How children were taught to love God 150 years ago

Part 7 in a kind and gentle Herald-Guide series

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

MY DEAR CHILD – God did not make all the people in the world at once. He made one man at first, and then he made one woman. The name of the man was Adam, and the woman’s name was Eve.

There were no other people in the world when they were first made. God made Adam perfectly good. He was not a sinner at first. He loved God, and did right, and was happy, for he knew that God loved him. So was Eve good and happy.

God put them in a beautiful garden to live, where all kinds of fruit grew upon the trees for them to eat; and God let them take care of this beautiful garden, so that they might have something to do, for they would not have been happy if they had been idle.

But I am sorry to tell you that they did not remain good, as God first made them.

God told them that they might eat the fruit which grew on all the trees of the garden except one; and God told them not to touch that one, so that he might try them, whether they would always obey him and love him, and be happy.

But they disobeyed God. They took this fruit which God had forbidden them to touch, and they both ate it. And then their hearts, which had always been good before, became wicked, and they felt afraid of God, and were very unhappy.

O, was not this a very sad thing? God was displeased with them, and would not let them live in that sweet garden any longer, but drove them out of it. O how wretched they were. Their hearts were bad because they had sinned against God, and they were full of sorrow and trouble.

When they had some little children of their own, these children were born with wicked hearts, just like their father and mother. They did not have good hearts as Adam and Eve had when God first made them, but the children had sinful hearts because their father and mother had sinned against God, and their children were like them.

Ever since that time, all the children that have been born in the world, have had wicked hearts, and it has always been easier to do wrong than to do right.

But those who love God keep trying to do right; and God helps them, and then they feel happy.


Father in heaven, when I kneel down to pray, help me to feel what I need. Thou art near to me, and canst see all my heart. Thou art very good to me, a poor little helpless child. Take care of me, and all whom I love, this night. For Christ’s sake forgive me my sins, and make me a true Christian, that I may live with thee for ever. Amen.


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