19th Century Order of the Temple Charge

Graig Huber

The following "Charge" is taken from a Templar Monitor published around 1894. This is around the time that a new Order of Malta was presented at the Grand Encampment of the United States of America Triennial and the national governing body was making the change to switch the Order of The Temple to after the Order of Malta in the Chivalric Orders. In the 19th Century and into the 20th Century the final order of Templarism was the Order of Malta, but, the decision was made to alter the order of the degrees.

From “Shibboleth, A Templar Monitor” by George Cooper Connor

Sir Knight, having passed through the several of our ancient and honorable institution, we bid you a hearty welcome to all our rights and privileges, even to that disinterested friendship and unbounded hospitality which ever has, and we hope and trust ever will, continue to adorn, distinguish and characterize this noble Order.

It will henceforth become your duty to assist, protect and defend the weary, wayworn traveler who finds the heights of fortune inaccessible, and the thorny paths of life broken, adverse and forlorn, to succor, defend and protect the innocent, the distressed and the helpless, ever standing forth as a champion to espouse the cause of the Christian religion.

You are to inculcate, enforce, and practice virtue; and amid all the temptations which surround you, never to be drawn aside the path of duty, and forgetful of those due guards and passwords, which are necessary to be had in perpetual remembrance; and while one hand wielding the Sword and for the defense of your Companion in danger, let the other grasp the mystic Trowel, and widely diffuse the genuine cement of Brotherly Love and Friendship.

Should calumny assail the character of a Brother Sir Knight, recollect that you are to step forth and vindicate his good name, and assist him on all lawful occasions. Should assailants every attempt your honor, interest or happiness, remember, also, that you have the counsel and support of your brethren, whose mystic Swords, combining the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity, with Justice, Fortitude and Mercy, will leap from their scabbards in defense of your just rights, and insure you a glorious triumph over all your enemies.

On this occasion permit me, Sir Knight, to remind you of our mutual engagements, our reciprocal ties; for whatever may be your situation or rank in life, you may find those in similar stations, who have dignified themselves and been useful to mankind. You are, therefore, called upon to discharge all your duties with fidelity and patience, whether in the Field, in the Senate, on the Bench, at the Bar, or at the Holy Altar. Whether you are placed upon the highest pinnacle of worldly grandeur, or glide into the humble vale of obscurity, unnoticed, save by a few, it matters not; for a few rolling suns will close the scene, when naught but holiness will serve as a sure passport to gain admission into that REST prepared from the foundation of the world.

If you see a Brother bending under the cross of adversity and disappointment, look not idly on, neither pass by on the other side, but fly to his relief. If he be deceived, tell him the Truth; if he be calumniated, vindicate his cause; for, although he may have erred, still recollect that indiscretion in him should never destroy humanity in you.

Finally, Sir Knight, as "momento mori” is deeply engraved on all sublunary enjoyments, let us ever be found in the habiliments of righteousness, traversing the straight path of rectitude, virtue and true holiness; so that, having discharged our duty here below, performed the pilgrimage of life, burst the bands of mortality, passed over the Jordan of death and safely landed on the broad shore of eternity, there, in the presence of myriads of attending angels, we may be greeted as brethren, received into the arms of the BLESSED EMMANUEL, and forever made to participate in his HEAVENLY KINGDOM.


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