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MY DEAR CHILDREN:
I have written this little story for you. Read it carefully, and be made better. Learn the lessons it would teach you.
The subject of this sketch was a child of uncommon grace and loveliness-always cheerful and full of kindness of bright and ready understanding.
Much that I have written about her is from her mother, and in her mother's language.
I knew her well for several years, and though I was quite young, her daily life
was a lesson of love to me. This is why I have been prompted to write this little work.
If, by reading it, one little boy or girl is led to love God, I shall feel that I have been more than repaid.
GRATIA OLIVE LEONARD;
The Little Missionary.
Now, dear children, we are all ready for a story; but first, let me say a few words about something else, for I love you much and wish to do you good.
You all know what it is to do right, and you know when you do wrong, for your dear mother has often told
And you know also that when you do right, you are happy, and every thing around you seems pleasant; but when you do wrong, you are unhappy, and your face, which should be bright with smiles, is cloudy and frowning, and nothing pleases you.
Then you sometimes think
will never be naughty again. But ah! how soon you forget, and are even naughtier than before.
Do you know why it is that you fail to be good? I will tell you. It is because you do not ask God to help you do right.
Now you cannot be good unless God assists you,
you have a wicked heart to lead you to do wrong again.
God has given you a soul, a very precious soul! Oh, how precious! I cannot tell you how great its worth, and he wishes you to take care of it and watch over it constantly, for it is immortal. It will live forever and ever. It can never, never die.
When God formed your body, he placed within it this wonderful thing, and when your body dies, (if you are his child,) this soul of yours will soar away to live with him in Heaven.
Did I hear you say, “How can I take care of such a precious soul? I am not old enough, and I don't know how?” Oh yes, dear children, you are old enough, and God will teach you how, if you pray to him to help you.
Don't you remember how Christ took little children in his arms and blessed them? Well, he loves them just the same now, as when he was upon the earth, and by his Holy Spirit he leads them to love and serve God.
He often takes good children, who have lived but a few years, home to his own bosom. Thus he took our dear little Gratia, of whom I am about to tell you.
She died before she was eight years old; and though she was so young, she was prepared to live with God in the beautiful mansions he has prepared for such as love him. Now, I trust, she is a glorious angel with shining garments, and her lovely face is radiant with the joys of that delightful world. We think