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Rule of the Templars

The code of regulations for the government of the Knights Templar, called their Rule, was drawn up by Saint Bernard, and by him submitted to Pope Honorius II and the Council of Troyes, by both of whom it was approved. It is still in existence, and consists of seventy-two articles, partly monastic and partly military in eharaeter, the former being formed upon the Rule of the Benedietines. The first articles of the Rule are ecelesiastical in design, and require from the Knights a strict adherence to their religious duties. Article twenty defines the costume to be worn by the Brotherhood. The professed soldiers were to wear a white costume, and the serving Brethren were prohibited from wearing anything but a black or brown cassock. The Rule is very particular in reference to the fit and shape of the dress of the Knights, so as to seevre uniformity.

The Brethren are forbidden to receive and open letters from their friends without first submitting the-n to the inspection of their superiors. The pastime of hawking is prohibited, but the nobler Sport of lion-hunting is permitted, because the lion, like the devil, goes about continually roaring, seeking whom he may devour. Article fifty-five relates to the reception of married members, who are required to bequeath the greater portion of their property to the Order. The fifty-eighth article regulates the reception of aspirants, or secular persons, who are not to be received immediately on their application into the society, but are required first to submit to an examination as to sincerity and fitness. The seventy-second and concluding article refers to the intercourse of the Knights with females. No brother was allowed to kiss a woman, though she were his mother or sister. "Let the soldier of the cross," says Saint Bernard, "shun all ladies' lips." At first this rule was rigidly enforced, but in time it was greatly relaxed, and the picture of the interior of a house of the Temple, as portrayed by the Abbot of Clairvaux, would scarcely have been appropriate a century or two later.

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