"Take heed 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 which is in heaven."—Matt. 18:10.
Some of the disciples had come to Jesus desiring to know who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven; and Jesus called a little child to him, and setting him in the midst of them said, "Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." What a charm there is in childhood's simplicity, faith, love, hope and its meek teachable spirit. It confidently takes your hand to be led where you please, and you may write upon its blank pages whatever you will.
Just so God would have men be, but it takes very thorough converting to bring them back to the simplicity of childhood. As they have grown to years of maturity hope has so often been blighted, faith so often betrayed, and love rebuffed, that the simplicity and meekness of childhood has been displaced by the art, the selfishness and the proud, haughty spirit which despises instruction.
But God comes with abundant proof of his love, and with promises to inspire hope and faith, and requires of us a return to childhood's simple faith, not in men, but in God who will never betray it. Those who have thus come to childlike faith and obedience to God, he calls his "little ones." And like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth his little ones that love him. (Psa. 103:13.) He has pity and patience for all their weak, imperfect efforts to do his will, and his special care is over all his little ones, whether young or old in years.
God's special care and love for these is strongly expressed in the above words of our Lord. "Their angels do always behold the face of my Father." God has given his angels special charge of these. "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Heb. 1:14.) And these unseen ministers of the saints always have access to our Father. O how little we realize the wondrous care that is over us. Even "the very hairs of your head are all numbered (Matt. 10:30); an innumerable company of angels who have constant access to our Father watch over us continually, and no good thing will he withhold, while every seeming ill shall be made to work together for our good. Does poverty, sickness, loss of friends or any other ill distress you? ever remember and be comforted by the blessed assurance that none of these things can separate us from the love of God. (Rom. 8:35.)
Neither should any of these things separate God's children from one another. If they do, it is a sure indication that those so influenced are losing the spirit of God and turning back to the spirit of the world. Jesus specially warns us on this point, saying, that if God and all the heavenly hosts of superior beings so love, and esteem it a privilege to serve these little ones, see that ye despise them not.
We believe that there are many of these "little ones" yet in the nominal church who, because of adverse worldly circumstances, are despised and unnoticed by the proud professors of Christianity who occupy the prominent positions in Babylon. We would suggest to the many who have asked, What can I do in the Lord's service? that here is a wide field of usefulness open to the average talent.
There are doubtless those in every locality who are hungry for Christian sympathy and help. You can make it your business to seek them out and feed them with the precious truth which has so nourished you. If you have no ability to preach in a public way, how freely you can tell the blessed story in your own way, when heart to heart you can meet with some of the Lord's little ones. Many of them have become so accustomed to being despised and indifferently passed by, that your genial sympathy and help would be greatly appreciated.
A little special effort, or, perhaps, more than a little, may make you acquainted with many such, and you will find abundant opportunity for the use of your talents right in your own locality. We should not be too quick to decide that all who are in Babylon are of Babylon, else all effort will be paralyzed, and many precious opportunities of service lost. It should be our constant endeavor to be co-workers with God and with all his unseen hosts of ministering spirits.
But in all our efforts, let us remember the instruction to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, not giving strong meat to those who are babes in Christ, but first the sincere milk of the word, and afterward stronger truth as they are able to bear it. MRS. C. T. R.