Moral.—Brethren, in our tenacity for church creeds, let us not fail in the practice of a little daily Christianity. “Finally, brethren, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Gal., iv, 8.
THE IMPERIAL VIRTUE
Though sophists may argue, or philosophers
The evils of lying they can not mitigate.
Our God’s law is truth! Who then dares justify
A falsehood? Remember, a lie is a lie!
Let this he our motto, in old age or youth:
“All lying is sinful, so, stick to the truth!”
“Truth we accept as a cardinal virtue, and require its practice on the part of all the votaries of Odd-Fellowship while traveling the rugged journey of life in search of reward and rest.” Truth is above all things else, and every Odd-Fellow knows full well that his obligation binds him to speak the truth. Remember a lie is never justifiable. It does the person more harm than that he seeks to avoid by telling a falsehood would do. “What is truth?” This question of Pilate is in the air today. It is repeated on every side and in every department of intellectual pursuit. It always pays to tell the truth under all circumstances. Abraham came near bringing a whole nation into trouble in lying about his wife. Be it said to the honor of President Grant, that once a visitor called at the White House wishing to see him. The door-keeper told the servant to tell the visitor the president was not in. General Grant, who was very busy, heard what was said. He called out, “Say no such thing. I don’t lie myself, and won’t allow anyone to lie for me.” Tell the truth always. “I said in my haste all men are liars.” Psalms, cxvi, 2.
It was a very sweeping assertion that the Psalmist made, and one that incriminates us all. He probably did not mean that all men were liars in the sense that everybody always spoke untruthfully, but that the great majority of people would, under certain stress of circumstances, equivocate to suit the conditions of the occasion. If that was what he meant, he uttered a sage truth when he said very hastily one day: “All men are liars.” Though a hasty utterance, facts seem to prove its truthfulness. The greatest mischief-maker in the world today is the liar. I honestly believe that lying causes more real anguish and suffering than any other evil. It would be effort wasted to spend much time in proof of this assertion of David’s, so we will attempt to classify briefly, that each of us may know where he belongs. First, there is the deliberate lie. This species needs no particular definition. All are acquainted with it, all have met it, some have uttered it. You all know it when you see it; it is barefaced and shameless; it reeks with the mire of falsity and is foul with the slime of the pit infernal. This lie contains not an atom of truth, is tinctured not with a grain of fact, but is a full-blooded, thoroughbred, out and out lie. Then we have the campaign lie. A large, open-faced fellow, loud-voiced and blatant; bold, daring and sweeping; it claims everything, asserts everything, denies anything.