We travel from star to star, from system to system, until we reach yon lonely star that appears to be performing the Guardian’s task, upon the verge of unmeasured and immeasurable space. We may descry and describe the form and outlines of those heavenly bodies, detect their movements and approximately determine their distances and dimensions. But what more? Little that is satisfying. When they had a beginning, what purposes they subserve in the sublime system of God’s stupendous universe, and when they shall have a consummation, we may not certainly know. Secrets, these, and such “Secret things belong unto God.” We would like to know these secrets, but must wait; for there, “roll those mighty worlds that gem the distant sky,” as distantly and dismally as when Chaldean and Egyptian astronomers and astrologers viewed their movements three thousand years ago, rifled meanwhile of but few of their well kept secrets. He that pencils the lily and paints the rose and gives to every blade of grass its own bright drop of dew, has been pleased to say: “Hitherto shalt thou come and no further.” And there is great unwisdom in setting up factious opposition to the fiat of Omnipotence. Possess your souls in patience, O friends! wait, as we must wait, before knowing all, or even knowing much. If you can not be Odd-Fellows, you can at least be men, with an effort.
“But, sir,” you demand, “can you tell us something more about Odd-Fellowship, its purposes and its Work?” I can, a little. Come with me, then, and we will look into the lodge. Ah! In the most conspicuous place there stands an altar—upon it the open Bible, the world’s great word of Life and Light. Upon the principles enunciated by that Book, largely rests the great superstructure of Odd-Fellowship. The Bible is to the order what the sun is to the material universe—its illuminator and vivifier, even as it also is the, guide to faith and practice. A man may neglect his closet, his church, his Bible, but when he enters the lodge he is bound to listen to the voice of his Maker, as it thunders from His word; and while the lodge does by no means lay claim to the possession of religious attributes, yet has it been the means, by the constant use of the Bible, of turning many from the ways of wrong-doing and sin, into paths of pleasantness and peace; and by a unique system of symbolism and a comprehensive and practical application of its sublime truths, the faith of the believer has been strengthened, enlarged and rendered usefully active.