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The Duty of Promoting Christian Education.

The Duty of Promoting Christian Education.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY JOHN BIRD SUMNER, D.D.



Matt. xix. 13.

Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come
unto me.
BY JOHN BIRD SUMNER, D.D.



Matt. xix. 13.

Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come
unto me.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 21, 2013
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THE DUTY OF PROMOTIG CHRISTIA EDUCATIO.BY JOH BIRD SUMER, D.D.Matt. xix. 13.Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to comeunto me.THESE words were mercifully spoken, and are mer-cifully left for our instruction. Little childrenwere brought to the Lord Jesus by their friendsor parents, " that he should put his hands uponthem, and pray ; and the disciples rebuked them."He was engaged in solemn discourse, and they didnot approve the interruption. But Jesus said,Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to comeunto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.As much as to say, I am come into the world togive the very thing which these parents desire : togive a blessing. Do not deprive these children of THE DUTY OF, &C. 115it. Partakers of Adam's sinful nature, let themalso be " partakers of the divine nature." In-heritors of that ruin, under which " the wholecreation groaneth and travaileth in pain," let themalso share in that restoration which comes through" the second Adam." Let them be "renewed inknowledge, after the image" which they have lost.Born to labour and sorrow, let them also inheritthat which can alleviate sorrow, and cheer theweariness of labour. Suffer little children to comeunto me. They who enter into the heavenly king-dom must be such as these are now, in the time
 
of their innocence; and nothing can preserve them,or make them such, except my blessing.This, we may believe, must have been the mindof the compassionate Saviour, when he rebukedhis disciples in these words. And thus he has leftto all ages a practical proof of his will ; his per-petual will. He has still the same pity for ourfallen race ; still the same desire to save those whoare encompassed by outward temptation, and be-trayed by inward frailty. He still invites them tocome to him, and desires that they should bebrought to him, that they may find rest in hisword, and protection in his love.And whilst we consider this subject, with a viewto fulfil his merciful desire, may He who has pro-i 2116 THE DUTY OFmised to be with his people, " whenever two orthree are gathered together in his name," may herealise his gracious assurance, and be with us andbless us ILet us then pursue the subject opened to us inthe text, and inquire, first, What it is for theyoung to come to Christ : next, The need for com-ing to Him : thirdly, The end of coming to Him.I. Jesus said, Suffer little children to come untome.But, Lord, thou art in heaven, and we thy weak and sinful creatures are on earth ! It is long sincethe angels sang, " Lift up your heads, O ye gates,
 
and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors : and theking of glory shall come in !"True, the parents of the present day cannotbring their children to the Lord in the lowly formof man, which for our sake he vouchsafed to bear ;they cannot now behold the condescending good-ness with which he took them in his arms, or laidhis hands upon them.But there is a way of applying to Christ, moresure than the movement of the body. Many of the Jews had come to him by the movement of their bodies, and were standing round him at thePROMOTIG CHRISTIA EDUCATIO. 117very time when he said, " Ye will not come untome, that ye might have life." 1 And again, on theother hand, the Ethiopian had come to him,whom Philip baptized : had come to him when hesaid, " I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God ;" 2 though in the flesh he had never seen him.It is the heart, brethren, and not the body, whichcomes to Christ. The coming to him is the sur-render of the soul to him for all that it needs :for pardon, justification, redemption, instruction ;in a word, for salvation." I will arise, and go to my father," thought theprodigal in his extremity.ow it was the mind here which really soughtthis refuge. Before the body moved, the mindhad gone.And thus it must be with the child ; thus we

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