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This is a purely Masonic term, and signifies in its technical meaning an intruder, whence it is always coupled with the word eavesdropper. It is no t fo und in any of the old manuscripts of the English Freemasons anterior to the eighteenth century, unless we suppose that lowen, met with in many of them, is a clerical error of the copyists. It occurs in the Schaw Manuscript, a Scotch record which bears the date of 1598, in the following passage: "That no Master or Fellow of Craft receive any cowans to work in his society or company, nor send none of his servants to work with cowans." In the second edition of Anderson's Constitutions, published in 1738 (page 146), we find the word in use among the English Freemasons, thus : ''But Free and Accepted Masons shall not allow cowans to work with them ; nor shall they be employed by cowans without an urgent necessity; and even in that case they must not reach cowans, but must have a separate communication." There can be but little doubt that the word, as a Masonic terrn, comes to us from Scotland, and it is therefore in the Scotch language that we must look for its signification. Now, Jamieson, in his Scottish Dictionary, gives us the following meanings of the word: Cowan, s.
l. A term of contempt ; applied to one who does the work of a mason, but has not been regularly bred.
2. Also used to denote one who builds dry walls, otherwise denominated a dry diker.
3. One unacquainted with the secrets of Freemasonry.
And he gives the following examples as his authorities :
A boat-carpenter, joiner, cowan (or builder of stone without mortar), get ls. at the minimum and good maintenance. P. Morven, Argyles. Statistic, Acct., X, 267. N.
Cowans. Masons who build dry-stone dikes or walls. P. Halkirk, Carthn, Statistic. Acct., XIX, 24. N. In the Rob Roy of Scott, the word is used by Allan Inverach, who says:
She does not value a Cawmill mair as a cowan.
The word has therefore, in the opinion of Brother Mackey, come to the English Fraternity directly from the Operative Freemasons of Scotland, among whom it was used to denote a pretender, in the exact sense of the first meaning of Jamieson.
There is no word that has given Masonic scholars more trouble than this in tracing its derivation. By some it has been considered to come from the Greek meaning a dog; and referred to the fact that in the early ages of the Church, when the mysteries of the new refigion were communicated only to initiates under the veil of secrecy, infidels were called dogs, a term probably suggested by such passages as (Matthew vii 6), "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs"; or (Philippians iii 2), "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision'' (see a1so Revelations xxii 15). This derivation has been adopted by Oliver, and many other writers.
Jamieson's derivations are from the old Swedish kujon, kuzhjohn, meaning a silly fellow, and the French coion, coyon, signifying a coward, a base fellow. No matter how we get the word, it seems always to convey an idea of contempt. .The attempt to derive it from the chouans of the French Revolution is manifestly absurd, for it has been shown that the word was in use long before the French Revolution was even meditated.
However, Brother Hawkins points out that Doctor Murray in the New English Dictionary says that the derivation of the word is unknown.
Notwithstanding the above reference by Brother Hawkins we may venture to consider another objective.
There is a possibility of the word common presenting an explanation of our word cowan. Common is found frequently in use by the trade Gilds. Usually it means the citizens as a body. Today the English Commons is the assembled representatives of the people.
Several instances of its use are to be found in Jupps' History of the Carpenters Company. Sometimes it is spelled Coen and then Comon, and so on as the habit or fancy of the writer moved him. About half a dozen of them are given in the book by Jupp.
To the Masonic student of philology we would submit these considerations as it is just possible that cowan is but a variant of common. Workmen raised by a skilled knowledge of their trade above the ordinary level could not directly stigmatize those not in their class by any more deseriptive word than that which briefly scored them as of merely ordinary qualifieations. Do the contemptuous not still so speak of the common herd, and has not the outraged "cullud pussun" been reported by the freely deseriptive novelist as retorting on occasion with the saying of "common white trash?"
Deputy Grand Master, 1726-7, under Lord Inchiquin.
CRAFT MASONRY, ANCIENT.
CRAFTSMEN, CLEVELAND FEDERATION OF.
It is from the Saxon craeft, which indirectly signifies skill or dexterity in any art. In reference to this skill, therefore, the ordinary acceptation is a trade or mechanical art, and collectively, the persons practising it. Hence, the Craft, in Speculative Freemasonry, signifies the whole body of Freemasons, wherever dispersed.
CRAFT MASONRY, ANCIENT.
See Ancient Craft Masonry.
A word sometimes colloquially used, instead of the Lodge term passed, to designate the advancement of a candidate to the Second Degree.
A Freemason. The word originally meant anyone skilful in his art, and is so used by our early writers. Thus Chaucer, in his Knights' Tale (v 1897), says:
For in the land there was no craftesman,
That geometry or arsmetrike can,
Nor pourtrayor, nor carver of images,
That Theseus ne gave him meat and wages.
The theatre to make and to devise.
CRAFTSMEN, CLEVELAND FEDERATION OF.
See Universal Craftsmen Council of Engineers.
See Egyptian Priests, Initiations of the.
In chivalry, when anyone received the order of knighthood, he was said to be created a knight. The word dub had also the same meaning. The word created is used in Commanderies of Knights Templar to denote the elevation of a candidate to that Degree (see Dub).
Preston (Illustrations of Masonry, Book I, Section 3) says: "From the commencement of the world, we may trace the foundation of Masonry.
Ever since symmetry began, and harmony displayed her charms, our Order has had a being." Language like this has been deemed extravagant, and justly, too , if the words are to be taken in their literal sense. The idea that the Order of Freemasonry is coeval with the creation is so absurd that the pretension cannot need refutation. But the fact is, that Anderson, Preston, and other writers who have indulged in such statements, did not mean by the word Masonry anything like an organized Order or Institution bearing any resemblance to the Freemasonry of the present day.
They simply meant to indicate that the great moral principles on which Freemasonry is founded, and by which it professses to be guided, have always formed a part of the Divine government, and been presented to man from his first creation for his acceptance. The words quoted from Preston may be subject to eriticism, because they are liable to misconstruction. But the symbolic idea which they intended to convey, namely, that Freemasonry is truth, and that truth is coexistent with man's creation, is correct, and cannot be disputed.
CREED, A FREEMASON'S.
Although Freemasonry is not a dogmatic theology, and is tolerant in the admission of men of every religious faith, it would be wrong to suppose that it is without a creed.
On the contrary, it has a creed, the assent to which it rigidly enforces, and the denial of which is absolutely incompatible with membership in the Order, This creed consists of two articles: First, a belief in God, the Creator of all things, who is therefore recognized as the Great Architect of the Universe ; and secondly, a belief in the eternal life, to which this present life is but a preparatory and probationary state. To the first of these articles assent is explicitly required as soon as the threshold of the Lodge is crossed. The second is expressively taught by legends and symbols, and must be implicitly assented to by every Freemason, especially by those who have received the Third Degree, which is altogether founded on the doctrine of the resurrection to a second life.
At the revival of Freemasonry in 1717, the Grand Lodge of England set forth the law, as to the religous creed to be required of a Freemason, in the following words, to be found in the Charges approved by that body.
In ancient times, Masons were charged in every country to be of the religion of that country or nation, whatever it was; yet it is now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves (see Constitutions, 1723, page 50). This is now considered universally as the recognized law on the subject.
An open lamp formerly having a crosspiece filled with combustible material, such as naphtha, and recognized as the symbol of Light and Truth.
CREUZER, GEORG FRIEDERICH.
George Frederick Creuzer, who was born in Germany in 1771, and was a professor at the University of Heidelberg, devoted himself to the study of the ancient religions, and, with profound learning, established a peculiar system on the subject. His theory was, that the religion and mythology of the ancient Greeks were borrowed from a far more ancient people - -a body of priests coming from the East-who received them as a revelation. The myths and traditions of this ancient people were adopted by Hesiod, Homer, and the later poets, although not without some misunderstanding of them ; and they were finally preserved in the Mysteries, and became subjects of investigation for the philosophers. This theory Creuzer has developed in his most important work, entitled Symbolik und Archäologie der alten Völker, besonders der Griechen, which was published at Leipsic in 1819--21. There is no translation of this work into English; but Guigniaut published at Paris, in 1829, a paraphrastic translation of it, under the title of Religions de l'Antiquité considerées principalement dans leur Formes Symboliques et Mythologiques (Religions of Antiquity, considered prinncipaly under their Symbolical and Mythological Forms). Creuzer's views throw much light on the symbolic history of Freemasonry. He died in1858.
In Freemasonry, every offense is a crime, because, in every violation of a Masonic law there is not only sometimes an infringement of the rights of an individual, but always, superinduced upon this, a breach and violation of public rights and duties, which affect the whole community of the Order considered as a community.
The first class of crimes which are laid down in the Constitutions, as rendering their perpetrators liable to Masonic jurisdiction, are offenses against the moral law. "Every Mason," says the Old Charges of 1722, "is obliged by his tenure to obey the moral law." The same charge continues the precept by asserting, that if he rightly understands the art, he will never be a stupid atheist, nor an irreligious libertine. Atheism, therefore, which is a rejection of a supreme, superintending Creator, and irreligious libertinism, which, in the language of that day, signified a denial of all moral responsibility, are offenses against the moral law, because they deny its validity and contemn its sanctions ; and hence they are to be classed as Masonic crimes.
Again: the moral law inculcates love of God, love , of our neighbor, and duty to ourselves. Each of these embraces other incidental duties which are obligatory on every Freemason, and the violation of any one of which constitutes a Masonic crime.
The love of God implies that we should abstain from all profanity and irreverent use of his name. Universal benevolence is the necessary result of love of our neighbor. Cruelty to one's inferiors and dependents, uncharitableness to the poor and needy, and a general misanthropical neglect of our duty as men to our fellow-beings, exhibiting itself in extreme selfishness and indiflerence to the comfort or happiness of all others, are offenses against the moral law, and therefore Masonic crimes.
Next to violations of the moral law, in the category of Masonic crimes, are to be considered the transgressions of the municipal law, or the law of the land.
Obedience to constituted authority is one of the first duties which is impresssed upon the mind of the candidate; and hence he who transgress the laws of the government under which he lives violates the teachings of the Order, and is guilty of a Masonic crime.
But the Order will take no cognizance of ecclesiastical or political offenses. And this arises from the very nature of the society, which eschews all controversies about national religion or state policy. Hence apostasy, heresy, and schisms, although considered in some governments as heinous offenses, and subject to severe punishment, are not viewed as Masonic crimes Lastly, violations of the Landmarks and Regulations of the Order are Masonic crimes. Thus, disclosure of any of the secrets which a Freemason has promised to conceal ; disobedience and want of respect to Masonic superiors; the bringing of "private piques or quarrels" into, the Lodge; want of courtesy and kindness to the Brethren ; speaking calumniously of a Freemason behind his back, or in any other way attempting to injure him, as by striking him except in self-defense, or violating his domestic honor, is each a crime in Freemasonry. Indeed, whatever is a violation of fidelity to solemn engagements, a neglect of prescribed duties, or a transgression of the cardinal principles of friendship, morality, and brotherly love, is a Masonic crime.
Crimoysin is Old English. A deep-red color tinged with blue, emblematical of fervency and zeal ; belonging to several degrees of the Scottish Rite as well as to the Holy Royal Arch.
A large stone resting on two or more stones, like a table. Cromlechs are found in Brittany, Denmark, Germany, and some other parts of Europe, and are supposed to have been used in the Celtic Mysteries.
The Abb‚ Larudan published at Amsterdarn, in 1746, a book entitled Les Francs Maçons Ecrasés, meaning the Freemasons Crushed, of which Klos says in his Bibliographie der Freimaurerei No. 1874, that it is the armory from which all the abuse of Freemasonry by its enemies has been derived.
Larudan was the first to advance in this book the theory that 01iver Cromwell was the founder of Freemasonry. He says that Cromwell established the Order for the furtherance of his political designs; adopting with this view, as its governing principles, the doctrines of liberty and equality, and bestowed upon its members the title of Freemasons, because his object was to engage them in the building of a new edifice, that is to say, to reform the human race by the extermination of kings and all regal powers. He selected for this purpose the design of rebuilding the Temple of Solomon. This Temple, erected by Divine command, had been the sanctuary of religion. After years of glory and magnificence, it had been destroyed by a formidable army. The people who there worshiped had been conveyed to Babylon, whence, after enduring a rigorous captivity, they had been permitted to retum to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. This history of the Solomonic Temple Cromwell adopted, says Larudan, as an allegory on which to found his new Order. The Temple in its original magnificence was man in his primeval state of purity; its destruction and the captivity of its worshipers typified pride and ambition, which have abolished equality and introduced dependence among men; and the Chaldean destroyers of the glorious edifice are the kings who have trodden on an oppressed people.
It was, continues the Abbé, in the year 1648 that Cromwell, at an entertainent given by him to some of .his friends, proposed to them, in guarded terms, the establishment of a new society, which should secure a true worship of God, and the deliveranee of man from oppression and tyranny. The proposition was received with unanimous favor; and a few days after, at a house in King Street, and at six o'clock in the evening, for the Abbé is particular as to time and place, the Order of Freemasonry was organized, its Degrees established, its ceremonies and ritual prescribed, and several of the adherents of the future Protector initiated.
The Institution was used by Cromwell for the advancement of his projects, for the union of the contending parties in England, for the extirpation of the monarchy, and his own subsequent elevation to supreme power. It extended from England into other countries, but was always careful to preserve the same doctrines of equality and liberty among men, and opposition to all monarchical government.
Such is the theory of the Abbé Larudan, who, although a bitter enemy of Freemasonry, writes with seeming farness and mildness. But it is hardly necessary to say that this theory of the origin of Freemasonry- finds no support either in the legends of the Institution, or in the authentic history that is connected with its rise and progress.
CROMWELL, THOMAS, EARL OF ESSEX.
Doctor Anderson says that Thomas Cromwell was Grand Master of England, 1534-40 (see also William Preston's Illustrations of Masonry, section iv).
The staff surmounted by a cross carried before a bishop on occasions of solemn ceremony. They are generally gilt, and made light; frequently of tin, and hollow. The pastoral staff has a circular head.
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