Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A believing mother's "swift witness" against her unbelieving children

This came back to my mind in preparing for last Sunday's sermon, in which I attempted to proclaim and explain what the Bible says about the destinies of believers and unbelievers in a reasoned and passionate manner. From (who else?) Charles Spurgeon:
Children are often very reticent to their parents. Often and often have I spoken with young lads about their souls, and they have told me they could not talk to their fathers upon such matters. I know it was so with me. When I was under concern of soul, the last persons I should have elected to speak to upon religion would have been my parents,—not through want of love to them, nor absence of love on their part; but so it was. A strange feeling of diffidence pervades a seeking soul, and drives it from its friends. Yet I cannot tell how much I owe to the solemn words of my good mother. It was the custom, on Sunday evenings, while we were yet little children, for her to stay at home with us, and then we sat round the table, and read verse by verse, and she explained the Scripture to us. After that was done, then came the time of pleading; there was a little piece of Alleine’s Alarm, or of Baxter’s Call to the Unconverted, and this was read with pointed observations made to each of us as we sat round the table; and the question was asked, how long it would be before we would think about our state, how long before we would seek the Lord. Then came a mother’s prayer, and some of the words of that prayer we shall never forget, even when our hair is grey. I remember, on one occasion, her praying thus: “Now, Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance that they perish, and my soul must bear a swift witness against them at the day of judgment if they lay not hold of Christ.” That thought of a mother’s bearing swift witness against me, pierced my conscience, and stirred my heart. When I was a child, if I had done anything wrong, I did not need anybody to tell me of it; I told myself of it, and I have cried myself to sleep many a time with the consciousness that I had done wrong; and when I came to know the Lord, I felt very grateful to Him because He had given me a tender conscience.
Spurgeon, C. H. (1898). C. H. Spurgeon's Autobiography, Compiled from his diary, letters, and records, by his wife and his private secretary: Volume 1, 1834–1854 (68). Cincinatti; Chicago; St. Louis: Curts & Jennings.


DJP said...

This, btw, is an example of me keeping my recently-announced resolve.

ali said...

Sadly, our children are grown with families of their own and unlike this mother I was not a true follower of our LORD. Now, my children roam the world, professing christianity with no fruit and no commitment to serve the LORD.

May our loving and gracious Father forgive my grave sins against my children and bring them to Himself while there is still time.

They remain in my heart and in my prayers continually.