Our earthly homes!

(from Octavius Winslow's "Our Father's House")

Let us aim to model and to mold our earthly
after our heavenly home. There
righteousness dwells, holiness sanctifies,
love reigns, perfect confidence and sympathy
and concord exist. Why should not the earthly
homes of the righteous be types of this?

The home is a most marvelous and benevolent
appointment of God, and is designed, among
other ends, to unite, strengthen, and sanctify
the different relations of life, and thus secure
and promote the mutual happiness and well
being of each and all.

But, alas! how has sin perverted this! What
places of misery are some homes on earth,
even where religion is supposed to have found a
place! Discord, where there should be harmony;
suspicion, where there should be confidence;
jealousy, where there should be delight;
coldness, distance, and alienation, where
there should be the warmest, closest and
most endearing communion; harsh, abrupt
expressions, where there should be nothing
but pleasant words; indifference and neglect,
where there should be the profoundest interest
and sympathy; in a word, hatred, where there
should be love.

But, beloved in the Lord, this should not be so with you!

And with you it is an individual matter; for our
homes are just what the individual members of
the family make them. One unhappy temper,
one unbending will, one unloving, unsympathizing
heart may becloud and embitter the sunniest
sweetest home on earth.

Oh, cultivate the affections, the sympathies, and
the communion you hope to perpetuate in heaven!

By mutual forbearance, gentleness, confidence and
love; by deeds of kindness, delicate attention, and
graceful demeanor seek to transfer as much of the
purity, love, and sunshine of your Father's House
above as you can, to your Father's house below.