November 27, 1886
The beneficial Societies – The Mutual Insurance Societies - their claims upon their own members – the advantages they confer upon all who are enrolled are plain and need not be mentioned here in this presence. But an inventory of their useful points to the community. A partial and limited catalogue. What can you say to those outside of the gates.
1. They are schools where all who enter are trained in the principles and practice of self government.
2. They are a denial of the dangerous encroachments of caste of classes – of
3. They are in the way of the selfish – the sordid tendencies of our time and Country – here benevolence asserts her sway.
4. If I could have my wish gratified as to the course of the next six months during which I am to preside here it would be that greater harmony, greater friendship – less fault finding – more disposition to be content with each other- benevolence, charity, & love, faith & happiness
As one of the well known relief Societies of The Society called Independent Order of Odd Fellows is so well known its purposes, principles and methods are so thoroughly understood that there is on an occasion of this sort there is nothing, or very little to explain. No secret that does not have for its subject security against imposition – no obligation is assumed that might to not be taken & proclaimed on the House Tops –
In this Presence our Soc- our Brotherhood needs no explanation – much less does it need justification or defense.
Lack of time prevents an attempt to make a list of the merits of the order. No complete inventory of its claims can be made in five minutes.
It is easy to speak of some of its distinguishing- useful influence- for my present purpose I am not in the least narrow or selfish. I am ready to share with other similar So. the advantages claimed for this. From the oldest to the youngest – from that which counts its life by centuries to the bantling of yesterday Our civil Societies – our relief societies – especially the I.O.O.F. can show these valid titles to consideration and respect.
1. Odd fellowship is a school in which men & women are educated in practical Self Government.
The Lodge is a miniature Republican government which is carried on by its members. It has its Legislatures. Its judiciary – its executive departments – its revenues – its expenses – its debts – its diplomacy – its policy – its measures – its history.
1. It trains men & women to respect law.
2. It trains men & women to respect & regard human rights – manhood & womanhood – brotherhood.
1. This is a defense against Anarchy
2. It is a defense agst Caste - & privilege & property –
- There are our dangers –
3. It educates all within its walls in the true principles of free institutions – in real Democracy – in genuine Republicanism.
Does any brother know of a sick brother, or a brother in distress?
In friendship L. & T. will be found the surest safe guard agst the ills of life.