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sufficient, as to length of time, to destroy in part the power of this magical wand—to break in twain this staff upon which, apparently, our Order leaned for support.
So far as the community in which we live is concerned, its novelty is gone. It no longer gives point and force to the curiosity of those around us, as it hitherto did when scores of our fellow-men were nightly at the outer door, inquiring of our ever-watchful sentinel, "may we know what this new doctrine whereof thou speakest, is.” Nor can the charm with which age invests it, be to it a rock which will safely shield it from the evil effects of the lethargy of those who should ever have at heart its honor and its maintenance, or against the apparent satiety of that prying inquisitiveness of which every citizen, good or bad, of any community, is more or less possessed.
It matters not now to what early age we may be able to trace its existence. Coming to us, as it did, venerable for its age and for its piety, thousands of our countrymen united beneath its banner. Throughout the length and breadth of our land Lodges of Odd Fellows have sprung up, numbering their tens of thousands. Lookers-on-those of our fellow-citizens who yet remain without the pale of our Order-say, hold, enough; let us see whether this institution, claiming for itself such antiquity, such purity, such an exalted character, is all that it professes to be. What if it claims to have its origin in the city of the Cæsars—ay, and to have ranked among its admirers the Cæsars themselves? What if it boasts of having flourished among those ancients honored of all men for their learning and wisdom? What if it stood erect and breasted successfully the murky waves of the dark ages that rolled over the whole face of this beautiful earth, well-nigh engulphing in one common ruin all that was good, noble or great, and, standing erect, came out of this ordeal brighter and purer than ever? What of all this—if its power is diminished, and its followers maintain not its purity? The time has passed when any association can s0 commend itself to the hearts of the people by the boast of antiquity, as to insure stability or success. It must prove itself-good must result from it. The day in which superstition ruled the world is no more. Its iron dominion is overthrown-thought, education and reason have taken its place; and every thing, whether tracing its origin back to times immemorial or the offspring of the present age, that demands the respect and affection of mankind must have within itself WORTH-power to speak as one having authority, commending itself by its aims, its influences, its works.
Now that the novelty of our Order has in a great degree passed away, and the boast of antiquity lost its charm, are we to hang our harps upon the willows ?--are the songs that so often greet the ear and gladden the heart of the Odd-Fellow within the walls of his own revered temple to be sung no more? Are the lessons so pure, so exalted, which he has so often received from those he delights to honor, no more to be read in his hear. ing, and to be impressed on his heart? God forbid. Odd-Fellowship in our beloved country has attained to the age, the beanty and the vigor of the strong young man, who, being just cast loose from every power that hitherto guarded his steps and is thrown upon his own resources, bids fair to buffet manfully and successfully with the cares and oppositions of life, and to fulfil with honor to himself the end of his creation. Its sole dependence now is its intrinsic worth-every other prop is thrown from under it. Its intrinsic worth! go compute the pain, the mental labor, the
hours and days and years of toil endured by the great and good men of all ages who wrote and toiled for the good of man, and
ye have not, ye cannot arrive at a fractional part of its value. Can ye compute the worth of the Word of Life? On that rock is our house built, and the winds and the storms and the waves may beat against it: it shall never fall. The intrinsic worth of Odd-Fellowship! let it be our constant boast, and let us be “its witnesses.” If we are true to ourselves and to the spirit of our Order, Sylvan Lodge will ever be prosperous. Ye know where the foundation stone of our Order was laid! This may strike the newly initiated as far-fetched, but in the spirit and the letter it is true. Who is the OddFellow? He who can give you the grip, the signs and the tokens? He who on an anniversary, in the procession, goes beyond the first in gaudy apparel and tinsel show? “'Tis not all gold that shines.” He, who being à “head and shoulder” taller in wealth, pride or station, than his fellow, taps (condescendingly as he supposes,) at our door for admission, and becomes one of us by paying the pitiful sum of the fees and the dues? These are not Odd Fellows. Behold the snow-capped Alps! see their glaziers, their rugged sides, their fearful heights! With what awe do ye gaze upon their unequalled sublimity! Far off
, nearly up the ascent of one of these ice-bound mountains is a group of travellers—perhaps there from curiosity, perhaps from necessity. Their progress is slow and heavy-night approaches—the heavens forbode a storm-already they begin to discharge themselves with pitiless rage upon the weary group, who, overcome with fatigue and cold sink down to die. Morning dawns—on yonder height the smoke of an habitation mounts up through the cold clear air-it's from the Hospice of St. Bernard. The forms of its benevolent inmates may
be seen issuing from it, commencing their God-like but arduous and dangerous task of descending the mountain sides in search of those who may have lost their way. Hark! the well-known bark of the faithful mastiff! Through danger and difficulty they reach the spot, and with hearts of compassion behold the unfortunate helpless at their feet. Their hospitable mansion is thrown open to receive them and their precious burden. With care and tenderness the way-worn travellers are restored to health and vigor, and on departing leave with the blessings of pious hearts and sinless hands resting on their heads. These are Odd-Fellows; and those who in all ages have done likewise, and those who in this age do likewise. These are they who maintain the purity of the Order; who, regardless of difficulty and danger, go about doing good-whose motto is, *it is more blessed to give than to receive;' and would, rather than have an earthly diadem, be among those who shall receive the divine approval : "I was an hungered and ye gave me meat, thirsty and ye gave me drink, naked and ye clothed me, sick and in prison and ye visited me." Brethren, I feel assured that ye of Sylvan Lodge will falsify the charge that has gone out against us, that we are a selfish people. As a Lodge we will abide by our rules and our laws, but as men, forming not only that Lodge but a portion of mankind, we will show to the world that the lessons imbibed from our nursing mother warm the breast and elevate the character -teaching us to be lovers of our fellow-beings, lovers of good order and lovers of country.
Every association, no matter what its pretensions, is liable to the hatred and envy of restless and troublesome men. A kindred institution, and
one too for which we entertain the wạrmest regard-deserving the vener. ation of all as it does—the cry of the orphan and the moan of the widow having never reached it in vain, has had to encounter, through all ages, the bitterest animosity. Every charge that prejudice could invent has been arrayed against it. Yet it stands—and clothed in its native purity, bids defiance to the shock of time and to the malice of bigotry and of ig.
We need not think to escape-already we are a shining mark. Envy has hurled at us, even at this early day, some of her most poisoned darts. An attempt has been made to excite the fears of our countrymen. As an association we have been declared dangerous to free institutions !Shall we descend to notice such a charge? Are we called on to compromit the duty we owe to our families, our country or to our God? The love of country is not only indirectly but directly taught by the principles of our Order. Dangerous to free institutions ! Impossible. Dr. DURBIN, in his remarks on England, says, that while he was in Manchester, the operatives, compelled by want, rose en masse and demanded higher wages. The Chartists, desiring a change in the government, were very active in endeavoring to win them over to their political creed, and as a means of exciting them, placed in the public parts of the city, placards calling upon every association to run upon the Bank for gold. Among others the OddFellows were called upon, but we read not of their noticing the call. As an association they had nothing in view but the good of the Order, and the protection of their widows and orphans. They, as a body could bear without a murmur the yoke of tyranny; but as men, who could blame them if they looked upon the purse-proud aristocracy of their country with hatred--ay, with that hatred that calls for war to the knife. This same aristocracy of England, are of all men the most heartless and the worst enemies of mankind. Thousands annually, at their very doors, having asked in vain for the crumbs that fall from their tables, drop into premature graves, leaving their wives and children houseless beggars, exposed to all manner of evil both moral and physical. Had the Odd-Fellows obeyed the calls of the Chartist, and rising with their oppressed countrymen, made Victoria tremble on her throne, who would not have bidden them God-speed? But as an Order they had but one work to perform, that was—to maintain its purity. Are we less pure than our brethren on the other side of the great deep? Less patriotic than they? Even oppression could not move them from their straight forward course; and shall we dare to meditate in secret conclave ought against our free and happy country? The curse of God would be upon us. No, no, the land of our birth and our liberty is too dear to us; no man can move us from the path of duty; no party, however designing, talented or powerful, can shake our patriotism. To a man the sentiment of one of Israel's prophets towards his own loved country would be adopted by us towards our more than loved country, when in the ardor of his patriotism he exclaims : "If I forget thee, Ó Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."But why notice the groundless charges made against us. Let envy and hatred do their worst, we will regard them not, but move on in the even tenor of our way.
Every thing demands at our hand care and watchfulness. We know not how soon a brother or brothers may be laid upon beds of sickness to linger there and then to die; we know not how soon we may be called upon to answer the knock of a brother's orphan at the Treasury door de manding that protection due to him as the child of an Odd Fellow. I would not pretend to intrude upon you, advice, for there are among you wiser heads; but permit me to suggest the propriety of repealing all compulsory laws in regard to public and private regalia. Let these alone to the option of the members of the Lodge. There are but few, I can assure you, who will not supply themselves when necessary—no man will be outdone by his fellow-man if in his power to prevent it. And if the Grand Lodge of the State or of the United States so far forget the end of the Or. der as to put upon the Subordinate Lodges “burdens too grievous to be borne, such as the purchasing of silver stars and other useless ornaments, let us affectionately and forcibly remonstrate, declaring that we cannot consent to “spend our substance in riotous living.”
We have, brethren, great cause of gratitude to that superintending Providence who overruleth all things for good. Not one of our number has been cut down by the hand of death! Few if
any of the Lodges can from any one year's beginning to its end, say that they have thus escaped.Some of our brethren have been called to mourn the loss of near and dear friends, and who of us, so dead, so lost to every brotherly feeling that did not mourn with them. Death directly has not been among us. Long may we escape his fatal notice.
In thinking of the past, may we not ask ourselves whether our meeting together from week to week has been to us beneficial? Has it added to sociability? While assembled here have we felt we were one great family? When we met in the world how were our salutations ? Were the "how d'ys” that fell from our lips cold and senseless, or did they come from hearts big with kind regard ? These are questions worthy of our consideration. Let us improve upon them and upon the past. As a Lodge may it not be said of us that we had a mushroom existence; that as soon as care, toils or difficulties sent athwart our pathway their scorching heat we gave up the ghost; rather let us, by clinging close to the letter and spirit of the principles of Odd Fellowship gain for ourselves a name as lasting as time. As Mont Blanc raises his head proudly and sublimely above his Alpine brothers, so may we, bidding defiance to all opposition, tower not only far above our enemies—but in the spirit of generous rivalry raise our heads proudly and sublimely above our brother associations, whose aim, like ours, is to reach the very Heavens.
TO BE SUNG AT THE OPENING OF A LODGE.
AIR - AULD LANG SYNE.
HAIL! Brothers, who have met again,
With Love's fraternal band ;
In Lodge once more we stand.
United let us firmly be,
And by our actions prove
In Friendship, Truth, and Lore.
While here together we are bound
By Friendship's hallow'd chain;
A brother's heart to pain :
Like that which reigns above,
Our Friendship, Truth, and Love.
Charleston, s. C.
What principles tend to duration and happiness—are men governed by these
principles—how may they become subject to them?
BY BRO. LICIOS BELL, OF NEW YORK.
It is well occasionally to remove the thick and beautiful garments of words and theories with which truth is clothed and accustom our perception to its naked surface-to withdraw our attention from its particular features and extremities and look at it as a body, and admire its symmetry. Duty is the offspring of truth and by familiarity with one we shall not fail to recognize the other.
Amid details we are apt to forget the sum which they make up. Glid. ing over the ocean's surface we neither fathom its depth nor taste of the purity of its fountains. “ Plying at the loom of life" we perceive not the motive power which propels its vast machinery. Whence emanate all the streams of organization and labour that give variety or beauty to the scene which you behold on looking over the surface of society? We scarce know why we do half what we do.
It is well for the man who pursues diligently his daily labour to perceive that he is obeying higher commands than those of hunger, cold or pride, and that if he fail to amass sufficient to make his neighbour envious he may yet rejoice; and if he be denied the luxury of imparting beneficently it is well for him to know that he is still co-operating in that which is great. Let the benevolent man know that he does more than relieve a brother's wants and that he receives more than a brother's gratitude.Let the just man know that he avoids more than prisons and scorn, and that he obeys law to which written laws are but annotations.
All substantiated theories and reasonable discussions—all just actions, lawful associations and all labour, are but a reiteration of axioms—a representation-a re-echoing of truth, though the echo is sometimes so distant and indistinct as scarcely to be recognized. If we may occasionally draw near to the voice we shall be less liable to mistake its tones when we hear them suppressed, remote, or mingled with errour.