The Christian Professor

John Angell James, 1837




"I will take you—one from a city and two from a family, and bring you to Zion." Jer. 3:14. So spoke God to the Jews. "One shall be taken and the other left." So spoke Jesus to his disciples. And we see both sayings continually verified in the history of the Christian church, and the experience of the Lord's people. How rarely does it happen that a whole family are believers; how commonly is it the case that one or two are called—and the rest left. God has mercy on whom he will have mercy. Consequently most Christians are placed in near connection with some who are yet in an unregenerate state, which, of course, greatly increases the difficulty of maintaining a profession with consistency, and yet at the same time increases the obligation to do so. It would be much easier to carry on our religious duties, surrounded by those who would uphold and encourage us by their example, their prayers, their smiles, and their counsel. But, generally speaking, we are called to maintain our principles amidst those by whom they are opposed. Some have unconverted husbands, others wives; some have irreligious children, others parents; some have ungodly brothers, others sisters; some have wicked masters, others servants.

I. I shall state some GENERAL duties, which belong to all alike.

People thus situated should be deeply impressed with the conviction that they are placed in circumstances of difficulty, delicacy, and danger—which will require great caution, circumspection, and prudence. You have a most arduous part to act, so as not to lose your own piety on the one hand—nor unnecessarily to disgust your friends with it on the other. You need a "spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and of might, of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord, that you may be of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord." Not only would everything sinful do much harm—but everything imprudent does much harm also. A lack of judgment would be mischievous—as well as a lack of integrity. A good action out of season, or out of place, or done in a wrong manner, would be attended with consequences almost as injurious as a bad one. To combine a due regard to our own consistency, with a spirit of prudence towards the prejudices of others—is a most rare accomplishment. Not to allow our firmness to assume the character of obstinacy or uncommanded scrupulosity in one extreme—nor our caution to degenerate into cowardice or compromise in the other, requires no ordinary measure of grace. But God has promised to make his grace sufficient, even for this. The confidence of faith, united with fervent prayer, and the spirit of dependence, will bring to you from above the necessary assistance.

It is of the utmost importance that you should see and feel your need of unbending firmness in all things required by God. In matters of absolute indifference, or of mere taste and feeling—you should be pliant as an willow; but in matters of principle—you should be inflexible as an oak. It will be the great object of your unconverted relatives, to subdue your steadfastness, and to induce you to change your course; and they will seek to accomplish this object, not by asking you to throw off your profession all at once—but by tempting you from time to time, to engage in practices inconsistent with it. They will insinuate that you are unnecessarily rigid, even when tried by your own standard; they will point to some worldly-minded, inconsistent member of your own church, who ventures, without scruple, upon what you refuse to do. They will assure you that it is but that once, or in that one thing, that they ask a concession. They will sometimes affectionately entreat, at others angrily demand. They will sometimes ridicule, and sometimes threaten—as they think they are most likely to succeed. They will promise to conform to some of your religious practices, if you will only conform to some of theirs, to which you object.

Against all these attempts to bend your purpose, or shake your steadfastness, or destroy your consistency, you must be fortified by a holy resoluteness of purpose, and a simple dependence on Divine grace. "None of these things move me," must be your determination. One concession would only lead to another, until all which your profession implies is relinquished. A calm, determined firmness at first—will save you from much annoyance and perplexity.

This unyielding firmness, in reference to what you deem to be your duty, must be maintained, at the same time, with much sweetness of temper, and amiableness of disposition. It must be the inflexibility of principle, sustained by the gentleness of love. A professor who has to hold fast his religion, in opposition to his nearest friends, should be the very model of meekness, kindness, and courtesy in everything else. This will convince them that his constancy is the dictate of a tender conscience—and not the caprice of a pugnacious disposition.

There should be the most entire and unvarying consistency, and an untiring perseverance. Take care that there is nothing which may justly lead to a doubt of your sincerity, or that would fasten upon you the charge, or even the suspicion of 'hypocrisy'. This would create inexpressible disgust. The spectators of your steadfast conduct must be the witnesses for your sincerity, and be compelled to testify, that you are, at any rate, self-consistent. Their eyes are ever upon you, with a predisposition to incriminate you, in matters of obvious, or even doubtful wrong. They test you by your profession to be a consistent holy Christian; and by what other standard should they test you?

I would enforce upon your special attention the consideration, that your religion must not be, nor appear to be, an abstract thing—a mere mental set of doctrines, distinct and separable from your life and character. But that which is a part of it, binding all into unity, symmetry, and beauty. Your piety must not float by itself upon the surface, like oil on water, refusing to blend—but must be held in solution, like sugar in the cup, sweetening the whole. Your piety must make you conscientious in common, mundane things—as well as devotional in sacred ones. You must not only be more outwardly just and righteous than your neighbor—but more meek, gentle, kind, and just. You must not only be fitted, by your piety, for communion with the members of the church—but by your social excellence for interaction with the members of the family. Any lack of consistency, will sharpen the stings and increase the venom with which your unconverted friends will annoy you. But a consistently holy life and character will, in many cases, put an end to hostility, even where it does not conciliate regard to your Christian principles.

It is also of great consequence, that you should present religion to your friends under an aspect of cheerfulness. It should be clearly seen by them that it makes you as happy as it makes you holy. Remember, their opinion of it is—that though it may lead to heaven hereafter, it is little better than penance here. And that, admitting it conducts to realms of light and glory, it is by a path as gloomy as the valley of the shadow of death. Many real Christians, by their somber looks, their monkish stiffness, and anguished wailings, have confirmed this prejudice.

On the contrary, take care to let them see, by your holy, serious cheerfulness, that the kingdom of God is not only righteousness—but peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Let them see you going on your pilgrim way rejoicing. Convince them that you can take pleasure in all that is innocently pleasant; that you can smile with those that smile on whatever is purely delightful; that you can enjoy with as keen a relish as they can—friendship, scenery, literature, science, and the fine arts; that your aim is only to free earthly pleasures of whatever is polluting and deleterious; and to add to them the more holy, solid, and satisfying delights of true religion—the joy of faith, hope, and love. Let it be seen that you are walking in the light of God's countenance, and that your spirit dwells in a Goshen, compared with which their state of mind is but as Egyptian night. This is the way to allure them to piety—as well as to abate their unkindly disposition towards you.

As much as possible avoid all uncouth religious phraseology, and what may be called religious slang. Do not deal in cant terms or phrases, nor apply scripture expressions, in a way of half seriousness, half joke—to ungodly people. I do not mean by this that you are to avoid altogether the use of Scriptural terms, or the quotation of scripture language; but to encumber and disfigure our ordinary discourse with the words and phrases of the old divines, or of systematic and experimental theology; to interject our speech with habitual references to the Lord, such as "praise the Lord," until it sounds either ludicrous or irreverent, or both—is letting our "good be evil spoken of," and strengthening prejudice against true piety.

In whatever attempts you make for the conversion of unsaved relations, act with great judgment. In many cases, more can be done by the silent influence of a holy example, than by instruction, admonition, or rebuke. Superiors will not often allow inferiors to admonish them. The proud heart of man refuses reproof from any one, especially from one below him. With all people, EXAMPLE must be the chief instrument of usefulness to unconverted relatives—and with some, it must be the only one. Even where we are authorized to admonish and to warn, great discretion is necessary to do it in the best manner, lest we disgust where we intend to benefit. If we would do good—we must be kind, gentle, and affectionate. We must not use a cold, harsh, scolding, or unfeeling tone, nor affect a magisterial or dogmatical manner. We must employ the meekness of wisdom, and tenderness of love. We must not dash religion in a person's face, nor pour it down their throat with a drenching force—but mildly insinuate it into their minds, little by little—as tenderly and judiciously as we would medicine into the lips of a sick child, or food into the mouth of a starving man.

We must watch for our opportunity, choose the best time and the best circumstances, and especially remember not to be always boring the objects of our solicitude, with a kind of frustrating, troublesome persistence We must well consider the temper and disposition of the person whom we are anxious to convert, and adapt our methods to his turn of mind; some will hear a whole lecture from us—others will scarcely bear a hint. Some should be alarmed by the thunders of divine vengeance—others moved by the soft music of love's inviting voice. Some must be reasoned with—others melted by appeals to the feelings. Some will bear at one time—what they will not tolerate at another time. We must, therefore, like a wise physician, study well the case, and adapt our treatment to its peculiarity. Two things, however, must be remembered in all cases—to do everything lovingly, and to do everything prayerfully; for who can open and change the heart but God?

It may be, that in some cases, you will be called to suffer persecution, and that of the most painful kind—the unkind treatment of near relatives; and thus to experience the truth of our Lord's words, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10:34-38)

If this be the case, turn at once and continually, for consolation, to the antidote which Christ has provided for this deep sorrow. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake—for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad—for great is your reward in heaven." Matthew 5:10. It is to this state of things the Apostle refers, where he says, "Count it all joy when you fall into manifold trials" James 1:2. Do not be cast down nor faint under your afflictions. They are not for the present "joyous—but grievous; nevertheless afterwards, they yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness."

"Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy." No seed that can be sown on earth, will yield such a produce of heavenly joy, as the tears of God's persecuted people. These are the light afflictions which are but for a moment, and which work out "the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." Comfort, then, O troubled ones, comfort your hearts! Your crown of thorns, like that of your persecuted Lord, shall soon be exchanged for a crown of glory! And the cross under which you are ready to sink, be changed for a throne from which you shall never descend! Bear your troubles in the spirit of meekness; seek for grace to be neither irritated nor sullen; do not return railing for railing—but return blessing for cursing.

Conquer their hostility, or at any rate, soften it—by by gentleness and peaceful courage. Smile with love upon the countenance that frowns upon you; and kiss the hand that smites you. Let not the length or violence of their oppression induce you to give up your principles. Take heed against an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. Endeavor so to act, as that they who dislike your religion, may "find nothing against you personally—but only as concerning the gospel message." Be firm, consistent, mild, judicious, and affectionate; and then God will not only support you under persecution; but give you honor in the midst of it.


II. I now lay down some directions, which are specially applicable to the various relations of social life.


If the HUSBAND is a Christian, an not the wife—let him rather increase than abate the tenderness and affection of marital love. He has need of great watchfulness and prayer on his own account, that his wife's lack of piety may not diminish his own; and that his defects and blemishes may not be a stumbling block to his wife. How careful must he be not to have family devotion hindered by her disinclination; and how diligent must he be to make up for her deficiencies in the pious instruction of his children. How much grace will he need to maintain his own influence, and yet not in any way teach his offspring to disesteem their mother, or make her feel that she is lowered in their estimation or his—by her lack of piety. Let it be his endeavor to win her to Christ by every attention to her comfort and legitimate concern; and to make her feel that he still tenderly loves her as a wife, though he cannot yet consider her as a decided Christian.

If, on the other hand, it is the WIFE who is a Christian, and the husband not, this is, perhaps, a more difficult and delicate position to maintain with propriety. In this case she must be anxious and watchful not to allow even the appearance of an air of conscious superiority, much less of the contempt which says "Stand aside, I am holier than you!" There must be a more intense humility and meekness; coupled with an increased tenderness and devotedness towards her husband—a most exemplary attention to his comfort, and that of the family!. In short, the good wife and mother, must be seen in intimate union with the good Christian; and the former must evidently appear improved and sustained by the latter. She must never reproach him for his lack of true religion; never talk at him before his face, nor talk against him, behind his back. Upon her will devolve the pious instruction of the children, which she must sacredly maintain—but still in a way as little offensive as possible to him. How beautiful is the advice given by the apostle to females in these circumstances. "Likewise, wives, be submissive to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives—when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." (1 Peter 3:1-4)



If the PARENTS are Christians, how uniform and consistent should be their piety, that their children should receive no disgust against Christianity by what they see in them. How concerned should they be, and appear to be, to bring them up in the fear of God, selecting their schools, and their situations with direct reference their children's eternal destiny. How firmly and yet how mildly should they maintain all the pious laws, customs, and habits of their household, against the wishes, or the encroachments of their children's Irreligion. With how much of gentleness and firmness—as opposed to stern severity on the one hand, and to ruinous indulgence on the other hand—should they maintain the household discipline; and thus adorn the doctrine of God their Savior.

But in some cases divine grace has called the CHILDREN, and passed over the parents; and where it is so, there requires great solicitude, that their piety towards God, be not abused to encourage and justify a lack of piety towards their parents. It will not only not recommend true religion—but will excite great disgust towards it—if they see that it has abated anything of that dutiful obedience, respect and honor towards them, which nature dictates, the word of God enjoins, and which they before conversion had been accustomed to render.

A greater reproach cannot possibly rest upon young people, than for a father or a mother to say, "Yes, they are very religious in their way—but their religion has spoiled them as children, for they seem to take a license to disesteem, neglect, and disobey me because they consider me unconverted." On the contrary, what a beautiful and powerful testimony to the excellence of true religion is it to hear a parent say, "I was living in entire neglect, and utter ignorance of true religion, until I beheld it exemplified in its loveliest forms in the conduct of my dear child. I saw her earnestness, her diligence, her holiness; and I felt her dutifulness, her kindness, and her tender, yet respectful solicitude towards myself. From the time she became a Christian, her conduct, was marked by greater attention and obedience than ever. She has sometimes ventured to discuss with me on my neglect of true religion—but it was always with such reverence, such humility, and affection, that it was impossible to be offended—so that by the grace of God, I may say her piety towards me has been the blessed means of my own salvation!" Young people behold your rule and pattern.

3. BROTHERS and SISTERS are sometimes divided when one of them is truly saved. In such a case the one who makes a profession of Christianity should be solicitous by the most assiduous, ingenious and watchful attention and affection—to conciliate the regards and to win the confidence of the others. The saved one should with kindness and humility warn the others; and when away from home, communicate with them by letter. He should select and recommend suitable books for them; join with them in all their innocent pursuits and tastes; avoid all appearance of shunning their society even for pious associates; and make them feel that piety has strengthened the fraternal bond.

SISTERS, by many little ingenious works of the needle, the pencil, and the pen; by laying themselves out to meet the wishes, and promote the comfort of unconverted brothers, may be able to endear themselves by the varied devices of genuine love, to those hearts which they should be anxious and watchful to win to Christ. While BROTHERS, by all those kind, delicate, and polite attentions of the domestic circle—to sisters yet unacquainted with the power of true religion; by being in every sense of the word, good brothers, as well as good Christians—may do much, very much, by the blessing of God, in awakening an interest for true religion in the minds of those who are so nearly related to them.

4. Christian MASTERS and MISTRESSES are under solemn obligations, not only to be just towards their servants in paying their wages—but to err rather on the side of being too generous, than too rigid, in the amount of their wages. There must be a merciful attention to their comfort, in not exacting too much work, in not wearying them by incessant and angry complaints; in speaking kindly to them, and providing suitable and sufficient food and medical attendance in their sickness. There should be a due regard to their spiritual welfare, not only by calling them to family prayer, morning and evening—but by giving them ample opportunity for attending on public worship; and by privately instructing them in the principles of true religion. Those professors, who have not by their conduct, compelled their servants to say, "I have a truly godly master and mistress, who are kindly anxious for my comfort in this world, and still more so for my salvation in the world to come," cannot be acting consistently; there is something essential lacking.

Christian servants who are placed in families which make no profession, are called to a situation of equal difficulty and importance. In not a few instances they have been remotely or directly the means of converting their employers; and piety has thus ascended from the kitchen to the parlor. But this has never happened but where the piety of the servant was eminently consistent, uniform, and conspicuous. Some people in this condition have, it must be admitted, so disgusted their masters and mistresses, by their proud attitudes, their troublesome and angry clamor about their religious privileges, and neglect of their proper duties in order to enjoy these privileges—that their masters have resolved never again to employ religious servants. It is when piety makes a servant doubly diligent, dutiful, kind, neat, honest and, devoted—and secures a testimony from her employer, that her piety is thus influential to her life and character—that she adorns her profession, and walks worthy of her calling.

5. Partnerships in BUSINESS are sometimes formed between professors and men of the world. This is an undesirable thing, except in those cases where the latter are known to be men of the most inflexible principle, and possessing a high sense of commercial honor. Some such unsaved people there are, who, in whatever things are true, honest, just, lovely, and good report—are patterns which all Christian professors might copy with advantage; and which some might contemplate with a blush. Many, however, are of an opposite character, and are very unscrupulous as to the means they employ to increase their trade and their profits. When a Christian is linked with an unjust partner, his situation is uncomfortable and perilous. It is a difficult thing for a man to act in constant opposition to a partner; but he must oppose him in all those matters wherein he wishes to violate the principles of integrity. He must not allow injustice, fraud, or lying, to be carried on, under the sanction of his name; and if he cannot prevent it, he ought to separate from his unethical partner. I knew a tradesman, who, while engaged in a most profitable business with two partners as worldly as himself—was converted by the grace of God. He became attentive to the means of grace, not only on a Sabbath—but on week days in his business. His partners expressed their disapprobation, and accused him of neglecting the business. In this, as well as in other ways they wished to interfere with his pious pursuits, which, with him, had now become matters of importance and of conscience. He found he was in danger, and knowing that any accumulation of wealth, weighed against the salvation of his soul, was but as the small dust of the balance—he left the the partnership amidst the reproaches of some of his friends, and the astonishment of all. But he had the rejoicing, which results from the testimony of a good conscience, that, not with fleshly wisdom—but by the grace of God, he had conducted himself in the world. He honored God, and God subsequently honored him, for he became more abundantly prosperous than ever. But if he had not become prosperous, I am persuaded he would have never repented of leaving his unjust partners.

How careful ought the Christian tradesman to be, that his worldly partner should see nothing in him—but what recommends true religion. How much has its character suffered from the conduct of some who have taken in partners on the eve of their own bankruptcy, who have deceived them by false representations of the capabilities of a business, or who have carried on a system of selfish encroachments on their share of the profits. It is truly shocking to hear, as we sometimes do hear, people say that they would rather have for a partner, a man that makes no profession of Christianity, than one who does. Christian businessmen, do, do consider this, and tremble lest any part of your conduct should be such as to justify this dreadful satire upon the conduct of professors.

There is one duty to unconverted relatives, and indeed, to converted ones sometimes, which some professors have lamentably neglected; I mean the relief of their necessities, where they have been in circumstances of genuine poverty. One can easily imagine in what reflections some such people must indulge upon the conduct of those to whom they are nearly related, who are known by them to be members, or officers, perhaps even pastors of a Christian church, and to be comparatively rich—but who still refuse to help a brother or a sister in their distress; except it be with a grudged pittance, occasionally wrung from them by the force of an appeal unusually urgent.

"Can it indeed be true," they say, "that my brother professes himself to be a disciple of the compassionate Savior, or to have caught the spirit of Him, who never turned away his ear from a tale of human woe; and yet refuse to assist a sister, pining away in almost absolute poverty? Is this the way in which he adorns his Christian profession? I thought that mercy was an essential feature in the character of a Christian; and admitting that my affliction has been brought on by my imprudence, has he no sins to be forgiven, by the God from whom he looks for all his supplies? I have been told he is the deacon of a Christian church, and has to dispense the bounty of the rich members to their poorer brethren; does he, on his visits of mercy to the habitations of the sons and daughters of poverty, never recollect that he has a sister enduring those privations which he is honored to relieve? But, perhaps, he considers that as I am unconverted, he need not concern himself about the sorrows of one to whom he is related, only by the ties of flesh and blood. Is this the way to draw me to Christianity? Does his conduct towards his poor relatives, tend to exalt in their estimation the profession that he makes? Is this the way to soften the heart of my husband, and my children, towards true religion?"

Oh! what questions have they not asked, and what sneers have they not uttered, in reference to that form of religion, which has not even common charity to support it? Does not the Scripture say, 'Whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him?' Oh! my brother, my brother, did our parent, now in their graves, think you would ever leave one of their children, thus to endure, unpitied and unrelieved, the necessities of pauperism?" Should such a cry as this ever go up to heaven against a Christian? And does it no go up against some Christians of all denominations, against deacons and ministers too, of different churches?

How many tears are shed daily, how many hearts are bursting, of people who have Christian relatives that could—but would not help them? What shall we say—what does the world say—of those who are on the list of contributors to religious societies; but who allow their own flesh and blood to be unclothed and unfed?

But there are some who are a parsimonious towards the cause of true religion and charity, as they are to their poor relations; and are never liberal in anything—except for their own selfish gratification! In many cases, this lack of compassion for needy relatives is, I believe, the result of that wicked and detestable pride, which is ashamed of them. In others, it is considered to be a righteous retribution, for the rashness, imprudence, and unprincipled conduct, which has occasioned their distress. I would not encourage imprudence or wastefulness—but when the offender is already suffering her punishment, even to a degree of starvation and remorse, that has all but broken her heart, is it for the hand of a professing Christian—a man who realizes that but for infinite mercy, he himself would have been in hell—to inflict by his cruelty, the only blow that is lacking to crush the sufferer to the dust? You rich professors, and you who are not rich—but are still in comfortable circumstances, let me plead with you on behalf of those who are bone of your bone, and flesh of your flesh. I will not ask you for relief to a relative nearer than a brother or a sister, for to suppose that the church of God is to relieve every need of society, is inappropriate. But that person is a monster, who refuses to help to a destitute father or mother. He is a disgrace and insult to the Christianity he professes.

If it may be permitted, in the conclusion of this chapter, to suggest a few words of encouragement and comfort. Topics of this kind are both numerous and delightful.

Think of the grace that has made you to differ from your unregenerate relatives. While you pity them and mourn over their condition, give God unceasing and unbounded thanks that you are no longer like them! Cherish the hope that you may yet be useful in persuading some of them to accompany you to the kingdom of heaven. Grace when it enters a family, is generally diffusive. You may not now see any influence of your godly example, nor any answers to your prayers—but you do not see the end! You may never live to realize your hopes, or gather the fruit of your exertions; this may be a felicity designed to swell the rapture of the skies. You may one day meet in heaven—those whom you leave apparently on the road to hell!

But you tremble for yourself; instead of hoping to be useful to others, you sometimes fear that you yourself shall fall. How can you withstand the influence of ungodly example and solicitation? It is a hard thing to get along with everybody to help you; how much more difficult, is it to hold on to the narrow path—with everybody to hinder you! Hearken to what God says, "My grace is sufficient for YOU." Mark that, for you. Trust it, expect it, hope for it. Look up into heaven by faith, see those millions around the throne—they were all, at one time as you are now—on the straight and narrow pilgrim's path. They had the same difficulties, and surveyed them with the same fears as you do. But, behold, there they are—in glory! The great Captain of their salvation sustained them. The omnipotent God never forsook them. The arm that sustained them, is not shortened that it cannot save you. "Why do you doubt, O, you of little faith?" Be not faithless, but believing!

Anticipate for yourself that blissful world where all the righteous—and none but the righteous—and the righteous in the absolute perfection of their righteousness—will at last be found. Sustain your present struggles against the influence and the danger of the examples of the unconverted, by the consideration that they will cease to hinder you—when you depart from this world. Maintain, therefore, with untiring zeal, and an unyielding firmness—your godly separation from the world—and soon the world will be separated from you—forever! The ungodliness of the ungodly will then no more distress you—but you shall through eternity delight yourself in the presence of God your Savior, with the fellowship of the innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect!

If it should sometimes distress you to think of missing those in heaven, who were dear to you on earth, let it stir you up to more affectionate, earnest, and prayerful efforts for their eternal salvation—but let it not lead you to suppose that their absence from heaven will be a real diminution of your bliss. The mutual recognition of the godly in the heavenly world seems highly probable, notwithstanding the silence maintained by scripture on a subject so deeply interesting to all our social feelings—but to our social feelings only. A great deal more inquisitiveness has been exercised in reference to this subject, and much more importance attached to it, than really belong to it. The social feelings arise out of the social ties, and depend upon them for their existence and continuance; and consequently when the cause ceases, the effect will cease with it.

To suppose there can be in heaven—where all our animal propensities, our natural instincts, and our worldly social relations exist no longer; where the very body of the resurrection will have undergone an entire change of organization, and will bear no longer an affinity to flesh and blood—any near resemblance to the present emotions which are awakened by the names of husband and wife, parent and child, brother and sister—is to forget the great and entire change which immortality is to make in our nature!

It is amid these dear relationships, these tender affections, and these strong propensities, necessary to our earthly sojourn, that we are trained up for that higher, holier, and more intellectual existence. But these things will fall away from the spiritual body, as its mere swaddling bands in the chrysalis state of its being, in that moment when it shall rise from the grave—the pure image of its glorified Redeemer. No! We are compelled to believe, difficult as it may be to conceive of it now—that the absence from heaven, of those who form so large a portion of our happiness on earth, will be no diminution of the bliss of the celestial paradise; though doubtless that bliss will be enhanced and sweetened by the presence of those we loved below.