The Successful Man's Home
( Originally Published Late 1800's )
Let us go home. Home from the turmoil of life ; home from the hate and selfishness of a grasping world ; home from the place of dusty toil to peace and rest. Let us go home to wife and children ; for it is here that the successful man is seen at his best. Here he may unbend from the stern demeanor that he must bear in his relations with men. Here he is no longer the alert, active man of affairs, pushing his business and struggling to the front in every wordly enterprise ; but he is the fond husband, the kind father, the true hearted friend. Here the graces and accomplishments of life culminate and the successful man is seen in the true light of unblemished, noble character. All hail to the man in his home ! All hail to that gracious spot made divinely fair by the institution of Christian marriage ! Two lives from the world's end have blended in mutual, holy affection. Henceforth they share the world's vicissitudes and build a home where peace and virtue dwell. Two boisterous streams from the mountains of youth flow together at the altar. Their waters are mingled into one calm, deep river. It flows to the ocean in peace. No hidden rocks stir its steady current and no towering cliffs turn it from its course; no rapids lash its bosom to foam ; no chasms send its waters thundering to vales below ; but it flows forever past lovely fields and emerald banks, basking in the smiles of God. Like this is the heavenly way of happily wedded life. Like this is the home-life of success. From it the father goes to his toil with hope in his heart and a song on his lip. In it rules a queen, fairer than Cleopatra, richer than Sheba, of more heavenly virtue than Esther, of wiser administration than Elizabeth or Victoria. Out of it go manly boys and womanly girls to bless succeeding generations to the end of time.
Home is the school of character. In it every man receives the major part of his moral training ; for, in the early associations of home, the man takes on these principles which follow him through life. It is here that the heart is opened, habits are laid, the intellect aroused and character moulded for good or evil. The home is the integer of the social fabric. Upon it as a substructure rests the State and all its institutions. From it issue forth the principles and maxims that are afterward codified into law: Bits of opinion sown in the mind of the child afterwards become the public opinion of the body politic ; "for nations," says Smiles, " are gathered out of nurseries, and they who hold the leading strings of children may even exercise a greater power than those who wield the reins of government."
In the wisdom of God it has seemed best to make domestic life preparatory to social and political life. in the years of infancy the individuals that form society are dealt with, one by one, and the great principles of character are laid. From the family they enter the active duties of life, and pass on to the great responsibilities of citizenship. Thus the home becomes the most important factor in civilization. To keep it pure is the highest necessity of the day, for out of it springs the peace or wretchedness of domestic life, as well as the virtue or vice of society, and the freedom or enslavement of the state. Yes, let us go home ! Let us light the lamp of Vesta on its inner altar, and keep forever burning there' the undying light of love, virtue and truth.