American Masons have a fondness for Harold Bayley's two books which English Masons might find it difficult to explain; at least so it would be guessed from comparing the circulation of them here with their circulation there. Perhaps it is because he has let a fresh, new light into Masonic symbols, and done so with no pseudo-occultistic obscurantism (a thing for which American Masons have no stomach, even if it is published in A. Q. C.) perhaps it is because with short, bold brush strokes he makes intelligible to us Americans what doubtless already is familiar to Europeans.
He writes about the Albigensians and the Huguenots, who carried on a sort of Protestant underground movement for many years, in regions where any deviation from strict Roman Catholic orthodoxy was examined by the Inquisition and punishable by burning. These men were, many of them, makers of paper, which they produced in little water-driven mills, in far- off places among the hills. They had modes of recognition, passwords, tokens, secret words, etc., by which they sent messages here and there. After they discovered how to lay in watermarks in the sheets of paper they sent out to the cities they turned the marks into symbols, which would "be understanded" by their friends and sympathizers and would thus help to keep certain ideas alive. I t is about these fraternities, or half-fraternities, their secrets and their symbols, that Mr. Bayley writes in A New Light on the Renaissance; J. M. Dent & Co., London; and The Lost Language of symbolism; J. B. Lippincott; New York; 1913. The latter has many references to Freemasonry in chapters on Searching for the Lost, Theological Ladder, King Solomon and Pillars, All-Seeing Eye, Tree of Life, Clasped Hands, etc. (It can be remembered in connection with these books that Dr. J. T. Desaguliers, architect of the first Grand Lodge, was a Huguenot refugee. ) Brother Frederick Foster's essay on "The Due Guard" which he contributed to The Treasury of Masonic Thought (compiled by George M. Martin and John W. Callaghan; David Winter & Son; Dundee; 1924), was based on Bayley's works.
Owned & Operated Exclusively by Members of the Masonic Family
Tradition, Integrity, Trust.
© 2018 The Ashlar Company
“Received my ring today!
Outstanding thank you!”
Brother Huggy Graham, Perth, Scotland
You are currently visiting masonicencyclopedia.com