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culiar office of Odd Fellowship to promote. Constituted upon certain abstract general truths, which are equally axioms among all the nations of whatever tongue or creed, its comprehensive and tolerant principles present an attractive nucleus, which gathers within its orbit by its gentle influences, jew and gentile and every nature however antagonist, stilling in its ministerings all elements of discord, and directing in singular harmony their united energies in extending the dominion of man's brotherhood to man. Under its broad folds the divided families of the earth may reunite, without violence to social, moral, national, religious or political creeds, linked hand in hand, with hearis full of love for their kind, however they may be tossed upon the tumultuous sea of self or party, without its happy sphere. This is the great first principle of the work of Odd-Fellowshipa precious heritage which its projectors have transmitted to us. It is written in the fundamental work of the Order that every free white male citizen of lawful age, of good moral character who acknowledges a great Supreme Architect, the Creator and preserver of the Universe, is admissible within the family of Odd Fellows. For this, well devised and wisely considered principle, we are indebted, profoundly indebted, to the discriminating and well judging foresight of our ancestors in the Order.The sacred, unchanged, and unchangable fixedness of this element of our work, is in point of fact the secure, solid and steadfast corner stone of the structure, the secret of its strength, the mystery of its rule, and dominion, and power over enlightened man, while it is the stumbling block to the bigot and the fanatic. Let it not be turned to the right nor to the left, move it not in the slightest degree from its deep imbedment, for just as certainly as the day succeeds the night, if this principle be disturbed will the great superstructure totter from its very base and fall into irreclaimable ruin. Does any brother ask an illustration of this truth ? let him seek it in the universal proclivity of man to fasten down as with chains, bolts and bars the mind of his fellow to his own peculiar sect, morals or party.
This most excellent groundwork of Odd Fellowship is coeval with the existence of the Order and to our mind is pre-eminently creditable to those who devised the system-as it is now, and has been from the inception of the institution may it stand unchanged. It may be dangerous to interfere with this fixed principle even in the employment of other language to define its meaning. We might go on did our space allow us and desig. nate other equally valuable and distinguishing parts of our work which as they are founded in good morals and sound philosophy are worthy the principles of the Order, but we have already extended our remarks beyond our usual limits, and must close this article by the reiteration of the opinion heretofore expressed, that the work of the Order taken as a whole possesses much intrinsic excellence. There are forms, ceremonies, lectures, charges, and language, which require essential modification and perhaps entire abolition. A distinguished brother has expressed our idea of what should be the character of the work in a letter, which now lies before us. “Let it,” he remarks, “ be intelligible, chaste, beautiful, abounding in morality and philanthrophy, interspersed with forcible and perspicuous illustrations—introduce whatever will elucidate the great principles and truths which we desire to hold up for the guidance of man in all his intercourse with his brother-not overlooking admonition concerning his duty to God, to his family and himself. Let the different
parts have a visible connexion, let it be a uniform, progressive work, pro ceeding step by step, throwing light upon the path of the novitiate as he pursues his onward journey." We cordially respond to these sentiments and while the fountains of truthful history lie open to us, let us draw freely from their refreshing waters; let the riches of classic lore be availed of, the elegance of literature, the counsels of pure philosophy, the eloquence and sublimity of nature-go to the oracles, beautify, elevate, exalt the forms, ceremonies and language as eminently as you please, but preserve the great principles of Odd-Fellowship from all manner of assault.
Independent Odd-Fellow.-We with pleasure gratify the wish expressed in the subjoined editorial of the Independent Odd-Fellow, by giving it a place in the "Official.” Upon reading the article we had intended to review the whole subject of our difference with that Magazine by looking up the proofs and authorities relied upon to make out the case charged against the Covenant, but upon more mature reflexion we have concluded that at this time of day our readers feel but little interest in the matter of controversy, and for ourselves the honorable disclaimer made of personal reference is entirely satisfactory. It is true the Grand Lodge of the United States has lost some thousands in the publication of the “ Official Magazine” ostensibly, but who shall say that the rapid and healthy progress of Odd-Fellowship in the North and Eastern section of the jurisdiction where we have a subscription list of nearly six hundred has been unaided by our labours? Who shall say that the great accession to the Treasury from that distinguished constituency nearly quadrupelling the receipts from all other sources has been in no measure assisted by the influence and efforts of the Covenant ?
We have something to say, a parting word to our brethren at large in closing our editorial labors, and in this connexion something also to say to our brethren of the Independent Odd-Fellow, but we shall defer these remarks until our next and last number. Meanwhile we assure them that their fraternal regard always expressed towards us personally, have been fully appreciated and have our grateful acknowledgments.
The Covenant and Official Magazine.—We had intended to say nothing more of this periodical after our reply to the challenge of the Editor, unless in commendation of its appearance and general reading matter. The allusion to ourselves in the Editor's arti. cle on the " Grand Lodge of Virginia” compels us to a passing reply. Of course, we have nothing to do with the Report of the Virginia Committee, but we think the action of the late Grand Lodge of the United States fully sustains all the committee have declared and more besides, for it is notorious that the Grand Lodge of the United States have lost between five and six thousand dollars by the publication. Now, we appeal to the Editor of the Official to read over all we have ever said in the premises, and we feel assured that he will frankly acknowledge that we have been right from the beginning, and that our principal allegations have been fully sustained by the action of the Grand Lodge of the United States. The figures of Bro. Ridgely are not borne out by the facts, and with the exception of a smaller edition than that estimated by the committee, (Grand Lodge of the United States,) of which no one knew anything save Brother Ridgely and the Printer, the figures of the Virginia Committee are sustained by the reports and documents of the Grand Lodge of the United States. But to ourselves. The Official states:
“ We also believe, have for two years past believed, that the overthrow of the 'Official Magazine' was a favorite project in a certain quarter-cui bono ?—we shall not conjecture. Already,' say this committee, ‘have the pages of the Official been disfigured with doctrines of official monopoly and threats to bring the power of the Grand Lodge of the United States to crush the periodicals conducted by brethren, who in the pursuit of a lawful vocation are devoting their talents to the exposition and defence of our principles
“We have seen in the pages of the Independent Odd-Fellow time and again, such allegations, have not only denied the truth of the averment, but have challenged its editor to the proof. In reply we have been furnished with garbled extracts from articles written by our Junior Editor grossly misrepresenting his, and comments upon resolutions adopted by State Grand Lodges and opinions of our correspondents adverse to indivi. dual publications for which the poor Official' has been held responsible.
“We have studiously avoided ihe controversy from the fact that it is always unpleasant to discuss a question with an adversary, who lacks candor, is ever misstating facts, and begging the question. We again emphatically deny the truth of the imputation, and we refer to our editorial articles from the commencement of this work, to bear us out in this denial ; on the contrary we have ever been upon the most friendly relations with all the periodicals devoted to the cause of Odd Fellowship excepting the 'Independent Odd-Fellow,' of the value of which to the Order we have dared to express a fearless opinion, and have as the penalty for our rashness provoked its displeasure. Be it so.It shall not 'disturb the peace of our mind, affect the tranquillity of our conscience, nor discompose the gravity of our muscles.'
Will any one who has paid attention to the controversy believe that this charge was actually written by the Senior Editor? Our only reply' is, Look at the documents !Look at the documents !
Now, we appeal to our readers, if in the whole controversy from the commencement, we have not studiously avoided personality, and opposed the Covenant in its official character only,--never for one moinent iinpugning the honor or truth of the Serior Editor or any one else, until the personal attack made upon us by the Junior Editor :We were called upon to show the evidences of the policy we charged upon the friends of the Official. We did this by giving fair and honorable extracts from various papers published in the official and approved by that journal. In doing this we were careful to give the extracts as full as a fair showing of the question required without encumber. ing our reply with irrelevant matter—and we defy the Senior Editor to show one extract“ garbled” or torn from its proper connexion. 'We gave the Junior Editor's words, and showed their connexion with what went before, in order to clear ourselves from the charge of misrepresenting his views. Would it not have been enough to have assured us that we had misunderstood bin, instead of charging us with “misrepresentation” and "falsehood ?”. We challenge the Senior Editor to show the “garbled extracts" or "beg. ging the question.” But enough of this. The Grand Lodge of the United States have found it absolutely necessary to discontinue the "Official,” because of its sponge-like propensity when coming in contact with the funds. After the first of December next it will cease to be published as the property of the Grand Lodge of the United States. All cause of opposition has ceased as far as we are concerned, and we will say that we have never felt other than brotherly feelings for its able, distinguished and talented Senior Editor. We know that he has had often to go in opposition to his own views of expediency in conducting the Official. It was his duty to do the best he could for it, and he has most laboriously rendered that service for a very iradequate and meagre compensation. We offer, then, if Brother Ridgely considers us ever personal to him. self as a gentlemen or an Odd Fellow, or in any other way than as an official Editor, to assure him that he has inistaken us. We esteem James L. Ridgely too highly to have been betrayed into any such thing..
Will Brother Ridgely do us the justice to publish this statement in the Official ?We are at all times prepared to do in this thing as we would be done by.
Extra Session of R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States.—We observe that a report is going the round, that there is to be an Extra Session of the Grand Lodge of the United States in April next. There has been no such order passed. A committee has been appointed to revise the Work of the Order, with power to cause an Extra Session to be called by the Grand Sire if deemed by them advisable after the completion of their labours.
We trust such a course may be found advisable, in which event full notice will be given to every State Grand Lodge and Encampment and setting aside all excuses each of these bodies should be represented at that extra session. Some Grand Lodges and Grand Encampments by reason of their distance from the seat of Government may be unable to bear the expense of sending a Representative-if such there be, we do hope that the Subordinates will promptly supply the means by donationfor this session, if called will be by far the most important assemblage of the Grand Lodge of the United States, which has ever been convened since Odd-Fellowship was introduced into this country. Let none, not one of the Grand Lodges or Encampments be absent on such a deeply interesting occasion.
The Symbol.—The October number of this valuable periodical has been received—we copy an admirable article and commend its salutary truths to our patrons.
The Gavil.—This work improves and deservedly addresses itself to the patronage of the brotherhood—the last number is filled with good articles.
The Golden Rule.-We have a word to say to our friends of the Golden Rule. If it can be explained to us, upon what principle the constitution can be modified so as to limit seats in the Grand Lodge of the United States to Representatives and present P. G. Sires, we will go earnestly for such a modification of that instrument. We regard that feature as an anomalous one in a Representative body-a few years ago a proposition was made in the Grand Lodge of the United States to accomplish that object-a strong appeal was made to the gratitude of members for services rendered by the fathers of the Order, and succeeded in rejecting the proposed amendment to the constitution by an overwhelming vote. This was a triumph however over the feeling, not over the judgment and reason of that body, we are sure—it did not change our opinion-we had no voice, but approved the amendment provided, the change could be attained without affecting the rights of existing P. G. Sires.
We thought then, we think now that where officers have served faithfully and industriously under a constitutional guarantee, that they shall, after their period of service shall have expired be entitled to certain rights, that those rights vest in them at the moment of taking the office and cannot with any sort of propriety be taken from them—but we think very differently of prospective legislation, by which future Grand Sires may possess no such claim.
The Independent Odd-Fellow.—We have received the October number and have great pleasure in adding our mite to the general good report in its behalf.
The Ark.-In our experience one of the most fatal objections to the success of a periodical, is the irregularity of its publication. We receive this pamphlet generally late. We like it, wish it to succeed, it has done much good, and will be of great service in the West. Now that we have a western Grand Sire, it will be its peculiar office to aid him in pushing the fortunes of Odd-Fellowship in that region. Will our brethren of the Ark look to this brotherly hint?
Fraternal Hints.—The Odd-Fellow who forms his opinions of the expediency or inexpediency of measures to be adopted by the Lodge on party grounds—to promote his individual or party interests may prove an excellent partizan, but he will most likely be to the Lodge an unprofitable member.
Those who are perplexed with a very aspiring disposition and are anxious to gratify it-or to promote particular friends regardless of their qualifications, like enthusiasts in religion, are likely to go to fatal extremes, and in aiming to promote self, or party, to lose sight of the true interests of the whole Lodge. While such a course is to be avoided, apathy and indifference in regard to matters of moment to the Order should not be encouraged nor allowed.
We should aim therefore, to recommend a faithful examination of the characters and qualifications of those we would elevate to posts of duty and honour; judge from the zeal they have displayed, whether they will be faithful to higher duties, and from their devotion to the Order whether or not they will continue to regard its interests, after they have received the honours of the Lodge and passed the chairs. “Some are all eagerness for a day, or until they have filled the chair of the N. G. and then their zeal for Odd-Fellowship is gone-they show that they care but little for it -that all they desired was the honour of office. This satisfied, and the initials N. G. means, further they will Not Go, to promote the interests of the Order.
Generally speaking, the man that has not a sufficient developement of the organ of acquisitiveness to induce him to labor and provide for his own, will lack that energy which is necessary in an officer of the Lodge. Indolence will prevent the exercise of those powers with which he is endowed, and which is so necessary to the success of an officer, and his usefulness in the station to which he may be elevated. True, there are some who cannot labor for themselves, that will be very active in the employment of others, and such may do well for high stations; but while we enjoy their services we should endeavor to arouse their dormant powers and "aid them in the cultivation of habits of industry, that they may attend to their own concerns, as well as to those of a more public nature. If it be not necessary that they "go to the ant," we may remind them of its industry-its labors for self-preservation, and by encouraging them to “ learn” from it, the lesson they need, we shall show our fraternal regard for them. Let us therefore, regard the interests of individual brethren, as well as of the whole fraternity, for in so far as we improve them, the whole is benefitted.
MAGNA EST VERITAS ET PREVALEBIT.
NOTWITHSTANDING all we have said and done to acquaint the public mind with the object and aim of our beloved institution ;-notwithstanding the numerous blessings of a moral and benevolent nature it has conferred in every town and State throughout our country, there are those who professing to be teachers of the people, speak evil of our Order, and labor to show that it is unworthy the sanction of the wise and good. But