Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,
Look upon a little child;
Pity my simplicity,
Suffer me to come to Thee.
Fain I would to Thee be brought,
Dearest God, forbid it not;
Give me, dearest God, a place
In the Kingdom of Thy grace.
Put Thy hands upon my head,
Let me in Thine arms be stayed,
Let me lean upon Thy breast,
Lull me, lull me, Lord to rest.
Hold me fast in Thine embrace,
Let me see Thy smiling face,
Give me, Lord, Thy blessings give,
Pray for me, and I shall live.
Lamb of God, I look to Thee,
Thou shalt my example be;
Thou art gentle, meek, and mild,
Thou wast once a little child.
Fain I would be as Thou art,
Give me Thy obedient heart;
Thou art pitiful and kind,
Let me have Thy loving mind.
Let me, above all, fulfil
God my heavenly Father’s will,
Never His good Spirit grieve;
Only to His glory live.
Thou didst live to God alone,
Thou didst never seek Thine own,
Thou Thyself didst never please:
God was all Thy happiness.
Loving Jesus, gentle Lamb,
In Thy gracious hands I am;
Make me, Saviour, what Thou art,
Live Thyself within my heart.
I shall then show forth Thy praise,
Serve Thee all my happy days;
Then the world shall always see
Christ, the Holy Child, in me.
Charles Wesley’s poem hearkens further back to a brief story contained in the New Testament. Here it is, as presented in one of the three Gospels that record it:
Mark 10:13-16 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
And they were bringing young children to him so that he could touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant, and said to them, “Let the young children come to me. Do not forbid them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a young child will never enter into it.” And after taking them into his arms, he blessed them, placing his hands on them.
Wesley’s poem also hearkens to a brief, but potent teaching contained in three of the four Gospels. Here is one rendering:
Matthew 18:1-4 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
At that time the disciples came up to Jesus, saying, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling a child to himself, he had him stand in their midst and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you turn around and become like young children, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven! Therefore whoever humbles himself like this child, this person is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
What Jesus is saying in His teaching is that a person must recognize his/her utter dependence on God the Heavenly Father. The human being is as dependent upon God as a little child is dependent upon his/her father and mother. A child may tell his parents, “I want my own way,” or “I can do it myself,” or more simply, “No!” But doing so is folly; it is foolish and as deadly as letting a child play with matches or a loaded gun or sharp knives.
Note: childlike does not mean
- immature, and/or
Childlike does mean