Hallowed Mutual Love is All-Powerful for Good
Love is the mightiest force of the moral world, all-mighty for good when directed toward the august purposes ordained by Him who is the Creator both of the world of spirits and of the world of matter, and who delights, in aiding the workings of the human heart much more than in controlling the winds and the waves, the play of the lightning; or the pathways of the light, much more even than in regulating the vast and mysterious movements of the starry universe.
There never yet existed two young hearts kept pure for each other by the Great Author of our nature, and united for life-long companionship through the most ancient and sacred of His ordinances, whom He did not destine to be to each other a source of purest bliss, a mutual power toward all excellence, and the parents of a race of Godlike men and women, if they would themselves only be faithful to the light that is in them!
Here lies the secret of so much sin and misery, of so many scandals among every class of society, of the ruin of so many homes and the breaking of so many hearts. The mighty force of lawful love is placed, like every other most precious gift of God to man, in the keeping and under the control of man’s free will.
He is left free by his Maker, to use the gift or neglect it, to apply it to the divinest purposes or to pervert it to the worst.
Man has but a limited control of the mighty elementary forces of nature. The storms which sport with his best-built ships on the ocean, the inundations which yearly devastate his fields and wreck his habitation, the earthquake-power that levels the proudest cities in the twinkling of an eye and engulfs whole continents in the deep, the very fire given him for so many useful and salutary ends, all show him continually that he is not their master.
Nay, more than that, the very steam which he generates and utilizes as the agent of his most triumphant progress, annihilates him at every turn, as if to convince him that his most glorious conquests can never be achieved over elements that he was not born to subdue.
The strength of man and his chief glory lie in his mastery over his own soul, and in his power of binding to himself the souls of others. His worst sin consists in the neglect of subduing his own evil passions, of cultivating and developing the good that is in himself; in the neglect of his duties toward the souls knit to his own, given him to guard from evil, to advance in all good, to love as God has loved us, by continual devotion and self-sacrifice in favor of the beloved.
Man is Responsible for the Fall in Eden
The story of the two first human beings ought to be a lesson full of warning and most wholesome instruction for every human pair, who start in life together under the sanction of God’s blessing.
No, Eve was not the author of the transgression that ruined human happiness and sullied human life at their very origin. Eve was not the head of the race. She was derived from Adam and created for him. We stood not or fell not in her and through her. Man was the head.
In him it was decreed that the entire race should stand or fall. When the woman, whom he was bound to guard and watch over far more jealously and diligently than over his beauteous domain of Paradise, fell, in great part, it may be, because he was neither diligent nor watchful in his charge over her unsuspecting innocence and comparative helplessness, we had not yet fallen.
Her sin was her own, and was not to be imputed to us. Had Adam continued innocent, then he would not have forfeited the sublime rank to which in him all human nature had been elevated.
He fell, tempted, to be sure, by his now guilty communion; but he fell freely, with his eyes open, with a full knowledge of the consequences of his disobedience, with a lively sense of the immense debt he owed to his Creator and Benefactor, and he fell to gratify his own sensuality.
No other motive is assigned in Scripture. His fall, utterly unjustifiable and utterly disgraceful as it was, dragged us all down; and the ruin caused thereby required the coming down to our level in our assumed flesh and blood of that Eternal Son, through whom all things had been made, and by whom alone the ruin of all things could be repaired.
Even so now, let us not close our eyes to the luminous fact—the ruin of the Home comes through man: woman’s baneful agency is but indirect, accidental, at the very most, secondary or subsidiary.
The head of the Home is man, the head of society is man; the destroyer of the moral world is man; its restoration and salvation must be through woman.
At any rate, certain it is that at the head of the moral order here below is man; when he fails, then there follows disorder everywhere.
Quote for the day….
Her soul, her life, is given you “to dress and to keep” and on your appreciating her nature and her worth, on your knowing how to call forth by your love, your care, your devotion to her service, by the sunlight of your examples much more even than by your mere love and tenderness—must depend whether or not you shall have a home-garden, a paradise—or a hell upon earth. -Rev. Bernard O’Reilly, 1894