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SAMUEL IRENAEU PRIME
American divine
(1812 - 1885)

And so sweetly adapted is the child-mind to the Gospel and the Gospel to the child-mind that they cheerfully coalesce, and the babe's milk is not more palatable and nutritious than is the bread of life to the new-born soul. No one can say how soon a child may intelligently apprehend the divine truth. Many saints of God have no memory of the period in their early lives when Christ was not dear to their hearts. When they were born from above they do not remember any more than they can recollect the moment when they first breathed the breath of life. It is not so with all; perhaps not so with the most. But the true theory of the Gospel is that children should be brought up on it, as their daily food; be nurtured b it; renewed by the Holy Spirit, and made heirs of salvation.
      - [Children's Day]

God is the only sure foundation on which the mind can rest.
      - [God]

Happy are they who freely mingle prayer and toil till God responds to the one and rewards the other.
      - [Prayer]

If you feel sincerely sorry on account of your sins, and believe that Christ is able and willing to forgive you, the work is done. You may trust with all the confidence of a child who confesses his fault, and casts himself into his father's arms. This is faith; a simple trust in the power and willingness of the Father to forgive, for the sake of what Christ the Son has done.
      - [Faith in Christ]

It is not the way to convert a sinner to knock him down first and then reason with him.
      - [Ministers]

It is quite likely that the modern contrivances for making Sunday-schools amusing have given them a distate for the more solemn services of the sanctuary. If so, the amusement is a sin. The schools should feed the church. Children ought to be led by one into the other, exposed to the preaching of the gospel, taught the ways of God's house, and brought up under its influence, with all its hallowed and elevating influences.
      - [Sunday School]

Ought there to be room in the bonds of church-fellowship for the great mass of average boys and girls who, by judicious training and careful Christian nurture, may be induced very early to give their hearts to God? Aye, we believe with all out heart there ought to be such a place. We believe that before many years there will be such a place in every true church, and it will be just as much expected that many young children will form part of the membership of every church as that there will be gray-haired men and women there.(Clark, F.E.} Children should be educated in and into the church. Whatever our theory may be of the spiritual relation of the child to the church, this is certain and true: That children should be consecrated to God from their birth. Of such is the kingdom of heaven. We should assume this as the normal state of the case and treat the child accordingly. He should be trained in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. His first intelligent lesson should be of God and worship. The happiest hours of child-life should be in learning of the way to God through Jesus Christ.
      - [Children's Day]

Patience and perseverance are never more thoroughly Christian graces than when features of prayer.
      - [Prayer]

Recreation is not the highest kind act of enjoyment; but in its time and place it is quite as proper as prayer.
      - [Amusements]

Relying on the atonement which Christ has made, and desiring to be saved in no other way, I commit myself into Thy hands. O God, my Father! Take me, and do with me as Thou seest to be for Thy glory. I consecrate myself forever to Thy service, and trust for acceptance in the merits of Thy Son.
      - [Faith in Christ]

So with the children. It is even more important that religious exercises should not be made irksome and burdensome to them. Too much of a good thing is bad for them. I would not require them to be all the livelong day in a treadmill of religious work. They will be disgusted and hate the service, which should be always attractive to them and a delight. It is a serious question with ministers how to make the pulpit useful and pleasant to the young. Preachers with the gift of talking to children--a gift not so rare as is often thought--sometimes give a brief discourse to the children before the regular sermon. The objection to that practice is that children take it as their portion and dismiss the sermon that follows from their attention altogether. Now the art of talking to children does not consist in baby-talk or little stories or poor jokes. A man need not be a mountebank in order to interest the young in what he is saying. Children are not fools. If a man is simple in his words and earnest in his manner, children will hear with attention and get instruction from a sermon that is designed for the whole people.
      - [Children's Day]


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