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At a very early period in the course of his initiation, a candidate for the mysteries of Freemasonry is informed that the great principles of the Order are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. These virtues are illustrated, and their practice recommended to the aspirant, at every step of his progress; and the instruction, though continually varied in its mode, is so constantly repeated, as infallibly to impress upon his mind their absolute necessity in the constitution of a good Freemason. Brotherly Love might very well be supposed to be an ingredient in the organization of a society so peculiarly constituted as that of Freemasonry. But the Brotherly Love which we inculcate is not a mere abstraction, nor is its character left to any general and careless understanding of the candidate, who might be disposed to give much or little of it to his Brethren, according to the peculiar constitution of his own mind, or the extent of his own generous or selfish feelings. It is, on the contrary, closely defined; its object plainly denoted; and the very mode and manner of its practice detailed in words, and illustrated by symbols, so as to give neither cause for error nor apology for indifference.
Every Freemason is acquainted with the Five Points of Fellowship-he knows their symbolic meaning-he can never forget the interesting incidents that accompanied their explanation; and while he has this knowledge, and retains this remembrance, he can be at no loss to understand what are his duties, and what must be his conduct, in relation to the principle of Brotherly Love (see Points of Fellowship).
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