not blamelessness, but receptivity itself, on the part of those who do not regard themselves as too good or too bad for the offered gift, but receive it with hearty desire. Children have this unpretentious receptivity for the kingdom of God which is characteristic of them generally, since they have not yet other possessions on which they pride themselves.?
(c) For this reason, they are the objects of special divine compassion and care, and through the grace of Christ are certain of salvation.
<401805> Matthew 18:5, 6, 10, 14 ? ?whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me but whosoever shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea. See that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven...Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish?; 19:14 ? ?Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for to such belongeth the kingdom of heaven? ? not God?s kingdom of nature, but his kingdom of grace, the kingdom of saved sinners. ?Such? means, not children as children, but childlike believers. Meyer, on <401914>Matthew 19:14, refers the passage to spiritual infants only: ?Not little children,? he says, ?but men of a childlike disposition.? Geikie: ?Let the little children come unto me, and do not forbid them, for the kingdom of heaven is given only to such as have a childlike spirit and nature like theirs.? The Savior?s words do not intimate that little children are either (1) sinless creatures, or (2) subjects for baptism but only that their (1) humble acceptance of teaching, (2) intense eagerness, and (3) artless trust, illustrate the traits necessary for admission into the divine kingdom. On the passages in Matthew, see Commentaries of Bengel, De Wette, Lange; also Neander, Planting and Training (ed. Robinson), 407.
We therefore substantially agree with Dr. A. C. Kendrick, in his article in the Sunday school Times: ?To infants and children, as such, the language cannot apply. It must be taken figuratively, and must refer to those qualities in childhood, its dependence, its trustfulness, its tender affection, its loving obedience, which are typical of the essential Christian graces. Logically, how could our Savior?s assign, as a reason for allowing literal little children to be brought to him, that spiritual little children have a claim to the kingdom of heaven? The persons that thus, as a class, typify the subjects of God?s spiritual kingdom cannot be in themselves objects of indifference to him, or be regarded otherwise than with intense interest. The class that in its very nature thus shadows forth the brightest features
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