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there among you who, if his son asks bread, will he give him a stone ? If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him." Thus he authorized us to argue from the finite goodness of an earthly father to the infinite goodness of the heavenly Father. He taught us to look through earthly love to find heavenly love.
In the teaching of Jesus this profound conviction, this fixed habit of always seeing God as a Father, is the idea which determines all other beliefs. No doctrine can be true in Christianity which regards the Deity otherwise than as a Father. Christianity develops itself out of this centre of life. If you
wish to know how God will feel and act, how he will regard any act of yours, you must ask, How would a good and wise father feel or act in like circumstances ?
Thus true family life is everywhere the germ out of which the higher life comes. It is the seed of the true school, the true neighborhood, the true church, and the heaven beyond. Everything which makes family life better helps the Church and the State. Let us, then, cherish and purify the family; let us improve the household and home; let us bring all good influences to bear on these centres of progress, and we shall be doing the Lord's work.
There will, no doubt, be families in heaven, groups of angels living together, homes of peace,
joy, and love. There, as here, there will be the shelter, the table, the place of communion. Those who are bound by affinities of love and thought will dwell together and work together. These families will be separate, but not divided nor solitary. They will be joined into one greater family, and the love and peace of God will make them one. There the friendship and love of earth will be purified and elevated; there we shall be known as we really are; there all misunderstandings will cease; there Jesus, the Christ, shall come near to every one of his followers, and all will be at one in him.