Jesus and the Children
Charles 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 perishing from that way? To alter the signposts 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, my dear friends, 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. Peradventure, father, if you had been an earnest Christian, your son would not have been ungodly; possibly, dear mother, if you had been decided for the Savior, the girls would have been Christians too. We have to speak and judge after the manner of men; but, assuredly, example is a great fashioner of character. We can none of us tell if we go down to hell how many we shall draw with us for we are bound to thousands by invisible bands. Here's the respect which makes a wide calamity out of the ruin of a single soul. Over the tomb of each sinner may be read this epitaph, "This man perished not alone in his iniquity." "None of us liveth to himself and no man dieth to himself."
If we could fling our souls away as solitary stones out of the sling, this were woe enough; but since we are all threaded beads upon the string of common life, where one goes many go with ...
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