Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!
BALLOT, RECONSIDERATION OF THE.
See Reconsideration of the Ballot.
BALLOT, SECRECY OF THE.
The secrecy of the ballot is as essential to its perfection as its unanimity or its independence. If the vote were to be given viva voce, or by word of mouth, it is impossible that the improper influences of fear or interest should not sometimes be exerted, and timid members be thus induced to vote contrary to the dictates of their reason and conscience.
Hence, to secure this secrecy and protect the purity of choice, it has been wisely established as a usage, not only that the vote shall in these eases be taken by a ballot, but that there shall be no subsequent discussion of the subject. Not only has no member a right to inquire how his fellows have voted, but it is wholly out of order for him to explain his own vote.
The reason of this is evident. If one member has a right to rise in his place and announce that he deposited a.white ball, then every other member has the same right. in a Lodge of, say, twenty members, where an application has been rejected by one black ball, if nineteen members state that they did not deposit it, the inference is clear that the twentieth Brother has done so, and thus the secrecy of the ballot is at once destroyed.
The rejection having been announced from the Chair, the Lodge should at once proceed to other business, and it is the sacred duty of the presiding officer peremptorily and at once to check any rising discussion ou the subject. Nothing must be done to impair the inviolable secrecy of the ballot.
BALLOT, UNANIMITY OF THE
Unanimity in the choice of candidates is considered so essential to the welfare of the Fraternity, that the Old Regulations have expressly provided for its preservation in the following words:
"But no man can be entered a Brother in any particular Lodge, or admitted to be a member thereof, without the unanimous consent of all the members of that Lodge then present when the candidate is proposed, and their consent is formally asked by the Master; and they are to signify their consent or dissent in their own prudent way, either virtually or in form, but with unanimity; nor is this inherent privilege subject to a dispensation; because the members of a particular Lodge are the best judges of it; and if a fractious member should be imposed on them, it might spoil their harmony, or hinder their freedom; or even break and disperse the Lodge, which ought to be avoided by all good and true brethren" (see the Constitutions, 1723 edition, page 59).
However, the rule of unanimity here referred to is applicable only to the United States of America, in all of whose Grand Lodges it has been strictly enforced.
Anderson tells us, in the second edition of the Constitutions, under the head of New Regulations (page 155), that-" It was found inconvenient to insist upon unanimity in several cases ; and, therefore, the Grand Masters have allowed the Lodges to admit a member if not above three ballots are against him; though some Lodges desire no such allowance."
Accordingly, the Constitution (Rule 190) of the Grand Lodge of England, says:
"No person can be made a Mason in or admitted a member of a Lodge, if, on the ballot, three black balls appear against him ; but the by-laws of a Lodge may enact that one or two black balls shall exclude a candidate; and by-laws may also enact that a prescribed period shall elapse before any rejected candidate can be again proposed in that Lodge."
The Grand Lodge of Ireland (By-law 127) prescribes unanimity, unless there is a by-law of the subordinate Lodge to the contrary.
The Constitution of Scotland provides (by Rule 181) that "Three black balls shall exclude a candidate.
Lodges in the Colonies and in foreign parts may enact that two black balls shall exclude." In the continental Lodges, the modern English regulation prevails. It is only in the Lodges of the United States that the ancient rule of unanimity is strictly enforced.
Unanimity in the ballot is necessary to secure the harmony of the Lodge, which may be as seriously impaired by the admission of a candidate contrary to the wishes of one member as of three or more ; for every man has his friends and his influence. Besides, it is unjust to any member, however humble he may be, to introduce among his associates one whose presence might be unpleasant to him, and whose admission would probably compel him to withdraw from the meetings, or even altogether from the Lodge.
Neither would any advantage really accure to a Lodge by such a forced admission ; for while receiving a new and untried member into its fold, it would be losing an old one. For these reasons, in the United States, in every one of its jurisdictions, the unanimity of the ballot is expressly insisted on; and it is evident, from what has been here said, that any less stringent regulation is a violation of the ancient law and usage.
A Masonic Congress which met in Baltimore, Maryland, on the 8th of May, 1843, in consequence of a recommendation made by a preceding convention which had met in Washington, District of Columbia, in March, 1842.
The Convention consisted of delegates from the States of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, Maryland, District of Columbia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri, and Louisiana.
Its professed objects were to produee uniformity of Masonic work and to recommend such measures as should tend to the elevation of the Order.
The Congress continued in session for nine days, during which time it was principally occupied in an attempt to perfect the ritual, and in drawing up articeles for the permanent organision of a Triennial Masonic Convention of the United States, to consist of delegates from all the Grand Lodges. In both of these efforts it failed, although several distinguished Freemasons took part in its proceedings.
The body was too small, consisting, as it did, of only twenty-three members, to exercise any decided popular influence on the Fratemity. Its plan of a Triennial Convention met with very general opposition, and its proposed ritual, familiary known as the Baltimore work, has almost become a myth. Its only practical result was the preparation and publication of Moore's Trestle Board, a Monitor which has, however, been adopted only by a limited number of American Lodges. The Baltimore work did not materially differ from that originally established by Webb.
Moore's Trestle Board professes to be an exposition of its monitorial part; a statement which, however, was denied by Doctor Dove, who was the President of the Convention, and the controversy on this point at the time between these two eminent Freemasons was conducted with too much bitterness.
The above Convention adopted a report endorsing "the establishment of a Grand National Convention possessing limited powers, to meet triennially to decide upon discrepancies in the work, provide for uniform Certificates or Diplomas, and to act as referee between Grand Lodges at variance. Whenever thirteen or more Grand Lodges should agree to the proposition, the Convention should be permanently formed. "
Following the recommendation of the Convention, representatives from the Grand Lodges of North Carolina, Virginia, Iowa, Michigan, District of Columbia and Missouri met at Winchester, Virginia, on May 11, 1846. Only eight delegates appearing, the Convention adjourned without doing any business.
Another Masonic Convention was held at Baltimore on September 23, 1847, to consider the propriety of forming a General Grand Lodge. The following Grand Lodges had accredited delegates : North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Brother William P. Mellen, of Mississippi, presided, and Brother Joseph Robinson, of Maryland, was the Secretary. A Constitution was adopted and this was forwarded to the several Grand Lodges with the understanding that if sixteen of them approved the measure before January 1, 1849, it would go into effect and the first meeting thereunder would be held at Baltimore on the second Tuesday in July, 1849. But the Constitution failed to receive the approval of the required number of Grand Lodges and the project for a Supreme Grand Lodge came to a halt.
A small column or pilaster, corruptly called a banister; in French, balustre. Borrowing the architectural idea, the Freemasons of the Scottish Rite apply the word baluster to any official circular or other document issuing from a Supreme Council.
BALZAC, LOUIS CHARLES.
A French architect of some celebrity, and member of the Institute of Egypt. He founded the Lodge of the Great Sphinx at Paris. He was also a poet of no inconsiderable merit, and was the author of many Masonic canticles in the French language, among them the well-known hymn entitled Taisons nous, plus de bruit, the music of which was composed by M. Riguel. He died March 31, 1820, at which time he was inspector of the public works in the prefecture of the Seine.
The neek ribbon bearing the jewel of the office Lodge, Chapter, or Grand Lodge of various countries, and of the symbolic color pertaining to the body in which it is worn.
The name of an officer known in the higher Degrees of the French Rite. One who has in trust the. banner; similar in station to the Standard-Bearer of a Grand Lodge, or of a Supreme Body of the Scottish Rite.
A small banner or pennant. An officer known in the Order of the Knights Templar, who, with the Marshal, had charge of warlike under takings. A title of an order known as Knight Banneret, instituted by Edward I. The banneret of the most ancient order of knighthood called Knight Bachelor was shaped like Figure 1. The Knights Banneret, next in age, had a pennant like Figure 2. That of the Barons was similar to the one shown in Figure 3.
The pennon or pointed or forked flag was easily shornn off at the ends to make the other style of banneret and thus it came about that to show due appreciation of service the pointed end could be clipped on the field of battle when the owner was promoted in rank.
BANNERS, ROYAL ARCH.
Much difficulty has been experienced by ritualiats in reference to the true colors and proper arrangements of the banners used in an American Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.
It is admitted that. they are four in number, and that their colors are blue, purple, scarlet, and white; and it is known, too, that the devices on these banners are a lion, an oz, a man, and an eagle. But the doubt is constantly arising as to the relation between these devices and these colors, and as to which of the former is to be appropriated to each of the latter.
The question, it is true, is one of mere ritualism, but it is important that the ritual should be always uniform, and hence the objeet of the present article is to attempt the solution of this question. The banners used in a Royal Arch Chapter are derived from those which are supposed to have been borne by the twelve Tribes of Israel during their encampment in the wildemess, to which reference is made in the second chapter of the Book of Numbers, and the second verse: "Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard." But as to what were the devices on the banners, or what were their respective colors, the Bible is absolutely silent.
To the inventive genius of the Talmudists are we indebted for all that we know or profess to know on this subject. These mystical philosophers have given to us with wonderful precision the various devices which they have borrowed from the death-bed prophecy of Jacob, and have sought, probably in their own fertile imaginations, for the appropriate colors.
The English Royal Arch Masons, whose system differs very much from that of their American Companions, display in their Chapters the twelve banners of the tribes in accordance with the Talmudic devices and colors. These have been very elaborately described by Doctor Oliver in his Historical Landmarks (11, 583-97), and beautifully exemplified by Companion Harris in his Royal Arch Tracing Boards.
But our American Royal Arch Masons, as we have seen, use only four banners, being those attributed by the Talmudists to the four principal Tribes Judah, Ephraim, Reubenu, anud Dan. The devices on these banners are respectively a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle. As to this there is no question, all authorities, such as they are, agreeing on this point.
But, as has been before said there is some diversity of opinion as to the colors of each, and necessarily as to the officers by whom they should be borne.
Some of the Targumists, or Jewish biblical commentators, say that the color of the banner of each Tribe was analogous to that of the stone which represented that Tribe in the breastplate of the High Priest. If this were correct, then the colors of the banners of the four leading Tribes would be red and green, namely, red for Judah, Ephraim, and Reuben, and green for Dan; these being the colors of the precious stones sardonyx, ligure, carbuncle, and chrysolite, by which these Tribes were represented in the High Priest's Breastplate. Such an arrangement would not, of course, at all suit the symbolism of the American Royal Arch banners.
Equally unsatisfactory is the disposition of the colors derived from the arms of Speculative Freemasonry, as first displayed by Dermott in his Ahiman Rezon, which is familiar to all American Freemasons from the copy published by Cross in his Hieroglyphic Chart. In this piece of blazonry, the two fields occupied by Judah and Dan are azure, or blue, and those of Ephraim and Reuben are or, or golden yellow; an appropriation of colors altogether uncongenial with Royal Arch symbolism.
We must, then, depend on the Talmudic writers solely for the disposition and arrangement of the colors and devices of these banners. From their works we learn that the color of the banner of Judah was white; that of Ephraim, scarlet; that of Reuben, purple; and that of Dan, blue; and that the devices of the same Tribes were respectively the lion, the ox, the man, and the eagle. Hence, under this arrangement---and it is the only one upon which we can depend-the four banners in a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, working in the American Rite, should be distributed as follows among the banner-bearing officers:
1. An eagle, on a blue banner. This represents the Tribe of Dan, and is borne by the Grand Master of the First Veil.
2. A man, on a purple banner. This represents the Tribe of Reuben, and is borne by the Grand Master of the Second Veil.
3. An ox, on a scarlet banner. This represents the Tribe of Ephraim, and is borne by the Grand Master of the Third Veil.
4. A lion, on a white banner. This represents the Tribe of Judah, and is borne by the Royal Arch Captain.
The imaginary idol, or rather the symbol, which the Knights Templar under Grand Master De Molay were accused of employing in their mystie rites. The forty-second of the charges preferred against them by Pope Clement is in the' words:
Item quod ipsi per singulas provincias habeant idola: videlicet capita qourum aliqua habebant tres facies, et alia unum: et aliqua cranium humanum habebant; meaning, also, that in all of the provinces they have idols, namely, heads, of which some had three faces, some me, and some had a human skull.
Von Hammer-Purgstall, a bitter enemy of the Templars, in his book entitled The Mystery.of Baphomet Revealed this old accusation, and attached to the Baphomet an impious signification. He derived the name from the Greek words, baptim, and supreme wisdom, the baptism of Metis, and thence supposed that it represented the admission of the initiated into the secret mysteries of the Order.
From this gratuitous assumption he deduces his theory, set forth even in the very title of his work, that the Templars were convicted, by their own monuments, of being guilty as Gnostics and Ophites, of -apostasy, idolatry, and impurity. Of this statement he offers no other historical testimony than the Articles of Accusation, themselves devoid of proof, but through which the Templars were made the victims of the jealousy of the Pope and the avarice of the King of France.
Others again have thought that they could find in Baphomet a corruption of Mahomet, and hence they have asserted that the Templars had been perverted from their religious faith by the Saracens, with whom they had so much intercourse, sometimes as foes and sometimes as friends. Baphomet was indeed a common medieval form of the word Mahomet and that not only meant a false prophet but a demon. Hence any unholy or fantastie ceremonies were termed baffumerie, mahomerie, or mummery.
Nicolai, who wrote an Essay on the Accusations brought against the Templars, published at Berlin, in 1782, supposes, but doubtingly, that the figure of the Baphomet, figura Baffometi, which was depicted on a bust representing the Creator, was nothing else but the Pythagorean pentagon, the symbol of health and prosperity, borrowed by the Templars from the Gnostics, who in turn had obtained it from the School of Pythagoras.
King, in his learned work on the Gnostics, thinks that the Baphomet. may have been a symbol of the Manicheans, with whose widespreading heresy in the Middle Ages he does not doubt that a large portion of the inquiring spirits of the Temple had been intoxicated.
Another suggestion is by Brother Frank C. Higgins, Ancient Fremasonry ( page 108), that Baphomet is but the secret name of the Order of the Temple in an abbreviated form thus: Tem. Ohp. Ab. from the Latin Templi Omnium Hominum Pacis Abbas, intended to mean The Temple of the Father of Peace among Men.
Amid these conflicting views, all merely speculative, it will not be uncharitable or unreasonable to suggest that the Baphomet, or skull of the ancient Templars, was, like the relic of their modern Masonic representatives, simply an impressive symbol teaching the lesson of mortality, and that the latter has really been derived from the former.
[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership
Development] [Education] [Masonic
This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United
States or elsewhere.
Last modified: March 22, 2014