Editorís note: Reprinted with permission. Easy lessons for the Little Ones at Home, circa 1855, digitized by Michigan State University.
MY DEAR CHILD - I hope you have thought about what you read in the last chapter. It was a very sad thing which I told you about. It was, that you are a sinner; that all the people in the world are sinners. They all do wrong. Yes; every day that you live you sin against God, and he sees it and knows it, and remembers it.
Now, what is the reason that you and every one in the world sin? I will tell you. It is because you and they have wicked hearts. Your heart is not good. When every thing about you does not go just as you wish to have it, your heart feels cross and angry and wicked right away. Before you can have time to think, your heart begins to feel bad, to feel wrong. And you have to try very hard before you can be pleasant and gentle and kind again.
Now stop and think whether this is not so. If your mother tells you to do something which you do not like to do, does not your wicked heart begin to make you feel bad right away? If your little brothers or sisters will not play as you wish them to, or if they take from you what you want, does not your wicked heart feel angry, and make you speak and act ill-natured to them? And do you not often feel discontented and fretful and selfish, even when you do not say any thing about it?
All this is because your heart is not good. It is sinful; that is, it is easier to do wrong than to do right. Every person's heart is sinful, and God sees all the sin that is in our hearts.
Does God love us when we sin and do what is wrong and wicked?
No. But if we stop and think about it, and are truly sorry for what we have done, and ask him in the name of Christ, he will forgive us. He wants us to try and do right; and this is the only way to be happy. We cannot be happy when we feel wicked.
Father in heaven, bless my dear papa and mamma, and brothers and sisters. Bless me, and make me a good child.
For Christ's sake forgive all that I have done naughty this day. Give me a new heart to love and serve thee, and make me thine for ever. Amen.