Isaiah 11:6
The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the goat; the calf and young lion and fatling will be together, and a little child will lead them.
Sermons
The Leading of a Little Child: Sunday School SermonW. Clarkson Isaiah 11:6
The Coming of the MessiahE. Johnson Isaiah 11:1-9
A Prophecy Concerning Messiah the PrinceIsaiah 11:1-16
Assyria and Israel: a ContrastJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 11:1-16
Christ the Fruitful BranchF. Delitzsch.Isaiah 11:1-16
Eternal YouthfulnessJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 11:1-16
Messiah's ReignD. Brown, D. D.Isaiah 11:1-16
Prophecy: a Very Good TransitionIsaiah 11:1-16
The BranchExpository TimesIsaiah 11:1-16
The Kingdom of ChristE. N. Packard.Isaiah 11:1-16
The Kingdom of Christ in the World is Only the Presence of Christ in the WorldE. N. Packard.Isaiah 11:1-16
The Picture of the FutureProf. G. A. Smith, D. D.Isaiah 11:1-16
The Qualifications of Christ for His Mediatorial OfficeJ. Hambleton, M. A.Isaiah 11:1-16
The Rod Out of the Stem of JesseJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 11:1-16
The Stem from the Rod of JesseAnon.Isaiah 11:1-16
Three Great IdealsProf. G. A. Smith, D. D.Isaiah 11:1-16
A Beautiful EpitaphIsaiah 11:6-9
A Child's Voice Settling a Great QuestionJ. H. Hitchens, D. D.Isaiah 11:6-9
A Little Child May Disarm AngerE. Medley, B. A.Isaiah 11:6-9
A Mother Led to Christ by Her ChildE. Medley, B. A.Isaiah 11:6-9
A Picture of What the World is to BeR. J. Kyd.Isaiah 11:6-9
A Portrait of HumanityHomilistIsaiah 11:6-9
Age and YouthS. Cox, D. D.Isaiah 11:6-9
Child LeadingJ. C. Cameron.Isaiah 11:6-9
Children's InfluenceCanon Wilberforce, D. D.Isaiah 11:6-9
Led by a ChildS. Cox, D. D.Isaiah 11:6-9
Little Lord FauntleroyE. Medley, B. A.Isaiah 11:6-9
Man to Blame for the Wildness of the BeastsProf. O. A. Smith, D. D.Isaiah 11:6-9
Man's Relation to the Lower AnimalsProf. O. A. Smith, D. D.Isaiah 11:6-9
Ministry of ChildrenSeed for Busy Sowers.Isaiah 11:6-9
My DarlingChristian AgeIsaiah 11:6-9
Nature's Social Union: a Picture of Heaven Upon EarthR. J. Kyd.Isaiah 11:6-9
Not Exterminated, But TamedProf. G. A. Smith, D. D.Isaiah 11:6-9
The Child not to Rule But to LeadE. Medley, B. A.Isaiah 11:6-9
The Child to the FrontW. Hubbard.Isaiah 11:6-9
The Children LeadingS. Cox, D. D.Isaiah 11:6-9
The Effect of a Child's PrayerChristian Endeavour TimesIsaiah 11:6-9
The Fruits of Christ's KingdomIsaiah 11:6-9
The Intensive and Extensive Power of the GospelW. Clarkson Isaiah 11:6-9
The Legend of St. BlaiseMrs. Jameson.Isaiah 11:6-9
The Mystery of the Brute CreationJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 11:6-9
The Power of the ChildrenE. Medley, B. A.Isaiah 11:6-9
The Redemption of NatureProf. G. A. Smith, D. D.Isaiah 11:6-9
The Splendour and Amplitude of Christ's KingdomS. Patrick, D. D.Isaiah 11:6-9
The Touchstone of RegenerationIsaiah 11:6-9
The Wild BeastsProf. G. A. Smith, D. D.Isaiah 11:6-9
What is the Child SpiritS. Cox, D. D.Isaiah 11:6-9

I. THE INTENSIVE POWER OF DIVINE TRUTH. More power is needful

(1) to act on any living thing than on lifeless, inert matter;

(2) to act on a sentient creature than on life without sensation;

(3) to act on intelligence and will (on man) than on the irrational and irresponsible animal;

(4) on man sunk into the lowest moral condition (with seared conscience, mastering passions and habits fixed in vice) than on one who has not yet chosen his course, or who has been trained in the ways of virtue. The very highest instance of power with which we are familiar is that spiritual influence which transforms those who have gone furthest away from God, from truth, and from righteousness - those who are to the moral world what the tiger, the lion, or the asp is to the animal world. The gospel of Jesus Christ has this power. With such wonderful intensity does it work on those on whom its truth is brought to bear, that it redeems and renews the worst, so changing them in life and in spirit that it may be said of them that the wolf dwells with the lamb, etc.; so transformed do they become, under its benignant influence, that the most innocent and helpless have nothing to fear, though they be placed completely within their power (ver. 8).

1. Individual instances abound of the conversion of notorious drunkards, of savage prize-fighters, of shameless courtesans, of ribald atheists, of those who were abandoned by all, and who abandoned themselves to hopeless sin, of men who were the terror of their tribe or of their district, etc. Therefore we need not and we should not despair of those who are living amongst us, and who are at present a long way off from truth and righteousness. The gospel of Christ can change the very nature of these - can tame the most ferocious, can raise the most fallen, can liberate the most enslaved, can make beautiful the most deformed of the children of men; it can do so by the power of the truth and of the Spirit of God.

2. Families, societies, communities have undergone as complete a transformation.

II. THE EXTENSIVE RANGE OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. (Ver. 9.) What a vast void would there be if the waters were withdrawn! Into what profound depths should we look down! What mighty stretches of sand and clay and rock would be disclosed! What lengths and breadths are covered, what depths are now filled up by the abounding waters of the sea! As containing the element of life to millions of living creatures, as supplying a highway for the nations of the earth, and as providing scope for the ambition, courage, and enterprise of man, what a grand sufficiency do we see in the waters of the ocean! So shall it prove to be with Divine truth. There shall be seen to be a sufficiency, in the gospel of the Savior, to cover the entire earth, to meet the wants of the whole population of the globe. No land so remote, no clime so rigorously cold or scorchingly hot, no interior so impenetrable, no barbarism so rude, no prejudice so inveterate, but that the gospel of Christ shall cover it with its benignant power.

1. Let us rejoice in the earnest of its fulfillment; great things have been already done towards the realization of this glorious estate.

2. Let us resolve to have our share in its execution

(1) as a Church, and

(2) as individual souls, to each of whom God has committed some word to be spoken, some work to be done. - C.







The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb.
Homilist.
I. THE MORAL VARIETIES OF THE RACE. Men are here represented by irrational creatures, differing immensely in their organisations, their habits, and their tempers — the "wolf," the "lamb," etc. The physical differences between men are great. The mental differences are also great. But the moral varieties are, perhaps, greater still. There are men everywhere about us as ferocious as the "lion," as savage as the "bear," as snarling as the "wolf," as cunning as the "leopard," as venomous as the "serpent," as harmless as the "kid," the "lamb," or the "little child."

II. THE GOSPEL REFORMATION OF THE RACE. These creatures are here represented as having passed through a wonderful change in their instincts and habits, and this change is ascribed to the advent and reign of Messiah. It is not a change in their physical constitution. The wolf, the leopard, the bear, the lion, and the serpent retain their constitutions intact, though they dwell with the kid, the lamb, and the little child. The change is in their temper — in their ruling instincts. Such is the change that the Gospel works in man. The change is simply in the temper — the heart. It does two things.

1. It extracts social antipathies.

2. It implants social sympathies. This is the only reformation that will meet the case.

III. THE SOCIAL HARMONY OF THE RACE. These creatures, once antagonistic, are here eating together, lying down together, playing together. All are wedded in spirit. Christianity is essentially pacific in its spirit, its teachings, its tendencies and results.

(Homilist.)

1. In every soul which shall come to heaven there must be a change.

2. The change is not of the substantial parts of the body, but of the corrupt qualities of the mind, or soul.

3. The change is made upon the Church of God in this world.

4. The change cometh from the grace of God, and floweth to us by Jesus Christ our Lord.

5. The means by which the change is wrought, namely, by the know. ledge of the law, etc.

6. The marks of the change.

( Sibbes, Richard, D. D.)

It is an eminent mark of regeneration to have the violence and fierceness of our cruel nature taken away. The signs of regeneration contained in our text are —

I. HARMLESSNESS. This, though it runs along the body of the text and is last mentioned, may be named first, for it is implied in all. How can a man say he is renewed unless in some sort he be like unto God in mercifulness? It is a prime quality in the wicked to do mischief; it is a property of God's child to be harmless. There are two signs of this sign.

1. If we would not do evil, though we might do it unseen of any creature: as when a little child shall lay his hand on the cockatrice's den, the serpent might sting, and yet, unseen of any, pull in the head again.

2. Though we have provocation, we will abstain from doing evil. The little child plays on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child lays his hand upon the cockatrice's den. Is not here provocation? "Bless them that curse you," etc.

II. SOCIABLENESS. With whom is it that this society holdeth? Not of wild beasts with wild beasts; but there is implied here not only a simple society, as among wild beasts, but a sociableness, as it were, among those of another generation. Naturally all of us have been lions, bears, and wolves, and unsociable haters of goodness in others. This sociableness with those former servants of God, who have been called thus, is a very sure mark of this change in us (1 John 3:14).

1. No man can love a saint, as a saint, but a saint. A true trial of sociableness is when men will joy to sort themselves with those with whom formerly they have been most unsociable, and whose company they have most loathed.

2. A second sign of this sign is, to love every brother, yea, though it were to lay down our life for a brother.

III. CONSTANCY. How is this implied! By dwelling and lying together. You shall have many companions go with a man for fashion's sake to the church, and yet leave going ere it be long. You shall have some men sick, and then like a serpent frozen in winter, which casts his skin, you shall have them cast their skin a little; that is, send for s preacher, make confession of their sins, saying, "Oh! if God will spare me, I will become a new man." But when he is well, within a month after, you will find him not with the lamb, but with the bears and the wolves.

IV. INWARDNESS. Their little ones — dear unto them, and of whom they are so jealous and tender — shall lie down together (Acts 4:32).

V. TRACTABLENESS. A little child shall lead them and rule them. It is a true sign of grace when we become easy to be ruled, and brought in compass (Job 31:13).

VI. SIMPLICITY. "The lion shall eat straw like the ox." Cain was bloody, and fed upon blood; therefore, as it is (John 4:32) when a man is come thus far, that he hath meat which one seeth not. Uses —

1. For consolation. Look which religion makes a man most mild, and tames his fierce nature — there is the Church. If we be fierce and savage, let us not deceive ourselves; we are not come to the mountain of which it is said, "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain."

2. For exhortation. There is yet a little of the lion and the bear remaining in every one of us — our tree yet bears, on one side of it, crabs. See what minds we must have if we look for a habitation in God's holy mountain.

( Sibbes, Richard, D. D.)

I. THE MEANING OF THIS PROPHECY. What is meant by the wolf, the leopard, and the rest of the creatures here mentioned? Christ shall come to make the world so happy, that princes and people, the mighty and the meaner sort; the violent, and they that have no power, or no will to resist; the soldier, and the peaceable countryman; the waspish people, and they that are of a sweet disposition, shall all be brought under the same discipline, and submit to the same laws; not to hurt or molest one another, but to promote the common good of the whole body to which they belong.

II. THE TRUTH OF IT; or, that it was exactly fulfilled in our Lord and Saviour.

1. It was the apparent design of our Saviour's coming to make such a happy accord among men.

2. The nature of His religion is such as is apt to produce this effect which He designed. This will be evident to everyone's satisfaction who will seriously weigh these three things.(1) The principles of His religion, together with the ways and means whereby these principles were established in men's minds. He taught them that there is but one God, the disbelief of which had set the world at such enmities one with another as they confessed was among the deities. He revealed Him as His and their Father, full of kindness and goodwill to all His children; which St. Paul thought a bond so strong and a motive so efficacious that it concludes the great heap of arguments whereby he persuades Christians to unity of the spirit and peace (Ephesians 4:6). They are taught to worship this one God, by one Mediator alone. He sent His apostles to baptize all nations into one simple faith (Ephesians 4:5). The world was to be governed and judged by one common law, and that not the law of Moses, but the plain rules of righteousness, sobriety and godliness. (Ephesians 2:14, 19). All, both Jews and Gentiles, were indifferently endued with one and the same Spirit.(2) The precepts of His religion. Exact justice (Matthew 7:12). Mercy. Meekness and patience. To bless our enemies and do them good, which hath a strange power in it to charm and conquer even the most fierce and barbarous natures. He would have us contented with such things as we have: which evidently destroys that envy, emulation, and ambition, from whence no small stirs and confusions arise in the world. In questions about matters of liberty, He charges those that are satisfied, not to despise such as are not; and those that are not satisfied, not to judge those that are (Romans 14:3). In all manner of differences which are apt to arise among us, He would have "the peace of God rule in our hearts," so that having this umpire there, we should rest in the determination of what will make most for peace. He instructs likewise our behaviour in our several relations, teaching husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants, pastors and people, to demean themselves so to their mutual satisfaction, as to take away the cause of all discord, not only in families and parishes, but in the larger societies of Church and State. The root and foundation of all these our Lord hath laid in much humility and charity.(3) The obligations He laid upon men to receive these principles and observe these precepts. His doctrine excels that of the best philosophers, who taught many excellent lessons, but could not enforce them with such an assured hope of immortal life or fear of eternal death as our Saviour and His apostles have done.

3. This effect was actually produced in those that heartily embraced His religion (Acts 4:32; 2 Corinthians 8:3, 4). It is to be hoped that the time is coming when Christianity will end, as it began, in abundance of truth and peace, by a right understanding of the will of God and a hearty submission thereto. Let every soul of us do his part that the place where he lives may be in peace — princes and governors, ministers of the Gospel, etc.

(S. Patrick, D. D.)

It is not a photograph. The poet never photographs, he pictures. And this poet is no exception. He does not wish us to believe that wolves and lambs will one day be friends, and that what Burns calls "Nature's social union" is to be realised by the transfiguration of a lion into a domestic pet or into a beast of the stall. He is not photographing, but picturing a scene which never was and never shall be, in order to represent a splendid spiritual and social reality which must be — the reign amongst men of perfect union and peace on earth. You can see how true this is when you turn over to another picture by this same prophet artist intended to illustrate the same theme. There the wilderness is to be glad, the desert is to blossom as the rose and rejoice, the lame man is to leap as the hart, the highway usually infested by lions and beasts of prey is to be safe as a strong tower, for the obvious reason "no lion shall be there." Plainly the prophet is not photographing, but picturing.

(R. J. Kyd.)

I. We have A PICTURE OF THE INNER SPIRITUAL UNION AND PEACE WHICH GOD IS CREATING IN EVERY MAN'S BOSOM. In man all animalism sums itself up in subtlest composition; but there is a Divine element also in his bosom represented by a little child, an elemental force which is placed there to reign over fierce passions and carnal lusts, a force which is destined to be master. Paul gives us insight into this subject. He recognises in man's composite nature the wolf and the lamb, the lion and the child. The flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh. The word "flesh" is Paul's term for that nature in us which loves self and self only, a nature which is characteristic of the whole animal world. The term "spirit" is a term for that Divine nature in us which loves and cares for others and takes little or no thought of self. As things are, these two natures are at variance more or less in us all. But there should be no war in our bosom. Peace is the ideal state. Love of self and love of others should not clash, but cooperate as they do in the maternal breast. Self-love must not hurt the spirit, the conscience, the finer and higher feelings of charity. This harmony pictured by Isaiah and ethically set forth by Paul is the heaven which has begun to be in our bosom, but only begun. The Child-heart must reign. He who has begun the good work in us will carry it on until the day of Christ.

II. We have A PICTURE OF MAN'S SOCIAL UNION. His social union is the result of inner spiritual union. When a man is constantly quarrelling with himself, his conscience taunting his cupidity and selfishness, and the child in him leading him to toil and self-sacrifice whilst the animal in him demands ease and pleasure, this picture of union and brotherhood is not possible of realisation. The first thing to be done if we would realise it is to get each man's bosom put right. The wolves of society, the serpents, the land sharks, the men who devour widows' houses, the foxes or Herods who are ever looking after Number One, the hypocrite with the slimy lie on his lip whilst the crocodile tear is in his eye, will all be changed into men of honour and kindness, men of purity and righteousness. Social quarrels will end. The labour and capital problem will be solved, and capital and labour will dwell together, like Isaiah's wolf and lamb, in peace. The poor and the weak will not be driven to the wall. Even the innocent child will be safe in the dark. The policeman's footstep will cease to be heard in the land, and the soldier will beat his sword into a ploughshare. Blessed outlook!

III. THIS PICTURE IS TO BE REALISED BY THE CHRIST THAT WAS AND IS TO BE. From the power Christ has shown in transfiguring men and raising the tone of society to what it is, we are persuaded that He will succeed in accomplishing His Herculean labour of turning earth into heaven. Surely He must be Divine who proposes to undertake such a work! Let us look at the Divine Man who is able to accomplish what seems to us to be impossible. He has a child-heart in Him. "He is," says Isaiah, "a Rod out of the stem of Jesse. On Him rests the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom and understanding." The Good Shepherd's music which brings about the peace of God in our bosom is at first a summons to war. It is a call to the child in us to awake and lead into a glorious captivity the lower animal nature which ever lusts to be first. It is a call to the higher in us to hold in check the lower and bring it by confidence and obedience into union and cooperation. We are summoned to accept the blessed task of being peacemakers in our own breasts, and peacemaking there must begin by a proclamation of war. Strange work for a child! Impossible work! do you affirm? God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." It is God's way by "things which are not, to bring to nought things that are."

(R. J. Kyd.)

We, who live in countries from which wild beasts have been exterminated, cannot understand the insecurity and terror that they cause in regions where they abound. A modern seer of the times of regeneration would leave the wild animals out of his vision. They do not impress any more the human conscience or imagination. But they once did so most terribly. The hostility between man and the beasts not only formed once upon a time the chief material obstacle in the progress of the race, but remains still to the religious thinker the most pathetic portion of that groaning and travailing of all creation which is so heavy a burden on his heart.

(Prof. G. A. Smith, D. D.)

Isaiah would not have the wild beasts exterminated, but tamed. There our Western and modern imagination may fail to follow him, especially when he includes reptiles in the regeneration, and prophesies of adders and lizards as the playthings of children. But surely there is no genial man, who has watched the various forms of life that sport in the Southern sunshine, who will not sympathise with the prophet in his joyous vision. Upon a warm spring day in Palestine, to sit upon the grass, beside some old dyke or ruin with its face to the South, is indeed to obtain a rapturous view of the wealth of life with which the bountiful God has blessed and made merry man's dwelling place. How the lizards come and go among the grey stones and flash like jewels in the dust! And the timid snake rippling quickly past through the grass, and the leisurely tortoise, with its shiny back, and the chameleon, shivering into new colour as he passes from twig to stone, and stone to straw, — all the air the while alive with the music of the cricket and the bee! You feel that the ideal is not to destroy these pretty things as vermin. What a loss of colour the lizards alone would imply! But, as Isaiah declares, — whom we may imagine walking with his children up the steep vineyard paths, to watch the creatures come and go upon the dry dykes on either hand, — the ideal is to bring them into sympathy with ourselves, make pets of them and playthings for children, who indeed stretch out their hands in joy to the pretty toys.

(Prof. G. A. Smith, D. D.)

What are these animals? Who made them? Who can explain them? Who knows their future? This is a gracious mystery at all events, and may be accepted as a fact — that when man is right with God, the animals will be right with man; when man is right with God, the earth will be right with man, and will feel as if she could not do enough for him in growing him all the bread he wants, and then giving him more than he needs. "Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us."

(J. Parker, D. D.)

It is one of those errors, which distort both the poetry and truth of the Bible, to suppose that by the bears, lions, and reptiles which the prophet now sees tamed in the time of the regeneration, he intends the violent human characters which he so often attacks. When Isaiah here talks of the beasts, he means the beasts. The passage is not allegorical, but direct, and forms a parallel to the well-known passage in the eighth of Romans.

(Prof. G. A. Smith, D. D.)

is of Greek origin. He was bishop over the Christian Church at Sebaste in Cappadocia, and governed his flock for many years with great vigilance, till the persecution under Diocletian, A.D. 289, obliged him to fly; and he took refuge in a mountain cave at some distance from the city. This mountain was the haunt of wild beasts (bears, lions, and tigers); but these animals were so completely subdued by the gentleness and piety of the good old man, that, far from doing him any harm, they came every morning to ask his blessing. If they found him kneeling at his devotions, they waited duteously till he had finished, and, having received the accustomed benediction, they retired. Now, in the city of Sebaste, and in the whole province, so many Christians were put to death, that there began to be a scarcity of wild beasts for the amphitheatres. And Agricolaus, the governor, sent his hunters into the mountains to collect as many lions, tigers, and bears as possible; and it happened that these hunters, arriving one day before the mouth of the cave in which St. Blaise had taken refuge, found him seated in front of it, and surrounded by a variety of animals of different species. The lion and the lamb, the hind and the leopard, seemed to have put off their nature, and were standing amicably together, as though there had been everlasting peace between them; and some he blessed with holy words, knowing that God careth for all things that He has made; and to others that were sick or wounded he ministered gently; and others he reprehended because of their rapacity and gluttony. And, when the hunters beheld this, they were like men in a dream: they stood astonished, thinking they had found some enchanter. And they seized him, and carried him before the governor; and, as they went, the good bishop returned thanks to God, and rejoiced greatly, that, at length, he had been found worthy to die for the cause of Christ.

(Mrs. Jameson.)

We may take on scientific authority a few facts as hints from nature, that after all man is to blame for the wildness of the beasts, and that through his sanctification they may be restored to sympathy with himself. Charles Darwin says: "It deserves notice that at an extremely ancient period when man first entered any country the animals living there would have felt no instinctive or inherited fear of him, and would consequently have been tamed far more easily than at present." And he gives some very instructive facts in proof of this with regard to dogs, antelopes, manatees, and hawks. "Quadrupeds and birds which have seldom been disturbed by man dread him no more than do our English birds the cows or horses grazing in the fields." Darwin's details are peculiarly pathetic in their revelation of the brutes' utter trustfulness in man before they get to know him. Persons who have had to do with individual animals of a species that has never been thoroughly tamed, are aware that the difficulty of training them lies in convincing them of our sincerity and good heartedness, and that when this is got over they will learn almost any trick or habit. The well-known lines of Burns to the field mouse gather up the cause of all this, in a fashion very similar to the Bible's.

(Prof. O. A. Smith, D. D.)

The practical "uses" of such a passage of Scripture as this are plain. Some of them are the awful responsibility of man's position as the keystone of creation, the material effects of sin, and especially the religiousness of our relation to the lower animals.

(Prof. O. A. Smith, D. D.)

A little child shall lead them.
The Bible, when it speaks as it does in these verses, always means something better than it says. Many things come to children much worse than being destroyed by a lion, or eaten by a wolf, or poisoned by a serpent's fang, only, I am sorry to believe, neither children nor grown up people think them worse things, nor anything like so dreadful. Perhaps that is the most doleful evil of all. Had I not faith in God's great wisdom, love, and justice, I should feel that for tens of millions of children in this world it would be infinitely better that they were never born; and that, being born, the next preferable event would be that they should die as soon after birth as possible, even though it were a hungry wolf that should slay them. They come into places more terrible than a wild beast's lair or a cockatrice's den. They come into places full of ignorance and iniquity, where they have no opportunity of growing up good, or even of knowing what good is. Now, this text says that in the good time coming all this shall be changed. The day is coming in our country when the child, because of his weakness and his wants, shall be the most cherished and cared for person either in the home, the Church, or the State.

I. From these words, then, we get the idea THAT AS THE WORLD GETS ON, AND MEN GROW WISER, TRUER, AND HOLIER, CHILDREN RISE IN THEIR REGARD. The care for children becomes exalted; it ceases to be a merely natural affection, and is intensified and purified into a moral and spiritual passion. The Bible teaches us that love of children is a note of moral culture, and all history shows that in the measure the claims of the little ones are lightly regarded the moral tone is low. There may be strength and courage for war, there may be art and philosophy, there may be an abundance of physical and intellectual display, but the higher morals — those that are the very graces of the soul, those which perfect men and go to the root of the world's sins and sorrows — are exceedingly scarce.

II. These words teach us THAT CHILDREN ARE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THAT WHICH IS HIGHEST AND MOST DIVINE — that they can share the best and highest with the best and highest men. The philosophy of the highest good may be far beyond the reach of their reason, but the blessing of it may be realised by them and enjoyed. The sunshine is as warm and delightful to them without any theory of light and heat as with one.

III. Another word we have to speak is, THAT THEY WHO ARE WORKING FOR THE CHILDREN ARE ON THE LINES OF THE WORLD'S PROGRESS. The world follows the children — they are always in front.

(W. Hubbard.)

God's ministers are varied. Children teach many lessons.

1. They purify — by their innocence, teachableness, and purity.

2. They elevate — appealing to our highest and best instincts.

3. They stir. They move us to better living, and stimulate our best qualities.

4. They instruct — e.g., Samuel and Eli.

5. They console — helping to take our minds off trouble.

6. They reconcile. A mother is cheerful for the sake of the children. A father is strengthened by his home life.

7. They gladden. Children are the poetry, flowers, and sunshine of life.

8. They soften and make tender, — for their helplessness appeals to us; the touch of a tiny hand thrills us with pity.

9. They lead Godward.

10. They are a powerful ministry for good..

(Seed for Busy Sowers.)

1. We have no right to sink an interval of many centuries between the verses of this brief prophecy, and to say that while one part of it was fulfilled at the Advent, the other will only be fulfilled in the still distant Millennium. We are rather bound to say: "If the Lord Jesus was the Branch that shot forth from Jesse's root, and the Spirit of the Lord did really come upon Him that He might rule and reprove the people, then, from that moment, the wolf began to dwell with the lamb, the leopard to lie down with the kid, the lion with the calf; and the little Child went before them, leading them to the holy mountain in which they neither hurt nor destroy." We need fix no date to these words. They are not for an age, but for all time, and for eternity too. They describe the universal reign of Christ. They tell us what the spirit, what the distinguishing characteristics, of that reign always have been and always will be.

2. The beast tamer is distinguished by a quick eye, a prompt punishing hand, a courage and self-possession that never falter; and how should we look for these features and qualities in a child? But may not a child have other qualities quite as potent, and even more potent? Is brute force the only force by which even brutes are ruled? Surely not. Baby lies on the rug with dog and eat. He is not so strong or lithe or quick as they are, or even as you are. Yet he takes liberties with them which you cannot take, — and remember, the cat is of one blood with the leopard, and the dog with the wolf. Nor are even wild beasts insensible to his claim and charm. Else what mean all those stories of helpless and abandoned children suckled, fed, guarded by wolves and bears and lions; or of children chosen by caged wild beasts, the more savage for their captivity, to be their playmates and companions? Many of these stories are quite true, and show what power a little child may have, a power beyond that of man.

3. But when the prophet tells us that in the kingdom of Christ, a little child leads the wolf and the leopard and the lion, as well as the lamb and the kid and the calf, he cannot simply mean that an innocent babe may have more power over the brutes than a grown man. He also meant, no doubt, that in proportion as Christ reigns on the earth the primal order will be restored; that men, reconciled to God and to each other, will also be at peace with all the forces of nature, will rule over them, and bend to their service even those of them which are the most fierce, lawless, hostile, and untameable, and thus regain all, and more than all, that Adam lost.

4. Has not the prediction been verified again and again, and that even on the lower levels of our life! Here, salt, is a bad man, — brutal, fierce, ungoverned and ungovernable. God sends him a little child. And the rough man and the abandoned woman, as they lean over it, are touched, softened, purified. God leads almost all men by their children, leads them to the "holy mountain," i.e., to higher levels of life where they breathe a purer air and gain a wider outlook. He sends the "little child," and forthwith even the hard and selfish grow tender and unselfish, at least in some of their aims. They will follow him even to the house and worship of God — for many a man repairs to the house of God for his children's sake who would not come for his own, — and find themselves in "the holy mountain" or ever they are aware.

5. So that when God sent the Holy Child Jesus to lead men into the kingdom of heaven, He took no new untried way with us, but a way long tried and approved. But, for us, the Lord Jesus is not the Holy Child only at Christmas, or only because He was once a babe in Mary's arms. When He grew to be a man, He Himself took a child in His arms, and taught His disciples that to enter His kingdom they must become as little children, and that whosoever most fully possessed himself of the childlike spirit would be greatest in that kingdom. But to enter His kingdom is to begin to grow like Christ; and to become great in it is to grow as like Him as we can. To grow childlike is, therefore, to grow Christlike. But how can that be unless Christ Himself is like a little child?

6. "A little child shall lead them." But does he not lead them already? When the little ones come to them, who is it for whom they think, and work, and plan? Who is it that determines the amount of their toil, and even the kind of amusements in which they indulge, and often determines also the very aims and methods of their lives?

7. "A little child shall lead them." These words refer to the future as well as to the past and the present. There is a promise in them even for us who are in the kingdom of the Holy Child. And the promise is that as the kingdom of God comes we shall be more and more animated by the child spirit which was and is the Spirit of Christ Himself.

(S. Cox, D. D.)

? — But what is this blessing, and why is it so great? Consider how fearless a child is, so that it can play and take liberties with many a fierce creature whose talons or teeth keep you at a respectful distance. Consider how innocent a child is as compared with you, and what you would give to be equally clear of stinging memories and impure desires. Consider how friendly a little child is, responding with smiles and caresses to every genuine and tender advance. Consider how cheerful it is, with how little it is pleased; how unworldly, making no distinction between beggar and prince, loving its poor nurse better than the fine lady in all her bravery. Consider how free from care a child is, because it trusts in a wisdom, an ability, a goodness beyond its own retaking no thought for what it shall eat or drink or wherewithal it shall be clothed. Consider, too, how lordly a child is. Hardly anything strikes one in little children so much as their calm assumption that all the world was made for them, and that all the men and women in it have nothing else, or nothing else so important, to do as to wait on their will and minister to their whims.

(S. Cox, D. D.)

I. The text suggests some thoughts about the GENTLENESS AND HUMILITY OF HIM WHO CAME TO US AS A CHILD. Never was a child born into this world in humbler fashion than the Child who came to redeem it. Fit prelude to that strange, solemn, sorrowful, yet infinitely beautiful life! Surely, If humility depends at all on outward circumstances, this "little Child" was humble indeed. But the inward spirit was in perfect keeping with the outward circumstances. The little Child was never lost in the Man.

II. WAS THIS PROPHECY NOT FULFILLED IN MANY WAYS BY THE CHILD OF BETHLEHEM? He led the herald angels from their highest ministrations in the realms of glory down to the plains of Bethlehem. He led the star that travelled ever westwards until it "came and stood over where the young Child was." He led the sages who came with their typical offerings of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. He led the aged prophet, who, in the temple of Jerusalem, caught up the young Child from His mother's arms, and burst into that glad Dismission Hymn which has become incorporated with the liturgies of the Christian Church. Think what marvellous leading is here!

III. DOES NOT THE PROPHECY STILL RECEIVE DAILY FULFILMENT in the history and experience of the world? What is it that brings and binds men to Christ? Is it the Divinity of His person, the glory of His miracles, the thunder of His power, the attraction of heaven, the terrors of hell? Ask a missionary who has laboured for many years among the heathen what has been the element in the Gospel which has drawn men away from their idols to Christ. He will tell you that it was not the Divine power, but the human tenderness that won their hearts. Stern warriors become gentle in His presence. This is He for whom the world has been waiting, and before whom it will bow.

IV. Perhaps YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE will help you to understand the prophet's words. Think of your own personal relation to Christ. What was it that first drew you to Him, and now keeps you in His track? It was the gentleness and beauty of His character — the "little Child" that is forever enshrined in the person of Christ. Or look around you, and see the marvellous power of child leading in the familiar experience of life.

V. It may be that the words will touch for some of us THE SPRING THAT UNLOCKS SECRET AND VERY SACRED MEMORIES. We said, with the stricken parent of old, "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." But are we very sure of this? Are the mysteries of life and death so clear to us, that we' dare not think of child ministers and child leadings continued in spite of death?

VI. "A little child shall lead them." The words may have yet ANOTHER FULFILMENT, IN "THE LAND THAT IS VERY FAR OFF." "Of such is the kingdom of heaven," the Saviour said, as He took the children in His arms. Perhaps when our children sing, "Little children shall he there," they touch a truth which their elders are too slow to believe. It may be among the child ministries of heaven to give the first greetings to those who received them in the helplessness of their earthly infancy; and many a weeper may begin to gather "the far-off interest of tears," when "a little child shall lead them" through the forum of the elders to the throne of the King.

(J. C. Cameron.)

I. I am going to show you THE POWER OF THE CHILDREN. Again and again great changes have been brought about, history has been made, gown up people have worked and have suffered because of this strange power of the children. If children have power they can use it.

II. THE GOOD THINGS CHILDREN CAN DO.

(E. Medley, B. A.)

I don't think it is good for children to rule, but I do think it very good for children to lead.

(E. Medley, B. A.)

A missionary on the great River Congo had pushed up on a little steamer into a part where no white man had ever been before. The anchor was let down, and the steamer brought to. Food was needed for the men, and firewood for the engines. The natives came crowding down to the bank to look at this wonderful boat; they were armed with arrows, and big, ugly spears. The missionary tried to talk to them, and made signs of peace. But nothing that he could do seemed to touch them; it was plain that they were partly angry, partly suspicious, and partly afraid, and when savages are in that state they are very dangerous. What was to be done? A happy thought flashed across the missionary. He had his wife and a dear little baby on board; he got the baby, took it up in his arms, and showed it to the people. Now the baby was a really sensible baby, it seemed to understand the situation, and instead of crying, or pretending to be shy, it laughed and crowed as merrily as could be, and when the poor savages saw the baby they felt themselves safe; they understood in a moment that no harm was meant, and so they laid down their arms, and became quite friendly. Even in Africa we can say — a little child shall lead them.

(E. Medley, B. A.)

Some years ago, a good woman came to a minister, wanting to join the Church, and confess herself a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. She was asked how it was that she had come to think of Him, for she had lived a rough, bad life. "Oh," said she, "it was in this way: I didn't care for good things, I had to slave all day long, I was too busy and too hard hearted and too miserable to care for such things at all. But my little girl, she goes to the Sunday school, and when she comes home she just singe some of the hymns she has learnt — not to me, for I never asked her, but to herself. But I couldn't help hearing, and one of them went to my heart; do what I would, I couldn't forget it, until I began to ask myself whether It too, could not sing —

I heard the voice of Jesus say,

Come unto Me and rest.I did hear Him, and though I am very dark still, I do love Him." A little child shall lead them; so it is.

(E. Medley, B. A.)

Some of you may have read a very beautiful children's story called Little Lord Fauntleroy. The pith of it is just this: A noble, open hearted boy is thrown into the company of his grandfather, a proud, hard hearted, selfish, old nobleman, who knows as well as those about him do, what a mean, cynical old tyrant he has been. The earl is thoroughly miserable, only he is too proud to own it. But the lad, who has been brought up in pure and holy ways, insists on thinking well of the old man, attributing to him all sorts of good deeds. In the honest simplicity of his little heart he believes his grandfather to be a very fine man, and says that when he grows up he means to be like him. The trustful love of the boy touches his grandfather's stony heart just as opening spring sunshine touches the winter ice, and it begins to melt; without knowing it the little fellow leads the old man in good ways, and he is won. As to the boy, he is still the merry-hearted fellow he was, not in the least priggish, or goody goody, or conceited, but he has done a work that shall never die.

(E. Medley, B. A.)

Many years since the see of Milan was vacant, and the position was eagerly sought by two parties who disputed the election with strong and bitter feelings. The prefect of the town, who was a celebrated young lawyer, was called in to quell disorder and settle the dispute. In very earnest and affectionate strains he addressed the excited assembly. But, during one of the momentary pauses in his speech, a child's voice was heard exclaiming, "Let Ambrose be our bishop!" That tender utterance was accepted like a Divine instruction; the youthful lawyer was forthwith chosen to the occupancy of the episcopal chair, and became a useful servant of the Church. Thus a little child led the assembled electors and secured the ministry of St. ; St. Ambrose became the means of the conversion of St. , and St. Augustine by his writings still speaks to Christendom.

(J. H. Hitchens, D. D.)

A man commonly lives, if possible, nearer to the school to which he sends his children than to his own place of business. It is the children who commonly fix the hour at which he shall dine. and often even what he shall have for his dinner, their health and convenience being consulted before his own. He often goes shabby that they may be well clothed, and sometimes hungry that they may be well fed. His very home is furnished with an eye to them; and the new carpets or the costly furniture which he would like to have are postponed till the children are grown up, or the good piano which his wife would like till the children have got through their practising. Where shall the summer holiday be spent? is a question in which the children have the casting vote. How many a man, too, long after he has laid by enough for himself and his wife, and craves retirement and rest, goes labouring on, either that he may provide for children who cannot provide for themselves, or that he may leave them a little more money when he dies! And when the children grow up into young men and women, is it not they who lead the world as once they led their several households. The ruling and shaping spirit of the world changes with every generation.

(S. Cox, D. D.)

Are we, then, to discrown age, experience, authority, and enthrone youth, inexperience, and insolence? Are we to listen to whatever our children may say, and let them lead us where they will! By no means. That would be as injurious to them as to us. But we are to realise the fact that God is educating the race; guiding every generation, and conducting it to a point beyond that of the generation which preceded it. This reverence for youth as the new element, the progressive and advancing element, of the world, is, I believe, peculiar to Christianity, and even in some measure to the Christianity of the present day.

(S. Cox, D. D.)

I heard the other day in the north of England of a large school where the older scholars came together and asked the superintendents that there should be no prizes and no Christmas trees and no ordinary gifts, but that the money should be given to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Fund. No one had put them up to it. What was the result? All round that district everybody rose up at once to a sense of their responsibility, and the gifts received there exceeded the gifts from other places.

(Canon Wilberforce, D. D.)

In a certain grave. yard a white stone that marks the grave of a little girl bears these words: "A child of whom her playmates said, 'It was easier to be good when she was with us.'" Is not that a beautiful epitaph, little ones?

Christian Age.
One instance wherein the prophet's words were fulfilled in spirit, if not in letter, is reported in an American exchange; "'My darling.' These tender words were painted in large letters on the dashboard of a big truck in the street. The thoroughfare was jammed with vehicles and drivers were filling the air with profanity. But the driver of this particular truck sat silent and motionless. No word of his offended the ears of the patient: plodding beast over which he held the reins. During the din of curses a curious man stepped forward and inquired: 'You seem to take things very easy in this blockade.' 'Yes, mister; I'm used to 'em,' was the laconic reply. 'Besides,' he added, 'it don't help a bit to swear.' 'I notice that you have a name for your truck.' 'Yes,' and the stoical man's face brightened and assumed an expression born of a tender heart '"My darling" was my dear little daughter. She's dead now. Just before she died — but you don't care to hear any part of this -' 'Indeed, I do,' interrupted the listener. 'Well, you see it was this way: Nellie, my darling, took sick, and we couldn't save her; but just before she died she put her thin little arms around my neck and whispered in my ear; "Papa, your Nellie is going to die; please promise me that you will be kind to good old Dexter, and don't swear at him. Will you do that for me?" Well, sir, I used to be pretty tough and rough, and I could curse with the best of 'em, but,' and the man's voice trembled, 'I loved my Nellie, and — and I promised her that I would do what she asked.' 'Yes, sir; I've kept my word. That's going on three years now, but I haven't cussed once since. That's why I've named my truck "My darling"; it always reminds me of my Nellie and her sweet blue eves.' Just then the blockade was raised, and 'My darling' rumbled on."

(Christian Age.)

Christian Endeavour Times.
In a Southern hospital a little girl was to undergo a dangerous operation. She was placed upon the table, and the surgeon was about to give her ether when he said, "Before we can make you well, we must put you to sleep." She spoke up sweetly and said, "Oh, if you are going to put me to sleep, I must say my prayers first." So she got on her knees, and said the child's prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep." Afterward the surgeon said that he prayed that night for the first time in thirty years.

(Christian Endeavour Times.)

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