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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1695 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #90 on: February 01, 2009, 10:49:23 pm »

p. 266

CHAPTER VIII.

Chapters--Mode of holding them--Templars' Mode of Living--Amusements--Conduct in War.

SUCH as we have described them were the members, the possessions, and the various offices of the powerful society of the Temple. In order to complete our view, it only remains to trace its internal government and most important regulations. We shall therefore commence with an account of the chapters, from which all the acts and rules of the society emanated.

It is frequently declared in the statutes, that the Master was in the place of God; and that all his commands were to be obeyed as those of God. But these expressions, which were borrowed from the rule of the Benedictines, are, as we have already seen, not to be understood too literally; for the constitution of the order of the Templars was aristocratic, and not monarchic; and the Master was anything but absolute. In every matter he was to be guided by the opinion of the majority of the chapter.

The general chapter, or high legislative assembly of the order, consisted of all the great officers, of the great-priors of the provinces, anal the most distinguished of the knights who could attend. Every brother, even the lowest of the serving-brethren, was at liberty to be present as a spectator; but only the proper members of the chapter had the privilege of speaking. The place of holding the chapter Was undetermined, and was left to the choice of the Master. All laws and regulations were made or confirmed in

p. 267

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