« السابقةمتابعة »
unutterably solemn; for exhibiting lust as a harmless recreation, and the world as a wilderness intended only for the wide and predatory range of the passions.
FAMILY GOVERNMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN
THE Christian gentleman is in his best estate and properest attitude as a family man: his dealing with his children, with his domestics, and with his tradespeople, manifests the operation of that central principle which radiates in every direction. But the sure sign and note of Christianity is a humbled heart; not the mere disposition of humility, which may be allied to meanness and servility, but that product of Christian. grace which comports with true dignity of character. The order of society, and every relation comprehended under it, discipline and degrees, homage and honour, control and respect, all the correlative duties of life, are in perfect correspondence with spiritual humility; they belong to the same harmonious system. Christian temper must not be confounded with temperament. It is known from that which belongs to fibre and contexture, by its moral sway and the constancy of its action. By humility the Christian is made involuntarily great: his moderation is power: his
gentleness is force: his empire is that of complacency, consistency, and love.
To treat humility as the source of authority, may have the air of paradox; but it is a fact remarkably evidenced in the government of a Christian family. If the Christian father must ground his jurisdiction on the Gospel, and decide parlour controversies by an appeal to that standard, his personal veneration for it must be first attested by a profound and practical submission to its ordinances. The humility of the parent, when exhibited as a Christian grace, is a constraining pattern, the tendency of which is to keep up a perpetual recognition of the engagements of our religious professsion, to establish a family compact of reciprocal forbearance, and to purify the whole atmosphere of home by the fire of the altar; his talk, his walk, all his communication will combine to enunciate his Christian character. Before his children he will move with a special awe of the consequences of each word and act. It will be his great care
Ut sanctam filius omni
Aspiciat sine labe domum, vitioque carentem
THE EXTERIOR INTERCOURSE OF THE CHRISTIAN GENTLEMAN.
THERE is a distinct society among men which we designate by the name of "the Religious World;" and to this community the Christian gentleman does necessarily belong. But within this line of circumscription there are many classes and grades of Christians, more or less imbued with the proper evangelical spirit. To impute insincerity to any within this circle would be inconsistent with candour or Christian charity. It may be allowable, however, to remark, that there is in some men a tendency to shut up religion within their own arbitrary enclosure; to surround it with technicalities and interdicts which do not belong to it; to make it speak a language of peculiar and private dictation, and to hold in virtual excommunication a very large portion of sound and serious Christians. None without the shibboleth can enter the sacred barriers; and with it, men of little understanding and narrow sentiment are easily admitted. To be spiritually separated from the world is the sacri fice required by Christianity from its true pro
fessors; but it is from the world that lieth in wickedness, from the god of this world that blindeth the mind, from the rulers of the darkness of this world, from the lust of the eye and the pride of life, that we are to be separated; not from those who in manners and opinions differ by some shades from ourselves, or who, though equally anxious for the soul's safety and for the extension of Gospel truths, are less often than themselves at religious meetings, having families, perhaps, to provide for or instruct, or being, perhaps, less conversant with a certain phraseology by which these exceptious persons measure the progress of Christian attainments.
The Christian gentleman would, probably, be soonest found on the outside of this exclusive and mystic circle; his charities and affections. delight in a clear horizon and extensive ken; in the substances of things rather than their circumstances; in the genuine expression of feeling and the rectitude of the heart, rather than in the trammels of an unvaried phraseology and an exclusive medium of religious communication: he loves wisdom, and virtue, and goodness, and beneficence, wherever he finds them, and all "the impresses of God on the spirits of brave men;" he sees also that the Father of Heaven sendeth rain upon the just and the unjust; and,