In that one word what sympathetic associations arise.
How the mind at once revels in benevolent reflections, and anticipates the felicity of that reciprocity of fraternal affection which links humanity together.
Brotherly love is a very sacred tie, that should always be deemed a holy bond, and one that will help us to bear each others burdens and share each others joys.
This is the basis upon which the brotherhood of Freemasons has been founded, and to extend its aims and principles is one of the great objects for which this Journal has been inaugurated.
The leading elements of power that should guide every association should be to awaken the human mind, and to give to men of all classes consciousness of their intellectual and moral power to communicate knowledge of a useful and quickening character, to encourage men in thinking with freedom and vigour, to inspire an ardent love of truth and justice.
All such associations are worthy of support and patronage; while such as are designed or adapted to depress the human intellect, to make it dependent and servile, to keep it where it is, to give a limited amount of knowledge, but not to give an impulse to the onward motion of men’s thoughts and aspirations.
All such unions, however benevolent their professions, should be regarded as among the foes of the community, and as obstructions to the welfare of society.
It is these kinds of clubs and unions which weaken in men the motives to exertion, which offer a bounty to idleness, and make beggary as profitable as labour.
On these social questions the present age admits and requires a more extensive teaching than formerly. An intellectual activity that shall be cheered by benevolence and social kindness, an active sympathy that shall know no alien, but become as far diffused as ” fancy’s wing can travel, oblivious of its own delight if aught that breathes is wretched.”
By the aid of brotherhood, we obtain a large intercourse with other minds, which cannot but become a valuable acquisition for the enlightenment and elevation of our own.
A more genial and generous spirit is wanted in the nation. We need reform in our political and social institutions, in our habits, our feelings and our characters.
Dark and fearful are the various contests that rage all around for wealth and power.
Far as the mental eye can sweep the social horizon, there is to be seen an amount of sin, sorrow, shame, and crime, that requires all the religious, moral and mental agencies to stem its onward progress, yet there is no need for despair.
Influences are at work that will subdue those evils if they cannot eradicate them. There may be in existence a vital power and energy which will hold on while the world continues, ever realizing larger amounts of happiness.
National spirit, allowed its free scope by institutions, is a pledge for such progress, which, for aught that appears, may be eternal and unbonded.
In the growing intelligence of the great masses of society, we have a promise of progress for our own country, and its influence upon the world.
A further sign of improvement is exhibited in the advance of more extended feelings of common interest among all the different grades of the industrial classes.
The gulfs of separation are not, by any means, so wide as they were. The identity of interests of the various orders, who live by trade and labour, is presenting itself to people’s minds in a more distinct light and impressive form than heretofore.
On every hand the great body of the people are more and more thinking for themselves, and cultivating their own powers and faculties.
The literary and social institutions that are rising everywhere throughout the land are so many centres of light and knowledge, radiating and exercising an useful and glorious influence, the value of which cannot be measured by the exact numbers of subscribers to these institutions, or the amount of funds raised.
These facts, therefore, should leave no doubt, or cast any gloom upon the minds of those who have faith in the ultimate destiny of an enlightened humanity.
Extract: The Freemason’s Chronicle, January 9, 1875
The Place of Brotherhood in Freemasonry
To what extent are the fraternal relations between my fellow Freemasons and myself different to those which I hold with my neighbours and friends? …read more
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