In Simple WDorbs,
FOR LITTLE CHILDREN.
TWO VOLUMES IN ONE.
REVISED BY DANIEL P. KIDDER
PUBLISHED BY LANE & SCOTT,
FOR THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL
CHURCH, 00 MULBERRY-STREET.
JOSEPH LONGKING. PRINTER
1. MARY, ALPRED, AND THEIR FATHER 7
II. ABOUT GOD AND HIS KINDNESS 9
III. THE FLOWER AND THE SEED .. 11
IV. ABOUT GOD AND HIS WORKS .. 13
V. GOD MADE EVERYTHING .... 14
VI. THE LIBRARY . . .16
VII. ABOUT HOLY ANGELS. . 17
VIII. MoRE TALK IN THE LIBRARY .. 20
IX. ABOUT THE WISDOM OF GOD . 22
X. THE HILL AND THE SEA . .24
XI. GOD IS EVERYWHERE . .25
XII. THE IDOL ........... 27
XII. GOD IS HOL AND JUST. . 29
XIV. THE BOY AND THE HORSE .. 31
XV. GOD IS GOOD EVEN TO THOSE WHO ARE
NOT GOOD . . .33
XVI. THE HOLY SCRIPTURES . .. .35
XVII. ALL PEOPLE ARE BORN WITH HEARTS
READY TO SIN ....... 87
XVIII. GOD MADE MAN HOLY . .. .40
XIX. THERE ARE NO LITTLE SINS ... 42
XX. THE CHURCHYARD ... .. 43
XXI. SIN MUST BE PUNISHED. . .46
XXII. THE BEST OF ALL GREAT TRUTHS 48
XXm. THE CROWN OF TuIOnxs . .51
XXIV. LITTLE CHILDREN MAY GO TO THE LORD
JESUS CHRIST . . 53
XXV. THE BIRTHDAY . . .55
XXVI. A STORM ............. 58
XXVII. DANGER OUGHT NOT TO KEEP US FROM
DUTY . . . 60
XXVIII. THE SAFE RETURN .... 62
MARY, ALFRED, AND THEIR FATHER.
A LITTLE girl and. boy, and their father,
took a walk into the fields; and as they
went on they talked. The name of the
little girl was Mary; and of the little boy,
When Mary and Alfred felt tired, their
father sat down under the shade of a large
tree, and they sat beside him. But they
did not sit still more than a minute: they
ran a few steps, and gathered a good hand-
ful of wild flowers, and then took them to
their father, and told him he might have
them for his own. There were daisies,
buttercups, and ladies'-slippers. Then
Mary and Alfred sat down again, and
asked their father if the flowers were not
They are very pretty," said their father;
"and I thank you for your gift."
After a short time a bird flew out of the
hedge, very near to Mary and Alfred. It
had bright yellow and brown feathers; and
it said, Chirp, chirp, as it flew. They
watched it till it was out of sight.
There were some sheep in the field, and
some cows and horses; they were quietly
eating the green grass.
A great many butterflies came very
close to the little girl and boy as they sat.
They did not try to catch them, for they
had been told not to do so. They had
learned by heart,-
"I must not kill, nor hurt a fly;
For it can feel as well as I."
The sun was shining very warm; but
as Mary and Alfred sat in the shade, they
did not feel too hot. They were not silent.
Would you like to know what they talked
about? The next chapter will tell you
some of the things their father said to his
little girl and boy.
ABOUT GOD AND HIS KINDNESS.
GoD is very kind to us. He loves to
make us happy. It is he who gives us
food every day, and clothes to wear, and
a house to live in. We have not a thing
that he has not given us, nor a pleasure
that he does not provide for us.
It is God who makes the sun to shine,
to warm us; and makes us able to walk
in the fields, and to see all the pleasant
sights around us. We love to see pretty
flowers; and it is God who has made the
flowers. We like to hear the sweet mu-
sic of birds; and God has made birds to
cheer us. We enjoy the sweet fruits that
10 GREAT TRUTHS.
grow in our garden; but we must not
forget that those fruits are given to us by
God. If it had pleased him to give us no
fruits, nor flowers, nor birds, we might
still live, but our pleasures would have
God is kind to all living creatures. The
cows, and sheep, and horses, that we now
see, enjoy the life that he has given them;
and birds and insects are cared for by
God. If he did not keep them, and feed
them, from day to day, they would perish.
God loves those who love him; but he is
kind even to the wicked. He gives them
all the good things they enjoy. He thinks
of them, though they do not think of
Let us often think of God, and thank
him for his goodness, and ask him to help
us to love him.
THE FLOWER AND THE SEED.
As they sat under the tree, their father
took one of the flowers which his children
had given him, and asked them if they
could make one like it.
"0 no," said Mary, "I could not: no-
body in the world could make a real
"How do you know that, Mary ?" he
"I am almost sure of it; for flowers
come from seeds. I know that; for you
gave me some seeds for my garden, and
helped me to put them in, and now they
are come up to flowers."
Can you tell me, then, where the seeds
came from ?"
"You bought them, did you not, father?"
Yes," said their father; "but did any
one make the seeds ?"
Mary could not say; but she thought
1Z GREAT TRUTHS.
not. She asked her father to tell her
where the seeds were made or found.
Then he gathered a dry, faded flower,
and pulled off some of the leaves, and
showed them that the seeds grew within
the flower; and told them that when flow-
ers begin to fade, the seed keeps on grow-
ing and ripening, until it is gathered, or
falls to the ground. "So you see," said
he, that if flowers came from seed, the
seed must first have come from flowers.
But now can you tell me how the first
seeds, and the first flowers, came into the
I think," said the little girl, that God
must have put them here."
Yes, he did indeed; and if you will
listen, I will tell you about it."
ABOUT GOD AND HIS WORKS.
" THERE was once no world, nor sun,
nor moon, nor stars. This was a very
long while ago."
Was it twenty years ago ?" asked Al-
fred. Now Alfred was only a little boy.
He thought one year a very long time.
He could count up to twenty; and twenty
years seemed to be as long a time as his
thoughts could reach. You may judge
that the little boy was n6t a very wise or
learned child; but then he was not four
years old. His father did not laugh at
him when he asked the question; but he
said, "It was more than twenty years ago;
more than a hundred twenties. But though
there was no world, there was God.
Then God saw fit that there should
be a world, and he made it. There was
not anything for the world to be made of;
but God made it out of nothing. He also
made the sun that shines in the daytime; and
the moon and the stars that shine by night.
14 GREAT TRUTHS.
God made man to live on the world;
and all kinds of beasts, and birds, and
insects. He also made the great sea, and
fishes to live in it.
But before God made any living crea-
tures, he had made ready the world for
them, and had made trees and plants to
grow for their good and use. And when
God made the trees, and plants, and flow-
ers, he said that they were to bear seed,
that other trees, and plants, and flowers,
might come from them. And it is God's
great power that causes the flowers to
come from seed, as you have said."
GOD MADE EVERYTHING.
" DID God make anything else besides
what you have told me ?" It was little
Mary who asked this question.
He made everything. There is no-
thing that you can see that was not made
by God; not a single thing that ever was,
or is, that was not made by him."
"But," said the little girl, "God did
not make my clothes, did he, father? nor
needles and pins, and such things? nor
our houses ?'"
"The clothes that my little girl wears
are made of different things that grow; and
those things were made to grow by God.
Pins, and needles, and a great many other
useful things, are made by men from me-
tal which is dug out of the earth: but that
metal was formed and placed there by
God. Houses are built by men of wood
and stone; and wood and stone are not
made by man, but by God. It has pleased
God to give us strength and skill to work
and put together what he has made: but
let us work it, and alter it, as we will, yet
it is God who has made it. Do you know
what I mean?"
Mary and Alfred thought that they did
know what their father meant. And I
These are the plain and natural doubts of children,
when told that God makes everything. Such doubts
are not always expressed, but they are not the less felt.
The writer knows this by experience; and deems it not
beneath the sublimity of the subject to take an oppor-
tunity of meeting these perplexities.
think so too; for though they were so
young, they tried to learn what their pa-
rents wished to teach them.
WHEN Mary, Alfred, and their father,
had sat under the tree until they were
rested, they went on their way, and turned
into a pleasant lane, which led to their
home. Then Mary and Alfred went with
their mother into the nursery; and their
father went into his own room. They
did not see much more of their father that
day, except that they sat upon his knee
for a short time before they went to bed.
One morning, a few days after their
walk, their father heard a gentle knock at
his door, and said, Come in." But no
one came; so he got up, and opened the
door. There was no one there but his
little girl and boy, who asked if they might
stay with him.
Yes," he said, "if you will be very
GREAT TRUTHS. 17
quiet while I am writing. Can I trust
you to make no noise ?"
Alfred said, Yes, father, if you will
let me have a picture-book to look at."
There were a great many books in the
room, upon shelves, and in book-cases;
and they knew very well that some of
them were full of pictures, for they had
often seen them. And now they sat down
on the carpet, with a low stool before them
for a table; and their father reached down
one of the picture-books.
ABOUT HOLY ANGELS.
" FATHER, are you very busy ?" said little
Mary, in a whisper, after she had looked
at a good many of the pictures.
Not very busy," her father replied!
" What does Mary wish to say to me ?"
Will you look, and tell me what this
is ? I have never seen this before. There
is a woman in a white dress, and she has
got wings like a bird."
18 GREAT TRUTHS.
It is a silly picture," said her father.
" It is meant for an angel; but I do not
think that angels are at all like such pic-
tures as this."
What are angels-will you tell us,
father?" said Alfred.
"I will tell you a little about them.
Angels are holy beings whom God has
made to serve him. Before God had
made man, and before the world was, the
angels were formed. They are not like
us; they have not bodies like ours. They
dwell in heaven, and love to obey the
great and holy God who made them.
They are very swift, and very strong, to go
where God tells them, and to do what he
bids them; and they are very wise to
know the will of God. But all their
strength and wisdom is given them by
God. Without him they could do nothing.
We cannot see the angels. Our eyes
were not made to see spirits; and an-
gels are spirits. Sometimes, when it has
pleased God that angels should be seen
by men, they have taken the form of bo-
dies, and seemed like men. But though
GREAT TRUTHS. 19
we cannot see them, they can see us.
We do not know how often we are seen
by angels, nor how many are round about
us every day and every night. But we
know one thing-the eye of God is al-
ways upon us. We should never forget
We do not know the number of God's
holy angels. They are more in number
than oar thoughts could reach. Each one
of them waits upon God, to do his will.
Theyall go and come at his command;
and they are all happy, because they are
If we obey God, we shall be happy
too; and if we do his will upon earth, we
shall see the angels of God; and our
spirits will dwell in heaven with them
when our bodies are dead."
MORE TALK IN THE LIBRARY.
ALFRED and Mary asked their father many
questions which he could not answer. It
is much easier for a little child to ask
questions, than for a parent to tell all that
the child wishes to know.
Mary asked, How large are angels ?
can you tell me, father ?"
No," he said, I cannot tell."
Are there any angels in this room
now?" asked Alfred.
Indeed, my little boy," his father re-
plied, I cannot answer that question."
Then Mary asked something else; and
her father again said, "My dear girl, I
really do not know."
But, father, I thought you knew a great
deal about everything. Why do you say
you do not know ?"
Because I must tell the truth. I know
a few little things; but there are many
more that I know nothing about."
Then did the man who made all your
books know more than you do, father ?"
"One man did not write all my books,"
said his father. "Some books were writ-
ten by one person, and some by others."
Then how many were there to write
all the books in this room ?"
I must say again that I do not know."
"0, father," said the little girl, quite
puzzled; you do say, I do not know' so
often this morning."
"Well, my dear children, I really can.
not help it. I must say something when
you speak to me. It would not be kind
not to do so. But all I can say to such
questions as you have asked me is, I do
not know, or, I cannot tell. But now, if
you will stand still for one or two short
minutes, I will tell you something that I
do know, and something that I wish you
to know too."
So they stood quite still, and he talked
to them about the wisdom of God.
ABOUT THE WISDOM OF GOD.
" GOD is wise. He knows all things.
No one can tell God anything new. He
always was wise. When there were no
angels nor men, no sun, nor stars, nor
world, he knew all the people who would
ever live after the world should be made.
He knew you then just as he knows you
now; for there is nothing new to him.
He knows all the words you and I have
spoken to-day, and all the words we ever
have spoken. He knows all we think,
and what we have ever thought about, and
GREAT TRUTHS. 2
knows what we shall ever think about so
long as we live. He knows all that has
been done in the world by all the men, and
women, and children, who ever lived in it.
It is not hard for God to know all this,
and much more than I can tell, or you
can think; for nothing is too hard for
When we know anything, it is be-
cause we have been taught; we learn it
by little and little. But God knows all
things by himself. No one could be the
teacher of God.
I will tell you another thing it is fit you
should know. God has been pleased to
say to us in his holy book, the Bible, that
he is very willing to make us wise, if we
ask him to do so. He has given us that
book to teach us true wisdom.
When you are a little older, you will
have been taught to read God's word; but
even a child, who has not yet learned to
read, may ask God for wisdom. God is
kind, as well as wise, and he loves to hear
the prayers of such little children as you."
THE HILL AND THE SEA.
NOT a very long way from their home
was a high hill; and they sometimes went
quite to the top of it. They went over a
little wooden bridge to get to it.
On the top of the hill was a clump
of trees, and under the trees were some
wooden seats. The hill was covered with
fine, short grass, and wild thyme, and with
many flowers and plants.
But what their father liked best to go to
the top of the hill for, was to look at the
sea. Yes, the sea was on the other side
of the hill; the beach was almost close by:
and sometimes the sea covered over the
beach, and beat against the foot of the
There were some cottages built on the
hill, out of the reach of the sea; and in
them lived fishermen, and their wives and
children. These men had boats and nets;
they went on the sea in their boats, and the
nets were for catching fish.
Sometimes their father went to one of
these cottages to speak to the people who
lived there; and Mary and Alfred often
went with him.
Besides the fishermen's boats, there
were, very often, larger ships on the sea:
and as they sailed along, their father would
tell them where he supposed the ships
might have been, and where they might
be going; and many other things which
they liked to hear. Would you like to
know what else he talked about? Then
you must read the next chapter.
GOD IS EVERYWHERE.
ALFRED, Mary, and their father, sat upon
the seat, under the trees, on the top of the
hill. The sea was very smooth, for there
was not much wind to disturb it. The
sun was shining brightly upon the sea, so
that the water looked like glass. There
was a ship, a long way off, upon the sea.
It had tall masts and white sails. 0, it
was a pleasant sight-the sea, and the
sunshine, and the ship, and the cottages
on the hill-side, and the fishermen mend-
ing their nets. All these sights made
Alfred and Mary glad that their father had
taken them to the top of the hill.
Their father told them of many men
who lived almost always in ships on the
sea; and of others who went hundreds
and thousands of miles across the sea to
other lands. And they listened to what
their father was saying.
Then he told them that some of the
people who lived a, long way off had dark
skins; and that some were almost black;
that they spoke in words which they would
not be able to understand; and that the
fruits and flowers in those countries were
different from the fruits and flowers in
ours. But there is one thing in which every
place is alike.
Mary said, "What is that, father?"
And he answered:
No person has ever found a country
where God is not. It would take a long
time for us to go to that part of the world
GREAT TRUTHS. W
which is furthest from us: but God is
there as well as here. In some parts of
the world there are large forests, where
men have never lived: but God is there.
He is in every part of the world."
"But is not God in heaven?" asked
0 yes, he is in heaven, always in hea-
ven; but he is on earth too, always on
earth. God is always where we are. We
can never be alone, for he is with us; and
he is with us to notice what we do, and
say, and think. We should never forget
this truth--God is everywhere. And we
should fear to think, or do, or say, what
ALFRED and Mary's father had lived many
years in the home where his little child-
ren were born. But he had once lived
in a ship, and had gone to many of the
countries which he talked about. Mary
28 GREAT TRUTHS.
and Alfred were never tired of hearing the
stories he had to tell.
Now, father," said Mary, "will you
tell us about the people praying to the lit-
tle thing like a doll that you have got in
your room ?"
Yes; I will tell you again, if you please.
That little image which you call a doll,
the poor people call a god; the Bible
would tell us it is an idol. It was kept
upon a shelf in the man's hut, and he told
me that he kept it there to keep harm
from coming to him. He used to talk to
it, and put food before it, and flowers; and
when he went to catch fish in the river, he
used to promise to treat his god well, if it
would make the fish come to his net.
But, you know, a piece of wood like
that idol can do no good to any one, nor
get good from any one; for though it has
got the figure of a face, with eyes, and
ears, and a mouth, and a nose, it can nei-
ther see, nor hear, nor taste, nor smell.
So, one day, the poor man became angry
with his god, because he had caught no
fish; and he parted with it to get himself
GREAT TRUTHS. 29
a better one. This is how I came by the
What a silly man he was!" said Al-
He was very silly; but he was also to
be pitied, for he was very ignorant. He
knew nothing about the true and good
God, who made him and all the world.
We should be glad that we have the Bible
to teach us, and make us wise in these
things; and we should do what we can
to send Bibles to those who are without
them; and we should pray that they may
be turned from their idols to serve the liv-
ing and true God."
GOD IS HOLY AND JUST.
" WILL you tell us something else, father ?"
Yes; but what shall it be about ?"
O, let it be about the people and their
Well, then, I will tell you that the
30 GREAT TRUTHS.
people who have such gods as those are
naughty people. They do not love one
another. They cheat, and lie, and steal,
and often kill each other in anger. Even
little children do very bad things; and
there is no one to teach them that they are
They say that their gods are not angry
with them for doing harm one to another;
but that they like to see such things done,
and to have a share of what is got by
stealing and cheating."
They must be very bad gods, then,"
said the little girl.
They would be very bad, if what those
ignorant people say of them were true. But
indeed they are nb gods at all; but only bits
of wood, or stone, or clay, and sometimes
silver, made into different shapes. It is
the bad heart of man which puts such
thoughts into his head, and makes him
fancy that a god can love anything that is
wicked. We know better than they do;
but not because we have better hearts by
nature. Can my little children tell me
why we know better?"
They thought it was because of being
But we should not be better taught, if
we had not the Bible to teach us. It is
the word of God which makes us wiser
than others. It is the Bible that tells us
that our God is a holy God.
All his works, and words, and thoughts,
are holy; and he loves all things that are
holy. Our God is just in all his ways,
and holy in all his works.' "
THE BOY AND THE HORSE.
" IT is time for us to go home," said their
father. See, the sun is hid from us by a
cloud; and it will soon be quite out of
sight. It will soon seem to sink into the
sea, and then it will be time for my little
boy and girl to go to bed."
So Mary, Alfred, and their father, left
their seat under the trees, and went down
the hill toward their home.
When they got into the road, they saw
a great boy leading a horse. The horse
was drawing a cart with a heavy load in
it. It was so heavy that it was hard work
for the horse to get along; and though he
seemed to use all his strength, he moved
This made the boy angry. He wished
the horse to go faster; and he lifted a great
stick which he had in his hand, and struck
the poor horse some very hard blows. He
struck him on the legs, and then on the
head; and spoke some very bad words.
Indeed he was in a passion.
Little Mary had a tender heart. She
did not like to see such cruelty. The
tears came to her eyes; and she said, It
is too bad for the boy to hit the horse so
Her father thought so too; and he stop-
ped to speak to the boy. He said, Pray
do not be angry with the horse, and do
not strike him. He is doing the best he
can to draw the heavy load."
The boy did not answer, but he seemed
ashamed to have been seen using the horse
GREAT TRUTHS. 33
Then their father put his hands into his
pocket, and took out some little books, and
gave one of them to the boy, and told him
he might have it for his own, and read it
when he had time to spare. But promise
me," he said, "that you will not beat your
horse again this evening."
The boy said he would not; and Mary,
Alfred, and their father, then left him.
GOD IS GOOD EVEN TO THOSE WHO ARE NOT
" FATHER, I think that boy was a very bad
boy to beat his poor horse so," said little
Alfred; and I would not have given him
Perhaps my little boy does not know
what he ought to do at all times. And
children are not able to judge what older
people should do. Do you think they are,
No, father; but will you tell us why
you gave a book to that cruel boy?"
"It was to soften his feelings. I hope
that as he found I was not angry with him,
but only sorry, and that I was ready to
do him a kindness, he too would feel a
little sorrow for having been cruel. The
little book I gave him is about cruelty to
animals. If he reads it, as I hope he will,
it may teach him better for another time.
It will tell him how displeased the great
and holy God is to see any one cruel to
the meanest of his creatures, and how
kind he is in bearing with them. Now,
will it not be a good thing if the cruel
boy can be taught this, and be made bet-
ter by it ?"
Yes, father," they both replied.
"Better than if I had scolded him, or
beaten him, would it not ?"
"0 yes, a great deal better."
Well, here we are nearly at home;
but there is one more great truth I should
like you to learn before you go to bed to-
God is very merciful to us. We do
not deserve any of the good things that he
gives us. We do so many things every
GREAT TRUTHS. 30
day to offend him, that if he were not very,
very kind and forgiving, we should lose
all our pleasures, and have nothing but
sorrow and pain in this world. But he
has pity on us; and so he teaches us to
have pity on those whom we see doing
wrong. The Bible tells us to be merci-
ful, because our Father in heaven is mer-
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
" FATHER, will you read about Joseph this
Mary asked this of her father one morn-
ing, when he had taken the Bible in his
Yes; if you will sit very still, I will
read a part of the history of Joseph." And
he did so.
Some more about Joseph this morning,
if you please, father," said Alfred, the next
day at breakfast time. And his father read
another part of Joseph's history. And he
read a part of it every morning until they
care to the end of it.
They liked to hear the story about Jo-
seph. They had heard it read in the nur-
sery; and their mother had read it to them,
and talked to them about it: and then they
wished that their father would read it.
It is all true, is it not?" Mary asked
"Yes, indeed; it is all true," he said.
"Every word of it?" said Alfred.
Yes, every word of it; for the Bible is
the word of truth, and everything that is
written there for truth, is true."
"Did God make the Bible?"
"God caused the words that are in the
Bible to be written. Do you not remem-
ber, Mary, trying to write a letter to
your mother when she was away from
Yes," said Mary; but I could not
write it till you held my hand."
"0, so I did. I put the pen in your
hand, and held your hand in mine, and
moved it along the paper, and so the
letter was written which was sent to
your mother. And she could read it; and
she said that it was my writing, and not
her little girl's."
So it was," said Mary; for you wrote
just how you pleased. I did nothing but
hold the pen; and I could not have done
that, if you had not helped me."
"Well, then, God caused holy men
to write just what it pleased him should
be written. By his Holy Spirit he put
words into their thoughts; and they could
no more write any other things than he
would have to be written, than you could
have written a letter to your mother with-
out help. Because of this, although the
Bible was written by men, we call it the
word of God."
ALL PEOPLE ARE BORN WITH HEARTS READY
IT was very naughty of Joseph's brothers
to use him so badly," said Mary to her
father. Her mind was full of what she had
heard about Joseph, so that she could not
soon forget it.
Yes," replied her father; they did
what was wrong, and this made God angry
with them. Do you know what made
them do wrong, and act so cruelly ?"
It was because Joseph's father loved
him the best, was it not ?" asked Alfred.
It was because of this that they first
began to dislike him; but this was not the
true cause of their bad conduct. I will
tell you what was at the beginning of
"Joseph's brothers had bad, naughty
hearts. They did not love God, nor care
to do what he told them. They had bad
thoughts and wishes. Envy and hatred,
and all kinds of bad feelings, were in their
minds; and they had not prayed to God
to take away these bad feelings, and to
give them good ones instead. So when
they saw that their father loved Joseph
better than themselves, they began at once
to hate him. There was nothing good in
their minds to put a stop to bad feelings
Let me tell you another great truth.
Joseph's brothers were not worse in their
hearts than other men: for all people are
born into the world with bad hearts. All
the sad and naughty things that are done
in the world, are done because the people
who live in the world have hearts ready for
sin. My little children were born with such
hearts. You are sometimes naughty, are
you not, Mary ?"
Yes, father, sometimes," the little girl
But if your heart were not bad, you
would never be naughty; you would never
wish to do what you know to be wrong.
You would always love to do what you
know to be right.
When we blame others for bad ac-
tions, we should not forget that we our-
selves often do what we ought not, and
that we, as well as they, were born with
hearts ready for sin."
GOD MADE MAN HOLY.
"I WILL tell you another great truth, if
you are not tired of what I am saying. Do
you remember what I told you, a few days
ago, about the great God who made all
Yes, you told us that he made the
world, and everything we can see."
Very true; he made every living thing
-angels and men, and all kinds of ani-
mals. Can you remember anything else I
told you about God ?"
You said that he was very kind to
Yes, very kind; and holy as well as
kind. Now do you think that a holy God
would make any creatures with such bad,
naughty hearts, as men have got-with
hearts which make them take delight in
doing such wicked things as God for-
I think not," said Mary. But how
was it, father ?"
GREAT TRUTHS. 41
Now listen. God made man holy. No
sin was in man at first; his thoughts and
his ways were all good. The man loved
God, and did everything to please him.
There was no sorrow in the world then,
nor crying, nor pain-for all was holy, like
God; and where there is no sin, there is
no sorrow. But man disobeyed his kind
and holy God. Then man's heart was
changed; instead of being holy, it became
bad: but it was bad by his own fault, and
not because God had made it so. But
God did not change, though man chang-
ed. He was still holy and kind. Some
other time I will tell you in what way
God was kind when the heart of man be-
THERE ARE NO LITTLE SINS.
" FATHER, I know something." So said
little Mary, when she went into her father's
room to wish him good night.
Do you? what do you know ?" repli-
ed her father.
I know who it was you told me about
this morning: it was Adam."
Very true; it was Adam. He was the
first man that God made; and Eve was
the first woman. They did what God had
told them not to do, and were no longer
holy; and their children were not born
with holy hearts. We are the children of
Adam and Eve, and all the people in the
world are their children; and sinful chil-
dren we all are. But can you tell me what
it was that Adam and Eve did, which God
had told them not to do ?"
Yes, father, I can," said Alfred; they
took some fruit from a tree that he had told
them not to touch."
I am glad you try to keep in mind
GREAT TRUTHS. 48
what you have been told: now will you
try and remember this-There are no little
sins? Our first parents might think it a
very small fault to take a little fruit from
a tree which they had been told not to
touch: but the sin was a great one, for
it was disobedience to the God who made
Will my little boy and girl always try
to think of this, every day they live ? Let
them never fancy that they may do any-
thing because it is only a little wrong: but
let them think that to do anything that God
has forbidden, is a very great sin. Good
THERE was a church near Mary and Al-
fred's home; and round the church was a
graveyard. The gates of the graveyard
were not kept locked; and there was a
broad foot-path through it, which led from
the road into some very pretty fields be-
yond. They often went through the grave-
yard into the fields; and sometimes their
father also went with them.
The windows of their house were placed
so that any one could see into the church-
yard; and so it often happened that when a
coffin was brought to it, to be put under
ground, they saw what was done.
Though they were young, they knew
what the long wooden boxes or coffins
held which were buried; for they had had
a little brother, younger than themselves,
and he had died, and was put into a coffin
Poor children! they cried sadly when
they lost their baby brother, whom they
dearly loved; and they could not bear the
thought that even his lifeless body should
be put away, never to be seen again.
But their parents had tried to give them
comfort by telling them that the spirit of
their little brother was gone to heaven, to
be happier there than it could ever have
been in the world. They had been also told
that if they were holy children, obeyed"
God, and loved the Lord Jesus Christ, they
would meet their brother in heaven, and
be happy with him for ever.
They were too young, at the time they
lost their brother, to understand all that
was told them: but they believed it; and
after a little time their sorrow became less.
Then they used to talk about little John,
and wonder what he was doing in heaven.
When they passed through the churchyard,
they often stopped at his grave, and spoke
about him. And when any visitors were
at their father's house, they liked to take
them into the churchyard, to show them
where their dear little brother John was
buried. And they never forgot to say,
" But John is in heaven now; and if we
are good, and love the Lord Jesus Christ,
we shall go there too when we die: then
we shall see John again, and never lose
him any more. And father and mother
will be there too, and then we shall be
very happy." These were the thoughts
of little children.
SIN MUST BE PUNISHED.
MARY and Alfred, with their father, walk-
ed through the churchyard, the day after
they had talked about Adam and Eve.
They stopped at the grave of dear John ;
and their father said, Do you know why
your brother's body was laid in the
Yes, father," replied the little girl; and
tears came into her eyes, for she could not
always think of dear John without crying.
" Yes," she said, "he was put in the grave
because he died."
But why did he die ?" her father asked
Because he had a bad illness, was it
not, father ?"
Yes, it was a painful illness, and the
dear little boy suffered very much. But
still I must ask you another question:
Why did your brother John have a bad
illness, and have much pain to bear !"
Both Mary and Alfred were puzzled.
"Then I will tell you. If there had
been no sin in the world, there would have
been no pain, nor illness, nor death. But
it is the law and will of God that sin ast
be punished; and death is one of the
punishments of sin. Your dear little John
died because he was born of sinfu parents,
and had a sinful nature. Thsisi the true
reason why all must die; ald it proves to
us, every day, that God is angry with sin,
and will punish it. This is only one of
the ways in which the just and holy God
will punish sin. All the sorrows we have
48 GREAT TRUTHS.
to bear in this world come upon us be-
cause of our sinful nature.
But this is not the worst. After the
body is dead, the soul, which never dies,
can be punished too; and we are told in
the Bible, by God himself, that all sinful
souls will be punished. They will not go
to heaven to be happy; but will be shut
up in hell, where all will be sadness and
THE BEST OF ALL GREAT TRUTHS.
POOR Mary! The tears fell fast from her
eyes, and she felt great distress, when her
father talked about sin being punished.
Her father saw this; and he did not
wish that she should remain sad. So he
said, We will walk on into the fields,
away from the graves of the dead, and
then I will tell you and Alfred something
to cheer you. I will tell you the best
great truth of all."
Then they walked into the fields; and
as they went, Mary's tears dried up. Per-
GREAT TRUTHS. 49
haps she knew what great and happy
truth it was her father was going to tell
her; for no doubt she had heard it before.
But some truths cannot be too often told,
nor too much thought about.
I wish to ask you a question. You
have often heard me and your dear mo-
ther, and others, speak and read about the
Lord Jesus Christ, have you not ?"
Yes, father," said Mary; very often."
"Well, then, can you tell me who the
Lord Jesus Christ is?"
Yes; he is the Son of God."
Then, my dear little girl, the best great
truth that ever was known by men is, that
the Lord Jesus Christ, God's own dear
Son, came into the world to save such sin-
ners as we are from going to hell.
Now listen, and I will try to make
this great truth plain to you.
God had said, If the men whom I
have made, sin against me, they must be
punished. They must have sorrow in the
world; their bodies must die; and their
souls must be shut out from my heaven.
Our first parents, Adam and Eve,
knew what God had said; yet they did
sin against him. Then God said, My
vwrd cannot be broken. Man must be
punished. All who sin must suffer; and
their bodies must die. But I will save
their souls from going down to the pit of
hell. I have found One to suffer instead
of them. My dear Son shall go into the
world, and live there as a man. He shall
bear the punishment for sin. His soul
shall suffer, and his body shall die; and
so my word will not be broken. I shall
be a just God; and I shall be a Saviour
too: for whoever shall love my dear Son,
and trust in him, shall be saved. I will
give new hearts to them, and right spirits;
and make them fit to come to heaven, and
dwell with me for ever.
So the Lord Jesus Christ came into
the world. He lived as a man, and died
upon the cross, and rose again, and is
gone to heaven, to prepare places for them
who love and serve him. And if we love
and serve him, he will prepare a place in
heaven for us. Is not this the best of all
great truths ?"
THE CROWN OF THORNS.
THE father of Mary and Alfred did not, at
that time, say any more about the best
great truth-the love of God. He knew
that young children are apt to become
tired of hearing much at a time of any-
thing: and he would have been very sorry
to weary their young minds; so he began
to talk about other things.
There was a small pond in one of the
fields; and on the banks of the pond grew
some long rushes. He pulled up some
of these, and said that, when he was a
boy, he was very fond of plaiting rushes,
and making little baskets with them.
I had a dear sister," he said; and we
used to go into the fields, and gather such
rushes as these; and once, I remember,
we made a bonnet for her doll with them."
O,father!" said Alfred; "thatwas nice."
"And I should like to have such a bon-
net for my doll," said Mary. "Will you
please make me one ?"
"I cannot make it here, for I should
want a needle and thread. I tell you what
I will do. I wi:! plait some rows for you
to take home; and then we will ask your
mother to sew them together."
So they sat down, and Mary looked on
while her father worked.
When enough had been plaited, Mary's
father made a little crown of rushes, and
put it on her head; for she had taken off
her bonnet. Mary was so pleased with
this, that she wished to wear it all the way
home, and that her father should carry the
bonnet in his hand. But he said, No, I
had rather you should wear your bonnet;
and I will carry the crown, if you please."
And so it was settled.
There was a bramble-bush growing
near; and some long branches, covered
with sharp thorns, hung across the path.
Mary's frock was caught by one of these
branches, and her father had to set her
free from it.
How should you like a crown made
of such a branch as this ?" he asked, as he
held it back, out of Mary's way.
GREAT TRUTHS. O5
Not at all, father; it would prick, and
tear me, and hurt me, and make me bleed."
"I think it would. I should be very
sorry to hurt you; I would rather be hurt
myself. Does my little girl know who
once wore a crown of thorns ?"
"It was Jesus," the little girl answered.
LITTLE CHILDREN MAY GO TO TIE LORD
MARY and Alfred always liked to go into
their father's room to wish him good night
before they went to bed. And, unless he
were very busy, he used to take them for
a minute or two, and say a few words to
That night, when they sat by his side,
lie asked them if they could remember
what they had talked about in the church-
yard and the fields.
Alfred told him it was about the Lord
It was," replied his father. And can
you tell me where Jesus is now?"
"He is in heaven," said the little girl.
"Is he nowhere else ?" asked her father
and Mary said that she did not know.
"He is on earth too," her father told
her. "He is God as well as man: for
he, and his Father, and the Holy Spirit,
are one God. This is why he is able to
save sinners, and to bless all who come
But you look as though you did not
know what coming to him means. You
have been taught to say a little prayer;
sometimes you have knelt down by me.
You may to-night: but I hope you will
think of what you are saying."
The children then knelt by their father,
and used the few simple words that they
had been taught to speak in prayer. I
think their father prayed too, while they
were on their knees.
When they had done, their father said,
"Now, my dear children, if you really have
meant the words you have spoken, you
have come to Jesus Christ. All who pray
sincerely to him, and who believe from
their heart that he is able to pardon and
bless them, are said to go to him. And he
has said that he will not cast out any that
go to him.
I will tell you another great truth,
which should make your heart glad when
you think of it. Little children may go to
the Lord Jesus Christ. He has said they
may. Once, when he was on earth, some
parents brought their children to him, that
he might lay his hands on them, and bless
them. Some grown people who stood by,
said, Take the children away. But the
kind and gentle Son of God said, 'Suffer
the little children to come unto me, and
forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom
THERE was a tap at the door one morning.
The father of Mary and Alfred was almost
sure he heard a tap at his room door; but
it was so gentle that he was not quite sure,
So he listened, but did not speak.
Then he heard another tap, a little loud-
er. This time he was quite sure; and he
said, Come in."
The door was opened, and in came the
little boy and girl. 0, father," they said,
" we have learned how to open your door
now, so you need not get up another time
when we knock."
"I see you can open the door," said
their father; "but what is that you have got
in your hand, Alfred?"
0, do not you know ? I am four years
old to-day; and this is a piece of my birth-
Jay cake. I brought it for you."
And the birthday cake was very nice, for
Alfred's mother had made it. His father
said it was very nice while he was eating
it; and this pleased the little boy. It
would have been very sad if the birthday
cake had been spoiled in making or in
I had not forgotten your birthday, Al-
fred. Fathers do not often forget such
days. I have not a plum-cake to give
GREAT TRUTHS. 57
you; but I think I can find a little book
for a birthday gift. You can read a few
words now: perhaps before another birth-
day comes you will have read the book
all through; and then I will give you a
Alfred asked his father to write his name
in the book, and said that he would read
some of it to his mother that day.
"Alfred," said his father, I have been
thinking since I spoke my last words to
you, not half a minute ago, that I did
not think rightly of what I was saying.
Do you remember what it was I said ?"
You said you would give me a larger
book next birthday, father."
Yes: but it may be that my little son
will not live to see another birthday. Will
Alfred try to remember this truth? A little
boy only four years old is not too young
"I hope I shall go to heaven when I
die," said Alfred.
Then I hope my dear child will go to
Jesus now," replied his father.
A VERY few days after Alfred's birthday,
there was a great storm. It began in the
night. Mary and Alfred had not been
disturbed, for children sleep soundly. But
their father and mother had heard the
wind, and the rain, and the thunder, and
seen the bright, sharp lightning, for many
When Mary and Alfred were taken out
of bed to be dressed, they were almost
frightened at the loud rolling thunder; and
they thought they had never before seen
such heavy rain as there then was. The
road in front of their window was like a
The wind, too, blew very hard indeed
They heard it as it roared in the chim-
neys; and fancied they felt the house
shake. They were very glad when they
were ready to go down stairs to their pa-
From the breakfast-room they could see
into the garden. Only the day before they
had admired the lilies which grew in the
flower-borders, with their tall stalks, and
fine large heads: but now they saw that
they were blown down by the wind, and
beaten by the rain, so that their beauty
was quite gone. They grieved over the
And still the rain came down, and the
wind blew; and though the lightning was
not so sharp, nor the thunder so loud, as
they had been in the night, they were
sharp and loud enough to make Mary and
Alfred feel more serious than usual. They
had but little mind for play.
At breakfast time their father spoke to
them of the goodness of God, in sending
storms to clear the air, and make it more
pure and healthful: and of his mercy in
keeping them all safe through the night.
He told them how easy it would be for
God to send a storm that might destroy a
whole country in an hour, if he chose to
do so. But he did not forget also to tell
his children, that all persons who love God
are safe from every storm; that nothing
can really hurt them: for if their heavenly
Father sees fit that they shall live, no storm
can touch them; and when he sees fit for
them to die, by storms or in any other way,
it is only to take their happy souls home to
DANGER OUGHT NOT TO KEEP US FROM DUTY.
ABOUT noon the storm was gone. The
wind had sunk; the rain had ceased to
fall; and no more thunder or lightning
was heard or seen. Instead of these, the
sun appeared from behind the clouds, and
shone so brightly that the road already
began to look dry; and the little birds,
which had been still and silent all the
morning, flew from tree to tree, and filled
the air with their cheerful songs.
Mary and Alfred were very glad that the
storm was gone.
But while they were happy, their parents
had heard news which made them sad. A
man had come to tell them that the poor
women and children at the cottages by the
sea were in great distress: for the fisher-
men had all gone to sea the night before,
in their boats, to catch fish; and now only
one of the boats could be seen. It was
feared that the others had been sunk by the
storm, and that the poor men were drown-
ed : and the boat that could be seen look-
ed as though it could not be brought to the
When Alfred and Mary's father heard
this, he put on some rough clothes, such as
sailors wear. He did not know that he
could be of any use; but he thought it was
his duty to try. He had been a sailor, you
remember; so he knew what the dangers
of the sea were: and he thought that he
might assist the poor men who were in
Mary cried when her father was going.
She begged of him not to go on the sea in
a boat, lest he should be drowned. He
kissed his little girl and said, I will pro-
mise you to take care of myself, and not
to get into needless danger. But remem-
ber what I told you this morning. And
remember another great truth, my dear
Mary: it is our duty to do all the good we
can to our fellow-creatures; and danger
ought not to keep us from it."
The father and mother then spoke toge-
ther for a single minute; then he kissed
his little girl and boy again, and said,
" Good by," and walked very fast toward
THE SAFE RETURN.
MARY and Alfred had seen their father in
his sailor's clothes before this day. Some-
times in the summer he had taken his chil-
dren and their mother into a boat on the
sea. Then he wore his sailor's jacket and
cap; and they laughed to see him dressed
so like a fisherman. But now they did not
laugh: their minds were full of alarm at
the thought that he would venture on the
rough sea, after such a storm. Their mother
had much to do to keep them from being
very sad indeed.
GREAT TRUTHS. 68
It was a long time before their father re-
turned. He did not come home to din-
ner; and when the supper hour was come,
their father was still absent.
Do let me stay up a little longer, mo-
ther?" said Mary, when bed-time was
come: perhaps my father will come home
And Alfred said, I do want to see him
before I go to bed."
Their mother replied that they might;
and they stood at the window to watch for
At length, just as their mother had said
to them, "Come, my dears, you really
must go now," they shouted out, He is
coming; father is coming." And they ran
out of the room, and out of the house, into
the road, to meet him.
Yes, it really was their father. He
caught them up in his arms, and said,
" What! are not my little girl and boy in
No; for mother said we might stay.
But, 0 father, how wet your clothes are!
How did you get them so wet ?"
64 GREAT TRUTHS.
( I will tell you all about it to-morrow,"
he replied. But I must not keep you
from your pillow any longer. Thank you,
though, for thinking about me when I was
By this time they were at home, and
they were now very willing to go to bed.
Only they did not forget to ask, before
they went, Were the poor fishermen
drowned in the sea, father ?"
No, indeed, they were not. I am happy
to say they are now all safe."
END OF VOLUME I.
31 Simple WUorbs,
I. THE WALK TO THE SEA .. 5
II. THE FISHERMEN IN DANGER ... 7
III. THANKSGIVING . . 11
IV. THE GOODNESS OF GOD SHOULD LEAD
TO REPENTANCE . .15
V. WHAT IS REPENTANCE . .. 17
VI. JESUS CHRIST IS LORD OF ALL THINGS 18
VII. THE QUARRELSOME CHILDREN. 20
VIII. IT IS VERY SINFUL TO QUARREL AND
FIGHT . . . 23
IX. WHAT IS SIN ..... . 26
X. THE WAY TO BE FRIENDS WprH GOD 29
XI. THE WORLD IS NOT OUR HOME 30
XII. THE PEOPLE OF GOD, AND THE PEOPLE
OF THE WORLD 33
XIII. TRUTH ..... 36
XIV. GOD IS A OD OF TRT . .. 40
XV. WHAT WE SHOULD PRAY FOR .. 43
XVI. THE STRAWBERRIES . 45
XVII. THE TOWN HALL . .. .51
XVIII. THE GREAT DAY OF JUDGMENT 58
THE WALK TO THE SEA.
" WOULD you like to take a walk with me
and' your mother this morning?" their
father asked Alfred and Mary,when break.
fast was over.
S0 yes, father, if you please, they both
The children did not lose any time.
They ran into the nursery; and soon came
back quite ready for the walk. Their
father was also ready : and they all set out
Which way are we going, father?"
To the top of the hill, and then to the
O, I am so glad," said the little girl:
"then you will tell us all about yesterday;
and we can look at the sea while father is
It was a fine, pleasant morning, only the
wind was rather strong. It had not quite
sunk since the storm. Some parts of the
road were wet; but they did not mind
this, for they had on their thick shoes, and
their father lifted them over the worst
They soon got to the top of the hill, and
found that their favorite seats were dry;
so they sat down to rest.
The sea was not so smooth and quiet
as when they last saw it. Large and high
waves were rolling in upon the shore, and
dashing their white spray high up in the
GREAT TRUTHS. 7
air. The noise made by the waves was
so great, that Mary and Alfred, and their
father, had to talk louder than usual, to
make each other hear. But the children
were not afraid of the sea, they were so
high above it; and they liked to hear the
roaring noise it made.
Now, father, if you please," they said,
"will you tell us about yesterday; and
how you got so wet ?"
THE FISHERMEN IN DANGER.
" WHEN I came to the cottages, yesterday,
I found what the man had told me was
true. The poor women were in distress;
and only one boat could be seen on the
sea. The sea, too, was very rough indeed;
much more so than it is now. There
were a few men on the shore, looking at
the boat on the sea."
But, father," the little girl asked, why
did the men go on the sea when there
was such a storm ?"
My dear, they went before the storm
began. The fishermen often go out in
their boats in the evening, and remain on
the sea all night, to carry fish in their nets.
They had done so this time; and the
storm did not come on till the middle of
Well, the boat that we saw on the sea
was tossed about by the waves, and we
feared that the poor fishermen had been
washed into the sea, when the storm was
so high. But while we were saying this
-0, joy!-we saw a little sail spread;
and the boat came nearer and nearer to
the shore, till we could see that all was
right. There were three men in the boat;
and it would have done your heart good
to see the wives of these poor men, and
their children, run quite in among the
waves to welcome them home, even be-
fore the boat could be drawn up upon the
beach. You may be sure that the men
on the shore helped as much as they
could; and the poor fishermen needed
help: they had escaped the dangers of the
storm, but they were sadly tired.
"But this was only one boat. Where
were the other two ? The men who were
come home could not tell: they had not
seen them since the storm began. So,
while some of the poor women were full
of joy that their husbands had come safely
home, others were sobbing bitterly for fear
theirs were lost.
"But it pleased our heavenly Father to
turn their sorrow to joy. The first boat
had not long been safe on shore, when a
man who had a spy-glass, and was look-
ing through it on the sea, cried out that he
could see something like a boat. We all
looked where he pointed, and saw a little
black speck. He spoke again, and said
that it was a boat he saw; but it was
bottom upward. Then he put the glass
in my hands, and I looked through it.
Yes, it was too true-the boat was bot-
tom upward; but I thought I saw some-
thing on it which might be a man. There
was no time to lose. Another boat was
soon pushed into the sea; and six men
got into it."
Did you get in, father?" 2
"Yes, Mary, I was one of the six."
Ah, then, that is why your clothes were
so wet," said the little girl. And did
you get to the boat that was bottom up-
Yes, I am happy to say we did; and
we got to it just in time to save the poor
fishermen from being drowned. There
were two of them on the boat, clinging to
it; but their strength was nearly gone.
The wind had upset their boat; and they
had been many hours in great danger, and
almost without hope. You may be quite
sure that we rowed very hard, to get
to them as quickly as we could; and
you may be sure, too, that we were all
very glad when we reached the beach
again with the two poor, half-drowned
And the other boat, father ? you said
there were three."
"Yes; and this kept me so long last
night: for I did not leave the seaside un-
til the third boat was seen; and then I
waited a little longer, and saw the fisher-
men come safely to land. And happy did
GREAT TRUTHS. 11
I leave them all-fishermen, wives, and
children; for though they had caught no
fish, and perhaps had lost a boat, and had,
some of them, been in great danger, there
were no lives lost in the storm.
And now we will go to the cottages,
and ask after the poor men who were so
long in the water, clinging to their boat."
MARY and Alfred ran on before their fa-
ther; for they well knew the way to the
fishermen's cottages. As they got near,
they saw some of the men busy mending
their sails and nets.
They first went to see the men who had
been so near drowning. They had been
taken care of by their wives, and were
able to walk about. They said that they
should be able to go to sea again in a day
But how could they go without their
"0, the boat was not lost It had been
looked after and found, and brought to
shore; and was not much the worse for
having been turned over."
The father of Mary and Alfred was glad
to hear this, for he knew that the men
would have been in great distress if their
boat had been lost.
And how thankful were they all to their
father for the help he had given in saving
the poor men! Mary and Alfred heard
what was said; and it made themrvery
glad. They were glad, then, that their
father had not been afraid of danger when
he could help others.
But he told the fishermen that he hoped
they had not forgotten to thank Him who
had indeed saved them from danger and
from death. He told them that unless
God had helped them, the help of any
man would have been vain. He begged
them to remember the great truth, that it is
God who saves us from.danger every day
that we live, whether on land or on sea.
He had not forgotten to take with him his
pocket Bible; and he asked all the men
if they could spare time to hear a few
verses from it read to them.
They said, 0 yes, they would like to
hear him read;" and they came round
him, and so did the women and children.
It was pleasant to see so many happy
faces, where, only a day before, there had
been so much distress.
The verses, from the Psalms, that were
read, were these :-
0 that men would praise the Lord for
his goodness, and for his wonderful works
to the children of men!
They that go down to the sea in ships,
that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord, and
his wonders in the deep.
"For he commandeth, and raiseth the
stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves
They mount up to the heaven, they
go down again to the depths: their soul is
melted because of trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like
a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.
Then they cry unto the Lord in their
trouble, and he bringeth them out of their
He maketh the storm a calm, so that
the waves thereof are still.
"Then are they glad because they be
quiet; so he bringeth them unto their de-
O that men would praise the Lord for
his goodness, and for his wonderful works
to the children of men!"
After he had spoken a few words to the
fishermen, and begged them again not to
forget that it is God who alone has power
to save from danger in this world, and
from that anger in the next world which
GREAT TRUTHS. 15
we all deserve because of our sins, he
shook hands with them, and walked up
the hill again with Mary and Alfred.
THE GOODNESS OF GOD SHOULD LEAD TO
"DID you understand what I read out of
the Bible ?" said Alfred's father.
"I think I did, a little of it," said Mary.
"Then I hope my little girl, and my
little boy too, will not forget that little.
Those men whom you saw to-day alive
and well, might have been sunk deep in
the sea, if it had not been for the mercy
and goodness of God. And their poor
wives and children would then have been
in very great distress and sorrow. I fear
some of them will not think so much of
this mercy as they ought.
"Some people never think of God as
they ought. Indeed, they do not often
think of him at all, except when they are
in great trouble. This is very sad, and
shows a bad heart within.
Some people are almost always doing
what they know God has told them not to
do in his word, and they never think of
doing as he bids them; and yet, when
they see danger, they begin to cry to God
for help. You do not think that this can
be right, do you? It is right to ask for
God's help at all times; and to pray to
him, and praise him every day. But if
we will only do this when we are in trou-
ble, and at all other times are sinning
against him, we ought not to expect him
to hear us.
And yet I wish my little children to
know, that God is so kind and pitiful, that
he often helps even bad people when they
are in trouble, and ask his help. Some-
times this goodness leads men to repent
of their sinful lives, and to ask pardon, for
the sake of Jesus, the Son of God, who
came into the world to save sinners.
Will you remember this truth-The
goodness of God is meant to lead sinners
to repentance ?"
WHAT IS REPENTANCE?
" I DO not think you know what repent-
ance means. It is a hard word for such
little children. Then I will tell you. Do
you remember, Mary, a little girl who was
very naughty one day last week? She
was in a sad passion because Ann M- "
Mary did not wait to hear the rest; for
she well knew of whom her father was
It was I," she said; but I will not
do so again."
Yes, it was you, Mary and though
your father and mother were grieved that
their dear child had done wrong, they
were glad when she came to them after-
ward, and said she was very sorry for what
she had done, and would try to be a better
girl in future. We had no doubt that you
vwre sincere when you said this; and so
we said you had repented.
And when men feel truly sorry for
having done evil, and sinned against their
kind Father in heaven, we say they re-
pent; and we call their sorrow, repent-
ance. Does Mary understand now what
repentance means ?"
Yes, father," she said.
Then there are two things more that I
wish you and Alfred to remember. You
will try, will you not? The first thing is
that God has promised to forgive all who
truly repent; and the other thing is, that
those who truly repent, will be very care-
ful not to do wrong afterward."
JESUS CHRIST IS LORD OF ALL THINGS.
"Now we will sit for a minute or two on
our seat under the trees; and while we are
in sight of the sea, I will tell you a story
of a storm. There was once a ship on a
On this sea, father ?" asked Alfred.
"No, not on this sea. It was a long
way off, in another part of the world. The
ship that I am speaking of had not been
GREAT TRUTHS. 19
long on the sea; and when it first set sail,
the sea was very smooth and calm."
"Were there fishermen in it?" Mary
There were some in it who were fish-
ermen, and others who were not. They
did not go on the sea, at this time, to
catch fish; but to go to the other side of
the sea. But before they had been long
on it, a great storm came on. The wind
blew very hard, and the waves rose so
high that the ship was covered with the
waves. The men thought they were in
great danger, and began to be very much
afraid. But though the storm was so high,
there was one person in the ship who had
no fear; he was quietly sleeping in one
part of the ship, and the storm did not in
the least disturb him. Then the men came
to the one who was sleeping, and woke
him. They thought that if any one could
save them, it was he who could do it; and
they said to him, Lord, save us: we per-
ish.' The person then rose, and as he
looked at the sea, he said, Peace, be still.'
And as soon as he had said these words
the wind sunk, and the waves were at
rest: 'there was a great calm.'
Do my dear little boy and girl guess
who this person could be, who was obeyed
by the wind and the waves ?"
"Who was it, father ?"
"It was the Lord Jesus Christ; and the
men were his disciples.
How kind was Jesus to attend to the
cries of those who were in trouble, and to
send away their fears! And how power-
ful his word must have been, that even a
storm should obey him!
This is the reason-and it is a great
and glorious truth-Jesus Christ is Lord
of all things."
THE QUARRELSOME CHILDREN.
THERE was a cottage not a great way
from Mary and Alfred's home, and in that
cottage lived two boys and two girls, with
their father and mother.
It was not a happy family; for the chil-
dren often quarreled, and called each other
GREAT TRUTHS. 21
very bad names; and, too often, they also
fought with one another.
Sometimes, when Mary and Alfred were
at play in their garden, they could hear the
loud cries of these children; and they,
more than once, had seen them in the
road, beating and throwing each other in
the dirt. It made them sad to see and
hear these things. They thought, and in-
deed they said to their father one day," If
our dear little brother John had lived, we
would not have hurt him, and been cross
Once these quarrelsome children were
at play; and one of the girls struck her
elder brother with her hand, and then ran
away. The boy then picked up a large
pebble which was in the road, and ran after
his sister. He was in a very great passion;
and as he ran, he cried out that he would
kill her. This frightened the little girl
very much; for she knew that her brother
was stronger than she, and she knew that
he would not care what harm he did,
while his passion lasted. So she ran away
from him as fast as she could. But her
brother ran still faster; and he would have
caught her too, if she had not run into the
garden where Mary was with her father.
She ran to them, and said, O, do not let
my wicked brother come near me: he
will kill me!"
The boy had run after his sister, quite
into the garden, before he saw Mary's
father; and then he stopped, and would
have gone back, if Mary's father had not
said, "Put down that stone, Henry, and
Henry did as he was bid: he was afraid
to run away; but he walked very slowly.
At length he reached the place; and
Mary's father took him by one hand, and
his little sister by the other, and went with
them into a garden arbor: and there he
talked with them. Mary and Alfred went
too, and heard what their father said.
IT IS VERY SINFUL TO QUARREL AND FIGHT.
MARY and Alfred's father had always been
very kind to the -children in the cottage.
He had often given them little books to
read: sometimes he gave them money
for going on errands, or for weeding his
garden; and when he met them, he used
to speak pleasantly to them. This is why
they were willing to go with him now.
He sat down in the arbor, and placed
the little girl beside him, while her brother
stood on the other side of his knee.
What were you going to do with that
large stone you had in your hand, Henry ?"
he said to the boy.
Lucy hit me," he said; "she is al-
ways hitting me."
Yes; but what were you going to do
with the stone ?"
He said he would kill me!" said Lucy.
I see how it is; you have been quar-
Then Henry and Lucy both of them
24 GREAT TRUTHS.
began to lay the blame upon each other.
Mary's father heard what they had to say,
and then he talked to them.
He told them what a sad thing it is for
brothers and sisters to disagree, and fight
each other. He put them in mind of
Cain, who was so wicked as to kill his
brother Abel. And he also told them of
a little boy whom he once knew, who
struck his younger brother in anger, and
Then he said this to Henry: "Now
suppose you had caught your sister while
you were so angry with her, do you think
you would really have struck her with that
Henry did not answer.
"I am afraid you would have done so,"
said Mary's father; and one blow of your
angry arm, with such a heavy thing in your
hand, might at once indeed have killed
her. Now, instead of being here safe,
your sister might now be lying on the
road, with blood streaming from her head,
not able to speak or to move. Is this a
sight you would like to see, Henry ?"
GREAT TRUTHS. 25
The boy burst into tears: he did not like
to think of what he might have done; and
he said he was very sorry.
Then he spoke to Lucy. He told her
how very wrong it is to do anything to
provoke another and that he was sorry
she should lift her little hand to strike a
brother, even though she did not mean to
hurt him much.
She also said that she was sorry; and
she began to cry.
Then he told them that they ought to
confess their sin to God, and ask pardon
of him; and to ask his help to keep them
from being so naughty in future. He told
them that if they were to live in peace
with each other, they would be much
more happy than they ever had been; and
that the great God, who sees all things,
takes notice of children who live in love,
and is pleased with them. But he is an-
gry every day with the quarrelsome, and
says that where he is they cannot come.
Let us hear," said he, "what the Bible
says to you. These are the words of God:
'Little children, love one another.' He
26 GREAT TRUTHS.
that loveth not his brother, abideth in
death.' 'Whoso hateth his brother is a
murderer.' My little children, let us not
love in word, neither in tongue; but in
deed and in truth.'"
He then led Henry and Lucy out of the
garden, and they went home together in
WHAT IS SIN?
"Do my little Mary and Alfred know
what sin is ?" Mary and Alfred were sit-
ting on their shady bank in the green fields,
with their father, when he asked this ques-
Yes, Mary thought she did know: Sin
is anything naughty," she said.
But how do you know what is naugh-
ty, and what is not?" her father again
It is naughty to be angry, and not to
do what you and my mother bid me; and
to say bad words."
Yes; but, my dear little girl, that is
not an answer to my question. How do
you know that such things are naughty ?"
"Because you have told me so, father."
"Has no one else told you so?"
"Yes, my mother has; and so has
"But no one else ?" her father asked.
"I do not know," said Mary.
Then listen, and I will tell you who
else has said so; and who it is that tells
us what is sin. I will first tell you what is
meant by sin. It is doing anything that
God forbids us, and not doing what he
God has said that we ought to love
him with all our hearts; and if we do not
so love him, we sin against him. He has
told us to love and obey our parents; and
if we do not, that also is sin.
God has told us to be kind to all; and
if we are ever unkind to any one, it is sin.
He has told us of many things which we
ought not to do. We must not steal, or
take what is not our own; we must not
take God's name in vain; we must not
28 GREAT TRUTHS.
wish for anything that belongs to another
person; we must not let vain and silly
thoughts be in our minds. If we do any
of these things, it is sin against God.
It is God who tells us what sin really
is. He has given us his holy word to teach
us these things. It is the Bible which
makes us wise to know what sin is. With-
out that, we should be very ignorant. Do
you not remember that I once told you of
some poor people who had no Bibles, and
who were very wicked?"
"Yes, father; the people who pray to
idols, you mean."
Well, we should not know better than
they, if we had not God's word to teach
us. How glad ought we to be, who have
Bibles to tell us what is sin! But do
my little girl and boy never sin against
Mary and Alfred were afraid they some-
"And if we sin against him, what will
They could not quite answer that ques-
tion, so their father answered it for them.
GREAT TRUTHS. 29
He said, God will either punish us, or
forgive us. If he punish us, it will be be-
cause our sins deserve punishment, and
we have not repented of them, and come
to Christ for pardon; and if he forgive us,
it will be for the sake of the Lord Jesus
THE WAY TO BE FRIENDS WITH GOD.
" I WILL tell you a little story of a child
not much older than you. She had some-
times been naughty; and she felt that she
was a sinner against God's holy law. This
made her sad.
But, one day, she was seen to be very
happy. Her eyes were' bright with joy;
and she seemed as though she could
scarcely bear the pleasure she felt, it was
so great. Some person asked the little girl
why she, who had been so sad, was now
0,' she said, it is because I am so
But, why are you happy ?' she was
asked; and then she replied,
"'God was angry with me, and that
made me sad; but now I trust that he has
Was not this enough to make a child
happy? to feel that God and she were
Yes;" Mary thought it was quite
Then will my dear children be friends
with God too ? The way to be so is to
ask kind, and gentle, and loving Jesus, to
be our friend and Saviour. Then, if
Jesus is our friend, God will be our friend
too; for Christ and God are one."
THE WORLD IS NOT OUR HOME.
O, FATHER, when shall we get home ?"
said Alfred. He had been out to walk
with his father. It was a long walk for a
little boy; he felt tired, and he wished to
be at home. O, when shall we reach
home ?" he asked again and again.
We shall soon be home now," said
his father; I can see the chimneys of the
house, and the old oak-tree that is beside it.
See there they are."
And he lifted up his little boy, that he
might see the chimneys and the tree.
When Alfred was in his arms, he did
not wish to get down again. Will you
carry me a little way, father ?" he said.
Yes; I will carry you all the rest of
the way, if you will put your arm round
my neck. You have put me in mind of
something," said his father, and I will
tell you my thoughts. There is another
home to which both of us are going. Do
you know what I mean "
"No, father," said Alfred; we have not
another home, have we ?"
Yes, indeed, we have. The house we
are going to is not really our home."
O, father!" the little boy replied; "but
we always live there, do we not ?"
Yes, Alfred; but we shall not live al-
ways in that house."
I do not want to leave it," said Al-
fred, very mournfully; it is a very nice
But we shall not live always in the
world, Alfred; and where will our home
be then ?
The world is not our home. Do not
forget this great truth. Our real home
is in the world to come, where our souls
will go when our bodies die, and where we
shall live for ever.
There are two homes for all who live
in this world. One is a very happy home,
and its name is heaven. The other is a
very sad home, and its name is hell. All
who love the Lord Jesus Christ have their
home in heaven, where he is. But all
who die without their sins being pardoned,
have their home th hell, where all is sin
and sorrow. Which home would you like
Alfred said he would like heaven for his
"I think you would," said his father.
" It would be sad to think of having a
home only in hell to go to at last. We will
ask God to make you fit for a home in
heaven. Then you will not be sorry to
know that the world is not to be your
home. But let us be thankful that we have
so pleasant a place in this world, that we
may call our home for a little while: here
we are close to it, you see."
THE PEOPLE OF GOD, AND THE PEOPLE OF
MARY was looking at a book in her
father's room, in which were pictures of
dark Indians, and darker Negroes; of Jews
and Turks; and of many others, more
than I can now think of. The little girl
was much pleased with these pictures;
and she asked the question,-
How many sorts of people are there in
the world ?"
Only two!" her father replied.
0, father; there are a great many in
this book-more than two, I am sure."
"Ah, my little girl does not mean the
VO.. II.- 3
54 GREAT TRUTHS.
same thing that I do. There are more sorts
of people in the world than I can name,
who live in countries far from each other;
wear clothes of different fashions; and
speak in different languages, so that one
would not be able to understand what an-
other is saying. But, in the way I mean,
there are only two sorts of people in the
world. I will tell you about this.
One sort of people are they who do not
love God, nor serve him-whose sinful
hearts have never been made holy. These
people are called the children of the world.
They are called so because they love the
world, and the things that are in the world.
They are also called the children of the
wicked one; because Satan, the wicked
enemy of God, is their master and leader
in sin. They are unhappy people, because
though they love the world very much,
they know that they shall not always live
in it; and though they love sin, they have
to bear the punishment of sin. God is
angry with them every day.
The other sort of people are they who
do love God, and serve him. Their hearts
have been changed, so that they love the
good things they once hated, and hate the
had things they once loved. These people
are called the children of God. God loves
them, and protects them, and blesses
them. He takes care of them while they
are in this world; and when they die he
takes them to heaven, to be happy with him
Now there are only these two sorts of
people in the world: for those who are not
the children of God, are the children of the
world and of Satan. To which of these two
families would my dear children choose to
I should like to be a child of God,"
"And so should I," said Alfred.
And Alfred and Mary's father hoped
that they would indeed be children of God.
He prayed that his dear children might be
taken into God's family, to be holy and
useful while they lived, and to be taken to
heaven when they should die.
MARY was in the nursery. She heard her
father call her; but she did not seem so
willing to go to him as she often was. It
was not till Ann had said to her, Mary,
do you not hear that you are called ?" that
she left what she was doing, and went
slowly out of the room.
Was it because she did not like being
called away from her playthings that she
went so slowly? We shall see.
Mary, Mary!" her father called again,
rather louder than before; and this time the
little girl answered, and came where he was.
He took her by the hand, and led her
into his own room: then he said to her
kindly, Did you come here this morning,
while I was out walking ?"
The little girl did not answer at first.
She looked up at her father; she looked
round the room; and then she looked down
at the carpet. If she had seen her own
face in a glass at that moment, she would