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Shibboleth: A Templar Monitor, by George Cooper Connor, [1894], at



The Asylum in suitable array; the Guards ready to take their stations; the Escort selected and conveniently seated; the Chambers properly equipped, and the Questions on the pedestal of the Commander. The reception of a Candidate begins.

During the period that immediately succeeded the Crusades a civil Knight made a vow to visit the Sepulchre of his Lord and Master. Attracted by the chivalrous deeds of the Templars,—for their deeds of charity and pure beneficence had spread their fame both far and wide,—he sought admission to their ranks, the better to fulfill his vow.

The Commander of the House of the Temple to which he made application, finding that he came "under the tongue of good report," and that he was upright in character and moral of conduct, was moved to grant his prayer, but as a trial of his worthiness to be enrolled among the members of the Valiant and Magnanimous Order of the Temple enjoined upon him Seven Years of Preparation. These began with an unarmed pilgrimage towards the Holy Sepulchre.

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The first impressions are almost indelible. How important that they should be solemnized by proper discourse in the sombre surroundings of Reflection.

Sincerity of desire and purity of intention are absolutely necessary to the beginning of a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Emmanuel.


The Report includes the necessary answers, and the avouchment of the sincerity of desire, and the purity of motive. This made, the Seven Years of Preparation begin.


Three years were passed by the petitioning civil Knight in his weary, unarmed pilgrimage, mostly in a friendly country, in which he received from pious Hermits bread and water; coarse diet, but such as he stood sadly in need of. From these pious anchorites he also received lessons of comfort and consolation.

Day after day the manhood of this gallant Knight asserted itself, and he yearned to cast off the pilgrim's garb and take up the sword in defense of his fellow pilgrims en route to the Holy Shrine. Thus yearning and pleading with his Templar escort, he reached, at the end of three years, another House of the Templars.

First Hermit.—

Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted.

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

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Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.

For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Let brotherly love continue.

Second Hermit.—

To do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Third Hermit.—

Charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Three years of his Preparation being ended, another House of the Templars was reached.

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