But most of all take care to have religion in your houses. A religious house is the best proof of true piety. It is not my chapel, it is my house—it is not my minister, is is my home companion—who can best judge me; it is the servant, the child, the wife, the friend, that can discern most of my real character. A good man will improve his household. Rowland Hill once said he would not believe a man to be a true Christian, if his wife, his children, his servants, and even the dog and cat, were not the better for it. That is being religious. If your household is not the better for your Christianity—if men cannot say, “This is a better house than others,” then be not deceived—ye have nothing of the grace of God. Let not your servant, on leaving your employ, say, “Well, this is a queer sort of a religious family, there was no prayer in the morning; I began the day with my drudgery; there was no prayer at night; I was kept at home all the Sabbath day; once a fortnight, perhaps, I was allowed to go out in the afternoon, when there was nowhere to go to where I could hear a gospel sermon; my master and mistress went to a place where of course they heard the blessed gospel of God,—that was all for them; as for me, I might have the dregs and leavings of some over-worked curate in the afternoon.” Surely Christian men will not act in that way. No! Carry out your godliness in your family. Let every one say that you have practical religion. Let it be known and read in the house, as well as in the world. Take care of your character there; for what we are there, we really are. Our life abroad is often but a borrowed part, the actor’s part of a great scene, but at home the vizard is removed, and men are what they seem. Take care of your home duties.
The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, vol. 1 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1855), 161. Vol. 1, Sermon No. 20; Titled: Christ’s People – Imitators of Him; Delivered on Sabbath. Click here for a free PDF of this sermon.