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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 256



hood. The candidate replied to each interrogatory, and then, to signify the poverty of his condition, and the modest nature of his wants, he was to ask three times for bread and water. After this he was introduced in due form, and after the customary ceremonies and questions, was made to take the oath of poverty, chastity, obedience, and devotion to the defence of Palestine. .The following is given as the formula, or part of it :— " I swear to consecrate my speech, my strength, and my life, to defend the belief in the unity of God and the mysteries of the faith ; I promise to be submissive and obedient to the grand master of the order ; when the Saracens invade the lands of the Christians, I will pass over the seas to deliver my brethren; I will give the succour of my arm to the Church and the kings against the infidel princes ; so long as my enemies shall be only three to one against me I will fight them and will never take flight ; alone I will combat them if they are unbelievers." Everything was done by threes, because three signifies the mystery of the Trinity. Three times a year the knights were enumerated ; three times a week they heard mass and could eat meat ; three times a week they gave alms ; while those who failed in their duty were scourged three times in open chapter. In later times the simple ceremony of admission became complicated by symbolical rites and ceremonies. The candidate was stripped of all his clothes ; poor, naked, and helpless, he was to stand without the door and seek admission. This was not all. He yet had his religion. He was required to spit upon the cross and deny his Saviour. And then with nothing to help him, nothing to fall back upon, he was to be rebaptized in the chapter of the order : to owe everything to the Templars, to belong to them by the sacred kiss of brotherhood, by the oaths of secrecy, by the memory of his readmission into Christianity, by the glorious traditions of the order, and lastly,


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