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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 2073 times)
Trena Alloway
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Posts: 2386

« Reply #150 on: February 04, 2009, 01:16:46 pm »

[paragraph continues] 18th March of that year, and the order had been abolished nearly a year before. Why then did he delay so long, and why was he become so apprehensive of martyrdom at that time, especially when, as is well known, there was then no intention of putting him to death? Again, where were the chiefs of the society at that time? How many of them were living? and how could they manage to assemble in the dungeon of Molay and execute a formal instrument! Moreover, was it not repugnant to the rules and customs of the Templars for a Master to appoint his successor? These are a few of the objections which we think may be justly made; and, on the whole, we feel strongly disposed to reject the whole story.

As to the freemasons, we incline to think that it was the accidental circumstance of the name of the Templars which has led them to claim a descent from that order; and it is possible that, if the same fate had fallen on the knights of St. John, the claim had never been set up. We are very far from denying that at the time of the suppression of the order of the Temple there was a secret doctrine in existence, and that the overthrow of the papal power, with its idolatry, superstition, and impiety, was the object aimed at by those who held it, and that freemasonry may possibly be that doctrine under another name *. But we are perfectly convinced that no proof of any weight has been given of the Templars' participation in that doctrine, and that all probability is on the other side. We regard them, in fine, whatever their sins may have been, as martyrs--martyrs to the cupidity, blood-thirstiness, and ambition of the king of France.


327:* Almost every charge brought against the Templars had been previously made against the Albigenses, with how much truth every one is aware.

328:* Our readers will call to mind the well-known anecdote of King Richard I. When admonished by the zealous Fulk, of Neuilly, to get rid of his three favourite daughters, pride, avarice, and voluptuousness,--"You counsel well," said the king, "and I hereby dispose of the first to the Templars, of the second to the Benedictines, and of the third to my prelates.'

329:* Similar charges are said to have been brought against the Hospitallers in the year 1238, but without effect. There was no Philip the Fair at that time in France.

329:† Clement, in a bull dated but four days after that of the suppression, acknowledged that the whole of the evidence against the order amounted only to suspicion!

329:‡ We mean the illustrious Jos. von Hammer, whose essay on the subject is to be found in the sixth volume of the Mines de l’Orient, where it will be seen that he regards Sir W. Scott, in his Ivanhoe, as a competent witness against the Templars, on account of his correct and faithful pictures of the manners and opinions of the middle ages. We apprehend that people are beginning now to entertain somewhat different ideas on the subject of our great romancer's fidelity, of which the present pages present some instances.

330:* See Manuel des Templiers. As this book is only sold to members of the society, we have been unable to obtain a copy of it. Our account has been derived from Mills's History of Chivalry. That this writer should have believed it implicitly is, we apprehend, no proof of its truth.

331:* This has, we think, been fully prayed by Sr. Rossetti. It must not be concealed that this writer strongly asserts that the Templars were a branch of this society.

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