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Observations on the Orders of Knighthood.

As several orders of knighthood are conferred, both in Europe and America, reputedly un. der the sanction of, or in connexion with, masonic assemblies, it may be expected that some notice will be taken of them in this work.

It may be necessary to premise, that the or ders of knighthood compose no part of the system of freemasonry: they are, in comparison to it, societies of but yesterday; and all of them. fall short of the excellence, harmony, universality and utility of that noble institution.

The design of this part of the work will be to collect together such observations from scripture and history, as are deemed applicable to the seyeral orders; and as in America they are only. conferred as honorary degrees, it is possible that this may be the means of producing a uniformity in their application and use.


Of the Order of Knights of the Red Cross.

THE incidents upon which this order is founded occurred in the reign of Darius, king of Persia. It is more immediately connected with symbolic masonry than any other order of knighthood. Their meetings are called councils; their sashes are decorated with a sword and trowel, and trimmed with red and green.

The following passages of scripture are considered by knights of this order as applicable to their institution, and are occasionally rehearsed in their councils.

Ezra iii. 8, 11. "Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old aud upward, to set forward the work of the house of the Lord. Then stood Jeshua, with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God; the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites. And. when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. And

they sang together by course, in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because he is good, for his mercy endureth forever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid."

Ezra iv. Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the Lord God of Israel, then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers and said unto them, Let us build with you; for we seek your God as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him, since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. But Zerubbabel and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel as king Cyrus, the king of Persia, hath commanded us. Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in "building; and hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia. And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue; Rehum the Chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, wrote a letter

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against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort: This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king:Thy servants, the men on this side the river, and at such a time. Be it known unto the king, that the Jews, which came up from thee to us, are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bád city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations. Be it known now unto the king, that if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings. Now because we have maintenance from the s king's palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king's dishonour; therefore have we sent and certified the king: that search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know, that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time for which cause was this city destroyed. We certify the king, that if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this sidethe river. Then sent the king an answer unto :: Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and unto the rest beyond the river, Peace, and at such a time. The letter


which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me. And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old

time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein. There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute and custom was paid unto them. Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me. Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings ? Now, when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their com panions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem, unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power. Then ceased the work of the house of God, which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius, kiug of Persia.

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Darius the king having ascended the throne of Persia, the children of the captivity were inspired with new hopes of protection and sup-.. port in completing their noble and glorious undertaking, which had been so often and so long impeded by their adversaries on the other side of the river.

The ancient historians inform us, that Darius, while he was yet a private man, made a vow to God, that if ever he came to the throne he would restore all the holy vessels that were at Babylon, and send them back again to Jerusa lem. Zerubbabel, one of the most excellent-andfaithful of the rulers of the Jews, having been formerly distinguished by the favourable notice

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