Every Christian ought to have in his library, and read at least once a year, The Kingdom: The Emerging Rule of Christ Among Men, written and published in 1899 by George Dana Boardman. It is the definitive classic on the biblical phrases "the kingdom of God" and "the kingdom of heaven," terms used by Christ and the apostles repeatedly in their ministries. Boardman's father, George Dana Boardman "The Senior," was an associate of Adoniram Judson in Burma. When Senior died, Boardman's mother married the widowed Adoniram Judson, thus George Dana Boardman grew up with the famous missionary as his step-father. Boardman would return to America and graduate from Brown University and go on to pastor First Baptist Church, Philadelphia from 1864 to 1894. On page 62 of The Kingdom, after referencing Jesus' statement "suffer the little ones to come to me, for of such is the Kingdom of God, Boardman explains how the consituents of the Kingdom of God (believers) possess the child-like traits of self-unconsciousness, trustfulness, guilelessness, conscientiousness, teachableness, obedience, and love. Boardman writes that Jesus taught "before any one can enter into His Kingdom, he must come down, or rather go up, into the child-state." Boardman then gives one of the finest philosophical and biblical justifications for childhood evangelism I've ever read. Boardmen writes:
"Since childlikeness is one of the essential terms of the Kingdom of God, it follows that child-like piety is profoundly philosophical. I do not say that the child as such is sinless, or that he has been born anew: much less do I say that a child is specially devout. But I do say that the spirit of childhood is the natural emblem and the representative of the Christian spirit. And just because this is true, little children are of all persons the most likely to become Christians. It is the very characteristics of the child-state--this self-unconsciousness, trustfulness, guilelessness, conscientiousness, teachableness, obedience, faith, hope, love--which give to the little child a peculiar aptitude for the Kingdom of God. He does not have to unlearn long years of self-complacency, distrustfulness, craftiness, stubbornness, waywardness, selfishness before he can enter the child-state; he is in the child-state already and the child-state is prerequisite for the heavenly. To expect, then, the early conversion of children is, I repeat, profoundly philosophical: for it is in the entire harmony with the very genius of Christianity. And the younger the child, the likelier the conversion. The real wonder is not that infants are converted. The real wonder is that adults are. Our King nowhere said to little children, "Except ye be converted, and become as adults, ye cannot be saved." But our King has said to adults, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye can in no wise enter the Kingdom of God." Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, and said:
"I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that though didn't hide these things from wise and discerning men, and reveal them to babes; yea, Father, that so it was well pleasing in thy sight" (Luke 10:21).
The theological seminary is good: a Christian mother's knee is still better."