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LIFE AT HOME
For all of us our life at home must constitute a great part of that life in which, by patient continuance in well-doing, we have to seek for glory, honor and immortality; for many of us it practically constitutes the whole.
There are millions of women, millions of girls, to say nothing of little children, who have no life worth speaking of beyond the boundaries of the family. Whatever fidelity to God, whatever love for Christ, whatever justice, whatever kindness, generosity and gentleness they are to illustrate in their spirit and conduct must be illustrated there. And even men who have their business and their profession to follow during the greater part of the day find occasion in their home-life for forms of well-doing and ill-doing that are not possible elsewhere. I like a broad and rich life for myself—full of varied interests; and I should like to see the lives of most men, and of most women too, animated by the inspiration and refreshed by the free air of activities and interests outside their own home. But no shining achievements elsewhere can palliate the guilt of coldness, injustice, ill-temper in the family; and the noblest public virtues have roots in the gentleness, the industry, of self-sacrifice and the truthfulness of which only those who are nearest to us have any knowledge.
— April And May, 1884 —