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lowship, we have no reason to apprehend persecution or opposition, yet if we desire more than the forbearance, and would gain the approbation of the public, we must so far disclose our operations and intentions, as to satisfy the world, not only of our inclination, but of our ability to effect some useful object. The readiest means of doing this, is to show what we have already done, that thus the public may be enabled to judge, what we are likely to do, when our institution may have become perfected, by time and experience. Among the many beneficial effects likely to be produced by Odd-Fellowship as established in the United States, by no means the least important, is its tendency to promote a union of feeling and interest, among the various portions of our widely extended and highly diversified country. In a country like ours, embracing every variety of soil, climate and production, and every diversity of pursuit and interest, it was necessary that a government should be established, which while it maintained the several interests of the parts, preserved the integrity of the whole. To effect this our Federal form of government was adopted; a government composed of several independent sovereignties, united as one people, in their relations to the other nations of the earth, but separate and distinct, in their internal and local regulation and government.

It was thought by this system, a system at once of attraction and repulsion, the independence of the several States might be sufficiently preserved, for the protection of their several interests, while sufficient consistency and coherence would be given to the union, to make it respected among the nations of the earth.

Experience has taught us the extreme difficulty of maintaining the proper equilibrium between these conflicting forces; and while on the one hand, by increasing the powers of the general government the interest of the smaller and weaker States have suffered, on the other hand by diminishing its strength, our respectability and influence as a nation has been lessened, and the existence of our union seriously endangered.

After various modifications and alterations, our government has at length assumed a sufficiently consolidated form, to make itself felt and respected by the other powers of the world; yet is there something wanting, which while it interferes not with the sacred prerogative of State sovereignty, will unite us more closely as one people in the sacred bonds of Friendship and brotherhood.

I do not pretend that this great political problem has been solved by Odd-Fellowship, yet I do maintain, that its principles when well understood and thoroughly carried into practice, are well calculated to establish a union-not of consolidated power—but of brotherly love, not of force, but of sympathy-which may long preserve us against those intestine divisions and broils, which have so often threatened to rend asunder the fair fabric of our government.

The system upon which our Order has been organized in the United States, gives colour and plausibility to the view I have presented. An organization extending throughout the several States of the Union, yet for certain purposes, and under certain restraints, acknowledging the control and direction of one common head. The Lodges of the several States, revolving in harmony around their respective centres, the Grand Lodges of the States, and those again moving peacefully in their several orbits,

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around the great head of all, the Grand Lodge of the Union. Here we have a thoroughly organized system, based upon the principles of one political confederation, and by the heavenly precepts of unity and brotherhood, strengthening those natural ties that should bind us together as fellowcitizens of one great republic. Could any system be devised better calculated to remove those local prejudices and sectional feelings, with which our beloved country has been so often distracted; can any scheme be fixed upon, by which the bitter asperities of party feeling are more likely to be allayed than this. When the citizen of the South is taught to look upon the citizen of the North as his brother, and the citizen of the North find himself received in the open arms of Friendship at the South ; when the Odd-Fellow from the East feels the cordial grasp of fraternity from his brother of the West; and the member of our Order, from whatsoever quarter of the Union he may come, or wherever he may go, finds himself no longer a stranger in a strange land, but surrounded by brothers and friends; surely this, if any thing, will serve to bind together, in the indissoluble bonds of unity and brotherhood, the various portions of our beloved country. If thus Odd-Fellowship, without becoming a party engine, has a tendency to strengthen our political fabric, and without increasing the already dangerous powers of the general government, of binding still closer the bond of our union, I ask, should it not be entitled to the highest consideration from the statesman and patriot? and should we not all unite, in promoting the interests of a cause, calculated to effect that, which was the fervent prayer of the great Father of his country, the perpetuity of our glorious Union?

But need we confine the benefits of Odd-Fellowship, in ameleorating the political condition of mankind to our own country, and will I be accused of extravagance, if I venture to make a still more extended applicațion of its benevolent principles, and dare hope that through its influence an important reformation, if not an entire revolution, in the Political History of the World, may some day be effected? To those who understand the nature of the obligations we owe to each other, and the ties by which we are united, it will by no means seem impossible, that by its means the political agitations and devastating wars that have so often laid desolate the fairest portions of Christendom, may be, if not entirely suppressed, at least greatly alleviated and modified.

It has long been a subject of regret to men of extended and liberal views and benevolent hearts, that no method of adjusting serious differences between nations has yet been devised, except an appeal to arms; and the attention which has of late years been bestowed upon this subject, shows that there is a strong disposition on the part of all good men of the present day, to co-operate in effecting the entire abolition of this most disgraceful relic of a barbarous and savage age. Every Odd-Fellow who hears me, and who understands the duties he has assumed, and is properly impressed with the solemnity of the obligations he has taken, will at once understand what an efficient auxilliary our institution must be in effecting this glorious reformation.

Who that has read those well authenticated instances in history, when amid the blood and carnage of the battle field, the uplifted steel has been stayed in its descent by one mystic word or sign, can doubt the efficacy of Odd-Fellowship in alleviating the dreadful horrors of war; who that has experienced, the unity of sympathy and feeling it produces, among citizens of countries the most remote and governments the most diverse, will dispute its power in eradicating that savage principle of our nature which prompts us to look upon every stranger as an enemy? If by enlarging the circle of human sympathies, and by teaching men their duty to, and dependence upon, each other-if by uniting around one common altar, the Jew, the Turk, and the Christian, the subject of the potentates of the old world, and the free citizen of the new, and teaching them to mingle the incense of their hearts in one common offering to a God whom we all unite in adoring, if by doing this we can teach men to regard each other as brothers and members of one great family, and can allay those bitter feelings engendered by diversity of interest, government or religion, surely we may claim the honor of having contributed somewhat to promote the spreading of that heavenly message, which bespeaks peace on earth and good will towards all mankind.

To the uninitiated these expectations may seem extravagant and visionary, but the worthy Odd. Fellow will never despair while so great a moral good remains to be effected, and while he is led on by the glorious inspiration of Hope, which like

“The bright pillar that rose at Heaven's command,
When Israel marched along the desert land,
Blazed through the night, on lonely wilds afar,

And told the path a never failing star.” But by far the most beautiful feature of our institution is its tendency to elevate and enoble man's moral nature. We teach morality, not by the inculcation of dry moral precepts, or the infliction of rigid and severe penalties, but by means of a beautiful system of theoretical and practical virtue, which while it instructs us in the principles of morality, enjoins upon us the practice of every social virtue. It is not content that men should know the right, but requires that they should the right pursue; and while it teaches us to regard each other as brothers, enforces by rigid laws those practices towards each other which would naturally be the result of such a near relationship. It learns us to love virtue for its own sake, and to practice it because of its tendency to promote our temporal and eternal happiness—it inculcates humanity by enjoining upon us to open our hearts in sympathy with the afflicted, and teaches us the beauty of benevolence and charity, by requiring us to relieve the wants of suffering humanity whenever it is in our power so to do. It undertakes to instruct the mind and discipline the heart, to develope the good and control the bad impulses of our nature.

But Odd-Fellowship has a tendency to establish a high standard of morality in a community. To gain admission into our Order, the applicant must come with an unstained character and an unblemished reputation. Wealth, talent, influence, station and office are of no avail if the moral character of the man be bad. The vicious man, though arrayed in the panoply of wealth and power, has shrunk from our severe ordeal, or else has been exposed in his vain attempt to pollute our sanctuary with his unholy presence. Haughty vice has been thrust back, and humble merit brought forward. The arbitrary and foolish distinctions of society, founded upon wealth alone, are not known in our Lodge, and the humble but meritorious brother has found that among Odd-Fellows at least his worth is duly appreciated.

In a community where wealth is power, and haughty ambition rides over humble merit in its career; where vice and crime are no impediments to success in political and worldly affairs, it is cheering to the heart to know that there is at least one sanctuary where the bad man may not come, and where ability without virtue is insufficient to ensure success.

But Odd-Fellowship is also a highly social institution. Its tendency to promote friendship and good feeling among its members is one of its most beautiful features. In this age of selfishness, where individual ag. grandizement is the chief motive of human actions, and men in their daily struggles for wealth or power, are continually coming into violent collision with each other, it is pleasing to reflect that an institution has been established, by which confidence among men is created, and an opportunity given for the free exercise of all the finer and nobler feelings and imputses of our nature. Nothing is so fatal to friendship as distrust, , and when men are taught to act towards their most intimate friends, as if they might some day become enemies, they soon learn to check all those exhibitions of feeling and sympathy which might expose them to the schemes of the cunning and designing, or subject them to the ridicule of the worldly and heartless. But among Odd-Fellows, where man meets man as his brother and equal—when, from the moment he enters our sacred walls, he becomes indissolubly united to bis fellow members in the holy bonds of Friendship, Love and Truth, and becomes bound under the most sacred obligations of secrecy-here and here alone, does he feel safe in opening the inmost recesses of his heart-and laying bare all his cares, his woes and his sorrows—and here alone can he give full scope to all the warm affections and noble impulses of his nature, or seek the consolation and sympathy of his fellows without fear of exposure or ridicule.

In the ordinary intercourse of society, our advances of Friendship may be met by coldness, indifference and scorn; our confidence may be followed by treachery and betrayal, our exhibition of sympathy may be received with suspicion and distrust, and our charity may be bestowed upon an unworthy object, and perhaps turned into ridicule by the very recipient of our bounty. But Odd-Fellowship, by establishing a reciprocal confidence, opens the pure fountains of Friendship and Love, and gives full opportunity for the development of all those noble impulses and kindly affections of the heart, which exalt our nation above the dull things of earth, and place us but a little lower than the angels in the scale of created beings.

But viewed merely in the light of an association for the purpose of affording pecuniary assistance to its members in case of need, Odd-Fellowship presents many features worthy of our highest admiration. By means of association—that great principle of modern civilization by which cities have been built, rivers turned from their channels, and even "old ocean's gray and melancholy waste," made subservient to the wants of man, OddFellowship proposes to effect that which individual charity never could accomplish.

Under the best of governments and in the most prosperous times we are liable to misfortunes, which no human foresight can guard against, and no human prudence prevent. Independently of the natural causes


which may in the twinkling of an eye, blight our fairest hopes, and lay prostrate in the dust the hard earnings of many a weary hour of toil and labour, there are other causes continually at work, to sap the foundations of human happiness and prosperity. Envy, hatred, and rivalry, are still to be found in the world ; and in the fierce struggle for wealth and honors, no man knows how soon he may be supplanted by a wily adversary, or foiled by a malignant foe. The race is not to the swift

, nor the battle to the strong, and success in worldly matters depends so often upon accidental circumstances, that the great race of human life may be well compared to a game of chance, where although much depends upon the skill of the player, still more depends upon the wild caprice of fortune.

To guard its members against these strange vicissitudes is one of the objects of Odd Fellowship, and thus it may not improperly be called a mutual insurance association, where, in consideration of a trifling weekly contribution, the worthy brother has guaranteed to him a regular allowance during sickness, and assistance in case of actual necessity and want. Thus the Odd-Fellow is not thrown upon the cold charity of a heartless world, but applies for assistance to that fund which he has contributed to raise, and upon which he has a right to rely for aid. He feels none of that galling sense of dependence which the reception of charity from strangers produces, but fearlessly throws himself upon those resources to which he has a legal and equitable right, with the full confidence that they will not be denied him or grudgingly bestowed.

The subject of education is one entitled to great consideration by our Order. It is true, that has not yet attracted that attention to which it is so justly entitled. By many it may not be known that we have a fund sacredly set apart for the education of the orphan children of our deceased brothers-a fund, inviolable for any other purpose, and consequently so far steadily on the increase-already in some of the Northern Lodges schools have been established, expressly for the education of the children of deceased Odd-Fellows, and at a recent celebration at Baltimore the pleasing spectacle was exhibited of some fifty or sixty orphan children moving in the procession, who were being educated and supported by the Lodges of that city. As yet in our own State we have been able to do but little in the cause of education, yet who can tell but from this feature of our institution, a system of education may arise which will put to the blush all the feeble efforts heretofore made by our legislators and statesmen. But it is in the house of sickness, and by the couch of the dying man, that the Odd-Fellow finds full scope for the exercise of the gloricus principles of benevolence which we profess.

When the cold clammy sweat of death hangs upon the pale brow of a dying brother, and the dark shadows of oblivion are stealing over his external senses—when his feeble lamp of life flickers in its socket, and he is about closing his eyes forever upon the world, which never before seemed so bright and fair. Oh—who is it then that is found by his side offering him words of heavenly consolation, and sustaining him in that last dark hour of his earthly existence? Who is it that accompanies him as it were to the very portals of the grave, encouraging and cheering him in that last fatal encounter with the dark angel of death? Ask the bereaved families of those of our number who have already been summoned to appear before the awful tribunal of eternal justice, and they will tell you

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