The Order Of The Temple And Its Doctrine

The Order Of The Temple And Its Doctrine

 

THE Order of the Temple is cosmopolitan, and is divided into two great classes, denominated respectively the Order of the Temple and the Eastern Order.

The Eastern Order gave birth to the Order of the Temple, and in the course of time has become an appendage of the latter. It is in ancient Egypt that we find the cradle of the Eastern Order.

M. Foraisse on The Order of the Temple and its Doctrine.
(Translated from the French)
The Freemason’s Chronicle, Sept. 4, 1875

Its chiefs were at one and the same time legislators and pontiffs. Their policy was opposed to the propagation of metaphysical knowledge and the natural sciences, of which they preserved the repository, and those who revealed to the people, which is to the profane, the secrets reserved only for those of a more elevated rank in the sacerdotal hierarchy were punished with death.
 
To the profanum vulgus were offered only those emblems which constituted the outward form of theology, and that tended to give more power to superstition as well as greater strength to the ruling powers.

Moses was initiated in Egypt. Learned in all the mysteries of the priesthood, he was thus enabled so to profit by his knowledge as with the aid of the Almighty to rise superior to the power of the Magi and deliver his countrymen from bondage.
 
Aaron, his brother, and the chiefs of the Hebrew nation became the repositories of his secrets, those chiefs or Levites being divided into several grades or classes after the manner of the Egyptian priests. In the fulness of time the son of God appeared on the earth.

At the early age of nine he confounded in argument the learned doctors of the Synagogue Thereafter, by the force of a genius which was wholly divine, directing the fruits of his deep meditations towards the civilisation of the world and the happiness of mankind, he established the true religion, preached the love of God and of one’s neighbour, equality before the common father of mankind, and, in the end, consecrated for ever, by a sacrifice worth y of the only Son of God, that is, God himself, the doctrine he transmitted for the spiritual benefit of man.
 
He imparted his teachings to St. John the Baptist and to the apostles, and soon the morality of the gospel spread itself throughout the world, and nations, becoming enlightened, abjured the initiations of Egypt and the dogmas of pagan priests and their formulae. St. John the Evangelist, the apostle of brotherly love, never quitted the East.

His teaching, always pure, was in nowise altered by the admixture of other doctrine. St. Peter and the rest of the apostles carried the dogmas of Christianity among distant peoples, but being obliged, in order to propagate their faith, oftentimes to countenance the manners and customs of those different nations, and even to sanction rites which were not those of the East, blemishes and differences found their way into the different gospels, as into the doctrine of numerous Christian sects.
 
Up to the year 1118, the mysteries and the hierarchical Order of Egyptian initiation which had been handed down to the Jews, and afterwards to the Christians, were preserved without alteration by the Eastern Brethren, but then the Christians, persecuted by the Infidels, appreciating the courage and piety of those brave Crusaders, who, with the sword in one hand and the cross in the other, flew to the defence of the Holy Places, and rendering, above all, a grand tribute of respect to the justice and ardent charity of the comrades of Hugues de Payens, considered they should entrust to hands so pure the repository of those sciences which had been acquired in the course of so many centuries and sanctified by the Cross, namely the doctrine and morality of the Man-God.

Such is the origin of the foundation of the Order of the Temple in which Hugues, learned in the esoteric doctrine and the initiatory formulae of the Eastern Christians, was invested with patriarchal power, and placed in the legitimate Order of the successors of St. John the Baptist.
 
We all know the prosecutions which were directed against the Templars. At that time, Jacques de Molay, foreseeing the misfortunes which threatened the very existence of an Order the existence of which he was anxious to perpetuate, designated as his successor Johannes Marcus Larmenius of Jerusalem, who invested the Grand Masters destined to be his successors with a patriarchal authority, as with magisterial power, by virtue of the charter of transmission which he issued in 1324, a charter the original of which is deposited in the treasury of the Order, under the title of “Tabida aurea”, and which contains the acceptance, signed with their own hand, of all the Grand Masters who have succeeded Larmenius.

After the death of Jacques de Molay, some Scotch Templars having become apostates from the Order, at the instigation of the king Robert Bruce ranged themselves under the banners of a New Order instituted by that prince, and in which the receptions were based on those of the Order of the Temple.

It is there we must search for the origin of Scottish Masonry, and even that of the other Masonic rites. The Scotch Templars were excommunicated in 1324 by Larmenius, who described them as “Templi Desertores”, and the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem as Dominiorum militice spoliatores, & c.

That excommunication has since been renewed by different Grand Masters against the Scotch Templars, who have been declared rebels against the legitimate authority, and cast out from the pale of the Temple.

From the schism introduced into Scotland have sprung a great number of different sects, nearly all of which lay claim to have descended from the Temple, while some even go so far as to call themselves the Order itself. Such are the corrected system, the Knights Kadosh of all systems, & c, & c.

More recently still, in Germany, other branches have detached themselves from the parent stem, at the election of a Grand Master, and because a French Knight was chosen to fill that dignity, the dissidents constituted themselves reformed Templars, and gave themselves new laws.

The Order of the Temple has never ceased to exist in France, under the government of a succession of Grand Masters worthy to be commended not only for their virtues but their high position in the State, and all have maintained the principles and doctrine of the institution such as they were at the origin of the Order.

The actual organisation of the Temple is such as circumstances may permit; its archives contain the indisputable monuments of its ancient foundation, but what it is these knights have preserved with the most pious reverence, and what they will never depart from, is the teaching of their illustrious ancestors as set forth in an address of the Grand Master in esse.

“Devoted to honour, to our sovereign, to beneficence, we never listen to any other voice than that of our prince, of nature, and of the most ardent charity.

God, love, concord, peace towards all mankind, fidelity, unlimited devotion, inviolable attachment to each of our brethren, succour to all in distress, such are the thoughts of every initiate, of every Knight of the Temple.”

The Freemasons Chronicle, a weekly record of masonic intelligence, was first published 2nd January 1875 London, England as an independent weekly journal of masonic interest and continued for 27 years.

 

It should be the business of a journal devoted to the interests of the Order to attempt the removal of prejudices such as these, which, though they may have little perceptible influence upon the prosperity of the Fraternity, yet have the effect of preventing timid or ill-informed persons from enlisting under its banner.

It will not only attempt to keep pace with the growing literary requirements of the day, but it will seek to exhibit the Order to the non-Masonic world divested of its technical details, and clothed in the garb of Charity and Brotherly Love.

The questions of the hour, which exercise the minds of thoughtful men, will be handled freely and broadly, without any tinge of political or sectarian bias.

The memoranda of Masonic gatherings which will appear from week to week, will be full and accurate; and as free interchange of opinion is one of the best signs of life and vigour in any society, ample scope will be given for Correspondence on topics of interest to the Order.

If we may venture upon a new rendering of words which recent events have made memorable, we will say here, once and for all, that we will be keen men of business, and will spare no effort, consistent with honour, to achieve commercial success; but first, and before all things, we will prove to our brethren and the world that we are FREEMASONS.

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