sacred Name itself, and are emblematical of the creative, preservative and annihilative powers of the Deity.

    These lights are arranged in the form of an equilateral triangle, each of the lesser bisecting a line formed by two of the greater, thus geometrically dividing the greater triangle into three lesser triangles at its extremities, and forming a fourth in the centre, all equal and equilateral.

    (Walks to the East and points to this device on the central banner)

    This symbolical arrangement corresponds with the mysterious triple tau, which has two right angles at each of its exterior lines, and two in the centre; in all, eight right angles, corresponding in number with those contained in the four triangles; for the three angles of every triangle are together equal to two right angles. (walks to the West). It also serves to illustrate the jewel worn by the Companions (Draws attention to the Jewel) which forms by its intersections a given number of angles: these may be taken in five several combinations, and when reduced to their amount in right angles, will be found equal to the five regular Platonic bodies (points) representing the four elements and the sphere of the universe.

    The ribbon worn by the Companions. (Draws attention to it) is a sacred emblem denoting light, being composed of two of the principal colours with which the veils of the Temple and Tabernacle were interwoven. The sacredness of the emblem is further signified by its irradiated form, which has ever been considered an emblem of regal dignity and power.

    The Ensigns on the staves borne by the Companions are the distinctive bearings of the twelve tribes of Israel, and are figurative of a peculiar blessing bequeathed to each by the Patriarch Jacob, who, shortly before his death, assembled them together for that purpose, as we find recorded in the 49th Chapter of the Book of Genesis; the tribes are further pointed out in the 2nd Chapter of the Book of Numbers. (Walks to the East).

    The four principal banners represent the leading standards of the four divisions of the army of Israel, which bore devices of (points) a Man, a Lion, an Ox and an Eagle. A Man to personify intelligence and understanding; a Lion to represent strength and power; an Ox to denote the ministration of patience and assiduity; and an Eagle to indicate the promptness and celerity with which the will and pleasure of the Great I AM are ever executed.

    The bearings on the Sceptres (The Principals hold them up to view) denote (points to each in turn) the regal, prophetical, and sacerdotal offices, all of which ever were and still ought to be conferred in a peculiar manner accompanied by the communication of particular secrets. The Bible Square and Compasses (points to them) are the appropriate emblems of the three Grand Masters who presided at the building of the former Temple. The Bible. denotes the wisdom of King Solomon the Square the strength of King Hiram and the Compasses the exquisite skill of Hiram Abiff but the truly speculative Mason ever regards them as the unerring standards of the Wisdom, Truth and Justice of the M.H. His Wisdom is amply exemplified in the Volume of the Sacred Law which contains the record of His mighty acts and is the register of His revealed will. His Truth is justly “presented by the Square, that being the acknowledged symbol of strength and criterion of perfection, whilst His unerring and impartial Justice, in having defined for our instruction the limits of good and evil, assigning to each his due proportion of pleasure and pain, is elucidated by the Compasses by which instrument we are enabled to measure and ascertain the limits of all geometrical figures and deduce our ideas of their proportion, and equality to a given standard.

    The Sword and Trowel (points to them) were adopted by Royal Arch Masons to commemorate the valour of those worthy men who assisted at the building of the Second Temple, who, with Trowel in hand and Sword by their side were ever ready to defend the City and Holy Sanctuary against the unprovoked attacks of their enemies, thereby leaving an impressive lesson to future ages; that, next to implicit obedience to all lawfully constituted authority, a manly and determined resistance to lawless violence is the first of social duties.

    The Pick, Crowbar and Shovel. (Points to them) were the implements made use of by the Sojourners who were sent to prepare the ground for the foundation of the Second Temple, the Pick to loosen the ground, the Crowbar to take purchases and the Shovel to clear away the rubbish and loose earth. These we symbolise.

    The stroke of the Pick reminds us of the sound of the last trumpet, when the ground shall be shaken, loosened, and the graves deliver and give up their dead; the Crowbar being an emblem of uprightness, points to the erect manner in which the body shall arise on that awful day to meet its tremendous though merciful Judge; while the manner in which the body is laid in the grave is fully depicted by the work of the Shovel and we, with humble but holy confidence, hope that when these earthly remains have been properly disposed of, the spirit will arise to immortal life and everlasting bliss.


    The Mystical Lecture is in two Parts, each Part is to be given by Most Excellent Zerrubbabel or by a Past First Principal on his behalf: It is an essential part of Exaltation.

    PART 1

    Most Excellent Zerrubbabel (Knocks, remains seated)

    Companions, the mystical knowledge of this Supreme Degree comprehends the forms and explanation of the signs, the nature and import of the Sacred Name, and the traditional ceremony to be observed in sharing it.

    In Royal Arch Masonry we acknowledge five signs, corresponding in number with the five points of fellowship in which the Master Mason has already been instructed; and as these point out the relative duties we owe to each other, so do the former mark in a peculiar manner the relation we bear to the Most High, as creatures offending against His mighty will and power, yet still the adopted children of His mercy. I will now go through the signs, and you, my newly-exalted Companion, will rise and copy me. (Passes Sceptre to J. Steps down to floor and addresses the Candidate who, with the Sojourners, stands up). This is the Penal Sign – (shows the sign and Candidate copies, Principal Sojourner should prompt for correct hand to be used) – the only perfect sign in Freemasonry given with the left hand. This is the Reverential or Hailing Sign. (shows the sign in two parts, left hand first and then the right, discharging both together) and is to be used when entering or retiring from the Chapter, always to the Name, then discharged, and before addressing the Principals. This is the

    Penitential or Supplicatory Sign, (Most Excellent Zerrabbubel goes to the kneeling stool, Candidate is taken to the one in the west for this sign) on bended knees and with uplifted hands; this the Monitorial sign, hands girding the loins, thumbs to the front; and this the Fiducial. You will now resume your seats, and I will explain them at length. (Candidate and Sojourners resume seats, Candidate in centre).

    The Penal Sign (Shows sign) alludes to the fall of Adam, and the dreadful penalty entailed thereby on his sinful posterity, no less than death. It intimates by the very act that the stiff-necked and disobedient shall be cut off from the land of the living by the judgement of God, even as, in ancient times, the head was severed from the body by the sword of human justice. We are taught by the Reverential or Hailing Sign to bend (shows first part) with humility and resignation beneath the chastening hand of the Almighty, at the same time to engraft His laws on our hearts. (Completes sign).

    In this expressive form did the father of the human race present himself before the Most High to receive the enunciation of his just, though terrible doom; (discards sign) and this sign was afterwards adopted by Moses who, when the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush at the foot of Mount Horeb in the Wilderness of Sinai, thus shaded his eyes from the brightness of the Divine Presence, (does it) and placed his hand on his heart in token of obedience; (does it) and this sign was afterwards accounted unto him for righteousness. (discards sign).

    The Reverential or Hailing sign may justly be deemed the parent of the Penitential or Supplicatory sign since it so truly denotes that frame of heart and mind with out which our prayers, and oblations of praise, cannot find acceptance at the Throne of Grace; before which, how should a frail and erring creature of the dust present himself but on bended knees (kneels on stool)

    and with uplifted hands (places hands together in attitude of prayer) at once betokening his humility and contrition. Thus did Adam kneel to God and bless the Author of his being; thus too did he bend with contrite awe before the face of his offended Judge, to avert His wrath and conciliate His mercy, and has transmitted this outward form of humility and contrition to his sinful posterity for ever.

    The Monitorial sign reminds us of the weakness of human nature, unable to resist the powers of darkness unless assisted by that light (here points to Volume of the Sacred Law) which is from above. By this defenceless posture (shows sign) we acknowledge our whole frailty, and confess that we can do no manner of good or acceptable service but through Him, from whom all good counsels and just works do proceed, and without whose Divine and special favour we must ever have remained unprofitable servants in His sight. Therefore, after the manner of our holy ancestors, the atoning priests, by this outward form of faith and dependence, the Fiducial sign (shows sign) we show that we would prostrate ourselves with our faces to the dust. Thus must we throw ourselves on the mercy of our Divine Creator and Judge, looking forward with humble but holy confidence to His blessed promises, by which means alone we hope to pass through the ark of our redemption into the mansions of eternal bliss and glory, into the presence of HIM, who is the Great I AM, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

    If Most Excellent Zerrubbabel is to give Part 2 he will recover his Sceptre from J. and continue. If not he will take his Sceptre, resume his seat and then say:

    I now call upon Excellent Companion ___________ who will give Part 2 of the Mystical Lecture.

    (That Companion will come to Most Excellent Zerrubbabel to receive the Sceptre, give a court bow in return and then proceed as follows:)

    PART 2

    At the building of King Solomon’s Temple a vast number of masons were employed, and their names or marks were found engraven on some part or other of the building, but the names of the three Grand Masters who presided, were nowhere found until they were discovered in the Royal Arch by the Sojourners who were sent to prepare the ground for the foundation of the Second Temple. In the centre of the vault stood a block of white marble, wrought in the form of the Altar of Incense, a double cube; on the top of which was a plate of gold; white being an emblem of innocence and gold of purity. (Moves to North side of the Pedestal slightly in front and points with Sceptre in left hand)

    On the front were engraven the initials of the three Grand Masters who presided at the building of the former Temple, namely Solomon King of Israel, Hiram King of Tyre and Hiram Abiff and were meant to perpetuate their names as well as to commemorate the circumstances and proceedings attending the erection of that structure. There was likewise the triple tau, a mark or character affixed to the summonses of Royal Arch Masons. The tau is that mark or sign spoken of by the Angel whom Ezekiel saw in the spirit, when it was said to the man with the writer’s inkhorn, “Go through the midst of the City, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark on the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof,” by which mark they were saved from amongst those who were slain for their idolatry by the wrathful displeasure of the Most High. In ancient times this mark was placed on those who were acquitted by their Judges in proof of their innocence; and military commanders caused it to be placed on the foreheads of those who returned unhurt from the field of battle denoting that they were in perfect life. For these reasons it has ever been considered a mark or sign of life.

  3. From John Courtneidge courtj@myphone.coop

    In Brief

    I use the acronym TRIP-Up as an aide memoire for the five mechanisms that capitalism uses to kill us:

    T = Theft

    R = Rent

    I = Interest

    P = Profit

    Up = Unequal-pay for paid work

    Using the 2:10:88 alternative to the Occupy imposition/assertion, ‘We are the 99%!’:

    The 2% (The Theives that have stolen the world’s (God-given) economic resources) demand Rent, Interest and Profits from ‘us’, the 88%.

    Hence the slogans: ‘Capitalism js a RIP-off’, ‘Capitalism RIP’ and ‘Let’s get RID of Capitalism’ (where the D in RID stands for Dividends: Profits ‘paid’ to Shareholders).

    Finally, the 2% allow their Praetorian Guard to Tax (another entry discussion point into the letter T) ‘us’, the 88%, so that they (the 10%, and their families) are ‘paid’/take higher Unequal-pay, Perks (Perquisities: non-money extras: like Company Cars, free health care, etc) and Pensions.

    Two ps’s, perhaps:

    1) ‘We’, the 88%, are forced to do the D-jobs:

    = Dirty, Dangerous, Degrading, Dispiriting, Drudgery, etc.

    While the 10%, (The 2%’s Praetorian Guard = their ‘Protectors’), do the P-jobs:

    = Propagandists, Popes, Prelates, Publishers, Pimps, Professors, Policemen, Prison Guards, etc:

    All of whom wield John Kenneth Galbraith’s three Power Mechanisms*:

    Condign Power, Compensatory Power, Conditioned Power.

    Ie, the Stick, the Carrot and ‘Your’ telly. Or, Bullying, Bribery and Brainwashing.

    * from his book ‘The Anatomy of Power’.

    2) The ‘God-given Economic Resources’ that, when stolen, provide the four RIPUp incomes are:

    Rent: The Theft of Land provides Rent

    (eg the Theft of England in 1066 of of north America in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries)

    Interest: The Theft of The Law provides Interest

    (eg Henry VIII’s ‘legalisation’, for the first time in England, of usury in 1545)

    Profit: The Theft of Knowledge provides Profit

    ( Ie the history of for-profit trade, commerce and industry)

    Unequal-pay for work: The Theft of Position provides Unequal-pay for work

    (ie the bosses(the 10%) ‘deserve’ more than the oiks (‘us’, the 88%)).

    Hope this helps!

    And thanks, Gianne, for prompting this reprise!



  4. I can’t see where exactly the Holy Roman empire would have intervened. Freemasonry was always hooked up with the Prods long before Cromwell came on the scene. . Around 1600 the Roscrcian Manifesto was published in Oppenhiem, which is near Heidelberg. Fredrick of Palatine, (Castle with Magic gardens at Heidelberg) who married James 1st’s daughter Elizabeth took over Bohemia. Winter King .. The Emporer Ferdinand II was not amused. Battle of the White Mountain, 1618 Bohemian tragedy. Kick off time for 30 years war. Which was won by Gustavus Adolphus the Swedish King. James I kept out of it.
    Ferdinand’s aim, as a zealous Catholic, was to restore Catholicism as the only religion in the Empire and to suppress Protestantism. But he ended up getting his arse kicked. The catholics had to sign the multi faceted The Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Which was three giant steps for Protestants. Cromwell was born in 1599 so he was 19 when the 30 years war started and he only out lasted it by 5 years. So I doubt that the Emporer had time to meddle with English affairs during Cromwells lifetime.

  5. Would it be more likely that Freemasonic secret societies were created by the Holy Roman Empire to infiltrate the Protestant movement and take over from within? As it is pointed out in the article – Elias Ashmole was already a practising Freemason – ref diary entry 16 Oct 1646.

    See pubastrology.com for further evidence.

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