Matthew 10:37¹ KJV
He that loveth father or mother
more than me is not worthy of me:
and he that loveth son or daughter
more than me is not worthy of me.
¹) Compare Deuteronomy 33:9
A striking illustration of the love to Christ, that proves so ardent as to supersede that felt for parent or child, is furnished by the history of Vivia Perpetua, the martyr of Carthage.
This lady, who was a matron of high position, young (not being more than twenty two at her death) beautiful, and with everything to make life desirable and attractive to her, met death with dauntless heroism.
We are not told whether her husband was a Pagan or a Christian; but her aged, and still heathen, father, obtaining entrance into her prison, endeavoured by every possible argument to shake her constancy, and, as a last appeal, brought her infant son, and conjured her, by her love for himself and for her child, to abjure Christianity and live.
But to all these entreaties Perpetua turned a deaf ear.
The Christ was dearer to her than either her parent or her son, and she bravely met death by being exposed to an infuriated animal in the arena. She suffered about A.D. 205.
Even in these modern days instances might be brought forward, from the annals of missionary labour, of those who from love of Christ are willing to leave dearest earthly friends; but in some instances these close human ties become the great obstacles to the reception of the gospel.
Speaking of a school at Chumdicully, Ceylon, the missionary, Mr. Fleming, says (quoted in the Church Missionary Society’s report for 1881-82): “There are secret believers in Christ who are not ready to give up all for Him. One of them has confessed that he would like to follow ‘his sisters, who have come out, but his parents look to him to perform the funeral rites for them when they die, and he shrinks from causing them grief… like the man whom Christ called, but who said, ‘ Suffer me first to go and bury my father.'”
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