Rev. Sam Porter Jones wrote the following in 1886:
Cornelius “Feared God with all his house.”
“Now, brother, if there is a sight that charms my soul it is a family devoted to God—father, mother, and children, all in love and harmony with God. What a grand sight that is!
I have been trying to finish a little cottage home at my house for several weeks, for my wife and children, and I told my wife the other day: “When the last nail is driven and the work is complete, we will get our friends together, and we will dedicate this house to God.”
“Said I: Wife, it will do our children good to know that they sleep in God’s house; that they eat in God’s house; and that everything they do here is in God’s house. Let us tell them: ‘Children, your mother and father have given this house to God; we are God’s children; we are your elder brothers and sisters. We are all children of God. Let us help each other to be good and to do right.’ Then I said: “Wife, nobody will ever ask us to play cards here. They would no more play cards in this house than if it were a church.”
“And nobody will ask us to let them dance balls here; nobody will want to dance in God’s house. And nobody will ask us to give wine suppers here. This is God’s house. Let us protect our home and protect our children by giving our house to God.” She said: “It’s a bargain.” And so I have a house for my children that is God’s house, in which to raise them, as if they were my little brothers and sisters and children of God.
Whenever you dedicate your house to God the first thing you will have to do is to wash the devil’s fleas off you. You can get the fleas of the flesh off with essence of peppermint, but it takes essence of damnation to do any thing with these moral fleas.
O for a house dedicated to God, a home dedicated to God, where the mother lives in the atmosphere of prayer, where the children are brought up under the most sacred influences that either heaven or earth know any thing of. I tell you, brethren, if there is a spot on earth of which it can be said truthfully, that angels encamp round about it, it must be the home that is devoutly consecrated to God, with a good father and good mother and all the children consecrated to God. Don’t you like that?
“Feared God, with all his house.” Now, you see, Cornelius got religion himself, and the first thing you know it broke out all over his family; and now I tell you that there’s a varioloid type of it that isn’t catching. You know that, for there isn’t one of your children that caught it, sister. The varioloid type—nobody knows you had it. They just put you in bed a day or two and you were out before any body found out you were sick.
The varioloid type of piety has taken possession of this country, but it isn’t catching. But you get one of the old-fashioned, confluent cases of small-pox, and every body will catch it that goes into the room. This varioloid type of religion that you see nowadays isn’t catching, but you take an old-fashioned case, and when a man has got it, the first thing you know his wife will get it, and it will break out over the family, and the whole family will be consecrated to God.”—Sermons and Sayings; By Sam Porter Jones of Georgia; 1886. Joshua 24: 15
“Rev. Samuel Porter Jones (1847 – 1906) was one of the most celebrated revivalists of his day, at the close of the 19th century. Famous for his wry wit and masterful story-telling, he is credited as a principal influence on Will Rogers”
“Sam Jones was known for preaching hard against sin and hypocrisy. He preached once at a Church dedication in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and in the middle of the service he stopped his message and asked the congregation how much they paid the Pastor.
They were unwilling to tell him, but when the appallingly low sum was finally revealed, the congregation was so embarrassed that the next day he was given a substantial raise.
When Rev. Jones died—it was estimated that over 30,000 people came to the funeral to view his remains.” † Why homes should be dedicated to God.