ROYAL MASTER. The first of the degrees in the Council, or Cryptic system. It is immediately associated with the degree of Select Master, and, with it, is explanatory of the Royal Arch degree, and was originally conferred in a Chap ter of Royal Arch Masons. Its ritual is highly interesting.
posed of two parts, viz: that of H.-R.-M. and R.-S.-Y. C.-S. The former took its rise in the reign of David I., King of Scotland, and the latter in that of King Robert the Bruce. The last is believed to have been originally the same as the Most Ancient Order of the Thistle, and to contain the cere monial of admission formerly practiced in it. The Order of H.-R.-M. had formerly its chief seat at Kilwinning; and there is reason to suppose that it and the Grand Lodge of St. John's Masonry were governed by the same Grand Master. The introduction of this order into Kilwinning appears to have taken place about the same, or nearly the same period as the introduction of Freemasonry itself into Scotland. The Culdees, as is well known, introduced Christianity into Scotland, and, from their known habits, there were good grounds for believing that they preserved among them a knowledge of the ceremonies and precautions adopted for their protection in Judea. In establishing this degree in Scotland, it is more than probable that it was done with the view to explain, in a correct Christian manner, the symbols and rites employed by the Christian Architects and Builders; and this will also explain how the Royal Order is purely catholic,ónot Roman Catholic, but adapted to all who acknowledge the great truths of Christianity, in the same way that Craft or Symbolic Masonry is intended for all, whether Jew or Gentile, who acknowledge a Supreme God. The second part, or R.-S.-Y. C.-S., is an order of
knighthood, and perhaps the only genuine one in connec tion with Masonry, there being in it an intimate connection between the sword and the trowel. The lecture consists of a figurative description of the ceremonial both of H.-R.-M. and R.-S.-Y. C.-S., in simple rhyme, modernized, of course, by oral tradition, and breathing the purest spirit of Chris tianity. two degrees constitute, as has been already said, the Royal Order of Scotland. Lodges or Chapters cannot legally meet elsewhere, unless possessed of a charter from it, or by dispensation from the. Grand Master or his Deputy. The office of Grand Master is vested in the person of the King of Scotland, (now of Great Britain,) and one seat is invariably kept vacant for him, in whatever country a Chap ter is open, and cannot be occupied by any other member.