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God told Adam and Eve, that they might eat of the fruit of every tree which grew in the garden, except the fruit of the tree of knowledge.
God said, “ Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat: for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt surely die.”
THE FIRST SIN.
Adam and Eve were very happy, living in the beautiful garden of Eden, dressing it, and taking care of it. They loved one another, and loved God, who had made them, and had given them so many fair and pleasant things.
They were very happy while they did what God told them, and ate only of the trees of which God said they might eat.
But there was a wicked spirit, called the devil, and he made himself look like a serpent, and came to tempt Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, which God. had said they should not eat.
The devil said to Eve, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree in the garden?”
He said this to make Eve think that God was not good to her, because He would not let her eat the pleasant fruit, which grew upon the tree of knowledge.
But Eve knew that God was good to her, and that He had said she might eat of the fruit of all the trees in the garden, except this one tree.
So Eve said, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden : but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall
touch it, lest ye die."
Then, the devil told her, that they would not die; but that if they ate of this fruit, it would make them wise.
The devil said, “Ye shall not surely die : for God doth know that in the day that ye eat thereof, ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
Then Eve believed what the devil said, and
when she saw that the fruit of the tree looked pleasant, and was good for food, and thought that it would make her wise, she took of the fruit, and ate it.
Eve ought not to have listened to the serpent when he told her that what God had said was not true. When the serpent spoke against God, she ought to have known that he was wicked, and not have believed him, or thought of what he said. But Eve did listen to the devil, and so she was tempted to forget God, and do what He had said she must not do.
And when Eve had eaten of the fruit of which God had said she should not eat, she gave some to her husband Adam, and he ate it also.
Thus Adam and Eve disobeyed God; they did what God had told them not to do. Thus they sinned.
All disobedience is sin. Whenever we do what God has told us not to do, we sin.
The devil does not come to us now in the shape of a serpent to speak to us, as he did to Eve; but he puts bad thoughts in our hearts, and makes
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* It will be found desirable to omit these chapters when the book is used for the instruction of very young children, until they have acquired some familiarity with the first portion of the history. They will present comparatively little difficulty, when they are introduced in the course of the second reading, after the first fourteen chapters have been carefully read or taught. The note at the end of chapter vi. is intended for those children only who are old enough to read the Bible, and therefore require to be taught the meaning of its difficult but important texts, such as Genesis iii. 14, 15.