Mark 10:13
People were bringing the little children to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
Sermons
Children and Childlike MenAlexander MaclarenMark 10:13
Children Brought to Christ, and not to the FontCharles Haddon Spurgeon Mark 10:13
Bring the Children to the SaviourMark 10:13-16
Bringing Children to JesusA. Watson, D. D.Mark 10:13-16
Care in Training ChildrenDr. Payson.Mark 10:13-16
Children Brought and BlessedJ.J. Given Mark 10:13-16
Children Need to be Brought to ChristC. H. Spurgeon.Mark 10:13-16
Children the Pastor's Chief CareMark 10:13-16
Children to be Brought into the Church At Earliest AgeMark 10:13-16
Children Welcomed to ChristJ. Vaughan, M. A.Mark 10:13-16
Christ's Sympathy for ChildhoodEggleston.Mark 10:13-16
Jesus and ChildrenDr. McAuslane.Mark 10:13-16
Jesus and ChildrenH. R. Haweis, M. A.Mark 10:13-16
Jesus Blessing the Little Children: a Children's SermonA.F. Muir Mark 10:13-16
Little ChildrenR. Green Mark 10:13-16
N the Salvation of All Dying Before the Age of AccountabilityR Bayne.Mark 10:13-16
Of Such is the Kingdom of GodT. Guthrie, D. D.Mark 10:13-16
Parental LoveJ. H. Norton, D. D.Mark 10:13-16
Teachers Warned Against Impeding Children's SalvationJ. Sherman.Mark 10:13-16
The Blessing of the ChildrenE. Johnson Mark 10:13-16
The Child's GospelJ. H. Norton, D. D.Mark 10:13-16
The Conversion of Little ChildrenS. S. Portwin.Mark 10:13-16
The Death of BabesW. B. Philpot, M. A.Mark 10:13-16
The Love of Christ ToAnon.Mark 10:13-16
The Salvation of InfantsJ. Jefferson.Mark 10:13-16
The Saviour's Invitation to Little ChildrenJ. H. Norton, D. D.Mark 10:13-16
The Saviour's Love for Children ReciprocatedMark 10:13-16
The Sin of Keeping Back Children from ChristH. Melvill, B. D.Mark 10:13-16
The Sin of Keeping Children from Coming to ChristC. H. Spurgeon.Mark 10:13-16
One of the scenes in the life of the Savior which illustrate most strongly and beautifully the genius of the gospel. The imagination loves to dwell upon it, and the heart is its best interpreter. There is, so to speak, a climax in the action.

I. LITTLE CHILDREN ARE ATTRACTED TO JESUS. There must have been something in the aspect, etc.. He of the Savior which drew the little ones and their mothers to his side. Christianity differs from the systems of idolatry in presenting us with One whom we instinctively can love. A little girl, when asked why she thought Jesus must have smiled, said, "He must have smiled when he said, 'Suffer little children,' etc.. He else they would never have come!" A chief object of preaching and living the gospel is to exhibit this charm.

II. LITTLE CHILDREN ARE INVITED TO JESUS. HOW many people won't come to a place unless they think they are welcome, and therefore they expect an invitation. Now, when the disciples thought that their Master was too engrossed with high thoughts and important affairs to attend to the children, they took it upon themselves to send them away. This was not done through unkindness, but simply through a mistake. Christ corrected the mistake, and deliberately invited the little children. That proves-does it not? - in the strongest way that he intends them to come to him. But Jesus does more than invite.

III. LITTLE CHILDREN ARE CLAIMED BY JESUS. "For of such is the kingdom of heaven." That means that little children are very near to him already. They are really in his kingdom, and he is their King. He has a greater right, therefore, to their obedience and service and society, than father or mother, or brother or sister. When little children are good and loving they are with Jesus, and it is only when they do or think what is wrong that they go away from him. And all who come into his kingdom have to come in as little children, i.e. they are to be childlike - simple, loving, trustful, and obedient.

IV. LITTLE CHILDREN ARE BLESSED BY JESUS. He took them in his arms and embraced them. But he also put his hands on them, and gave them his Father's blessing. How great a thing did the Jews think a blessing was! Let us try and live so that we shall at last get the blessing Christ has in store for us. Do you love to be with Jesus? Do you do whatever he commands you? Then you are a subject of his kingdom, and a child of grace; and hereafter you will share his glory. - M.







And they brought young children to Him.
We know what it was to bring a little child to Jesus when He was on earth; we may ask what it is now, and wherein the difference consists.

I. IN REGARD TO THE CHILDREN THEMSELVES. It is a common expression on the lips of good people to bid children to "come to Jesus." This cannot mean exactly the same as when Jesus was sitting in the house. The child saw Jesus with his bodily eye, might mark the kindly light in it, and be encouraged by the kindly smile that played around His lips. There could not be in the children on that day anything like what we now call a spiritual feeling, any doubts or difficulties as to what was meant by coming to Jesus. In more advanced years the notion of what is spiritual may be gradually developed in the mind, but in the tender time of childhood, religious ideas should be presented to children in forms that are true and natural to them. Let them feel that they are the children of the great unseen Father; that they have a Saviour and Friend; but beware how you mix up with that religious teaching a philosophy of human invention. Children are patterns of simplicity; do not reverse this picture.

II. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRINGING A CHILD IN CHRIST'S DAY TO JESUS AND BRINGING HIM NOW? What is the difference to the child himself, and what to the parents? At that time the parents saw whether the child was accepted; saw Christ bless the child; it was a matter of sight, not of faith. Now it is matter of faith. One would like to know the ground of the rebuke administered by the disciples. Perhaps the parents were interrupting the teaching of Christ, or the disciples thought that the placing of Christ's hands on the children could do them no good. The objections of modern disciples are of the same nature. The action of Christ, as well as His words, is a rebuke to such. He does not say, "Take these children hence, they can get no good from Me. Bring them to Me when they can express assent to My teaching." His words tell us that before the age of understanding God can do the child good. What is meant by "receiving the kingdom of God as a little child"? There are elements of a child's life which cannot be continued in the life of manhood; but there are outstanding characteristics of childhood which must be seen in those who receive the kingdom of God.

1. He refers to naturalness, truthfulness, or single-mindedness, as opposed to the spirit of artifice or duplicity. The child's nature comes out, unmindful of pain or pleasure to others, he speaks what is in him. His mind is a perfect mirror, throwing back all that falls on it, and he is utterly unconscious of any wish to give an undue colouring to his feelings or desires, he does not pretend to like what he hates; to believe what he does not believe; he is true to himself. Whosoever would receive the kingdom of God as a little child must be true to nature, the new nature, and be simple and sincere. How much more straightforward would the path be to the kingdom, and in the kingdom, if men would only renounce the crooked policy which they learn in the world.

2. The element of trust.

(A. Watson, D. D.)

I. The danger of sin standing in the way of children coming to Christ. Few persons ale aware of the extent to which children, even very young children's minds, are capable of being affected, prejudiced, distorted, by the conversation which they hear. Children cannot balance and dismiss a subject as you do. It has fallen with fearful impression. But some cast obstacles less offensively, but perhaps more dangerously. They render religion repulsive to children. Where is that cheerfulness which a child loves, and in which real religion always consists? What ought to come as a pleasure you force as a duty: you are severe when you ought to be encouraging; abstract when you should be practical.

II. THE DUTY OF BRINGING CHILDREN TO CHRIST. Impressions made in childhood are sure to creep out in after life. Let them feel that at any point of life they have to do with Jesus. Your child has told a lie. Tell him, "Jesus is Truth." This is leading him to Christ.

III. WE OURSELVES MUST BE LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN. Be quite a child, and you will soon be quite a saint.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

Why does the Saviour show such tender affection for children?

1. Because they have a confiding trust in God.

2. Because they have a holy fear of God.

3. Because they have no false shame.

4. Because they have the spirit of humility.

5. Because they have the spirit of love.

(J. H. Norton, D. D.)

"O mother," said a little girl, on returning from church, and running into her mother's sick room, "I have heard the child's gospel today!" It was the very part which I am now preaching about. Another, about seven years old, heard the same passage read when she was near death, and, as her sister closed the book, the little sick one said, "How kind! I shall soon go to Jesus. He will take me up in His arms, and bless me, too!" The sister tenderly kissed her, and asked, "Do you love me, dearest? Yes," she answered, "but, don't be angry, I love Jesus more."

(J. H. Norton, D. D.)

The poet Lamartine, in alluding to his father and mother, says, "I remember once to have seen the branch of a willow, which had been torn by the tempest's hands from the parent trunk, floating in the morning light upon the angry surges of the overflowing Saone. On it a female nightingale covered her nest, as it drifted down the foaming stream; and the male on the wing followed the wreck which was bearing away the object of his love." Beautiful illustration, indeed, of the tender affection of parents for their children. Much, however, as father and mother love their offspring, there is One whose feelings towards them are infinitely stronger and more enduring. I hardly need explain that I refer to our adorable Saviour.

(J. H. Norton, D. D.)

I. It should be noted carefully that the parties who objected to the bringing little children to Christ were not Scribes and Pharisees, the unbelieving Jews who recognized nothing Divine in the mission of our Lord, BUT ACTUALLY HIS DISCIPLES. They perhaps considered it entailing unnecessary fatigue on their Master, that He should have to receive the young as well as the old; or that no sufficient end was to be answered by bringing little children to Christ. They would have understood the use of bringing a lame child to Him, though too young to exercise faith; but they had no idea of a child in bodily health deriving any advantage from contact with Christ. The parents judged better than the disciples. Knowing that by God's express command the rite of circumcision was administered to infants, they concluded, as we may suppose, that infancy of itself was no disqualification for a religious privilege, and that if there was anything spiritual in the mission of Christ, it might be communicated to the young as well as the old. If we delay religious instruction, under the idea that it is too difficult or too abstruse for a very young mind, are we not acting in much the same way as the disciples? In after life there is no greater impediment to religion than the want of proper habits of self-discipline and control. It may therefore be justly considered, that whatever tends to the forming such habits facilitates the coming to our Lord for His blessing. Then, what want of faith is there in the education of children. Parents are actually suspicious of the Bible, even when desirous of instilling its truths into their children. They run to good books to make the Bible easy and amusing, whose business it is to dilute and simplify the Word, ridding it of mysteries, and adapting it to juvenile understandings. But this is virtually withholding the children from Christ. Remember that for the most part what is mystery to a child is to a man. If I strive to make intelligible what ought to be left mysterious, I do but nourish in the child the notion of his being competent to understand all truth, and prepare him for being disgusted if he finds himself in riper years called upon to submit reason to faith. Do not let it seem to you a harsh accusation — consider it well, and you will have to confess it grounded upon truth — that whensoever there is dilatoriness in commencing the correction of tempers, which too plainly prove the corruption of nature, or the substitution of other modes of instruction for the Bible itself, or any indication, more or less direct, of a feeling that there must be something intermediate, that children are not yet ready for the being brought actually to the Saviour, we identify your case with that of our Lord's disciples, who, when some sought for infants the benediction of Christ, rashly and wrongfully "rebuked those that brought them."

II. But now let us mark more particularly OUR BLESSED LORD'S CONDUCT, IN REGARD TO THE CHILDREN and those who would have kept them from Him. When he observed the endeavour of the disciples to prevent the children being brought, you read that "He was much displeased." The original word marks great indignation. It is used on one or two other occasions in the New Testament, when very strong feelings were excited. For example, "When the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna, to the Son of David, they were sore displeased:" it is the same Greek word. Again: on the occasion of the woman's pouring on Christ's head an alabaster box of very precious ointment, "when His disciples saw it, they had indignation — the same word — saying, To what purpose is this waste?" These instances show you that the word denotes a very high degree of dissatisfaction, anger being more excited than sorrow, as though the thing done were specially offensive and criminal. It is never again used in connection with Christ; Christ is never again said to have been "much" or "sorely displeased." On the occasion of having little children kept from Him, bat on no other occasion, did Christ show Himself "sorely displeased." What an indication of His willingness to receive little children! What a declaration as to the duty of bringing to Him little children; and the sinfulness, in any measure or on any account, of withholding them from Him! And, perhaps, many children would go to Christ, if they were but suffered to go. Christ draws their young hearts; but how often are serious thoughts discouraged in children! How little advantage is taken of indications of youthful piety! Then, again, what inconsistencies they perceive in those around them! and who quicker than children in detecting inconsistencies? They are as sharp-sighted in their discernment of the faults of their superiors, as if they had been born critics, or bred up for censors. But inconsistencies will stop them, just when they might be determining on taking the first step towards Christ; and we do not "suffer" them to go, if by anything in our example we interfere with their going, putting some sort of hindrance — and it need not be a high one for young feet to stumble at. Yea, and we may actually "forbid them." This is our Lord's next expression; and it indicates more active opposition than when He only requires us to suffer. Evidently the worldly-minded parent or instructor forbids the children from coming to Christ, when he discountenances any religious tendency; when he manifests his fear of a young person becoming too serious, too fond of reading the Bible, too disposed to avoid gay amusements, and cultivate the society of such as care for the soul. This is the more open sort of forbidding. Not but what there is a yet more open: when children or young persons are actually prevented from what they are inclined to do in the matter of religion, and forced into scenes and associations which they feel to be wrong. It is not thus, however, that "disciples" — any who may be parallel with those to whom our Lord addressed His remonstrance — are likely to prevent little children. But are there no other ways of forbidding? Indeed, a young mind is very easily discouraged; more especially in such a thing as religion, towards which it needs every possible help, and from which it may be said to have a natural swerving. A look will be enough; the slightest hint; nay, even silence will have the force of a prohibition. There may be needed a stern command to withhold from an indulgence, but a mere glance of the eye may withhold from a duty. Not to encourage, may be virtually to forbid. The child soon catches this; he soon detects the superior anxiety which the parent exhibits for his progress in what is called learning, the comparative coldness as to his progress in piety. He quickly becomes aware of the eye being lit up with greater pleasure at an indication of talent, than at a sign of devotion. And thus the child is practically "forbidden" to come to Christ. He is practically told that there is something preferable to his coming to Christ.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

Perhaps God does with His heavenly garden as we do with our own. He may chiefly stock it from nurseries, and select for transplanting what is yet in its young and tender age — flowers before they have bloomed, the trees ere they begin to bear.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

1. Because they are not too young to do wrong.

2. Because the regeneration of children or adults is the work of the Holy Spirit.

3. Because piety is a matter of the heart, rather than of the intellect.

4. Special examples found in God's Word.

5. It is a pleasing confirmation of our faith in very early piety to observe the many instances within our own observation of the conversion of young children, and of their teachable spirit with reference to religion.

(S. S. Portwin.)

children: —

I. It is very old.

II. It is all-embracing.

III. It is all-sufficing.

(Anon.)

The impediments which teachers throw in the way of children coming to Jesus.

I. INADEQUATE PIETY.

II. INCOMPETENT KNOWLEDGE of the gospel.

1. Your knowledge must spring from faith.

2. It must be derived from scripture.

III. INJUDICIOUS MODES OF INSTRUCTION.

1. Loading the memory with scripture without explanation.

2. Lengthened addresses in which children take no part.

IV. AN IMPROPER SPIRIT.

1. Impatience.

2. Pride.

3. Selfishness.

V. INCONSISTENT CONDUCT.

1. Want of punctuality.

2. Gossiping.

(J. Sherman.)

1. The text teaches that Jesus is attractive to children.

2. That Christ takes a deep interest in children.

3. Jesus prays for children.

4. Jesus wishes children to be happy, and they could not be that without pardon.

5. There are a great many children in heaven.

(Dr. McAuslane.)

There was one thing about Jesus which no one could fall to notice — His great popularity with children. A certain fulness of humanity always seems to attract children. In Jesus this constituted an irresistible attraction. They ran after Him — they clung to Him — they shouted for Him. His must have been a joyous presence. Different from your sour-faced Puritan (who has his merits notwithstanding): your dried-up theologian (who is needful, too, in season): your emaciated ascetic (whose protest against sensuality is sometimes necessary and even noble). I think this power of attracting and interesting the little ones is one of the hallmarks of good men. The children's unspoiled natures seem to cling to unspoiled souls — as like cleaves to like. "They brought young children to Christ." Ah! there was no need of that, for they came to Him of their own accord — nor did He ever repulse them. How shall we bring the children to Christ — how shall we win them to love and follow Him? The best way of bringing our children to Christ is by being Christ-like ourselves. Let them see in us nothing but His kindness, wisdom, strength, tenderness, and sympathy, and they will learn to love their religion, and grow close to Jesus, as in the days when "He took them up in His arms, laid His hands upon them, and blessed them."

(H. R. Haweis, M. A.)

Jesus was the first great teacher of men who showed a genuine sympathy for childhood — perhaps the only teacher of antiquity who cared for childhood as such. Plato treats of children and their games, but he treats them from the standpoint of a publicist. They are elements not to be left out in constructing society. Children, in Plato's eyes, are not to be neglected, because children will inevitably come to be men and women. But Jesus was the first who loved childhood for its own sake. In the earlier stages of civilization it is the main endeavour of men to get away from childhood. It represents immaturity of body and mind, ignorance and folly. The ancients esteemed it their first duty to put away childish things. It was Jesus who, seeking to bring about a new and higher development of character, perceived that there were elements in childhood to be preserved in the highest manhood; that a man must, indeed, set back again towards the innocence and simplicity of childhood if he would be truly a man. Until Jesus Christ, the world had no place for childhood in its thoughts. When He said, "Of such is the kingdom of God," it was a revelation.

(Eggleston.)

In a Chinese Christian family at Amoy, a little boy, the youngest of the three children, on asking his father to allow him to be baptized, was told that he was too young; that he might return to heathenism, if he made a profession of religion when he was only a little boy. To this he made the following touching reply: — "Jesus has promised to carry the lambs in His arms. I am only a little boy; it will be easier for Jesus to carry me." This was too much for the father; he took him with him, and the dear child was ere long baptized. The whole family, of which this child is the youngest member, belong now to the mission church at Amoy.

A little girl, between six and seven years of age, when on her death bed, seeing her eldest sister with a Bible in her hand, asked her to read this passage respecting Christ's blessing little children. The passage having been read, and the book closed, the child said, "How kind! I shall soon go to Jesus; He will soon take me up in His arms, bless me, too; no disciple shall keep me away." Her sister kissed her, and said, "Do you love me?" "Yes, dear," she replied, "but you mustn't mind that I love Jesus better."

What if God should place in your hand a diamond, and tell you to inscribe on it a sentence which should be read at the last day, and shown there as an index of your thoughts and feelings! What care, what caution, would you exercise in the selection! Now this is what God has done. He has placed before you immortal minds, more imperishable than the diamond, on which you are about to inscribe every day and every hoar, by your instructions, by your spirit, or by your example, something which will remain and be exhibited for or against you at the judgment day.

(Dr. Payson.)

The apostles' rebuke of the children arose in a measure from ignorance of the children's need. If any mother in that throng had said, "I must bring my child to the Master, for he is sore afflicted with a devil," neither Peter, nor James, nor John would have demurred for a moment, but would have assisted in bringing the possessed child to the Saviour. Or suppose another mother had said, "My child has a pining sickness upon it, it is wasted to skin and bone; permit me to bring my darling, that Jesus may lay His hands upon her," the disciples would all have said, "Make way for this woman and her sorrowful burden." But these little ones with bright eyes, and prattling tongues, and leaping limbs, why should they come to Jesus? Ah, friends I they forgot that in those children, with all their joy, their health, and their apparent innocence, there was a great and grievous need for the blessing of a Saviour's grace.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

It must be a very great sin indeed to hinder anybody from coming to Christ. He is the only way of salvation from the wrath of God, salvation from the terrible judgment that is due to sin — who would dare to keep the punishing from that way? To alter the sign posts on the way to the city of refuge, or to dig a trench across the road, would have been an inhuman act, deserving the sternest condemnation. He who holds back a soul from Jesus is the servant of Satan, and is doing the most diabolical of all the devil's work. We are all agreed about this. I wonder whether any of us are quite innocent in this respect. May we not have hindered others from repentance and faith? It is a sad suspicion; but I am afraid that many of us have done so. Certainly you who have never believed in Jesus yourselves have done sadly much to prevent others believing. The force of example, whether for good or bad, is very powerful, and especially is it so with parents upon their children, superiors upon their underlings, and teachers upon their pupils.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Dr. Tyng, senior, of New York, said that in all his ministry he had never hesitated, when the choice must be made between one child and two adults, to take the child. "It seems to me," he says, "that the devil would never ask anything mare of a minister than to have him look upon his mission as chiefly to the grown-up members of his congregation, while somebody else was to look after the children. I can see the devil standing at the door, and saying to the minister, 'Now you just fire away at the old folks; and I'll stand here, and steal away the little ones as the Indians catch ducks, swimming under them, catching them by the legs, and pulling them under.'"

Now let us see how this theory works. I cannot show its evil effects better than by taking an illustration from the first book I ever read — "AEsop's Fables." It is long since I saw the book, but its pages are vividly impressed on my memory, especially the pictures, and here is one of them, a fisherman is sitting on the bank of a stream. He has thrown in his bait, and brought out a very little fish. He has the fish in his hand, and is just about to put it into his basket, when the fish begins to talk. He is sitting up in the man's hand, and addressing himself to the fisherman, speaks on this wise: "You see I am a very little fish. It is not worth your while to put me into the basket. Throw me back into the stream, and I shall become a bigger fish, and much better worth catching." But the fisherman says: "No; if I throw you into the stream, it is most likely that I shall never see you again. I will keep you whilst I have got you." And so he puts the fish into the basket. The wrong theory is the theory of the fish, the right one that of the fisherman. Now I ask you to consider this. In the present day we have vast multitudes of children under Christian teaching and influence. A careful estimate gives the present number of scholars in the Sunday schools of England and Wales as over 4,000,000; and there are very many children well taught in Christian homes who are not in the Sunday schools. There is also provision made in our elementary day schools for over 4,000,000 scholars. Now these children are, so to speak, yet in the basket of the Church, and we should use our utmost efforts to prevent them from ever getting out of it. According to the great Teacher the little ones belong to the kingdom of God in their earliest days. Why should they ever leave it? But, alas! instead of acting in accordance with the true theory, we too often act as if the wrong theory were true. We are not so anxious as we ought to be to bring our children at the earliest possible moment into the enjoyment of peace with God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. We are not so careful as we ought to be to provide that before a child leaves school and his parents' home he shall be fortified against the temptations of life by established faith in Christ.

I. THE CONDUCT OF THE PARENTS WAS VERY NATURAL AND COMMENDABLE. "They brought young children to Jesus," etc. Just as Joseph brought his sons to Jacob, that he might lay his hands upon them and bless them. His blessing would be sure to make rich in one way or another. These parents did not send their children to Jesus, but brought them; example better than precept. Let us not stop short of the Saviour. Morality good: but they must be born again.

II. THE SPIRIT AND DEMEANOUR OF THE DISCIPLES WERE VERY REPULSIVE — "They rebuked those that brought them." What if the parents had judged of the Master by the spirit of His servants? There is love in His heart infinitely transcending all that exists in the hearts of His most devoted people.

III. THE CONDUCT OF JESUS CHRIST WAS A PERFECT CONTRAST TO THAT OF HIS DISCIPLES. "He was much displeased." Christ may be angry with His own people, even when they think they are doing Him service. It is not enough to mean well. Is it any wonder that Christ should feel an interest in little children when He voluntarily became a little child Himself? "Of such" — in years — "is the kingdom of heaven." All infants go to heaven. The lost will go away into "everlasting punishment," but an infant cannot be punished, for that would imply personal criminality and conscious guilt: but an infant can neither do good nor evil. But may they not be annihilated? This passage kindles light in their little sepulchre and says, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven." They live unto God. The only difference between the salvation of an infant and others, is this — the infant is saved without faith, by the direct agency of the Holy Spirit, in consequence of the finished work of Christ; others are saved by believing the gospel, and being sanctified through the truth. See the condescension of Christ. We cannot bless them as He did; we can plead for the Divine blessing upon them.

(R Bayne.)

Infants are all saved.

1. Our remarks apply exclusively to children who are not yet arrived at years of accountability; that is, who are not yet capable of employing the appointed means of salvation.

2. It is not said that the children of believers and of unbelievers are in all respects in the same case; on the contrary the relative holiness of the children of believers is an important blessing; their circumstances are more favourable to the formation of a religious character; their means of salvation are more direct. But the child of a believer has no other claim on the mercy of God than that may be put in by any infant.

I. STATE THE ARGUMENT IN FAVOUR OF INFANT SALVATION. Considerations which may suggest this hope.

1. They are not accountable. They are incapable of moral obligation, hence are not condemned: free from personal guilt. Does it comport with the Divine Justice or mercy, to suppose that such are not saved whose only guilt is their unavoidable connection with a broken covenant? The benevolence of the Divine character suggests the hope of their salvation; and embraces infants in the redeeming purpose. The rectitude of the Divine government suggests their salvation; they cannot be healed according to their deeds who have neither done good nor evil. There are many general expressions of Divine favour towards infants; God contemplates their advantage in the blessings He confers on mankind (Psalm 78:5, 6; Deuteronomy 12:28; Jeremiah 19:3, 9). He spared Nineveh for their sake (Jonah 4:11).

2. There are gracious declarations of the Word of God which imply this truth (Matthew 18:1, 14). That infants are capable of receiving the principle of faith is plain; Jeremiah and John Baptist have been sanctified from the womb. The Jewish children were accounted worshippers of the true God, even from their infancy (Deuteronomy 29:10, 13; Deuteronomy 5:3; 2 Chronicles 20:13; Joel 2:15, 16). And so under the Christian dispensation children are viewed as believers, because visibly connected with the dispensation, and continue to be so accounted till they renounce it as their religion. Christ would not recognize as subjects of His kingdom here, those whom He did not regard as heirs of His kingdom hereafter. "Of such is the kingdom of God." Romans 5:12, 19 appears to involve this truth. It places in contrast the dispensations under which God has governed man; one at creation, the other at redemption. The curse of the broken covenant included the children; the saving benefit provided by Christ extends to them. "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive again."

3. There are some recorded instances of faith in this truth, which support the conclusion (2 Samuel 12:22, 23; 2 Kings 4:1).

II. EXAMINE SOME OF THE DIFFICULTIES WHICH APPEAR TO LIE IN THE WAY OF ADOPTING THIS CONCLUSION.

1. The imputation of Adam's sin. The doctrine of infant salvation does not deny this, but declares that the grace of God frees from the curse, and bestows the capacity for celestial happiness, through the mediation of Christ.

2. The temporal sufferings and death of infants. Because they suffer some of the effects of the curse it by no means follows that they suffer all. Actual believers suffer in this world.

3. The destruction of the children of the ungodly along with their parents. The case of Korah.

4. The declared necessity of faith in order to salvation. A new heart is the qualification for heaven, and may as easily be given to an infant as to an adult.

5. The early indications of sinfulness in infants. It is not easy to determine how far these are the result of animal propensities or deliberate choice. It is not said that infants are free from tendency to evil, or even apparent acts of sin; but are saved through Christ whose sacrifice puts away sin.

6. The silence of scripture.

III. THE PRACTICAL INFLUENCE OF THIS TRUTH.

1. Let it be viewed generally in its aspect on the moral government of God.

(1)It relieves the difficulty connected with the permission of sin.

(2)It reflects the glory of Divine grace.

(3)It illustrates the declared importance of the mediation of Christ.

2. Let this truth be viewed in its aspect on the religious education of children. No excuse for the neglect of it.

3. Let this doctrine he viewed in its aspect on the seriousness of bereaved parents.

(J. Jefferson.)

The whole case of the death of babes seems at the first thought to be indeed a marvel; yet what is there in life which is not a marvel? How few things there are which we can regard in any other light than that of unintelligent, though not unreasonable, wonder. Still, few things seem more marvellous in the rough aspect than that a little child should be allowed to suffer pain and die. Here is a little bud, a tender nursling of the spring, in the fairest way for flower, fragrance, and fruit, nipped by that bitter envious frost before a single leaf unfolds itself. Here is a little barque, freighted with costly wares for the markets of earth and heaven, bound for eternity, launched into life and wrecked at the very harbour mouth. A work nobly simple, yet beautifully complex, with God's fresh breath of life inspiring its every look, and the power of the sweetest nature swaying its every movement; lo! it drops from His hand, as it might seem, in the very act of His holding it up to show its beauty to the world. It falls to pieces in an hour. The high art of its creation is negatived in a moment; its lovely mechanism siles off into dust; all its myriad contrivances for life — no one of which any man since the world began can imitate with the slightest effect, no, nor even rightly understand — in a few days are crumbled into mould, and as if they never had been at all. In fine, a work designed for duties of seventy or eighty, or perhaps a hundred years, capable of beautiful deeds, and of filling happy places in the house, the neighbourhood, the State, and all along in the family of the Church, is destroyed, as it might seem, by some slight accident, before any one of those duties has been met; and, to outward view, annihilated as though it had never been meant for anything whatsoever in the world.

(W. B. Philpot, M. A.)

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