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Jewish people, to help the distressed; but they went on to revel in the luxuries and pleasures procured at the expense of the labor of the Jewish people, who by the levitical law were bound fully to maintain the seed of Aaron. The sufferer remained in destitution and pain, until “a certain Samaritan,” of a race despised and hated by the Jews—an enemy—“as he journeyed, came where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, ‘Take care of him: and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.’” Such is the brief recital—but oh how much was done | No inquiry as to country, or faith, or connexions; no hesitation; no pondering in the mind all the questions, pro and con, as to expediency: he saw, had compassion, and relieved. More he could not do. This was true, genuine charity; this was neighborly. The lesson before us not only teaches who our neighbor is, but also that, as distress may overtake all, without regard to country, or faith, or profession, so must true charity be prompt to relieve all whom distress overtakes. All mankind compose one great brotherhood, but how few realize this It is the aim of Odd-Fellowship to make men feel this—and feeling, to act as becomes brothers. But we must yield to the teachings of the Order, or all
our lectures are in vain. They may sound well; they may make a good impression upon candidates; the ear may hear with pleasure, and the mind may acquiesce in the truth of all we would inculcate : but all this is not charity. It will not dry up a single tear, heal a single wound, or relieve a single want. It is but as “the sounding brass and tinkling cymbal.” Charity reaches further, and strikes deeper. Our lessons, like the sunshine and dew from heaven, nourish and strengthen the tree, and ripen the fruit. That fruit is charity, and by it we shall be known. If the tree be barren, what care we for the rain and heat it has enjoyed ? If the tree bring forth that good fruit of charity which blesses and refreshes the wasted and the poor with its rich abundance, it, more than all our lectures and addresses, attracts the attention, and receives the approbation of the world. Upon each individual in our great fraternity does the duty devolve of showing that ours is an institution, not of profession merely, but warm with active benevolence—a universal good-will—a
ready sympathy in the afflictions of mankind.
New York, July, 1846. D. P. B.
A TRIBUTE TO THE ORDER OF ODD-FELLOWSHIP,
BY ONE UNINITIATED.
ARGUMENT. Invocation, introductory, to the Muse—Apostrophe to the Order —Its Motto, “Friendship, Love, and Truth”—Difficult for one uninitiated to do justice to the subject—Fancy and Imagination are not requisite ; Truth and Reason are amply sufficient—The Order ancient, harmonious, beautiful; though the name be “odd”—The threefold cord which binds this Order in strength and harmony; viz., Curiosity, Pleasure, and Utility - The Mandate of the Grand Lodge, “We command you to visit the sick, Relieve the Distressed, Bury the Dead, and Educate the Orphan:”—This Precept, a compendium of Benevolence and Philanthropy, is the principle of vitality, imparting life, energy, and practical beneficence, to the various ramifications of the Order.
WHICH muse shall I invoke 2–I know the NINE,
Then let this heavenly Muse, celestial Love,
Appropriate epithets must look to find, -
Unites all parts in one harmonious whole;