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This order appertains to the office of High Priest of a Royal Arch Chapter, and no one can be legally entitled to receive it until he has been elected to sustain that office in some regular chapter of Royal Arch Masons.

The following passages of scripture are made use of during the ceremonies appertaining to this order, viz.

Gen. xiv. 12-24. "And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, (who dwelt in Sodom) and his goods, and departed. And there came one, that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him (after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him) at the valley of She

veh, which is the king's dale. And Melch king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the Most High God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth and blessed be the Most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lifted up mine hand unto the Lord, the Most High God the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take from a thread even to a shoe-latchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shoúldest say, I have made Abram rich; Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Auer, Eshcol and Mamre; let them take their portion."

Numb. vi. 22-26. "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, 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.'

Heb. vii. 1-6. "For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, (who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abra-ham gave a teuth part of all ;) abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man

was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham."

"For he testifieth, Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec.

"And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest."

"For those priests (under the Levitical law) were made without an oath; but this with an oath, by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec."





Of the Government of Royal Arch Chapters.

The first three degrees of masonry are holden under the authority of Grand Lodges, composed of the master and wardens of all the lodges within a certain district, together with the proper grand officers; the organization of which will be noticed in another part of this work.

In like manner chapters of royal arch masons, with power to confer the preparatory degrees of mark master, past master, and most excellent master, are holden under the authority of grand chapters, composed of the three principal officers of all the royal arch chapters within a certain district, together with the proper grand officers. Until the year 1797, no grand chapter of royal arch masons was organized in America. viously to this period, a competent number of companions of that degree, possessed of sufficient abilities, under the sanction of a master's warrant, proceeded to exercise the rights and privileges of royal arch chapters, whenever they


thought it expedient and proper; although in most cases the approbation of a neighbouring chapter was deemed useful if not essential.

This unrestrained mode of proceeding was subject to many inconveniences; unsuitable char. acters might be admitted; irregularities in the mode of working introduced; the purposes of the society perverted; and thus the order degraded, by falling into the hands of those who might be regardless of the reputation of the institution. If differences should arise between two chapters, who was to decide upon them? If unworthy characters, who for want of due caution had gained admission, should attempt to open new chapters, for their own emolument, or for the purposes of conviviality or intemperance, who was to restrain them? If the estab lished regulations and ancient landmarks should be violated or broken down, where was there power sufficient to remedy the evil?

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Sensible of the existence of these and many other inconveniences, to which the order were subjected, the chapters of royal arch masons, in various parts of the United States, have, within a few years past, taken the proper and necessary measures for forming and establishing grand royal arch chapters, for their better government and regulation.

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On the 24th of October, 1797, a convention of delegates, from several chapters in the northern states, assembled at Mason's Hall, in Boston; being appointed (as expressed in their credentials) to meet with any or every chapter of royal arch masons, within the states of New

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