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MY DEAR CHILDREN,
So much do I feel interested about you, that while I am well aware you may all have dear parents or kind friends, who make it their duty and pleasure to instruct you in that path which leads to happiness, still there is much time in which you are left to yourselves; and I have thought that if you had a few letters written by one who loves you very dearly, that now and then, in your play hours, you would take them up and read them; and might chance to find therein something to interest and instruct your young hearts, something that would lead you early to think upon that great and good Being who made you, and me, and all this beautiful earth, and not these thing's only, but also a glorious and happy heaven,where such of you as love to obey him will live in his presence for ever, and meet with those dearly loved friends with whom it may have grieved your little hearts to part.
That you and I may meet there, is the sincere wish of
Your affectionate friend.
MY DEAR CHILDREN,
You all, I expect, know that “in the beginning, God created the world.” To create, means to make a thing out of nothing; now this great and powerful Maker, from whose hands came all this pleasant earth, who made us, and from whom nothing can be hid, who sees us even in the darkest places, and who knows all we do, say, and think; he loves little children, and has said, “Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not.” Here, then, you are asked to come to God; to tell him your wants; to confess to him your little faults; and to ask him to pardon you, and take you under his protection. You know also that Adam was the first man; and that God placed him in a delightful spot, called the garden of Eden, and gave him a woman, named Eve, to be his wife. Now in this garden was a tree, called “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” of which the Lord told Adam he was not to eat. But Satan, who makes it his business to tempt us all, took upon himself the
form of a serpent, and tempted Eve to eat some of the fruit of this tree; and she did eat and gave some to Adam, and he did eat.
Then they were ashamed, and hid themselves among the trees in the garden. " And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said, where art thou?" he said, “I heard thy voice in the garden, and was ashamed, and went and hid myself.” Now if Adam had not felt conscious that he had done wrong, he would not have been afraid, or ashamed, to have met his kind Master, who had given him so many good things: and, in trying to screen himself from punishment, he laid the blame on Eve, saying, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." And the Lord God said unto the woman, “What is this thou hast done?” and the woman said, “The serpent beguiled (or tempted) me, and I did eat."
Then was the Almighty much displeased with them, and turned them out of the garden into che wide world, where they were obliged to till the ground; that is, to work hard to get bread to eat.
Now, perhaps, some of my young friends may think, how silly it was of Eve to take this fruit, and of Adam to be tempted by his wife; and it was very wrong in them to disobey the commands of the Great Master of the garden. But I would have you think a moment, and you will find this idea proceeds from pride. You think you would have done better: that had you been Eve, you would not have taken the fruit.
But are there not many things in which you have been equally to blame? Have you not, in some instances, disobeyed the commands of your earthly parents, when they have wished you to deny yourselves any thing not proper for you? and you must, if you hope to be happy here, learn to deny yourselves much. Have you not questioned in your hearts, "Where can be the harm of this little thing?" Now, this is a temptation of Satan's,
who will tempt even little folks to do wrong; and the more earnestly you strive to resist him, and obey the commands of your earthly parents, the more strength will be given you by your Heavenly Father as you grow in years, and place your entire dependence upon Him, to grow in grace and find favor in his sight.
Yours affectionately, “.
I TOLD you, in the last letter, that Adam and Eve were turned out of the garden, and had to work for their bread. Înstead of having fruits growing ready for them, as they had in their beautiful Paradise, they were obliged, first, to prepare the ground, which was become unfruitful, shewing the displeasure of the Lord, then sow their seed, and after it had ripened, to make ready their food.
Now as Adam and Eve had sinned, even so have we all sinned, and are not worthy to be called the children of God. We are all naturally prone to do evil; thus we are partakers of Adam's sin: but our Heavenly Father so loved the world, that He promised Adam before he died, that He would send upon earth his Son Christ Jesus, who is one and tire same with himself: who for our sakes, and for your sakes, dear children, became as a little child; led a life of trial and suffering among men, and gave himself up to a painful death on the cross, in order that we might become reconciled(')