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We had fondly hoped ere this to have been enabled to present our readers with the final decision of the A. M. C. of England upon the subject of the conflicting relations between that body and the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States. That body assembled at Bradford on the 5th of June last, and continued in session one week. Since its adjournment two steamers have arrived and we are without any official communication whatever. The journal of its proceedings from day to day was published in the daily papers of the town, for a copy of one of which we are indebted to a distinguished P. P. G. M. who was present as a delegate. Nothing appears to have been given to the public upon the subject of what is there termed the American Question: from which we infer that the deliberations of the A. M. C. respecting our differences were private and confidential. In this aspect of affairs it is painful to contemplate the forced position in which the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States will be placed-all will concede it is believed that a final and irreparable rupture between these two bodies will visit upon that Order so much valued and esteemed in both countries great and abiding injury-it will be equally admitted that the direction of the Order here and in England is in the hands of intelligent and devoted men. Where then it may be asked is the fault? Why should the universality of Odd Fellowship be for a moment jeoparded if at a reasonable sacrifice the danger can be averted?To these questions we answer that there has been no dereliction of duty, no abatement of love and regard for the welfare of Odd Fellowship throughout the globe on the part of the Grand Lodge of the United States. She has profoundly considered the subject and esteeming it one of great moment has at great expense as is familiar to all our readers tendered the "olive branch" to our English brethren. She has through her deputed agents earnestly pressed upon the attention of the A. M. C. of England the lasting injury to the Order at large which was certain to flow from an essential difference in the work and laws of Odd-Fellowship, and has with equal zeal urged upon its attention the serious difficulties and embarrassments to which a continuance of such a course would expose the many friendless brothers from their jurisdiction who might be overtaken by sickness or distress in this country. It is within the recollection of our friends that while the reasons and arguments advanced on the subject were so far influential as to produce a proposition to adopt the literal work of the five degrees as known and practised in the United States, yet that proposition was coupled with a condition (to wit, that brothers from that jurisdiction should be admitted to membership in this country without any other formality than the mere exhibition of a clean card and the payment of 10s. 6d. sterling) to which the Grand Lodge of the United States neither had the power nor the inclination to assent.
The A. M. C. was not ignorant of the limited jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the United States upon all subjects connected with the government and regulations of the Subordinate Lodges in States where Grand Lodges exist, and especial pains were employed to make it apparent that such a condition was equivalent to rejection of the entire subject of conference. It became necessary for the Grand Lodge of the United States to proclaim not only her disability in the premises, but her settled opposition to such a measure even if it were within her power to carry it out. This decision was officially and respectfully communicated to the G. M. and Board of Directors in the month of February last, since when the printed minutes of that body, which are published quarterly, have reached us which contain a detailed account of the action of the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States on the subject with a notice from the board to the Order at large that the subject would be adjourned till the meeting of the A. M. C. to whose consideration it would be referred. This information we received unofficially from a member of the board, not having been as yet even honored with a formal acknowledgment of the receipt of our official communication. Such is at present the position of the parties-every thing which love for Odd-Fellowship consistently with a decent regard for self-respect could prompt, has been done on the part of the Grand Lodge of the United States to accommodate this momentous difference in work, and we regret to say that circumstances as they exist evince a culpable indifference to the subject or a positive disinclination on the part of our trans-atlantic brethren further to consider it. Where the fault lies, and why the universality of the Order should be jeoparded may it appears to our mind be now easily understood. The Grand Lodge of the United States must act definitively at its next session and judging from the past we have no hesitation in expressing the opinion that however great the sacrifice to the Order, she will carry out her already expressed determination to dissolve the tie between her and the Manchester Unity and exert her best efforts to establish Odd-Fellowship in its purity and integrity wherever she may be able to reach throughout the world. Already are applications in hand from the Canadas and from South America for the organization of Lodges, and we trust that however the granting of such petitions may heretofore have been delayed from convictions of duty, that they may now be speedily gratified. It may however be that we do injustice to our brethren in England in assuming that they have failed to act or have acted adversely to our wishes at the meeting of the A. M. C. Should it turn out so in the end, we promise an ample reparation, but we do not permit ourselves for a moment to doubt about what has been done in England.
The complexion of the A. M. C. may be gathered from the elections for grand officers, and when we assure our friends that P. G. M. Mansfield who was chosen Grand Master of the Order at Bradford is among the decided advocates of the impracticable condition required as the sine qua non of agreement in the premises they will with us we think agree that the severance of the Independent Order in the two hemispheres is now complete. Every considerate brother in every clime will deplore this result, and when in after times our posterity marvel at the comparatively insignificant obstacle which was interposed to the oneness of Odd-Fellowship throughout the world, they will do the Grand Lodge of the United States the justice to relieve it from all fault or blame in the premises.
OFFICES-BY WHOM TO BE FILLED.
It is to be feared that some Odd-Fellows aspire to the offices of the Lodge, merely to have the honour of having "passed the chairs," without any desire to promote the interests of the Lodge, or the Order. But, if unhappily, any such have been elevated by the members, and have grovelled through their term of office, without interesting the brethren, or profiting the Lodge-without impressing upon the minds of the brethren, especially the newly initiated, the high moral and benevolent principles and requirements of Odd-Fellowship, the Lodge has in a measure become less attractive, and inattention on the part of the members to the interests and duties of the Order has been the result.
In such cases the Lodge should learn the important truth, that if a brother will not be zealous for the honour of the Order, when a private member, or in a minor office, little can be expected of him in a higher station, and not to trust him, as a presiding officer, who was not a faithful subordinate.
If integrity and faithfulness is not found in the Secretary, and honour and justice in the Treasurer, they surely should not be trusted to declare the law and enjoin its requirements upon the newly admitted brother, lest by their own inattention and want of care, they make the law of none effect, and cause others to regard it lightly. But after they have done this, if they ascend the next step, and take the chief government of the Lodge, manifesting that they care for none of the things of moment thereto, but rather to have and receive the titles, they do an injury to the body, which will require one, or more faithful administrations to rectify.
It is devoutly to be wished that improper motives may never induce an Odd-Fellow to aspire to an official station in the Lodge. Evil is sure to proceed from such an unnatural ambition; and yet the rapidity with which numbers of young men rush into the Order, gives place for it to be exercised.
If unqualified-office is rather a disgrace than an honour, for it is not easy, under such circumstances, to conceal ignorance or draw a veil over imperfection. If too negligent and inattentive, it will be apparent to all, and a drone will receive their execrations. An exhibition of incapacity in those who are expected to instruct and lead the brethren to a knowl. edge of truth, and the performance of duty, excites the feeling of pity, if not of con pt in the brotherhood. While, on the other hand, when the chair of the N. G. is filled with ability and zeal, respect and approbation are ensured—the laws of the Institution are observed, the words of wisdom fall, like the dews of heaven, from the lips of the instructor, and are eagerly imbibed by the gratified brethren,-improvement in the theoretical and practical knowledge of Odd Fellowship augments; the members emulate the accomplishments of the N. G. and the triumph of virtue, morality and brotherly love, becomes visible to the world, although the world without the Lodge is ignorant how the noble attainment has been achieved. So true it is, that “the light shineth in darkness, but the darkness comprehendeth it not."
In every Lodge there are brethren who love the principles of Odd-Fellowship, and are zealous in their inculcation and defence-brethren, who, advancing step by step, know the duties of the different stations, and who have a zeal according to knowledge, and a devotion that wearies not. In the hands of such, the interests of the Lodge,—the benign principles of Friendship, Love and Truth, will be guarded, fostered and promoted to almost an infinite extent.
Brethren, let such men be selected for officers of Lodges, for depend upon it, they may be trusted! Then
The sacred Lodge, of care devoid,
In social love and harmony,
Office of D. D. GRAND SIRE.
Charleston, S. C. July 11, 1843.3 To JAMES L. RIDGELY, Esg. R. W. Grand Sec'ry G. Lodge U. S.
DEAR SIR AND BROTHER-accompanying this you have a draft on the Merchants Bank of Baltimore for the dues of the several Lodges, the names of which are annexed, viz:Oglethorpe Lodge, No. 1, Savannah Geo. gr. ending 31st March, $46 00 Live Oak Lodge, No. 3,
37 46 Franklin Lodge, No. 2, Macon
143 34 Kennedy Lodge, No. 2, Black Creek, E. F. qr. “ 30th June, 7 83
$234 63 The returns of the above Lodges are in my possession and will be forwarded to your office first private opportunity. The returns for quarter ending June 30,-will doubtless soon be in hand. You perceive that Kennedy Lodge, No. 2, at Black Creek has been very prompt, that Lodge was instituted in May and bids fair to be a useful link in the great chain, partaking somewhat of the zeal and promptness of the M. W. G. Sire, whose name it bears. The Lodges at Savannah make a noble return, and that at Macon a very heavy one. Live Oak and Franklin had only been formed two months when their first quarter closed.
They are all sound in the faith and practice of Odd Fellowship, and will continue to prosper.
Yours in F. L. and T.
ALBERT CASE, D. D. Gr. Sire.
NASHVILLE, July 19, 1843. The Annual Communication of the R. W. Grand Lodge of Tennessee I. O. O. F. was held at Odd-Fellows' Hall in this city on Saturday the 15th, at which time the following officers were elected for the current year.
WILKINS F. TANNEHILL,
M. W. G. M. ROBERT A. BARNES,
R. W. D. G. M. HENRY Wade,
R. W. G. W. L. L. LOVING,
R. W. G. S. ANTHONY BONVILLE,
R. W. G. T. William McCURDY,
R. W. G. C. William Knox,
R. W. G. G. C. C. TRABUE,
R. R. G. Chaplain. The interest manifested among the Subordinate Lodges of the State, was exemplified by the large number of Past Grands in attendance, and the remarkable harmony that prevailed during the deliberations of the body. There were present nine P. G.'s from Tennessee Lodge, No. 1, (Nashville) six from Nashville Lodge, No. 2, (Nashville) six from Columbia Lodge, No. 3, (Columbia) two from Spring-Hill Lodge, No. 4, (SpringHill) one from Washington Lodge, No. 5, (Dresden) and two from Memphis Lodge, No. 6, (Memphis.)
P. G. M. Timothy Kezer, was elected Representative to the R. W. G. Lodge of the United States and we congratulate the Order upon sult of the election of so ardent and devoted a friend to our cause, who is in every respect competent to discharge the duties of his high and important situation.
During the past year the Order in Tennessee has advanced with rapid steps, and its principles and benefits have secured many warm and devoted advocates, especially among the ladies, who have been frequent witnesses of the devotedness of Odd Fellows to suffering humanity.
W. F. T.
[We take great pleasure in publishing the subjoined communications to
the Committee of Arrangements for the dedication of Odd Fellows' Hall in the city of Baltimore.]
CHARLESTOWN, (Mass.) July 22, 1843. Dear Sir and Brother—Your letter as Chairman of a Committee of the Grand and Subordinate Lodges of Maryland, inviting me to deliver an Oration on Monday, September 18th, has just been received. In answer thereto I reply that I accept the appointment, and will endeavor to the best of my abilities to discharge the office with which my Maryland brethren have honored me. Permit me through you Sir, to tender my regards to the gentlemen of the Committee; and with sentiments of personal respect, believe me,
Yours in F. L. and T. P. G. Sire Thomas Wildey.
E. H. CHAPIN.
CHARLESTON, July 21, 1843. Dear Sir and Brother-I have the honour to acknowledge yours of 18th informing me of the distinction conferred by my brethren of Maryland. I am deeply sensible of their kindness and beg leave through you to return my thanks. No effort in my poor power shall be wanting to illustrate the principles to which we are devoted, destined as we hope to become universal in their benefits as they are in their intentica.