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mother's, the children's love of the two sexes towards their parents in like manner, and towards each other. Thus in a complete household of six persons, three of each sex, the four species yield fourteen varieties, * to all of which the Creator in His affluence has given their own distinctive hue and fragrance. And these are themselves each and severally the copies of something divine. For creative love, inasmuch as through the infirmity of the creature it could not represent itself adequately in one, produced in all things a numberless variety and inequality, so that multitude might make up for some of the creature's defects, and the good of order, the fairest good of all, might reflect the Maker's beauty in His universe. Nor can there be
any doubt that the God, who into His own absolute unity admits the relations of Father and Son, and proceeding from these a Third, their mutual Love, has created the human family to be a special representative of Himself. Has He not called its head and ruler by His own dearest name and title of Father? We know besides that the first insti. tution by which He formed the family was a copy of that great act by which He intended to redeem the race. But under the debasing influence of Paganism the family had lost all its divine significations. The human father no longer represented the heavenly. Only when the Son of God, made Man, Himself became a member of a human family, He touched all these affections with His life-giving power, bearing them all in His own Person, either naturally or mystically. The affections of husband and wife, father and mother, son and daughter, brother and sister, so touched by Christ, while they lost none of their original variety, had the virtue of the Incarnation communicated to them, by which they might bloom in a supernatural perfection. Richly, then, as the family was originally dowered, as the seat of human affections, the Son of Mary reserved to Himself, when it had degenerated and seemed ready to disappear, the privilege of bestowing on it its crown. This sacrament of marriage is His special gift, which, by guarding under a divine sanction the unity, sanctity, and indissolubility of the bond, secured for the human family the soil, as it were, in which every flower of its various affections might be produced. Take away either of these three conditions, as by polygamy its unity, by divorce its continuity, by license of either sex its sanctity, and the family becomes fatally impaired. We know that under polygamy the conjugal, parental, filial, and fraternal affections almost wither away. We know that remarriage after divorce, while it announces the dissolution of the conjugal bond, the tie of all the rest, sacrifices
* The varieties will run thus;-two conjugal: 1. the love of husband to wife; 2. the love of wife to husband; four parental : 3. of father to son; 4. of father to daughter; 5. of mother to son ; 6. of mother to daughter; four filial: 7. of son to father ; 8. of son to mother; 9. of daughter to father ; 10. of daughter to mother; and four fraternal: 11. of brother to brother; 12. of brother to sister ; 13. of sister to brother; 14. of sister to sister,
the children, distracts and dissipates their love. It is needless to dwell on the desecration produced by license on either side.
The mode, therefore, by which family life was restored and perfected was by making the members of it, husband and wife, parent and child, first and before all things Christian. The flood of impiety which had assailed its foundations and almost swept them away was thus arrested at its source. The most powerful impulse of our nature was checked in its excess and brought under control. Thus it was that in nations where chastity had been rarest, and human life vilest, Christian marriage was seen to produce every grace and ornament of social life. The noble German barbarian, retaining the idea of purity, unity, and companionship for life in the nuptial bond, bestowed on his bride his horse, his arms, his oxen, the goods of his own life, but could not give her that which he had not—the court of heaven for the Valhalla, the City of God for the city of Odin. His marriage, therefore, might reach the level of his own life, but could not rise above it. It was only when his race had received the strong graft of Christian faith that it became fruitful in all the sanctities of home.
II. The second great work of Christian marriage, as the basis of human society, is education. The Greek with all his artistic genius, the Roman with all his practical good sense, had nothing of
the kind. They both had schools in abundance wherein grammar and rhetoric, all that we now understand by literature, were taught, wherein the arts of life and the existing sciences were communicated; but as to the meaning of life itself, and the object for which it was given, they were ignorant. The state of marriage alone gave to Christian parents an infinitely higher knowledge concerning this than the wisest and the best
among them possessed. For the mother, however poor and ignorant she might be, knew that the children she was bringing into the world would not only belong by birth to an earthly state, but were to be made citizens of an eternal kingdom. She possessed and would communicate a definite knowledge of this, of which Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero had not dreamed in their highest flights. Take the example of Horace, who in a beautiful
passage records with tender gratitude his father's care of him; how being a poor provincial clerk he would not send his son to a country-school, but took him to Rome to learn the arts which the knight or senator taught his children, watched as the most incorruptible of guardians over his purity, and so was the cause, he says, of whatever virtue and goodness he had. Yet this most elegant of poets, this bosom-friend of Mæcenas and Augustus, free from all taint of avarice and meanness, and beloved by his friends, was, in his own words, “a hog of the herd of Epicurus." He has bequeathed to posterity his specific disbelief in providence on God's side, responsibility on man's; for him the gods “lie beside their nectar careless of mankind.” His creed, expressed in most harmonious verse, and faithfully carried out in his life, was, “Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.” Now, let us translate Horace somewhat magnified into our own world. Or rather let us conceive one possessing the full mastery of mind, as the organ of thought and reflection, passionately fond of the natural sciences, keen in the perception of art, an eloquent speaker, a finished linguist, full of worldly wisdom, energy, consideration. Such a man will possess the highest amount of instruction; but in virtue of all this he will not possess the lowest degree of education. For all these accomplishments do not touch the human being, the possessor of the soul, at all. All these things the age of Augustus possessed, and it was what we have seen; man was without value, woman without honour, society without a stay, breaking through and falling in amidst the accumulated wealth of ages. Could one have given to Plato the Child's First Catechism, he would have recognised therein the basis which he wanted for his ideal city. For to what end are the arts and sciences of life, if life itself be without value? And what value can that have which is simply transitory and leads to nothing permanent? But the solid point on which the whole social progress of the race could be