THE CITIZEN AND THE HOME.





MEMORY GEMS.



The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.--Anon



The fireside is the seminary of the nation.--Goodrich



Early home associations have a potent influence upon the life of the

State.--Child



Nothing proves more ruinous to the State than the defective education

of the women.--Aristotle.



The sorest spot in our municipal and national condition, is the

decadence of the home idea.--G. H. Parkhurst





The fact that children are so long in growing up, and pass so many years

together under the care of their father and mother, is most important in

the history of the race. During this long period of growth in the home

they become fitted, as they could not in any other way, to take their

places in the larger world of men and women. If children remained with

their parents as short a time as the young of animals do, it is probable

that men would never have risen above the state of barbarism. The home

has been the great civilizer of the world.



The home is more than the family dwelling; it is the seat of the family

life; and the family life stands to the life of the nation in the same

relation as the index to the volume, or the expression of the

countenance to the feeling of the heart. Our Saxon race has been

distinguished from its historic beginnings for its love of personal

liberty, and is the only race that has ever been able perfectly to

realize this blessing in its highest and noblest form.



If the word home could be squeezed into the language of the savage, it

could have no such meaning for him as it possesses for us. The hut of

the savage is simply a place to eat in and sleep in. He selects no spot

on which to plant, and build, and educate. He claims to occupy so much

territory as will furnish him with subsistence, but his "home," if he

really has one, is in the forest, like the game he hunts. It is a fact

beyond dispute, that all migratory people are low down in the scale of

civilized life.



The homes of any people are the very beginnings of its progress, the

very centers of its law and order, and of its social and political

prosperity. They are the central points around which the crystallizing

and solidifying processes of national life and growth can alone be

carried forward. We do not give sufficient prominence to this fact, in

our estimate of the forces which build up our national life. We

recognize art and science, agriculture and industry, politics and

morality; but do we realize, as we should, that, beneath all these, as

the great foundation rock upon which they all must rest, lies the home.

Or, to change the figure, the homes of our people are the springs out of

which flow our national life and character. They are the schools in

which our people are trained for citizenship; for when a young man

leaves the paternal roof, his grade and quality as a citizen is, as a

rule, fully determined.



The training of a good citizen must begin at the cradle, and be

continued through the plastic period of boyhood and carried forward by

his parents, until the youth crosses his native threshold to act his

part and assume his responsibilities in the broader field of his own

independent life.



The home life of New England has been the most potent force, in the

building of this great nation. The homes of our Puritan ancestors were

really the birthplaces of these United States. What then was the

character of these homes? They were simple and even rude, as considered

externally--and especially when contrasted with the homes of the New

Englanders of to-day. But within, there was love and loyalty, reverence

and faith. In the early homes of New England there were so many strong

fibers running from heart to heart, and knitting all together,--and so

many solid virtues woven into the daily life,--that their influence has

done much to make our nation what it is.



A young man trained in such a home, will usually become an example of

sobriety, industry, honesty, and fidelity to principle. He will be felt

to be part of the solid framework which girds society and helps to keep

it healthy,--a kind of human bank, on which the community may draw to

sustain its best interests, and to promote its noblest forms of life.



The home is the birthplace of true patriotism; and a true patriotism is

one of the first and most important characteristics in the upbuilding of

any nation. It is not the wild plebeian instinct that goes for our

country right or wrong, which forms the real element of our strength.

Love of country, to be a real help and safeguard, must be a sentiment

great enough to be moral in its range and quality. Neither the power of

numbers, nor mere oaths of allegiance, will suffice. Patriotism always

falls back upon the home life and the home interests for its inspiration

and its power.



Whatever crosses the threshold to desolate the hearth, touches to the

quick one of the strongest sentiments of our nature. The old Latin

battle cry, "For our altars and our firesides," is still the most potent

word which can be given to our soldiers, as they advance upon the foe;

and the man who will not go forward, even to the death, for these, is

rightly counted as little better than a slave.



If you want a man upon whom you can rely in the hour of the nation's

peril, select the man who loves his home; for in proportion as he loves

his home, will he love his country which has protected it.



We therefore repeat that the homes of the people are the secret of our

country's greatness. Acres do not make a nation great. Wealth cannot

purchase grandeur and renown. Resources, however great and wonderful,

cannot crown us with national honor and celebrity. The strength and

prowess of any land lies in the character of its citizens; and their

character depends largely upon the character of their homes.





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