Odd Fellowship is a Particular Benefit to the Young
The tendency of Odd-Fellowship upon the minds and character of its members, independent of the direct aid which it confers, is well calculated to develop those fine and social feelings which are the honor of our nature. It inculcates morality by the most forcible, and we may say practicable lessons; it teaches us the sweetness of friendship and affection, and renders every person more fit to fulfil their duties as the head of their own household and as a member of the community. Its expressive mottoes and axioms are most acceptable to the moral, the benevolent, and the charitable. By them, members are reminded of their duty toward their God, their families, and their neighbors. In the Lodge-room they listen to exhortations which must banish all evil and improper thoughts from their breasts, and render them good and peaceful members of society.
Odd-Fellowship, to the young, is indeed a benefit. It may be called a powerful conservator of their morals; and morality is the great safeguard of health. The minds of the most pure and well-meaning will sometimes go astray, sometimes turn aside from the plain avenue of virtue, to glean the flattering flowers that stand temptingly by the waysides, siren-like, to allure and destroy the infatuated votary. The world presents too many seductive pleasures for the minds of all to withstand: for living instances of this kind, we need not go far. Let any review the course of his own observation - look around the circle of their own acquaintance - and behold how many young people, full of promise and hope, with splendid intellect and capacity, have lost their fair fame by some impetuous act, and become objects of loathing and pity; how many, in the unguarded hour of conviviality, have raised the flowing goblet to their lips by way of healthy salutation to their friends, meaning no ill, and little dreaming of the sad fate that awaited them! See many of them now! Watch the eye, that once sparkled with healthy vision, flickering with a sickly and ghastly hue - ambition, that load-star of youth, beaming no more for them - all pride gone, all respect, all energy, and the weak frame tottering to the inebriate's premature grave! A sad spectacle; yet such as all have witnessed. Fortune, too, has her votaries; and the gaming-table displays its glittering heaps to those who would stake fame, honor, soul, family, and all, against the yellow earth, and in the essay to win, lose all - and steal their wretchedness through life.
When we claim for our Order those qualities which tend to prevent these disastrous circumstances, we claim for it no more than its equitable due; each Odd Fellow being bound by the most sacred obligation to advise and counsel a brother, to notify him of danger, and to stand as a guardian of his morals, reputation, and health.
The Odd Fellows Pocket Companion: A Complete Guide in all Matters Relating to Odd Fellowship, Paschal Donaldson, pp. 306-307 (R.W. Carroll & Co., Cincinnati, OH, 1874).
Brothers in Odd Fellowship
Odd Fellows are their brothers keeper.
A Band of Brothers
A Band of Brothers true are we,
And firmly, side by side,
We've bound ourselves by honor's tie,
Let weal or woe betide.
The gifted, noble, good, and brave,
The gray-haired and the youth,
Are striving in our name to save -
In Friendship, Love, and Truth.
Our brother in distress we seek,
His wants and woes relieve;
How much more blest we know it is
To give than to receive!
Should sickness on his form be laid,
We'll light its chilling gloom,
And, when the last sad debt is paid,
We'll bear him to the tomb.
Yet, though his home is in the sky,
We sooth his loved ones' woe,
Our solemn cov'nant's sacred tie
Hath bound us so to do.
The Noble Grand above will keep
Our record true and bright,
On his eternal scroll inscribed,
With never-dying light.
[Anon., Id. at 78-79 of The Odd Fellows' Minstrel]
Odd Fellowship! 'tis ever blest
With blessings from above;
'Tis twined amid the Widow's prayer,
And in the Orphan's love;
The living God hath arched its dome,
And built its bulwarks high;
It rests beneath the loving light
Of His unslumbering Eye.
So shall its grandeur never wane,
Its glory never fade;
Its Halls arise with Truth and Love,
And Liberty arrayed;
And in the blessed human heart
A Sacred Treasure lie,
Too great to fail, too sweet to fade,
And too Divine to die!
[Rev. Bro. T.L. Harris, Id. at 114 of The Odd Fellows' Minstrel]
A brotherhood of mankind under the fathership of God.