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Corruptly spelled benchorim in some old monitors. This is a significant word in the high degrees, probably signifying one that is freeborn, from son of the freeborn. The word has also a close resemblance in sound to the Hebrew for son of Hiram.
or Beniah. Lenning gives this form, Benayah. The son of Jah, a significant word in the advanced degrees. The Hebrew is n-iz.
The Hebrew Word meaning a covenant. A significant word in several of the advanced degrees.
Capital of the old kingdom of Prussia, and the seat of three Grand Lodges, namely: the Grand National Mother Lodge, founded in 1744; the Grand Lodge of Germany, founded in 1770; and the Grand Lodge of Royal York of Friendship, founded in 1798 (see German y).
A small group of islands in the West Atlantic Ocean. The first Provincial Grand Master of the Bermudas was Brother Alured Popple, appointed by Lord Strathmore in 1744. A Lodge was chartered in 1761 by the Grand Lodge, "Moderns," of England as Union Lodge, No. 266. The first to be warranted by the Athol Grand Lodge was Saint George, No. 307.
The English Provincial Grand Lodge did not long survive but in 1803 a Province under the Grand Lodge of Scotland was established in the Bermudas. Two Lodges, Saint George's and Civil and Military, are still active under the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
It was discovered in 1813 that the Lodges instituted by the "Antients" were still working but those chartered by the ''Moderns'' had ceased all activity. There is a Lodge, Atlantic Phenix, at Hatnilton, at work , since 1797.
An expelled member under whose name was published, in the year 1829, a pretended exposition entitled Light on Masonry. The book was one of the fruits of the anti-Masonic excitement of the day. It is a worthless production, intended as a libel on the Institution.
A famous preacher and Theologian, born in France in 1090, was the founder of the Order of Cistercian Monks. He took great interest in the success of the Knights Templar, whose Order he cherished throughout his whole life. His works contain numerous letters recommending them to the favor and protection of the great. In 1128, he himself is said to have drawn up the Rule of the Order, and among his writings is to be found a Sermo exhortatorius ad Milites Templi, or an Exhortation to the Soldiers of the Temple, a production full of sound advice. To the influence of Bemard and his untiring offices of kindness, the Templars were greatly indebted for their rapid increase in wealth and consequence. He died in the year 1153.
The Hebrew name is pronounced tar-sheesh. A precious stone, the first in the fourth row of the high priest's breastplate. Color, bluish-green. It has been ascribed to the tribe of Benjamin.
BEYERLE, FRANÇOIS LOUIS DE.
A French Masonic writer of some prominence toward the close of the eighteenth century. He was a leading member of the Rite of Strict Observance, in which his adopted name was Eques à Flore. He wrote a criticism on the Masonic Congress of Wilhelmsbad, which was published under the title of Oratio de Conventu generali Latomorum apud aquas Wilhelminas, prope Hanauviam.
He also wrote an Essai sur la Franc-Maçonnerie, ou du but essentiel et fondamenal de la Franc-Maçonnerie, Essay on Freemasonry, or the essential and fundamental purpose of Freemasonry; translated the second volume of Frederic Nicolai's essay on the crimes imputed to the Templars, and was the author of several other Masonic works of less importance. He was a member of the French Constitutional Convention of 1792. He wrote also some political essays on finances, and was a contributor on the same subject to the Encyclopédie Méthodique.
One of the builders of the Ark of the Covenant (see Aholiab).
In French, we have a Bibliographie des Ouvrages, Opuscules, Encycliques ou écrits les p1us remarquables, publiés sur l'histoire de la Franc-Maçonnerie depuis 1723 jusqu'en 1814, Bibliography of the Works, Booklets, Circulars, or more remarkable writings, published on the History of Freemasonry since 1725, as far as 1814. It is by Thory, and is contained in the first volume of his Acta Latotnorum. Though not full, it is useful, especially in respect to French works, and it is to be regretted that it stops at a period anterior to the Augustan age of Masonic literature. In German we have the work of Dr. Georg B. F. Kloss, entitled Bibliographie der Freimaurerei, published at Frankfort in 1844. At the time of its publication it was an almost exhaustive work, and contains the titles of about 5,400 items classified according to the subject matter of the works listed. Reinhold Taute published his Maurerische Buecherkunde at Leipzig in 1886. In 1911 begun the publication of the three volumes of August Wolfstieg's Bibliographie der Freimauerischen Literatur listing 43,347 titles of works treating of Freemasonry. The three volumes of Wolfstieg's elaborate compilation, appearing respectively in 1911, 1912, and 1914, listing and briefly describing over forty-three thousand items, was continued by Brother Bernhard Beyer of the Grand Lodge Zur Sonne in Beyreuth, Germany, whose 1926 volume adds over eleven thousand references.
Brother Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Research, has prepared a list of Masonic Bibliographies and Catalogues in the English Language, 1920, and the Committee has also published a selected List of Masonic Literature, 1923, and these have been made all the more useful by An Essay on Masonic History and Reference Works by Brother Shepherd.
Brother William L. Boyden, Librarian, Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, has described the method used in the great Library under his charge at Washington, District of Columbia, in a pamphlet, Classification of the Literature of Freemasonry, 1915, a plan peculiarly applicable to Masonic libraries. In this connection we are reminded of the late Brother Frank J. Thompson, Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of North Dakota, and a greatly esteemed correspondent of ours. He published about 1903 a System of Card Membership Record for Masonic Bodies and a Scheme of Classification for Masonic Books, the latter being an extension of the Dewey decima1 system.
BIELFELD, JACOB FREDERICK.
Baron Bielfeld was born March 31, 1717, and died April 5, 1770. He was envoy from the court of Prussia to The Hague, and a familiar associate of Frederick the Great in the youthful days of that Prince before he ascended the throne. He was one of the founders of the Lodge of the Three Globes in Berlin, which afterward became a Grand Lodge. Through his influence Frederick was induced to become a Freemason. In Bielfeld's Freundschaftlicher Briefe, or Familiar Letters, are to be found an account of the initiation of the Prince, and other curious details concerning Freemasonry.
Deputy Grand Master, Scot1and, 1789.
A Freemason who owes his reputation to the fact that he was the author of the universally known Enter'd 'Prentice's song, beginning:
Come let us prepare
We Brothers that are .
Met together on merry Occasion;
Let's drink, laugh, and sing;
Our wine has a spring.
'Tis a Health to an Accepted Mason.
This song first appeared in Read's Weekly Journal for December 1, 1722, and then was published in the Book of Constitutions in 1723, after the death of its author, which occurred on December 30, 1722.
Birkhead was a singer and actor at Drury Lane Theater in London, and was Master of Lodge V when Doctor Anderson was preparing his Constitutions, His funeral is thus described in Read's Weekly Journal for .January 12, 1723.
"Mr. Birkhead was last Saturday night carried from his Lodgings in Which-street to be interr'd at St Clements Danes; the Pall was supported by six Free-Masons belonging to Drury-Lane Play-house; the other Members of that particular Lodge of which he was a Warden, with a vast number of other Accepted-Masons, followed two and two; both the Pall-bearers and others were in their white-aprons"
(see also Enter'd'Prentice's Song and Tune, Freemasons').
Black, in the Masonic ritua1, is constantly the symbol of grief. This is perfectly consistent with its use in the world, where black has from remote antiquity been adopted as the garment of mourning.
In Freemasonry this color is confined to but a few degrees, but everywhere has the single meaning of sorrow. Thus in the French Rite, during the ceremony of raising a candidate to the Master's Degree, the Lodge is clothed in black strewed with the representations of tears, as a token of grief for the loss of a distinguished member of the fraternity, whose tragic history is commemorated in that degree.
This usage is not, however, observed in the York Rite. The black of the Elected Knights of Nine, the Illustrious Elect of Fifteen, and the Sublime Knights Elected, in the Scottish Rite, has a similar import.
Black appears to have been adopted in the degree of Noachite, as a symbol of grief, tempered with humility, which is the virtue principally dilated on in the ceremony.
The garments of the Knights Templar were originally white, but after the death of their martyred Grand Master, James de Molay, the modern Knights assumed a black dress as a token of grief for his loss.
The same reason led to the adoption of black as the appropriate color in the Scottish Rite of the Knights of Kadosh and the Sublime Princes of the Roya1 Secret.
The modern American modification of the Templar costume abandons all reference to this historical fact.
One exception to this symbolism of black is to be found in the degree of Select Master, where the vestments are of black bordered with red, the combination of the two colors showing that the degree is properly placed between the Royal Arch and Templar degrees, while the black is a symbol of silence and secrecy, the distinguishing virtues of a Select Master.
The ball used in a Masonic ballot by those who do not wish the candidate to be admitted. Hence, when an applicant is rejected, he is said to be "blackballed."
The use of black balls may be traced as far back as the ancient Romans. Thus, Ovid says in the Metamorphoses (xv, 41), that in trials it was the custom of the ancients to condemn the prisoner by black pebbles or to acquit him by white ones: Mos erat antiquus, niveis atrisque lapillis, His dammare reos, illis absolvere culpae.
In German Lodges the Schwarze Tafel, or Blackboard, is that on which the names of applicants for admission are inscribed, so that every visitor may make the necessary inquiries whether they are or are not worthy of acceptance.
BLACK BROTHERS, ORDER OF THE.
Lenning says that the Schwarze Brüder was one of the College Societies of the German Universities. The members of the Order, however, denied this, and claimed an origin as early as 1675. Thory, in the Acta Latomorum (1, 313), says that it was largely spread through Germany, having its seat for a long time at Giessen and at Marburg, and in 1783 being removed to Frankfort on the Oder.
The same writer asserts that at first the members observed the dogmas and ritual of the Kadosh, but that afterward the Order, becoming a political society, gave rise to the Black Legion, which in 1813 was commanded by M. Lutzow.
BLAÉRFINDY, BARON GRANT DE.
Scottish officer in French army; prominent in the French high grades and Scottish Philosophic Rite and credited by some (see Histoire de la Franc-Maçonnerie Française, Albert Lantoine, 1925, Paris, page 221) as the founder of the grades of the Sublime Master of the Luminous Ring (Académie des Sublimes Maitres de l'Anneau Lumineux), a system in which Pythagoras is deemed the creator of Freemasonry.
BLAVATSKY, HELENA PETROVNA.
Russian theosophist, born July 31, 1831; died May 8, 1891, established at New York in 1875 the Theosophica1 Society. A sketch of the history of the Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry, published by- John Hogg at London, 1880, says on page 58 that "The 24th of November, 1877, the Order conferred upon Madam H. P. Blavatsky the Degrees of the Rite of Adoption. "
Grand Master of the English Grand Lodge of the Moderns, 1764--6.
BLESINTON, EARL OF.
Grand Master of Ire1and, 1738-9; also of the English Grand Lodge of the Antients, 1756-9. The name Blesinton has been variously spelled by members of the family but the spelling here given is taken from the signature of the Brother in the records of his Grand Lodge.
A blind man cannot be initiated into Freemasonry under the operation of the old regulation, which requires physical perfection in a candidate. This rule has nevertheless been considerably modified in some Jurisdictions.
Physical blindness in Freemasonry, as in the language of the Scriptures, is symbolic of the deprivation of moral and intellectual light. It is equivalent to the darkness of the Ancient Mysteries in which the neophytes were enshrouded for periods varying from a few hours to many days. The Masonic candidate, therefore, represents one immersed in intellectual darkness, groping in the search for that Divine light and truth which are the objects of a Freemason's1abor (see Darkness).
The three blows given to the Builder, according to the legend of the Third Degree, have been difierently interpreted as symbols in the different systems of Freemasonry, but always with some reference to adverse or malignant influences exercised on humanity, of whom Hiram is considered as the type. Thus, in the symbolic Degrees of Ancient Craft Freemasonry, the three blows are said to be typical of the trials and temptations to which man is subjected in youth and manhood, and to death, whose victim he becomes in old age. Hence the three Assassins are the three stages of human life. In the advanced Degrees, such as the Kadoshes, which are founded on the Templar system commonly credited to Ramsay, the reference is naturally made to the destruction of the Order, which was effected by the combined influencas of Tyranny,
Superstition, and Ignorance, which are therefore symbolized by the three blows; while the three Assassins are also said sometimes to be represented by Squin de Florean, Naffodei, and the Prior of Montfaucon, the three perjurers who swore away the lives of De Molay and his Knights. In the astronomical theory of Freemasonry, which makes it a modern modification of the ancient sun-worship, a theory advanced by Ragon, the three blows are symbolic of the destructive influences of the three winter months, by which Hiram, or the Sun, is shorn of his vivifying power. Des Etangs has generalized the Templar theory, and, supposing Hiram to be the symbol of eternal reason, interprets the blows as the attacks of those vices which deprave and finally destroy humanity. However interpreted for a special theory, Hiram the Builder always represents, in the science of Masonic symbolism, the principle of good; and then the three blows are the contending principles of evil.
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