Evening, July 11, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation..” — Joel 1:3
In this simple way, by God’s grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land; the beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the gospel, and the covenant to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants. This is our first duty; we are to begin with the family, for he is a bad preacher who does not commence his ministry at home. The lost are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched, but home has a prior claim, and it will be sorrowful to those who reverse the order of the Lord’s arrangements. To teach our children is a personal duty; we cannot delegate it to Sunday school teachers, or other friendly resources; these can assist us, but cannot deliver us from this holy obligation; surrogates and godparents are wrongful tools in this case: mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God, and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High. Parental teaching is a natural duty; who is so fit to look to the child’s well-being as those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our offspring is to be worse than barbaric. Family spirituality is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand schemes all sorts of godless religion is covertly advancing in our land, and one of the most effective means for resisting its inroads is left almost neglected, namely, the instruction of children in the faith. If only parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter. It is a satisfying duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and even more so because it has often proved to be a task God favors, for God has saved the children through the parents’ prayers and counsel. May every house into which this volume shall come honor the Lord and receive his smile.