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[Illustration: A HAPPY HOME.]

There are but few sweeter words in the English language than the word home. I have thought the three sweetest words are mother, home, and heaven. Home is the dearest place in all the world to the Christian heart. To have a fond love for home is not at all injurious to Christian character. Those who have but little love for home will never succeed well in the Christian life. It may sometimes occur that some of the home members are so disagreeable that the Christian for peace' sake will quit the home roof; but he still loves home. Sometimes young people think that to enjoy life they must get out from under parental rule and roof. We have an instance of this nature recorded in the Bible. How soon we learn of the prodigal's longing for the comforts of home. How often he thought of his father's house, that place so dear to him now. The love of home is a high mark of integrity. Show me one who has no love for home, and I will show you one who has but little true manhood or womanhood. The Bible command to young Christians is to be "chaste, keepers at home." When our duty and service to God demand our absence from home we submit and go in the strength of his grace, but lose not our love for home, and return in joy at Father's will.

You can nowhere find more of heaven upon earth than in a Christian home. Look at the picture: A father with the Holy Bible, the mother and children listening in reverence to the heavenly message. Where, I say, can you find more of heaven? Such a scene is most sweet and sacred. Methinks the angels bend low to catch the chants of praise that arise from those devoted hearts to the gates of heaven. "Such a picture," you may say, "is very beautiful and inspiring to look upon, but where is the reality?" Thank God, such a home can be real in life, and it is your duty as a Christian to help make it so. God is pleased with such a home. It is much to his praise. Since such homes are so rare they are all the more glorifying to God, and we should strive the more earnestly to have them real.

In your home is the place to shine for God. It is the place to shed forth the radiant beams of Christian light from your grace-ladened soul. If you hope to prosper in the divine life, be your best at home. Do not think you can be careless at home and then shine in the splendor of Christian virtue when before the public. Your life at home leaves its mark upon you. Shine in Christian beauty at home, and you will shine in beauty in public; but attempt away from home to be more than you are at home, and you will miserably fail. A few years ago while in one of our large Eastern cities laboring for Jesus and souls for whom he died I wrote a few lines to the dear ones at home, which perhaps will not be out of place to insert here.

When the light of day is dying
And the shades of night steal on,
Voices to my mem'ry whisper
Of the dear loved ones at home.
Ere the chandelier is lighted,
Ere the day's last ray is gone,
O'er me comes a fond remembrance
Of the dear loved ones at home.
Far above in arch of heaven
Lamps are lighted one by one,
But I only see the bright eyes
Of the dear loved ones at home.
Far away beyond the region
Where I see those shining stars,
Somewhere in the land of angels,
Dwells a little boy of ours.
Years ago one wintry evening
Heaven's gate was opened wide,
And an angel swift descended,
With a sickle at his side.
Paused he at our boy's low trundle
In the evening twilight hour,
Caught away his happy spirit
To its home beyond the stars.
How my heart adores the Giver
Of all good o'er land and sea,
But I praise him more than ever
For the dear ones left to me.
As I think of her he gave me
In my happy youthful time,
How he bound our hearts together
At love's pure and sacred shrine;
As I think of her this moment,
Given me by love divine,
Seems I almost feel the pressure
Of her gentle hand in mine.
In the arms of night I'm folded,
Soon in dreamland I shall roam;
Then I'll go and see the dear ones—
See the dear loved ones at home.
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