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Emperors of the East and West

In 1758 there was established in Paris a Chapter called the Council of Emperors ofvthe East and West. The members assumed the titles of Sovereign Prince Masons Substitutes General of the Royal Art, Grand Superintendents and OMJiDcers of the Grand and Soverefyn Lodye of Saint John of Jerusalem. Their ritual, which was based on the Templar system, consuted of twenty-five Degrees, as follows: 1 to 19, the same as the Scottish Rite; 20, Grand Patriarch Noachite; 21, Key of Masonry; 22, Prince of Lebanon; 23, Knight of the Sun; 24, Kadosh; 25, Prince of the Royal Secret.

It granted Warrants for Lodges of the advanced Degrees, appointed Grand Inspectors and Deputies, and established several subordinate Bodies in the interior of France, among which was a Council of Princes of the Royal Secret, at Bordeaux. In 1763, one Princemaille, the Master of the Lodge La Candeur, meaning in French Frankness, at Metz, began to publish an exposition of these Degrees in the serial numbers of a work entitled Conversations Allgoriques sur la Franche-Maonnerie, or Allegorical Conversation on Freemasonry. In 1764, the Grand Lodge of France offered him three hundred livres to suppress the book. Pincemaille accepted the bribe, but continued the publication, which lasted until 1766. The year of their establishment in France, in 1758, as reported bv Doctor Mackey, the Degrees of this Rite of Heredom, or of Perfection, as it was called, were carried bv Marquis de Bernez to Berlin, and adopted by the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes.

Between the years 1760 and 1765, there was much dissension in the Rite. A new Council, called the Knights of the East, was established at Paris, in 1760, as the rival of the Emperors of the East and West. The controversies of these two Bodies were carried into the Grand Lodge, which, in 1766, was compelled, for the sake of peace, to issue a decree of opposition to the advanced Degrees, excluding the malcontents, and forbidding the symbolical Lodges to recognize the authority of these Chapters. But the excluded Freemasons continued to work clandestinely and to grant Warrants.

From that time until its dissolution, the history of the Council of the Emperors of the East and \Nest is but a history of continued disputes with the Grand Lodge of France. At length, in 1781, it was completely absorbed in the Grand Orient, and has no longer an existence.

The assertion of Thory (Acta Latomorum), and of Ragon (Orthodozie Maonnique), that the Council of the Emperors of the East and West was the origin of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, although it has been denied, does not seem destitute of truth. It is very certain, if the documentary evidence is authentic, that the Constitutions of 1672 were framed by this Council; and it is equally certain that under these Constitutions a patent was granted to Stephen Morin, through whom the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was established in America.

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