By the exercise of Brotherly Love, we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family—the high, the low, the rich, the poor—who, as created by one Almighty Parent, and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support, and protect each other. On this principle, Masonry unites men of every country, sect, and opinion, and conciliates true friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.
Brotherly Love or Friendship is regarded by Freemasons as the strong cement of the Order; without this high moral virtue, the Fraternity would soon cease to exist. By Brotherly Love, we are to understand that generous principle of the soul which regards the human species as one family, created by an All-wise Being, and placed on this globe for the mutual assistance of each other. The man who is actuated by the pure principle of Brotherly Love, will not desert his friend when dangers threaten or misfortunes assail him. When he is calumniated, he will openly and boldly espouse his cause, and endeavor to remove the aspersion. When sickness or infirmity occasion him to be deserted by others, he will seize the opportunity, and redouble all the affectionate attentions which love suggests. No society can exist for any length of time, unless Brotherly Love prevail among its members. To "dwell together in unity," is the life and support of the great Masonic institution.
To relieve the distressed, is a duty incumbent on all men, but particularly on Masons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To soothe the unhappy; to sympathize with their misfortunes; to compassionate their miseries, and to restore peace to their troubled minds, is the great aim we have in view. On this basis, we form our friendships and establish our connections. Relief flows from brotherly love, as free, pure, and refreshing as the mountain air. It dries up the gushing fountains of grief, banishes want from the abode of a distressed brother, and pours the oil of joy into the wounded hearts of the widow and the orphan.
Is a divine attribute, and the foundation of every virtue. To be good and true, is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry. On this theme we contemplate, and by its dictates endeavor to regulate our conduct. Hence, while influenced by this principle, hypocrisy and deceit are unknown among us; sincerity and plain dealing distinguish us; and the heart and the tongue join in promoting each other's welfare, and rejoicing in each other's prosperity.
Truth is the foundation of all Masonic virtues; it is one of our grand principles; for to be good men and true, is a part of the first lesson we are taught; and at the commencement of our freedom we are exhorted to be fervent and zealous in the pursuit of truth and goodness. It is not sufficient that we walk in the light, unless we do so in the truth also. All hypocrisy and deceit must be banished from among us. Sincerity and plain dealing complete the harmony of a Lodge, and render us acceptable in the sight of Him unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid. There is a charm in truth, which draws and attracts the mind continually towards it. The more we discover, the more we desire; and the great reward is wisdom, virtue, and happiness. This is an edifice founded on a rock, which malice cannot shake or time destroy.