Obrázky stránek
[ocr errors]

church in its highest state of exaltation. " It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but when he shall appear we shall be like him;" we shall bear his image and his name, and be clothed in a glorious body like unto his own glorious body. We shall be one with him, and dwell with him forever. Christ is all and in all. There is one likeness, one name, one home, one love; and this is the marriage "of Christ and the church ;" the great mystery whereof Paul speaks.

It were easy to carry out the idea, and show how, all along the pathway of Christian life, Christ and his flock are one. As Eve was derived from Adam, so the church draws her life from Christ, and lives by him alone. In her espousals she gives herself wholly to him. No rival affection can be admitted. Without him she can do nothing He, on his part, never leaves or forsakes her. There is perfect sympathy: on the one side the trusting faith of one who feels the need of support; on the other, the strong arm which is never withdrawn. In all the way they walk hand in hand, and heart in heart. Christ is bound to the church, and the church bound to Christ, and not death itself sunders the union, for it is cemented and made perfect beyond the grave. “Each disciple has a share in the heart and affections of the glorious Bridegroom, and all, combined in one mystical body, constitute the happy bride," for whom Christ is now preparing an eternal home of joy and love.

This is true sympathy, — the highest, most enduring bond of union, by which Christ and the church are one,- one on earth and one in heaven. Blessed are they who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And blessed are they whose marriage on earth is hallowed by union with Christ; for that marriage alone has all the original elements of bliss which joins into one those who have mutual sympathy with God in Christ, as well as with each other. Such was the blissful marriage of Eden, and blessed is that union in which the ruin wrought by the fall is restored in Christ Jesus. In him alone may man now commune with God without fear, in him alone find the sting of death taken away,-- in him alone hope for reünion in the eternal home with the friends torn from his earthly household. If then there be a bond on earth which ought to be hallowed by prayer and faith in Christ, it is the marriage bond; for thus alone is reared one altar, one home, and one sure refuge amid life's storms and death's sweeping billows; for they alone that are one in Christ can never be sundered.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

'T is the sweetest hour of life, the long-sought
Hour, when, as the evening shadows darken earth,
E ach nestling seeks its own loved place at prayer.
M other, released from care and weary toil,
Of all the happy, seems the happiest.
T rustful alike the household gather round
Her chair, whose presence fills them with delight
E ach in their turn their artless questions ask,
R evolving oft in mind their Eden home.
Serenely sweet this model group appears.
A Christian mother and her little ones,
8 weetly retired from human view or thought,
S hielded by love divine, enjoying all,
In that dear sanctum of domestic life,
S anctioned by heaven and by heaven's Lord,
T he happiness that faith and virtue yield.
A ssured of mutual love and confidence,
'N eath the parental roof, ʼmid praise and prayer,
The fond maternal smile, whose radiant hope,
Alternately with anxious thoughts, seemed breathed,
N e'er served them to discourage, but to love, -
Deep, holy love, and filial trust incite.
Y outh, childhood, infancy, with merry laugh
Of winning artlessness, were there, with minds
U nfolding every hour, to catch the words,
N or less the look of her, who, thoughtfully,
Gave sanction to the words of " holy writ,”
L ying in reverence open at her side.
A sk ye who seek your home away from home,
D azzling in splendor 'mid unhallowed mirth,
Y our household group deserting, what there is
So lovely and bewitching in this scene?
Few minds like thine e'er know the secret mine
Revealed within this “ Book of books,” the all-
I nspiring motive to a mother's love.
E ternity will show her work of faith.
Not weary of her task, she still imparts,
Deep in each heart, true love to God and homa

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

“ I made this pretty box for you,”

’T was very strange, but yet ’t was true,

When selfish Samuel saw
Said Georgy to his mother ;
“This yellow sled, with stripes of blue, The smiles that generous Georgy drew,
I now present to brother.

Envy began to gnaw ;

“But dear grandma I know will prize This Bible more than all ;

And while this greedy monster fed

Upon his wretched heart,

[blocks in formation]

FILIAL duty cannot be urged too strenuously upon children. At the same time, may it not be well to inquire whether there is a proportionate attention given to parental duty ? While the parent teaches the child to obey, is he equally faithful in teaching himself to be worthy of obedience? Does he as often make the impression upon the mind of his child that he as earnestly desires to govern aright, as he does to be obeyed? And, in this matter of parental government, does the child, in fact, stand an equal chance to secure his own rights? Does not the parent, in reality, have a great advantage? Is it not manifestly in his power to exact obedience, when the child can do or say nothing to secure worthiness of obedience in the parent? The relation indeed which God has established between parent and child, renders it indispensable that it should be


[ocr errors]

80. But, since it be a fact that the child cannot often speak and act for himself, is it not more the duty for some one to act and speak on his behalf? I confess that I am quite inclined to take the part of the child in this matter. My sympathies naturally flow out toward the weaker party.

It is said that, under some circumstances, frequent use is made, by the spiritual as well as the civil authorities, of the apostolic injunction, “ Servants, be obedient to your masters;" while little is heard of that other injunction, which rests upon the same divine authority, “ Masters, render unto your servants that which is just and equal." Now, may it not be said, with some propriety, that there is a disproportion, even in the best of Christian families, between the use of the apostle's exhortation to children to "obey their parents in all things,” and his exhortation to “ fathers not to provoke their children to wrath"?

In order to secure most effectually the great ends of government, it is essential that both governors and governed recognize their mutual obligations. Their duties are reciprocal ; and this principle is of as vital practical importance in the family as in the church or state. It is the duty of the subject to obey. But it is the duty of

. the ruler, in a proper manner, to exact only the obedience which should be rendered. It is the duty of the ehild to obey his parent. But it is no less the duty of the parent to govern him aright. Both are alike subject to a higher law, and the child can obey aright, or the highest ends of obedience can be secured for the child, only as the parent governs aright, or in accordance with the injunctions of the law of God. A disregard of this fundamental principle in government can work only evil to both rulers and ruled, parents and. children.

It is true that the natural heart is opposed to the law of God. Its opposition is manifested in early childhood. It is common alike to parent and child. Therefore the parent may err in governing, as well as the child in obeying. But the parent, in the correct discharge of his duty, will often be the innocent occasion of wrong feeling and conduct in the child. The restraints and requisitions of the law alone will often bring out the wicked passions of the heart even of a child. They will provoke his wrath. But if a parent, while acting properly, as the legitimate agent of the Supreme Ruler, occasions his child to err in feeling and conduct, that is, if the

« PředchozíPokračovat »