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The Child Teacher.

The Child Teacher.

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Published by glennpease
BY CHARLES WADSWORTH


" At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the
greatest in the kingdom of heaven ?

" And Jjsus call'd a Utile child unto him, and set him in the midst of
them,

"And sail, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become
as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." — Mat-
THE\y, xviii. 1, 2, 3.
BY CHARLES WADSWORTH


" At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the
greatest in the kingdom of heaven ?

" And Jjsus call'd a Utile child unto him, and set him in the midst of
them,

"And sail, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become
as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." — Mat-
THE\y, xviii. 1, 2, 3.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 09, 2013
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THE CHILD-TEACHER.BY CHARLES WADSWORTH" At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is thegreatest in the kingdom of heaven ?" And Jjsus call'd a Utile child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,"And sail, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and becomeas little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." — Mat-THE\y, xviii. 1, 2, 3.This passage illustrates the beautiful simplicity of ourSaviour's teaching. It could have occurred in no historybut his own. o prophet, no apostle, no inspired man,no uninspired preacher, would so have answered thegreat question propounded by the disciples.Whatever be our notion of what is here meant by" the kingdom of heaven," whether Christ's temj3oralreign on the earth, or the Gospel dispensation, or thetrue glories of the eternal world, had the question beenput to another, the answer would have involved themetaphysics of a regenerated nature. A modern preachercertainly would have sought out what seemed to himthe loftier excellencies of apostles and apostolic men — Peter's boldness, and John's love, and Paul's ardor — the confessor's steadfastness, and the martyr's daring — saying, these are the elements of true Christian greatness.He would have summoned, in imagination, from eternity204 TEE CEILD-TEACEER.the spirits of just men made perfect; and as in vision
 
they moved before the eye — Abraham and Moses, andElijah and Daniel — lie would have pointed to the gloriousprocession, and cried : " Behold ! such are the great onesin the kingdom of God."But not so Jesus. The disciples asked him the ques-tion, and instead, as we should have expected, of recall-ing to their minds Moses and Elias, who, in the Mountof Transfiguration, had just passed before them as greatchieftains of Immortality, he looked around upon hisaudience, and seeing a little child, lifted it gently in hisarms, and said to the amazed disciples: "Behold! suchare the great ones in the kingdom of heaven."ow, it is this simple act of the great Teacher wewould at present consider. We would let a little childteach you about the kingdom of God. Of course, wewould not be misunderstood to intimate that a littlechild, if unregenerated, is in any sense fitted for thatkingdom. "We do indeed believe that all who die ininfancy are at once translated to heaven. And yet thiswe are assured is a result of Divine grace through theSon's sacrifice and the Spirit's sanctification ; becausethe great Shepherd came traveling in the greatness of his strength to bear the tender lambs in his arms fromlife's wilderness into green pastures and beside stillwaters.Though there be unquestionably a religious trainingfor children, so that, instead of being left to grow up inwickedness, with the hope that by and by God will re-generate them, children ought from their birth to bebrought up " in the nurture and admonition of the Lord ;"nevertheless, train them as you will, without the miracleTHE CHILD- TEA CHER. 205of converting grace, just because they are born with a
 
sinful nature, they will always and inevitably grow upsinners.Therefore, in what may be said hereafter, we shall notbe understood as intimating that a child unconverted iseither a great or a little one in the kingdom of heaven.We are only using such a child after the example of ourDivine Master, as illustrating, in its natural exercisesand emotions, the graces of such as are literally " greatin the kingdom of God." Let us then select a few prom-inent Christian excellencies and illustrate their natureand power by the analogical emotions so manifest inchildhood.First. Let us begin with Faith — the grand foundationof all Christian character. And whether you regardsaving or speculative faith, let a little child illusti'ate thetrue nature and excellence of the principle.1st. Begin with speculative or intellectual faith, andwhat is it as manifested in a child ? Why, simply, afirm reliance on parental testimony. Let a father tell achild that there is a God, and spite of a thousand learnedinfidels, he will believe it. Let a mother declare thatthere is a heaven, and the child never questions it. Leta father teach that the earth is round, and the childbelieves, though he can not comprehend it. Let themother say that the sun only seems to move, while itreally stands still, and the child accepts the truth, thoughit contradict his senses. Feeling assured of parentalknowledge and veracity, and conscious of his own ignor-ance, he holds his judgment in abeyance to that higherwisdom. This, we say, is speculative, or doctrinal, faithin a child — Believing what a father says just because he206 THE GEILD-TEAGEER.~ays it. And such, as a Christian grace, is that doctrinal

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