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important committee. It is a committee of judges, and should be a discriminating and an impartial one. It should be an intelligent one. It should consist of men of firmness, such as would have “justice done, though the heavens fall.” It should not be in too great haste, but take sufficient time to weigh and consider well the business it has to perform. While it should not screen the guilty, it must not hesitate to shield the innocent. Too many charges have been preferred in this Order from malicious motives; too many from frivolous causes; too many from pecuniary difficulties. We have kn wn a man to bring a charge against a brother who owed him (the charger) money which he could not pay; which charge the Lodge received, and afterward permitted the base complain. ant to withdraw; yet the poor brother, had he pos sessed the friends and the means, might have crushew the wretch who, in the very Temple of “ Friendship, Love, and Truth”-Heaven save the mark !-sought. an infamous revenge. This committee must discriminate between such men and those who bring charges only for the general good. They must weigh and examine well the probable motive of the prosecutor; and, if they find it unworthy, whether the brother charged be proven innocent or guilty, they should cause a searching investigation to be made of the whole matter between the two. They must not. suffer wealth, or standing, or influence to blind them; the sword of Justice should descend on the guilty, whether he be Crosus or Lazarus. Neither fear nor favor, neither pity nor regret, should lighten thati blow in the weight of a single hair.
Payment of Dues.
ROTHER, “whenever you visit
Such were the words that for-
brother as a part of his instructions.
So much has been said and written on this matter, and so really and palpably important is it to every member of the Or.
der, that it is scarcely possible to preBent any new idea on the subject. The payment of dues is so necessary to the life and being of an Odd-Fellow, as such, and of the Order at large, that a general failure in it would destroy us and our means of good in a year's time. We would advise the brotherhood by all means to pay in advance. Those who find it difficult to command or to spare the necessary amount for a quarter's dues, should pay weekly. Ten or fifteen cents paid each week would not be missed, and any brother can easily do it; but even this it would be well to pay a week in advance Brothers, keep yourselves beyond the reach of acci. dent. Pay in advance.
Behavior in the Lodge.
URING the working-hours of the Lodge, brothers should conduct themselves with propriety and decorum. We would call particular attention to this subject. It is the object of all our cere
monies to make a good as well as indelible impression on the minds of those who would become Odd-Fellows. There is a solemnity in the “work”—
-a reality in the emblems-a truth in the official instructions which should not be trifled with. It would seem to be a mere farce to ask another to be
serious, while all around him are talking and laughing. We do not say that any Lodge has so far forgotten its dignity as to act thus—we accuse none --but we say plainly, that, if any Lodge should perform its work in the midst of confusion or uproar, it would bring a scandal upon the Order, for which it would deserve to be severely reprimanded. Such conduct, indeed, if indulged and permitted for a single evening, would soon show its fruits out of the Lodge. We may rely upon it, the world would soon laugh at us, if we should begin the joke ourselves. If we wish to have our “mysteries" preserved, therefore, we must most sincerely respect them, and thus give an example which will command respect from others.
Brothers should also be attentive in the Lodge to its regular business ; they should listen to whatever may be proceeding, in order that they may be able to vote upon it with a correct apprehension of its propriety or importance. Neither should a brother “ dodge” a question, or refuse or neglect to vote upon it, without a very substantial reason.
Behavior out of the Lodge.
DD-FELLOWS should endeavor to convince the world, by their conduct as neighbors and citizens, that the teachings and objects of their Institution tend to make them wiser and better men.
They should be upright and correct in their dealings-should be charitable and benevolent-willing to relieve the digtresses and wants of the poor, when they may do so consistently. They should be industrious and virtuous, and provide for those dependent upon them. The Odd-Fellow who
behaves ill to his family, either personally in not providing for their wants, or by idling away his time in dissipation and drunkenness, should be accused before his Lodge, and condemned for conduct unbecoming his profession.
It is well enough for Odd-Fellows to encourage each other in business, preferring to employ brothers rather than strangers, provided they can be accomnodated equally as well. This they are not of course enjoined to do by the laws of the Order; but they may as brothers prefer one another, and no reasonable man can consistently complain of such preference.
Brothers should be strictly cautious in their conversations and communications with others relative to the business of their Lodges. They should not only make no improper discovery to the uninformed, but they should also not, by any hint or double entendre, excite the curiosity of the world. They should never forget that inquisitive people are constantly on the alert to catch at any word on this subject which, they imagine, may enlighten them with reference to our “secrecy.”
We have sometimes thought that Odd-Fellows themselves have been to blame for the opposition our "secrets" have encountered. They are not, in all cases, sufficiently careful in their conversations on this subject. Indeed, they have misrepresented facts, kiy absurdly hinting to their friends and neighbors that there is something in our rites and mysteries extremely awful or ridiculous. They have mischievously pretended that the candidate for Odd-Fellowship must undergo a certain terrifying ordeal, and that he must "ride a goat !” We contend that all this is not only foolish, but scandalous. No brother has a right to bring reproach upon the Order by promulgating such trash.
We would impress upon the minds of the brotherhood the importance of not only keeping our secrets, but of discouraging, in every possible manner, the practice of misrepresenting them. If we are truly Odd-Fellows, we shall keep our mysteries inviolate.