Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/558

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your son governs you; so let him use his power sparingly, since, simple as he is, he can do more than all the Greeks together."

The ancient household in Hellas and Italy was held together by authority, obedience, and domestic worship. The hearth was the altar—the Vesta—with its holy fire. The Aryan house father never died, but lived on in his male successor and in the family hearth worship to his memory. The Lares and Penates devotion was a crude religion, but veritable. The hearth was the family center, the house spirits were the guardians of the hearth. Everywhere primitive religion seemed to be domestic. It is related that the Russian peasant, in changing his house, raked the fire from the old stove into a jar and carried it to his new home, where its arrival was greeted with the remarkable salutation, "Welcome, grandfather! "If the fire for any reason could not be taken, a fire shovel or poker was substituted. In the brownie, hobgoblin, and Robin Goodfellow of the British Isles it is easy to trace the belief in ancient house spirits. In the Orkney Islands, hardly more than a century ago, there was in every family a brownie who was so helpful in corn-thrashing and house-cleaning, and withal so fond of milk, that "when the people churned, they sprinkled a little of the churning in every corner of the house for Brownie." I suppose this appeasing perquisite for spirit drudgery was but a forerunner of the modern servant's "tip," an abbreviated form of "to insure promptness."

As we come to the Christian era, the old family idea begins to wane. Christ emphasized the family, but also the relative importance of the individual in the family, and the immense importance of little children and childlikeness. From the fact that the founder of Christianity was born and lived in a family, there arose a new conception of fatherhood and motherhood. From the fact that John the Baptist was the cousin of Christ, and James, the author, his brother or near relation, and the Bethany family his close friends, the bond of brotherhood, blood relationship, and friendship has increased significance. That the Christ had a long family pedigree with royal blood in it is of interest; but it is more interesting to know that the carpenter's son, in a poor family (immediate) with meager surroundings, became a great man followed by crowds of the common people, in spite of a prevailing unbelief in his Messiahship. It is of supreme account to any family that this Jewish boy, growing tall and learned and in favor with God, was not disagreeable to men and was subject to his parents in all matters, except in the sphere of conscience, where even parents may not enter unbidden.

It is doubtful if Paul had wife or children, yet he seemed to know a great deal about other people's children and family life, at such great centers as Ephesus and Corinth. His lengthy commandatory