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elsewhere. These things are right and proper—they are in truth essential to the harmony and well-being of society, and why, then, the hue and cry against us, on the ground that we have some secrets which are kept from the public eye? That there is danger to the public weal from this cause is absurd in the extreme, from the simple fact, that men of all classes of all religious views, and of all political opinions here meet and exchange fraternal salutations. All classes and interests are represented in our Lodges, and hence the impossibility that any conspiracy can here be formed adverse to the well-being of any.
3dly. Mr. C. objects to the institution on account of what he calls its oaths, or obligations, and alledges that every Odd Fellow in Massachusetts is indictable and punishable by the statute, for taking unlawful oaths. If so, it only proves that Massachusetts is behind the age in liberality of legislation. The objection is of no force, however, against Odd-Fellowship, for the obligations imposed thereby are not strictly oaths, but promises on honor; precisely such as the reformed inebriate makes when he joins a temperance association and signs the pledge of total abstinence. It is the promise of honor in both cases, without the solemn appeal to heaven or imprecation of punishment usual to oaths.
But, says Mr. C., "these obligations hamper the conscience and separate between the children of God”—and he is ready also to say, that "if Odd-Fellowship is to prevail the church must go down !” How so, it would puzzle even Mr. C. to tell, for our institution is neither opposed in principle to Christianity nor is it offered as a substitute in lieu and instead thereof. There is manifestly no conflict between these two things, for Odd Fellowship is based upon the moral principles of Christianity, and hence there can be no just apprehension that the latter can ever be put down by the former. The objection, moreover, exhibits a strange want of faith on the part of Mr. C. as to the enduring permanency of the system he professes to advocate. The church of Christ, be it remembered, was built upon a rock, and we have the promise that the " gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The inference, therefore is, that if Mr. C. is right in his supposition that his particular church must go down if Odd Fellowship prevails—then his own church must be something different from the church of Christ—and if different we shall care but little how soon the "gates of hell prevail against it.”
4thly. Mr. C. objects to what he calls our ceremonies, and proceeds to detail the same as he supposes they are practised within our Lodges.As a matter of course he here speaks without authority, except perhaps the doubtful authority of some ingrate who has falsified his obligation of honor and revealed our ceremonies. Suffice it to say, that his ignorance of our customs is palpable, and were he well informed we do not consider it worth while to argue the subject, as such things are mere matters of taste, involving no essential principle and encouraging no evil—their object being simply to impress the mind with a more vivid recollection of the great duties imposed and inculcated amongst us.
But, continues this reverend wiseacre-our allusions to the priestly order, and imitations of the same, in respect to clothing, &c. is a "trifling with the holy law and institutions of God.” Verily, some men are hard to please. Mr. C. has forgotten, if he ever knew, that Christianity has nothing whatever to do with the ancient institutions of Israel; and that
what were once the ordinances of God, in respect to the Jewish people, can have no obligation upon the Gentiles; and that, in short, if he deems the old priestly order yet binding, and that too upon the Christian church, why then, most certainly, Mr. C. should go back to Judaism. He has nothing to do with Christianity. He should comply with all the rituals of the Mosaic economy, become circumcised, etc., and thus “show his faith by his works," although in thus proving his own consistency, he should unfortunately prove Christianity to be itself an“ an old wife’s fable!” In such a dilemma does this objection involve Mr. C.
5thly. Mr. C. next discusses the “brotherhood” of the Order, and after quoting somewhat at large from the "Symbol," &c. as to the qualifications for the admission of members, and no religious test being required, he launches forth into a strain of invective against what he calls the “cold morality' of Odd-Fellowship, and declares that “the professed infidel; the scoffer of religion and of God's holy ordinances, is as welcome and is considered as good a brother as any other who calls himself a Christian;" and further, that we “never know in a Lodge what religion is,”' &c. Now all this is the veriest slang, and all the answer needful is simply this—that Odd-Fellowship never claimed to be a religious institution. But what he considers a formidable objection, in not requiring a religious test, is to our mind one of the cardinal beauties of the Order, as it is one of the fundamental principles of our National and State Constitutions. And, brethren, allow us here to say, that it is our solemn conviction, that whenever we stoop so low as to ask what a man's religion is before we admit him to our fellowship, then will our fate be sealed—then will our glory grow dim, and mene, mene, tekel, be the hand-writing on the walls of our Lodges, instead of those inscriptions which now greet our vision.
As to the charge of atheism against us, sufficient is the answer contained in the maxim displayed over our N. G.'s seat,—"IN GOD WE TRUST,"confirmed as it is by the well known clause in our constitution, that a belief in the existence of a Supreme Intelligence is one of the first essentials to admission into a Lodge. But, Mr. C. applies the text-"Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" to the subject before him, and makes it the ground of exhortation to Christians to come out from amongst us, or not to unite with us. He even goes so far as to say, that "no true Christian could be an Odd Fellow." Passing the palpable perversion of the text used by Mr. C. let us carry out a little the principles urged by the speaker. According to his shewing, the members of the Christian church cannot unite with the men of the world, or men of different faith, in any calling or association of life. All societies instituted for benevolent purposes—all associations formed for the promotion of the public welfare--all political and philanthropic societies-all military, fire and other companies, are liable to the same objection. Christians, if they join any such, must associate with men of every name and every faith. In fact, to preserve consistency Mr. C. should fraternize with none, in thought, word or deed, who are not members of his own church, for he would else have to associate with infidels or “unbelievers” in some fashion or other.This is a sair inference from his premises; for as Odd-Fellows we associate for certain specific purposes—those of “Friendship, Love and Truth," as any other set of men might unite for any definite object, and only for that definite object. Were an infidel and a Christian to unite for the pur
pose of religious communion this objection might have weight; but when two such unite for any object on which they can agree, why then there is no discrepancy in the case; the particular purpose of their association can be accomplished without their violating the spirit of the text under consideration. Besides all this, Mr. C.'s argument involves a censure upon the conduct of his Divine Lord and Master; for it will be remembered that it was the custom of the Saviour to "eat and drink with publicans and sinners," whose friend He was, but whose touch would, it appears, be pollution itself to the immaculate Colver!
Once more—the preacher declares that if religion is shut out of our Lodges what remains-nothing@ergo: that the Christians must leave their Saviour behind and turn their backs upon their Lord when they enter the Lodge! To the brethren who are attached to the various Christian churches, we need hardly say that there is no truth in such assertions. They know full well that they are required to sacrifice no principle—no faith, no religion, when they enter here. They are aware that they enter not a church, but a social and moral institution—that, in short, they unite upon the broad platform of a common sympathy and a common charity; which is altogether consistent with the duty they owe to their God, to their country, to their neighbor and to themselves. Were it otherwise we should straightway dissolve a connexion which we now esteem of great value.
Let none then be frightened out of their sober senses by such attacks as the one under review. Let none falter in the path of duty, honor and benevolence, on account thereof, or prove recreant to the cause of "Friendship Love and Truth,” remembering that the religion of Odd Fellowship is one and the same with that of St. James, the Apostle, who hath set forth, that "pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is to visit the widow and the fatherless in their affiiction and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world.” For ourselves, brethren, we want no better religion than this, within these walls, nor indeed without; and while we practise the duties thus taught us, we may well say with the poet
“For modes of faith let graceless bigots fight,
Let us prove our faith by our works. Let us go forth armed with the spirit of benevolence and mercy, and search out the objects of misery and wretchedness, for the noble purpose of relieving the same-for the grand and holy object of wiping the tear from the eye of sorrow-raising up the bowed down, and supporting those who are helpless and feeble. It is by the exhibition of this spirit of charity that we can best commend our institution to the world around us, and most successfully combat the popular objections brought against our customs and objects. And it is by the same manifestation that we may expect to hear on all sides, the encouraging and heart-cheering applauses of the noble, the lovely and the good, bidding us "go on" in the work before us—yea, bidding us “God speed” in the cause of truth, of virtue and of humanity.
Behold! that foul, disgraceful spot,
Assisted by the fiends of hell, Two honoured seconds stood to tell How each sustained his guilty part, And shewed himself a man of heart; But ere the sad, distorted face Was moulded into death's grimace, The selfish cowards both had fed, And left the honourable dead! Meanwhile the man of honour stood, Shuddering to view his brother's bloodStung with remorse, o'erwhelmed with shame, And frantic at a murderer's name, He rushed upon his sword and died, Another sacrifice to pride.
Now, standing on his well-known grave,
Sure the offence which he received Was greater than can be conceived ! Oh! yes : for at the festive board,
A guest forgot to say "My Lord;"
Where now bis daring, haughty mien,
HELEN CLA VERING.
BY MRS. MARY. 11. PARSON.
Happy will the hearth be where her light will shine.
, Irish Proverb.
Our story opens in England—the days are gone, when her crowned king extended his sceptre over the fair land. Her “meteor flag” has been driven from Columbia's shores, and the star-spangled banner unfurls to the breeze-the glorious ensign of our Republic! We have little cause to remember thee in affection, and yet we love thee, England! Thou art linked with the mighty dead! The words of Avon's Bard, like the tones of an old familiar friend, have gone down into our hearts and taken their place for ever! We love thee for the solemn and majestic strains of thy