Converted Children and the Lord's Table

The Christian's Friend - 1893

John Nelson Darby

Converted Children and the Lord's Table

With regard to converted children, my conviction entirely agrees with that of some trusted brethren I have consulted. First, one should be quite clear as to the conversion of the child, because children are without hypocrisy; so sensitive are they, and subject to the influence of impressions, that they sincerely believe they feel all, and do indeed feel what is at work around them. But if they have been actually and apparently converted, we should by no means persuade them to break bread. Let that arise naturally in their hearts, and if they desire to do so, ascertain if they are capable - of course, as a child - of discerning and acknowledging in it the body of the Lord; not to drive them away, but that they may do it with spiritual insight and true faith and understanding. It is not to be expected of them that they should explain everything like theologians, but that they should understand it is with you a matter of faith from the heart, and realisation of the broken body. If they are actually in the care of believing parents, there is not so much danger. If they have much intercourse with the world, it is well to be assured of their firmness. One must remember that they have not yet been tempted and tested by the allurements of the world; and there lies the danger, supposing that they are really in Christ. It often happens, that what they have longed for while subject to influence exercised over them without feeling the check, becomes subsequently a hateful check and nothing else, and they abandon what later on perhaps they would have longed for. Hence the importance of that of which I have already spoken - that they should be in the company of Christian parents, by whom they may, as time goes on, be guarded and brought up before the Lord, that they may be cared for in a Christian way. Invariably, so soon as they are in active life, the world and lusts come in, besides the hope of a future in the world to tempt them. But if the work is deep, conscience secures their apprehension of the Lord's supper, especially if the parents are faithful, and the children are accustomed to care of every kind. Or if there is proved faithfulness in the child, then nothing hinders their breaking bread. It is by no means a question of right, but of that which is altogether best for those that according to the will of God are under the government of others.

J. N. D.