How children were taught to love God 150 years ago

Part 8 in a kind and gentle Herald-Guide Spirit Weekly series – stories guaranteed to warm your heart

Editor’s note: Reprinted with permission. Easy lessons for the Little Ones at Home, circa 1855, digitized by Michigan State University.


MY DEAR CHILD – I told you that when Adam and Eve had sinned against God, by eating the fruit which he had forbidden them to eat, God was angry with them, and drove them out of the garden of Eden.

But this was not all. When he made them, and put them in the garden, and forbade them to eat that fruit, he told them that if they disobeyed him, their bodies would become liable to death, so that they must certainly die. Their breath would stop, and their souls would go out of their bodies; and then their bodies would be cold and stiff, and unable to move or speak or feel any more.

They would be dead, and could never again be alive on this earth.

Their souls would not die, but God told them that if they sinned, their souls, or their hearts, would no longer be good, but would become bad, and be inclined to do wicked things all the time that they lived.

And that when theirbodies died, their souls, which would go out of their bodies, should be sent away into a dreadful place of darkness, wickedness, and misery, to live for ever far away from God and from happiness; and that out of this bad place they should never come.

Was not this a dreadful punishment which God had threatened if they did not obey him? And yet they sinned against him, and did just what he had told them not to do.

And then they found the truth of what God said; for they began to have wicked thoughts and feelings in their hearts, and to be very miserable and unhappy, and full of cares and sorrows and sin.

They felt also, that there was a great change in their bodies as well as in their souls, just as God had told them; for they felt weariness and pain, and knew that after a time, perhaps in a very few years, they must die, and their souls go to that awful place from which they could never come out.

They knew too, that if their children were wicked, they would be sent to the same dreadful place; for God had told them that all who sinned should go there also. Then, when they thought of their children, and knew that they would have wicked hearts, they were sure that they would sin, and so they would all come to that fearful place together.

No wonder they were unhappy and miserable. But I will tell you more in another chapter.


O God, how dreadful a thing is sin! Make me to fear it more than all other things. Help me to watch my heart every day, and to try in all things to do right, that I may not grow more sinful as I grow older. Be pleased, for Christ’s sake, to forgive all my past sins, and help me to obey and love thee as long as I live. Amen.


Now to God I still will pray,

“Take my wicked heart away;”

He from sin can make me free,

For the Saviour died for me.

O how happy, life to spend

With the Saviour for my friend.


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