Beginning young



When Christ was twelve years old, he said to his parents, "I must be about my Father's business."

In the winter of 1860, while I was holding a meeting near Boston, a girl about twelve years old, came into my room with tears on her face, and said:

"Mr. Earle, I came up here to give my heart to Jesus. I feel that I am a great sinner. Will you pray for me?"

I said, "I will pray for you, and I can pray in faith if you see that you are a sinner; for Jesus died for sinners."

After pointing out the way of salvation, I asked her if she would kneel down by my side and pray for herself, and, as far as she knew, give herself to Jesus, to be his forever.

She said, "I will; for I am a great sinner."

Could one so young, and kind to everybody, be a great sinner? Yes, because she had rejected the Saviour until she was twelve years old; and when the Holy Spirit had knocked at the door of her heart, she had said, "No, not yet. Go thy way for this time."

We kneeled down, and after I had prayed, she said:

"Jesus, take me just as I am. I give myself to thee forever. I will love and serve thee all my life."

The door of her heart was now open, and Jesus entered and took possession. The tears were gone from her face, which was now covered with smiles. And I believe holy angels in that room witnessed the transfer of her heart to Jesus, and then went back to heaven to join in songs of thanksgiving; for "joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth."

Ella then went down stairs, her face beaming with joy as she thought of her new relation to Jesus, and said to her mother:

"I have given myself to Jesus, and he has received me. Oh, I am so happy!"

Little did we think that in a few days she would be walking the "golden streets" with the blood-washed throng.

Like the Redeemer, who, when at her age, said to his mother, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" she seemed to long to be doing good. Reader, will you do the same, now? -- A. B. Earle, From: "Incidents Used ... In His Meetings," published in 1888


From: SELECTED SERMON ILLUSTRATIONS From The Writings of Absalom Backas (A.B.) Earle And The Writings of J. Wilbur Chapman