Chapter Rose Croix

15th ° - Knight of the East

The hand of our God is upon al lthem for good that shall seek Him.

This is the first degree of the Rose Croix, and the leading lesson is fidelity of obligations and constancy under difficulty. Masonry carries on a war against ignorance, intolerance and error. The chief stumbling blocks on the way to success in this crusade are the indifference of its own members and the world.

Masonry teaches that God is paternal, having a concern for each individual, for each individual soul is an emanation from Him, made for good and not evil. We must therefore persevere even as the ancient brethren have done, not withstanding all obstacles. We must pass through the darkness to reach the light.



16th ° - Knight of Jerusalem

The bonds and pldges of the brotherhood of the faithful are in no wise weakend by the collision of States and Empires.

The story of the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem is of peculiar interest to Masons, and while we no longer plan to build it, yet its story ever conveys to us the thought that the world and every noble heart is God's Temple, and we should labor to establish the reign of love and peace, thus building a lasting temple to God, teaching Masons the ennobling effect to honest labor. The work of the soul, developing the virtues of patience and gentleness ought to be as important to us as that of earning our daily bread. "Freemasonry builds its temples in the hearts of men, and among nations."



17th ° - Knight of the East and West

To him that overcometh I will give to eat of the hidden manna.

This is the first of the Philosophical Degrees which penetrate the inner mysteries of Masonry. In all times truth has been concealed in symbols. At the time of John the Baptist, all the ancient philosophical and religious doctrines became intermingled on account of the various conquests which brought the nations together. John, who taught some creed older than Christianity, must have belonged to the sect of Essenes, which was very similar to Christianity. It is from the Essenes that this degree has sprung. The Essenes believed that Truth was scattered throughout the world among different sects. They believed it to be the duty of man to gather these fragments of divine revelation into a harmonious whole to be used in spreading right thinking and right living among mankind. Thus they combined the thought of the Orient and the Occident, from which fact we draw the name of this degree.



18th ° - Knight Rose Croix

A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.

The ceremonies of this degree are interpreted by each individual according to his own faith for in no other way can Masonry retain its universal character. To all antiquity, Light was the type of Good while Darkness was Evil. Evil was a principle represented in demons and fallen angels, who first having fallen themselves, tempted others to do so, thus bringing sin into the world. The future life was to be obtained by purification and suffering, through the Redeemer who would overcome Evil. The cross has been a sacred symbol of earliest antiquity among many nations, with various meanings. In this degree its interpretation was taken from the Egyptian hieroglyphic for life emanating from Diety, the eternal life for which we all hope. The Rose is the symbol of dawn, of the resurrection of life. Together the rose and cross represent the dawn of eternal life.