Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Some say you are a mere Sabbath-School teacher, but you are a noble personage, holding an honourable office, and having illustrious predecessors…He who teaches a class in a Sabbath-School has earned a good degree. I had rather receive the title of S.S.T. than M.A., B.A., or any other honour that ever was conferred. Let me beg of you then to take heart, because your duties are so honourable. Let the royal example of David, let the noble, the godlike example of Jesus Christ inspire you with fresh diligence and increasing ardour, with confident and enduring perseverance, still to go on in your mighty work, saying, as David did, Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. If you want, however, a higher example, even than that of David, hear the Son of David while from his lips the sweet words flow, Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 19:14.
C. H. MACKINTOSH (1820-1896): The longer we live, the more highly we prize the blessed work of Sunday School teaching…We have the fullest assurance that such work will meet its rich reward in the day of the Lord, even though present appearances may be discouraging.
C. H. SPURGEON: Let us be encouraged to sow the good seed in evil times. Let us not despair. If there were no more mustard seed in the world, and I had only one grain of it, I should be all the more anxious to sow it. You can produce any quantity if only one seed will grow…It is always an act of faith to sow seed; because you have, for the time, to give it up, and receive nothing in return. The farmer takes his choice seed-corn, and throws it into the soil of his field. He might have made many a loaf of bread with it; but he casts it away. Only his faith saves him from being judged a maniac: he expects it to return to him fifty-fold. If you had never seen a harvest, you would think that a man burying good wheat under the clods had gone mad; and if you had never seen conversions, it might seem an absurd thing to be constantly teaching to boys and girls the story of the Man who was nailed to the tree. We preach and teach as a work of faith; and, remember, it is only as an act of faith that it will answer its purpose. The rule of the harvest is, According to thy faith, be it unto thee.
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): Many a Sunday-School teacher comes home on Sunday night with a heavy heart, and fancies that his or her labour is all in vain―But all this is disgraceful unbelief. There is often far more going on in hearts and consciences than we see. “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bring his sheaves with him,” Psalm 126:6. There are more being converted and saved than we suppose. “Many shall sit down in the kingdom of heaven” whom we never expected to see there when we died.
C. H. SPURGEON: Teachers of the children in the Sunday-Schools, it may be years hence, but if you have taught a child really to know something, that knowledge may be the beginning of his salvation.
C. H. MACKINTOSH: It may be that the Sunday School pupil will grow up a wicked youth―a wicked man; he may seem to have forgotten everything good, holy, and true―to have worn out, by his sinful practises, every sacred impression; and yet, nothwithstanding all, some precious clause of Holy Scripture, or some sweet hymn, remains buried in the depths of memory, beneath a mass of folly and profanity; and this Scripture, or this hymn, may come to mind in some quiet moment, or it may be on a dying bed, and be used by the Holy Ghost for the quickening and saving of the soul. Who can attempt to define the importance of getting hold of the mind when it is young, fresh, and plastic, and seeking to impress it with heavenly things?
C. H. SPURGEON: You are not sowing, as some say, on virgin soil, for it has long been occupied by the devil; but you are sowing on a soil more fertile now than it ever will be―that will produce fruit now for better than it will do in after days; you are sowing on a young heart, and what you sow will be pretty sure to abide there.
CHARLES BRIDGES (1794-1869): In after years, smothered convictions will bring back the power of early impressions. These seeds of instruction will burst forth into life. He will find it “hard’ in a course of sin “to kick against the pricks,” Acts 9:5. The Scriptures, fastened on his memory, will force themselves upon him with many a sharp and painful struggle. Conscience will disturb his pleasures, and embitter the sweetness, and which he had found, or fancied that he had found, in his sins.
BROWNLOW NORTH (1810-1875): And if you, oh reader, have the care of children, teach them to commit to memory large portions of Scripture. It may come back to them with blessing when you are in your grave.
JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): My mother died before I was seven years of age―she stored my memory, which was then very retentive, with many valuable pieces, chapters, and portions of Scripture, catechism, hymns and poems…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. MACKINTOSH: It is impossible to tell where and when the fruit of a Sunday School teacher’s work may turn up. It may be on the burning sands of Africa, or amid the frozen regions of the North, in the depths of the forest, or on the ocean’s wave; it may be at the present time, or it may be years after the workman has gone to his eternal rest. But, let it be when or where it may, the fruit will assuredly be found, when the seed has been sown in faith and watered by prayer.
WILLIAM S. PLUMER (1802-1880): Dr. Morrison, missionary to China, who translated the whole Bible into Chinese, became pious at a Sabbath-school.
ROBERT MURRAY M’CHEYNE (1813-1843): May we not learn from this to be more earnest, both in prayers and labours, in seeking the salvation of little children?
D. L. MOODY (1837-1899): One afternoon, I noticed a young lady at the service, whom I knew to be a Sunday School teacher. After the service, I asked her where her class was. “Oh,” said she, “I went to the school, and found only a little boy, and so I came away.” “Only a little boy!” said I, “think of the value of one such soul! the fires of a reformation may be slumbering in that tow-headed boy; there may be a young Knox, or a Wesley, or a Whitefield in your class.”
C. H. SPURGEON: There may seem no connection between teaching that boy and the reclaiming of cannibals in New Guinea; but I can see a very possible connection. Tribes in Central Africa may have their destiny shaped by your instruction of a tiny child.
RICHARD CECIL (1748-1810): The duty of a Christian is never to despair. The seed may be buried and seem lost, but it will spring up. The privileged child cannot un-know what it has heard.
WILLIAM SPURSTOWE (1605-1666): The promise, and the word that goes from God’s mouth, shall not return to Him void, but shall accomplish that which He pleases, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto He sent it, Isaiah 55:11. The manner of the fulfilling of it may be various, but the performance of it is most certain.
C. H. SPURGEON: Dear Sunday-school teacher, do not become weary of your humble work, for none can measure its importance―recollect that you are teaching for God―Believe, dear teacher, believe in the gospel. Believe in what you are doing when you tell it. Believe that great results from slender causes spring. Go on sowing your mustard seed of salvation by faith, expecting and believing that fruit will come thereof.
SAMUEL RUTHERFORD (1600-1661): God’s time will bring God’s harvest.