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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1861 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #105 on: February 01, 2009, 10:49:46 pm »

the general chapter: there brethren were received--the great officers appointed--visitors chosen to be sent to the different provinces. It is remarkable, that a papal legate never seems to have been present at a chapter of the Templars; though the legates frequently assisted at those of the other orders. This is, most probably, to be ascribed to the secrecy in which the Templars were pleased to envelope their councils and proceedings; and as they rarely held general chapters, a suitable pretext could not well be wanting for freeing themselves from the presence of the legate when they desired it. Those who impute to the Templars the holding of a secret doctrine naturally regard this as the cause of their not admitting to their chapters those who were not initiated in it.

A general chapter was not often assembled--a circumstance easily to be accounted for. Though the order was wealthy, it might not be well able to bear, without inconvenience, the expense of deputies from all the provinces journeying to the kingdom of Jerusalem, where the chapters were in general held; and further, it was obviously the interest of the Master and the great officers to avoid assembling a body which would at once assume the powers which they were in the habit of exercising.

In the intervals between the meetings of general chapters, the powers of the order were exercised by the chapter of the Temple at Jerusalem. This was composed of the Master, the dignitaries of the order, such of the provincial masters as happened to be present, the two assistants of the Master, and such knights as he chose to invite to it. This last provision was the great source of the Master's power; and, when he was a man of talent and address, he could, by managing to get his friends and those whom he could depend on into the different offices,

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