Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Generous self-control

More on Piety in the Home by Caleb Stetson (see post ) Following are illustrations of the basic premise that the domestic sphere is the primary Christian proving ground...

"Our domestic relations are far more intimate, and have far greater influence on our characters, than any other. Every family is a little community, bound together by the tenderest and holiest sympathies...This intimate union, or rather identity, of interests, gives rise to many duties, out of which must grow habits of virtue. One of the best of these habits is that of generous self-control—not seeking our own gratification so much as the comfort of the domestic circle—' preferring one another in love.' As all the members or" a family are dependent on each other for a large part of their comfort, each must be willing to sacrifice, not only his whims and caprices, but sometimes his reasonable wishes. How lovely and excellent is domestic affection, prompting unselfish and untiring exertions, and finding happiness while seeking only to bestow it!...There is indeed no school like home for the discipline of the temper and the heart. Whether your position requires you to command or obey—to work with the hands or the mind—to give or to receive, you may always find occasion for forbearance, and self-denial.
The Christian character is never more likely to grow strong and healthful than in this perpetual round of obscure and unostentatious duties. Its virtues then are genuine and substantial; for they have not been practised to be '" seen of men ;'—no one can be always a hypocrite at home..." The full text, of which this post is only a very small part, can be found at

Many of the central tenets of Boston Unitarianism are illustrated in this wonderful text. Calm and unostentatious virtue and morality, disinterestedness, self-denial, and the excellence and happiness of such a life...Amen and blessings.

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