Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
4. Secret Master
5. Perfect Master
6. Intimate Secretary
7. Provost and Judge
8. Intendant of Buildings
9. Master Elect of Nine
10. Master Elect of Fifteen
11. Sublime Master Elected
12. Grand Master Architect
13. Royal Arch of Enoch
14. Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Master Mason
15. Knight of the East or Sword
16. Prince of Jerusalem
17. Knights of the East and West
18. Knight of the Rose-Croix de Heredom
19. Grand Pontiff
20. Grand Master of all Symbolic Lodges
21. Noachite or Prussian Knight
22. Knight of the Royal Axe
23. Chief of the Tabernacle
24. Prince of the Tabernacle
25. Knight of the Brazen Serpent
26. Prince of Mercy
27 Commander of the Temple
28. Knight of the Sun
29. Knight of St Andrew, or Patriarch of the Crusades
30. Knight Kadosh
31. Grand Inspector Commander
32. Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.
KNIGHT OF THE ROYAL AXE
PRINCE OF LIBANUS
THE TWENTY-SECOND GRADE OF THE ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE, AND THE
FOURTH DEGREE OF THE HISTORICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL SERIES.
The object held in view in the degree of Knight of the Royal Axe, is to teach
all men that labour is honourable, and that we should strive to improve the
condition of the tolling millions. We are all workmen in our several vocations,
whether in actual labour, preparing plans for the labourers, or studying
the calculations of Philosophy, the advancement of civilisation and knowledge,
or the destruction of ignorance and barbarism.
LODGES, OFFICERS, DECORATIONS, ETC
Bodies of this degree are styled Colleges. There are two apartments. The
first is a plain room, of moderate dimensions, without any fixed number of
lights, and prepared to represent a workshop on Mount Lebanon. The second
is hung with red, and lighted by 36 lights, arranged by sixes, and each six
by twos. It represents the Council-room of the Round Table. In the centre
of the room is such a table, around which the brethren sit. The altar. is
in the East, and upon it are an open Bible, the square and Compasses, and
The officers are a Chief Prince, who is styled" Thrice Puissant," a Senior
and a Junior Grand Warden, a Master of Ceremonies, and Captain of the Guard.
The order is a broad, rainbow-coloured ribbon, worn as a collar. It may be
worn as a sash, from right to left, and is lined with purple. The jewel,
suspended to the collar, is an axe and handle of gold. On the top or end
of the handle are letters
The letters on the top are the initials of the names of Noah and Solomon;
those on the handle, of Libanus and Tsidun; those on one side of the blade,
of Adoniram, Cyrus, Darius, Zerubbabel, Nehemiah, and Ezra; and those on
the other side, of Shem, Kham, Yapheth, Moses, Ahaliab, and Betselal.
The apron is white, lined and bordered with purple. On the middle a round
table is embroidered, on which are mathematical instruments, and plans unrolled.
On the flap is a serpent with three heads.
The tracing-board is a view of the mountains and forests of Lebanon, the
summit of the mountain -covered with snow; and of the Temple erected of its
cedars and pines. It is in the form of an axe.
In the workshop the Senior Warden presides, and is styled ' Master Carpenter."
He and all the brethren wear frocks or blouses and aprons.
There is no particular alarm or battery in the workshop.
Thou who dids't create the universe, and hast builded it in infinite
magnificence, as thou art infinite in skill and wisdom, bless us in our daily
labours, and prosper the work of our hands! Teach us and all men that labour
is honourable! Improve the condition of the toiling millions! Teach the rich
and the haughty compassion for those over whom they have control; and hasten
the coming of the day when all men shall acknowledge the great truth, that
to work well in our appointed sphere is the most acceptable prayer that man
can offer up to thee. Amen !
The Tsidunians or Phoenicians were ever ready to aid the Israelites in their
holy enterprises. The tie between them was the mysteries, into which the
principal persons of both nations were initiated; Moses having necessarily
received them in Egypt, before he could marry the daughter of a priest of
On. These mysteries, modified by Solomon, or perhaps at an earlier day by
Joshua, or even Moses, to suit the genius and manners of the Jewish people,
became Masonry, such as it was practised at the building of the Temple, and
such as it has in part come down to us. Khurum, King of Tsur, in Phoenicia,
and Khurum Abai, also a Phoenician and not a Jew, were likewise initiates;
and hence the intimate connection between them and Solomon, as Masons. The
people of Tsidun, a city of Phoenicia, were employed by Noah to cut cedars
on Mount Libanus, of which to build the ark, under the superintendence of
Japhet. His descendants repeopled Tsidun and Phoenicia, and procured and
furnished the cedar from Lebanon to build the Ark of the Covenant; and at
a later day his posterity, under Adon Khurum, cut in the same forests cedars
for King Solomon; and at a time, still later, they felled timber on the same
mountains to construct the second temple.
Upon the same mountain they established Colleges of Artificers, like those
in Etruria, and afterward at Rome; from which latter many deduce Masonry.
But the Etrurians, who emigrated from Assyria to Egypt and afterward to Etruria
-better known as the Hyksos, from Rosen on the Tigris, or as the Shepherd
Kings-carried with them the same mysteries, which went also with them into
Phoenicia; and the Etrurian and Roman Colleges were in all respects like
those of Mount Libanus. These artificers everywhere adored the Grand Architect
of the Universe, and had their signs and words by which to recognise each
other. Solomon himself, whose wisdom necessarily gave him a true idea of
the dignity of labour, built a palace on the mountain, to which he often
repaired to inspect the progress of the work. The names of the Patriarchs
who were the inspectors and conductors of the workmen on the mountain at
different periods, are preserved in our passwords. The institution of Colleges
upon Mount Libanus was perpetuated by the Druses, from whom the Crusaders
obtained a knowledge of this degree.
When God in His eternal council conceived the thought of Man's creation,
He called to Him the three ministers that continually waited upon the throne
- Justice, Truth, and Mercy - and thus addressed them: 'Shall we make Man?'
Justice answered: 'O God, make him not, he will trample on Thy laws;' and
Truth also answered: 'O God, make him not, for he will pollute Thy sanctuaries.'
But Mercy, dropping on her knees and looking up through her tears, exclaimed:
'O my God, make him and I will watch over him with my care through the dark
and dreary paths he will have to tread.' And God made Man, and said to him:
"O Man, thou art the child of Mercy - go and deal with thy brother."