Red Cross Grand Charge (Final Retrospective Degree)
Sir Knight and brother you have now reached the end of your long and glorious pilgrimage and have attained to the highest degree that is possible for our illustrious order to confer for you; namely that of a Knight of the Red Cross. In congratulating you (which I do most heartily) I would ask you to take a retrospective glance over the various degrees you have received in order that you may become familiar with the various lessons that are to be derived there from.
When you first come amongst us free born and of good report you had a pack on your back and a staff in your hand prepared to travel. Blindfolded typical of your ignorance of our institution you unreservedly placed your trust in the hands of your brethren which confidence you have proven was not misplaced. As you travelled through the wilderness and over the burning sands of the desert towards Horeb you saw the great and mighty wonders revealed by Jehovah to his servant for the redemption of his people and the destruction of the worshippers of Gods of wood and stone.
As you journeyed onwards you came in contact with the scarlet line the symbol of Rahab’s redemption and the emblem of the sacrificing blood that was to make atonement for the sins of the whole world. The adventures of the two spies teach us that in the Christian warfare obstacles and temptations may beset our path, but with the temptation shall always be provided a way of escape.
As a Marksman you where taught to leave the tower (the symbol of wickedness), and press towards the Temple dedicated unto the Lord (a type of the city of refuse), whereby faith, hope and truth you where elevated to the position of a scientific workman.
Having donned your apron you found yourself in the peculiar position of a revolter in search of those who had wilfully taken away the life of your Grand Master. Having loyally acquitted yourself you where ordered to go wear your apron and be free. You were further advanced to those that are free and accepted, enabling you to behold the holy child Jesus, whose life and actions where to rule and govern the destiny of this world.
And by aid of that mysterious word that was lost and found, you beheld the purity and innocence of that God guided youth, (whom you represented) whose white robe was his reward as a token of the righteousness of his cause.
Finding yourself thrust from the garden you tried by various excuses to win your way back, until you found the flaming sword of Divine indignation guarding the tree of life to testify that nothing common or unclean could enter there in.
But as you labour and till successfully in this world so may you wear the crown of peacemaker and prince in that kingdom, because the Lord God of Gods he knoweth.
Again finding yourself on prying ground you stood thus, whilst the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who’s prevailing influence enabled you to use the arrow successfully against that wicked and idolatrous people who because of their sin and wickedness had brought about their own utter destruction.
With your chain of gold around your neck you passed safely through the burning fiery furnace of affliction, being weighted in the balances and found not wanting with unwavering faith you behold the Son of God, who points you to the cross, the goal of your ambition.
As the Lamb leads onward with blood sprinkled garments and stained raiment, your wandering eyes behold the gates of the city of the new Jerusalem, that are ever open to those who have a firm belief in the innocent blood of Christ. As you pass through the gates of the city you see the tree of life which groweth in the midst of the street of the city bearing twelve manner of fruit yielding her fruit twelve times a year and her leaves are a healing for the nations. Your admiration knows no bounds because you are permitted to become an inhabitant of that eternal city wherein he dwelleth who said I am Alpha and Omega the beginning and the end the first and the last.
Lodges Examined by the Bible by John R. Rice
All the Black Degrees
The Royal Black Institution consists of eleven degrees, as follows: –
(1) Royal Black degree – exposed and biblically examined
(2) Royal Scarlet Degree – exposed and biblically examined
(3) Royal Mark degree – exposed and biblically examined
(4) Apron and Royal Blue degree – exposed and biblically examined
(5) Royal White degree – exposed and biblically examined
(6) Royal Green degree – exposed and biblically examined
(7) Gold Crown degree – exposed and biblically examined
(8) Gold Star and Garter degree – exposed and biblically examined
(9) Crimson Arrow degreee – exposed and biblically examined
(10) Gold Link and Chain degree – exposed and biblically examined
(11) Red Cross degree – exposed and biblically examined
The Institution also possesses a final retrospective degree, which is essentially an overview of the 11 degrees that the candidate has traversed.
Red Cross Grand Charge – exposed
Purchase direct: Inside the Royal Black Institution
Testimonies from former leading Royal Blackmen Rev. Canon Brian T. Blacoe (former Deputy Grand Chaplain of the Royal Black Institution), Malcolm McClughan (former Royal Black Lecturer) and David Carson (Chairman of the United Protestant Council).
A book for Blackmen to seriously consider by Cecil Andrew of Take Heed Ministries.
For more information, please William Schnoebelen’s enlightening book Masonry Beyond the Light