1 Samuel 1:20, 24-28; 1 Samuel 3:1
Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD…
And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young. And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.
And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD.
And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Samuel was a model child.
JOHN GILL (1697-1771): “The child Samuel ministered unto the Lord,” in such parts of service, relating to the tabernacle of the Lord, as he was capable of, such as opening and shutting the doors of it, lighting the lamps, singing the praises of God…As he proceeded on in years, and grew in stature, he appeared more and more to be a virtuous, holy, and gracious person, “and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men,” 1 Samuel 2:26.
WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): He maintained a blameless reputation, and at the close of his life, could thus challenge the whole nation: “I have walked before from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you,” 1 Samuel 12:3.
CHARLES SIMEON (1759-1836): The continuous growth of a character, from a child serving God, and to old age walking in the same path, is the great lesson which the story of Samuel teaches us.
WILLIAM JAY: But what has this to do with Hannah? Much, in every way.
C. H. SPURGEON: Mothers make men. They have the formation of their boys’ characters.
JOHN GILL: Hannah, the mother of Samuel, is by the Septuagint called Anna, and it signifies “grace;” or “gracious:” and as was her name, so was she, a gracious woman―one that had the grace of God herself, and was a publisher of the glad tidings of grace and redemption by Christ to others.
THOMAS COKE (1747-1814): As she was a good woman, so she was a good mother.
WILLIAM JAY: Did Samuel learn not to be idle? Did he readily obey those who had the rule over him? Did he cheerfully submit to restraints and privations? Did he show no unwillingness to be left behind in the tabernacle? Had he no fear to sleep alone? Could he hear an extraordinary voice in the night without terror? Did the fear of God banish every other fear? (1 Samuel Chapters 2 & 3). All this proclaims Hannah’s influence. All this she had early taught him. All this shows the excellency of her discipline, the wisdom of her teaching, and the influence of her example. All this, under God, was owing to Hannah. All that enobled him praises her; and the history of the son is eulogium of the mother.
C. H. SPURGEON: One good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters―she has the first hand in the fashioning.
JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): My mother was a pious woman and as I was her only child, she made it the chief business and pleasure of her life to instruct me, and bring me up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord…When I was four years old, I could read and could likewise repeat the answers to the questions in the Assembly’s Shorter Catechism, with the proofs; and all Isaac Watts’s smaller Catechisms, and his Children’s Hymns.
GEORGE SWINNOCK (1627-1673): The mother can toil and moil all day with her child, and count it a pleasure―but what is the reason? nothing but her love.
C. H. SPURGEON: A mother’s love is the cream of love. It is most pure, holy, and unselfish―we have heard of a good mother who wanted to teach her child something; but when someone complained that she had to repeat the same thing twenty times, she answered, “Yes, I did that because nineteen times would not do.”
JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): A sweet happiness to any child to have a good mother.
C. H. SPURGEON: David had been taught by his good mother. I know he had a godly mother, for he says, “Lord, truly I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant and the son of Thine handmaid,” Psalm 116:16. He calls his mother, God’s handmaid, which shows that she was one of God’s servants. I have no doubt that she took David on her knee and taught him God’s Word while he was but a child, for he had such a love of it afterwards that he must have had a love of it while he was yet little!―the man never forgets what he learns at his mother’s knee.
JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians of England.
CHARLES BRIDGES (1794-1869): Who can estimate the worth of a Christian mother—a Hannah?
C. H. SPURGEON: Samuel was the son of a praying mother—certainly I have not the powers of speech with which 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.
GEORGE SWINNOCK: Augustine saith that his mother travailed in greater pain for his spiritual than for his natural birth; but surely there are few Monicas.
C. H. SPURGEON: Doubtless a good man generally comes of a good mother. It was usually so in Scriptural times, and it is so still―and the daughter of a good mother, will be the mother of a good daughter…The future of society is in the hands of mothers.
CHARLES BRIDGES: If there were more Hannahs, would there not be more Samuels? If thou wouldst have, Christian mother, thy child a Samuel or an Augustine, be thyself a Hannah or a Monica.