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devout aspiration. Verily is such a home scarce else than another Eden on earth. Its culture how delightful! Its charities how sacred! And its worship-how significant !
“When kneeling down to heaven's eternal King,
The saint, the husband, and the father prays!
But the family scene has also another representative meaning. Typical as it is of things celestial, and adapted as it is to bring them into thorough contact with mind and heart, to the temporal and eternal blessedness of the household, that little circle is besides a type of the relationship existing between all the human creatures that people our world. It exhibits, in perpetual and impressive example, the brotherhood which does really obtain, and the sympathies which are actually due, between all the sons and daughters of human kind,
The reality of such kinship among men, however distant in place, or diverse in condition, may well be thus commended to earnest consideration, because as tribes have wandered and changed, the bonds of charity which should unite them have become greatly enfeebled. And it is one of the tokens of moral perversion in the very heart of humanity. We do not look upon the remote and the degraded as our brethren. We do not feel towards them as fellow-members of one great family, descendants of one parentage, inheritors of a common nature, and candidates for a kindred destiny, children of the same divine Father, partakers of like privileged access to the same exalted Elder Brother. Theoretically, we may be satisfied that science well nigh demonstrates human unity from the general analogies of life, from the laws of body and mind traced among all people, and from the facts found in language and other monumental relics. And we may be no less sure that Scripture exhibits the same important truth, not only historically, and in explicit affirmation, but incidentally by universal and inseparable implication in the fundamental principles revealed as belonging to the divine government over mankind. Nor is this conviction to be disparaged. It is an immense gain for the cause of humanity, that the double authority of science and revelation establishes to our intellect the certainty that “God has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth.” (Acts 17: 26.) That the cool, calm understanding is compelled to reject what the great Humboldt so justly designates the “desolating distinction," (Kosmos, i. p. 358,) made by an infidel philosophy, as unamiable as it is unsound, between “superior races born to conquer, rule, and exterminate, and inferior destined despite all philanthropy, legislation, and missionary labor, to be overwhelmed, subjugated, exterminated.” (Types of Mankind, p. 79.)
But it is one thing to have the understanding thus convinced, and quite another to have the kindly sympathies suited to the relation of brothers actuating our hearts. One thing to know what is true and right, another widely different so to feel it as to be moved to excellent endeavor.
Now it is, no doubt, one of the reasons why the charities of home have been based upon celestial associations so sacred, and have been made so precious in their influence, that they might coöperate with other great agencies in awakening us to a more appreciative estimate of our relations toward the mighty family of mankind.
Is one member of a well-trained household languishing under some painful, perhaps fatal malady? And can it be other than a common grief? How much more, if it be a moral gangrene, a strange infatuation of vicious propensity, a fearful delusion of ungodliness! Has some erring prodigal wandered far off into regions of wrong and ruin? Is it possible for less than incessant, yearning anxiety to follow him with all the pleadings of prayer, all the patience of love? And if through Heaven's wondrous mercy he be recovered, shall there be in all the house less than abounding joy?
Then what is this but an arousing lesson divinely addressed
to our inmost hearts, as to all the maladies, all the iniquities, all the degradation, all the wretchedness, and all the peril for eternity of our brother men the world around? Can we with the spirit here caught look unmoved upon the spiritual ignorance, moral disorder, and prevalent evil, even in lands like our own, where Heaven's authority is most recognized? Can we withont a pang or an effort behold the filthiness, the destitution, the corruption, the festering wrong, the hopeless misery crowded in the hovels, the cellars, the garrets, the lanes and alleys of all the great cities of Christendom? Especially when in contemplating all this, we discern, after every just allowance for whatever may be included under the idea of misfortune, the conditions of accountability in every individual, and evidences of that love of darkness rather than light, which unerr. ing truth has declared to be the one ground of universal condemnation. And when in view of this, we cast a glance onward to the measureless issues which await the obdurate rejectors of that divine light, which, whatever its degree, they had, or might have obtained, and see our brothers, our sisters, bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh, children with us of the same Father, embraced in the compassion of the same redeeming Friend and Brother, in that very peril, going into that very doom, oh! can the fraternal heart be quiet in the breast? Shall there be no pleadings with the Bestower of mercy, no anxious thought for remedial agencies, if so be such be practi. cable, no eager interest in every measure whereby these wretched ones may be comforted, regenerated, saved.
But what are these to the outcast alien multitudes beyond the pale of all ordinary Christian influence? Here we behold one vast assemblage of wanderers, drugged into moral insensibility by an insane imposture, oppressed by the crnelties yet satisfied with the sensualities of a barbarous civilization; where home charities have no existence, where man is at once a fatalist, philosopher, and a bigoted devotee, a remorseless tyrant, and a shameless brute, and woman, not a sister, wife, mother, daughter, counsellor, friend, but a soulless creature, a fair animal to be caged in the seraglio and petted awhile, a degraded worthless nothing! There our eyes rest upon heathen
millions even farther gone than this from truth and virtue; victims indeed of delusion and iniquity in a thousand forins, from the miserable dupes of dreamy, ancient learning and fierce modern superstition in India, and the prudent, plausible, worldly-wise, yet atheistic, truthless, unfeeling, ever-perishing, yet madly-vain herds of China, to the demoniac cannibals of New Zealand, Fejee, and Sumatra, the oil-fed savage of the Arctic circle, the wretched remnant of our American aborigines, and the poor creatures, more hideous in the inner than the outer man, which people some of the islands of the Pacific, interior Australia, and vast regions of Africa, outnumbering altogether the whole world besides. For these distant wanderers from the family privileges of our common humanity, the more miserable as they have farther strayed, catch we no lesson of compassion in the blessed sympathies of our Christian homes ? Can we behold them, our brethren, our sisters, thus lost to knowledge and love, to duty and truth, to comfort and hope, and rational joy, and find in our hearts no imperative desire, no longing that will not be quiescent, to send them help, to have them instructed, reformed, elevated ? And again, when we bear in mind that every individual of all these millions, whatever be the darkness into which his ancestors had wandered and to which he was born, may be enlightened, while it is so plain that in the mighty mystery of iniquity, the darkness is loved instead, and we hear meantime Infinite Love itself repeat, “ This is the condemnation,” can we sit contentedly in our homes, rest peacefully on our pillows, and rejoicingly quaff the full cup of domestic mercies put into our hands by the Giver of good, with no fraternal anxiety, no thoroughlyawakened concern for these outcast ones, no soul-uttered petition, “Thy kingdom come,” no full-hearted life-long action obedient to the spirit of the charge, “Go, teach all nations !” “ Preach the Gospel to every creature” ?
Surely, if the ties of brotherhood be sacred, and family affections of celestial appointment and significance, and if the principle be just, the injunction binding, “Freely ye have received, freely give," then we are debtors to every land, every tribe, every creature, outwardly polished, half-civilized, or
sense of appaled, and bound.ficent energies to
wholly barbarous, Infidel, Turk, Pagan, as much as in us lies, effectually to bring to bear upon them the benign influences which impart whatsoever is most blessed to our own hearts and homes. Nay, it is only when the soul, filled with the sense of appreciated duty, swelling with intelligent, grateful, divinely-kindled, and boundless love, gives its sympathies to the race, and directs its beneficent energies to the best it can achieve for the world, that the condition of true nobleness is reached. Then is man, indeed, exalted; only then, when in the very light of heaven, he is a loving, unselfish, patiently laboring, it may be suffering, co-worker with God for human welfare.
"There are three circles,” says with truth and point an approved modern writer, (Bayne, Christian Life, Individual and Social, p. 68, “in which, in his life on earth, and the discharge of his earthly duties, a man may act. The first is that of self: one must always by duty and necessity do more for himself, or in connection with himself, than for any one else. The second is that of family and friends, of all those who have a claim on one by blood or friendship: within this circle a man must perform certain duties, or he meets universal reprobation and contempt. The third is that of humanity in general; ... man is united by mysterious but ennobling bonds with every other man, ... and this is the sphere where, save in rare instances, nobleness as such has existence. A man who performs well his duties to himself, who has no higher object than that he may be undisturbed and happy, we shall not call noble. In the second circle, we find many of the loveliest spectacles that our earth can show; the affections of brothers and sisters, the self-sacrificing nobleness of friendship, the sacred beauty of a mother's love. But, leaving the question of friendship, which, indeed, holds, in its pure form, of the high and the immortal, we can not hesitate to place domestic feelings and spectacles, (apart from the consecrating relations of the Gospel,) among the natural productions of our planet; the loveliest, perhaps, we have to show, but of a beauty (when unsanctified) precisely analogous to that of the rose and the fountain, and essentially pertaining to time. By neglecting family duties,