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MY LITTLE CHILDREN, THE intention of this story is to make you acquainted, in an agreeable manner, with many of those awful mysteries of our holy religion, the knowledge of which is necessary to your

salvation. You do not yet know what it is that has separated you from your

God :

: nor do you fully understand what it was that induced the Lord our Redeemer to descend from heaven for the purpose of assuming our nature, and dying upon the cross. You have, perhaps, never yet been informed that the sin of man's heart is very great, very prevalent, and very hateful ; and that, except it be overcome, it will subject him to everlasting perdition.

Many long sermons have been preached, and many learned volumes have been written, in order both to describe the nature of this sin, and to guard us against its influence : but little children cannot understand these grave and elaborate discourses. I have therefore written for your instruction on this subject a story about some little children, who, like yourselves, were born in a state of sin. And in this story I have personified the sin of our nature, and introduced it as the constant companion of these children.

The relation is given under the form of a dream, the various incidents of which are so contrived as to show


how incessantly sin assaults even those who are truly devoted to God, and what unhappiness it causes them from the beginning to the end of their days.

Through the whole of this dream, the present life is compared to a pilgrimage, which signifies a journey undertaken for some pious purpose ; and in every part of it especial care has been taken distinctly to mark the straight and only way to the kingdom of heaven,-viz. the Lord Jesus Christ, who himself hath said, “I the

way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”

Now as nuts and almonds are hidden under rough shells, and as honey is concealed in the bells and cups of flowers, so there is a hidden meaning in every part of my allegory, which I hope you will be enabled to draw forth for your profit. In the mean time, my

dear children, I pray God to seal instruction upon your hearts, and fill you with that heavenly wisdom whose price is far above rubies.

I will just add, that this little work was composed in the East Indies during the year 1814.

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