Page images
PDF
EPUB

United States-congratulating us upon the rapid increase and prosperous condition of the Order throughout the Union--recommending a speedy and amicable adjustment of every matter before us, tending to impede the cause of Odd Fellowship—and in words of tenderness and affection, zealously portrayed the beauty and necessity of conforming to our professed principles of "Friendship, Love and Truth."

Be assured therefore, that the Order in Tennessee is on the wake, and promises in the future, the gathering of a rich harvest.

Extract of a letter from P. G. M. T. Kezer, dated Nashville, Nov 12, 1843.

I shall take pleasure in rendering you any assistance in my power tending to advance the prospects of the "Official Magazine.” The prosperity and necessity, of having an official paper, in an “Order” so widely diffused as ours-speaking one, and the true language to all parts of the country at the same time—is so strongly impressed upon my mind, as to admit of no doubtful utility. An official experiment of the true work of the Order-speaking by authority-is calculated to unite and harmonize all conflicting opinions, and to correct and purify all errors of a local nature. Social publications have a contrary effect, their tendency is to create dissentions, and engender local prejudices and sectional feelings. These being my views, I would go great length to sustain the national work.

Without intending any compliment, I can say, that I am proud of the present arrangement for the prosecution of the work in future, and whilst it continues, no fears need be entertained of local periodicals, for they will not be deemed good authority, when differing from the acknowledged head.

Mississippi— Extract of a letter from Grand Secretary John R. Dicks, dated

Natchez, October 28, 1843. I must acknowledge that I have been negligent by failing to communi cate at an earlier date, officially, the condition and future prospects of the Order in the State of Mississippi.

This Grand Lodge has been reminded by your repeated regrets, expressed in your annual reports for 1842 and 1843 to the Grand Lodge of the United States, that you found it difficult to maintain a regular official correspondence with the Order in Mississippi. That the officers of this Grand Lodge have not more frequently communicated officially the condition of the Order within their jurisdiction, cannot justly (though seemingly so) be attributed to a want of interest, a manifestation of zeal, or energy of character on their part in any one particular, upon which depended the advancement and prosperity of Odd-Fellowship. The seeming remissness in that particular which has been a cause of complaint, must be attributed to the fact, that members of the Grand Lodge (not officers) have frequently during the past year communicated to the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of the United States, information in relation to the progress of the Order in this State, extracts from which I have noticed were occasionally published in the Covenant. This was held, and taken for granted a sufficient reason why the same information was not officially communicated. It is no doubt a reasonable excuse, but at the same time I do not contend that it entirely obviates the difficulty by you set forth.

Your report upon the state of the Order in the different States, should be made up of facts from the various jurisdictions, officially communicated, and in justice to themselves, every State Grand Lodge should keep you apprised of such information necessary to be embodied in your annual report. I trust this requirement, for the future, will be promptly responded to by the Grand Lodge of Mississippi.

This Lodge closed a quarterly communication on the 16th inst., all the officers and a goodly number of Past Grands were present. It was evidenced by the reports from Subordinate Lodges (eight in number) that the Order throughout the State is in a prosperous condition.

As an evidence of its future prospects, the Lodges by practical economy, are now all out of debt, having sufficient funds for all legitimate purposes and are making daily additions to their number. It is a source of great gratification to the friends and supporters of Odd-Fellowship in the South, to know, that the accessions to its ranks, are men of exalted character, talent and moral worth. Men who cheerfully obligate themselves to use their influence to improve the condition of society. Men whose daily examples teach every observer the true secret whereby they may walk in the paths that lead to moral altitude, human perfection and earthly happiness. Men who charitably respond to every call on their munificence, who would in the fullness of their benevolence, disdain to "repudiate the bondof good fellowship, that teaches them to administer to the wants of destitute brothers and to relieve the distresses of a fellow creature.

At the annual communication in July last the following brothers were chosen as officers for the current year.

M. W. G. M. R. GRIFFETH, of Vicksburg.
R. W. D. G. M. F. O. WADSWORTH, Natchez.
R. W. G. W. JAS. FRUNTY,

do.
R. W. G. Sec'y John B. Dicks,

do. R. W. G. Treas Wm. Shaw,

do. R. W. G. Chap. S. B. NEWMAN, do. It is in contemplation to open a new Lodge in this city during the present winter. Only one death reported for last quarter, among all the members of the Order in this city scarcely a case of sickness has occurred during the past season.

PROGRESS

OF

THE

0 Ꭱ Ꭰ Ꭼ Ꭱ .

Frontier Encampment No. 2, Weston, Missouri.

Ex act from the Journal of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, November

Session, 1843. P. G. Shaffner offered the following Resolutions, which were adopted, viz:

Resolved, That this Grand Lodge most cordially and fraternally recommend to the Order in Kentucky to encourage and patronize the Covenant and Official Magazine.

Further Resolved, That the Grand Lodge entertain the highest opinions of the integrity and ability of P. G. M. James L. Ridgely, Editor of said Covenant and Magazine.

[blocks in formation]

How many young men are there who are borne down by the hard iron hand of poverty, in the very dawn of manhood ? How many have felt its pressing hand when in the early germs of reason? How many have risen to honor and renown, in this transitory life, by surmounting obstacle after obstacle, which have clustered about and hemmed them in with doubt and darkness? How many have been borne onward on the billow that threatened to overwhelm them, and have risen from the shock that dashed them back with two-fold vigor? They are too numerous to mention. But we select one for an example, out of the vast number, which are borne down by poverty. We see him step forth into an active life; notwithstanding his mother's toils are daily and nightly with his father's, who has to earn his bread by the sweat of the brow—he shows himself industrious and persevering in the course of self-culture. Receiving only the rudiments of an education, before he is sent, by a kind father, to toil either amidst the clanging of machinery, or to smite with the hammer, delve with the spade, or go down upon the ocean's bosom, and there toil for a living. Like thousands of young men, he was in duty bound and obliged to leave his fond home and launch upon a cold and unfeeling world to seek a living. When toiling with sinewy arm, he is looking, as is natural for man, for higher sources of enjoyment; (for no man is ever satisfied in his present situation ;) the mind is forever upon the wing in the pursuit of new objects and new acquirements, which are continually fleeting and always elusive. He is now upon the wide and avaricious world; he has duties to perform and ends to secure. Not being one of those who plunge recklessly into the dissipation of a gainsaying world, in hopes of finding the pleasure for which we seek; but being one of those who is reaching after the happiness, by cultivating the higher powers, that will not desert him when youthful bloom, and strength, and beauty have faded, but will sparkle around his soul in flowers which thought and reason have decorated with undimmed lustre.

We see the student step forth into the field of science, with his Theorems and Problems—mounting upon the wings of knowledge, to soar aloft after that enjoyment which is of the most intrinsic value to the mind; although he is compelled to toil from the rising to the going down of the sun, and then carry home his small earnings, which are devoured with pleasure—he never complains of being too poor to learn. Here, he breaks forth, full of ambitions, in language too melting for an indolent student“ Although early dawn calls me to my daily toils, and fallen night to rest my weary limbs, yet I find hours and minutes which I can devote to gathering up garlands that will never fade, but breathe undying fragrance. Oh; how often have I been led to exclaim in the language of that ragged and barefooted weaver's boy, who battled on through poverty, until he received the professorship in one of the first Universities of the age :want was my earliest companion. How often have I travelled too and fro in my room, at midnight hours? Yes, when all was still and silent as the tomb, having on my mind some problem or question to solve; when poverty would stare me in the face with all the miseries that flow from it, and cause me to turn aside from my intellectual pursuits, to gratify my selfish principles, by counting over the few coppers which I possessed.”

This only gave bim temporal pleasure, which was soon gone ; it brought no lasting enjoyment to the predominant part of man--the mind-the human mind with all its capabilities laid dormant, while he was gratifying his selfish propensities. He soon found that this could not do, and immediately turned aside from perishable objects, again to adorn the mind with unfading flowers. Having his ambition excited more into the path of literature, by contemplating upon that long bright host which have risen to honor and renown, although they have crumbled into the dust, yet their names are echoed and re-echoed with reverence in our halls of justice and around our high places of honor. These are men that have worn the rags of poverty, and carried the hard hands of toil, but they commenced in their early years to ponder over the written volumes of instruction, both sacred and profane, which were partial lights or torches in their hands, that excited them onward to the fountain of knowledge.

Here he resumes the subject again: “When I read how great men have acted, how they have struggled on through poverty, and the hours they have spent alone, like that man who lived in the caves beside the boisterous ocean, to cultivate his powers, by displaying his eloquence alone, upon the rock, the beach, and in the woods, which when cultivated, he rushed forth like the Barbarian and made all Europe, as it were, tremble. When I look over our great charter of liberty, and there behold signatures of hands that have worked the printing-press, and wielded the lap-stone and last, and know that such men were strong defenders of this goodly heritage, which we now have the extreme felicity of enjoying; and also know that they plucked the laurel's wreath from the brow of Europe, and handed down to us the star-spangled banner of liberty. When I see such precious jewels plucked by those that have waded on through poverty, can I turn aside from the path that leads to the fountain of unfading delight and honor, to gratify my selfish desires merely because I am poor? No. I will climb the rugged clisis, and battle on over the billows of poverty; for many a beautiful flower has been plucked from the thorny bush. God has given us a mind to be improved--the immortal mind; which 'bears no mark of high or low, of rich or poor. It heeds no bound of time or place, of rank or circumstance. It asks but freedom. It requires but light. It is heaven-born, and it aspires to heaven. Weakness does not enfeeble it. Poverty cannot repress it.? The difficulties that I experience, do but stimulate its vigor. And if we rightly improve this mind, it will result in our own happiness. What a helpless being the new born infant is; the barking whelp evinces more knowledge than the prattling child, and there is no more perfection among our beasts that roam in the forest, birds that sing among the branches, or among our own domestics, than there was before they came forth from the · Ark of Noah.? But what has man done? Has he built the lofty pyramids of Egypt?Has he encircled Thebes with a lofty wall, and hung her brazen gates? Has he carved the statues which grace the pedestal of modern art? Has he discovered continents? Yes; and he has bridged cataracts, tunnelled rivers, scaled mountains, and linked the distant regions with bars of iron, on which the thundering car is hurled with a velocity that nothing has equalled! But is this all? No; behold the fair bark with her white pinions spread to the inviting breeze, passing the stormy cape to the delightful shores of Hindostan. The mariners' compass which dotted our ocean, as it were, all over with white sails. But this is not all-man has descended into the bowels of the earth, and there gathered up knowledge from buried monuments of past ages, and with a string has gone aloft to the vaulted heavens, and there leaped from planet to planet, from system to system, through the blue ether, to measure their distances from each other. The dark ages have been dispelled, governments have been overturned, and man is going onward and upward in the path of knowledge, and yet there are in the distant regions of futurity stores of wisdom for us to ransom from their chaotic states, and be raptured with bliss at every new truth which dawns upon the mind, like an Archimedes who leaped from the bath in the city of Sarycuse, transported with delight, because he had found out an important truth. What, shall I let the mind lie dorment because I am encircled by poverty? what man has done, man can do. 'I will try?'”

Here he forms new resolutions, and resolves to abide by them; having his ambition aroused by contemplating upon what man has done, and the volumes of mystery which still remains to be unfolded by the present or future generations, he is determined to turn aside, when hours or minutes present themselves, from the dusty and beaten thoroughfare of business, and quaff from the fountain-breeze of knowledge. Listen to the strains of eloquence that comes from the innermost recesses of his soul,—" I will plough the classic fields when I have hours or minutes in which I can turn aside from my toils; and when evening has mantled her shades around, I will go out and scale aloft to the curtained heavens, and there roam among the illuminated worlds which glisten like diamonds in the crowns of angels, and with an eye of faith will I wing my flight far-far above those circling suns and radiant systems, until I drink into the fountain of God's everlasting love. I will taste of the pleasure that sparkled around the brow of that poor laboring shepherd's boy-James Ferguson, who struggled for many years through the most oppressive poverty, and at last became the renowned and honored philosopher. "I will drink deep into the rivers of enjoyment which must have lowed into the

« PreviousContinue »