Old Paths, Election, James Clarke edition, p. 468-469)
For another thing, the doctrine of Election was never meant to prevent the fullest, freest offer of salvation to every sinner. In preaching and trying to do good we are warranted and commanded to set an open door before every man, woman, and child, and to invite every one to come in. We know not who are God’s Elect, and whom He means to call and convert. Our duty is to invite all. To every unconverted soul without exception we ought to say, “God loves you, and Christ has died for you.” To everyone we ought to say, “Awake,-repent,–believe,- come to Christ,-be converted,-turn -call upon God,- strive to enter in,—come, for all things are ready.” To tell us that none will hear and be saved except God’s Elect, is quite needless. We know it very well. But to tell us that on that account it is useless to offer salvation to any at all, is simply absurd. Who are we that we should pretend to know who will be found God’s Elect at last? No! indeed. Those who now seem first may prove last, and those who seem last may prove first in the judgement day. We will invite all, in the firm belief that the invitation will do good to some. We will prophesy to the dry bones, if God commands us. We will offer life to all, though many reject the offer. In so doing, we believe that we walk in the steps of our Master and His Apostles.
Boys and Girls Playing and Other Addresses to Children, 1881, Reprinted Soli Deo Gloria, 1996
Are you old enough to know and love your mother? Then be sure that you are old enough to know and love Jesus who died to save your souls.