A minister will never, I should think, forget his earliest converts. He lives to see hundreds begotten unto God by his means. But of these who were the children of his youth he still treasures delightful memories, for are they not his firstborn, his might and the beginning of his strength?
recall an elderly woman who had found peace with God through my youthful
ministry. Especially do I recollect her wail of woe as she told of the days
of her ignorance and the consequent godless bringing up of her children. Her
words were somewhat as follows, and I write them down for the good of
mothers who labor hard out of love to their dear ones and provide them with
all necessaries for this life but never think of the life to come:
"Nobody could have slaved worse than I did, to mend, clean and keep a roof over our heads. I cannot blame myself for any neglect about their bodies; but as to their souls, I never cared about my own, and of course I never thought of theirs.
of them died. I dare not think about them. God has forgiven me, but I can't
forget my sin against my poor children. I never taught them a word which
could be of any use to them. The others are all alive, but there is not one
of them in the least religious. How could they be when they saw how their
mother lived? It troubles me more a good deal than all the working for them
ever did, for I'm afraid they are going down to destruction, and all through
their cruel mother."
"Don't excuse me, for if I had used my common sense, I might have known that my children were not like the sheep and the horses which die and there's an end of them. I never thought about it at all, or I might have known better; and I feel that I was a cruel mother never to have considered their souls at all.
"They are all worldly, and none of them go to a place of worship, year in and year out. I never took them there, and how can I blame them? As soon as I was converted, I went down to my eldest son, who has a large family, and I told him what the Lord had done for me and entreated him to come here with me to the services; but he said he wondered what next, and he had no time. When I pleaded hard with him, he said he was sure I meant well, but `it was no go', he liked his Sunday at home too well to go to hear parsons.
"You know, sir, you can't bend a tree. I ought to have bent the twig when I could have done it. Oh, if I had but led him to the house of God when he Was little! He
would have gone then, for he loved his mother. So he does now, but not enough to go where I want him. So, you see, I can do nothing with my son now. I was a cruel mother and let the boy go into the field or the streets, when he should have been in the Sunday school.
"Oh that I could have my time back again and have all my children around me as little ones, that I might teach them about my blessed Saviour! They are all beyond me now. What can I do?"
She sat down and wept bitterly. I heartily wish all unconverted mothers could have been here and heard her lamentations. It was very pleasant to know that she was herself saved and to see in her very sorrow the evidence of her genuine repentance; but still, the evil which she lamented was a very terrible one and might well demand a lifetime of mourning.
mother, do not, as you love your babe, suffer him to grow up without divine
instruction. But you cannot teach your child if you do not know the Lord
From C. H. Spurgeon's Autobiography, via The Sword Of The Lord.
Music Title - Do not pass me by