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´╗┐Title: The Jericho Road
Author: Adkins, W. Bion
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Jericho Road" ***

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THE JERICHO ROAD

by

W. BION ADKINS

Author of "Twelve Steps Toward Heaven," "The Anonymous Letter," etc.

1901



Like the rivers, forever running yet never passed, like the winds
forever going yet never gone, so is Odd-Fellowship.



DEDICATION

WORTHY AND GENTLE BROTHERS

I DEDICATE THIS LITTLE BOOK TO THEE, SINCERELY HOPING THAT IT WILL
AFFORD YOU MUCH PLEASURE AND BE THE MEANS OF INCITING YOU TO GREATER
EFFORT IN BEHALF OF OUR BELOVED ORDER.  MAY THY YEARS BE MANY AND THEIR
SEASONS ALL GOLDEN AUTUMNS, RICH IN PURPLE CLUSTERS AND GARNERED
DELIGHTS.



PREFACE

"I have lived much that I have not written, but I have written nothing
that I have not lived, and the story of this book is but a plaintive
refrain wrung from the over-burdened song of my life; while the tides
of feeling, winding down the lines, had their sources in as many broken
upheavals of my own heart."  A book, like an implement, must be judged
by its adaptation to its special design, however unfit for any other
end.  This volume is designed to help Odd-Fellows in their search for
the good things in life.  There is need of something to break the spell
of indifference that oftentimes binds us, and to open glimpses of
better, sweeter, grander possibilities.  Hence this volume, which is a
plea for that great fortune of man--his own nature.  Bulwer says:
"Strive while improving your one talent to enrich your whole capital as
a man." The present work is designed to aid in securing the result thus
recommended.  We send it forth, trusting that it will find its way into
the hands of every Odd-Fellow and every Odd-Fellow's friend and
neighbor, and that those who read it will gather from its pages lessons
which shall enable them to pluck thorns from their pathway and scatter
flowers instead.

W. BION ADKINS.

October 1, 1899.



  TODAY'S DEMAND

  God give us men.  A time like this demands
  Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands;
  Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
  Men who possess opinions and a will;
  Men who have honor;
  Men who will not lie,
  Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
  In public duly and in private thinking.
  For, while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
  Their large professions and their little deeds,
  Mingle in selfish strife, lo!  Freedom weeps,
  Wrong rules the land, and waiting Justice sleeps.
  God give us men!

  --Selected.



  TOMORROW'S FULFILLMENT

  *   *   In the long years liker must they grow;
  The man be more of woman, she of man;
  He gain in sweetness and in moral height,
  Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world;
  She mental breadth, nor fail in childward care--
  Till at the last she set herself to man,
  Like perfect music unto noble words;
  And so these twain, upon the skirts of time,
  Sit side by side, full summed in all their powers,
  Self-reverent each and reverencing each.
  Then reign the world's great bridals, chaste and calm;
  Then springs the crowning race of human kind.

  --Alfred Tennyson.



CONTENTS

Objects and Purposes of Odd-Fellowship

The Higher Life

Pithy Points

The Bible in Odd-Fellowship

Brother Underwood's Dream

The Imperial Virtue

Quiet Hour Thoughts

Love Supreme

Gems of Beauty

Husband and Father

Odd-Fellowship and the Future



INTRODUCTORY

On April 26, 1819, Thomas Wildey, the English carriage-spring maker,
together with John Welch, John Duncan, John Cheatham and Richard
Rushworth, instituted the first lodge of Odd-Fellows at the Seven Stars
Tavern in Baltimore, and it was given the name of Washington Lodge No.
1.  From this feeble beginning has grown the immense organization of
today.  The Odd-Fellows claim a venerable antiquity for their order,
the most common account of its origin ascribing it to the Jewish legend
under Titus, who, it is said, received from that Emperor the first
chapter, written on a golden tablet.  The earliest mention made of the
lodge is in 1745, when one was organized in England.  There were at
that time several lodges independent of each other, but in a few years
they formed a union.  Toward the end of the century many of them were
broken up by state prosecutions, on suspicion that their purposes were
seditious.  The name was changed from the Patriotic Order to that of
the Union Order of Odd-Fellows.  In Manchester, England, in 1813, some
of the lodges seceded from the order, and formed the Independent Order
of Odd-Fellows.

The order's first appearance in America was in 1819.  The purposes of
the order were so changed by the founders here, that it is said to be
almost purely an American organization.  It was based on the Manchester
Unity, which was really the parent institution.  In 1842, this country
severed its connection with that of England.

Lodges connected with either those of England or America are
established in all parts of the world.  The real estate held by the
organization exceeds in value $20,000,000, and there is scarcely a town
in the country that has not its Odd-Fellows Building.  The total
revenue of the order is nearly $10,000,000 per annum.  Yearly relief
amounts to nearly $4,000,000 a year.



  THE JERICHO ROAD

  "A traveler passed down the Jericho road,
  He carried of cash a pretty fair load
  (The savings of many a toilsome day),
  On his Jericho home a mortgage to pay.

  "At a turn of the road, in a lonely place,
  Two villainous men met him face to face.
  'Hands up!' they cried, and they beat him sore,
  Then off to the desert his money they bore.

  "Soon a priest came by who had a fold;
  He sheared his sheep of silver and gold.
  He saw the man lie bruised and bare,
  But he passed on by to his place of prayer.

  "Then a Levite, temple bound, drew nigh;
  He saw the man, but let him lie,
  And clad in silk, and filled with pride,
  He passed him by on the other side.

  "Next on the way a Samaritan came
  (To priest and Levite a hated name);
  The wounded man he would not pass,
  He tenderly placed him on his ass.

  "He took him to an inn hard by;
  He dressed his wounds and bathed his eye;
  He paid the landlord his full score;
  If more was needed would pay him more.

  "Ah! many travel the Jericho way,
  And many are robbed and beaten each day;
  And many there be on the way in need,
  Whom Priest or Levite never heed;
  And who to fate would yield, alas!
  If some Samaritan did not pass."



THE OBJECTS AND PURPOSES OF ODD-FELLOWSHIP

We are taught that "God hath made of one blood all nations of men to
dwell on the face of the earth," and when we say mutual relief and
assistance is a leading office in our affiliation, and that
Odd-Fellowship is systematically endeavoring to improve and elevate the
character of man, to imbue him with a proper conception of his
capabilities for good, to enlighten his mind, to enlarge the sphere of
his affections and to redeem him from the thralldom of ignorance and
prejudice, and teach him to recognize the fatherhood of God and the
brotherhood of men, we have epitomized the objects, purposes and basic
principles of our order.  Odd-Fellowship is broad and comprehensive.
It is founded upon that eternal principle which teaches that all the
world is one family and all mankind are brothers.  Unheralded and
unsung, it was born and went forth, a breath of love, a sweet song that
has filled thousands of hearts with joy and gladness.  To the rich and
the poor, the old and the young, at all times, comes the rich, sweet
melody of this song of humanity to comfort and to cheer.  For eighty
years the light of Odd-Fellowship has burned before the world, a beacon
to the lost, a comfort to the wanderer and a protection to the
thoughtless.  Eighty years of work for humanity's sake; eighty years
devoted to teaching men to love mankind; eighty years of earnest labor,
consecrated by friendship, cemented with love and beautified by truth.
In ancient times men sought glory and renown in gladiatorial combat,
though the victor's laurel was wet with human blood.  In modern times
men seek the plaudits of the world by achievements for human good, and
by striving to elevate and ennoble men.  Looking back through nineteen
centuries we behold a cross, and on it the crucified Christ, with
nail-pierced hands, and wounded, bleeding side, but whose heart was so
full of love and pity that even in His dying agonies He had compassion
upon His persecutors, and cried out, "Father, forgive them, for they
know not what they do."

That event was the dividing line between the ancient and the modern
era; between the rule of "brute force" and the "mild dominion of love
and charity."  The mission of Odd-Fellowship, like that of the lowly
Nazarene, is to replace the rule of might with the gentle influence of
love, and to teach a universal fraternity in the family of man.  To
meet and satisfy and better keep alive the nobler elements of man's
nature.  Many orders have been instituted, but none can challenge
greater admiration from men, or deserve more blessings from heaven,
than the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows.  Looking back along the
pathway of the century behind us we behold the wrecks of many orders.
The morning of their life was beautiful and full of glorious promise,
but the evening came and they had perished.  Rich costumes, impressive
ceremonies, beautiful degrees and magnificent effects, all lie buried
and forgotten.  It was not because their founders lacked energy or
enthusiasm, not because their members were less susceptible to the
beauty and poetry of tradition and ceremony, but because success and
perpetuity come not from human effort, but are the outgrowth of a
life-giving principle.  The sculptor fashions from the marble a form of
surpassing loveliness, its lines are those of grace and beauty.  We
stand before it charmed, whispering our admiration, but the impression
on the heart is only passing.  The poet sings of home, of mother and of
love; the meter may be faulty and the words may charm not, but the
sentiment is true and touches our hearts.  The experience it recites is
common to humanity, and wherever its sweet tones are heard it softens
men's natures and makes them better, truer and nobler.  Who among us
would be willing to exchange the influence of the immortal song "Home
Sweet Home," or be willing to forget the Christian's "Nearer My God to
Thee," for all the inanimate beauty of art?  One charms the eye, the
other touches and calls to life the best and sweetest emotions of the
human heart.  So it is with fraternal societies.  Flashing swords,
glittering helmets, jeweled regalias and beautiful degrees may touch
the vanity and excite the admiration, but to win the heart we must
satisfy its longings, feed its hopes and lift it above the narrowness
and selfishness of its daily experience.  Odd-Fellowship strives to
touch the heart and better feelings, rather than feed the vanity of man
or arouse his admiration for gorgeous displays.  Its work is an
exemplification of the living, practical Christianity of today.  In
almost every state in this fair land of ours can be found Odd-Fellows'
homes, within whose walls the orphan is no longer motherless.  For each
and every little one within these homes, one million Odd-Fellows feel a
father's love and pledge a parent's care.

Add to all this great work the little deeds of love, the little acts of
kindness that make life beautiful; add kind words of cheer and friendly
help and tender consolation, and add again the benefit of union, the
strength that comes from hearts united in God's work among mankind, and
you have caught a glimpse of the life-giving principle that has made
Odd-Fellowship one of the grandest fraternal and beneficiary
institutions the world has ever known.  The work it has done can not be
fully estimated until the record is read in the bright light of
eternity.  In that glad day the tears that have been wiped away will
become jewels in somebody's crown, and the sobs that have been hushed
will be heard again in hosannas of welcome.

Onward! is the ringing, pregnant watchword of the world.  The vast,
complicated, ponderous machinery of life is kept in motion by tireless
and irresistible forces.  The multiform and magnificent affairs of men
and of nations are all impelled forward with an energy and a velocity
as wonderful as glorious to behold.

Not retrogressive, but progressive--not enervating, but energizing--not
ephemeral, but substantial--not from bad to worse, but from the
imperfect to the consummate, are the characteristics by which are so
prominently distinguished the tidal waves of the world's progress today.

Activity and achievement came with creation, and constitute an
inflexible, irrepealable law of the universe.  In stir and push we have
light and life, but in idleness, and superstitious clinging to
fossilized ideas and bygones, we have demoralization, decay and death.

Fortunately for the world, and agreeably with infinite design, man
plods his way in harmony with the law alluded to.  Not all men, but the
great masses of them, wherever "The true light shineth," especially
when accompanied by rays and helps from one of the noblest and grandest
of confraternities our world has known, "The Independent Order of
Odd-Fellows."  When the huge planet which we call our world had been
tossed into being from the furnace fires of Omnipotence, and the
maternal lullaby began to gather force on hill top and in valley, the
discovery was naturally enough made that association and co-operation
were preferable to isolation and unrelieved dependence; and from that
hour forward, this principle has been interwoven into the very
framework of human society.  The purpose has been the elevation and
improvement of mankind.  For, though the first product was pronounced
"good," it quickly degenerated; and there came an emphasized demand for
reform.


EARLY ORGANIZATIONS.

Human isolation is an unnatural condition.  It antagonizes the highest
and best interests of the world.  Its influence is never beneficent,
but always and necessarily harmful.  If the truest well being of the
universe, and the supremest glory of Jehovah could have been attained
by conditions of solitude, it is not impossible that the good
All-Father would have given to every man a continent, and so have made
him monarch of all he surveyed.

Physically regarded, there is no limit to Omnipotent power.  A
continent, and even a world, was therefore within the pale of divine
possibilities.  Jehovah, however, is not only great, but he is the
Greatness of Goodness.  High and holy ends were to be accomplished, and
happy purposes to be secured, by means of human instrumentalities, and
be jointly shared by Creator and creature.

Among the earliest of Deific utterances, therefore, we have this: "It
is not good that man should be alone."  I concede that, primarily, the
companionship of woman is here intended.  But the declaration is not
only good in this, but equally so in other regards.  A lifetime of
solitude with no incentives to action--nothing to draw out, exercise
and expand the latent powers of the soul--no interchange of thought--no
clashing of opinion--no towering resolves to stimulate--no difficulties
to surmount!  What imagination so fertile that it could picture a more
hateful or intolerable Hades than would be such a condition of affairs?

Hence, in the early days of the world's history we discern the
principle of association and co-operation, with plans and systems
embodying its practical application.  Organizations came into being,
obedient to the summons of necessity.  How well the various
organizations have wrought along the pathway of centuries, and how
great or small may have been the measure of their success, I am not
here to discuss, much less to determine.  Each has done its work in its
own way, and pockets responsibility for results.  Common courtesy and
candor suggest that each has been largely animated by highest and
worthiest of motives.


ODD-FELLOWSHIP,

Reared upon the broad catholic principle of brotherhood, extending its
helpful hand from nation to nation, and from continent to continent,
linking its votaries together with the golden triple chain of
Friendship, Love and Truth, can afford to be friendly with each, and
have a kindly word for all societies that reach down after and raise up
a fallen brother, and if possible make him wiser, better and happier.
Should a like courtesy be extended to this order, while it would
certainly constitute a new departure, it would prove none the less
gratifying.  But, from certain sources, the order has been the
recipient of a peculiar kind of consideration, so long that "the memory
of man scarce runneth to the contrary."  Inflamed appeals and bristling
denunciations have gone out against it, "while great, swelling
words"--swollen with hatred, bigotry, prejudice and superstition--have
assailed it relentlessly and almost uninterruptedly.  Mainly, these
assaults have been met with the terse and pointed invocation, "Father,
forgive them; they know not what they do."

That this great and potent brotherhood may not, in all its parts and
jurisdictions, have so deported itself, and so carried forward its
work, as to be justly free from unfavorable criticism and merited
censure, is probably true.  As with organizations, there is sometimes
too much haste displayed in gathering, and too little discrimination
exercised in selecting, the materials that are brought as component
parts of the great superstructure of Odd-Fellowship.  Too much daubing
with untempered mortar--too great a desire for the exhibition of
numerical force, and the multiplication of lodges--too much regard for
the outward trappings and paraphernalia, and too little regard for the
internal qualities of those seeking membership in the fraternity.  Such
deplorable departures, as well from the primary as the ultimate objects
had in view, are not fairly attributable to anything that may be
reasonably considered as an outgrowth of the order, but come despite
its constant teachings and warnings.  Bad work they of course make, and
so at times and to a limited extent bring the fraternity under the ban
of popular displeasure, but shall the world predicate unfavorable
judgment upon a few and unfair tests?  If so, and the principle
logically becomes general, pray who shall be appointed administrator of
the effects of other social and moral organizations, and even of the
church itself?  For in these regards all offend, if offense it be.
When the principles of Odd-Fellowship are carefully studied it is
apparent to every candid mind that it is founded upon that eternal
principle which recognizes man as a constituent of one universal
brotherhood, and teaches him that as he came from the hand of a common
parent, he is in duty bound to cherish and protect his fellow-man.
Viewed in this light, Odd-Fellowship becomes one of the noblest
institutions organized by man in the world.  If the beauty and grandeur
of universal brotherhood could be impressed upon the minds of all the
people, how very different from the past would the future history of
the world read.  What a delightful place this old stone-ribbed earth
would be if men would look upon each other as brothers, members of one
common family; enjoying the many comforts of one home; trusting to the
guidance and protection of one Father--God.  We are more nearly related
than we think.  Running through all humanity there is a link of
relationship and a bond of sympathy that can not be exterminated.  The
principle of brotherly love is so great and broad that all mankind
could unite in offices of human benefaction.  Brother.  Oh, how sacred
and how sweet when spoken by a true heart!  Whether it be in the home
circle, lodge-room, or in some distant land, it sends the same soothing
thrill of joy to the heart.  Let us pause just a moment to think of the
time and place when we first learned to call each other brother.  Ah!
Methinks no Odd-Fellow will ever forget his first lesson.  He will
always remember how quickly he was changed from the haughty disposition
manifested by that one of old, who, when he prayed, went to the public
square, or climbed to the house top, and thanked God that he was not
like other men, to the humble attitude of that one who stood afar off
and bowed his face in the dust, crying aloud, "O Lord!  Be merciful
unto me a sinner."  How very much like this ancient boaster are
thousands of the human family today.  Sitting in high places,
surrounded by wealth and power, they see nothing beyond the narrow
circle in which they move.  They are deaf to the low, sad wail of
sorrow that comes from some breaking heart.  Seated by their own
comfortable fireside they give no thought to the lonely widow standing
outside in the cold.  It distresses them not that the keen, wintry
blast sends its icy chill to the already broken heart.  No thought, no
feeling, for this poor creature that must now fight the fierce battles
incident to human life, all alone.  How sadly these tender duties to
suffering humanity are neglected when left to the cold charity of the
world.

Odd-Fellowship seeks to lessen sorrow and suffering.  It supplies
temporal wants; gives encouragement; aids and comforts those who are in
distress.  In sickness we watch by their bedside and administer to
their wants.  If death calls, Odd-Fellowship forsakes not its follower,
but hovers near, listening attentively to the last words and parting
instruction of the dying one.  Brothers and friends, let me admonish
you to do all the good you can while in health and strength, for at
most life is short and we know not how soon the Angel of Death will
unfold his broad, shadowy wings over our path and call us to give an
account of our stewardship; then all that will remain of us on earth
will be the good or evil we have done.

Odd-Fellowship is full of sacred teachings and sublime warnings.  It
teaches us that we are in a world full of temptations, sin and sorrow.
We see the emblems of decay all around us.  The strong man of today may
stand forth, nerved for toil, with all the bloom of health mantling
cheek and brow, seemingly as strong and vigorous as the mighty oak, and
yet tomorrow he will fade as the autumn leaf.  Then he realizes how
foolish it is to be vain; thinks of the instability of wealth and
power, and the certain decay of all earthly greatness.  Odd-Fellowship
teaches us that charity springs from the heart, is not puffed up, seeks
not its own.  It makes us strong, and encourages us to push on through
life, even though we are beset on every side with toil, danger and
strife.  Brothers, let nothing cause you to turn back or away from the
principles of our noble order.  Cling closer and closer each day to
honesty and truth, and bear in mind that be the road ever so rough and
untraveled, narrow and dark, if you follow truth you will find light at
the end of the journey.


THE SECRESY OBJECTION.

More common, perhaps, than any other filed against it has been the
objection that Odd-Fellowship does its work secretly, this objection
being not unfrequently urged by persons of candor and honest impulses.
"If," it is demanded, "the aims and purposes of the order be legitimate
and praiseworthy, why shroud them in mystery rather than give them the
broad sunlight of publicity."

The objection is not new, nor is it urged with any increase of its
original force, whatever may be the fact in the matter of vehemence.
Answer might be made: The order does not choose to ascend to the house
tops for the purpose of heralding its affairs to the world.  But that
answer would not be satisfactory, nor is any likely to be that may be
presented, now or hereafter.  It is nevertheless true that there are
certain matters pertaining to the order and its works with which the
outside world has no sort of concern, even as with those very peculiar
secret societies, the individual, the family, the church and the state.
If other organizations prefer to resort to the newspapers, the pulpit,
the rostrum and other information conduits for the purpose of
advertising their wares, their greatness and their goodness, and the
vast amount of humanitarian work they are doing and purposing, such is
their unquestioned privilege.

But if the preference of Odd-Fellowship be for quieter and less
obtrusive methods, pray who shall fairly contest its right of choice?

And then it should be remembered that there are matters in which the
right hand is prohibited the privilege of interfering with the
prerogatives of the left, and the left with those of the right.  Nor
should the fact be forgotten that there is Divine example, if not
precept, for the established "modus operandi" of the order.  Upon a
certain occasion the Great Teacher had performed a very humble service
for one of his disciples who was sadly at loss for the why and the
wherefore, and the answer, received to his inquiry was: "What I do thou
knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter."

And in the grand hereafter, when the films of ignorance and the
warpings of prejudice and superstition shall have melted away under the
bright sunlight of Eternal Day, it is not impossible that our vexed,
inquisitive, worrying opponents may be permitted to look back over the
pathway this order has traversed, glance at the work that has been
wrought and peradventure discover how unreasonable, as well as
fruitless, has been the warfare they have been pleased to wage with
such persistent fury.  A long time to wait, maybe, but then good things
do not come rapidly nor all at once.  Meanwhile, to encourage them in
their waiting, their watching and their worrying, let them take this
lesson from the same Great Teacher: "The wind bloweth where it listeth,
and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh
or whither it goeth."  Ah, no! it will not do, because you can not see
and comprehend all of everything, inside as well as outside, to
conclude that it must necessarily be bad.  Adopt that theory, and you
not only fly in the face of reason, but bump your head against almost
everything in nature, in art and in science.

Secrets! yes; they are within us and without us, above us and beneath
us and all about us, and "what are you going to do about it?"  Well
might Israel's old and gifted poet king write: "We are fearfully and
wonderfully made," soul and body, the mortal and the immortal, the
material and the immaterial, strangely and mysteriously conjoined!
God's secret, this!  Will you denounce Him and withdraw allegiance from
Him, for the reason that He fails to make clear to you a clear and
satisfying revelation?  The same old singer said thousands of years
ago, "The Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth
His handiwork."  And those heavens, with that firmament, are charged
and surcharged with mightiest and profoundest secrets.  We seize the
telescope and "plunge into the vast profound overhead, intent upon
mastering the secrets of the revolving spheres."

We travel from star to star, from system to system, until we reach yon
lonely star that appears to be performing the Guardian's task, upon the
verge of unmeasured and immeasurable space.  We may descry and describe
the form and outlines of those heavenly bodies, detect their movements
and approximately determine their distances and dimensions.  But what
more?  Little that is satisfying.  When they had a beginning, what
purposes they subserve in the sublime system of God's stupendous
universe, and when they shall have a consummation, we may not certainly
know.  Secrets, these, and such "Secret things belong unto God."  We
would like to know these secrets, but must wait; for there, "roll those
mighty worlds that gem the distant sky," as distantly and dismally as
when Chaldean and Egyptian astronomers and astrologers viewed their
movements three thousand years ago, rifled meanwhile of but few of
their well kept secrets.  He that pencils the lily and paints the rose
and gives to every blade of grass its own bright drop of dew, has been
pleased to say: "Hitherto shalt thou come and no further."  And there
is great unwisdom in setting up factious opposition to the fiat of
Omnipotence.  Possess your souls in patience, O friends! wait, as we
must wait, before knowing all, or even knowing much.  If you can not be
Odd-Fellows, you can at least be _men_, with an effort.


WHAT IS ODD-FELLOWSHIP?

"But, sir," you demand, "can you tell us something more about
Odd-Fellowship, its purposes and its Work?"  I can, a little.  Come
with me, then, and we will look into the lodge.  Ah!  In the most
conspicuous place there stands an altar--upon it the open Bible, the
world's great word of Life and Light.  Upon the principles enunciated
by that Book, largely rests the great superstructure of Odd-Fellowship.
The Bible is to the order what the sun is to the material universe--its
illuminator and vivifier, even as it also is the, guide to faith and
practice.  A man may neglect his closet, his church, his Bible, but
when he enters the lodge he is bound to listen to the voice of his
Maker, as it thunders from His word; and while the lodge does by no
means lay claim to the possession of religious attributes, yet has it
been the means, by the constant use of the Bible, of turning many from
the ways of wrong-doing and sin, into paths of pleasantness and peace;
and by a unique system of symbolism and a comprehensive and practical
application of its sublime truths, the faith of the believer has been
strengthened, enlarged and rendered usefully active.

Odd-Fellowship's plan of benefaction addresses itself to the physical
as well as the moral nature, and, reaching out from its immediate
subjects, permeates by natural affinity every sphere in which active
sympathy may be invoked.  Its mission and its results are not only
active and substantial, but often so effective by its consequential or
indirect influence as to penetrate entire communities.  In this
connection I will say Odd-Fellowship is not a religious organization.
Our work pertains particularly to this life, educating the heart of man
to practical beneficence, alleviating the sufferings of humanity and
elevating the character of man.  Odd-Fellowship was not organized for
the purpose of ridding the world of all its sorrows, but to ameliorate
and to soften the suffering to which the human family is heir.  It is
an association of men who have united themselves for the purpose of
smoothing the ragged edge of want, and extending to those who are bound
down by the iron bands of misfortune a helping hand.  Odd-Fellowship
holds no affinity with the classifications or distinctions of society,
but dispenses charity to all alike.  It does not array itself against
the church, nor presume to arrogate its functions, or to supervise its
teachings.  Its lodges are not the council rooms of enmity to
religious, civil, moral or social organizations.  Far otherwise; all
its oracles and instructions in relation to these grave subjects find
their warrant and authority in the divine law, under the inspiration of
which it proclaims the Golden Rule as the sublimest illustration of the
law of love.  Odd-Fellowship keeps a close watch over its subjects, and
constantly impresses upon their minds the fact that their hearts must
not foster evil, the progenitor of crime, or hatred and vice, whose
evil consequences must continue to afflict mankind until the coming of
that time to which hope looks forward with ardent joy, when one law
shall bind all nations, tongues and kindred of the earth, and that law
will be the law of "_Universal Brotherhood_."  Odd-Fellowship also
teaches us that we are never to judge a man by his outward appearance.
A man's form may be clothed with rags, his hands may be rough and hard,
his cheeks may be browned by the rays of summer's sun; yet underneath
all this there may be an honest heart.  If so, we take him by the hand
and call him brother.  Odd-Fellowship teaches equality; we must meet
upon one common level.  The brother who lives in the rough log cabin
enjoys the same right and privileges as the monarch on his throne.  We
live, we move and have our being, and are indebted for all things to
the One Great Ruler of the Universe--God.  All persons are desirous of
being happy, and happiness is sought for in various ways.
Odd-Fellowship teaches that man is responsible for his own misery.  I
believe that no mere misfortune can ever call for exceeding bitter
sorrow.  As long as man preserves himself from contamination of that
which is evil and foul, he can not reach any very low depth of woe.  By
his own act, by his own voluntary desertion of the true aim of life,
and by that alone, is it possible that a man should drink his cup of
misery to the dregs.  The want of happiness, so prevalent, is thus the
natural consequence of the inherent blindness of men.  By it they are
led to pursue eagerly the phantom of _wealth_, _rank_, power, etc.,
white neglecting that which alone can satisfy the wants of the soul.
If men could really know what is their chief good, we should no longer
hear on every hand prayers offered up for those idle accoutrements of
life, which may indeed be enjoyed, but often bring only
dissatisfaction, and can be dispensed with without inconvenience to
mankind.

Many persons say Odd-Fellowship is contrary to the teachings of the
Bible.  The way such people read their Bible is just like the way that
the old monks thought hedgehogs ate grapes.  They rolled themselves
over and over where the grapes lay on the ground.  What fruit stuck to
their spines they carried off and ate.  So your hedgehoggy readers roll
themselves over and over their Bibles and declare that whatever sticks
to their spines is Scripture and that nothing else is.  But you can
only get the skins of the texts that way.  If you want their juice you
must press them in cluster.  Now the clustered texts about the human
heart insist as a body, not on any inherent corruption in all hearts,
but on the terrific distinction between the bad and the good ones.  "A
good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that
which is good, and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, bringeth
forth that which is evil."

"They on the rock are they which, in an honest and good heart, having
heard the word, kept it."

"Delight thyself in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of
thine heart.  The wicked have bent their bow that they may privily
shoot at him that is upright in heart."  For all of us, the question is
not at all to ascertain how much or how little corruption there is in
human nature, but to ascertain whether, out of all the mass of that
nature, we are the sheep or the goat breed; whether we are people of
upright heart being shot at, or people of crooked heart doing the
shooting.

And of all the texts bearing on the subject, this, which is a quite
simple and practical order, is the one you have chiefly to hold in
mind: "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues
of life."

The will of God respecting us is, that we shall live by each others
happiness and life; not by each others misery or death.

Men help each other by their joy, not by their sorrow.  There is but
one way in which man can ever help God--that is, by letting God help
him.

A little boy, who had often heard his father pray for the poor, that
they might be clothed and fed, interrupted him one day by saying,
"Father, if you will give me the key to your corn crib and wheat bin, I
will answer some of your prayers."

Ah! my friends, always keep in mind this truth, "One hour of justice is
worth seventy years of prayer."

Call not this, then, a Godless institution, rioting in selfishness and
infidelity, as it has been denominated by certain super-excellent
Christians, who appear to have fully persuaded themselves that no good
can possibly come from such a Nazareth.  For, with the constant and
unvarying light of the Holy Bible, that illuminated lexicon of the
sweet Beyond, and of the approaches thereto--that trusty talisman of
all hopeful hearts--that competent counselor of the wisest and the
best--that inspirer of joy and satisfaction born of no other book--that
precious presager of immortal life beyond the river--that divine guide
to faith and practice, can by no means fail in the ultimate working out
of its sublime purposes.

In the ranks of Odd-Fellowship there are many of the truest, noblest,
sharpest and most holy men in the civilized world.  None of these have
been able to make that "Godless and selfish" discovery.  This brilliant
achievement is reserved for those favored mortals that never saw the
inside of an Odd-Fellow's lodge, and are entirely ignorant of its
character and practical workings.  The order has increased largely in
wealth, power and influence.  Large cities and towns, which formerly
paid little or no attention to us, now eagerly welcome us to their
hospitalities.

Judges and governors vie with each other in doing us honor, and well
may we be proud of the position the order has attained.  Just think of
it a moment: when you clasp hands with an Odd-Fellow here in your own
home, you are really clasping hands with one million men who have
obligated themselves to stay with you through every trial and
misfortune.  Wonder no longer, then, at the growth and stability of
this great fraternity, or that its votaries cling to it with such
unshaken and unswerving fidelity.  Ah! it is no light matter, no small
privilege, to be admitted to membership in such an organization--so
freeing one's self from the surgings of self-seeking and selfish
considerations--free from the trammels of prevailing prejudice and
passion--free from the false educational influences that warp the mind
and drive charity from the heart.

Our order's emblem is the three links,

FRIENDSHIP, LOVE AND TRUTH.

Friendship, love, truth--golden links these, that not only bind
together their obligated votaries, but that recognize and embrace,
because of worthiness and plighted faith, that behind the back as well
as face to face, have a defensive, kindly word and a brother's generous
deed; that, amid the upheavals of communities and the crumbling of
nations, systems and governments, swerve not from their course, and are
corralled by no arbitrary bounds, and that, whatever the dialect, the
nationality or the religion of men, read upon humanity's brow the
inscription written by the finger of infinite love--a man and a
brother, a woman and a sister.

A faithful and true friend is a living treasure, estimable in
possession and deeply to be lamented when gone.  Nothing is more common
than to talk of a friend; nothing more difficult than to find one;
nothing more rare than to improve by one as we ought.

The only reward of virtue is virtue.  The only way to have a friend is
to be one.  Such is friendship.  Next in our golden chain is Love.
Love is the stepping stone to heaven.  This principle teaches man his
capabilities for good, enlightens his mind, enlarges the sphere of his
affections and leads him to that true fraternal relation which was
designed by the Great Author of his existence.  Love teaches us to be
self-sacrificing.  For a bright instance of this we point you to Moses,
the great law-giver of the Jews.  He turned his back on the splendors
of Pharaoh's court and chose rather to share the wretchedness of his
lowly people than serve as a king for their oppressors, finally dying
in sight of that inheritance, which, though denied to him, was given to
his ungrateful countrymen.  How very bright on the pages of history
shine such acts of love and sacrifice.  This principle belongs to no
one organization, party or sect.  It can be made to bud and bloom as
well under the fierce rays of the torrid zone, midst the icebergs of
Greenland, or the everlasting snows of Caucasus.  It always carries the
same smile, whether in the cabin or in the palace.  Following in its
footsteps there is such a halo of glory, such a gentle influence, that
it gathers within its sacred realm antagonistic natures, controls the
elements of discord, stills the storm, soothes the spirit of passion,
and directs in harmony all of man's efforts to fraternize the world.
In this strangely selfish and uncertain world none are so affluent or
favorably circumstanced as not at some time and in some way to become
dependent.  Oh! there are emphasized essentialities that are not
embraced among the commodities of the market, and in order to the
realization of which money possesses no purchasing power.  To relieve
the pungent pinchings of penury with raiment, food and shelter, and so
send the sunshine of gladness to the poor and needy, is
something--indeed is much.  But, ah! the delicate and intricate
mechanism of mind is out of gear, a secret sorrow swells and sways the
heart, and unitedly they cry: "Who will show us any good?  Who remove
this rankling sorrow?  What good Samaritan competent to the task of
affording relief to this dazed brain?"  Oh! it is here that the trained
votaries of the triple brotherhood bring to bear their wondrous power.
If it be true "that one touch of nature makes the whole world kin," it
is equally true that the ties of brotherhood here would wield their
most potent influence, and of the true Odd-Fellow well may it be said,
"He hath a tear for pity, and a hand open as day for melting charity."

TRUTH! crown jewel of the radiant sisterhood of queenly graces!  She
can not be crushed to earth.  The eternal years of God being hers, she,
no more than her author, can go down.  Error may fling widely open his
arsenal gates of defilement and deceit, and seek so earnestly and
tirelessly the usurpation of her throne; but there she sits, as firmly
and gracefully as when the morning stars sang together and the sons of
God shouted for joy.  Such is truth, the rarest of all human virtues.

The man who is so conscious of the rectitude of his intentions, as to
be willing to open his bosom to the inspection of the world, is in
possession of the strongest pillars of a decided character.  The course
of such a man will be firm and steady, because he has nothing to fear
from the world and is sure of the approbation of heaven.  While he who
is conscious of secret and dark designs, which, if known, would blast
him, is perpetually shrinking and dodging from public observation, and
is afraid of all around, and, much more, of all above him.  Such a man
may indeed pursue his iniquitous plans steadily; he may waste himself
to a skeleton in the guilty pursuit, but it is impossible that he can
pursue them with the same health-inspiring confidence and exulting
alacrity with him who feels at every step that he is in pursuit of
honest ends by honest means.  The clear, unclouded brow, the open
countenance, the brilliant eye, which can look an honest man
steadfastly, yet courteously, in the face, the healthfully beating
heart and the firm, elastic step, belong to him whose bosom is free
from guile, and who knows that all his motives and purposes are pure
and right.  Why should such a man falter in his course?  He may be
slandered, he may be deserted by the world, but he has that within him
which will keep him erect, and enable him to move onward in his course,
with his eyes fixed on heaven, which he knows will not desert him.

Odd-Fellowship teaches its members to be men of honor.  When I say
honest, I use it in its larger sense of discharging all your duties,
both public and private, both open and secret, with the most
scrupulous, heaven-attesting integrity; in that sense, farther, which
drives from the bosom all little, dark, crooked, sordid, debasing
considerations of self, and substitutes in their place a bolder,
loftier and nobler spirit, one that will dispose you to consider
yourselves as born not so much for yourselves as for your country and
your fellow-creatures, and which will lead you to act on every occasion
sincerely, justly, generously and magnanimously.  There is a morality
on a larger scale, perfectly consistent with a just attention to your
own affairs, which it would be folly to neglect; a generous expansion,
a proud elevation and conscious greatness of character, which is the
best preparation for a decided course in every situation into which you
can be thrown; and it is to this high and noble tone of character that
I would have you to aspire.  I would not have you to resemble those
weak and meagre streamlets, which lose their direction at every petty
impediment that presents itself, and stop and turn back, and creep
around, and search out every channel through which they may wind their
feeble and sickly course.  Nor yet would I have you resemble the
headlong torrent that carries havoc in its mad career; but I would have
you like the ocean, that noblest emblem of majestic decision, which in
the calmest hour still heaves its resistless might of waters to the
shore, filling the heavens day and night with the echoes of its sublime
declaration of independence, and tossing and sporting on its bed with
an imperial consciousness of strength that laughs at opposition.  It is
this depth and weight and power and purity of character that I would
have you resemble; and I would have you, like the waters of the ocean,
to become the purer by your own action.  Men are sometimes ruined
because they aim not at virtue, but only at the reputation which it
brings.  Odd-Fellowship teaches its members to be brave, honest and
diligent.  If we have these attributes, victory must surely crown our
efforts.  How often in the history of our country have men of humble
birth come forth in time of danger, and, nobly risking all, even to
death, or disgrace worse than death itself, stood between their country
and defeat, and built for themselves a glorious name.  Nor, alas! is
the opposite case to this unknown.  Some of America's proudest sons
have, by their own acts, sunk themselves into the inner-most depths of
infamy and vice.

  "Virtue alone is true nobility.
  Oh, give me inborn worth! dare to be just,
  Firm to your word and faithful to your trust."

Knowledge is a mighty rock in a weary land, and to you, brothers, 'tis
permitted to smite this rock, and from it gushes fountains of living
waters, which form rivers of wisdom, flowing to the uttermost parts of
the earth, carrying the proper idea of life to the souls of men.  The
river of science flows in a deep, straight course, searching out the
hidden mysteries, and demonstrating facts, while Truth builds her
defenses on its shores, and Love rears her fair palaces and calmly
enjoys the result of labor and research.  History, with its broad
stream bringing knowledge down through the vanished centuries,
revealing many a lost art, which avails us much in these later days.
Mysteries which magicians have left behind them--secrets for ages
undusted--that we may read the records of the past.

Experience builds citadels upon these heights.  Flowing parallel to
history is the great, turbid stream of politics.  Its crimson billows
cast wrecks upon the strand, and the moaning waves strangely blend the
tones of grand martial music with the discords of despair and
disappointment, for it is a treacherous tide.  Along its winding shores
war builds her forts, and there are fields of carnage and blood, and
dark fortresses of envy, from which fly the poisoned shafts of malice,
falsehood and revenge, and there are many graves in which lie ambition,
glory and renown, with all their brilliant dreams.  Opposite to this
from the rock of knowledge gush the sweet fountains of poetry and
music, singing on their way through fair, secluded dells, where there
are moss-covered rocks, clinging vines, fragrant flowers and ferns and
singing birds.  In their shining waves of light are mirrored the azure
sky, golden sunshine and fleecy clouds, while youth, beauty, laughter
and joy stray along the verdant shores, keeping time to the music of
the merry spray and weaving garlands to crown their radiant brows.

Not far from the rock of true knowledge flows a deep stream, calm,
clear and beautiful.  Majestically it sweeps through stately forests,
extended plains and lofty mountains; and the fair cities of honesty,
temperance and truth are built upon its shores.  This wonderful stream
is fed by the ever-living fountains of honor, morality, justice, mercy
and divine love.  The music of its waves sends forth hymns of true
patriotism, love of country and of home; and the sweet songs of faith
and immortality float upward like strong, white wings, bearing the soul
away on pure melody above this world of longing and of hope, until it
rises to meet the world of glory and fulfillment.  Upon these shores
faith, hope, charity and security have reared their white temples,
which shall ever represent a living institution, bearing on its banner
as a motto these beautiful words:

FRIENDSHIP, LOVE AND TRUTH.

The stream which I have just described is the great river of
Odd-Fellowship, and flows into the vast ocean of eternal peace, and
such is the momentum and indestructibility of Odd-Fellowship, that,
like a great river fed from inexhaustible sources, men may come and men
may go, but it goes on forever and forever.

Brothers, these are the streams flowing from the smitten rock whose
fountains you unseal.

Standing at the mouth of the Columbia River, one can hear the ocean
waves moaning, surging, thundering forevermore.  You can not stay the
rushing tides that come and go, ebb and flow, until time shall be no
more; and there the great river of the west, the mighty Columbia,
pouring her floods into that vast, boundless sea, so shall
Odd-Fellowship pour her deep, exhaustless stream into futurity, and all
the combined forces of opposition, ignorance and fear shall have no
power to stay the onward rushing, overwhelming flood.  Wafted back to
us from the unexplored shore across that sea--softly whispering through
the rose marine spirit of the mist--intuitive knowledge reveals the
throne of the Grand Lodge above, from which flows the pure river of
life, on whose shores grow the trees of knowledge and of life immortal,
which bear no fruit of sin, but whose leaves are for the healing of
poor, suffering humanity.  Brothers, build such a character as will
cause Christ and the angels to rejoice when they behold it.  Then, when
life's work is done, when the blessed Master calls, you will not look
mournfully into the past, but will look eagerly into the mighty future
just opening before you.

And as your life goes out amidst the rustling of an angel's wings--like
a summer sea asleep upon a sandy shore--you will not regret that you
practiced the principles laid down by our noble order,

FRIENDSHIP, LOVE AND TRUTH.



THE HIGHER LIFE

Manhood, fully developed and symmetrically formed, through the various
stages of the world's history, has been the great conservative element
of society, and has been in high request.  Some ages, however, have
seemed to make a larger demand for this element than others, and this
age of ours is one which yields to none of its predecessors in its call
for manliness of character--for men of the right stamp.  The perils of
the times are imminent, and the demand for a high grade of intelligence
and great strength of moral principle never was stronger.  New
developments of human genius and activity, are constantly arising, and
new dangers to the dearest interests of society are calling for
vigilance.  This is neither a stagnant nor a tame and quiet age.  It is
an age of activity, of enterprise, of speculation, of adventure, of
philosophizing and of both real and pseudo reforms.  The age eminently
demands vigorous and mature manhood.  Therefore, study, think,
investigate, learn.  Remember, however, that it is not knowledge stored
up as intellectual fat which is of value, but that which is turned into
intellectual muscle.  Out of dull and selfish seclusion go forth.
Regulate with care your basal endowments.  Prove thy strength, and
render it sure.  Deliver thy conceptions from narrowness, thy charity
from scrimpness, thy purposes from smallness.  Deny thyself and take up
thy cross.  Do and dare, love and suffer.  So shalt thou build a
character that will abide all the tests which future years or ages may
bring.

Bear constantly in mind that you are endlessly improvable.  "It is for
God and for Omnipotency to do mighty things in a moment; but
degreeingly to grow to greatness is the course that He hath left for
man."  To the conscious human self there belong possibilities of such
moment that no one can well study them without being either thrillingly
impressed or made to experience unusual emotions.  The conclusion is,
therefore, unavoidable, that every soul can become great.  By processes
of culture to which it is able to subject itself, it can perpetually
increase in wisdom, in strength, and in nobleness.

The soul's chief capabilities may, for the sake of elucidation, be
represented as so many different rooms within itself, each of which can
be made to have a spaciousness equaled by no material amplitude ever
yet ascertained, and each of which, so long as it is kept in the
process of growth, is and will be susceptible of fresh furnishing.
These apartments of the minor man are too wonderful to admit being
depicted either by a writer's pen or by a painter's brush.  Their most
distinguishing characteristics can, at best, only be indicated.  Who
can tell how much knowledge can find place in them, or what volumes of
feeling they can contain?  Who can declare the magnitude of the
grandest traits that, in them, can have freedom to thrive and bear
fruit?  Who can estimate the length and breadth, the height and depth
of the loftiest inspirations or the noblest joys that, in them, can be
experienced?  To give a full expression to the utmost intelligence,
potency, amiability, purity, meritoriousness and majesty that can
reside in the capability--rooms of a human soul--would be equivalent to
picturing the imaginable or to portraying the infinite, and to do
either the one or the other is impossible.  One may be sadly
indifferent to the value of his soul's foremost capabilities, may
inadequately exercise them, and may secure to them merely a dwarf-like
compass; but there is never a time when they can not be made to
transcend the limits of development to which they have attained.  Their
possessor can educate them forever.  He can unceasingly add to their
roominess and resource.  In all time to come he can cause them to
continue to exceed breadth after breadth.  Oh, who can conceive how
great his mental being is able to become?  Who can comprehend how
elevated a life it is possible for him to live?  Who can be liable to
overrate the vastness of the destiny for which he was created?

In the language of Hughes, "Our case is like that of a traveler on the
Alps, who should fancy that the top of the next hill must end his
journey because it terminates his prospect, but he no sooner arrives at
it, than he sees new ground and other hills beyond it, and continues to
travel on as before."  The thought of the soul's improvability is well
adapted to quicken torpid virtue and to revive drooping aspirations.
It tends to scatter the gloom resulting from disappointed endeavors.
Let it but have a star-like clearness in the mind, and there will
spring from it an ever-new interest in life and being.

We know that the paths of usefulness and affection must sometimes be
strewn with smitten leaves and faded bloom, and that the heart must
sometimes be chilled by harsh changes, even as the face of nature is
chilled by rude winds.  We know that we are doomed to find thorns in
roses, and to suffer from "thorns in the flesh."  We know that there
are for us hours when the sunshine without must be darkened by shadows
within; when we must be pierced by trials; when we must be humbled by
afflictions.  Yet, so we but duly know our mental possibilities, how
much there is to animate us and to make us hopeful.  Well may we go our
way, with a high ambition and with good cheer.  Well may we prize, as a
stage of action, this old stone-ribbed earth, whereon we can behold the
beauty of emerald meadows and of blossoming plants, and can hear the
songs of russet-bosomed robins and the prattle of children, the voice
of the vernal breeze, and the sound of the summer rain.  Oh, who that
ever muses on the soul's heirship to the divine, can wish he had never
been born?  I am grateful for my existence.  I rejoice that I have
place amid the bright-robed mysteries which surround me.  I glory in
the shifting scenery of the seasons.  No flaw do I find in the sun, the
moon, or the stars.  No prayer have I to make that the grass which
grows at my feet may be fairer than it is, or that the mornings and
evenings may be more attractive.  Let me know as I may, and feel as I
should, the truth that I am endlessly improvable, and I am assured that
the soul of the universe will somehow sweeten every bitter allotment
that falls to me, will "charm my pained steps over the burning marl"
which belongs to the course of probationary experience, and will assist
me joyfully to approximate the greatness of His own infinite and
tranquil character.  It is bliss to feel that the soul is an
ever-enduring entity.  Unlike the clouds and the snow-heaps, the fluids
and the liquids, the rocks and the metals--unlike all the generations
of living organisms--it neither wastes away nor loses its
distinctiveness.  Nay, it outlasts every transmuting process, and, as a
self-identifying self, is endlessly living.

If we reach the high plane of a perfect manhood, we must climb.  "Come
up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter."--Rev.,
iv, 1.  In this mystical Revelation we behold the seer, John, dreaming
at the base of the celestial hill, and in his dream he hears a voice
commanding him to rise to the summit of the eternities, where,
standing, he shall behold all things that must be.  This vision has an
infinite significance, in that no small part of the felicity associated
with the| idea of eternity is the thought that, with ample mind, we
shall perfectly understand the mighty plan and enterprise of God, and
know with perfect knowledge that which is dark and obscure now.  But
not only has this truth to us an infinite significance; it has also a
temporal one, in that it tells us that there is an immediate
relationship between elevation of life, between high thinking, living
and doing, and the power to command the future.  "Come up hither, and I
will show thee things which must be hereafter."  That is, let us stand
high and we see far and wide, let us stand high and we see deep.
Elevation grants perspective and yields the possession of those years
not only that are, but that are not.  Now, so understood, these words
have much inspiration, comfort and solace for all of us, for a very
large part of man's life is future.  Indeed, the great regulative force
of every human spirit is not so much the present and the past--present
opportunity and past experience--as future ideality.  The architectonic
principle of life is not the momentum that sweeps down to us from the
years that have been, but the ideal that lies deep in the years that
are yet to be.  This is the mysterious, occult power that moulds, forms
and fashions our stature, and that is determining the greatness or the
littleness of our destiny.  And not only is the future architectonic,
it is also an inspiration and refuge for our anxieties, defeats and
inadequacy, his incompetency, how little he has achieved, realizes his
inconsequence and insignificance, and he looks forward and sees triumph
in tomorrow; he beholds the summit of the hill, and says, "There I
shall stand victorious some future day."  Today incomplete, tomorrow
complete; today imperfect, tomorrow perfect; today bound, tomorrow
emancipated; today humiliated, tomorrow crowned.  Hence, the future is
man's refuge, hope and strength.  And in a yet more profound sense does
the future exert a wonderful power over our lives, in that it holds for
us the inheritance undefiled and incorruptible, the patrimony of
eternity.  And who can measure the influence of this belief over human
character?  Blot it out, and what inspiration have we to struggle on?
If we are to perish as the beast of the field, wither like the grass,
and vanish like the transient cloud, man has no grand, sublime
impulsion in this life.  But let him believe that he is the child of
God, that there is an immortal soul, not only in him, but an eternal
sphere awaiting him--let him believe that here he is but in the bud,
that these seventy years are but the seed time, and that infinite eons
lie before him for fruition and efflorescence, and you magnify his
spirit, enlarge his hope, and inspire him with a zeal to conquer and
achieve.

But now there is a popular philosophy that tells us that man can only
know two points of time: that point of time through which he has
gone--the past, and that point of time in which he is now living--the
present.  He may know experience and he may grasp opportunity, but he
can know nothing of futurity.  The future is a riddle, an unexplored
continent, a _terra incognita_ into which no human eyes have ever pried
or ever may pry, sealed as it is by the counsel of God against the
curious vision of His children.  And to some extent I think we all must
admit that this popular notion holds true.  There are those to whom the
future must be a blank, who peer into it and behold nothing there.

I have noticed that no great poem, no great religion, no great creation
of any kind, was ever written or conceived by people who lived in the
valleys, cramped by the hills.  The hills narrow one's horizon, make
one insular, provincial, limited.  And what is true of literature and
art is true also of life.  The man of low ideals never vaticinates; the
man who is living down in the lower ranges of existence never
prophesies.  The man with a low brow has always a limited perspective;
so, also, the man with a low heart or a low conscience.  The sordid man
can never measure the consequences of his wealth.  He may know that
tomorrow he will be as rich as he is today, or richer, but he can not
prognosticate what his riches will mean to him tomorrow--whether he
will find in them more or less felicity, whether they will be a
blessing or a burden.  Neither has the base man, the immoral man, any
clear vision of futurity.  He lives in doubts and fears, and is begirt
with clouds and confusion.  He half fears that there is a law of God,
and half doubts it; half believes in retribution, and half doubts it;
half believes in moral cause and effect, and half doubts it.  He sees,
with no certain sight, the inevitable penalty awaiting his wrong-doing,
else he would not and dare not sin.  No man would sin, could he read
the future; no man would defy the Infinite, did he unerringly know that
God is a just God, and that He shall visit inevitable retribution upon
him who trangresses His holy law.  The wicked man, like the sordid man
living in the low lands, never vaticinates, and can not, not by reason
of any want of talent or conscience, but by reason of want of altitude
of vision.  But St. John does not tell us here that all men shall know
all things that must be; that all men have a sense of futurity.  What
he does say is that there is an intimate and indissoluble relationship
between elevation and futurity; that only the man who stands upon the
altitudes can command the future; for only there, when he is at his
best, and when he is living on the summit of his soul, does he behold
the true and perfect action of the forces and the laws of the Eternal.
It is not "Stay down there and I will show thee things which must be
hereafter," but "Come up hither"--live, aspire, ascend into the
altitudes of mind; ascend into the altitudes of feeling; ascend into
the altitudes of conscience; live where God means you to live, and
then--"I will show thee things which must be hereafter."

And now, if you will consult your own experience or meditate on
history, if you will scan the great things thought and the great things
done, and the great things wrought and the great things won by man, you
will see that they have been always wrought and won and done and
thought upon the heights.  The Muses live upon Parnassus, the Deities
upon Olympus.  Jehovah has his abiding place on Zion.  David says, "I
look unto the hills, whence cometh my help."  Not unto the meadows, or
the streams, or by the forests, or the cities, or the seas, but "unto
the hills, whence cometh my help."  He looks high, and his high vision
grants him spiritual perspective.  And Jesus speaks his great sermon,
not by the Jordan, but on the mount.  He is transfigured on a mount,
crucified on a mount, and ascends to the right hand of His Father from
a mount.  Everywhere the heights play a great part in the history of
human thought, feeling and faith.  All great truth comes down; it does
not rise up.  All great religion comes down; it does not rise up.  It
is not the wilderness, nor the low lands, nor the level places, but
Mount Carmel, Mount Horeb, Mount Zion, the Mount of the Beatitudes and
the Mount of Transfiguration that are focal points of righteousness and
faith.  And when you look at and reflect upon men--the great men, the
men who have moulded the world, who have made the massive contributions
to humanity, who have dealt the Titan strokes that have redeemed the
race from its servitudes and bestialities, who, like Atlas, have upheld
and lifted up the world; who, like Prometheus, have brought to man
precious gifts from Zeus, and so delivered him from the tyranny and
dominion of his ignorance, superstitions, fears and passions--you will
always find that they are men who have lived upon the lofty summits of
the Spirit, and therefore have been seers of the future and have seen
"those things which must be hereafter."

Every high-minded man has always lived in the future.  Take the
sovereign prophet of the ancient faith.  The world about him is dark
and desolate; Israel's powers are at the ebb; the great faith that she
has inherited is degraded, sensualized, formalized, buried under a
debris of priestcraft, infidelity, idolatry and corruption; and yet
this prophet stands upon the hills and dreams--dreams against the
present, dreams through all the darkness environing him--and sees the
day when the faith of Israel shall be the faith of the world; when the
law of Israel shall dominate the conscience of the world; when the
Savior of Israel shall be the Savior of the world, and when the Jehovah
of Israel shall be the Jehovah of the world.  Standing high, his soul
soaring, thinking lofty thoughts, he beholds Israel in glorious
perspective as the nation that shall lead man from bondage to liberty,
from darkness to light.  Or think again of the life, the history, the
hope of Jesus, and behold in Him a perfect illustration of this truth;
this truth that there is an intimate relationship between high living
and high thinking, high doing, high willing and the vision of the
future.  What right had Christ to hope at all?  What right had He to
think of a Kingdom of God that was going steadily to conquer and take
possession of this earth?  What right had He to think that His Gospel
would come to be the regnant gospel over the minds of men?  What right
had He to think that His own beautiful spirit would prevail over the
perverse and rebellious will of society?  What right had he to think
that the world would ever come to accept His marvelous beatitudes as
truth?  What right had He to believe that the cross would ever be a
universal symbol of salvation?  Judged from the near point of view, by
immediate results, by the facts that were right before His eyes,
history records no more conspicuous and terrible failure than the life
of Jesus.  A Savior, and yet disbelieved in by the people; a Savior,
and yet scorned by the multitude; a Savior, and yet called a "wine
bibber" and a "glutton;" a Savior, and yet humiliated and degraded; a
Savior, and yet dying ignominiously upon the cross.  Where is there any
ample redemption, any glorious assertion of the mind, in these sad,
gloomy, hopeless facts?  And yet He said, "I, if I be lifted up, shall
draw all men unto Me."  How did He dare make such a prophecy as that?
How did He dare arrogate to himself such a dominion as that?  Why,
simply because, living in the altitudes, he had vision of things that
must be.  He knew that He had righteousness in His heart, and that
righteousness must at last be established.  He knew that His spirit was
a spirit of peace and good will towards men, and that peace and good
will towards men must ultimately prevail.  He lived on the heights, and
He saw those things that were to be.  And now, what is true of these
great men may be true of every one of us, according to the loftiness of
our living.  Every one of us may command the future--may, in a measure,
prophesy and weigh the consequences, and calculate the issues of our
own life; and every one of us can live a far larger, fuller and richer
life, in the years that are to be than we can live in the past or in
the time that is now.

And first, let me say to you that the man that lives upon the altitudes
of his spirit beholds with sure vision the issuance of his life in
triumph.  We speak of life habitually as being a complicated and
intricate thing, and no doubt it is, upon its lower ranges.  A man is
prosperous today, sweeping, with sails full set, before the breeze, his
bark leaping gladly, mounting buoyantly upon the waves; but no man can
tell what the morrow will bring forth to him.  Prosperity is not a
matter of certitude, security or permanency.  An ill wind comes, and
the vessel is swept to disaster; on the shoals or rocks, rushing to
destruction against some Scylla or swallowed up by some Charybdis.  And
what is true of prosperity is true of power.  Today a man is the idol
of the people, flattered, honored, extolled and crowned by them.  They
gather round him and intoxicate him with their plaudits.  He is the man
of the people, the great man of his day, but who can tell how long this
will rule enthroned?  An unfortunate speech, an error of conduct, a
moment of indecision, a failure to appeal to the demagogic instincts of
the race, and he is ruthlessly bereaved of his honor and his glory
gone.  The idols of yesterday are the broken statues of today; the
heroes of yesterday are the "have-beens" of today.  So capricious, so
ephemeral, so mutable, so mercurial, so impermanent are the whims of
humanity, and so unstable its idolatries and adorations.

And as the mighty fall, so the obscure rises.  Names that were unknown
ten years ago are blazoned almost on the skies.  The insignificant come
up and take the scepter in their hand.  The poor man of a little while
ago is the rich merchant or the successful lawyer of today.  This is
his hour, this the moment of his power.  Strange, is it not?  There
seems to be no method, no system in those lower planes of life.  The
rich become poor and the poor rich, the strong weak and the weak
strong; the ruler becomes the ruled and the ruled the ruler; the master
becomes the servant and the servant the master.  No order, no system,
no method anywhere in mundane things, and therefore no power of vision
and vaticination.

But now in the higher things there is none of this impermanence and
instability.  Everything is in order here.  When man is living in the
fulness of his nature, when he is living on the heaven-kissing
pinnacles of his spirit, when his whole being is harmonious with the
great and glorious laws of God, his future is assured; it is bound to
be a great and beautiful success.  No possibility of failure upon the
heights; every possibility of failure upon the level; every possibility
of disaster down there, but upon the peaks there can be no disaster, no
mistake, no accident, no dethronement; there must be inevitable and
unconditional achievement.  Of course, I do not mean popular
achievement--achievement as men usually count achievement, or success
as men ordinarily rate success.  So measured, every great man's life
has been a dismal failure.  Paul's life was not a popular success, nor
was Isaiah's, nor was Augustine's, nor was Savanarola's, nor was
Socrates', nor was Christ's life a popular success.  Measured by
terrestrial standards, measured by the low ideals of humanity, these
lives were all ignominious failures, every one of them; but measured by
the Divine standard, by the mind and will of God, they are triumphant
victories.

And now I say that every man whose point of view is high, who is
standing upon the very highest reaches of his own being, seeking
sincerely to be true to all that is heroic and great in his
heaven-endowed nature, that man is bound to be, by the decree of the
Eternal, an ultimately successful man.  He is bound, just so surely as
God's sun is bound to come tomorrow, he is bound to be crowned, not
only with a celestial but with a terrestrial success--success as God
measures success.  He may feel pain; he may feel the slings and arrows
of outrageous fortune; he may experience neglect; he may contend
against a host of untoward circumstances; he may groan under the
pressure and weight of many woes; he may weep bitter, burning, scalding
tears of sorrow and grief, but still he must triumph, for God is just
and will crown with a perfect equity His faithful children.

And so, my friends, the central truth that I deliver to you is this,
that life, life upon the summit of the soul, is the supreme,
resplendent luminary.  Not argument, not philosophy, not the elaborate,
logical processes of the intellect, not the Bible, not the church, but
life; this is the great infallible interpreter.  Live and ye shall see.
"Do my will," says Christ, "and ye shall know."  Stand high and firm on
the summit of your soul and ye shall see the things that must be
hereafter--a victorious righteousness, a triumphant life, and the
redeemed hosts swathed and folded in the light of Him who is
everlasting, omnipotent and all-loving.



PITHY POINTS

Brethren, be merciful in your judgment of others.

Every temptation promptly resisted strengthens the will.

There is a sad want of thoughtful mercy among us all.

Every step we take on the ladder upwards helps to a higher.

If we are true Odd-Fellows we will put away all bitterness and malice.

Brothers, remember the moral harvest comes to all perfection; not one
grain is lost.

As Odd-Fellows there are loads we can help others to carry, and thus
learn sympathy.

The test of truthfulness is true dealing with ourselves when we do
wrong and true dealing with the brethren when they fall.

It is a serious reflection that even our secret thoughts influence
those around us.

The Brotherhood has a Father watching over it, "who is the same
yesterday, today and forever."

Man alone is responsible for the eternal condition of his soul.  We
make our own heaven or hell, not by the final act of life, but by life
itself.

Truth supplies us with the only true and perfect standard by which to
test the value of things, and so corrects the one-sided, materialistic
standard of business.

If an Odd-Fellow begins right I can not tell how many tears he may wipe
away, how many burdens he may lift, how many orphans he may comfort,
how many outcasts he may reclaim.

Love edifies; that is, it builds up perfectly the whole man, secures an
entire and harmonious and proportionate development of his nature.  It
does so by casting out the selfishness in man which always leads to a
diseased and one-sided growth of his nature.

No two souls are endowed in an exactly similar way.  And for the
difference of endowment there is a reason in the Divine mind, for each
soul in its generation has its appointed work to do, and is endowed
with suitable grace for its performance.

We are not Odd-Fellows in the true sense unless we put away all
bitterness, malice and selfishness.  Common sense of mankind is quite
right when it says a man's religion is not worth much if it does not
make him good.  Have goodness first--out of goodness good works will
come.

Every good work requires every good principle.  A man with very
prominent and striking characteristics will always be a perfect man.  A
perfect man has such harmonies that he scarcely has a characteristic.
To be fruitful in every good work you must have in your heart the germs
and seeds, the springs and sources of all Christian virtue.

We are all greater dupes to our weakness than to the skill of others;
and the successes gained over us by the designing are usually nothing
more than the prey taken from those very snares we have laid ourselves.
One man falls by his ambition, another by his perfidy, a third by his
avarice, and a fourth by his lust; what are these but so many nets,
watched indeed by the fowler, but woven by the victim?

Sorrow is not an accident--occurring now and then--it is the very woof
which is woven into the warp of life, and he who has not discerned the
divine sacredness of sorrow, and the profound meaning which is
concealed in pain, has yet to learn what life is.  The cross manifested
as the necessity of the highest life alone interprets it.

Equity--An eternal rule of right, implanted in the heart.  What it asks
for itself it is willing to grant to others.  It not only forbids us to
do wrong to the meanest of God's creatures, but it teaches us to
observe the golden rule, "All things whatsoever ye would that men
should do unto you, do you even so to them."  There is no greater
injunction--no better rule to practice.

Don't rely on friends--don't rely on the name of your ancestors.
Thousands have spent the prime of life in the vain hope of help from
those whom they called friends, and many thousands have starved because
they have rich fathers.  Rely upon the good name which is made by your
own exertions, and know that better than the best friend you can have
is unquestionable determination, united with decision of character.

How little is known of what is in the bosom of those around us!  We
might explain many a coldness could we look into the heart concealed
from us; we should often pity where we hate, love when we curl the lip
with scorn and indignation.  To judge without reserve of any human
action is a culpable temerity, of all our sins the most unfeeling and
frequent.

How a common sorrow or calamity spans the widest social differences and
welds all, the rich and poor, in one common bond of sympathy, which,
begetting charity and all her train, softens the hardest heart and
banishes the sturdiest feeling of superiority!  Over the lifeless body
of the departed, enemies and friend can weep together, and, burying
strife and differences with their common loss, feel a kinship which
unites them, and which all humanity shares.

Don't be exacting.--An exacting temper is one against which to guard
both one's heart and the nature of those who are under our control and
influence.  To give and to allow, to suffer and to bear, are the graces
more to the purpose of a noble life than cold, exacting selfishness,
which must have, let who will go without, which will not yield, let who
will break.  It is a disastrous quality wherewith to go through the
world; for it receives as much pain as it inflicts, and creates the
discomfort it deprecates.

Verily, good works constitute a refreshing stream in this world,
wherever they are found flowing.  It is a pity that they are too often
like oriental torrents, "waters that fail" in times of greatest need.
When we meet the stream actually flowing and refreshing the land, we
trace it upward, in order to discover the fountain whence it springs.
Threading our way upward, guided by the river, we have found at length
the placid lake from which the river runs.  Behind all genuine good
works and above them, love will, sooner or later, certainly be found.
It is never good alone; uniformly, in fact, and necessarily in the
nature of things, we find the two constituents existing as a complex
whole, "love and good works," the fountain and the flowing stream.

Never give up old friends for new ones.  Make new ones if you like, and
when you have learned that you can trust them, love them if you will,
but remember the old ones still.  Do not forget they have been merry
with you in time of pleasure, and when sorrow came to you they sorrowed
also.  No matter if they have gone down in social scale and you up; no
matter if poverty and misfortune have come to them while prosperity
came to you; are they any less true for that?  Are not their hearts as
warm and tender if they do beat beneath homespun instead of velvet?
Yes, kind reader, they are as true, loving and tender; don't forget old
friends.

Young men!  Let the nobleness of your mind impel you to its
improvement; you are too strong to be defeated, save by yourselves.
Refuse to live merely to sleep and eat.  Brutes can do this; but you
are men.  Act the part of men.  Prepare yourselves to endure toil.
Resolve to rise--you have but to resolve.  Nothing can hinder your
success if you determine to succeed.  Do not waste your time by wishing
and dreaming, but go earnestly to work.  Let nothing discourage you.
If you have no books, borrow them; if you have no teachers, teach
yourself; if your early education has been neglected, by the greater
diligence repair the defect.  Let not a craven heart or a love of ease
rob you of the inestimable benefit of self-culture.

Have the courage to face a difficulty, lest it kick you harder than you
bargained for.  Difficulties, like thieves, often disappear at a
glance.  Have the courage to leave a convivial party at the proper hour
for doing so, however great the sacrifice; and to stay away from one
upon the slightest grounds for objection, however great the temptation
to go.  Have the courage to do without that which you do not need,
however much you may admire it.  Have the courage to speak your mind
when it is necessary that you should do so, and hold your tongue when
it is better you should be silent.  Have the courage to speak to a poor
friend in a seedy coat, even in the street, and when a rich one is
nigh.  The effort is less than many people take it to be, and the act
is worthy of a king.  Have the courage to admit that you have been in
the wrong, and you will remove the fact in the mind of others, putting
a desirable impression in the place of an unfavorable one.  Have the
courage to adhere to the first resolution when you can not change it
for a better, and abandon it at the eleventh hour upon conviction.



THE BIBLE IN ODD-FELLOWSHIP

The Bible is a book for the understanding; but much more it is a book
for the spirit and for the heart.  Many other kinds of learning are
found in the Bible.  It is a manual of Eastern antiquities, a handbook
of political experiences, a collection of moral wisdom as applied to
personal conduct, a mine of poetry, a choice field for the study of
languages.  The Bible is the book of God, and therefore it is the book
of the future, the book of hope.  It pierces the veil between this and
another life, pointing us on to the realms of light.  In sorrow, in
sin, and in death we may, if we will, find in the Holy Bible patience,
consolation and hope.  The Bible opens the widest, freest outlook for
the mind into the eternal, enlarging a man's range of spiritual sight,
and enabling him to judge of all things in both worlds in their true
proportion.  The Bible gets into life because it first came out of
life.  It was born of life at its best.  Its writers were the tallest
white angels literature has known.  No other literature has five names
equal to these: Moses, David, Isaiah, Paul and John.  These men and the
others wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.  The messages of the
Bible are the loftiest in the range of human thought.  There have been
many magnificent periods like the age of Elizabeth, the time of the
Renaissance and the age of Victoria, but no other single century has
ever done anything equal to the production of the New Testament in the
first century.  The Bible has a sound psychology.  It seeks to
influence the whole man.  It pours white light into the intellect.  It
grapples with the great themes upon which thinkers stretch their minds.
John Fiske's three subjects are all familiar themes to the readers of
the Bible.  Its style is incomparable in grandeur and variety.  It
approaches the intellect with every form of literary style.  It is the
supreme intellectual force in the life of the common people.  It has
been teacher and school for the millions.  The Puritans, for example,
used it as a poem, story book, history, law and philosophy.  Out of it
New England was born.  It has been the chief representative of the
English language at its best.  Anglo-Saxon life and learning are
saturated with it.  The literature of England and America is full of
the Bible.  Shakespeare and Tennyson are specimens.  Each of these
authors quote from nearly every book in the Bible, and each of them
refers to the Bible not less than five hundred times.  Herbert Spencer
admits that it is the greatest educator.  It is winning its place in
school and college.  No education is complete without a knowledge of
this literature.  It is the privilege of Odd-Fellowship to enthrone the
Bible in the lodge-room, and in the home.  It teaches the intellectual
life from above and lifts it to the Bible's own level.

Dean Stanley was visiting the great scholar, Ewald, in Dresden, and in
the course of the conversation, Ewald snatched up a copy of the New
Testament and said, in his impulsive and enthusiastic way, "In this
little book is contained all the wisdom of the world."  There is a
sense in which this statement is not extravagant.  The book contains
the highest and fullest revelation of truth the world has known.  The
greatest themes man's mind can ponder are here presented.  The most
profound problems with which the human intellect has ever grappled are
here discussed.  We maintain that a mastery of the contents of this
book will in itself provide an intellectual discipline no other book
can give.  Refinement of character, refinement of thought, refinement
of speech, all of the essential characteristics of the intellectual as
well as of the spiritual life, have been found in our own church from
the beginning, among those whose only advantages have been a personal
religious experience and the consequent love and continuous study of
God's word as well as among those who have had all the advantages of
the schools.  No man need be afraid of exhausting the truth in the
Bible.  No man can ever flatter himself that he has got beyond it.
Whatever his intellectual attainments may be, the Bible will still have
further message for him.

There was a very suggestive spectacle on the streets of London one day,
just after Elizabeth had become England's Queen.  As she was riding by
the little conduit at the upper end of Cheapside an old man came out of
it, carrying a scythe and bearing a pair of wings.  He represented
Father Time coming out of his dark cave to greet the young Queen.  He
led by the hand a young girl clad in flowing robes of white silk, and
she was his daughter, Truth.  Truth held in her hands an English Bible,
on which was written "Verbum Veritatis," and which she presented to the
Queen.  It was a pageant prepared for the occasion but suggestive for
this occasion as well.  Truth is the daughter of Time.  Our backs may
be bent and our hair may be gray before we can lead Bible truth forth
by the hand.  We may be old before we know much; our intellectual life
may be matured in fullest measure and we still can know more; we must
grow a pair of wings before we know it all--even if we do then.

The Bible is the conquering book.  It has already dominated English
literature, so that almost the whole of its text from Genesis to
Revelation might, if all the copies of the Bible were suddenly lost
from the world, be restored in piecemeal fragments gathered out of the
books in which the Book has been quoted, Then, besides, there are the
Bible thoughts that have indirectly, we might almost say insidiously,
permeated the literature of Europe and America.  More than that, the
Bible has been industriously for years securing its own translation
into hundreds of tongues and dialects of the globe.  The Koran does not
take pains to translate itself, and, indeed, refuses to be translated;
but in contradistinction with such apathy of false faiths, the Bible
courts transcription into foreign tongues, loses nothing in the
process, but thereby gains for itself the homage of multitudes who, on
reading it for the first time, cry, "This is the book we long have
sought, that finds us out in the deepest recesses of our being and
satisfies the profoundest cravings of our souls."  The Bible is the
comforting book.  There is no volume like it for consolation.  It is
the only sure and steady staff for pilgrim spirits to lean upon, and
the only book that is quoted at the bedside of the sick.  It is a book
to wear next the heart in life, and upon which to pillow the head in
death.  No other so-called "scriptures" of the world say the things
that the Bible says, or supply the hopes that its promises afford.  The
Bible is not simply a book; it is The Book.  It is the best book of any
kind that we have.  We can not do without it, either here or hereafter.
There are many books in the world, but there is only one book.  The
Bible is unique.  It is in a class by itself.  It seeks to control
everything, but it co-ordinates itself with nothing.  It sets forth
imitable examples of character, but it is not itself imitable.  No one
has ever written or ever will write a second Bible.  The very phrase
which every one uses, "The Bible," signifies the uniqueness of this
book.  It is a whole library in itself, and yet it is more than a
simple collection of books.  There is a homogeneity and consistency to
the whole which lead us to speak of scripture as being a single story,
not many revelations.  The Bible is the exhaustless book.  It may
sometimes prove exhausting to its light-minded readers, but it never
exhausts itself.  "It is the wonder of the Bible," observes Dr. Joseph
Parker, who has preached more than twenty-five volumes of sermons upon
scriptural subjects, "that you never get through it.  You get through
all other books, but you never get through the Bible."  On the basis of
a rationalistic criticism, this quality of exhaustlessness is really
inexplicable.  And when we come to realize that, after all has been
said as to scrolls and tablets and styluses and human factors and
copyists, God wrote the Bible, we understand why it is that scripture
is so rich in treasures of wisdom.  We see that we can not exhaust the
Bible because we can not exhaust God.  The Bible wields an influence
that can not be estimated.  The spoken word is powerful, the printed
word surpasses it.  The one is temporal, the other is eternal; the one
is circumscribed, the other is unlimited.  The spoken sermon of today
is forgotten tomorrow; the written word of thousands of years ago still
sways the masses of today.

The whole civilized world bows down with reverence before the book of
all books, the Bible.  The Roman sword, the Grecian palette and chisel,
have indeed rendered noble service to the cause of civilization, yet
even their proudest claims dwindle into insignificance when compared
with the benefits which the Bible has wrought.  It has penetrated into
realms where the names of Greece and Rome have never resounded.  It has
illumined empires and ennobled peoples, which Roman war and Grecian art
had left dark and barbarous.  Where one man is charmed by the Odyssey,
tens and hundreds of thousands are delighted by the Pentateuch; where
one man is enthused by the Philippics of Demosthenes, millions are
enthused by the orations of Isaiah; where one man is inspired by the
valor of Horatious, tens of millions are inspired by the bravery of
David; where one man's life is ennobled by the art in the Parthenon,
scores of millions of lives are ennobled by the art in the sanctuary:
where one man's life is guided by the moral maxims of Marcus Aurelius,
hundreds of millions find their law of right and their rule for action
in the Bible.  It is read in more than two hundred and fifty languages,
by four hundred millions of people living in every clime and zone of
the globe.  It constitutes the only literature, the only code of law
and ethics, of many peoples and tribes.  For thousands of years it has
gone hand in hand with civilization, has led the way towards the moral
and intellectual development of human kind, and despite the hatred of
its enemies and the still more dangerous misinterpretations of its
friends, its moral law still maintains its firm hold upon the hearts
and minds of the people, its power is still supreme for kindling a love
of right and duty, of justice and morality, within the hearts of the
overwhelming masses.  Were it possible to annihilate the Bible, and
with it all the influence it has exercised, the pillars upon which
civilization rests would be knocked from under it, and, as if with one
thrust of the fatal knife, we would deal the death blow to our
morality, to our domestic happiness, to our commercial integrity, to
our peaceful relationships, to our educational and chart-table
institutions.

There are wives and mothers, who stand with lacerated hearts at the
open grave and see the light of their life extinguished beneath the
cruel clods, and yet, they bear up bravely, resting their bent forms
and supporting their tottering feet on the staff of hope and trust
which the Bible affords.  Take that solace from them, and you may soon
have occasion to bury the wife next to her husband, and the mother next
to her child.  There are husbands who, when sitting lonely, dependent,
in the circle of their motherless, weeping children, find the good old
Book the only comforter; take it from them and you drive them to the
madhouse or to suicide.  There are maidens grieving, pining, their
hearts broken, their lives blighted, their career irretrievably
blasted; take the solace from them which this book breathes into their
withered hearts, the solace that suffering innocence will be
recompensed, that a God of justice rules, take that solace from them
and you have taken all that makes life bearable.  There are millions of
people pining in bondage, toiling in obscurity, suffering physically
and mentally for no crime of their own, sick and hungry, friendless and
hopeless; take the book from them that teaches them the lesson of
patient endurance, and you may write the word Finis, and close the
records of civilization forevermore.  It is the one book that has a
balm for every wound, a comfort for every tear, a ray of light for
every darkness.

Its language all people can understand, its spirit all minds can grasp,
its moral laws all people can obey, its truths appeal not only to the
lowly and simple, but also to the highest intellect, they win the
spontaneous approval, not only of the pious, but also of the most
skeptical.  At a literary gathering at the house of the Baron von
Holbach, where the most celebrated atheists of the age used to
assemble, the gentlemen present were one day commenting on the absurd
and foolish things with which the Bible abounds.  The French
encyclopedist, Diderat, a materialist himself, startled his friends by
his little speech: "But it is wonderful, gentlemen, it is wonderful.  I
know of no man who can speak or write with such ability.  I do not
believe that any of you could compose such narratives, or could have
laid down such sublime moral laws, so simple, yet so elevating,
exerting so wide an influence for good, and awakening such deep and
such reverential feelings, as does the Bible."  Diderat spoke the
truth.  Place the most celebrated systems of philosophies or the most
famous code of ethics, into the hands of the masses, and see whether
the subtleties of their learning, the elegance of their diction will
touch their hearts as deeply as does the Bible.  All the genius and
learning of the ancient world, all the penetration of the profoundest
philosophers, have never been able to produce a book that was as widely
read, as voluminously commented on, as dearly loved, as this book,
neither have all the law-givers of all the lands, and of all ages, been
able to produce a code of law and ethics that was universally and as
implicitly followed as that of the law-giver, Moses.

The Bible is an emblem of Odd-Fellowship, because it is the
Odd-Fellows' text-book.  Here we get our doctrines for faith and our
rules for practice in all the relations of life.  As Odd-Fellows, we
believe the Bible is the word of God, because in their enmity humanity
has never been able to destroy it or rob it of its power; nor have any
who reject it given us a book to take its place.  The intellect and
culture of our day can not improve the teachings of Christ, nor set
before us a nobler ideal life.  As Odd-Fellows, we believe in this
beautiful emblem, because our hearts attest its truth.  We need not be
told that the landscape is beautiful, or that the song of birds is
sweet.  When we see the one and hear the other, we know it.  As the eye
discerns the beautiful, and the ear discerns sweet sounds, so the heart
of man discerns the divineness of the Bible teachings and sets its seal
to their truth.  As Odd-Fellows, we believe in the scriptures, because
the experiences of all true believers, of whatever name, or age, or
country, prove it to be the "bread of life" and the "water of life" to
a needy and suffering world.  Age by age the evidence of experience is
accumulating, and growing stronger, and for a soul to distrust the
revelations made unto it, and the divine leading of the human race, is
as though the eye should disbelieve in the sun shining at mid-day.  We
recognize the Bible as a precious boon to man, the gift of the Great
Father above.  It is a "light to our feet and a lamp to our path."  It
is a compass whose never-failing needle directs us safely across the
desert sands of life, and through the dark labyrinths of an evil world,
and its precious promises gives us comfort while we bear the burdens
and endure the sorrows, pain and anguish incident to human life.

Since our organization is founded on the Bible, we should, as
Odd-Fellows, become more conversant with it.  Many evils creep into our
lodges that could be avoided if we used the Bible more in our talks for
the good of the order.  Intemperance is an evil that does us much harm.
What does the Bible say in regard to it?  Proverbs, xx, 1, says: "Wine
is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby
is not wise."  Proverbs, xxi, 17: "He that loveth pleasure shall be a
poor man; he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich."  Ah me! what
dead courage, what piles of bleached bones that was once the
concentration of all that was great and lofty and true.  What
aspirations, ambitions, enterprise and resolutions--what genius,
integrity and all that belongs to true manhood--have been swept from
the tablets of time into oblivion by King Alcohol and his horrid half
brothers, the gambling hell and the brothel.

A few years ago a noted wild-beast tamer gave a performance with his
pets in one of the leading theatres.  He put his lions, tigers,
leopards and hyenas through their part of the entertainment, awing the
audience by his awful nerve and his control over them.  As a closing
act to the performance, he was to introduce an enormous
boa-constrictor, thirty feet long.  He had bought it when it was only
two days old, and for twenty years he handled it daily, so that it was
considered perfectly harmless and completely under his control.  He had
seen it grow from a tiny reptile, which he often carried in his bosom,
into a fearful monster.  The curtain rose upon an Indian woodland
scene.  The wild, weird strains of an oriental band steal through the
trees.  A rustling noise is heard, and a huge serpent is seen winding
its way through the undergrowth.  It stops.  Its head is erect.  Its
bright eyes sparkle.  Its whole body seems animated.  A man emerges
from the heavy foliage.  Their eyes meet.  The serpent quails before
the man--man is victor.  The serpent is under control of a master.
Under his guidance and direction it performs a series of fearful feats.
At a signal from the man it slowly approaches him and begins to coil
its heavy folds around him.  Higher and higher do they rise, until man
and serpent seem blended into one.  Its hideous head is reared above
the mass.  The man gives a little scream, and the audience unite in a
thunderous burst of applause, but it freezes upon their lips.  The
trainer's scream was a wail of death agony.  Those cold, slimy folds
had embraced him for the last time.  They crushed the life out of him,
and the horror-stricken audience heard bone after bone crack as those
powerful folds tightened upon him.  Man's playful thing had become his
master.  His slave for twenty years had now enslaved him.

The following is a will left by a drunkard of Oswego, New York State:
"I leave to society a ruined character and a wretched example.  I leave
to my parents as much sorrow as they can, in their feeble state, bear.
I leave to my brothers and sisters as much shame and mortification as I
could bring on them.  I leave to my wife, a broken heart--a life of
shame.  I leave to each of my children, poverty, ignorance, a low
character, and the remembrance that their father filled a drunkard's
grave."  It behooves us as Odd-Fellows to ponder well the lessons
taught by our order.  Unless the principles that are laid down are
fully carried out, we can never be Odd-Fellows in spirit and in truth.
Today is our opportunity; act now.  Have you ever seen those marble
statues fashioned into a fountain, with the clear water flowing out
from the marble lips or the hand, on and on forever?  The marble stands
there, passive, cold, making no effort to arrest the gliding water.  So
it is that time flows through the hands of men, swift, never pausing
until it has run itself out, and the man seems petrified into a marble
sleep, not feeling what it is that is passing away forever.  And the
destiny of nine men out of ten accomplishes itself before they realize
it slipping away from them, aimless, useless, until it is too late.
"Be such a man, live such a life, that if every man were such as you,
and every life a life like yours, this earth would be God's Paradise."

Remember that no good the humblest of us has wrought ever dies.  There
is one long, unerring memory in the universe, out of which nothing
dies.  A chill autumn wind, blowing over a sterile plain, bore within
its arms a little seed, torn with ruthless force from its matrix on a
lofty tree, and dropped the seed upon the sand to perish.  A bright
winged beetle, weary with flight and languid with the chilly air,
rested for a moment on the arid plain.  The little seed dropped Aeolus
served to satisfy the hunger of the beetle, which presently winged its
flight to the margin of a swift running stream that had sprung from the
mountain side, and cleaving a bed through rocks of granite, went gaily
laughing upon its cheery way down to the ever rolling sea.  Sipping a
drop of the crystal flood, the beetle crawled within a protecting
ledge, and, folding its wings, lay down to pleasant dreams.  The Ice
King passed along and touched the insect in its sleep.  Its mission was
fulfilled; but the conflict of the seasons continued until the white
destroyer melted in the breath of balmy spring.  And then a sunbeam
sped to the chink wherein the body of the insect lay, and searching for
the little seed entombed, but not destroyed, invited it to "join the
Jubilee of returning life and hope."  Under the soft wooing of the
peopled ray, the little seed began to swell with joy, tiny rootlets
were developed within the body of the protecting beetle, a minute stem
shot out of its gaping mouth, and lo! a mighty tree had been carried
from the desert, saved from the frosts of winter, nurtured and started
upon its mission of life and usefulness by an humble insect that had
perished with the flowers.  The agent had passed away, but, building
better than he knew, the wide-spreading tree remained by the margin of
the life-giving stream, a shelter and a rest to the weary traveler upon
life's great highway through many fretful centuries.

A child abandoned by its mother to perish in an Egyptian marsh may
become the instrument to deliver a nation from bondage, and an
unostentatious man, unknown to fortune and to fame, may become the
agent of a mighty work destined to benefit the human race as long as it
may last upon the earth.  George Eliot says, "Our deeds are like
children that are born to us; they live and act apart from our own
will.  Nay, children may be strangled, but deeds never; they have an
indestructible life, both in and out of our consciousness."

No man has come to true greatness who has not felt in some degree that
his life belongs to his race, and that what God gives him he gives him
for mankind.  The different degrees of consciousness are really what
make the different degrees of greatness in men.

While Odd-Fellowship does not claim to be a religious institution, yet
so closely is it allied to Christianity that we deem it proper to
discuss these questions.  I quote from Dr. Lyman Abbott's lecture on
"Christianity and Orientalism," as follows: "Religion as a thought has
four questions to answer: First, What is God?  Second, What is man?
Third, What is the relation between God and man?  Fourth, What is the
life which man is to live when he understands and enters into that
relation?  There is no other question; there is nothing left.  What is
God?  What is man?  And how are men to live when they have entered into
that relationship?  Now, Christianity has its answer to each one of
those four questions.  God--one true, righteous, loving, helpful Father
of the whole human race.  God--love.  And love, what is that?  Such a
life as Jesus Christ lived on the earth.  What is man?  Man is in the
image of God.  If he is not, if he fails in that, he fails being a man.
He is in the image of God, and not until he has come to be in the
image, of God will he be a man.  What is a statue?  I can see a nose, a
mouth, appearing out of the marble block.  No, it is not a statue, it
is a half-done statue.  Wait until the sculptor is through, then you
will see the statue.  Not till God is done will you see a man, and you
never saw one except as you saw him in Jesus of Nazareth.  And what is
the relation between this God and this man?  It is the relationship of
the most intimate fellowship that the human soul can conceive; one life
dwelling in the other life, and filling the other life full of His own
fullness.  You can not get any closer relationship to God than that.
When this fullness has been realized, when you and I have the fullness
of God in us, when God has finished, the man life will result.  Just
such a life as Christ lived, with all the splendor of self-sacrifice,
with all the glory of service, with all the magnificent heroism, with
all the enduring patience."



BROTHER UNDERWOOD'S DREAM.

Being invited some time since to deliver an address before a benevolent
institution, and being pressed amid the daily business cares which
surrounded, I was fearful I should not be able to command sufficient
time for preparation of the task.  Returning home, I retired to my bed,
my thoughts still keeping themselves in active motion in their endeavor
to "think out" what I should say.  In this state of mind I fell asleep,
and soon was in dreamland.  I dreamed that death had taken place, and
as I approached the gates of the unseen world, I was met by an angel,
who kindly tendered his services in escorting me through the realms of
Heaven.  Being a stranger there, I gladly and gracefully accepted his
kind invitation.  Proceeding along the pearly streets, enraptured with
the beauties which surrounded me, I saw a multitude of people, the
number of whom figures fail to compute; but I noticed there were
dividing lines, and they were gathered in companies.  Observing a
beautiful body of water in the distance, and a gathering of one company
by its banks, I inquired of my escort who they were.  He replied they
were Baptists, and said "they always keep near the water's edge."  Just
beyond was another company, which my faithful attendant informed me was
a Presbyterian band, and that their infant baptism views still clinging
to them was one of the causes of their "corralling" together.  Just
then we heard loud and prolonged shouting and singing of the hymn
"Shall we gather at the river," and, pointing to the spot from whence
it came, near a beautiful stream not far off, the angel said: "Those
are the Methodists.  They never cease shouting, and so loud are they at
times that they annoy the Episcopalians, whom you see on the opposite
side of the stream, in their discussion of the doctrine of apostolic
succession."  Seeing still other gatherings farther on, I was anxious
to go thither and mingle with them; but my guide remonstrated, saying:
"You can see from this standpoint the representatives of all churches.
There, said he, are the Catholics and the Jews, the Universalists and
the Congregationalists, the Unitarians and the Moravians, all with
their varied 'creeds,' and if you go that way you will be surrounded by
them, each trying to prove that you got to Heaven through their
peculiar doctrine or faith."

Turning to the right, we moved on, only to pass to more gorgeous and
beautiful apartments, where the streets were golden.  Here I observed
another multitude, but it was one body.  "This," said the angel, "is
the gathering of the various priests and pastors, rectors and rabbis,
and the ministers and the elders who are trying to unite on some common
ground upon which their congregations (which we had passed) might
stand, where there would be but 'One Lord, one faith, one baptism.'"
Gal., iv, 5.  For, said the angel, until then, they go not up with
their churches and creeds to higher seats above, for "neither
circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision." Gal., v, 6.

Proceeding on our way we approached a magnificent archway, over the
lintels of which was inscribed, "The Christian's Home in Glory."  The
grandeur of this new apartment exceeded all the rest, a description of
which lies beyond the power of words, "For eye hath not seen, nor the
ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which
God hath prepared for them that love him." I Cor., ii, 9.  This I found
to be the abode of the apostles, martyrs and Christians of all ages.
Here was Paul and Peter, and the prophets, the thief on the cross and
Bunyan, Lazarus and Baxter, Stephen and Father Abraham, Martha and Mary
and the widow who gave her two mites.  Pausing, I beheld, with banners
above, an innumerable number "marching on," with Lincoln and Lovejoy,
Lyman, Beecher and John Brown in the advance, and on the banners was
inscribed, "These are they which came out of great tribulation." Rev.,
viii, 14.  The angel said: "That is the multitude of poor slaves from
the cotton fields of earth, doing homage to their deliverers."  "They
shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun
light on them, nor any heat." Rev., vii, 16.  Here I also found Watts
and Wesley singing, while Bliss (who had but lately been translated
from earth to heaven by way of Ashtabula bridge), catching the
inspiration, was setting the songs of Heaven to the music of earth.
Gazing on the many thrones and crowns, there were some of peculiar
brightness.  I looked on one, and what was the inscription?  Was it, I
was a Methodist?  No.  I was immersed?  No.  I was a Jew?  No.  But
rather this: "Because I delivered the poor that cried and fatherless,
and him that had none to help him, the blessing of him that was ready
to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing with
joy." Job, xxix, 12, 14.  And this was the crown of Job.  And there was
another just beyond, and I read the inscription.  Was it, I was a
Presbyterian?  No.  I prayed by quantity?  No.  I was a Universalist?
No.  But "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is
this, to visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction and to
keep himself unspotted from the world." James, i, 27.  And while the
memory and name of Peabody, the philanthropist, is and shall be honored
and loved for ages to come in two hemispheres, his crown of glory in
heaven is second to none.  But there was still another.  It was worn by
one of queenly beauty, and she sat upon her throne; the splendor of her
robe and the brilliancy of her apparel dimmed my vision.  I read her
inscription, set, as it was, in Heaven's choicest diamonds.  Was it, I
was an Episcopalian?  No.  I was baptized?  No.  I was a Catholic?  No.
But thus: "I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and
ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye
clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came
unto me." Matt., xxv, 35, 36.  And before her throne stood thousands
who had come up from the battle fields of the Crimea, and the widows
and orphans, the lame and the halt, the blind and the deaf from the
streets and alleys of London, and as they shouted their hallelujahs
before her, they carried banners on which were emblazoned these words:
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my
brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matt., xxv, 40.  And the crown of
Florence Nightingale glistens brightly in Heaven.  Passing on, and
observing a large number of vacant thrones and crowns, I naturally
asked, for whom are these?  The angel replied: "For the Christians of
earth; the managers of the 'homes' for the friendless, the widows and
the orphans, and those who, regardless of their respective church
creeds and doctrines, like their Master when he was on earth, go about
doing good."  The angel vanished, and I awoke.

MORAL.--Brethren, in our tenacity for church creeds, let us not fail in
the practice of a little daily Christianity.  "Finally, brethren, if
there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Gal., iv, 8.



THE IMPERIAL VIRTUE

  Though sophists may argue, or philosophers prate,
  The evils of lying they can not mitigate.
  Our God's law is truth!  Who then dares justify
  A falsehood?  Remember, a lie is a lie!
  Let this he our motto, in old age or youth:
  "All lying is sinful, so, stick to the truth!"

"Truth we accept as a cardinal virtue, and require its practice on the
part of all the votaries of Odd-Fellowship while traveling the rugged
journey of life in search of reward and rest."  Truth is above all
things else, and every Odd-Fellow knows full well that his obligation
binds him to speak the truth.  Remember a lie is never justifiable.  It
does the person more harm than that he seeks to avoid by telling a
falsehood would do.  "What is truth?"  This question of Pilate is in
the air today.  It is repeated on every side and in every department of
intellectual pursuit.  It always pays to tell the truth under all
circumstances.  Abraham came near bringing a whole nation into trouble
in lying about his wife.  Be it said to the honor of President Grant,
that once a visitor called at the White House wishing to see him.  The
door-keeper told the servant to tell the visitor the president was not
in.  General Grant, who was very busy, heard what was said.  He called
out, "Say no such thing.  I don't lie myself, and won't allow anyone to
lie for me."  Tell the truth always.  "I said in my haste all men are
liars." Psalms, cxvi, 2.

It was a very sweeping assertion that the Psalmist made, and one that
incriminates us all.  He probably did not mean that all men were liars
in the sense that everybody always spoke untruthfully, but that the
great majority of people would, under certain stress of circumstances,
equivocate to suit the conditions of the occasion.  If that was what he
meant, he uttered a sage truth when he said very hastily one day: "All
men are liars."  Though a hasty utterance, facts seem to prove its
truthfulness.  The greatest mischief-maker in the world today is the
liar.  I honestly believe that lying causes more real anguish and
suffering than any other evil.  It would be effort wasted to spend much
time in proof of this assertion of David's, so we will attempt to
classify briefly, that each of us may know where he belongs.  First,
there is the deliberate lie.  This species needs no particular
definition.  All are acquainted with it, all have met it, some have
uttered it.  You all know it when you see it; it is barefaced and
shameless; it reeks with the mire of falsity and is foul with the slime
of the pit infernal.  This lie contains not an atom of truth, is
tinctured not with a grain of fact, but is a full-blooded,
thoroughbred, out and out lie.  Then we have the campaign lie.  A
large, open-faced fellow, loud-voiced and blatant; bold, daring and
sweeping; it claims everything, asserts everything, denies anything.

During the campaign this lie is a factor.  Men buy papers to read it,
and go miles to hear it.  The campaign lie is the greatest worker in
the canvass for votes.  He pats the workman on the back and promises to
fill his pail with sirloin steak and fresh salmon, when, if the other
man is elected, he will have to carry liver and codfish.  He grasps the
merchant strongly by the hand and promises him larger sales and better
profits in case his party gets into power; he enters the magnate's
office and promises him increased dividends and no strikes; he promises
everything till after election, when he has no more promises to make.

There is the polite lie, too.  A very gentle affair this.  A very
proper lie, clothed with the attire of an elegant etiquette and of
graceful form.  It is never harsh and never rude, but smooth as oil, as
gentle as a zephyr.  The number of polite lies that are told every day
are legion.  It would be useless to attempt to classify them, worse
than useless to try to enumerate them.  They are of all sizes, colors,
descriptions and shapes.  They have much in common, but differ widely
in particular.  No locality is destitute of this venerable and classic
falsehood.  The ancients used it, the moderns still cling to it; the
poor find it handy, the rich could not keep house without it; it
abounds in every clime and thrives in every latitude.  The polite
hostess says to the departing guest: "We have been delighted by your
visit; do us the favor to come again," when she sincerely hopes that
most any catastrophe may overtake her rather than another visit from
this same personage.  There are the every-day expressions, 'Not at
home,' which the housemaid is instructed to give the caller; and a
score of other social lies which in truth deceive nobody, nine times
out of ten.  Society would lose little and gain much if the polite lie
could be banished, and every man say what he thought and speak as he
felt.

Another lie I will notice is the business lie.  The business lie is a
very matter of fact lie.  It sounds well.  There are some genuine
bankrupt sales, of course; there are a few bona fide smoke, fire and
water mark-downs undoubtedly, but there are more advertised in a week
than there are failures and fires in a year.  Good, staple merchandise
will usually bring its value, and he who advertises an unheard of
bargain has generally set a trap for the unwary.  One class of goods in
the window marked a certain price, an inferior class on the bargain
counter at the same figure.  You bargain for a piece of furniture at a
surprisingly low figure; when it is delivered you have every reason to
suppose that it is like what you bought in appearance alone.  A roll of
cloth marked "all wool," it is half cotton, and the rest shoddy.  The
business lie, though found so often, is never the friend of merchant or
purchaser.  It is the foe of all honest transactions.  Office,
salesroom and storehouse would be better without it; proprietor, clerk
and purchaser would thrive better if rid of it.

The lie of gossip.  If by some power, human or divine, the gossiping
tongue could be silenced and the tattling mouth effectually closed,
half of the evil of this world would already be stopped, and the other
would commence to languish for want of patronage.  The lie of gossip is
the blackest of them all.  The blackest of all the black horde, the
very worst of the whole evil troop; insinuating, sly and crafty, it
creeps around with a serpent's stealth, and carries beneath its tongue
the deadly poison of ten thousand adders.  The venom can be extracted
from the cobra's fangs, but no power on earth can tame the tongue of an
unprincipled gossip.  Some lies you can kill, but the lie of gossip is
imperishable.  You may clip its wings, but its flight is unhindered;
you may cut off its head, but two will grow out in its place; you may
crush it to earth beneath the heel of denial.  Let it alone and
possibly the dirty, contemptible, infamous thing will die; touch it not
and it may droop and languish; do not chase it and it may grow weak for
want of exercise.

Oh, my dear reader, above all things, don't have your life a lie, your
career a falsehood.  Be no hypocrite, live no lie, and the God of all
truth will see something in you to admire if you live truthfully and
honestly before all men.  Truth is a sure pledge not impaired, a shield
never pierced, a flower that never dieth, a state that feareth no
fortune, and a port that yields no danger.  We can not build a manly
character unless we are in possession of the imperial virtue, truth.
Ah! truth is the diamond for which the candid mind ever seeks.  It is
the sanction of every appeal that is made for the good and the right.
It may be crushed to earth, it may be long in achieving victory, but it
is omnipotent and must triumph at last.  Christ brought truth into the
world.  Truth, then, is a personal, experimental and practical thing.
It is a thing of the heart, and not mere outward forms; a living
principle in the soul, influencing the mind, employing the affections,
guiding the will, and directing as well as enlightening the conscience.
It is a supreme, not a subordinate matter, demanding and obtaining the
throne of the soul-giving law to the whole character, and requiring the
whole man and all his conduct to be in subordination.  Truth blends
with every occupation.  It is noble and lofty, not abject, servile and
groveling; it communes with God, with holiness, with Heaven, with
eternity and infinity.  Truth is a happy, and not a melancholy thing,
giving a peace that passeth understanding, and a joy that is
unspeakable and full of glory.  And it is durable, not a transient
thing, passing with us through life, lying down with us on the pillow
of death, rising with us at the last day, and dwelling in our souls in
Heaven as the very element of eternal life.  Such is truth, the
sublimest thing in our world, sent down to be our comforter and
ministering angel on earth.

It is plainly God's intention, as in nature and in history, that our
human life should grow better and more joyous as it advances, and that
the best shall not be at the first, but shall wait until we are ready
for it.  The highest and largest blessings can come to men only when
the men are fitted to hold and to use them.  If you are going to give a
man a purse or a diamond you can thrust it into his hand in his youth,
or on the street, even when he is asleep; but if you would give to him
a great truth or virtue, if you would make him a noble character, you
must wait upon the man's growth, and be content if after many years you
see only a flash of what you would give him appearing.  Step by step,
through all the gradations, we travel, and if faithful to truth, Christ
will make in us a perfect manhood, and of us a perfect society.  His
gift is so great, vital and complex, that He can not bestow it all in
the beginning.  He would make our life an increasingly joyous life, and
give us the best of its wine at the last of its feast.  Christ would
have us always increasingly hopeful and joyous, and never of sad
countenance.  All our faculties were designed to minister to our joy.
All the great world of life below is a happy world.  The children of
the air and the water are all baptized into joy.  Even the solitary
creatures that carry their narrow houses with them have their joys,
which are well known to their intimate acquaintances.  So in the world
of adult man we find the joy of life disproportionate to condition and
faculty.  In the faces of the men we meet on the streets we see many
scars and dark lines of storm and care; only seldom do the faces we
meet there wear the rainbow.  Men are without joy because they have
violated the laws of nature, they have subordinated their manly powers,
reason and conscience to their animal instincts; they have lived by
wrong theories and wrong methods, and for unmanly ends, and thus have
exhausted the joy of life's banquet.

A man can have deep and continuous joy only if his life is continuously
rational and progressively manly.  He must put away childish things and
live for truth and right, for love and immortal virtue.  If our hearts
sadden as our years increase and our thoughts widen, it is because
there has been a defect in our vision and a sophistry in the logic of
our conduct.  If the growing corn comes only to the blade and to the
ear, and not to the full golden corn in the ear, we may be sure it is
because there has been something wrong in our gardening.  Christ comes
into our wasting life to give us a new, a higher and a better joy; to
give us new truth, new faith, new arguments, new motives, new impulses
and new joys.  Christ gives us the Heavenly Father, and thus lifts us
into the dignity and beatitude of a divine nature, relationship and
destiny.  Man is a child of the skies, and can not find rest complete
and joy abiding in anything less or lower.  Bearing now the image of
the earthly, we must go on to bear the image of the heavenly.  To have
our manly joy ever increasing we must keep the heavenly in sight and
take our way from it.

Christ brings us into the living alliance with forces and personalities
that are spiritual, and thus makes us strong to resist all animal
temptations and those impulses toward greed and wrong which, if
indulged, drain our life of its manly felicities.  He would have us
lift our manly cups to God, and make their rims to touch the heavens.
Christ would have us to live for other's welfare and to know the joy of
duty and of sacrifice.  It is the man who is living for wife, and
child, and neighbor, who has flung himself with all his might into the
carrying forward of some great cause that blesses his fellow-men, who
knows the true and increasing joy of the manly life.  The happiest
woman in the world is the mother who is living for her child.  It is in
working out the salvation of other people that we find the true joy of
our own.  It is this joy that carries the martyr through his fiery
tasks with a song and a shout.  To be able at the end of our days to
look up to God and say, "I have finished the work thou gavest me to
do," is to have the best wine at the last of our feast.  We must have
joy; it is indispensable.  It makes us healthy and strong and enables
us to be of some use in the world.  It is so necessary to our best
becoming and doing that we must put away everything that increases it.
We must have the joy of truth and virtue, of duty and sacrifice, of
hope and love, which is the joy of the eternal life.  Christ thus holds
out to us a joy that lasts, and one that satisfies forever.

Jesus was no cynic, no ascetic, and no fanatic.  He loved the great
outward world, and was the friend of all men.  He was hated only by the
Pharisees, if to these He spoke sharply, His words to the children were
sweet as a mother's, and in His words about the birds and the flowers
you hear the tones of a lover.  He loved the lakes of sweet Galilee,
her hills, her fields and her olive groves; and among them often took
His disciples apart to rest awhile.  Adopt Christ's views of God; of
the future; Christianize your opinions, your character and your
conduct, and you will have manly joy even in the midst of sorrow.
Christ lived much in communion with God.  He lived much out of doors,
in the fields and among trees, the birds and the flowers.

We must come back to nature.  Happy the man who owns a piece of ground
in the country and lives on it betimes, where he can hear the robins
singing their hymns and the winds chanting their litanies; where he can
see the sun rise and feel the hush of the hills; where the spirit that
is in the beautiful world can touch and bless him as it did the blessed
Christ.

Brothers, I wish you great joy.  Live in the constant sense of the
Heavenly Father's loving presence, and of nature's veracity and
friendly intention.  Distrust all doctrines, all opinions and all ways
of living that destroy manly joyousness.  Never lose sight of the fact
that a noble life is a truthful life.  Truth is a trust.  He who has
discovered any portion of useful truth has something in trust for
mankind.  God is the author of truth, and when man seeks this imperial
virtue and acquires it, he is in possession of great power.

This brings us to the final practical thought.  This power must be
appropriated.  The cable car that is unattached to the cable will make
no progress and stand still forever, even though the engines in the
power house glow with heat, and the cable, gliding along in the center
of the track not two feet away, is laden down with power.  The cable
car must close its grappling iron and grip the cable before progress
can be made.  It must come in contact with the power.  An electric lamp
will swing dark and unlighted while all the other lamps about it send
forth enlightening rays, and all the dynamos in the world may be
revolving in the engine house, sending a surging current within a few
inches of the isolated lamp, and all in vain unless it come in contact
with the power.  You must turn the switch and let the current flow in,
and then the lamp will itself shine and will illumine its surroundings
like the rest.  So, in like manner, if we are to make progress in this
life, we must lay hold of the cable.  We must come in contact with the
Divine.  If we do not, the power of God is of no avail to us.  If we
would be lights in the world, we must come in contact with the Divine
spirit, we must unbar the doors to our hearts and let the current of
divine power and love flow into our lives and illumine them.

The great design of Odd-Fellowship is to improve the morals and manners
of men, to promote their interest, well being and happiness.  Great
prudence is demanded in our daily life and conversation.  We should be
actuated by a realizing sense of our position, and by example, action
and generous thought, recommend our cause to the consideration of
others.  We should persevere for the attainment of every commendable
virtue, to raise the mind from the degrading haunts of intemperance and
folly; we should be distinguished for usefulness to society and the
community at large.  A good Odd-Fellow must necessarily be an upright
and useful member of the community.  The precepts inculcated are
calculated to stimulate to the faithful performance of every moral and
relative duty; and an individual who holds a standing with us, and is
careless and negligent of these things, is a reproach to the
Order--they wear the livery, and bow before the same shrine, but in the
heart and practice they belie their profession.  Profanity,
intemperance and every species of immorality are rigidly
discountenanced.  We have pledged ourselves to aid in diffusing the
principles of brotherly love throughout the world.  We have assumed the
office of guarding the holy flame which burns on the altar of
benevolence, and we are bound to cherish its principles.  That brother
is recreant to every honorable feeling who can trifle with the solemn
pledge he has taken.

A duty we owe to the community is to cultivate the principle of virtue,
to lend holy serenity to the mind, and shed around a halo of light and
glory to direct the steps of others in virtue, to happiness and
greatness.  The man who treads only in virtue's ways, when every act is
honest, acquires the confidence and friendship of others, thus
benefiting others, and thus benefiting the community, which, also, the
center of another circle, continues this influence to those that
surround it, purifying the thought, emboldening the idea and elevating
the man.  How grand is the position Odd-Fellowship now occupies--a
world of honesty in a world of deceit, with a character strictly
virtuous and solely dependent upon its members for the perpetuity of
that character.

It depends upon the brethren to be virtuous, upright, honest and
benevolent, thus sustaining in its purity the noble reputation it now
enjoys, which will continue a bright and shining star in the
constellation until time shall be no more, when it will be perpetuated
in the glorious light of eternity.  Amid the wrecks of institutions and
powerful interests that were a short time since thought to be
impregnable against all assaults, the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows
still maintains its vantage ground, and bears its banners proudly up.
With its doors thrown so widely open to applicants for admission,
composed as it is of nearly every shade of thought or educational
influence, whether of sect or party, with all the infirmities incident
to human nature, modifying by their weakness its true purposes, or
retarding its advancement, its unity and moral force, its stability and
progress are truly wonderful.  Its bond of cohesion, so frail and yet
so potent, is seemingly inexplicable.  It is the recognition of the
principles of brotherhood and fraternity, and the practice of their
resultant virtues.  To appreciate and practice is to attain strength.
We are weak and frail.  Odd-Fellowship is strong, and its principles
are as eternal as the stars.  The history of the past is little but a
record of the domination of physical force.  The law of might was the
law of right.  Violence and strife, outrages and wrong, have been for
ages the common heritage of the race.  Man has been the sport and
victim of human passions, and notwithstanding the culture and the
progress of the race, the earth yet resounds with the tread of armed
combatants.  Weary, sad-eyed toilers groan under the burden of war,
countless millions are squandered upon the maintenance of
non-producing, destructive hosts.

Widows and orphans, nay, the very angels in heaven, if they are
permitted to look down upon us from their bright abodes in bliss, must
mourn over the sad result of man's semi-barbarism, and his worship of
the world's materialism.  Long ere this mind should have been the
controlling force in all nations claiming to be civilized.  Pure
intellect and its struggles, its aspirations for light and truth,
should have relegated to the regions of barbarism and darkness mere
animal contests.  Not only so, but intellectual supremacy should have
been in its turn subordinated, or crowned by true spiritual life.  "God
is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and
in truth."  Man would occupy a higher and happier position than he at
present fills if he had earnestly co-operated with good agencies for
the unfolding and development of his better nature.

The special mission of Odd-Fellowship is to incite and stimulate the
dormant moral energies to action, to rouse the lethargic, encourage the
timid, and to strengthen the aspirations for a nobler and a better
life.  Reaching out its helpful hand to the needy and distressed upon
the one hand, and with the other battling with selfishness, intolerance
and vice--with all that dwarfs man's moral nature--it appeals to
something within us, to be earnest advocates of its principles, by
making them a living faith and illustrating its beneficent purposes.
If we make one man purer and better, and that man one's own self, we
have done something toward the betterment of the world.  The voices of
the past and of the present all speak to us today.  Men and brethren,
let us hearken unto them, and putting our trust in God, let us march
onward, side by side together, until the standards of our order are
planted upon the highest summit of achievement, and as their glorious
folds are illuminated by the Sun of Righteousness, may the simple yet
the sublime legend emblazoned thereon be seen and acknowledged by the
nations, as with uplifted eyes and reverent hearts they read, "God is
our Father, and we are all brothers."



QUIET HOUR THOUGHTS.

Genuine love and sympathy are what wins the hearts of our fellows.

A Christian ought always to wake up in the morning in a good humor.

Remember that sorrow and pain soften the heart and sweeten the temper.

The young man who sees no beauty in a flower will make a mean husband.

If you love young people's work you will prove it by laboring and
sacrificing for it.

Begin active work in your society at once, and do not fail to see that
each one has something to do.

The fact that God gives any consideration to mere mites of humanity
scattered about the surface of this little world of ours is conclusive
proof of His infinity.

What a blessing it is that we can not always do what we wish to do, or
have everything our own way.

Many words are no more an indication of depth of feeling and heart than
are boiling bubbles in a frying pan.

There are some people who would scorn to keep bad company, but who
think the worst kind of thoughts by the hour.

Do not wait for somebody else to put your society on the roll of honor.
If you want a thing well done, do it yourself.

If the very hairs of our head are numbered, then why should we not
consult the Father in regard to all our temporal affairs?

How the heart of God must yearn for the record of lives devoted to
humanity.  He asks no higher service of man than this.

The truly great man is that one who is satisfied if he is doing to the
utmost limit of his capacity the thing which he has at hand.

God would never make the mistake of helping any young man or young
woman who did not make every possible effort to help himself.

Do not make the mistake of thinking you are the biggest man in your
society.  Bigger men than you have died and have not been missed after
forty-eight hours.

The girl who is caught by gold-headed canes, carried by heads with no
brains on the inside and only pasted hair on the outside, has a
pitiable future before her.

No pain, no privation, no sacrifice endured for Christ is a loss, but
is rather a gain.  Christ will not forget those who suffered for Him
when He comes to make up His jewels.

Sunday manners are just like Sunday clothes; everybody can tell that
you put them on for the occasion only, and know that you are not used
to wearing them through the week.

The devil led the Prodigal Son away from a good home into the gay
society of the world, and amused him with the pleasures of sin till he
got him down, then he fed him on husks.  That is the way he works.

A good many church members do not like to have it known how much they
give for missions.  They remind us of the man who said, when asked
about the amount he gave, "What I give is nothing to nobody."

The reason why some people do not want the preacher to preach on
personal sins, is because they are afraid he might say something
against them.

When we see a man going to get water at his neighbor's well, we
naturally suppose his own is dry.  So when we see a Christian seeking
the pleasures of the world, we suppose he no longer finds pleasure in
religion.

To know which way a stream of water is flowing, you must not look at
the little eddy, but at the main current, and to know which way a life
is tending, you must not look at a single act, but at the whole trend
of the life.

Satan likes to discourage people, to hinder them in the performance of
their Christian duties, but remember that Christ has said, "My grace is
sufficient for you."  Go steadily forward in the line of duty and
success will crown your efforts.

The light of a candle can not be seen very far in the light of a
noon-day sun, but at night it may be seen for a long distance and may
be a guiding star to some poor wanderer.  And so, God sometimes darkens
our way that we may shine.

The man who prays for the conversion of the heathen, and then spends a
great deal more for tobacco than he gives to missions, is certainly not
very consistent in his praying and giving.

Thomas Hood once wrote to his wife: "I never was anything, dearest,
till I knew you; and I have been a better, happier, and more prosperous
man ever since.  Lay by that truth in lavender, sweetest, and remind me
of it when I fail."

"I believe one reason why such numerous instances of erudition occur
among the lower ranks is, that with the same powers of mind the poor
student is limited to a narrower circle for indulging his passion for
books, and must necessarily make himself master of the few he possesses
before he can acquire more."--_Walter Scott_.

Christians should not forget that God uses human agency in the work of
salvation.  The only reason that there are not more saved, is because
the people of God do not put themselves at his disposal for the work.
The Lord wants all to be saved, but they will not be saved until the
people of God are willing to let the Lord use them to bring the lost
unto Himself.

Deceit and falsehood, whatever conveniences they may for a time promise
or produce, are, in the sum of life, obstacles to happiness.  Those who
profit by the cheat distrust the deceiver; and the act by which
kindness was sought puts an end to confidence.

The judges of the election can not tell the difference, when they are
counting the votes, between the one cast by the minister of the gospel
and the one cast by the saloon-keeper, when it has been cast for the
same party.  Vote for principle rather than for party.

"Let every man," said Sydney Smith, "be occupied in the highest
employment of which his nature is capable, and die with the
consciousness that he has done his best."  If the highest employment is
not to be found in our avocations, let us seek it in our leisure.

Beware of anger of the tongue; control the tongue.  Beware of anger of
the mind; control the mind.  Practice virtue with thy tongue and with
thy mind.  By reflection, by restraint and control, a wise man can make
himself an island which no floods can overwhelm.  He who conquers
himself is greater than he who in battle conquers a thousand men.  He
who is tolerant with the intolerant, mild with the fault-finders, and
free from passion with the passionate, him I call indeed a wise man.

Brothers, keep posted in what your lodge is doing; knowing who is sick;
inquire if there is not some widow in need of help; some poor orphan
that should be clothed and provided with a home and sent to school.
Remember that the widow was your brother's wife, and the children your
brother's.  Be a brother to the widow, and a kind uncle to your
brother's children.  There is plenty of work for you, and you agreed to
do it.  Cheer up the care-worn traveler on his pilgrimage--help the
weak and weary, the lonely and sad ones.  Time is passing by, and we
have none too much of it in which to do our work.  Remember that if we
expect to complete our labor, now is the time; soon all will be over
with us, and then all that we shall leave behind, by which to be
remembered, will be the good or evil we have done.  If we have done
good it will be emblazoned on many hearts, and our names will be spoken
of with reverence and love; but if we have done evil, our names will be
blotted out of the memory of the good and true, and we despised.

  "How is't the sons of men are sad,
    Oppressed with grief and care?
  How is't that some of this world's goods,
    Have such a scanty share?
  Why should the orphan's piercing cry,
    Assail so oft our ear,
  And thousands find the world to be
    All desolate and drear?

  "We do not solve the mystery
    Of woes, the lot of man,
  But in the lodge we all unite
    To do the good we can.
  'Tis there we learn the pleasing task
    To soothe the troubled breast,
  To educate the orphan child,
    And succor the distressed.

  "Our motto--Friendship, Love and Truth--
    These e'er shall be our guide,
  Our aim shall be, of misery
    To stop the running tide."

  We ask not what's a brother's faith,
    What country gave him birth;
  But open the door to every creed
    And nation of the earth.

  Hail, Charity!  Odd-Fellows all
    Bow down before thy shrine;
  They raise no altar, make no vow,
    That is not wholly thine.



LOVE SUPREME.

Love is the key to the human heart.  If we want to have power with God
and man, we must cultivate love.  It is love that burns truth into the
hearts of people.  A man may be a good lawyer without love.  There may
be a good surgeon without love.  A man may be a good merchant without
love.  But a man can not be a good Odd-Fellow or Christian without
love.  I would rather have my heart full of love than be even a
prophet.  If a man is full of love, Paul says, "he is greater than a
prophet."  A wife would rather live in a cabin with the love of her
husband, than to live in a palace without it.  If I love a man I will
not cheat him or slander him or envy him.  I pity people who are
constantly looking out for slights.  It is better to look on the bright
side rather than the dark side of life.  Love will lead us to look on
the bright side.  Some persons are always magnifying the faults of
others.  They use a magnifying glass in this business.  If you want
power with persons, speak as well as you can of them.  Self-control is
a great thing.  This comes and stays through love.  How many dwarfs
there are in God's church now.  They have not grown one inch
spiritually in twenty years.  If our hearts are full of love, we are
bound to grow.  Many other graces pass away, but love is eternal.  The
most selfish man is the most miserable man.  A man may be miserly with
his money, but no man can be miserly with love.  Love creates love.
The more we love, the more we will be loved.  Love must show itself.
Love demonstrates its presence by action.  Our lives, after all, are
mere echoes.  I speak harsh to a man, and he will speak harsh to me.
If a man has bad neighbors it his own fault.  If a woman has bad
servants it is her own fault.  If we make others happy we will be happy
ourselves.  If you are not happy, go and buy all the poor people near
you a turkey for Christmas.  "He that noticeth others shall be noticed
also himself."  If you want to get your own soul above its own
troubles, go and do good to some unhappy soul.  If we do this work, I
believe we will have to do it in this world.  There will be no tears to
wipe away, or sorrows to assuage, or afflictions to remedy in the other
world.  This work is for this world.  It is a blessed work.  It is the
best investment a man can make.  It pays an hundred fold.  Labors of
love demonstrate better than the church membership that we are in the
Master's service.  This is the Master's business.  Though my way
through life has often been through graveyards and through glooms, I
have loved and I have been loved, and I know that life is worth living.
Love is the fulfilling of the law; the end of the gospel commandment;
the bond of perfectness.  Without it, whatever be our attainments,
professions or sacrifices, we are nothing.  Love obliterates the
differences in education, wealth, station, religion, politics and
nationality.  It is a promoter of peace and harmony; it cultivates the
social graces; it makes friends of strangers and brothers of
acquaintances; it softens the asperities of life; it worships at the
shrine of piety, and recognizes the omnipotence of God and the
immortality of man.  It is religious not sectarian, patriotic but not
partisan.  It glows by the fireside, radiant with perpetual joy.  It
glorifies God in worship and in song.  It blesses humanity in genial
mirth and human sympathies.  It is a perennial fountain at which the
old may drink and grow strong.  It is a daily benediction to its
devotees, and, like "a thing of beauty, is a joy forever."  It stands
like the statue of liberty, a beacon light to the tempest-tossed and
wayfaring mariner and brother, pointing him the way to the haven of
refuge, to the right living and right doing.

Oh love, thou mightiest gift of God; thou white-winged trust in Him who
doeth all things well; thou one light over His darkest providences,
lingering to cheer when all else has passed away, thy whisper upon the
dull ear of night.  But alas! this world was made to break hearts in,
while love was sent from heaven to heal them.  The precious balm,
though, is so scarce that many must die for want of it.  Oh, the
might-have-been!  What human soul has not sung that dirge?  Verily, the
winds come, howling it by like an invisible band of mourners from the
grave of all things.  Alas! is anything in this life real, or are we
indeed shadows, and this world altogether a shadowy land, while the
blackened skies above give us only glimpses of a far-off better home,
better friends and better love?  Alas!  Heaven's loudest complaint to
mortals is ever for lack of love.  Even He who sitteth upon the throne
of thrones knoweth what it is to stretch out His arms in utter
desertion of no one to love Him, no one to seek Him, and no one to fear
Him--"no, not one."  Then as we may best show our love to Him by loving
one another, is it not well that we commence loving those around us at
once?  Ah! yes, and like the ambitious vine, do thou reach out all thy
tendril thoughts to what is nearest, the while aspiring to the oak or
the pine of the loftier trust, even the faith of Abraham that was
accounted unto him for righteousness.  Would I had some new phrase for
love, some new figure for hope!  How lonely and weary must that life be
without love, how tasteless all its joys, and how vacant every scene.
If we have the spirit of love we will live for others.  Auguste Comte
inscribed on the first page of his work, "Politique Positive," wherein
he depicted in systematic form, life that had been forming itself
throughout human history, these words: "Order and progress--live for
others."  The force of this thought is, in accord with Odd-Fellowship,
which teaches love of our kind, love of right, zeal for the good.

Man's happiness consists in living as a social being, living for self
in order to more truly live for others.  This is summed up in the word
humanity.  But affection, as the true motor force of life, must have a
foundation, must stir us not only to the right things, but to the right
means; in other words, action must be guided by knowledge.  Improvement
must be the aim of social life, as it is the incentive to individual
effort.  It is not enough to desire the good, or to know how to achieve
it, we must labor for it.  Associated effort gives the opportunity for
gaining grander results than centuries of divided activity.  The
conception of humanity has grown nobler.  The good of the vast human
whole is now acknowledged as the end of all social union.  Humanity
embodies love; the object of our activity; the source of what we have;
the ruler of the life under whose span we work, and suffer and enjoy.

All religions, all social systems worthy of the name, have sought to
regulate human nature and perfect the organization of society by
proclaiming as their principles the cultivation of some grand social
sentiments.  Philosophers, moralists, preachers have united in saying:
"Base your life upon a noble feeling, if you are to live aright; base
the state upon a generous devotion of its members to some great ideal,
if it is to prosper and be strong."  All have agreed that the
difference of life could only be harmonized by placing action under the
stimulus of high unselfish passion.  Odd-Fellowship has grown strong
under this governing law.  The banner it bears aloft proclaims
sentiments that are attractive to all the nations of the earth.  We are
strong in as far as we truly interpret, for the good of humanity, this
elevated aim, this devotion to fraternal ends.

Compte defines religion as consisting of three parts--a belief, a
worship, and a rule of life--of which all three are equal, and each as
necessary as any other.  As is truly said, "Society can not be touched
without knowledge; and the knowledge of social organization of humanity
is a vast and perplexing science.  The race, like every one of us, is
dependent on the laws of life, and the study of life is a mighty field
to master."  Enthusiasm of humanity would be but shallow did it not
impel us to efforts to learn how to serve--demanding the best of
conduct, brain and heart.  The power of Odd-Fellowship lies in its
fraternity.  It goes forward with irresistible magnetism when its
fraternal principles are truly interpreted.  It furnishes to men a
strong union, where general intelligence, by attrition, is increased;
it provides a high moral standard; its objective action is such as
touches the common heart of humanity; and by its grand co-operative
system it gives the finest means of securing those advantages that tend
to the securement of material comfort and mental and spiritual peace
and happiness.

Drummond says: "Love is the greatest thing in the world."  Read what
Paul says about it in I Cor., xiii: "Though I speak with the tongues of
men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or
a tinkling cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and
understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all
faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am
nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though
I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me
nothing.  Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love
vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up: Doth not behave itself unseemly;
Seeketh not her own.  Is not easily provoked.  Thinketh no evil;
rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all
things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Love never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail;
whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge,
it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part
shall be done away.  When I was a child, I spake as a child; but when I
became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a
glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then
shall I know even as also I am known.  And now abideth faith, hope,
love, these three, but the greatest of these is love."

The more I study Odd-Fellowship, the more I become convinced that I
have just crossed the threshold, and that new truths and sublime
lessons await me, of which I never dreamed.  Brothers, there is hidden
treasure in our order for which we must dig.  It must be brought to the
surface.  We must know more of the beauties of this great organization
of ours.  "The greatest thing," says some one, "a man can do for his
Heavenly Father is to be kind to some of His other children."  "I
wonder why it is that we are not all kinder than we are?  How much the
world needs it.  How easily it is done.  How instantaneously it acts.
How infallibly it is remembered.  How super-abundantly it pays itself
back--for there is no debtor in the world so honorable, so superbly
honorable, as love.  Love is success.  Love is happiness.  Love is
life."  "Where love is, God is.  He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in
God.  God is love.  Therefore love."  "Without distinction, without
calculation, without procrastination, love.  Lavish it upon the poor,
where it is very easy; especially upon the rich, who often need it
most; most of all upon our equals, where it is very difficult, and for
whom perhaps we each do least of all.  There is a difference between
trying to please and giving pleasure.  Give pleasure.  Lose no chance
of giving pleasure.  For that is the ceaseless and anonymous triumph of
a truly loving spirit.  I shall pass through this world but once.  Any
good things that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human
being, let me do it now.  Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I
shall not pass this way again.  We can be Odd-Fellows only while we act
like honest men."

Every Odd-Fellow ought to be a "gentleman."  Do you know the meaning of
the word "gentleman"?  "It means a gentleman--a man who does things
gently, with love.  And that is the whole art and mystery of it.  The
gentleman can not in the nature of things do an ungentle, an
ungentlemanly thing."  "Love doth not behave itself unseemly."  Life is
full of opportunities for learning love.  Every man and woman every day
has a thousand of them.  There is an eternal lesson for us all, "how
better we can love."  What makes a good artist, a good sculptor, a good
musician?  Practice.  What makes a man a good man, a man of love?
Practice.  Nothing else.  If a man does not exercise his arm he
develops no biceps muscle; and if a man does not exercise his soul, he
acquires no muscle in his soul, no strength of character, no vigor of
moral fibre, nor beauty of spiritual growth.  Love is not a thing of
enthusiastic emotion.  It is a rich, strong, manly, vigorous expression
of the whole round Christian character--the Christ-like nature in its
fullest development.  And the constituents of this great character are
only to be built up by ceaseless practice.  To love abundantly is to
live abundantly, and to love forever is to live forever.  We want to
live forever for the same reason that we want to live tomorrow.  Why do
you want to live tomorrow?  It is because there is some one who loves
you, and whom you want to see tomorrow, and be with, and love back.
There is no other reason why we should live on than that we love and
are beloved.  It is when a man has no one to love him that he commits
suicide.  The reason why, in the nature of things, love should be the
supreme thing--because it is going to last; because in the nature of
things it is an eternal life.  It is a thing that we are living now,
not that we get when we die; that we shall have a poor chance of
getting when we die unless we are living now.

No worse fate can befall a man in this world than to live and grow old
alone, unloving and unloved.  At any cost cultivate a loving nature.
Then you will find as you look back upon your life that the moments
when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in
a spirit of love.  As memory scans the past, above and beyond all the
transitory pleasures of life, there leap forward those supreme hours
when you have been enabled to do unnoticed kindnesses to those around
about you, things too trifling to speak about, but which you feel have
entered into your eternal life.  I have seen almost all the beautiful
things God has made; I have enjoyed almost every pleasure that He has
planned for man; and yet as I look back I see standing out above all
the life that has gone, four or five short experiences when the love of
God reflected itself in some poor imitation, some small act of love of
mine, and these seem to be the things which alone of all one's life
abide.  Everything else in all our lives is transitory.  Every other
good is visionary.  But the acts of love which no man knows about, or
can ever know about--they fail not.

Odd-Fellowship ought to grow.  The kinship of the human race--how
beautiful a thought!  Without mutual aid the race would perish.  Think
of it.  Throughout life you are dependent upon your fellow-man.  Who
can live without a friend?  When you have no money and no home, where,
brothers, will you find food and shelter?  When low with fever, the
tongue parched, the brain wandering, who will give you water, bathe
your throbbing temples, and watch over you lest you die?  See the old
man.  The frosts of seventy winters have whitened his head; his eye is
dim; his limbs tremble; reason and memory fail; he is an infant again.
He goes down to the valley of the shadow of death.  Who shall lead him
and comfort his weary soul?  Who lay his body gently and reverently in
the grave, and sod it over with green grass?  So with us all.  A man
alone in the world, without a human being who cares whether he live or
die!  Not a hand to touch, nor a voice to hear, nor a smile to receive!
Human affections forever sealed to him; no fireside; no home with
father, mother, brothers, sisters; no little children, no son to be
proud of; no daughters to caress; no "good night;" no "good morning."
Who could bear it?  The sun could not warm such a man.  The brightest
days and the greenest fields could not give him pleasure.  Better chain
him on a rock in mid-ocean and leave him to the vultures, than thus rob
him of his kinship with the human race.

This world is beautiful, and it is full of priceless sympathies.  All
creation is glorious with melody.  The morning stars, saith the Bible,
sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy when it was
made.  The universe of stars, and suns, and planets and globes, swing
harmoniously through space.  Not a sparrow falleth to the ground
without our Father's notice; not a soul yearns, or sorrows, or
rejoices, but He knoweth it.  He hath made of one blood all nations of
men to dwell together on the face of the earth.  We are bound to each
other by indissoluble ties.  It is a law of nature that we must all
work for each other.  Though ten thousand miles apart; though oceans
roll between us and continents divide us, we labor not for ourselves
alone.  You plow the furrow in California and sow the wheat for your
brother in Louisiana, while he plants the cane and cotton for you.  The
good Siberian is this day roaming over snows and ice, hunting the otter
and gathering furs, that you may be warm.  Men are diving in the
Persian gulf for pearls to grace your wives and daughters.  The
silkworm of India and China may have spun the threads of your dress,
the Frenchman may have woven it; the hardy mariner braved the seas to
bring it here.  Truly, we are brothers.  A common Father brought us all
into this world, and to a common Father we all go.  Let us, then, help
one another, in money (if need be), in education, in sympathy.

There is one feature of the order we desire to emphasize, and that is
its full sympathy with those that labor and toil.  No reference would
do justice to the order that did not emphasize this fact.  It is its
pride and glory.  It is from this class its membership is chiefly
drawn.  It was with this class it originated, the first lodge in the
United States having been organized by half a dozen humble mechanics;
Thomas Wildey, their leader, was a blacksmith.  You see it had no
aristocratic origin, and its broad and catholic sympathy, its
popularity with this class is explained.  They know its value, and have
seen its active charity and experienced its beneficence.  A man who has
no sympathy with the humble and the lowly, a man of mean and narrow
heart, will find no congenial dwelling place in our lodges.  The true
Odd-Fellow is a man of heart; his hand is open to every worthy appeal
of the needy, and he is honest and upright in his life.  It enforces no
religious or political tests; in these every member is free; but it
does teach and urge its members to be grateful to their Creator and
loyal to their country.  In conclusion, let me urge upon the living,
fidelity to the teachings of Odd-Fellowship.  If these are respected it
will make you better citizens, better husbands, better fathers, better
men.  It is a cultivation of the heart and the better feelings, and
expands our humanity.  If you are poor, it will come to you, or your
family, sometimes as a benefaction.  If you are rich, you can afford to
give, and with a good Odd-Fellow that is more blessed than to receive.

I want to say here what I have often said in the lodge-room.  I love
Odd-Fellowship, above all, for the heart there is in it.  For its
display on the street and its pageantry I care but little.  I shrink
from it rather than follow it.  But its benevolence, its active
charity, and its mission of good will, I admire.  When death's
unwelcome presence rests within our portals, and obedient to his call a
loved one has gone hence, we should give the mortal remains of the
departed brother a decent sepulture; fondly cherish the remembrance of
his virtues, and bury his frailties "beneath the clods which rest upon
his bosom."  We should then direct our thoughts and cares to the
desolate home, where the widow, clad in the robes of grief, her heart
cords broken and bleeding, is weeping over earth's only idol, now lost
to earth forever.  Then, too, should we extend the helping hand to the
fatherless children, and endeavor to so direct their steps that their
paths may be paths of usefulness and honor.  These are the imperative
duties.  But our ministrations of charity and benevolence should by no
means be confined exclusively within the pale of the order.  This
crowded world, with its eager millions, maddened with ambition's
unquenchable fires, trampling under foot and well-nigh smothering each
other in the great rush of competitive strife, is full of poor
unfortunates, daily appealing for generous sympathy and assistance.

Though not members, it may be, of our peculiar family, yet the poorest,
the humblest, the most wretched, is a human being--"the master-piece of
His handiwork"--and, as such, demands our aid and comfort as far as
practicable.  Life has been compared to a river.  Aye, and beneath its
murky waters lurk countless reefs and shoals.  Many a beautiful bark,
sailing, seemingly, under the very star of hope, dashes upon them, and
is lost.  All along its shores are scattered the wrecks of stranded
vessels, once laden with joyous hopes and brilliant prospects.
Odd-Fellowship renders the passage of this river safe by a bridge of
mystic form,

  "On one side is friendship planted--
    Truth upon the other shore;
  Love, the arch that spans the current,
    Bears each brother safely o'er."

It should be the most pleasing duty of Odd-Fellows to point our
fellow-travelers to this beautiful and stately arch; to lead
thitherward their weary steps.  Such would be assistance more permanent
than can be rendered by silver or gold.  The time is certain to come
when every young man is thrown back upon himself--must leave the
tranquil security of the parental home, and seek a refuge among
strangers.  When beyond the reach of family influence--beyond the reach
of that tender providence which so carefully guarded him from vice, and
soothed his griefs and sympathized with all his youthful aspirations
and pleasures--when this influence ceases to surround him, what will
continue its ministry of love?  What will be to him father, mother,
brother, sister--home?  Will society?  No!  Society to its deepest core
is selfish, corrupt, unnatural and unloving?  Society will not, and can
not.  He is in the great world--allurements and temptations are rife
around him--he is sick and in distress, and must suffer alone, with no
one to console him with a word of comfort, sympathy, or love; he has no
attention but such as money will purchase--he dies, and the cold eyes
of strangers only look upon the grave, if, indeed, a grave he has.
This is a life picture, and it is at this point the beauty and utility
of Odd-Fellowship is seen, for the order is a vast family circle,
spread throughout the community; always powerful and efficient to
preserve those who are brought within the sphere of its influence.  He
who is a member of this fraternity may go where his father's counsel
and his mother's care can not reach him, but he can not go beyond the
reach of that larger family to which he belongs!  Silently and
invisibly, yet with unslumbering assiduity, Odd-Fellowship watches over
him, and by its wise counsels, its tender sympathies and rational
restraints, saves him from the ways of vice.

Mythic story tells us that the ancient gods invisibly and secretly
followed their favorites in all their wanderings, and when exposed to
danger, or threatened with destruction, would unveil themselves in
their awful beauty and power, and stand forth to preserve them from
harm or to avenge their wrongs.  Odd-Fellowship realizes this myth of
the pagan gods; she surrounds all her children with her preserving
presence, and reveals herself always in the hour of peril, sickness or
distress.  Nowhere in our country can a true Odd-Fellow feel himself
alone, friendless or forsaken.  The invisible, but helpful arms of our
order surround him wherever he may be.  And should he be overtaken by
illness or misfortune, be he in any part of the country, and never so
poor, he will, if he makes his wants known, receive as a right the
necessary assistance, and friends to watch over him with fraternal
solicitude.  And should he fall a victim to disease, the brothers of
charity will be there to close his eyes, and with solemn, yet hopeful,
heaven-born rites, consign his body to the repose of the silent tomb.
Odd-Fellowship is an embodiment of family love and affection, and is
the only substitute for home influence, and the only green spot in the
dreary waste of life which binds these brothers to the tender practice
of every virtue--guides in prosperity and health, and as a ministering
angel bends over them with tenderest pity in their chamber of
suffering.  True, there are sorrows which it can not reach--there are
griefs which it can not remove; notwithstanding, it still pursues its
way, imparts its healthful influence, and accomplishes its beautiful
and holy ministry of benevolence and charity.  If it can not heal the
wounds of misfortune, it administers the balm of sympathy, friendship
and love.  My dear reader, learn to give encouragement to those around
you.

Everybody feels the need of encouragement, from the humblest artisan to
the king on his throne.  We hear of the choice spirits who have been
the world's idols, how they came up through terrible trials alone and
almost unaided, setting aside obstacles that would have crushed others,
and fighting their way to the very pinnacle of fame.  Aye! but great as
they were, they needed and received encouragement.  In some part of
their poor home they saw the smile that spoke the hearty appreciation
of the genius, though, perhaps, the lips said nothing.  Even West left
on record, "my mother's smile made me a painter."  The encouragement of
a little child will send the blood more warmly to the heart, and even
the appreciation of a poor dumb brute is worth its gaining.  Give
encouragement.  Everybody needs it--men, women and even children.  Oh!
how many a dear little heart has been chilled into ice when the coarse
laugh has greeted its rude hieroglyphics in the first attempt to
portray its ideal.  The child sees warm visions of sunlight and beauty
in those uncouth angles.  Whole minds of thought lie concealed under
those strange shapes.  To the young mind's eye they are wonders, and
the tiny fingers have built monuments that deserve not to be thrown
down so rudely, when a smile that costs nothing would have left them
standing to be finished into finer shape and more classical proportions
in the years that are to come.  You do a positive injury to the dullest
child when you reward his little efforts with contempt.  It is a wrong
that can never be repaired, for the disheartment that strikes the happy
spirit, flushed with the consciousness of having achieved something new
and great, comes up in after time with the very same vividness at every
trivial disappointment.  Give encouragement.  You men of business, who
know so well what a good, hearty "go ahead," coupled with a frank,
merry face, will do in your own case--give encouragement to the young
beginner, who starts nervously at the bottom of the race, and who,
though he may put a bold outside on, quakes at the center of his being
with the dread that among so many competitors he shall always be left
in the rear.  Hold out your hand to him as if you thought the world was
really large enough for two, and bid him God-speed.  Tell him to come
to you if he feels the need of a friend to advise with him.  Don't
emulate your sign in overshadowing him.  Out upon these mean, cringing
souls who would grudge God's sunlight if it shone upon a piece of
merchandise as good as their own.  They are poor, barren wretches, who
plow furrows only in their own cheeks, and plant wrinkles on their
brows.  Above all things, if you have any tenderness or compassion,
encourage your pastor, your physician, and your editor.  Suppose, once
in a while, they do, in expressing their own honest views, say
something that conflicts a little with your own starved or plethoric
notions.  Suppose they do dare to tell you the truth sometimes in a way
that makes you cringe, and you say to yourself, "he has no business to
be personal," when the poor man never thought that his homely coats
would fit; don't grow cold, and cast sheep's eyes, and nudge somebody's
elbow in a corner, and whisper all around, and say complacently, "Yes,
Brother A. is a good man--but--"

Those "buts" and "ifs" ought to be christened intellectual revolvers,
for they kill more reputations than any other two words in the English
language.  We have known instances where pastors and editors and others
have felt weary of living, from having to encounter the spirit of
discouragement among their brethren; and oh! how many wives, husbands
and children, are dying deaths daily from this same prolific source of
suffering.  Give encouragement, then, wherever and whenever you can,
and you will find that you have not lived in vain.  If God blesses
those who offer but a cup of cold water in charity, how much more will
He regard the kind heart that has refreshed a weary spirit fainting by
the way.  Death quickens recollections painfully.  The grave can not
hide the white faces of those who sleep.  The coffin and the green
mound are cruel magnets.  They draw us farther than we would go.  They
force us to remember.  A man never sees so far into human life as when
he looks over a wife's or mother's grave.  His eyes get wondrous clear
then, and he sees as never before what it is to love and to be loved;
what it is to injure the feelings of the loved.

Let us deal gently with those around us.  Remember every day a flower
is plucked from some sunny home; a breach made in some happy circle; a
jewel stolen from some treasury of love; each day from summer fields of
life some harvester disappears--yea, every hour some sentinel falls
from his post and is thrown from the ramparts of time into the surging
waters of eternity.  Even as I write, the funeral of one who died
yesterday winds like a winter shadow along some silent street.  Daily,
when we rise from the bivouac to stand at our posts, we miss some
brother soldier whose cheering cry in the sieges and struggles of the
past has been as fire from heaven upon our hearts.  Each day some pearl
drops from the jeweled thread of friendship--some harp to which we have
listened has been hushed forever.  Love, however, annihilates death
even; blots away all record of time and creates the world it lives in;
conjures back arms to embrace, lips to kiss, and eyes to smile,
whispers its own praises and breathes its own names of endearment.
Thus, love maketh the light to our dreams and planteth hope in the
midst of our sorrow.  In darkness and in danger, too, love cometh to us
ever, ever, now warning, now chiding, now blessing, and always safely
guarding.  Love lightens labor, shortens distance and quickens time.
Love teaches us to forgive, helps us to forget and whitens the memory
of all things.  Love paints every hope, brightens every scene and
maketh beautiful whatsoever it shines on.  Love is wisdom.  Love is
high.  Love is holy.  Love is God.  Love gloweth in the hearts of the
angels, wreathes the smiles on their brows and melts the kisses on
their lips.  Love is the light of the beautiful beyond.



GEMS OF BEAUTY

More hopeful than all wisdom is one draught of human pity that will not
forsake us.

Laughing is one of the products of civilization.  In the uncivilized
tribes laughter is entirely unknown.

Let him who neglects to raise the fallen fear lest, when he falls, no
one will stretch out his hand to lift him up.

Time is a species of wealth which it is impossible for us to hoard, but
which we may spend to good advantage.

Character is the eternal temple that each one begins to rear, yet death
can only complete it.  The finer the architecture, the more fit for the
indwelling of angels.

It is only by labor that thought can be made healthy, and only by
thought that labor can be made happy; and the two can not be separated
with impunity.--_John Ruskin_.

Don't moralize to a man who is on his back.  Help him up, set him
firmly on his feet, and then give him advice and means.

There is a pleasure in contemplating good; there is a greater pleasure
in receiving good; but the greatest pleasure of all is in doing good,
which comprehends the rest.

Morality without religion is only a kind of dead reckoning--an endeavor
to navigate a cloudy sea by measuring the distance we have to run, but
without observation of the heavenly bodies.

Most people keep too strong a hold of their personality to be able to
forget themselves in their subject; they carry an unacknowledged
self-consciousness along with them.  If to be single-minded is to have
an undivided interest in things, they are not single-minded.

Real affection is independent.  A woman may passionately love a man who
does not care for her, and men have gone mad for the sake of women who
were indifferent to them.  That affection which survives coldness or
even contempt on the part of the subject is a stronger proof of its
strength than jealousy, however well founded.

To have a respect for ourselves guides our morals, and to have a
deference for others governs our manners.

If you want to be miserable, think about yourself, about what you want,
what you like, what respect people pay you, and what people think of
you.

One great impediment to the rapid dissemination of new truths is that a
knowledge of them would convict many sage professors of having long
promulgated error.

The leaves that give out the sweetest fragrance are those that are the
most cruelly crushed; so the hearts of those who have suffered most can
feel for others' woes.

Each of us can so believe in humanity in general as to contribute to
that pressure which constantly levers up the race; can surround
ourselves with an atmosphere optimistic rather than the
contrary.--_Selected_.

He who has more knowledge than good works is like a tree with many
branches and few roots, which the first wind throws on its face; while
he who does more than he says is like a tree with strong roots and few
branches, which all the winds can not uproot.--_Talmud_.

If we waited until it was perfectly convenient, half of the good
actions of life would never be accomplished, and very few of its
successes.

A helping word to one in trouble is often like a switch on a railroad
track, but one inch between wreck and smooth rolling prosperity.

Prayer is the key of day and lock of the night; and we should every day
begin and end, bid ourselves good morrow and good night, with prayer.

In order to love mankind, expect but little from them; in order to view
their faults without bitterness, pardon them.  The wisest men have
always been the most indulgent.

There are souls which fall from heaven like flowers, but ere the pure
and fresh buds can open they are trodden in the dust of the earth, and
lie soiled and crushed under the foul tread of some brutal hoof.

Many of the men we calmly set down as failures may have been doing as
much as those who have made ten times as much noise in the world.  A
great deal of the best work in the world is anonymous, if we do not
confine the term to writing.

To a man of brave sentiments midnight is as bright as noonday, for the
illumination is within.

That man who lives in vain lives worse than vain.  He who lives to no
purpose lives to a bad purpose.--_Nevins_.

Labor is the law of the world, and he who lives by other men's means is
of less value to the world than the buzzing, busy insect.

Deep is the sea, and deep is hell, but pride runneth deeper; it is
coiled as a poisonous worm about the foundation of the soul.--_Tupper_.

The integrity of the heart, when it is strengthened by reason, is the
principal source of justice and wit; an honest man thinks nearly always
justly.

Be firm, but be not too hasty to decide; weigh well before you act,
but, having weighed, act promptly, and abide the result.  This is the
test of judgment.

Wit loses its respect with the good when seen in company with malice;
and to smile at the jest which plants a thorn in another's breast is to
become a principal in the mischief.

Success never did, never will come to that young man who knows
everything--in his own opinion.

In love, as in everything else, truth is the strongest of all things,
and frankness is but another name for truth.

Frequent disappointment teaches us to mistrust our own inclination, and
shrink even from vows our hearts may prompt.

For children there is no leave-taking, for they acknowledge no past,
only the present, that to them is full of the future.

To love, in order to be loved in return, is man, but to love for the
pure sake of loving, is almost the characteristic of an angel.

Fond as a man is of sight-seeing, life is the great show for every
man--the show always wonderful and new to the thoughtful.

The sweetest book in all the world, if properly read, is the Bible.
Its leaves are as fragrant as a bed of violets in full bloom.

Pity gilds mortality with rays of immortal light, and through faith
enables its possessor to triumph over sin, sorrow, tribulation and
death.

If we can not live so as to be happy, let us at least live so as to
deserve happiness.--_Fichte_.

Little by little fortunes are accumulated; little by little knowledge
is gained; little by little character and reputation are achieved.

Don't rely for success upon empty praise.  The swimmer upon the stream
of life must be able to keep afloat without the aid of bladders.

Industry--In seeking a situation, remember that the right kind of men
are always in demand, and that industry and capacity rarely go
empty-handed.

Frankness is the child of honesty and courage.  Say just what you mean
to do on every occasion, and take it for granted that you mean to do
what is right.

To be always intending to lead a new life, but never to find time to
set about it, is as if a man should put off eating from one day to
another till he is starved.

A man loved by a beautiful and virtuous woman carries a talisman that
renders him invulnerable; every one feels that such a one's life has a
higher value than that of others.

The great beauty of charity is privacy; there is a sweet force, even in
an anonymous penny.

Every heart has its secret sorrows, and oftentimes we call a man cold
when he was only sad.

A promise should be given with caution, and kept with care; it should
be made with the heart and kept with the head.

"The mind of a young creature," says Berkely, "can not remain empty; if
you do not put into it that which is good, it will be sure to use even
that which is bad."

We all see at sunset the beautiful colors streaming all over the
western sky, but no eyes can behold the hand that overturns the urns
whence these streams are poured.

We often live under a cloud, and it is well for us that we should do
so.  Uninterrupted sunshine would parch our hearts.  We want shade and
rain to cool and refresh them.

Poverty is very terrible to you, and kills the soul in you sometimes;
but it is the north wind that lashed men into vikings; it is the soft,
luscious south wind that lulls to lotus dreams.

There is nothing so valuable, and yet so cheap, as civility; you can
almost buy land with it.

It has been justly said nothing in man is so Godlike as doing good to
our fellows.--_Selected_.

Contentment swells a mite into a talent, and makes even the poor richer
than the Indies.--_Addison_.

Never was a sincere word utterly lost, never a magnanimity fell to the
ground; there is some heart always to greet and accept it unexpectedly.

There are people who often talk of the humbleness of their origin, when
they are really ashamed of it, though vain of the talent which enabled
them to emerge from it.

A witty old deacon put it thus: "Now, brethren, let us get up a supper
and eat ourselves rich.  Buy your food, then give it to the church;
then go and buy it back again; then eat it up, and your church debt is
paid."

Self-sacrifice is the essential mark of the Christian, and the absence
of it is sufficient at once to condemn the man who calls himself by
that name and yet has it not, and to declare that he has no right to
it.--_Bolton_.

There are many comfortable people in the world, but to call any man
perfectly happy is an insult.

Women often make light of ruin.  Give them but the beloved objects, and
poverty is but a trifling sorrow to bear.--_Thackeray_,

Independence is a name for what no man possesses; nothing in the
animate or inanimate world is more dependent than man.

Wealth is to be used only as an instrument of action, not as the
representative of civil honors and moral excellence.--_Jane Porter_.

There is nothing purer, nothing warmer than our first friendship, our
first love, our first striving after truth, our first feeling for
nature.--_Jean Paul Richter_.

Shakespeare is as much out of the category of eminent authors as he is
out of the crowd.  He is inconceivably wise; the others
conceivably.--_Representative Men_.

A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.  Neither do uninterrupted
prosperity and success qualify a man for usefulness and happiness.  The
storms of adversity, like the storms of the ocean, arouse the faculties
and excite the invention, prudence, skill and fortitude of the voyager.

It is not work that hurts men.  It is the corrosion of uncertainty; it
is the anticipation of trouble; it is living in a state of painful
apprehension.  Therefore we should endeavor to rise out of the
atmosphere of gloomy forebodings.  The man who is lifted above fear and
its whole brood of mischief can go through twice as much trouble as a
man who is subject to its influence.

He that looks out upon life from a sour or severe disposition, with
hard and stringent notions, is ill prepared to meet the experiences of
the world; but he who has the sweetness of hope, he who has an
imagination lit up with cheerfulness, he who has the sense of humor
which softens all things--he who has this atmosphere of the mind--has
made himself superior to accident.  As the angel described by Milton,
who was smitten by the sword, and whose wounds healed as soon as the
sword was withdrawn, so ought man to be; and when he receives a spear
thrust in life, no sooner should the spear be withdrawn than his flesh
ought to "close and be itself again."

A married man falling into misfortune is more apt to retrieve his
situation in the world than a single one, chiefly because his spirits
are soothed and retrieved by domestic endearments, and his self-respect
kept alive by finding that, although all abroad is darkness and
humiliation, yet there is a little world of love at home over which he
is monarch.



HUSBAND AND FATHER

Miss Frances Power Cobb is right, and she is wrong, when she says: "It
is a woman, and only a woman--a woman all by herself, if she likes, and
without any man to help her--who can turn a house into a home."  She is
unquestionably right in her judgment, that it is a woman who can, if
she will, turn a house into a home, but she is much in the wrong in her
assertion that it is a woman all by herself, without any man to help
her, who can effect such a beneficial transformation.  Woman possesses
magical powers in the way of building up a home; but home naturally
implies the presence and protection of man--and it is man himself, if
he likes, and without any woman to help him, who can give that home a
semblance of that place where, as some people believe, the wicked
suffer after they have "shuffled off this mortal coil."  The husband
can never make the home, but he can succeed most admirably, if so he
choose, to unmake it, to banish its happiness and comfort, to exile
from it its ministering angels of peace and content, to shatter woman's
sweet and blessed work to its very foundation.  Let the wife
concentrate, all day long, all her care and ingenuity and love upon
building up her little paradise at home, let her hands be ever so busy
in strewing fresh flowers around the domestic hearth, let her heart be
ever so happy throughout the day in the discharge of her domestic
duties, let her countenance be ever so beaming in her sweet
anticipation of the happy smile of appreciation, of the kind word of
sympathy and encouragement, which shall be her reward when her husband
returns; and then see this star in her domestic firmament enter,
sulking and surly, blind to all that her busy hands have so lovingly
prepared, grim and gruff to her and the little ones, who have been
fitted up in their neatest and cleanest, in which to welcome their
father's return, and then see whether you can agree with Miss Cobb's
assertion "that it is a woman, and only a woman--a woman all by
herself, if she likes, and without any man to help her--who can turn a
house into a home."  See how her heart sinks, how her voice, full of
mirth and glee and music before his coming, dies in her throat, how the
little ones, full of merriment all day long, tremblingly hide in the
corner, or withdraw from the room; see how the intrusion of this grim
spectre of malcontent shuts the door upon domestic peace and happiness,
and withers every pious resolve to make home the dearest, sweetest,
most contented and most sacred spot on earth, and then calculate how
long, under such disheartening surroundings, woman will be able all by
herself, and without any man to help her, to prevent her house from
becoming anything and everything except a home.

While studying language, I observed that most of my mistakes in grammar
occurred in the feminine gender, and thinking over the cause of it, it
dawned upon me that, belonging to the masculine sex, I was in the habit
of thinking in that gender, and that my teachers were men, and that my
text-books and grammars had been written by men, and that the masculine
gender predominated so strongly in the exercises, that it was but
natural for me to make the greatest number of mistakes in the gender to
which the least attention had been given.  When dealing with the social
and domestic question, the unbiased among us can not but observe a
similar failing.  Many a serious mistake has been made by man when
speaking or writing concerning women, because our speakers and writers
and preachers and teachers belonged from the very beginning of
civilization, almost exclusively to the masculine sex, a sex which has
never tired in exalting itself at the expense of the weaker sex, in
emphasizing woman's inferiority to man, in asserting its rights, and in
complaining about its wrongs, and as woman did not write or speak for
herself, we have heard but little of her side of the story, know next
to nothing of her just rights and of her grievous wrongs, seldom dream
that she, too, has rights that must be respected, and suffers wrongs
that must be corrected.

The universities, colleges and all great institutions of learning of
this and other lands refused, until quite recently, to recognize woman
as a human being possessing a mind in need of training, and therefore
excluded her from their privileges, and the order of Odd-Fellows
partook of the same spirit and excluded the better half of the human
race from its lodge-rooms.  Man had ever been a selfish, conceited,
cowardly tyrant from the day in which our father Adam disgraced his sex
by taking without question the forbidden fruit; and, after eating it,
crying with selfish, pusillanimous cowardice: "The woman thou gavest to
be with me gave me of the tree and I did eat," and he has always sought
to make and keep woman an inferior, dependent, submissive slave.  To
this end he has striven to keep her in ignorance, exclude her from all
the avenues of knowledge, and then, because she did not possess the
knowledge that he had forbidden her, proclaimed throughout the world
that she was mentally inferior to man, and in consequence unfit to be
admitted to the various institutions and associations in which men
sought to improve their minds.

The object of Odd-Fellowship is to improve and elevate the character of
man, to enlighten his mind and enlarge the sphere of his affections,
and of course woman, as being mentally weak and naturally inferior to
man, was excluded from its sacred precincts.  Now, however, things are
changed; nearly all educational institutions worthy of mention admit
women, and the Rebekah of today, emulating the Rebekah of old, will be
hand in hand with her brothers in all good works.  She will accompany
him on his errands of mercy, watch beside the bedside of anguish,
foregoing pleasure to follow in the path of duty.

I would have every man know--who has a wife--that "mutual benefit from
harmonious partnership work" is an axiom in as full a sense as "in
union there is strength."

There are two sides to every question, and in this article I shall deal
with the woman's side.  I want to present especially the wife's side of
the question to every Odd-Fellow, hoping that it will be of lasting
benefit in many ways.  I know full well that only one accustomed to
deal with high and holy things, one whose glance is ever at sacred
things, one who, as it were, administers the treasures of the kingdom
of God, can fittingly touch this subject.  It would be easy for me to
be a cheap wit, to rake up the old scandal of Mother Eve, to even
declaim with windy volubility that a woman betrayed the capital, that a
woman lost Mark Anthony the world and left old Troy in ashes.  But far
be it from me!  Rather would I assume a loftier mood; rather would I
strike a loftier note, and, with blind Homer, beg for an unwearied
tongue to chant the praise of woman.  It is true Eve lost us Eden, but
in that garden of monotonous delight, had we been born there, we would
never have truly known what woman is.  O, Felix Culpa!  O, happy fault!
that has shown the world the mines of rich affection of woman's heart,
that else would never have been discovered.  O, happy fault, that has
shown the world a wealth of woman's nature, her capability for love,
the radiance of her tenderness, her infinite pity, her unswerving
devotion, the solace of her presence in sickness and sorrow, the depth
and sweetness of her mercy.

A river of pure delight flowed through paradise, but blind Adam never
saw it, never dreamed of it until the flaming sword cut him off
forever; but he has since drank of it, and so has every man who has
ever tasted the sacramental wine of woman's true affection.  The seamy
side of life has been laid bare to me.  Its sorrows and its anguishes
have I often witnessed, but into that pool of Bethesida of the world's
anguish, with healing do I see ever come an angel, a pitying woman.
The influence of wife and mother is ever near me; their faces are the
most lovely; their hearts the most tender of all in this world--my
mother and my wife.  And for their sake, and for the sake of all the
mothers, wives, sisters and daughters, whom I daily meet doing good, I
long and I earnestly yearn for the eloquence and grace to half express
the thoughts that rise within me of what the world owes woman.

To me every good woman is the fair fulfillment of dreamed delight.  She
is the first at the cross and the last at the grave.  All that is
highest and best in the world is nurtured and fed by the milk of her
nobility.  The Christ of all greatness and hope was born of a woman.
The noble women of the world!  O, would that the days of chivalry were
not past, that I might unsheath a lance in their name, for their glory!
But in our more prosaic days, what can I do but let the will suffice
for the deed, and say to the woman, "God bless you."  I propose to let
her speak for herself today.  I propose to accept her invitation to
accompany her through the various spheres of her domestic life, and see
whether she alone is responsible for that vice and crime and misfortune
which moralists and superintendents of penal and charity institutes
trace back to neglects at home; whether it is always the wife and
mother that is responsible for unhappiness in marriage and for the
increase of divorces; whether the husbands and fathers are always the
saints and martyrs, or whether they are not very, very often the root
of the whole evil themselves.

We retrace our steps and begin with our observations of the husband and
father a few months prior to that solemn day, on which he plighted his
vows of protection and faithfulness, on which he took into his care and
trust a woman's life and happiness, on which he sacredly promised, in
the name of God, and in the presence of witnesses, to love her, to
honor and cherish her, to provide for her, to be faithful to her in all
his obligations as husband, in youth and in old age, in sunshine and in
darkness, in prosperity and in adversity.  We make first his
acquaintance in the happy days of his courtship.  He is burning with
love.  He is the facsimile of Shakespeare's lover, "sighing like a
furnace."  Her praises are on his lips always.  He avows himself her
slave and worships her as a goddess.  It is in her company alone that
he can find happiness.  Whether at home or in society, he is always at
her side.  Life is dreary where she is not.  He wonders how he could
have lived so long, or how he could continue existence, without her.
How regular and how punctual he is in his calls, and how he scowls at
the clock for running away with time so fast!  Not a wish does she
express, no matter how unreasonable and extravagant, but he eagerly
gratifies it.  How numerous his little attentions and his kind
remembrances!  How thoughtful of her birthday, and how lavish in floral
tributes and costly presents!  How numerous and how lengthy his letters
when separated!  How sweet their moonlight walks and talks!  How bright
her future, which he maps out!  How many the pledges which he breathes
forth between his ardent kisses; never a harsh word shall break on her
ear, never a wish of hers shall be ungratified, never a trouble shall
mar her happiness; such a love as his has never been before, and will
never be again; he only lives for her happiness; his affection will
never cool, he will be a lover all his life; their whole wedded life
will be one never-waning honeymoon.

In the drama the plot usually ends with marriage.  At the instant when
it is reached, when all obstacles are removed, the curtain falls, and
the young people have no further existence for us.  But in the
practical world the play goes on.  The curtain rises again, the same
personages reappear, only they frequently play different parts, and
what was before a comedy or a melo-drama often changes into a tragedy.
Sad and tearful scenes are often enacted by them.  The misery and pain
are no longer inflicted by their former enemy, but by their own hands.
He, who prior to marriage overcame almost insurmountable obstacles to
make his lady fair his happy wife, now moves heaven and earth to make
that wife as miserable as possible.

A number of years have passed since last we observed the lover.  He is
husband and father now, but what a change these few years have wrought
in him!  Forgotten are the lover's vows.  She that once his goddess
was, is now his slave.  The fulsome flatterer of former times has
degenerated into a chronic fault-finder.  With the change of her name
has begun his change of treatment of her.  Cast aside are the many
courtesies and expressions of endearment that marked his conduct to her
prior to marriage, and which were the thousand golden threads that day
by day throughout their courtship wove their hearts closely into one.
No bouquets and no costly gifts any more.  The anniversary of her birth
and of their wedding day passes by unnoticed by him.  His former
efforts to entertain her, to make himself agreeable to her, have
altogether ceased.  Rarer, and ever rarer, become his parting and his
coming kiss, his "good-bye, dear," and his "good evening, darling."
Fewer and fewer become his words of praise.  Irksome becomes the task
of staying at home.  He, who once upon a time found life dreary where
she was not, who vowed that in her company alone he found happiness,
who could not await the evening that would bring him to her, who
declared that his affection would never cool, and their whole wedded
life would be one continuous honeymoon, now finds her company tedious,
her home unattractive.  He looks upon his home as his boarding and
lodging-house, upon his wife as the kitchen scullion, or as the nurse
of his children, for which services he generally allows her so many
dollars a week.  At the breakfast table his face is buried in the
morning paper.  He rises without interchanging a word with wife and
child.  Absent from home all day long, he is absent still, even when
home in the evening.  No sooner has he swallowed his meal, when he
buries himself in the newspaper for the rest of the evening, or dozes
on the sofa till bedtime, or he has an important business engagement
down town, or some meeting to attend, or an important engagement brings
other husbands to his house, where they transact any amount of business
in the exchange of diamonds for hearts, and clubs for spades.

All day long she has been toiling hard in her home, toiling with hand
and brain.  She has been preacher and teacher, physician and druggist,
provider and manager, cook and laundress.  The children had to be
attended to, purchases had to be made, the meals had to be provided,
the servants to be looked after, the house to be gotten in order; there
was mending and sewing and baking and cleaning and scrubbing and
scouring, which had to be done; there were the children's lessons, and
practicings that had to be looked after; there were the children's
ailments that had to be cured, and there were the hundred other things
the husband never dreams of, and which tax a woman's nerves and
strength as much, and often more, than his occupation taxes him.  But
not a word of appreciation, not a look of sympathy and encouragement
from him, who never tired to sing her praises before they were married,
who vowed that never a harsh word should remotely break on her ear,
never a trouble should mar her happiness.  On the contrary, he has no
end of faults to find, and she is doomed to listen to the same old
harangue on economy and saving.  She has been saving and stinting until
she can save and stint no more.  She has patched and mended and turned
and altered until she could patch and mend and alter no more, and still
the same complaints; the table costs too much, the dry goods store
bills are too long, the seamstress comes into the house too often, the
physician is consulted too much, and of such as these many more.  Not a
word does he say about the expensive cigars he smokes, the wines he
drinks; about his frequent visits to the sample-room, and about the
liberality with which he treats his friends there; about the sumptuous
dinners he takes at noon in the down-town restaurant, while wife and
children content themselves at home with a frugal lunch; about the
money he loses at the card table, or in his bets on the games and races
and politics.  And of the children he takes but little notice.  He has
not seen them all day long, and he is too tired to be bothered with
them in the evening.  He must have his rest and quiet.  The mother
worried with them all day long, she may worry with them in the evening,
too.  It is enough for him to supply her with the means wherewith to
care for their wants, further obligations he has none; these are a
mother's duties, but not a father's.

They tell a story of a learned preacher who had isolated himself from
his children on account of his dislike to their noise.  One day, while
taking a walk, he was attracted by the beauty and wonderful
intelligence of a little boy.  Inquiring of the nurse whose child it
was, she answered, much astonished: "Your own, reverend sir, your own."
Judging from the attention that some fathers bestow on their children,
I am inclined to believe that this learned preacher has many an
imitator among his sex, for whom not even the inexcusable excuse of
absorption in studies can be set up.  I have read of a business man,
who one day thanked God that a commercial crisis had thrown him into
bankruptcy.  He said it afforded him an opportunity to stay at home for
awhile, and get acquainted with his own family, and that for the first
time he learned to know the true worth of his wife, and that he found
his children the sweetest and dearest creatures that ever lived, and
not for all the business of the world would he again deprive himself of
their sweet association.  Prior to his misfortune, or rather good
fortune, his business had so absorbed him that he had altogether
forgotten that there were sacred claims at home that demanded his
interest and his service.

Not all our orphaned children are in our orphan asylums, or under the
supervision of "The Orphans' Guardians."  There are more of them at
home with their fathers and mothers, and especially among our
well-to-do families.  There are children growing up who scarcely know
anything else of their father except that he is referred to during the
day by their mother when they are bad, as that dread personage who
would inflict a severe chastisement on them when he returns, or whose
presence silences their fun and makes their own absence agreeable.  He
makes no effort to entertain them, takes no interest in their
pleasures, in their progress at school.  He is simply their punisher,
but not their friend, and it is not at all surprising to see children
growing up with a conception of their father such as that little boy
had, who, when told by a minister of heaven, and of the meeting of the
departed there, asked: "And will father be there?"  On being told that
"of course he would be there," he at once replied, "Then I don't want
to go."  Occasionally wife and husband spend an evening out, or they
entertain company at home, and oh, what a transformation she observes
in him.  In other people's homes, or when other people are present, his
stock of material for conversation is unlimited.  Then and there he is
full of fun, bright and cheerful; when alone with his wife he has
scarcely a word to say; he moves about the house with the lofty
indifference of a lord, and with a heartless disregard of every member
of the household.  At home he is cold and cross and boorish, in other
women's parlors he is polite and considerate and engaging.  He has a
smile and a compliment for other women, none for his wife.  If they
attend an evening reception, he brings his wife there, and he takes her
home; during the interval she has little, if any, of his company.  She
may be shy, she may be a stranger, she may not be much accustomed to
society life, she may feel herself out of place in the gay assemblage,
she may be unentertained or bored or annoyed, it matters not to him as
long as he is having a good time with the boys, or is encircled by the
ladies fair, who unanimously think him the most gallant of men,
unrivaled in his wit and wisdom and conversational powers, and who
secretly sigh if but their husbands were like him.

To such an extent is this wife-neglect carried on that a lady not long
ago made a wager that, in nine cases out of ten, she would distinguish
between married and unmarried couples.  She won the wager.  When asked
to explain her method of discrimination, she said: "When you see a
gentleman and a lady walking in silence side by side, it is a married
couple; when their conversation is continuous and animated, and
smile-and-laugh-provoking, they are single.  When a gentleman sits next
to a lady in the theatre, and never keeps his opera glass away from the
boxes and galleries and stage, he is her husband; when his eyes rest
more on her than on the stage, it is her lover.  When a lady, who sits
at the side of a gentleman, drops her glove, and she stoops to hunt it,
it is a married couple; if he stoops quickly to pick it up it is an
unmarried couple.  When a lady plays, and a gentleman stands near her,
and does not turn for her the pages of the music book, it is her
husband; when you see his fingers in eager readiness to turn the leaf,
it is not her husband."

There is in every true woman a spark of divinity, which glows in her
heart, and blazes into a most luminous light when a husband's love and
respect and sympathy and appreciation and encouragement fan that spark
into activity.  But woe to the home where cruel hands quench that
flame.  The sun is the heater and illuminator of our whole solar
system.  The vast supplies which it sends forth daily must be
compensated, or else it would soon expend itself, and our world would
go to ruin.  Nature, therefore, hurls millions of meteors every second
into the sun's fiery furnace to keep up the supply of heat and light.
The wife is the sun of the household.  Her womanly attributes give the
light and warmth and happiness of the home to all who cluster around
her.  But a wife's love and self-sacrifice for her home are not
infinite.  They soon exhaust themselves, where love is unreturned,
where a husband is a tyrant, where self-sacrifice is unappreciated,
where faithful and prudent industry is accepted as a labor of duty, and
not as a labor of love, where she is simply regarded as his
housekeeper, and not as his devoted helpmate, where his presence alone
is sufficient to cast gloom and fear over the entire household.  Woman
was made to bless mankind, but also to be blessed in return; to make
society better for forming a part thereof, but also to receive some
recognition for her work.

Endurance is woman's prerogative.  Suffering is her heirloom.
Disasters, which would crush the spirit of man, often turn her heart to
steel, and she performs deeds grand and heroic.  Disheartened by
continuous neglect, she will make heroic efforts to throw her influence
all the more affectionately over her home.  Wounded deeper and ever
deeper, she will toil on, hiding from the world the pangs of wounded
affection, "as the wounded dove will clasp its wings to its side and
cover and conceal the arrow that is preying on its vitals."  But the
shafts of continuous neglect will pierce her heart at last--a husband's
continuous neglect extinguish, at last, the sacred flame upon the
domestic hearth.  She, too, finds home irksome.  She, too, learns to
find more pleasure abroad than in her home.  She, too, thinks light of
liberties and indiscretions.  The grown children learn to emulate their
parents' example, and seek their pleasures also abroad.  The little
children are left to servants to finish the corruption begun by
parents.  And so the home, the very spot designed by God to become the
chief school of human virtue, the seminary of social affections, the
keystone of the whole fabric of society, the germ-cell of civilization,
becomes a hotbed of corruption, and almost as often on account of a
husband's neglect and sins, as on account of a wife's ignorance or
frailties or failings.  Our stock of advice to wives and mothers seems
inexhaustible.  Almost every one of the stronger sex has his fling at
woman, and his remedy to offer, which, if immediately followed, will at
once eradicate unhappiness in marriage, decrease the number of
divorces, and lessen vice and crime in society.

Might not a little advice be also profitable to man?  Is there not room
for improvement in the stronger sex as well as in the weaker?  Reform
in the one sex will be of little benefit unless there is reform in the
other sex as well.  Our husbands and our fathers, too, need reforming,
and that reform must begin very early in their lives, before yet they
enter into marriage, before yet they enter upon the days of their
courtship.  Our young men need curbing.  Youthful precocity must be
checked.  "_Cito maturum cito putridum_" says the Latin, "soon ripe,
soon rotten."  We allow our young men, some of them exceedingly young,
too many liberties.  We allow them to sow too many wild oats.  If their
intention is some day to take unto their care and keeping a woman's
life and happiness, to pluck from out a comfortable and contented home,
and from the embrace of devoted parents, a pure and happy and trusting
young woman, who has never felt the wrench and shock of life's storms,
nor the cold shoulder of neglect, nor the gnawing tooth of want, then
let them see to it in time that they may bring to her a heart as pure
and mind as uncorrupted, and character as unpolluted as they expect
from her.

The law of heredity, of transmission of ancestral poison, is as
operative in the male sex as in the female.  A pure and healthy
offspring must be preceded by a pure and healthy parentage.  A
rottening tree never produces luscious fruit.  "Like begets like."  An
enfeebled father means not only feebleness in the next generation, but
also perpetuated misery and vice and crime.  Marriage is sacred and
necessary and obligatory, but not all marriages are so.  There are some
marriages from which woman should recoil as much as she would from
death itself.  Rather that death would woo her than a man--if I may be
permitted to honor him with that name--whose constitution is
undermined, whose strength is sapped, and whose marrow and blood are
poisoned.  Rather an old maid than a profligate's nurse.  Rather a life
of single blessedness than the housekeeper of a wreck of a husband.
Rather single and happy and stainless and conscience-free than a mother
of an unfortunate offspring, that have the sins of their father visited
upon them, and that shall one day curse their parents for having given
existence to them.  Another remedy for unhappy marriages will be found
in the cessation, of the anxiety on the part of so many parents _to get
their daughters married off_.  It is but natural that this constant
anxiety should make the daughter feel that she would like to lessen her
parents' dread, and cease being a trouble to them, especially when
there are younger sisters crowding fast upon her, and so she says
"Yes," even when the word almost chokes in her throat, even though she
knows in her heart that he is not her ideal, nor the man that will make
her happy.  It is not true that any husband, who can support a wife, is
better than no husband.  Marriage means more to a sensible woman than
an alliance with a husband for the sake of being clothed and fed and
housed.  She has a heart and soul and mind that have their wants, and
if they be starved, unhappy marriage, if nothing worse, is the result.

Mothers and fathers!  Have you watched over your daughter from the day
of her birth; have you guarded her from infancy to girlhood, and from
girlhood to womanhood; have you suffered for her sake; have you
surrendered comforts and sacrificed pleasures for her sake; have you
toiled and stinted and saved for her sake; have you afforded her the
best education and all the pleasures and opportunities that your means
will allow, and all to wish yourselves rid of her; to think that any
husband, who can support your daughter--sometimes not even so much is
expected from him--no matter how old, how uncultured, how unsuitable to
her tastes and wants, is better than no husband?  A father's personal
attention to the training of his children will in time reduce
materially unhappy marriages, and greatly lessen the miseries and vices
of society.  He owes his children more than support and chastisement.
Society holds him responsible for their character.  The duties of
training devolve upon the father as much as on the mother.  A father's
wider experience and worldly wisdom prove valuable contributions to the
mother's simpler knowledge in the raising of their children.  A
father's continuous absence, or neglects, or severity, or unkindness,
or heartlessness, has made more reprobates and scamps and criminals in
this world than all the failings of women combined.  Think less of your
dignity and more of your duty.  Rather that your child should love you
than fear you.  You can maintain your authority and dignity by love and
gentleness as well as by frowns and threats and chastisements.  You may
walk and talk and study and play with them, and yet have their full
respect.  The great and warlike Agesilaus did not think it beneath him
to entertain his children during his leisure hours, to join them in all
their merry sports, and permit himself to crawl on his fours with his
little child upon his back.  If you would raise good children let your
example at home be accordingly.  As you will teach them so they will
act.  If you are a devil they will scarcely be angels.  Children are
keen observers.  An old proverb says that a father is a looking-glass
by which children dress themselves.  See to it, fathers, that the glass
be clean, so that your children's morals may be pure.

A little more memory on the part of the husband will prove a powerful
remedy for the eradication of unhappy marriages and for the lessening
of divorces.  She is the same woman after marriage that she was during
the days of your courtship, and a good deal better.  Why so forgetful
of all the sacred vows and solemn pledges which you plighted then?  Why
so constant then and so inconstant now?  Why so affable and faithful
and loving and attentive then, and why so inattentive and bitter and
sullen and neglectful now?  Why such a profuseness then in your
courtesies and smiles and flowers and gifts and kisses, and why such a
lack of them now?  Is it because of wrinkles?  Is it because of her
faded beauty?  She has lost it in your service.  She has come honestly
by her wrinkles.  She got them in the sick-bed, in the kitchen, in the
nursery, by the bed of your sick children, by the grave of your child,
by painful night-watches and overtaxing day toils, by your harsh words,
and by your heartless treatment.  This is all she has in return for her
beauty and youth and cheerful mind and happy disposition, which she
laid at your feet when you asked her to join her destiny with yours.  A
little courtesy, a kind attention, a bouquet of flowers, a small token,
a word of appreciation and of encouragement is not much to you, but it
is a world to your wife.  Your smile is all the reward she craves.  Her
heart thirsts for it, and when given, its effect upon her soul is as
the refreshing dew upon the withered grass.  It is a mistake to believe
that she can draw in her married life on your love-deposits during
courtship.  If love is to prosper, the supply must be ever fresh.  The
love of the past will never satisfy the need of the present.  Love
constantly and carefully cultivated will increase its blessings as
fruit trees double their bearing under the hand of the gardener.  It
will be killed, as will the fruit tree, if the gardener's hand grows
neglectful and noxious influences are permitted to impede its growth.
Let your wife be your helpmate and not your housekeeper.  She shares
your sorrows, your defeats, let her also share your thoughts and plans.
Unbosom your thoughts to her.  Lay open to her your heart and soul.
Trust her with your confidence, she trusts you with hers.  The men who
succeed are those who make confidants of their wives.  The marriages
that are happy are those where husbands and wives have no thoughts
apart.  The children that are well raised are those that have had the
example of loving and confiding parents before them.  Proud of your
confidence, she will labor to deserve it.  She will study to please
you.  In your prosperity she will be your delight; your stay and
comfort in your adversity.  She will return your confidence and
affection in full measure.  Gloom will vanish from the hearth, and
happiness will hold dominion within the home.  "Her children will rise
up before her and call her happy; and her husband will sing aloud her
praises."

Marriage is, perhaps, the only game of chance ever invented at which it
is possible for both players to lose.  Too often, after many
sugar-coated words, and several premeditated misdeals on both sides,
one draws a blank and the other a booby.  After patiently angling in
the matrimonial pool, one draws a sunfish and the other a minnow.  One
expects to capture a demigod, who hits the earth only in high places,
but when she has thoroughly analyzed him, she finds nothing genuine,
only a wilted chrysanthemum and a pair of patent leather shoes, while
he in return expected to wed a wingless angel who would make his Edenic
bower one long drawn out sigh of aesthetic bliss.  The result is very
often that he is tied to a slattern, who slouches around the house with
her hair in tins, a dime novel in her hand, with a temper like aqua
fortis and a voice like a cat fight--a voice that would make a cub wolf
climb a tree; a fashionable butterfly, whose heart is in her finery and
her feathers; who neglects her home to train with a lot of intellectual
birds; whose glory is small talk; who saves her sweetest smiles for
society and her ill temper for her family altar.  If I were tied to
such a female as that, do you know what I would do?  You don't, eh?
Well, neither do I.  There was a time, we are told, when to be a Roman
was to be greater than to be a king; yet there came a time when to be a
Roman was to be a vassal or a slave.  Change is the order of the
universe, and nothing stands.  We must go forward, or we must go
backward.  We must press on to grander heights, to greater glory, or
see the laurels already won turned to ashes upon our brow.  We may
sometimes slip; shadows may obscure our paths; the boulders may bruise
our feet; there may be months of mourning and days of agony; but
however dark the night, hope, a poising eagle, will ever burn above the
unrisen tomorrow.  Trials we may have, and tribulations sore, but I say
unto you, O, brothers mine, that while God reigns and the human family
endures, this nation, born of our father's blood, and sanctified by our
mother's tears, shall not pass away, and under heaven, for this great
boon, this great blessing, we'll be indebted to the women of
America--God bless them.  Finally, brethren, be serious while I impart
this concluding lesson: "She--was--a--good--wife--to--me.  A good wife,
God bless her!"  The words were spoken in trembling accents over a
coffin-lid.  The woman asleep there had borne the heat and burden of
life's long day, and no one had ever heard her murmur; her hand was
quick to reach out in helping grasp to those who fell by the wayside,
and her feet were swift on errands of mercy; the heart of her husband
had trusted in her; he had left her to long hours of solitude, while he
amused himself in scenes in which she had no part.  When boon
companions deserted him, when fickle affection selfishly departed, when
pleasure palled, he went home and found her waiting for him.

  "Come from your long, long roving,
    On life's sea so bleak and rough;
  Come to me tender and loving,
    And I shall be blest enough."

That hath been her long song, always on her lips or in her heart.
Children had been born to them.  She had reared them almost alone--they
were gone!  Her hand had led them to the uttermost edge of the morning
that has no noon.  Then she had comforted him, and sent him out strong
and whole-hearted while she stayed at home and--cried.  What can a
woman do but cry and trust?  Well, she is at rest now.  But she could
not die until he had promised to "bear up," not fret, but to remember
how happy they had been.  They?  Yes, it was even so.

It was an equal partnership, after all.
"She--was--a--good--wife--to--me."  Oh, man! man!  Why not have told
her so when her ears were not dulled by death?  Why wait to say these
words over a coffin wherein lies a wasted, weary, gray-haired woman,
whose eyes have so long held that pathetic story of loss and suffering
and patient yearning, which so many women's eyes reveal to those who
weep?  Why not have made the wilderness in her heart blossom like the
rose with the prodigality of your love?  Now you would give worlds,
were they yours to give, to see the tears of joy your words would have
once caused, bejeweling the closed windows of her soul.  It is too late.

  "We have careful thoughts for the stranger,
    And smiles for the sometime guest,
        But oft for own,
        The bitter tone,
    Though we love our own the best."



ODD-FELLOWSHIP AND THE FUTURE

There is infinite and perennial fascination in the contemplation of the
future.  The past is a fixed province, the finished result of an
ever-moving present.  The future is the province of the poet, the
prophet and the seer.  The past is adamant, the future is plastic clay.
The past is with God alone; the future is with God and man.  We toil
for it; dream of it; look to it; and all seek so to

    * * * "Forecast the years,
  As find in loss a gain to match,
  Or reach a hand through time to catch
    The far-off interest of tears."

Let us consider the future as a field and Odd-Fellowship as a force.
The future is a field, billowing with the ripening harvest of golden
possibilities.  It is as wide as the world, for the world is the field.
It comprises every zone and clime; every nation and tribe; every island
of the seas.  Wherever we find one of our fellow-men in darkness and in
chains, there is our field.  It is as long as from now to the coming of
Christ.  A moment's survey of the field will convince us that the
greatest conquests are yet to be made.  There is battle ahead, great
interests to be gained, great incentives to heroic effort.  The times
call for men--broad-browed, clear-eyed, strong-hearted, swift-footed
men.  Odd-Fellows, not behind you but before you, not in the past but
in the future, lies the widest and richest field of Odd-Fellowship's
possibility.  Turn your faces, not toward the waning light of
yesterday, but toward the growing radiance of a better morning.  The
force is commensurate with the field.  The cry of every true Odd-Fellow
ought to be the cry that leaped from the heart of Isaiah when his lips
were touched with the coal from off the altar: "Here am I, Lord, send
me."  Our order is no longer a puny and helpless infant, but a lusty
giant, panoplied in the armor of truth and clad in the strength of
perpetual youth.  We have riches untold.  We have institutions for the
care of the old, and the orphan, the equal of any of which the world
can boast.  We have a grasp on the sympathy and confidence of the
masses which is immeasurable.  We stand for principles that are the
incarnation of God's infinite thought and throbbing love.  We are
equipped for conquest.  What answer shall the force make to the cry
from the field?  As loyal Odd-Fellows, let us take our answer from the
Great Commander.  What answer did He make to a dying world?  What did
he come to do?  He came to lift fallen humanity.  He came to bind up
the wounds of those who were bruised and bleeding.  He came to speak
words of cheer and sympathy to hearts bowed in sorrow.  He came to
break the chains of bondage and restore mankind to its former beauty
and greatness.  Our mission is identical with His.  Our work is
identical with His work.  We are His representatives.  Our highest
destiny is the working out of His purposes.  The world with all its
boasted progress has not advanced beyond the need of a Savior.  It is
the same at heart now as it was when the blessed feet of Christ trod
its hills and valleys.  Men change, but man changes not.  The same
problems are confronting us as confronted them.  It may be trite, but
it is tremendously true, that our primary and ever-present duty is to
seek and save the lost.  We are to win them to faith in high and noble
ends, and having won them to faith in our mission is not enough.  They
are to be instructed, cultured, enlarged, inspired, ennobled, until man
looking in the face of man shall see the face of Christ shining
through.  He is to be the accepted Lord and law-giver in every realm of
human thought and activity.  He is to rule in the family.  He is to
rule in business.  He is to rule until the demon of hate, malice and
injustice has been throttled.  He must rule in the affairs of state.
He must rule in society, until the watchers at the gate shall announce
to Him who sitteth upon the throne: "Thy kingdom has come and thy will
is done in earth as it is in heaven."  Christ is the solution of man's
most difficult problems.  He came to save men.  How did He go about the
task?  He gave himself.  We can accomplish our task only as in burning
earnestness we give ourselves.  What depth of humiliation, what
self-devotion, what unmeasured sacrifices, what unspeakable suffering,
what unfathomable anguish, what toil and anxiety, what love and pity,
what loneliness and sorrow, are crowded into those three words, "He
gave himself."

If we as an order would give ourselves to the principles taught by our
institution, we could win the world in the next half century.  If we
are to be truest to the future, we must stand by the side of the Great
Teacher and proclaim a complete and perfect truth.  Our platform should
be neither broader nor narrower than His.  If there is one truth in
revelation that we can not give its proper setting and due emphasis,
then we are not the keepers of God's truth.  To my thinking, there are
no organizations formed by man that can appeal more confidently to the
Word of God for confirmation than the Odd-Fellows.  We appeal to sane
reason and common sense.  No organization can hold up a higher ideal of
individual freedom and worth.  But there is a danger that we become
narrow, that we violate the maxims of sane reason and common sense,
that we lose the balance between individual prerogative and the claims
of a united brotherhood.  We can not accomplish the aims of our order
by onesidedness.  We are to become "all things to all men."  We are not
to be prisms breaking up the rays of light and declaring that this or
that color is the most important.  We as Odd-Fellows are to be lenses,
converging the rays and bringing them to a focus upon the hearts of men
as the white light of God's eternal truth.

This is a practical age, and if we are to win we must demonstrate the
superiority of our faith and practice over that of other claimants, not
only in terms of the Written Word, but also in terms of manhood.
Odd-Fellowship is standing upon the golden dawn of a new morning.  It
is to be a day of battle and conquest.  It is truth blazoned upon the
page of history, that if we as Odd-Fellows are true to our standard, to
our possibilities and to our Maker, he will lay the suffering of a
throbbing world in our arms that we may lay it at the feet of Him who
died to redeem it.  Let us cherish high hopes, noble aims, and lofty
ideals.  Never since the world was peopled has mankind stood in such
anxious expectancy, awaiting the outcome of the immediate future, as in
these closing years of the nineteenth century.  Men are wistfully
trying to peer through the portals of the year nineteen
hundred--marveling, as the effects and forces of applied science is
unfolded to our comprehension, and discovery moves on, each invention
leading in another, in stately procession; we, all the while rapt in
wonder, are straining in hope and fear to catch the coming word, and to
comprehend its import.  Never was speculation so rife, never was the
field of human observation so unobstructed and expanded, nor the
ascertainment and sifting of facts so facile.  Never were opinions more
diverse, nor was it ever so obviously important to detect and assert
the philosophical principle, in recognition and obedience to which the
laws of human government may be preserved and kept in view, and the
retrocession of mankind prevented.  At no stage of history was it more
important to call to mind the great principle that government is a
means, and not an end, and is instituted to maintain those general
liberties which are essential for human happiness and progress.  At
this time, Odd-Fellowship looks toward the future with longing eyes,
and its followers lift high their banner, on which is inscribed that
beautiful motto, "Friendship, Love and Truth."

After all, what lives in this world?  Is it thought pulsations alone or
deeds done?  If thought alone, then the lowest thought coordinated in
the brain of man would live.  Something must be combined with thought
in order to have a lasting effect.  There must be thought and deeds and
sentiment.  Sentiment must go to the very existence of the race.  On
these forces may be built up structures that live and breathe a
benediction on all mankind.  I ask you to cast your eye over the world
and note the permanency of such institutions as have come down to us,
and are alive, and such as we say will live.  I venture your first
question will be: "What is the foundation on which they rest?  Why,
through the slow, revolving years have these institutions lived and
thrived and grown?  Have they lived on greed, or a desire for pelf or
power, or out of human desire for adulation and praise?  Or have they
lived because of man's needs, and out of human wants?"  If we probe to
the bottom we will find this the corner-stone of all laudable
ambitions, because man needs man, and needs help into a higher plane of
usefulness and activities.

We find institutions coming down to us from a date which the memory of
man runs not to the contrary; indeed, some so old that the musty
volumes of the long ago reveal not their origin.  But simply the need
of man for man would not entirely account for the duration of society
in its ancient form.   There must be still other underlying principles.
There must be love and the acknowledgment of the brotherhood of man all
along the way of life, or the family would go to ruin, society would
dissolve, citizenship would not exist, states and principalities,
kingdoms and powers would exist only as an idea in the brain.  There
would be no command to be our brother's keeper, no plighted vow that
"The Lord be between thee and me, and between my seed and thy seed
forever."  Man would, as an individual, stand absolutely alone, like an
atom dropped from the abyssmal depths onto this earth of ours.  The
little wild flower struggles through leafy mold, endures the
tempestuous blast of winter, that when spring comes it may bloom to
gladden the earth and scatter sweet incense all around.  But without
the cementing influence that runs like a thread all through society,
man would not, could not, cast a sweet odor even on his own life, and
dying would leave no benediction on the lives of others.  And here the
command comes, "Gather into thy quiver the lives and aspirations of
others, that fitted to thy bow they may go forth scattering blessings
by your help and by your kindly influence."  So all great achievements
have been based on great fundamental principles, and each principle has
for its object the betterment of the conditions of mankind.

Truth is said to be eternal.  It was just as true at the dawn of
creation that the square described on the hypotenuse of a right-angle
triangle is equal to the square described on the other two sides, as it
was when Pythagoras enunciated the theorem.  "Thou shall not kill," is
a law written by the Divine hand amid tempest and fire, but it stands.
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," rings from the portals of
heaven through the gates of humanity and its command will not go
unheeded.  They are all great fundamental truths.  Do you observe that
they live?  Give heed also to the fact that they stand for a better
condition among men, for more helpfulness and higher elevations.
Truths enunciated, whether old or new, that live, only have one
tendency, viz., to raise man to better conditions.  Since the dawn of
creation there has been a constant tendency to arise from a lower to a
higher estate.  Self-preservation, self-helps, self-culture have been
the trend of thought and action.  And this has not been altogether an
effort in the individual for his own personal advancement, but for the
advancement of the race.  Men have undergone sacrifices, humbled and
almost debased themselves, that the succeeding generation might live on
a higher plane, physically, morally and spiritually, than they
themselves enjoyed.  I do not know of any act of humanity that calls
forth louder praise than to so act and speak and do as that humanity
shall not only catch the inspiration, but shall make material progress
on a better understanding of surrounding conditions.  Odd-Fellowship,
in its essence, is no new institution.  Its principles, practices and
precepts have existed from the beginning of the race.

When Abraham stood with the churlish Lot on the line dividing the
plains and highlands and said, "I pray thee let there be no contention
between thee and me, if thou goest to the right hand I will go to the
left, or, if thou goest to the left hand I will go to the right," he
breathed the pure essence of unselfish devotion to the founder of a
race.  The acts of kindness shown by the traveler as the caravan plods
its tortuous way across the sands of the desert; the mission of the
wise men from the east in search of a Redeemer, all show forth that
trait that you and I, my brother, try to emphasize while vowing
devotion to the triple links.  I said a moment ago that Odd-Fellowship,
in its essence, was no new institution, and so it is not.  As we know
it in reality we have simply crystalized its workings.  Instead of
humanity, by its individual exertion, seeking to perform the task, we,
as an organized band, have taken up the subject.  What was paramount
with individuals has become a living force with the multitude.  What
was before an invitation to duty has now become a command.

In seeking after friendship we do not court the beasts of the fields
and the fowls of the air as the hermit does, but we seek man; not man,
but men; not this little society or faction, but embrace all mankind in
the issue.  If we seek for love it is not love for pelf or power, but
love for man and God.  In truth we do not depend on the right conduct
of individuals, but accept truth as it is written in nature's open
book, emblazoned on the sky of hope that bends over us, and speaks in
all the higher attributes of life.  Time was when the inclination of
men was to withdraw into clans.  Ishmael stood in the desert by himself
with his hand against every man.  His true descendant, the Arabian
sheik, draws his mantle about him, and surrounded by his little band
withdraws within his own circle, and woe betide him who attempts to
break through.  But in this came no advancement, no progress.  The
Ishmaelite of old is the same today.  Wherever progress and advancement
has shown itself it is found that true regard for all mankind has been
the cardinal doctrine.  "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Soon a broad catholicity of ideas seizes the multitude and man no more
lives for himself than he lives for others.  He who lives closest to
the true heart of humanity lives nearest to God.  Show me a man who
lives for himself alone, and you will present almost a social outcast.
Society tolerates him no more.  In all the plans and calculations of
life he is not numbered.

For two thousand years the command has come stronger and stronger for a
closer unity on social lines and fraternal regard.  Not to segregate
but to crystalize and raise the status.  The conditions of our social
life are such that we can not live entirely to ourselves.  The monk may
withdraw himself from the gaze of the world, the anchorite may seek a
hiding place in caves and dens, but they ignore entirely the demands of
society upon them.  If I were the only person in the world there would
be no social problem.  I would commune with myself and God and nature
about me, without reference to my surroundings.  There would be no
social environment; no one to please, no one to whom I am indebted by
nature or acquired obligation, and so I would remain.  But we do not
find the conditions to so exist.  We must look squarely in the face the
facts as they are.  On all sides we are surrounded by a multitude who
rightly make demands of us and which we can not ignore.  If I were
alone, I would do as the patriarchs of old did, erect a little altar of
stone, rude and unsightly, and bow myself down before it and commune
with Deity.  But here we find that different types of men have
different religious views, and different spiritual aspirations, and so
churches must be erected; and while all tend to the same end, each
hopes to reach it by a different route.  I must respect all these
views.  Only one can be my view, but my social surroundings are such
that all have rights which I am bound to yield some obedience to.

Again, if I were alone there would be no need of law, because both good
and bad would be represented in my personality.  There could be no
murder, no crime, no punishment; but with all the manifold people with
different tendencies, there must be law, or the social fabric would go
to pieces by the strong trampling on the weak.  Hence I must stand with
reference to the law on the right side or the wrong side, and all
humanity regardful of each other's rights must line up on one side or
the other.  In addition to our churchly ties and duties, we have family
duties, and there begins the first of duty, first of government, first
of obligations as citizens.  And so I say we live in relation to those
who surround us, and we can not live unmindful of them.  We are touched
by humanity everywhere, and walk elbow to elbow down the vale of life,
supporting or destroying, and whether our pilgrimage be long or short
we can not destroy the facts as they exist.

It must be seen with only a hasty glance that with the varying
conditions of men, with their different mental dispositions, moral
ideas and social status, that a crying demand comes all the time for
some organization where men can unite on a common level--some place
where a divergence of political or moral views do not bar an entrance,
where the family ties remain sacred, and more sacred because of the
organization.  It seems that men groped about for just such an
organization, and men's wants are necessities, and social and civil
status might be brought to a common level with all who might be brought
into the assembly.  It is believed by Odd-Fellows that our organization
furnishes just this want.  All the life that a man wants outside of his
spiritual life has its food here, and society and family and man's
relations to man have been helped by it.  I state it without fear of
contradiction, that no order has been more potent for good than ours.
It has been the hand-maiden of civilization wherever it has established
itself; it has smoothed out the asperities of life for many, many
individuals; it has defended character, protected life and limb, and
stood as champion of all good between man and man and between God and
man.

Every agency by which men are advanced, socially and morally, is an
agency that guides government and state and individual up to a higher
plane of development.  Odd-Fellowship and Christianity go hand in hand.
There is not a tenet of the order in any department that is repugnant
to the highest development of Christianity.  Indeed, it could not be
so, for any lesson that is drawn from the three pillars of our order,
Faith Hope and Charity, is a lesson pointing to the better life here
and hereafter.

In the eighty years, last past, who can estimate the benign influence
of the lives and actions of men, yea, on their eternal destinies, of
the oft-repeated utterances pointing to the Fatherhood of God and the
brotherhood of man--a sermon that has been painted on the bow of God's
eternal promise since Paul stood on the Mars Hill and preached this
everlasting, unchangeable doctrine to the heathen world.  When I think
that since 1830 there has been expended for the relief of the members
of this order and their families millions of dollars, in all right
undertakings, and know that many hearts have ceased to ache, many cold
feet covered, many a tear dried up, many a naked person clothed and
many a hungry mouth fed, it rejoices my heart.  I know also that such
love could not spring from the hearts that were kindled by no spark of
the Divine, but the lesson comes to you and to me, my brother and my
sister, that he who opens not only the granary of earthly substance,
but opens also the portals of the heart, and lets the Divine spark
kindle into a blaze, will be thrice blessed in that day when the jewels
of the eternity are made up.  I do not desire to convey the impression
that all our civilization is the outgrowth of Odd-Fellowship.  We are
too much inclined on such occasions as these to become mutual
admiration societies and think that all the good things that we enjoy
could not have been possible if our particular order had not existed.
I do not wish to convey that impression.  I only desire it to be
understood that this order has been helpful in all right undertakings,
and constantly endeavors to espouse the right and discard the wrong.
It does not take the place of the church or the Sunday school or the
prayer-meeting.  It does not invade the pulpit, but only stands as an
auxiliary to all these institutions that touch the better side of our
natures.  It inveighs against no religion or creed, and has no
religious belief other than that we are brothers; nor does it encroach
upon the domain of the politician.  If Odd-Fellowship had more in it
than the social and restraining influence one meets and is subjected to
in the lodge-room, it would be sufficient inducement to organize and
perpetuate lodges.  No true Odd-Fellow crosses the threshold of his
lodge-room but he feels he is treading on more sacred ground than the
busy marts of trade, or in the office or counting house; he feels that
he is coming home where dwells the purest principles of
humanity--friendship, love and truth.

But there is more in the workings of this order than the social.  Its
object is to touch humanity in all its phases.  To rejoice with those
that rejoice, and weep with those that weep.  It sustains the living
with friendship; causes man to stand firm in his integrity by the truth
it teaches, and embrace the whole world with charity.  The three links
of friendship, love and truth mark the fuller and better development of
this life, reaches beyond the grave, reaches beyond the vision, extends
into the portals of the other and the better life.  We may profess
friendship, but that is an empty profession; our membership in a lodge
is fruitless and our meetings produce no good results unless we have
charity.  It is but a small part that we should perform our mystic
rights, typifying friendship, love and truth, but that we should so
live them and act them that the touch of a member is the touch of a
brother whose words sweeten the asperities of life and whose last
offering is a tribute at the grave.  We may be rudely brought back to
the world with its pomp and show, its pageantry and vanity, by an
emblem of mortality presented to us, but should we not ever have the
spectre of mortality before our eyes?  In the mad rush through life we
forget the kinship of man to man.  We are too often forgetful that the
hand of a brother is reaching upward for succor.  We forget that we are
mortal, and the heart grows cold; our sympathies extend only to those
around and nearest to us, forgetful that all mankind is our brother,
and that he is especially our brother and friend who has mercy.  But in
this mad rush in life we are suddenly and almost rudely brought back to
a full realization of our mortality, our helplessness, our emptiness,
our nothingness, when we stand at the grave of our departed brother and
reflect that here lies one who was born and had ambitions and died as
we must die.  His ambitions and hopes all went in the grave with him.
The little grassy mound and the little marble slab is all that remains
visible to tell us that he was our brother.  Life would hardly be worth
living; its struggles would be disastrous, its triumphs vain, empty
bubbles, if the clods that fall upon the coffin and the sprig of
evergreen tell the whole story of an Odd-Fellow.  No, the very fact
that we bury our departed brother teaches us that the grave is not the
end of all.  Though our brother dies he shall live in our hearts, in
the flowers that we cast, in the precious memories that forever cluster
around the links, the heart and the hand, the altar and the hour glass.
When the supreme moment comes and the brother gathers his arrows into
his quiver and fades from sight into the grave, we know that he has
passed the portal into the land of the eternal, but the quiver and the
arrows will ever stand as the badge of friendship.  The heart may cease
to beat, and the hand fall listless in death, yet the heart and hand
will ever be emblems of love, and denote that when the hand of an
Odd-Fellow is extended his heart goes with it.

The good Odd-Fellow has constantly before his mind the book of books.
His first sight into a lodge-room catches sight of that divine missive
to man.  It is his solace in life, and its precepts his consolation in
death.  It ever stands to him as an exhaustless fountain of truth.  On
these three cardinal principles he lives and dies, and in the constancy
of that life we venerate his memory and do him kindly offices.  It is
the nature of a man to be communistic.  It is only the anchorite that
withdraws himself from the societies of man and communes with himself
and his God.  All right-thinking men desire and enjoy the society of
their kind and kindred spirits.  You had as well lock the sane man in
the felon's cell as to doom him to live without the society of his
fellows.  The family is the first and best society.  Perhaps the church
is next, which is only the human family on a larger scale, fitting and
preparing the members for a community in that house not made by hands.
Next to my church I prize the secret organization to which I belong,
where the cardinal principles of our holy Christianity are taught.  The
deathless friendship of David and Jonathan teaches me that though I may
live in the king's palace, be clothed in purple and fine linen every
day, be in the line of regal succession, yet I do not live to myself.

I would herald broadcast that tenet of our order, "that we do for
others as we would have others do for us, and that if I find my brother
in distress, I must bind up his wounds, lift him from the quagmire of
despond and set him on his feet."  If any lesson stands out boldly
before the mind of the Odd-Fellow it is truth.  He finds it on his
banner wherever he goes.  Friendship is ephemeral.  It lasts only
through life.  It may die, it will die.  The grave ends it all.  The
silent messenger that comes to king and peasant alike, and causes the
scepter of the monarch to be laid by the crook of the shepherd, ends
our friendship.  Love comes from God.  God is love.  It touches us at
every point of our lives.  From the cradle to the grave, every moment
of our lives we are the objects of love to some one, and we love in
turn.  But human love must end.  After life's fitful dream, the cares
and vanities, the vexations and pleasures of life have no terror or
concern for us, the love that thrilled our whole being will return to
the source from whence it came.  But truth will never die.  It is the
"imperial virtue."  The heart may fail; it will fail, and the hand fall
listless by the side.  The arrow will fall after being shot into the
air and never return, and the bow will be broken; the altar will be
thrown down; the sand, grain by grain, run through the hour-glass, and
the glass be shattered; the eye grow dim; the world roll up as a scroll
and pass away; the hills may crumble and the pyramids melt with fervent
heat; all the friendships will die and the love return to the Father
that begat it, but truth will stand.  It is indeed the imperial and the
imperishable virtue.  There, above the chaos and the confusion of time,
it will stand to warn men from the wrong, and beckon them to do right.

Despite the glamor of the world that secret societies propagate a
secresy of men's actions at the expense of truth and justice, it can
not obtain in a lodge of this order.  No man ever took upon himself the
vows and studied the underlying motives, and practiced the lessons of
the order, but he becomes a better citizen.  If he has become a good
husband and father, he becomes better in his domestic relations.  If he
has been charitable before, he becomes more so now.  Men's weaknesses
he looks upon as human frailties, until time and sense teach him that
frailties have degenerated into positive perversity of character and
baseness of heart.  He will condemn falsehood and hypocrisy wherever
found.

The object of religious organizations is to make men better and fit
them for the life immortal.  The object of government and its laws is
to make and protect good citizens and repress vice.  The object of this
secret organization is to bind men more firmly together for mutual
protection, for help and sustenance, to look after their families, and
to be in a broad sense our brother's keeper.  I would not be understood
as placing a secret organization in place of the church, or in the
place of a political government.  By no means.  Each has its own proper
and particular sphere of action.  No one in its actions and endeavors
is inimical to the actions of the others.  Each rests on its own
peculiar foundation, but all dovetail together, and all make a
harmonious whole.  The man who is a good Christian is better by being a
good Odd-Fellow.  If both a good Christian and a good Odd-Fellow, he
comes nearer being the typical citizen.  If man reveres the law of this
order, he will have more devotion to his church, his home, his flag and
his country.  I have no fault to find with those who do not believe in
uniting with a secret organization, but I do object to any man
inveighing against the objects and purposes, the ends and aims, of our
order when he knows nothing about it.  I do not expect every man to
belong to my church, for men in their constitution and mental make-up
can not see alike theologically.  But I do accord to every member of
every church the hope of getting to heaven if he lives up to the
teachings of this particular sect.  I believe in justification by faith
and good works, but I have no use for a man who decries this doctrine
when he never exercised a particle of faith nor did a good deed in his
life.  And so I would say to any one who thinks he stands on some lofty
pinnacle and scents danger to the family tie, or church, or state, or
society, because of the existence of secret orders, that he thinks and
talks of something he knows nothing about.  If I should desire to draw
comparisons, I could say truthfully that during the last year this
order gave more in charity and benefits to its members in Illinois than
any religious denomination in the state.  Look around your own
community and see if it be not so.  Think of the widow with
tear-stained cheek, from whose door the wolf has been kept, because the
charitable hand of our order was upon her.  Count the orphan children
of members of our order who have had shoes put on their feet, clothes
put on their backs and food in their mouths.  Enumerate the sufferers
on beds of anguish, racked with pain and scorched with fever, who have
had the nightly vigil of Odd-Fellows to smooth their pillows, dampen
their parched lips and moisten their feverish brows.  Watch the funeral
pageant with its long train of mourners, brothers, dropping the
evergreen in the grave, and doing the last sad offices, and then croak
no more that secret societies are baneful to our civilization.  He who
thus sustains and soothes and encourages will be reckoned as twice
blessed in that day when the secrets of all hearts are disclosed, and
men are rewarded according to the deeds done in the body.

"[*]Some years ago I stood out on the great plains this side of Denver.
To the north, the south and the east was one vast stretch of plains,
the eye interrupted only by the horizon.  I turned and looked to the
west, and clearly outlined in the distance was the chain of the Rocky
Mountains--the backbone of the continent.  There I saw Long's Peak,
Pike's Peak, and the Spanish Peaks, as mighty sentinels--watch
towers--that had served as landmarks to many a weary traveler on the
Santa Fe trail.  They stood as the manifestation of the might of an
Omnipotent Power.  So I turn to the record made by this order in the
last eighty years, and find colossal sums of money--not hoarded, but
collected to relieve humanity, to educate the orphan, to bury the dead
and to befriend the widow.  I see arising, as if by magic, asylums for
our needy.  I see a great host, one million strong, advancing, shoulder
to shoulder, elbow touching elbow, all bent on deeds of mercy and acts
of love.  Are not these also mighty sentinels erected amid this
surging, striving throng of humanity to serve to guide man in the road
to a higher and better life?  These peaks of the Rockies may crumble
and pass away, but a force for good once set in motion never loses its
force.  It is eternal.  To beautify, to strengthen, to adorn and to
expand our order and more fully present its magnificence to the world,
we have the department of Patriarchs Militant.  It depicts as gallant a
band as ever marched to the sound of martial music or deployed for
battle.  As the knights under Richard Couer de Leon or Peter the Hermit
marched forth to rescue the Holy Sepulcher from the hand of the infidel
and guard its sacred entablatures, so will our chevaliers as bravely
guard our ritual, our mystic rights, our honor, the honor of our
mothers wives and sisters, as a sacred trust.

"And so our order moves forward to greater conquests.  In the past it
has worked marvels for humanity.  May we not, for the future, predict
better and more highly wrought out achievements?  Humanity has been
taken as it is and in the progress of refinement has been raised to a
higher standard.  It is the hand-maiden of civilization that works
under even yoke for the best sides of humanity.  While it does not
displace or attempt to displace the church, it aids.  It has
friendship, love and truth as the three human graces, and clings to
faith, hope and charity as the Christian virtues.  It is now like the
city that is set upon the hill.  It can not be hid.  Out upon a rocky
point of the ocean's shore at Minot's ledge is a great light-house,
erected by the fostering care of the government to protect the mariners
on the high seas.  Its great light swings around, now flashing on the
land and now sending its rays far out across the billowy ocean.  It is
a grateful act of a great government.  Many a bewildered seaman has
caught its rays and sheared the prow of his ship further out to sea to
avoid the dangerous shoals.

"So we, imitating the kind of example of the generous government, and
measuring our acts by the example of the blessed Master, have erected a
light-house here for the protection of humanity from its ills.  Now it
shines on us as mortals hastening to a final consummation of things;
again it throws its beams out across the illimitable sea of hope, where
sooner or later we all may ride, and by the light here given we may
steer our bark into a haven of final rest.  Today we are on the
tempestuous ocean of life.  We who feel that we are on the deck, let us
throw the life-line and the life-preservers to him who is about to
sink.  Let us make this order even a greater light-house than our
fathers ever dreamed of.  It can be done, because it is so ordained.
What God in his good providence orders can be, will be accomplished.
With thankful hearts we have passed over more than three quarters of a
century of existence as an organization.  We are speeding onward to the
century mark, and whether we remain to see its wonderful processes or
not, humanity will be here demanding just what we have done in the
past.  Let us lay the work strong today and transmit it in higher
forms, so that the end of the century of our existence as an order
shall see better life, better hope and higher aspirations.  Let the
Subordinates, Patriarchs, Rebekahs and Chevaliers all form a cordon
around the altar of our beloved order, where the fires shall never be
extinguished while friendship, love and truth endures, and faith, hope
and charity are necessities.

"Grand as has been the record of Odd-Fellowship from 1819 to the
present, it is but the sunbeams from the birth of the day that will
develop grandly into a magnificence that shall combine all the charms
of the morning, the glare of the noontide, and the blaze of a sunset
splendor in an endless panorama of glory and grandeur.  And if, with
such a picture before our eyes, painted by a faith founded upon the
achievements of eighty years, and our intimate knowledge of the vast
practical benevolence that begins at the cradle and ends only at the
gate of heaven, the Odd-Fellow is not dazzled by the sublimity of
Odd-Fellowship and awed into a reverence for its work and character,
there is a lamentable defect in his appreciation of the beautiful, and
an utter failure to read the joys and dignity and influence of a
properly developed and appreciative Odd-Fellow.  Let it never be
forgotten that there is nothing groveling in Odd-Fellowship.  Mutual
relief, it is true, is a leading office in our affiliation, but
Odd-Fellowship seeks to elevate the character of man, make him what God
intended him to be; and while such a helpful influence is extended to
each one of us who have chosen to come within its holy power, may we
endeavor to lift ourselves up to the high standard of the order of
which we are a part, faithfully discharging our duties to ourselves and
to the world; shedding its benign influence and hallowed inspiration
alike in the palace with its draped windows and velvet laden floors and
in the cottage nestling among the flowers of the humble dooryard;
glowing with the same peerless luster in halls of learning and in
workshop and factory; kissing with the same tender, holy touch the
rough hand that guides the implement of industry, and the soft hand
that guides the pen; making character the test of merit and the heart
the bond of friendship, and recognizing the equality and holy influence
of noble womanhood.  Odd-Fellowship is the unerring, resplendent
guiding star to that grand development of human nature to which hope
looks forward with such ardent joy, when one law shall bind all
nations, tongues and kindred, and that law will be the law of universal
brotherhood."


[*]Extract from address delivered by Hon. E. G. Hogate.





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