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Those whc fail to do this have not well learned the lessons they have been taught. They should study them over again, and commit to memory some of thu instructions they have received ; so that, by their example, they may convince the world that “good
fuith” and virtue are the peculiar characteristics of a true Odd-Fellow; for, according to our laws, we can be Odd-Fellows only while we act like honest men. Brethren! let us remember this.
Duty of one Member toward Another.
VERY one should feel and display
a deep interest in the prosperity of the society in which he has a part. Its interests are his interests; he, too, is a professed sup
porter of its objects; he is, as far as his abilities go, responsible for its proceedings; he will actively concern himself for the faithful preservation of its tenets; he will rejoice in its peaceful state of activity. This only is to be accomplished by a continued affability dad familiarity of manner toward those among whom he associates;
austerity, pride, and pedantry are the three greatest enemies to such a consummation: he will not, therefore, by exercising an undue degree of the baneful tendency of self-opinion, destroy that fellow
feeling so requisite among all who enter a Lodge
Let no degree of slight originate between us, because the individual who sits next to us has, by his ordinary avocation, a more grimsy dye upon his features, or the shallowness of his purse causes his coat to be made of a coarser material than our own. lis interests in the Lodge are conjointly formed with ours ; consequently, so long as the principles of the Order are held in deference and esteem by him, he deserves the same mark of respect from us which perchance is due from us to others of a higher caste. Again, let not the latter party imagine a slight where none is meant. His fellow-member's carriage and deportment in common life may seem to rank nigh to pedantry, or his style of language and general comportment seem like affectation; still, however dissonant it may be to our own feelings, he may hold good the principles of Odd-Fellowship, and condemnation of his demeanor is not justifiable without sufficient proof to his prejudice. On either hand we must withhold judgment until experience shall have decided us. Particularities should have very little to do with the Order, which is noble and plastic, is meant for the world, and is adapted for man in all his diversified circumstances ; equality and brotherbood should be our greatest aim, whether in the Lodge-room or in the world.
In all our dealings, all our discussional points, let us not assume a loftier degree of superiority than the most well-founded pretensions can warrant; neither let us not lack spirit enough to think ourselves inferior to those who by dint of pleasing though powerful language may carry an argument, when the smallest iota of sound reason may tell us we excel them. To dwell on our own distinctive points, or
those of other parties, has an alienating and divisive tendency. The very nature of things tells us that arrogant pretensions enkindle resistance; that ascen. dancy generates discontent; that insolence awakens
Again, fear produces contempt; truculence strengthens authority; adulation confirms pride. To enjoy more fully the desirable connection which our frequent intercourse affords, we should ever gr&ce our conduct to each other with mildness, and generosity, and frankness, and confidence; always open to advice when needful, whether it emanate from those whom we may consider a grade below us, or from those in a station superior to our own; and ever ready to perform the same office to others, as far as in us lies, without pride and arrogance, always remembering that cordial affability generally begets esteem. Under any other system social kindness dies away, and jealousy, resentment, and envy usurp its place. But what need be said more than this
we are members one of another,” and we should ever nourish a feeling of brotherly love to all who join us. The “law of love" is the rule of Christian intercourse: let not a perversion of its principles be shown among Odd-Fellows. To every one we should stand ready to exercise kindness, gentleness, forbearance, fidelity. To any that are erring from the strict path of rectitude, we should be assiduous in imparting warning, reproof, and instruction—thereby cementing more tirmly the bonds which endear us. To the afflicted we should administer, as far as ability will admit, to their comfort; at the same time manifest our sympathy. By thus bringing together our good intentions, and combining their influences, every individual will partake of the general energy. Our scattered light will thus be ccncen. trated into one orb, shedding a lustrous halo on all around.
Toward those who are elected our officers let us exercise a beseeming degree of respect and deference, that they may find we do not set an idle value upon the offices they fill. By our own voice they preside over us, and consequently we virtual.y engage to accept their instruction in all that pertaineth to the good of the Order. Hence, members of the Order are expected to welcome official admonition, reproof, and advice. We mean no slavish mental or bodily fear or adulation ; no sacrifice of conscience or judgment; but a readiness to hear the inculcation of the different principles of the Order; a uniform obedience to its laws, however apparently disagreeable. This is a duty we solemnly promise when we enter a Lodge, and to swerve from such duty is a gross violation of honor as a man and an Odd-Fellow.
Odd-Fellowship is, in our opinion, founded on the strictest principles of piety; and we must perceive, in its social regulations, that the happiness of an individual member must rise or fall in proportion to the interest he feels in the welfare of his fellowmembers, and for the preservation of the Order in
Like the heavenly bodies, which are preserved in their relative position to each other by their common attraction to the sun, Odd-Fellows are kept in unison with each other by their attachment to principles which directly govern them. Those who cannot heartily perform the social duties of OddFellowship, want an essential mark of fellow-feeling to mankind in general. What other proof need be afforded of the efficacy and moral tendency of the Order, than the increasing, and rapid, and astonishing progress it has made throughout the world within
the last few years ? As the light of intellect improves, Odd-Fellowship will acquire adherents and keep pace with it. Wherever it once becomes known, its benign influences are embraced, and no excitement is needed to blazon forth its precepts to accumulate disciples. Opposition has been made to itis likely to be made-by the base, the self-sufficient, and the unworthy ; but its purity has ever stood the fiery ordeal, and come forth in more vivid colors—its pristine brightness untarnished, unsullied.
Let us, then, persist in the glorious work we have commenced, with vigor and unflinching stability; let our bark, while sailing on the extensive ocean of Fellowship, be guided by the compass of justice; and, if we may continue the metaphor, let us perseveringly pursue the track its needle indicates; that, when arrived at our destined haven, we may, with a pure consciousness of having supported to the utmost our purpose of benevolence and charity, securely recline our heads on the satisfactory pillow of contentment, and indulge in the aspiring hope that when summoned from this sublunary sphere, we may meet with an eternal welcome in that “angel-land" where “sorrow intrudes not”- where “the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest."