EPH. iii. 15. “Of whom the
whole family in heaven and earth is named.”
THE right rendering here is “every family.” St. Paul says,
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, from
whom every fatherhood in heaven and upon earth is
named”—derives that name of “fatherhood.” The force
of the saying lies in the pater and patria. Every human
family is such in virtue of a Divine Father. The text
gives great dignity and even sanctity to home relations.
What is “home”? It is a society which has God for its
founder, and of which each individual father is the human
centre. The parental presence is the essence of home.
I. Does Christianity, does Christ Himself, make much of
home duties? Has the new relationship of redemption
and grace superseded the old tie of the human sonship?
1. Christ’s own example of filial duty— “He was subject
2. His keen and indignant reproof of those who would
withhold from father and mother one single thing which
might be of comfort to them, on the plea that it was
“Corban,” that is, a consecrated offering.
3. His taking the earthly relationship of father and son
as the one sufficient type of the superhuman relationship
of man to his God.
II. What home is—in God’s intention, and in the expe-
rience of His children.
1. Home is our haven. It Is a place of safe keeping.
2. Home is our confessional. Thither carry your secrets
—there unbosom, and there leave them.
3. Home is our friend. It is the dear ones of birth and
nature who will go through our life with us.
III. The duty of remembering the “home relations” of
others besides yourself. Let the thought make you sym-
pathetic. Towards those beneath you in station, let it
teach you consideration. Beware of so treating your own
home in the present as that it shall be the bitterest memory
to you in the future.
Let your home relations take in the dead. It shall give
sweetness to your prayers, reality to your hopes, and
sanctity to your conduct towards the living.
C. James Vaughan, M.A.