A title bestowed by Royal Arch Masons upon each other, and equivalent to the word "Brother" in Symbolic Lodges. It refers, most probably, to the companionship in exile and captivity of the ancient Jews, from the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar to its restoration by Zerubbabel, under the auspices of Cyrus. In using this title in a higher Degree, the Freemasons who adopted it seem to have intimated that there was a shade of difference between its meaning and that of Brother. The latter refers to the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man; but the former represents a companionship or common pursuit of one object-the common endurance of suffering or the common enjoyment of happiness. Companion represents a closer tie than Brother. The one is a natural relation shared by all men ; the other a connection, the result of choice and confined to a few. All men are our Brethren, not all our companions.
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