Christ's Little Ones
James Smith, 1860
There are no families in which the children all of one age, one stature, and one disposition. In our families we see great diversity — and so there is in the family of God. There are babes, young men, and fathers. Now in most families, the little ones call forth most affection, and have most attention — and so it should be in the family of God. And lest we should overlook, or despise the lesser branches, Jesus has said, "Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." Matthew 18:10. Observe,
The Beloved Objects."These little ones." They have small gifts, little grace, and fill obscure situations.
Yet they have some grace. They sigh and cry because of sin. They pray and strive for holiness. They mourn over their deficiencies, and inconsistencies. They are stripped of self-righteousness, and trust alone in Jesus. They believe that he is a living, divine, and glorious person — that he is the Savior, and the only Savior. They commit themselves to him, and endeavor to leave all their concerns with him. They love him, and their chief complaint is that they do not love him more.
They are in the Vine — but they are not prominent branches.
They are in the Building — but they are not large polished stones.
Yet they are dear to the heart of Jesus, and are kept constantly under his eye. Mark therefore,
The Serious Caution."Take heed." Be careful, be cautious, lest you despise one of these little ones. To prevent this — be humble. Encourage low thoughts of yourself, and honorable thoughts of others. Be kind — especially to all who bear the name of Jesus. Be courteous to all. This is a duty, and if carried out, will prevent your despising one of the little ones.
Do not despise their persons — though poor, diseased, or deformed.
Do not despise their gifts — though small, and apparently of little use.
Jesus does not despise them — or he never would have
laid down his life for them. The Father of mercies does not despise
them — or he would not have chosen them to life, or have put them among his
children. The Holy Spirit does not despise them — or he would not
make them his temples, or take up his residence in their hearts. The holy
angels do not despise them — or they would not so cheerfully and
constantly minister unto them. Take heed that you do not despise . .
one whom Jesus loves,
one whom the Father has chosen,
one whom the Holy Spirit has sanctified, and is training up for glory! See,
The Instructive Reason."For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." Angels are the servants of the saints, and they minister to the comfort, and the needs, of the lowest of God's children. They are all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation.
The servants of Christ's little ones; they are the courtiers of the great king; they behold his face, are accepted in his presence, and perhaps report what they witness below. Ezekiel 6:9. Zech. 1:7, 17. If therefore Jesus so prizes them, if the high and holy angels watch over, and minister to them — then we should take heed lest we despise them. It is to be feared, that the Lord's little ones, are not always regarded on earth, as they are in Heaven; or treated by professed Christians, as Jesus would have them treated.
See then, the dignity of the lowest Christians. The highest created intelligences wait on them, are kind to them, and are careful over them — and Jesus gives a special charge concerning them.
See then, the duty of Christians to each other. They should love and highly esteem each other, looking upon one another as belonging to Jesus, and loving each other for the sake of Jesus.
See then, the sin and pride of prejudice. We ought not to look down upon the poorest, or be prejudiced against the least of God's little ones.
See then, the notice Jesus takes of his little ones. They are dear to his heart. They are always under his eye. He gives charge concerning them. He will reprove kings for their sakes. He cannot love them more — or be more careful over them.
See then, the privilege of ministering angels. They always behold the face of God. They feast on his glories, feel at home in his presence, and do homage at his throne.
See then, the reproof administered to many of us. We have not been tender enough over, or kind enough to — the Lord's little ones. We might often have ministered to their comfort, have cheered their hearts, and have smoothed their way if we would — but we did not. In future let us beware, lest at any time, by word or deed — we despise one of Christ's little ones!