“There is no love so great and so wonderful as that which is in the heart of Christ.
He is one that delights in mercy; He is ready to pity those that are in suffering and sorrowful circumstances; one that delights in the happiness of His creatures.
The love and grace that Christ has manifested does as much exceed all that which is in this world as the sun is brighter than a candle.
Parents are often full of kindness towards their children, but that is no kindness like Jesus Christ’s…
Children ought to love Christ above all, in that He has done more for them than all the men in the world have ever done.
Their parents have done a great deal for them and have suffered a great deal for them—especially their mothers. And both their fathers and mothers have done a great deal in taking care of them, in providing for them and bringing of them up. They have been at a great deal of pains and charge for them.
But they have never done so much for them as Christ has done, for it is Christ that has kept ’em all their lives long. He has kept ’em from death, he has healed ’em when they have been sick.
And they have always lived upon that provision that Christ has made for them. It has been through the hands of their parents, but their parents could not have had it for ’em, had not Christ provided it for them.
They have always lived upon Christ’s provision; He has maintained ’em, and ’tis His wool and His flax that has clothed ’em. If it had not been for Christ’s preservation, they would have been in the grave, and there they would have been eaten up of worms long ago.
And ’tis Christ that has kept ’em out of the hands of the devil. The devils, if Christ permitted ’em, would immediately fall upon and carry them away. ’Tis Christ that has kept ’em out of hell. If it had not been for Christ, they would have been burning in hell among devils long before this time.
’Tis He that keeps ’em every night while they sleep. And, which is more than all, Christ has died for children.
None can conceive what dreadful things Christ has suffered, and all this he suffered not only for grown persons but for children. All children are by nature children of wrath and are in danger of eternal damnation in hell.
But children that live under the gospel have an opportunity to be delivered from hell and to become the children of God, and so to go to heaven when they die, and therefore to be happy and to shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of God, and enjoy rivers of pleasures at God’s right hand forevermore.
And this opportunity they have by the blood of Christ. They could have had no such opportunity but by its costing Christ His life and His undergoing great cruelties and a very tormenting death, though He was God’s only Son.
Now where is any in this world that has done so much for children as this? Where is anything that any have done for them to be compared with this? Surely, then, they ought to love Christ more than all things in this world.”
–Jonathan Edwards, “Children Ought to Love the Lord Jesus Christ Above All,” in Sermons and Discourses, 1739–1742, ed. Harry S. Stout, Nathan O. Hatch, and Kyle P. Farley, vol. 22, The Works of Jonathan Edwards (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2003), 22: 171, 173–174. Edward preached this sermon on Matthew 10:37 to the children in his congregation in August 1740.