Truth supplies us with the only true and perfect standard by which to test the value of things, and so corrects the one-sided, materialistic standard of business.
If an Odd-Fellow begins right I can not tell how many tears he may wipe away, how many burdens he may lift, how many orphans he may comfort, how many outcasts he may reclaim.
Love edifies; that is, it builds up perfectly the whole man, secures an entire and harmonious and proportionate development of his nature. It does so by casting out the selfishness in man which always leads to a diseased and one-sided growth of his nature.
No two souls are endowed in an exactly similar way. And for the difference of endowment there is a reason in the Divine mind, for each soul in its generation has its appointed work to do, and is endowed with suitable grace for its performance.
We are not Odd-Fellows in the true sense unless we put away all bitterness, malice and selfishness. Common sense of mankind is quite right when it says a man’s religion is not worth much if it does not make him good. Have goodness first—out of goodness good works will come.
Every good work requires every good principle. A man with very prominent and striking characteristics will always be a perfect man. A perfect man has such harmonies that he scarcely has a characteristic. To be fruitful in every good work you must have in your heart the germs and seeds, the springs and sources of all Christian virtue.
We are all greater dupes to our weakness than to the skill of others; and the successes gained over us by the designing are usually nothing more than the prey taken from those very snares we have laid ourselves. One man falls by his ambition, another by his perfidy, a third by his avarice, and a fourth by his lust; what are these but so many nets, watched indeed by the fowler, but woven by the victim?
Sorrow is not an accident—occurring now and then—it is the very woof which is woven into the warp of life, and he who has not discerned the divine sacredness of sorrow, and the profound meaning which is concealed in pain, has yet to learn what life is. The cross manifested as the necessity of the highest life alone interprets it.
Equity—An eternal rule of right, implanted in the heart. What it asks for itself it is willing to grant to others. It not only forbids us to do wrong to the meanest of God’s creatures, but it teaches us to observe the golden rule, “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do you even so to them.” There is no greater injunction—no better rule to practice.
Don’t rely on friends—don’t rely on the name of your ancestors. Thousands have spent the prime of life in the vain hope of help from those whom they called friends, and many thousands have starved because they have rich fathers. Rely upon the good name which is made by your own exertions, and know that better than the best friend you can have is unquestionable determination, united with decision of character.