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Hebrew, .... He was the chief divinity among the Phoenicians, the Canaanites, and the Babylonians. The word signifies in Hebrew Lord or Master. It was among the Orientalists a comprehensive term, denoting divinity of any kind without reference to class or to sex.
The Sabaists understood Baal as the sun, and Baalim, in the plural, were the sun, moon, and stars, "the host of heaven.'' Whenever the Israelites made one of their almost. periodical deflections to idolatry, Baal seems to have been the favorite idol to whose worship they addieted themselves. Hence he became the especial object of denunciation with the prophets.
Thus, in First Kings (xviii), we see Elijah showing, by practical demonstration, the difference between Baal and Jehovah. The idolaters, at his inatigation, called on Baal, as their sun-god, to light the sacrificial fire, from morning until noon, because at noon he had acquired his greatest intensity. After noon, no fire having been kindled on the altar, they began to cry aloud, and to cut themselves in token of mortification, because as the sun descended there was no hope of his help. But Elijah, depending on Jehovah, made his sacrifice toward sunset,to show the greatest contrast between Baal and the true God. When the people saw the fire come down and consume the offering, they acknowledged the weakness of their idol, and falling on their faces cried out, Jehovah hu hahelohim, meaning Jehovah, He is the God. And Hosea afterward promises the people that they shall abandon their idolatry, and that he would take away from them the Shemoth hahbaalim, the names of the Baalim, so that they should be no more remembered by their names, and the people should in that day "know Jehovah."
Hence we see that there was an evident antagonism in the orthodox Hebrew mind between Jehmah and Baal. The latter was, however, worshiped by the Jews, whenever they became heterodox, and by all the Oriental or Shemitic natious as a supreme divinity, representing the sun in some of his modifications as the ruler of the day. In Tyre, Baal was the sun, and Ashtaroth, the moon. Baal-peor, the lord of priapism, was the sun represented as the generative principle of nature, and identieal with the phallus of other religions. Baal-gad was the lord of the multitude (of stars) that is, the sun as the chief of the heavenly host. In brief, Baal seems to have been wherever his cultus was active, a development of the old sun worship.
In Hebrew, ...; which the writer of Genesis connects with ..., balal, meaning to confound, in reference to the confusion of tongues; but the true derivation is probably from Bab-El, meaning the gate of Et or the gate of God, because perhaps a Temple was the first building raised by the primitive nomads. It is the name of that celebrated tower attempted to be built on the plains of Shimar, 1775 A.M., about one hundred and forty years after the Deluge, which tower, Scripture informs us, was destroyed by a special interposition of the Almighty.
The Noachite Freemasons date the commencement of their Order from this destruction, and much traditionary information on this subject is preserved in the degree of Patriarch Noachite. At Babel, Oliver says that what has been called Spurious Freemasonry took its origin. That is to say, the people there abandoned the worship of the true God, and by their dispersion lost all knowledge of His existenee, and of the principles of truth upon which Freemasonry is founded. Hence it is that the old instructions speak of the lofty tower of Babel as the, place where language was confounded and Freemasoury lost.
This is the theory first advanced by Anderson in his Constitutiom, and subsequently developed more extensively by Doctor Oliver in all his works, but especially in his Landmarks. As history, the doctrine is of no value, for it wants the element of authenticity.
But in a symbolic point of view it is highly suggestive.
If the tower of Babel represents the profane world of ignorance and darkness, and the threshing-floor of Oman the Jebusite is the symbol of Freemasonry, because the Solomonic Temple, of which it was the site, is the prototype of the spiritual temple which Freemasons are erecting, then we can readily understand how Freemasonry and the true use of lauguage is lost in one and recovered in the other, and how the progress of the candidate in his initiation may properly be compared to the progress of truth from the confusion and ignorance of the Babel builders to the perfection and illumination of the temple builders, which Temple builders all Freemasons are. So, when, the neophyte, being asked "whence he comes and whither is he travelling," replies, "from the lofty tower of Babel, where language was confounded and Masonry lost, to the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, where language was restored and Freemasonry found," the questions and answers become intelligible from this symbolic point of view (see Ornan).
The ancient capital of Chaldea, situated ou both sides of the Euphrates, and once the most magnificent city of the aucient world. It was here that upon the destruction of Solomon's Temple by Nebuchadnezzar in the year of the world 3394 the Jews of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin who were the inhabitants of Jerusalem, were conveyed and detained in captivity for seventy-two years, until Cyrus, King of Persia issued a decree for restoring them, and permitting them to rebuild their temple, under the superintendence of Zerubbabel, the Prince of the Captivity, and with the assistance of Joshua the High Priest and Haggai the Seribe.
Babylon the Great, as the Prophet Daniel calls it was situated four hunderd and seventy-five miles in a nearly due east direction from Jerusalem. It stood in the midst of a large and fertile plain on each side of the river Euphrates, which ran through it from north to south. It was surrounded with walls which were eighty-seven feet thick, three hunderd and fifty in height, and sixty miles in compas. These were all built of large bricks cemented together with bitumen. Exterior to the walls was a wide and deep trench lined with the same material. Twenty-five gates on each side, made of solid brass, gave admission to the city. From each of these gates proceeded a wide street fifteen miles in length, and the whole was separated by means of other smaller divisions, and contained six hundred and seventy-six squares, each of which was two miles and a quarter in cireumfierence. Two hundred and fifty towers placed upon the walls afforded the means of additional strength and protection. Within this immense circuit were to be found palaces and temples and other edifices of the utmost magnificence, which have caused the wealth, the luxury, and splendor of Babylon to become the favorite theme of the historians of antiquity, and which compelled the prophet Isaiah, even while denouncing its downfall, to speak of it as "the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excelleney."
Babylon, which, at the time of the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, constituted a part of the Chaldean empire, was subsequently taken, 538 B.C., after a siege of two years, by Cyrus, King of Persia
BABYLON, RED CROSS OF
Another name for the degree of Babylonish Pass, which see.
BABYLONIAN RITE OF INITIATION.
See Initiation, Babylonian Rite of.
A degree given in Scotland by the authority of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter. It is also called the Red Cross of Babylon, and is almost identical with the Knight of the Red Cross conferred in Commanderies of Knights Templar in America as a preparatory degree.
Freemasonry, borrowing its symbols from every source, has not neglected to make a selection of certain parts of the human body. From the back an important lesson is derived, which is fittingly developed in the Third Degree. Hence, in reference to this symbolism, 01iver says: "It is a duty incumbent on every Mason to support a brother's character in his absence equally as though he were present; not to revile him behind his back, nor suffer it to be done by others, without using every necessary attempt to prevent it."
Hutchinson, Spirit of Masonnry (page 205), referring to the same symbolic ceremony, says: "The most material part of that brotherly love which should subsist among us Masons is that of speaking well of each other to the world; more especially it is expected of every member of this Fraternity that he should not traduce his brother. Calumny and slander are detestable crimes against society. Nothing can be viler than to traduce a man behind his back; it is like the villainy of an assissin who has not virtue enough to give his adversary the means of selfdefence, but, lurking in darkness, stabs him whilst he is unarmed and unsuspicious of an enemy'' (see also Points of Fellowship).
Kenning's Cyclopaedia states that Backhouse reported to be an alchemist and astrologer and that Ashmole called him father. He published a Rosicrucian work, The Wise Man's Croton, or Rosicrucian Physic, by Eugenius Theodidactus, in 1651'at London. John Heydon published a book entitled William Backhouse's Way to Bliss, but Ashmole claims it in his diary to be his own.
Baron of Verulam, commonly called Lord Bacon. Nicolai thinks that a great impulse was exercised upon the early history of Freemasonry by the New Atlantis of Lord Bacon. In this learned romance Baeon supposes that a vessel lands on an unknown island, called Bensalem, over which a certain King Solomon reigned in days of yore.
This king had a large establishment, which was called the House of Solomon, or the college of the workmen of six days, namely, the days of the creation. He afterward describes the immense apparatus which was there employed in physical researches. There were, says he, deep grottoes and towers for the successful observation of certain phenomena of nature ; artificial mineral waters; large buildings, in which meteors, the wind, thunder, and rain were imitated; extensive botanic gardens; entire fields, in which all kinds of animals were collected, for the study of their instincts and habits; houses filled with all the wonders of nature and art; a great number of learned men, each of whom, in his own country, had the direction of these things; they made journeys and observations; they wrote, they collected, they determined results and deliberated together as to what was proper to be published and what concealed.
This romance became at once very popular, and everybody's attention was attracted by the allegory of the House of Solomon. But it also contributed to spread Bacon's views on experimental knowledge, and led afterward to the institution of the Royal Society, to which Nicolai attributes a common object with that of the Society of Freemasons, established, he says, about the same time, the difference being only that one was esoteric and the other exoteric in its instructions.
But the more immediate effect of the romance of Bacon was the institution of the Society of Astrologers, of which Elias Ashmole was a leading member.
Of this society Nicolai, in his work on the Origin and History of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, says :
"Its object was to build the House of Solomon, of the New Atlantis, in the literal sense, but the establishment was to remain as secret as the island of Bensalem-that is to say, they were to be engaged in the study of nature---but the instruction of its principles was to remain in the society in an esoteric form. These philosophers presented their idea in a strictly allegorical method. First, there were the ancient columns of Hermes, by which Iamblichus pretended that he had enlightened all the doubts of Porphyry. You then mounted, by several steps, to a chequered floor, divided into four regions, to denote the four superior sciences; after which came the types of the six days' work, which expressed the object of the society, and which were the same as those found on an engraved stone in my possession. The sense of all which was this: God created the world, and preserves it by fixed principles, full of wisdom; he who seeks to know these principles---that is to say, the interior of nature---approximates to God, and he who thus approximates to God obtains from his grace the power of commanding nature." This society, he adds, met at Masons Hall in Basinghall Street, because many of its members were also members of the Masons Company, into which they all afterward entered and assumed the name of Free and Accepted Masons, and thus he traces the origin of the Order to the New Atlantis and the House of Solomon of Lord Bacon. That is only a theory, but it seems to throw some light on that long process of incubation which terminated at last, in 1717, in the production of the Grand Lodge of England.
The connection of Ashmole with the Freemasons is a singular one, and has led to some controversy.
The views of Nicolai, if not altogether correet, may suggest the possibility of an explanation. Certain it is that the eminent astrologers of England, as we learn from Ashmole's Diary, were on terms of intimacy with the Freemasons in the seventeenth century, and that many Fellows of the Royal Society were also prominent members of the early Grand Lodge of England which was established in 1717.
An English monk who made wonderful discoveries in many sciences. He was born in Ilchester in 1214, educated at Oxford and Paris, and entered the Franciscan Order in his twenty-fifth year. He explored the secrets of nature, and made many discoveries, the application of which was looked upon as magic. He denounced the ignorance and immorality of the clergy, resulting in accusations through revenge, and finally in his imprisonment. He was noted as a Rosicrucian. Died in 1292.
The staff of office borne by the Grand Master of the Templars. In ecclesiology, baculus is the name given to the pastoral staff carried by a bishop or an abbot as the ensign of his dignity and authority. In pure Latinity, baculus means a long stick or staff, which was commonly carried by travelers, by shepherds, or by infirm and aged persons, and afterward, from affectation, by the Greek philosophers. In early times, this staff, made a little longer, was carried by kings and persons in authority, as a mark of distinction, and was thus the origin of the royal scepter.
The Christian church, borrowing many of its usages from antiquity, and alluding also, it is said, to the sacerdotal power which Christ conferred when he sent the apostles to preach, commanding them to take with them staves, adopted the pastoral staff, to be borne by a bishop, as symbolical of his power to inflict pastoral correction; and Durandus says, "By the pastoral staff is likewise understood the authority of doctrine. For by it the infirm are supported, the wavering are confirmed, those going astray are drawn to repentance." Catalin also says that "the baculus, or episcopal staff, is an ensign not only of honor, but also of dignity, power, and pastoral jurisdiction."
Honorius, a writer of the twelfth century, in his treatise De Gemma Animoe, gives to this pastoral staff the names both of bacutus and virga. Thus he says, ''Bishops bear the staff (baculum), that by their teaching they may strengthen the weak in their faith ; and they carry the rod (virgam), that by their power they may correct the unruly.'' And this is strikingly similar to the language used by St. Bemard in the Rule which he drew up for the government of the Templars.
In Artiele Ixviii, he says, "The Master ought to hold the staff and the rod (bacutum et cirgam) in his hand, that is to say, the staff (baculum), that he may support the infirmities of the weak, and the rod (cirgam), that he may with the zeal of rectitude strike down the vices of delinquents."
The transmission of episcopal ensigns from bishops to the heads of ecclesiastical associations was not difficult in the Middle Ages; and hence it afterwards became one of the insignia of abbots, and the heads of confraternities connected with the Church, as a token of the possession of powers of ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
Now, as the Papal bull, Omne datum Optimum, so named from its first three words, invested the Grand Master of the Templars with almost episcopal jurisdiction over the priests of his Order, he bore the baculus, or pastoral staff, as a mark of that jurisdiction, and thus it became a part of the Grand Master's insignia of office.
The baculus of the bishop, the abbot, and the confraternities was not precisely the same in form. The earliest episcopal staff terminated in a globular knob, or a tau cross, a cross of T shape. This was, however, soon replaced by the simple-curved termination, which resembles and is called a crook, in allusion to that used by shepherds to draw back and recall the sheep of their flock which have gone astray, thus symbolizing the expression of Christ, "I am the good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine."
The baculus of the abbot does not differ in form from that of a bishop, but as the bishop carries the curved part of his staff pointing forward, to show the extent of his episcopal jurisdiction, so the abbot carries his pointing backward, to signify that his authority is limited to his monastery. The baculi, or staves of the confraternities, were surmounted by small tabernacles, with images or emblems, on a sort of carved cap, having reference to the particular gild or confraternity by which they were borne.
The baculus of the Knights Templar, which was borne by the Grand Master as the ensign of his office, in allusion to his quasi-episcopal jurisdiction, is described and delineated in Munter, Burnes, Addison, and all the other authorities, as a staff, on the top of which is an octagonal figure, surmounted with a cross patee, this French word being applied to the arms having enlarged ends. The cross, of course, refers to the Christian character of the Order, and the octagon alludes, it is said, to the eight beatitudes of our Savior in His Sermon on the Mount. The pastoral staff is variously designated, by ecclesiastical writers, as virga, ferula, cambutta, crocia, and pedum.
From crocia, whose root is the Latin crux, and the Italian croce, meaning a cross, we get the English word crozier.
Pedum, another name of the baculus, signifies, in pure Latinity, a shepherd's crook, and thus strictly carries out the symbolic idea of a pastoral charge.
Hence, looking to the pastoral jurisdiction of the Grand Master of the Templars, his staff of office is described under the title of pedum magistrate seu patriarchale, that is, a magisterial or patriarchal staff, in the Statuta Commilitonum Ordinis Tempti, or the Statutes of the Fellow-soldiers of the Order of the Temple, as a part of the investiture of the Grand Master, in the following words:
Pedum magistrale seu patriarchale, aureum, in cacumine cujus crux Ordinis super orbem exaltur; that is, A Magisterial or patriarchal staffl of gold, on the top of which is a cross of the Order, surmounting an orb or globe. This is from Statute xxviii, article 358. But of all these names, baculus is the one more commonly used by writers to designate the Templar pastoral staff.
In the year 1859 this staff of office was first adopted at Chicago by the Templars of the United States, during the Grand Mastership of Sir William B.Hubbard. But, unfortunately, at that time it received the name of abacus, a misnomer which was continued on the authority of a literary blunder of Sir Walter Scott, so that it has fallen to the lot of American Freemasons to perpetuate, in the use of this word, an error of the great novelist, resulting from his too careless writing, at which he would himself have been the first to smile, had his attention been called to it. Abacus, in mathematics, denotes an instrument or table used for calculation, and in architecture an ornamental part of a column; but it nowhere, in English or Latin, or any known language, signifies any kind of a staff.
Sir Walter Scott, who undoubtedly was thinking of baculus, in the hurry of the moment and a not improbable confusion of words and thoughts, wrote abacus, when, in his novel of Ivanhoe, he describes the Grand Master, Lucas Beaumanoir, as bearing in his hand "that singular abacus, or staff of office," committed a gross, but not uncommon, literary blunder, of a kind that is quite familiar to those who are conversant with the results of rapid composition, where the writer often thinks of one word and writes another.
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