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The Swedish Rite was established about the year 1777, and is indebted for its existence to the exertions and influence of King Gustavus III. It is a mixture of the pure Rite of York, the high Degrees of the French, the Templarism of the former Strict Observance, and the system of Rosicrucianism. Zinnendorf also had something to do with the formation of the Rite, although his authority was subsequently repudiated by the Swedish Freemasons. It is a Rite that was really established as a reform or compromise to reconcile the conflicting elements of English, German, and French Freemasonry that about the middle of the eighteenth century convulsed the Masonic atmosphere of Sweden. It consists of twelve Degrees, as follows: 1, 2, 3. Three Symbolic Degrees, constituting the Saint John's Lodge. 4, 5. Scottish Fellow Craft and the Scottish Master of s dint Andrew. These constitute the Scottish Lodge. The Fifth Degree entitles its members to civil rank in the kingdom 6. Knight of the East. In this Degree which is apocalyptic the New Jerusalem and its twelve gates are represented 7. Knight of the West, or True Templar, Master of the Key. The jewel of this Degree, which is a triangle with five red rosettes refers to the five wounds of the Savior. 8. Knight of the South, or Favorite brother of Saint John. This is a Rosicrucian Degree, the ceremony of initiation being derived from that of the Medieval Alchemists. 9. Favorite Brother of Saint Andrew. This Degree is evidently derived from the Freemasonry of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. 10. Member of the Chapter. 11. Dignitary of the Chapter. 12. Vicar of Solomon. The first nine Degrees are under the obedience of the National Grand Lodge of Sweden and Norway, and essentially compose the Rite. The members of the last three are called Brethren of the Red Cross, and constitute another Masonic authority, styled the Illuminated Chapter. The Twelfth Degree is simply one of office, and is only held by the King, who is perpetual Grand Master of the Order. No one is admitted to the Eleventh Degree unless he ean show four quarterings of nobility.
The Swedish Rite was introduced among Lodges in Norway, Denmark, Germany and Russia, and is deseribed by Brother Oliver Day Street, Past Grand Master of Alabama, in the words, "Its teachings are said to be a mixture of the Freemasonry of England, of the 'Scots' degrees, of Templarism, Rosicrucianism and the mystic doctrines of Emanuel Swedenborg "
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