Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/268

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BALSAM


226


BALTASAR


peared, like Chateaubriand, on the last day of the revolution of his country to demand from it an account of its excesses, and to claim for ancient institutions their forgotten rights. Both mounted on the wings of genius to a height so elevated above the passions of party that all entertained respect and veneration for them. One and the other brought such glory to their country that, though they combated generally prevailing opinions and prejudices, aU good citizens wove for them well- earned crowns and loved them with enthusiasm." Besides the works mentioned above, a collection of fragments and unpublislied pieces were issued after his death under the title "Escritos postumos" (Bar- celona, 1S50); also "Poesias postumas" (ib.), and "Escritos politicos" (ib.).

SoLER, Biografia del D. J. Balmes (Barcelona, 1850); GARcfA DE LOS Santos, Vida de Balmes CMadrid, 1848); Raffin, J. Balmes, sa vie el ses ouvrages (Paris, 1849; Ger. tr. Ratisbon, 1852); Art of Thinking (Dublin. 1882, Biog. Introd.); Protes- tuniism and Catholicism Compared (Baltimore. 1850, Biog. Introd.); GoNZ.\LEZ Herrero, Esludio historico critico sobre las doctrinas de Balmes (Oviedo, 1905); Menendkz t Pelayo, Historia de los heterodoxos espanoles (Madrid, 1881) III, lib. VIII, iii; Baranera, Balmes (Vich, 1905).

F. P. Siegfried.

Balsam, an oily, resinous, and odorous substance, which flows spontaneously or by incision from cer- tain plants, and which the Church mixes with olive oil for use as chrism. Balsams are very widely dis- tributed throughout the plant kingdom, being par- ticularly abundant in the pine family, but the name is generally restricted in the present day to resins which in addition to a volatile oil contain benzoic and cinnamic acid. Among the true balsams are the Balm of Gilead, or Mecca, which is cultivated in Arabia, Egypt, Syria, etc., and is extremely costly; the copaiva balsam, and those of Peru and Tolu — all three found chiefly in Soutli America. The term balsam, however, is also applied to many pharma- ceutical preparations and resinous substances which possess a balsamic odour.

Tlie practice of the Church of using balsam, as men- tioned above, is very ancient, going back possibly to Apostolic times. (See Chrism.) The scarcity and high price of other perfumes lias obliged the Latin Church to be content with balm alone in the mixture of holy chrism; but in the East, where the climate is more favourable than ours to the growth of these plants, the Church uses no less than thirty-six species of precious perfumes, according to the Eu- chologion, in the oil, which makes it an ointment of exquisite fragrance. The Latin Church does not in- sist on the quantity or the quality of the balsam to be used; any substance commonly known as a balsam may be utilized, and such a quantity as will give its odour to the oil is sufficient. This mingling of the balsam with the oil is intended to convey, by outward sign, the good odour of Christ, of whom it is written (Cantic, i, 3): " We will run after thee to the odour of thy ointments." It typifies also the odour of good works, the thought which ouglit to inspire those who worthily receive the sacraments; and it symbohzes an innocent life and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The balsam is blessed by the bishop at the Mass wliich he solemnly celebrates on Holy Thursday and is poured into the oil after he has administered Holy Communion to the faithful. The cruet of balsam is brouglit by a subdeacon to the assistant priest, who in turn places it on a table in the sanctuary before the bishop. The latter bles.ses the balsam, reciting over it the three prayers found in the P.onian Pontif- ical: he calls it the fragrant tear of dry bark — the oozing of a favoured branch that gives us the priestly unction. Later he mixes the balsam with a little oil on a paten and pours it into the chrism with a suita- ble invocation: "May this mixture of liquors be to those who shall be anointed with it, a propitiation and a salutary protection for ever and ever. Amen."


In the early ages the pope, without using any form, as appears from the Roman Ordines, poured the balsam into the oil, while still in the sacristy before Mass (Ordo Romanus, X, n. 3; P. L., LXXVIII, 1010), but the blessing took place after the Com- munion of the pope, and before that of the clergy and the faithful (Duchesne, Christian Worship, 2d Eng. ed., 305, 306, 467). According to the Gregorian Sacramentary (Muratori, ed., P. L., LXXVIII, 330), however, the pope mixes the balsam and oil during the Mass. In the Church of Soissons in France, at one time, the " Veni Creator " was sung before the mingling of the balsam and oil.


MoHLER in Kirchenlex.


Andrew B. Meeh.\n.


Balsamon, Theodore, a canonist of the Greek Church, b. in the second half of the twelfth century at Constantinople; d. there, after 1195 (Petit). He was a deacon, nomophylax, or guardian of the Laws, and from 1178 to 11S3, under the Patriarch Theodosius, he had charge of all ecclesiastical trials or cases. In 1193 he became Greek Patriarch of Antioch. Balsamon's best work is his "Scholia", or commentary on the "Nomocanon" of Photius, published first in Latin at Paris (1561), at Basle (1562); in Greek and Latin at Paris (1615), and again at Basle (1620). It is also found in Beveridge's "Pandecta Canonum", Oxford, 1672 (P. G., cxxxvii- viii). From 1852 to 1860, Rhalh and Potli publislied at Athens a collection of the sources of Greek canon law which contains Balsamon's commentary. In his "Scholia" Balsamon insists on existing laws, and dwells on the relation between canons and laws — ec- clesiastical and civil constitutions — giving precedence to the former. Balsamon also compiled a collection of ecclesiastical constitutions and wrote other works, in all of which is apparent his animosity towards the Roman Church. Two of his letters were pub- lished: one treating of fasting, the other on the admission of novices into monasteries.

Kreutzwald in Kirchenlex., s. v.; Beveridge, Prccf, in PoTuiecta Can., P. G., LXX, 11 sqq.; Mortreuil, Hist. diL droit byzantin (Paris, 1846), III, 1432-45; Krumbacher, Gesch. des byzant. litt. (Munich, 1897).

Andrew B. Meeh.vn.

Baltasar, or as found in the Septuagint BaXraa-ip, is the Cjreek and Latin name for Belshazzar, "lVXCv3, which is the Hebrew equivalent for Bel-sarra-ti.-!UT, i. e. "May Bel protect the king". Bel was the chief and titular god of Babylon. In Daniel, v, Baltasar is described as the son of Nabuchodonosor (A. V., Nebuchadnezzar) and the last King of Babylon. It is there narrated how the town was invaded — by the Medes under Darius, as would seem from Dan., v, 28, 29 — whilst the king was giving a sumptuous feast to his nobles. The king himself was slain. The narrator further informs us that the .sacred vessels whicli Nabuchodonosor had carried with him from Jerusalem were defiled on that occasion. By order of King Baltasar they were used during the banquet, and his wives and concubines drank out of tliem. In the midst of the revelry a hand is seen writing on the wall the mysterious words Mane, Thecel, Phares (A. V., Mene, Tekel, Peres). The king's counsellors and magicians are summoned to explain the writing, but they fail to do so. The Queen tlien enters the banquet hall and suggests that Daniel sliould be called for. Daniel reads and explains the words: the days of the kingdom had been num- bered; the king had been weighed in the balance and had been found wanting; his kingdom would be given to the Medes and the Persians.

In the account given by Herodotus of the capture of Babylon by the Persians under Cyrus, Labynitus II, son of Labynitus I and Nicotris, is named as the last King of Babylon. Labynitus is commonly held to be a corruption of Nabonidus. Herodotus further mentions that Cyrus, after laying siege to the town,