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All the questions here discussed are viewed in the light of a happy and intellectual religion ; not the sensuous religion of the age, which appeals to eyes and ears and nostrils, and which is sure to issue in feminine superstition and masculine scepticism. Such a reaction, indeed, one of our foremost statesmen has recently predicted.
There are many similes and metaphors in this book; and although it is frankly admitted that analogies prove nothing, and that they are the parallel lines, which being produced ever so far never meet, yet images delight, instruct, and illustrate ; and surely it was not for nothing that God made all things double.
The Greek and Latin quotations are intended for scholars, and are therefore thrown into the foot-notes. They are the symbols of a classical freemasonry, which excite sympathy and procure welcome among educated men. In this busy and material age of ours, these echoes from ancient literature fall soothingly upon the ear.
Those who are acquainted with a small volume of mine, entitled "Fragments of Christian Ethics," will not, I hope, be displeased to see some of those isolated thoughts here fitted into appropriate places.
HOME AND THE DOMESTIC AFFECTIONS.
DULCE DOMUM—Home, sweet home! What sound vibrates upon the heart more delightfully? The word itself is beautiful, but who shall describe the reality?
Our dearest memories cluster around home; its potent charms extend from the cradle to the grave. They accompany the emigrant to the most distant lands, and hover around him on his dying bed.* Not only on the simple-hearted emigrant does it cast its spell, but on the hardened man of the world. Even Danton, half savage, half genius, during the short period before his execution, distractedly reverted to the innocence of his earlier years, and spoke incessantly of trees, flowers, and the country.
Young Englishmen in our colonies, who have been skilful diplomatists and great warriors, while doing their work manfully and fighting their battles bravely, have been powerfully stimulated by the spontaneous question, “What will be thought at home?” I
This feeling comes out in little and even in amusing
dulces moriens reminiscitur Argos.”—Æn. x. 782. + Alison's “History of Europe,” ii. p. III. I e.g. Sir Alexander Burnes.
Thus the forests of Australia teemed with birds of a thousand different colours, and yet the Australian went to the trouble and expense of transporting from his old country the linnet, the chaffinch, and the sparrow.*
It is the same affection which makes the convolvulus, the primrose, and the daisy more dear to us than the palm-tree of India, or the gum-tree of Australia, or the guava of Mexico.
To cultivate the domestic affections leads to a full and wise enjoyment of our existence. This is one way to make the most of life--of that precious liquid, scanty indeed and evaporating, of which we should not spill a single drop. For in this cultivation, as in all right conduct, there will be found a threefold coincidence, which, ever and anon, imparts a thrill of delight-we shall feel that our duty and interest and pleasure coincide, and this makes life sweet indeed.
Since the dearest memories cluster around home, we can make it a source of lasting influence, by making the youth of children full of joy, comfort, and affection. Home-life, with all its discipline and associations, will be the material for many a future meditation; and the principles of those who are dead and gone will be respected and coveted, not only because of their intrinsic worth, but because they are tinged with the bright colours of earliest memory. Looking back, it seems to them as if
“ The air of paradise did fan the house, And angels offic'd all.” +
* Lord Carnarvon in the Times, Oct. 5, 1868. + “ All's Well,” iii. 2.