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THE LITTLE CHILDREN.
I HAVE often told you how much our Saviour was followed by the people, and how anxious they were to receive His holy instructions, which did them so much good, that they naturally wished their children could enjoy the benefit of them too; but the children were too young to understand the discourses of our Lord; so the parents thought, that if they were to bring them to Christ, He was so very kind and compassionate, that He would give them His blessing, which they felt sure would remain with them during their future life.
Accordingly, one day they brought them before our Saviour, when His disciples were around Him, and humbly entreated Him to lay His hands on their heads, and bless them.
But the disciples, knowing how many important things occupied their Master's time and attention, thought that He would not like to waste that precious time in receiving and blessing little children ; and therefore they reproved the parents for having brought them to Him.
But they did not know the condescending love of our blessed Lord, when they thought He would refuse to receive the little lambs of his flock. When He saw what his disciples had done, He was much displeased with them, and said, - “Suffer the little 66 children to come unto me, and for“ bid them not, for of such is the king• dom of Heaven.” And then He took them, one by one, and laid His hands upon them, and blessed them, and restored them to their happy parents, who took care, I dare say, often afterwards to remind them of the sacred duty of loving and serving Him, who had so tenderly received them, when they were too little to know how greatly they were honoured.
Many, many years have passed since Christ blessed those little children, and yet we still hear the gracious words, – 66 Suffer little children to come unto “ me, and forbid them not." He speaks them to us from the Bible, and they have been obeyed. You, too, my dear children, have been brought to
your Saviour; — you were brought by baptism, when you were too young to know what was passing. You were taken up in the arms of one of the ministers of Christ, and blessed in His name : and though your Saviour was not visibly present, yet he was there in reality, ready to receive you with all
and kindness that He showed towards the little children of Judea.
You are now called by His name, Christians, and devoted by baptism to His service: but let me warn you that, great as this blessing is, it will do you no good, if you do not yourselves try to live as Christians ought. Many, I fear, who have been baptized in the name of Christ, and have been called Christians, will not be owned by Him as His children at the day of judgment; because, when they grew up, they ne
glected the God who loved them the Lord who received them - the Saviour who died for them; and therefore they must then depart from Him for ever.
“ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the king“ dom of Heaven; but he that doeth “ the will of my Father which is in « Heaven." -Matt. vii. 21.