The Ministry of Motherhood

1 Samuel 1:27
      For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of Him.

WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): Children have been prepared for the preaching of the word, and the devotion of the sanctuary, by the earlier but important efforts of a mother. How much does the religious public owe to the mothers of Newton and Cecil, and a thousand more, from whom the churches have derived such able ministers. To Hannah we owe a Samuel (I Samuel 1:27,28), and to Lois and Eunice, his mother and grandmother, we owe a Timothy, (II Timothy 1:5; 3:15).

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): [It is] a sweet happiness to any child to have a good mother and grandmother. For these have great opportunity of dropping good things into [children] as being much about them. The mothers of the kings of Judah are constantly mentioned; as they were good or evil, so were their children.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Good women may, and ought to teach their children at home the principles of religion.

JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians of England.

JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): My mother, as I have heard from many, was a pious, experienced Christian…I was her only child; she was of a weak constitution, and retired temper. Almost her whole employment was the care of my education. I have some faint remembrance of her care and instruction. At not more than three years of age, she herself taught me English. When I was four years old I could read with propriety in any common book. She stored my memory, which was then very retentive, with many valuable pieces, chapters, and portions of Scripture, catechism, hymns and poems…How far the best education may fall short of reaching the heart will strongly appear [by my early life]; yet I think, for the encouragement of godly parents to go on in the good way of doing their part faithfully, I may properly propose myself as an example. Though in the process of time I sinned away all the advantages of these early impressions, yet they were for a great while a restraint upon me. They returned again and again, and it was very long before I could wholly shake them off. When the Lord at length opened my eyes, I found a great benefit from the recollection of them.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): I am sure that, in my early youth, no teaching ever made such an impression upon my mind as the instruction of my mother…I cannot tell you 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. 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 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 a mother’s 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. This pleading with them for God, and with God for them, is the true way to bring children to Christ.

JOHN SPURGEON (1811-1902) (father of C. H. Spurgeon): I believe, under God’s grace, his mother has been the means of leading him to Christ…As I came home one evening and went upstairs, I heard the voice of his mother pleading for her boy Charles, and talking to him and the others, and pouring her heart out in prayer in such a way as I never did in my life, and as I never heard before. It is for the encouragement of mothers that I mention this, that you may pray for your children, for God is a prayer-hearing God, and a prayer-answering God.

ANDREW FULLER (1754-1815): My dear sisters, yours is a great work.

EDWARD PAYSON (1783-1827): Now this is what God has done. He has placed before you immortal minds, more imperishable than a diamond, on which you inscribe every day, and every hour, by your instructions, by your spirit, or by your example, something which will remain and be exhibited for or against you at the judgment day.

C. H. SPURGEON: Never could it be possible for any man to estimate what he owes to a godly mother. Certainly I have not the powers of speech to set forth my valuation of the choice blessing which the Lord bestowed on me in making me the son of one who prayed for me, and prayed with me. How can I ever forget her tearful eye when she warned me to escape from the wrath to come? How can I ever forget when she bowed her knee, and with her arms about my neck, prayed, “Oh, that my son might live before Thee!”

JOHN NEWTON: My dear mother, besides the pains she took with me, often commended me with many prayers and tears to God.

W. T. P. WOLSTON (1840-1917): I thank God that I had a pious mother—a praying mother…It is an inestimable boon for a man to have a praying mother and much, I know, mine prayed for me. Perhaps you had one and she has gone to heaven. Mine has, thank God, and I shall meet her again. Will you meet yours, if she has gone there?


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