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CHARLES G. ADDISON, ESQ. The history of the Knights Templars, Temple Church, and the Temple

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CHARLES G. ADDISON, ESQ.
The history of the Knights Templars, Temple Church, and the Temple
page 58



THE KNIOnTS TEMPLARS. 45 tories, and shortly after his accession to power they crossed the BISM U D I Jordan, and advanced within sight of Jerusalem. Their yellow.D. 1152 . x and green banners waved on the summit of the Mount of Olives, and the warlike sound of their kettle-drums and trumpets was beard within the sacred precincts of the holy city. They encamped on the mount over against the Temple ; and had the satisfaction of regarding from a distance the Beit Allah, or Temple of the Lord, their holy house of prayer. In a night attack, however, they were defeated with terrible slaughter, and were pursued all the way to the Jordan, five thousand of their number being left dead on the plain.* Shortly after this affair the Templars lost their great patron, Saint Bernard, who died on the 20th of April, A. t. 1153, in the sixty-third year of his age. On his deathbed he wrote three letters in behalf of the order. The first was addressed to the patriarch of Antioch, exhorting him to protect and encourage the Templars, a thing which the holy abbot assures him will prove most acceptable to God and man. The seeond was written to Melesinda, queen of Jerusalem, praising her majesty for the favour shown by her to the brethren of the order ; and the third, addressed to Brother André de Montbard, a Knight Templar, conveys the affectionate salutations of St. Bernard to the MasteT and brethren, to whose prayers he recommends himself.i" The same year, at the siege of Ascalon, the Master of the Temple and his knights attempted alone and unaided to take that important city by storm. At the dawn of day they rushed through a breach made in the walls, and penetrated to the centre of the town. There they were surrounded by the infidels and Overpowered, and, according to the testimony of an eye-witness, who. was in the campaign from its commencement to its close, * • Will. Tyr. lib. xvii. cap. 20, ad ann. 1152. \ S. Bernardi epittela, 288, 289,392, ed. llabilltm.


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