The Jericho Road eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 167 pages of information about The Jericho Road.
Looking back along the pathway of the century behind us we behold the wrecks of many orders.  The morning of their life was beautiful and full of glorious promise, but the evening came and they had perished.  Rich costumes, impressive ceremonies, beautiful degrees and magnificent effects, all lie buried and forgotten.  It was not because their founders lacked energy or enthusiasm, not because their members were less susceptible to the beauty and poetry of tradition and ceremony, but because success and perpetuity come not from human effort, but are the outgrowth of a life-giving principle.  The sculptor fashions from the marble a form of surpassing loveliness, its lines are those of grace and beauty.  We stand before it charmed, whispering our admiration, but the impression on the heart is only passing.  The poet sings of home, of mother and of love; the meter may be faulty and the words may charm not, but the sentiment is true and touches our hearts.  The experience it recites is common to humanity, and wherever its sweet tones are heard it softens men’s natures and makes them better, truer and nobler.  Who among us would be willing to exchange the influence of the immortal song “Home Sweet Home,” or be willing to forget the Christian’s “Nearer My God to Thee,” for all the inanimate beauty of art?  One charms the eye, the other touches and calls to life the best and sweetest emotions of the human heart.  So it is with fraternal societies.  Flashing swords, glittering helmets, jeweled regalias and beautiful degrees may touch the vanity and excite the admiration, but to win the heart we must satisfy its longings, feed its hopes and lift it above the narrowness and selfishness of its daily experience.  Odd-Fellowship strives to touch the heart and better feelings, rather than feed the vanity of man or arouse his admiration for gorgeous displays.  Its work is an exemplification of the living, practical Christianity of today.  In almost every state in this fair land of ours can be found Odd-Fellows’ homes, within whose walls the orphan is no longer motherless.  For each and every little one within these homes, one million Odd-Fellows feel a father’s love and pledge a parent’s care.

Add to all this great work the little deeds of love, the little acts of kindness that make life beautiful; add kind words of cheer and friendly help and tender consolation, and add again the benefit of union, the strength that comes from hearts united in God’s work among mankind, and you have caught a glimpse of the life-giving principle that has made Odd-Fellowship one of the grandest fraternal and beneficiary institutions the world has ever known.  The work it has done can not be fully estimated until the record is read in the bright light of eternity.  In that glad day the tears that have been wiped away will become jewels in somebody’s crown, and the sobs that have been hushed will be heard again in hosannas of welcome.

Onward! is the ringing, pregnant watchword of the world.  The vast, complicated, ponderous machinery of life is kept in motion by tireless and irresistible forces.  The multiform and magnificent affairs of men and of nations are all impelled forward with an energy and a velocity as wonderful as glorious to behold.

Project Gutenberg
The Jericho Road from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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