?Children exert a redeeming and reclaiming influence upon us, their casual acts and words and simple trust recalling our world-hardened and wayward hearts again to the feet of God. Silas Marner, the old weaver of Raveloe, so pathetically and vividly described in George Eliot?s novel, was a hard, desolate, godless old miser but after little Eppie strayed into his miserable cottage that memorable winter night, he began again to believe. ?I think now,? he said at last, ?I can trusten God until I die.? An incident in a Southern hospital illustrates the power of children to call men to repentance. A little girl was to undergo a dangerous operation. When she mounted the table and the doctor was about to etherize her, he said: ?Before we can make you well, we must put you to sleep.? ?Oh then, if you are going to put me to sleep,? she sweetly said, ?I must say my prayers first.? Then, getting down on her knees, and folding her hands, she repeated that lovely prayer learned at every true mother?s feet: ?Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.? Just for a moment there were moist eyes in that group, for deep were the chords that were touched, and the surgeon afterwards said: ?I prayed that night for the first time in thirty years.?? The child that is old enough to sin against God is old enough to trust in Christ as the Savior of sinners. See Van Dyke, Christ and Little Children; Whitsitt and Warfield, Infant Baptism and Infant Salvation; Hodge, Systematic Theology, 1:20, 27; Ridgeley, Body of Div., 1:422-425 ; Calvin, Institutes, II, i, 8; Westminster Larger Catechism, x, 3; Krauth, Infant Salvation in the Calvinistic System; Candlish on Atonement, part ii, chap. 1; Geo. P. Fisher, in New Englander, Apr. 1868:338; J. F. Clarke, Truths and Errors of Orthodoxy, 360.
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