“How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” —Jesus (Luke 18)
Anthony Norris Groves in Christian Devotedness (1829):
If then this is the judgment of Him in whom we believe to be “hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge“, who “Knew what was in man“, who was acquainted with all the secret influences by which his heart is governed; shall we, in opposition to His solemnly recorded judgment—that if “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God“—strive, by the amassing of wealth, effectually, as far as in us lies, to stop our own heavenward course, as well as that of those dear little ones, whom our heavenly Father may have committed to our peculiar and tender care? We may, without anxiety, contemplate the circumstance (I shall not say the misfortunes of dying and leaving our families to struggle with many seeming difficulties in this world) should obedience to the Divine Commands bring us and them into such a situation; because our faith could lay hold, for support and consolation, on the well-known declarations and the acknowledged truth—that the Captain of our Salvation was made “perfect through sufferings“, and “learned obedience by the things that he suffered” (Heb. 2.10, and 5.8); that the Apostle “rejoiced in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope does not put us to shame” (Rom. 5.3-5);—that he could describe himself “as sorrowful—yet always rejoicing; as poor—yet making many rich; as having nothing—and yet possessing all things” (2 Cor. 6.10). But a Family left, by our labour and contrivance, in a situation in which, as our Blessed Lord himself declares, it is all but impossible that they should be saved, presents an object of contemplation widely different. Faith can only lay hold of the fearful declaration: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God“; and if the situation of such a family is irretrievably fixed, and that by our exertions, the contemplation of it may well bring alarm and sadness and distress upon the last hours of a Christian Parent. And these feelings may well rise to anguish, if he is conscious that his system of accumulation was carried on in defiance of solemn admonitions; and if he is persuaded that the wealth he has amassed—as it were to shut out heaven from the hopes and prospects of his children—if it had been dedicated day by day, as God had prospered him, as a manifestation of his love, and a tribute of his gratitude to his Lord and King, might have been the means of feeding with the bread of life some of the hundreds of millions who lie in darkness, hopelessness, and sin, because the Son of Righteousness has not arisen on them with healing in His wings. Such are the views and feelings which an unbiassed consideration of the words of our Saviour is calculated to produce.. . .If there had been an unerring physician of the body sent to a consumptive family who left it as his prescription: “How hardly shall they survive the climate of the North; it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than your children escape destruction in the blasts of the North”; if after this you saw the parents struggling for northern climates, you must say they either did not believe the physician, or they were deliberately doing what they could to destroy their children.