These three things, so dear to the ancient Knight, were the purity of his honor, the integrity of his sword, and the spotlessness of his shield. Honor that never broke faith with anyone, whether man or woman; the integrity of the sword, in never failing to draw it into defense of innocence and right; the shield never to be sullied by protecting oppression and wrong.
At the death of the knightly owner, he bequeathed his sword and sheild to one nearest and dearest to him, the one he beleived would maintain both unblemished.
The Scottish Rite has adopted a symbol that represents the sword, sheild and armor of our ancient brethren, and as clearly marks the profession of Knighthood as did those. This symbol is the Fourteenth Degree Ring, with its motto - "Virtus Junxit, mors non separabit." "Virtue has united, and death shall not seperate." This ring is a plain flat band of gold, having imposed thereon an engraved or enameled plate in the form of an equilateral triangle, and within the triangle the Hebrew symbol for the word "Yod."
Many brethren believe that the ring bearing the doubleheaded eagle, so generally worn, is the true Scottish Rite ring. This is without authority of the Supreme Council of the Southern jurisdiction, which recognizes only the two rings of the Fourteenth and Thirty-third Degrees. There is no objection to wering the ring with the double-headed eagle; it is beautiful, and although not authentic, is recognized by many who are not even members of our order, as a mark of a Thirty-second Degree Mason.
Masonry labors to
improve th social order by enlightening men's minds, warming their hearts
with the love of the good, inspiring them with the grat principle of human
fraternity, and requiring of its disciples that their language and actions
shall conform to that principle, that they shall enlighten each other,
control their passions, abhor vice, and pity the vicious man as one afflicted
with a deplorable malady.