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( INSTR )
. i.. .,<: ... ,
The Baldwin Library
io King in one of is journmeys stopped at tle cabin of a poor
ppafint and asked for a drink.--p. 114,
T H E
flluff laiiltlo .f fly C111e 111rnnhnielIs.
MREV. :EICI::ARD 'NE''TO D.-3.
AUTl OR OF "TIlE I1AN''S," TIlE SAFE COMPASS." ETC.
GALL & INGLIS.
0P uiTNOST, ROW 6O Rllir
30 P ATERNOSTIER I1OW. 6 OEORIGE STREET.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT, Part 1, ......... 5
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT, Part 2, ...... ... 25
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT, ... ... ... ... ... 42
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT, ... ........ .... 61
TIIE FOURTH COMMANDMENT, ..... ... ... ..... 80
THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT, ..... ... ... ... 101
THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT, .... ... ... ...... 123
THIE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT .... ... -... 143
THE EaIGIIT COMMANDMENT, ... ... ... ... ... 144
THE NINTH COMMANDMENT .... ...... ...... 164
THE TENTH COMMANDMENT. .. ... ... ... ... 183
.:' i "' '' ,?
*I' ','''' L ,^
L0- I 5; -"_.
^be 4tirs5t Cnrnminanbrment.-|art 1,
" I am the Lord thy God;-Thou shalt have no other gods before MIe.
-ExODUS xx. 2, 3.
I SUPPOSE yon have all seen a procession, at some
time or other ? And no doubt you like to see pro-
cessions. The longest procession, that ever was seen,
took place more than thirty-three-hundred years ago.
6 TTHTE KING'S HIGHWAY.
It was formed when the children of Israel went up
out of Egypt. There were more than two millions
of people in it. That is nearly four times as many
as all the people in Philadelphia put together.
Moses was the leader of this procession. It started,
from the land of Egypt, to go to the land of Canaan.
The Israelites, in this procession, had to travel
through the wilderness. There were no roads
through that wilderness; no milestones, or finger-
posts, to point out the way. Not one person, in the
procession, had ever travelled through that wilderness,
or knew anything about the way. The mariners'
compass,-with its needle always pointing to the
north, and enabling people now to travel safely,
across oceans, or deserts, where there are no paths,-
was not invented then. But God gave the people,
in that procession, something that was very wonder-
fll, instead of a compass. It looked like a mass of
white smoke. The Bible calls it a pillar of cloud."
In the day-time it looked like a piece of one of those
soft, fleecy clouds, that we often see, floating in the
sky. But at night it changed its appearance, and
glowed, and brightened, and shone like a flame of
fire. It floated low down, and hung right over the
ark of the covenant, which went before the children
Now, the procession is in motion. It is formed
in regular ranks, like a great army of soldiers. They
march out from Egypt; they come to the Red Sea.
There is no bridge across it. They have no boats.
High ranges of mountains shut them in, on either
side. What are they to do? God commands them
to go forward! What, right into the sea? Yes,
right into the sea. They obey God; and, the very
moment that the priests, who are at the head of the
procession, touch the waters of the sea with their
feet, the waves are divided, and roll back before
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 7
them. A broad road is open for them through
the midst of the sea. The waters are piled up, on
each side of them, like great walls of glass, or ice;
and remain so till the procession has passed over.
Now, they are all safe through. They begin to
travel into the wilderness. They have made three
days' journey; and, at last, a great mountain appears
in sight. They move on till they come to it. At
the foot of the mountain the procession halts. The
people pitch their tents, and rest there. That is
Mount Sinai. On the top of that mountain God
told Moses that He would come down, and meet
him; and give him a law, to show the Israelites, and
all other people, what He wanted them to do. God
ordered Moses to build a fence, round the bottom of
the mountain, to keep any of the people from coming
up. Then He told him to come up to the top of the
mountain, when he should hear a trumpet giving a
long loud sound.
The fence is built, and Moses is ready, waiting for
the signal. The top of the mountain is all covered up
with dark, black clouds. The lightning flash out
from amidst them. The thunders roll down the
sides of the mountain. The mountain shakes and
and trembles : God has come down upon the top of
it. And the sound of the trumpet is heard. It is an
angel's trumpet; the same that shall be heard at the
last day, when the graves are opened, and the dead
come forth. How solemn it must have been to hear
that trumpet! Moses hears it. He goes up the
mountain. The people all watch him, as he travels
up, higher, and higher. Now, he enters the cloud;
and they see him no longer. Moses is on the top of
the mount talking with God. There God gave him
His great law of the Ten Commandments. God
wrote these commandments, with his own finger, on
two tables of stone. The first four commandments,
8 THE KING S HIGHWAY.
which show us what our duty to God is, were on
one table; and the remaining six, which show us
what our duty to man is, were on the other.
And now the trumpet sounds again. All the
people hear it, and are afraid. They listen trem-
blingly. The trumpet ceases. Another sound, more
awful than the angel's trumpet, is heard. It is the
voice of God. It sounds like thunder. And God
spake all these words, saying :-" I am the Lord thy
God, which have brought thee out of the land of
Egypt; out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt
have no other gods before me."
This is the first commandment. There are two
questions that may be asked about this command-
ment; one is this: What is it to have a God? The
other is this: Why should we have no other gods but
the Lord ?
Our sermon to-day will be about the first of these
questions. We must have another sermon on the
The question we are now to try and answer is;-
What is at to have a God ?
I mean by this a true God, such as the LorA
Jesus Christ is to us. This is the answer to til
question ;-it is to have one who is able to do three
things for us; and one who has a right to expect three
things from us.
To have a God is to have one who can do three
things for us.
The first thing we want our God to be able to do
is, ALWAYS TO HELP.
The little child always needs the help of its mother.
The blind man always needs the help of some one to
guide him. The sick man always needs the help of
the physician. We are here, in this world, like
children; like persons who are blind, or sick. We
need to be taken care of like children. We need to be
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 9
guided, like the blind; and to be watched and tended;
like the sick. And who can do this for us ? Our
parents can help us in some things. Our teachers
and friends can help us in some things, but not in all.
They can't be always with us; nor can they always
help us when they are with us. At the quiet hour
of midnight, when they are fast asleep themselves,
what can they do to help us When we are far.
away from home, what can they do to help us
We need some one who can always help us. Then
it must be some one who is present in every place;
whose eye never slumbers, and whose arm never
grows weary. Is there such a one to be found
Yes, God our Saviour is just such a one. He is with
us by night, as well as by day; abroad, as well as at
home; His eye is never closed. His arm is always
strong. He is always everywhere. The Bible tells
us He is "a very present help, in every time of
trouble." David says, The Lord is my help, whom
then shall I fear'?" He didn't fear the lion, or the
bear, that came to steal his sheep, because God helped
him to kill them. He didn't fear Goliath, the great
Philistine giant, because God helped him to fight, and
People are needing help in different places, at the
same time, all over the earth. And no one can really
be a God who is not able to hear and help all these
different persons at once.
The heathen have many gods. They think each
god has a particular place to attend to; and that he
can only help people in the place to which he belongs.
But this is very foolish. The truth is, the gods of
the heathen can't help those who pray to them, in
one place any more than another. They help no-
body. We need a God who can always help. And
there is only one such God.
10 TIE KING'S HIGHWAY.
"Mother, how many gods are there?" asked a
little boy, one day.
A younger brother, who heard him, said, "Why,
one to be sure."
But how do you know that i" said the one who
asked the question.
Because," said his little brother, God fills every
place, so there is no room for any other."
The first thing we want our God to be able to do
iS-ALWAYS TO HELP US.
The second thing we want our God to be able to
do is-ALWAYS TO SAVE US.
Our bodies are often in danger, as well as our souls;
and we want a God who can save them both. When
Daniel was thrown into the den of lions, he needed
a God who could preserve him from their devouring
jaws; and he found such a one in the Lord.
When the three Jews were thrown into the blazing
furnace, because they wouldn't worship Nebuchad-
nezzar's image, they needed a God who could save
them from being burnt up by the flames ; and they
found such a one in the Lord our God.
When Jonah was cast into the stormy sea, he
needed a God who could take care of him, and
bring him safe to land again. lie found such a one
in our God, who sent the great fish, like a living
ship, to take him on board and carry him ashore.
When the disciples were in their little vessel,
tossed by the storm on the sea of Galilee, they
needed a God who could control the violence of the
storm, and make it obey Ilim. They found such a
one in Jesus their Saviour; for when they awoke
Him, He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea,
saying, 'Peace be still and ii ......' it..1, there
was a great calm."
And so we are all exposed to sickness, danger, and
death, continually. We can't preserve ourselves
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 11
and our best friends can't preserve us. We need
some one who can keep us alive, and protect us in
all danger. Jesus can do this. lie is called the
" Saviour of the body." He counts the hairs of our
heads. He is about our path, and about our bed,
continually. lie is able to save our bodies.. The
birds of the air, the beasts of the field, the people in
the world, are in His hands. He can take care of
them all. Ile can save the body.
But the soul is more precious than the body. We
want a God that can save the soul. We all have
many sins that must be pardoned. We have a con-
science, a something in our bosoms which troubles
us, and makes us feel uneasy, on account of sin; and
we want to have this conscience quieted, and made
at peace. We have wicked hearts that must be
made new and good, or we never can be happy; and
we want a God who can do this for us.
Suppose I break the main-spring of my watch;
it runs down; it won't go. I try to mend it, but I
can't : I ask one of you to do it. You shake your
head and say, I can't do it." I take it to a shoe-
maker; he can't do it. I take it to a carpenter, a
wheelright, a blacksmith, a lawyer, a doctor, but none
of them can mend it. After a while I take it to a
watchmaker; he understands all about it. He puts
a new spring in it; and it goes as well as ever.
Now the soul is like a watch ; sin has broken the
main-spring; it won't go; we want some one to
mend it. We want a new heart, or a new main-
spring for the watch; but the soul-maker is the only
one who can do this. To try to get this done in
any other way, is like carrying your broken watch,
for repairs, to a shoemaker, or a blacksmith.
There was once a man in India, a heathen, who
felt that he was a sinner. His conscience troubled
him dreadfully about his sins ; but he knew not how
12 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
to get rid of them. He had spent several years in
consulting the priests, and visiting the different
temples, in the hope of getting relief. He did all
that he was told to do; but it did him no good.
At one temple, he was told to take a long journey
on his hands and knees. He did it, but was no
better. He had washed himself in different foun-
tains; he had fasted till he was almost worn to a
skeleton; he had done many painful things, but
without any relief. At last he was told to put
pebbles in his shoes, and travel to a distant temple,
and make an offering to the idol, and he would be
relieved. He had been there, and offered his sacri-
fice and prayers, but in vain.
Sad, and sorrowful, he was returning home,
with the pebbles still in his shoes. Wearied with
his journey, he halted one day, in the shade of a
grove, by the wayside, where a company was
gathered around a stranger, who was addressing
them. It was a missionary preaching the gospel.
The poor heathen listened with great interest. The
missionary was preaching from these words;-" The
blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin." He
showed how Jesus was able and willing to save all
who came unto Him. The heart of the heathen was
drawn to Jesus. He took off his shoes, and threw
away the pebbles, exclaiming, "This is the Saviour I
have sought in vain. Thank God I have found sal-
This poor man had been carrying his broken
watch to tinkers and blacksmiths. They could do
nothing with it. At last he found the watchmaker,
and all was right.
Jesus says, "Look unto me, all ye ends of the
earth; for I am God, and there is none else. Be-
sides me there is no Saviour." We need a God who
can always save.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 13
But then there is a third thing that we expect
God to be able to do for us, and that is, ALWAYS TO
MAKE US HAPPY.
When we are in health, and have affectionate
parents, and kind friends, and many comforts and
enjoyments around us, we do not feel so much our
need of God. We are ready to think that we can
be happy without Him. But when sickness comes
and pain is racking our body; when our parents die,
and our friends are taken away from us ; then it is
that we need some one to make us happy.
Yes, and when we come to die ourselves; when
we are to leave all that we have known and loved on
earth behind us, we need some one to make us happy
then. And if the God we have is the true God, this
is just what He will do. Now it is easy to find
those who can tell us that Jesus does make them
happy, in health and prosperity. There are many
teachers in this school, and many members of this
congregation, who are ready to come forward and
say, "That is so. lHe has made me happy. He
makes me happy all the time."
But the one who is a God to us must be able to
make us happy, in sickness, and suffering, in death,
and eternity. Can Jesus do this? Yes, He can.
"I was called upon," said a minister, "some time
ago to visit a man who was suffering from a cancer.
It had eaten away a part of his face. It was going
on to eat the rest. He was suffering dreadfully all
the time. I said to him, 'Suppose, my friend, that
God should give you your choice; to have your can-
cer, with all its pain and i'u. i i_. and the certainty
of soon dying, but being happy with Him for ever;
or to have health and prosperity and long life in this
world, with the risk of losing your soul hereafter,
which would you prefer?' 'Ah sir,' the man in-
stantly exclaimed, 'give me the cancer and the
14 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
pain, with Jesus and the hope of heaven ; let others
take the world, and long life and prosperity without
This shows how Jesus can make the sick and suf-
fering happy. I could fill a volume in showing how
He makes the dying happy.
I will only mention one or two cases. A dear
child, between five and six years old, who had a
happy home, and fond parents, was on his death-bed.
His father asked him which he would choose; to
live with his parents and friends here, or die and be
with Jesus in heaven. He answered, cheerfully, "I
would rather die, and be with Jesus in heaven; and
wait there till you come."
A Christian was dying after long suffering. These
were his last words as his friends stood weeping
round his bed :-
"Almost home! almost home My precious
Bible True, every line. I never thought it could
have supported me thus; but it does. I nevei
thought I could have enjoyed so much on a dying-
bed. I have not one anxious wish. It is heaven
already begun. I am as happy as I can be on this
side of heaven."
Now lHe who can do this for His people, in sick-
ness, in suffering, and in death, can make them
These are the three things which we expect Him,
who is our God, to be able to d- for us. We expect
Him to be able ALWAYS TO HELP, ALWAYS TO SAVE;
AND ALWAYS TO MAKE US HAPPY.
But then there are three things that He, who is iy7
God, has a right to expect from us.
H e has a right to expect our HIGHEST LOVE.
The gods of the heathen don't expect the people to
love them at all. And it is very well they don't, for
no one could love them.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 15
The character and the appearance of those gods are
such that it is impossible to love them. Some of
those gods are represented as often getting drunk;
some as robbers, and others as murderers. Why, if
we were to do what some of those gods are said to
do, we should be put in prison, or hung. We should
not be fit to live in decent society. Can anybody
love such gods ?
And then think of the appearance of some of the
The god Moloch was a frightful-looking monster,
with a great red mouth, and grinning teeth, to show
that he was fond of blood. Could any one love
such a god ?
The goddess Kalee, now worshipped by a great
portion of the people in India, is a fierce-looking
female figure, with instruments of death in her hands,
and a string of human skulls hung round her neck,
as an ornament. Her followers think that they can
do nothing to please her, better than to murder
people, whenever they have an opportunity. Can
any one love such a god 1
Ganesa, another of the gods of the Bindoos, is
represented by a most strange and monstrous figure.
He has the head of an elephant, with four arms and
hands. He always appears riding on the back of a
huge rat. He has the figure of a serpent, in a sort
of ring round his head, with some sacred letters
And then, I might speak of the great Juggernaut;
-of Hanniman, the monkey-god; of Manesa, the
snake-god; and many others, all very much of the
same character. It is impossible for any one to love
such gods. And these gods no not expect to be
loved. They do not ask people to love them. All
they want is to be worshipped and have offerings
made to them.
16 THE KING S ITTORWAY.
But, the true God must be one who can be loved.
He is one who has a right to expect, not only our
love, but our highest love. He expects us to love
Him; and to love Him better than any other person,
or thing in the world. We must love Him more
than we love father, or mother, or brother, or sister,
or any one that we know. Jesus said, when He was
on earth, that we must love God with all our heart,
and soul, and mind, and strength. And our God,
the God of the Bible, can be loved in this way. He
is pure. He is good. He is holy. God is love."
He expects, and he deserves our highest love. It is
right to love Him better than any one else. But it
is neither right, nor possible to love any one else in
this way. And this shows that He is the true God.
He has a right to expect our HIGHEST LOVE.
This is the first thing He has a right to expect
The second thing, He has a right to expect from us,
is our UNQUESTIONING OBEDIENCE.
These are larger words than I like to use, but I
think you can all understand them. You know we are
taught to pray that God's will may be done, on
earth, as it is in heaven." This means that we should
obey God as the angels do in heaven.
A Sunday-school teacher once asked his class, how
the angels obey God. Different answers were given;
but the best was that of a little boy, who said, They
obey without asking any questions." That is true. It
was a capital answer.
I have sometimes heard a mother call to her
daughter, "Mary, come here in a minute !" Mary
is playing with her doll; and instead of getting right
up, and running to her mother, she goes on fixing her
doll; and says in a very ugly tone, Oh, what do
you want ?"
"John, here, I want you to go on an errand;"
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 17
says the father to his son. John is making some
bobtails for his kite. Instead of minding, at once,
what his father tells him, he keeps on with what he
is doing, and says, "Won't it do by and by, when I
get through with fixing my kite."
That is not the way in which the angels obey.
They do everything that God tells them to do; and
they do it at once, without stopping to ask any
questions. This is what I mean by unquestioning
obedience. God has a right to expect this kind of
obedience from us. He expects us to do every thing
that He commands. And it is proper for us to do
this, because we know that everything that God
commands is right. Others may command things
that are not right, and then we are not to obey. It
is right to obey our rulers; but only when their laws
are according to the laws of God.
Nebuchadnezzar made a law, that all people
should worship the graven image, which he had
set up, or be cast into the fiery furnace. Shadrach,
Meshech, and Abednego refused to obey, and they did
The rulers of Jerusalem forbade the apostles to
preach about Jesus. But they went on preaching;
and when they were brought to trial they said;-
" We must obey God rather than man." And they
were right. We must not obey even our teachers,
or parents, if they command us to do anything
plainly contrary to the will of God.
I knew a Sunday-school boy, once, who became a
Christian when he was about fourteen years old.
His father used to keep a grocery store; and on
Sunday mornings he would open his store, for an
hour, to supply his customers with goods. The father
always called his son, in the morning, to go down,
and open the store. The boy never thought there
was anything wrong in it, till he became a Christian.
18 THE KING'S IIGIHWAY.
Then he thought about God's command to keep the
Sabbath holy. He felt that to open the store, and
sell things on Sunday, was breaking God's command.
This thought troubled him very much. He knew
not what to do. He was very unwilling to disobey
his earthly father; and yet lie felt still more unwill-
ing to disobey his heavenly Father. He was afraid
his father would turn him out of doors, if lie refused
to open the store, when he told him to do so; and
he had no one to offer him another home. He was
greatly distressed. But he prayed for God to show
him what to do; and, at last, he determined to
obey God, whatever the consequence might be; and
trust that God would take care of him. When he
had taken this resolution, he waited, very anxiously,
for the end of the week to come. It came at last.
Then, late on Saturday night, when the store was
closed, and the work all done, just before going to
bed, he told his father that he wanted to be an
obedient son, and do all that he told him to do, but
he felt that opening the store, and selling goods on
the Sabbath, was breaking God's commandment, and
he hoped he would excuse him from that.
Just as he supposed, his father got very angry;
and told him if he was too good to do what he did,
he must leave his house, and seek another home. He
told him he might stay till Monday morning, and
The poor boy was greatly distressed, and knew not
where to go. But, on Monday morning, his father
called him to open the store, as usual, and said no
more to him about going away. In a short time
after, his father gave notice, to his customers, that
he wouldn't open his store any more on Sunday.
Then he took to going to church regularly; he soon
became a member of the church-and loved that son
more than ever.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 19
It may not be always right to obey, without
questioning, all that others command us; but, it is
always right to obey, without questioning, every
thing that God commands. He never does wrong
Himself; and never commands others to do wrong.
Whatever He tells us to do must be right. And
therefore He expects from us UNQUESTIONING
Then there is a third thing God expects from us;
-and that is, SINCERE WORSHIP.
Sincere means that which is true, or pure. This
word was first used to denote honey, that was clear,
and had no wax, or sediment in it. Think of a glass
jar, full of clear, transparent, honey, without the least
dirt, or sediment in it. Now if a person who spoke
Latin was describing it, he would say it was honey
sine cera; i. e., honey without wax in it. And this
is what we get our English word sincere from. It
means that which is clear, pure, or free from imper-
Now, God expects from us this kind of worship.
Sincere what does God expect from us ? Worship.
Let us see what this means. Worship is a word
made up of two other words; viz., worth, and ship,
or shape. It means, then, that we should put our-
selves in the position, or shape, that is worthy of
God. Or, it means, that we should render to Him
the service that is worthy of Him. And what is the
proper shape, or position, for sinners, such as we are,
to put ourselves in before God ? David tells us,
when he says, Oh come, let us worship, and fall
down, and kneel before the Lord our maker." Yes,
a position of humble reverence is what we should
put ourselves in when we would worship God. This
is the shape, or condition, worthy of God for sinful
creatures to appear in.
But the shape of a thing denotes its use, or service
"20 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
If you see iron put in the shape of a bright, sharp
blade, you know it is designed to cut. If you see it
put into a round shape, like a ball, you know it is
designed to roll. If you see a pile of wood, broken
up into the shape of kindling, you know it is de-
signed to burn. And if you see a man, in the form
of a servant, with an apron on, and his sleeves rolled
up, you know he is designed for work. And so
when we appear before God, as His worshippers,-
in the form, or shape worthy of Him,-we mean to
say that we are ready to offer Him our prayers, and
praises, and that we desire to serve Him. And when
we do this honestly, and earnestly, with all our hearts,
that is sincere worship. This is the service God
deserves. He is worthy of it.
And if this is what sincere worship means, in re,
ference to God, what would sincere worship of idols
mean ? It would mean the service that they are
worthy of. And what is this? What do they de-
serve ? They deserve to be broken in pieces, and
thrown to the moles and bats. This is all that they
are fit for; and this is what they must all come to
at last. The Bible tells us, that The idols God
will utterly abolish."
Sincere worship is what God expects from us.
But, is it sincere worship if we trifle, or play, when
those about us aie singing God's praise, or praying
to Him ? Is it sincere worship if we kneel down to
pray to God ourselves, but don't think about, or feel,
what we are saying ? No, this is mocking God, and
that is a dreadful thing to do.
For God is present everywhere,
And watches all our thoughts and ways;
lie marks who humbly join in prayer,
And who sincerely sing His praise.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 21
The triflers, too, His eye can see,
Who only seem to take a part;
They move the lip, and bend the knee,
But do not seek Him with the heart."
Now, my dear children, we have tried to consider
the question-what is it to have a God ? We have
answered this by saying, that it is to have one who
is able to do three things for us ;-and has a right to
expect three things from us.
What are the three things God is able to do for
us He is able ALWAYS TO HELP ;-ALWAYS TO
SAVE ;-and ALWAYS TO MAKE US HAPPY.
Then, He has a right to expect three things from us.
What are these? He has a right to expect OUR
HIGHEST LOVE;-OUR UNQUESTIONING OBEDIENCE;
-and OUR SINCERE WORSHIP. This is what it is to
have a true God.
There are two questions I want to ask, before clos-
ing. This is one question-What is it to have an
idol The hymn we are going to sing presently,
There are many heathen children
Who yet God's name have known;
And many other idols
Than those of wood and stone."
Then there is another hymn which asks-
"What is an idol ? Every heart
Hath idols of its own,
Some are of gold, and silver bright,
And some of wood and stone.
22 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
Lord, is there aught the world contains
Which I love more than Thee ?
Then sure, that love, within my heart,
Idolatry must be."
Some people make money their god. Some make
eating and drinking their god. Sometimes a husband
will make an idol out of his wife; or a wife will
make an idol out of a husband. Sometimes parents
will make idols of their children. Many idols are
made out of silk or satin. A beautiful dress, a new
bonnet, a pretty ribbon, may be an idol. I wonder
if God sees any such idols here this afternoon ?
A little boy once had a pet bird, of which he was
very fond. HIe took great delight in playing with
it. It would eat out of his hand, and perch on his
finger. One day the bird died; and the little fellow
cried almost as if his heart would break. At night,
when his mother took him up stairs, he wanted to go
to bed without saying his prayers. When she spoke
to him about it, he said, Mother, I don't want to
say my prayers to-night, for my little birdie's dead,
and I can't say, Thy will be done.'" That little
fellow had made an idol of his bird. He loved it
more than God. His mother tried to show him how
wrong it was to feel so, and taught him to pray to
God for grace to say, Thy will be done."
A lady, who was very fond of playing cards, once
said to a distinguished clergyman, I like the doctrine
you preach, sir, very much, and I think I can give up
everything but one."
What is that, madam i" asked the minister,
"You think you could not be happy without them ?"
No, sir, I could not."
"Then, madam, they are your god; and to them
you must look for salvation." This led her to think
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 23
seriously on the subject, and she soon became a
Let us never forget, that whatever we love more
than God, that is our idol. Oh! what multitudes
of idolaters there are in this city! And how many
there are in this congregation! Let each of us ask
himself the question-Do I love any person or thing
more than I love God 7 If you do, that is your
The other question I would ask is this--What
shall we do with our idols? There is a verse in a
hymn we sometimes sing, which answers this ques-
tion. It says-
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be,-
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only Thee."
This shows us what we ought to do. If we find
that we have idols in our hearts, we must tell Jesus
about it. We must repent of the sin of having them,
and pray for Him to help us to put them away, and
love Him better than anything else. When Jesus
was on earth people came to Him with all their
troubles; and He helped, and comforted all who
came to Him. And He will help us still, if we ask
Him to do so.
A Christian mother was once showing her little
girl, about five years old, a picture representing
Jesus holding an infant in His arms, while the
mothers were pushing their children towards Him.
" There, Carrie," said her mother, "that's what I
would have done with you if I had been there."
I would'nt be pushed to Jesus," said little Carrie,
with beautiful and touching earnestness, I'd go to
24 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
Now this was just right. This is the way in
which we ought to go to Jesus. How kind He is !
How tender! How ready to help and bless! My
dear children, won't you go to Jesus at once ? Oh!
go without pushing." Ask Him to help you to
put away every idol, and "have no other God before
IYMN ON THE FIRST COMMANDMENT.
I want to love my Saviour,
And worship Him, alone;
And have no earthly idol
Upon my spirit's throne.
I want, with pure devotion,
To serve Him all my days;
And, for His countless blessings,
To yield Him grateful praise.
It is His hand hath made me;
His power upholds me still;
And He will always aid me
To do His holy will.
Dear Saviour, be Thou near me,
And guide my feet aright;
And make my thoughts and actions
Both blameless in Thy sight.
There are many heathen children,
Who yet Thy name have known;
And many other idols
Than those of wood and stone.
Oh if our hleats were opened
That other eyes might see,
How like a Heathen Temple
Would they be found to he I
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 25
And yet, to Him who formed them,
Each secret thought is kn,)wn--
IHe sees each separate object
That occupies His Throne.
Lord, in Thy name appearing,
We come on bended knee :
Oh teach us how to worship
Vo other God but Thee /
IFhe ^irAt Contnuabnwnf--Y1:irf 2.
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me.'?-ExoDus xx. 3.
A SHORT time since somebody published a book, the
title of which is The Pleason Wity." This is a very
queer title for a book. But it is a very appropriate
one for the book of which I am speaking. This
is a very instructive and amusing book. It explains
many things about us, and shows the reason
why" they are just as they are. It shows the
reason why we breathe the air about us ; why the
air is cooler in motion than when still; why it flies
through the doors and windows towards the fire-
place in the room. It shows the reason why,"
when we blow soap-bubbles from a pipe, they
always form in a round shape, and not in a:,y other;
26 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
why they rise up when we first throw them off, and
why they fall down afterwards; why they have such
beautiful colours upon them; why they change their
colours in the sunshine, and why they always burst
after a little while. It shows "the reason why"
cloudy days are colder than sunny days, while cloudy
nights are warmer than clear nights. It shows "the
reason why" the dew is always formed in little
round drops, upon the leaves and grass ; why there
is more of it on clear nights, than on cloudy nights;
why it is formed by night, and not by day, and in
some places, but not in others. It shows "the
reason why" the fire burns more brightly when
blown by a bellows, and why it is sometimes put out
by blowing it when it is low; why poking the fire
makes it burn more brightly; why it sometimes
burns with a flame, and sometimes without any. It
shows the reason why"' fishes have fins ; why their
fins are so much smaller in proportion than the wings
of a bird, and why the fishes' tails are so much
larger than their fins. It shows "the reason why"
a boy's kite rises in the air; why running with the
kite makes it rise higher ; and why the string feels
hot while passing rapidly through his hand. It
shows the reason why the leaves of the trees are
green in spring and summer; and why they turn
brown and fall off at the approach of winter. It
shows "the reason why" the rain-drops are some-
times large, and at others small; why it rains more
in warm countries than in cold, and in mountainous
countries than in flat ones; and why ladies' hair
drops out of curl when rain is approaching.
There is some good reason for everything that
God has done. There is a reason why the sky is
blue, and the grass is green. There is a reason why
fire always tries to get up higher; while water
always tries to get down lower. And it is very im-
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 27
portant for us to try and find out the reason for
things, as far as we can.
The great philosopher, Sir Isaac Newton, was
looking at an orchard, one day, when he saw an
apple fall from a tree. He began at once to ask
himself the reason why the apple, when loosed from
the tree, fell to the ground. Hundreds and thou-
sands of people had seen apples fall from trees be-
fore; but nobody ever thought of asking such a
question. Sir Isaac Newton not only asked the
question, but he tried to find out the answer to it.
And he kept on trying till he did find it out. Yes,
and more than that, too; for out of that falling
apple he made one of the greatest discoveries that
was ever made. He found out from it the reason
why the world goes round in its orbit; and why it
keeps its place securely in the heavens, without
falling ; though there is nothing under it to keep it
up, and no great chain let down from above for it
to hang upon.
Now we are to have our second sermon on the
first commandment. There were two questions
started by this commandment. One of these was ;
- What is it to have a God This we tried to answer
in the last sermon. The other is ;- Why should we
have no other gods than the Lord? This is the on
we are to talk about now. The subject of this ser-
mon, then, is, The reason why" we should have no
other gods than the Lord.
I wish to speak of three reasons. The frst reason
is, because it is VERY FOOLISH to do so.
God is too rich for any one to take His place. He
is the richest of all beings. All the gold and silver,
all the gems and jewels and precious things in the
world, and in all other worlds belong to Him. He
has need of them to supply the wants of His crea-
tures. It is very foolish to have any one else than
28 THE KING'S IIIGIIWAY.
the Lord for our God, because no one else is rich
enough to be our God.
Did you ever go into a large jeweller's store. If
you look into the glass cases you find there gold
rings, breast-pins, necklaces, head-dresses, pearls,
diamonds, and jewels of various kinds ; watches, and-
time-pieces, gold and silver goblets, and cups, and
plates, and all sorts of vessels. How very valuable
such a store must be What a great amount of
money it would take to pay for all those things !
Now, suppose you are going down the street some
day. You see a little fellow who has just been put,
for the first time, in jacket and trousers. He feels
very large. His uncle has given him a new shil-
ling piece. He never had so much money before
in his life. He feels as rich as Croesus. As you pass
along he is standing before the jeweller's window
with his hand in his pocket, holding fast on to his
shilling; and you hear him say to his little com-
"I say, Rob, I've got a bran new .1;Illi,. and
I'm going to buy all the things in this shop !" You
look on the little fellow as you smile, and say, "Poor
foolish child, you are not rich enough to buy out
that store." And yet he would not be half so foolish,
to think of doing this with a shilling, as we are when
we think that any one else than the Lord is rich
enough to be our God.
God is too great for any one to take His place. He
is the greatest of all beings. An infidel once met a
plain countryman on a Sunday. He asked the farmer
where he was going. He answered: I am going to
"What do you go to church for?" asked the
To worship God," said the farmer.
Pray, tell me," said he, thinking to make sport
TIE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 29
of the man, whether your God is a little god, or a
He is both, sir," answered the farmer. "He is
so little that He can dwell in my poor heart; and at
the same time so great that the heavens, and the
heaven of heavens cannot contain Him."
How foolish it is to think of putting anybody in
the place of this great God! How foolish it would
be to blot out the sun from the sky, and then try to
light up the world with candles Yet it would be
easier to do this than to put anything in the place of
There was a good and learned man once, who was
very much perplexed by trying to explain to himself
the doctrine of the Trinity. He wanted to under-
stand how the Father is God, and the Son is God,
and the Holy Ghost is God,-while yet there are
not three Gods, but one God. The reason why"
this is so, nobody can tell. God has not told us the
reason, and no one can find it out. The Bible re-
quires us to believe this; but it does not require us
to understand it. But the good man that I refer to,
wanted to understand it, as well as believe it. He
kept thinking about it all the time; and was very
unhappy because he could not understand all about
it. One day, while still thinking very earnestly
about this matter, he took a walk along the sea-shore.
As he went on, he saw a little child, playing on the
sand. He stopped, when he came to the child, and
watched its motions. The little thing had scooped
out a hole in the sand, about as big as a quart bowl,
and, with a tiny shell, it was baling the sea-water,
into the hole. What are you doing, my child ?"
asked the man. The little thing looked up to him,
with a smile, and said: "I am trying to put the
ocean into this hole, sir."
IHe thought of the immense ocean, miles in depth,
30 TIIE KING'S HIGHWAY.
and thousands of miles in breadth ; then he looked
at the very small hole before him, and said to
himself, Poor, foolish child!" But, as he walked
on, he thought, Well, what am I doing but just
acting over again the part of this child. My mind
is like the little hole the child has dug; while God
is thousands of times greater than the ocean and
yet, like the child, I am trying to put the great ocean
in the little hole of my mind!"
Then he determined not to trouble himself any
more about this; but to be satisfied with believing
what the Bible teaches about God, without trying to
Now, suppose that the bed of the ocean were
empty. Suppose that all the water in it were
dried up, and that you should meet a person going
'o the shore, of what used to be the ocean, carrying
tea-cup full of water. You say to him: My
friend, what are you going to do with that cup of
water ?" He says, Why, I am going to make an
ocean out of it. I am going to fill up the bed of the
ocean with this water." Wouldn't you think that
person very foolish ? Certainly. And yet he would
not be half so foolish as those who try to put any
thing else in the place of God. It would be easier
to fill the bed of the ocean with a cup of water, than
to fill God's place with any one but Himself. It is
very foolish to try to put any one in God's place,
because He is so great.
And then God is too wise for any one to take His
place. How strange it is, that anybody should ever
think of putting stupid idols, of wood or stone, in
the place of God !
I was reading an interesting account the other day,
of the way in which two little Chinese children were
made to see the folly of doing this. Their parents
were dead, and they were left to the care of an aunt,
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 31
and grandmother. Their aunt had a wooden idol, in
the house, which they all worshipped. The little
boy's name was San, and his sister's name was Kim.
They were both placed in a mission school. The
teacher of the school wanted to shew these children
the folly of praying to a dumb idol. One day she
gave them a beautiful flower, like a rose, to smell.
They were delighted with its fragrance. Then she
held out a fruit to smell, which grows in those parts.
It had a horrible smell, just as if it were made up of
rotten eggs and onions. At the very first snuff they
turned away their heads, and made all sorts of queer
faces. Then she said she did not think their idol
could tell the difference, between the smell of the
flower and the fruit. After this she took a large
needle, from her pincushion, and asked the children
to let her stick it into their arms. They instantly
drew back their arms, and said;-
"Oh! no, ma'am; it'll hurt us, and make the
blood come." Then she said she did'nt think it
would hurt their idol, or make the blood come, to
stick it into him.
As they were going home from school, San told his
sister that he was going to try, if it was true, what
their teacher had said. He wanted to find out
whether their idol did know any thing.
His sister was afraid some dreadful thing would
happen to him, and she endeavoured to persuade him
to give it up. But San said he was bound to try.
So, when they reached home, they went, by them-
selves, into the room where the idol was. He was
fastened to a shelf, up against the wall. They pushed
the table under it. Then San stood on the table and
held up the flower to the idol; but he took no notice
of it. Then he held the nasty-smelling fruit, jammed
up against his nose: but he never moved his head, or
showed the least sign of displeasure.
32 THE KING'S IIIGIW AY,
Well, Kim," said San, "it's very certain he don't
know anything about smelling. Let's try if he has
Then he hunted about till he found a sharp iron,
like a skewar. Poor Kim was dreadfully frightened,
when she saw her brother go up to the idol with this
in his hand. She stood trembling like a leaf. San '
was a good deal frightened too, but still he resolved
to try. He got up on the table again. There stood
the idol, with his great fat cheeks sticking out.
San grasped the sharp iron firmly in his hand, and
struck it right into one of its cheeks. There was no
cry; no motion; no blood.
"The teacher's right," said San. "He don't
Then he saw how foolish it was to put such a
stupid block in the place of God. He determined
not to worship him any more. He persuaded his
aunt and grandmother to do the same; and they all
at last became Christians, and had no other gods but
You have all heard about that mammoth steamer,
the Great Eastern. She is larger than Noah's ark
was; and can carry ten thousand men, with provisions
for six months. Suppose we should go on board of
her. We go down into her engine room, and look at
her machinery. There are wheels, and beams, and
rods, and shafts, and boilers, and valves, and cylinders.
All these are necessary to make the vessel go. The
most important person on board that vessel is the
engineer. He understands all about the machinery.
He knows how to keep everything in order and make
it work. But, suppose the owners of the boat, just
before she started, on her voyage across the ocean,
should take the engineer away, and put a wooden man
in his place. He can neither see, nor hear, nor move,
nor speak. Would not that be very foolish ?
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 33
But look at your body. That is an engine much
more curious than the one in the Great Eastern. It
has more pieces in it, and they are more wisely joined
tQgether. There is a boiler in it, and a furnace.
There are pipes, and joints, and hinges, and rods,
and tubes, and wheels, and pumps. They are in
motion all the time. They never stop, Every
boy and girl, every man and woman, is such an
engine. There are hundreds of them in this
church. There are ten hundred millions of them
in the world. There is only one Engineer, who
builds and takes care of them all. God is that
Engineer. Oh how wise He must be, and how
powerful, to be able to take care of them all, at the
same time How very foolish to think of putting
any one else in His place To put a wooden man in
the engineer's place on board the Great Eastern
would not be half so foolish as to think of putting
any one in God's place.
The first reason why we ought not to do this, is,
because it is so very foolish.
The second reason why we ought to have no other
gods than the Lord, is because it is VERY INJURIOUS.
To have any other god than the Lord is injurious
in two ways: one way in which it is so is, that it
leaves us without help.
Wouldn't it be very injurious to a sick man to
leave him in a place where he could get no physician,
no medicine, and no nurse 1 Wouldn't it be very
injurious to a hungry man to leave him in a position
where he could get no food?
You know that'in Switzerland, there are, what are
Called, glaciers. These are like mountain-rivers,
frozen down to the very bottom. They have many
splits or cracks in them, as wide as one of those aisles.
Sometimes travellers slip, and fall down one of these
cracks, seventy, or eighty, or a hundred feet deep.
34 THE KING S HIGHWAY.
Now, suppose a poor man down at the bottom of one
of those ice cracks. It would be very injurious to
him if the friends he was trusting to, to get him out,
had no rope, long enough to reach him; or strong
enough to pull him up.
Now these different cases are images of our con-
dition. Sin has made our souls sick; and it is very
injurious to have any other god than the Lord,
because He is the only one who can be our physician;
and provide the medicine and nursing we need to
make us well again. Sin has left our souls hungry
and starving, and it is very injurious to have any
other god than the Lord, because He alone can give
us that bread, which cometh down from heaven, and
which can satisfy the cravings of our hungry souls.
Sin has cast us into a pit, more dreadful than any to
be found among the glaciers of Switzerland. It is
very injurious to have any other god than the Lord,
because He only is able to lift us out from this pit.
Among the many thousands of false gods wor-
shipped in China, two of the principal are Confucius
and Buddha. A Chinese, who had become a Chris-
tian, made use of this simple, but interesting fable, or
allegory, to illustrate the difference between Con-
fucius, or Buddha, and Jesus Christ. He said:
"A man had fallen into a deep, dark pit. He lay
on its miry bottom, wounded, and bleeding; groan-
ing piteously, and utterly unable to rise. Confucius,
walking by, approached the edge of the pit, and
Poor fellow! I am very sorrow for you. Why
were you such a fool as to get in there ? Let me
give you a piece of advice :-If you ever get out,
don't fall in again.
"I can't get out," groaned the unfortunate man.
A Buddhist priest came by next; he leaned over,
and gazed a while at the suffering man, and said.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 35
"Poor fellow! I am very much pained to see you
there: I think if you could manage to scramble up
two-thirds of the way, or even the half, I could reach
you and lift you up the rest."
But the man in the pit was entirely helpless. He
could not stand upon his feet, or even move a limb.
Next, Jesus came by. He heard the cries. He
went to the very brink of the pit. He reached down
His Almighty arm. He took hold of the poor man.
He brought him up out of the horrible pit, and
the miry clay." He healed his wounds. He set his
feet upon a rock, and established his goings, and
said unto him, Go, and sin no more."
This is one way in which it is injurious to have
any other god than the Lord. It leaves us without
The other way is this ;-IT EXPOSES US TO MANY
We are told in the Bible Their sorrows shall
be greatly multiplied who go after other gods."
And we read in another place that "The dark
places of the earth are full of the habitations of
cruelty." All the cruelties of heathen lands result
from their having taken other gods than the Lord.
Thousands of widows have been burned on the
funeral piles of their husbands; and multitudes of
children have been buried alive, or been thrown to
the wild beasts to be devoured; and all these cruel-
ties have been occasioned by having other gods than
Suppose we go to a certain mountain-region in
India, inhabited by a tribe of people called Khunds.
They have another god than the Lord. They wor-
ship a cruel, blood-thirsty goddess. The people
think that she loves to prevent their corn from grow-
ing, and to do them all the mischief she can. They
try to please her, that she may send them good crops
36 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
They think that she delights in blood. And what
pleases her most is, not the blood of calves or goats,
but human blood,-the blood of boys and girls.
Sometimes they steal children, but more frequently
they buy them, because they fancy that their god-
dess likes those best for whom a price has been paid.
These are their victims. They take care of them,
and feed them well, till they grow fat. Then, just
before the time comes for sowing their fields, they
hold a festival; and make a sacrifice to their god-
dess. Multitudes of people come together. A boy
or a girl who has been fattened for the occasion, is
brought out, and tied to a tree. Dressed in their
holiday-clothes, the people dance and sing around
the tree. Presently the priest gives a signal; the
people rush upon the poor child with sharp knives,
and cut off pieces of his quivering flesh, which they
bury in their fields to ensure a plentiful crop. How
dreadful this is! English missionaries are trying to
stop this horrible work. They have opened schools
for the reception of the poor children rescued from
this cruel fate. In the course of two years five hun-
dred and forty-seven children were snatched from this
dreadful death. All this misery is caused by having
other gods than the Lord. If we could have stood
in the field, where'one of these awful sacrifices took
place, and have heard the fearful screams of the poor
child who was thus being cut to pieces, ah then we
should have understood how very injurious it is to
have any other god but the Lord.
But it is not only the heathen who break this
commandment, and feel the evil of it. All, who are
not Christians, have some other god but the Lord.
And all, who do this, will be made to feel how very
injurious it is. When trouble and sorrow come
upon them they will have none to comfort them.
When their sins press upon them as a heavy burden,
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 37
they will have none who can give them pardon, and
so lift off that burden. When they come to die,
they will have no one to lean on, as they go through
the dark valley. At the judgment seat they will
have no one to be their friend. In eternity they
will have nothing to make them happy. And there
they will be learning, for ever and ever, how sad a
thing it is to have any other god than the Lord. It
is very injurious.
The third and last reason is that it is VERY
There are two things about this which show how
wicked it is. There is robbery in it. And it is not
robbing our friends, or our relations, or our fellow-
creatures, or the angels of heaven. Any of these
would be bad enough; but this is worse than all of
them put together. It is robbing God! Our afec-
tions belong to God. We ought to love Him more
than any one else; but if we have some other God
than the Lord, we don't love Him at all. This is
robbing Him of our affections.
Our praises belong to God. He is worthy to be
praised. We ought to praise Him continually, for
all the mercies He bestows upon us. But if we have
some other god than the Lord, we don't praise Him
at all. This is robbing Him of the praises which
belong to Him.
Our obedience belongs to God. He expects us to
obey Him. It is right that we should do so.
Is it not right for children to obey their father?
But God is our father, and it is right to obey
Him. Is it not right for servants to obey their
master ? But God is our Master, and it s right to
obey Him. Is it not right for subjects to obey their
king ? But God is our king. He is the great and
glorious king of angels as well as of men. He is
" King of kings and Lord of lords." But if we have
38 THE KING' ITGHWAY.
any other god than the Lord, we do not obey Him.
We rob Him of the obedience which belongs to Him
as our Father, our Master, our King. Can anything
be more wicked than this The prophet Malachi
asks the question with great surprise : "Will a man
rob God 1 It is dreadful to think of such a thing !
and yet there are multitudes of people who do it.
We ought to have no other gods but the Lord. It
is very wicked to do so. One reason why it is so
wicked is, because there is robbery in it.
But there is another reason why it is very wicked.
It is so because there is treason in it. Perhaps some
of you don't know what treason means. In coun-
tries that are governed by kings, it is considered
treason if a person tries to kill f;he king; or if he
unites with other persons to oxarturn the govern-
ment, and try to set up another king, this would be
considered as treason. In this country, where we
have no king, if persons make war against the
government; or if a general, who has charge of a
fort should deliver it up to the enemies of his coun-
try, that act would be regarded as treason.
For example, all of you who are acquainted with
the history of the American Revolution, remember
reading about Benedict Arnold. He was a general
in the American army, and a very brave man. In
the early part of the revolutionary war he fought
many battles for his country; and gained a great
deal of honour and glory for himself as a soldier.
But after a while he was tried for some misconduct.
He was found guilty of behaving improperly, and
ordered to be reproved by General Washington.
This made him very angry; and, in order to revenge
himself, he resolved to betray the fortress of West
Point, on the Hudson River, into the hands of the
enemy. That was one of the most important forts
in the country. If he had succeeded, it would have
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. 39
been one of the very worst things that happened to
the Americans in all that long war. Arnold had agreed
to give it for a sum of money when they got posses-
sion of West Point. The arrangements were all
made, and just about to be executed, when the plot
was discovered. This act brought great disgrace
upon the name of Arnold. lie is always spoken of
as "the traitor." The attempt to sell a fort, belong-
ing to his country, into the hands of her enemies,
was treason. And this shows what is meant by say
ing that there is treason in having any other god but
the Lord. Those who do this are acting towards
God, in just the same way in which Arnold acted to-
wards his country.
But every one of us has a heart, or soul, com-
mitted to his care. It belongs to God. No one else
has any right to it. Iis flag should wave over it.
His law should be obeyed in it. But if we have any
one else than the Lord for our God, we betray the
fortress, that belongs to God, into the hands of IIis
enemies ; and unfurl the banner of rebellion over it.
This is treason towards God. It is being a traitor
to Him. Treason is the greatest crime that a person
can commit against his country. In former times,
when a person guilty of treason was caught, he was
carried to the place of execution in an open cart.
Then he was hung. Then his head was cut off, and
his body cut up into four pieces. This was done to
show the greatness of his crime.
And as treason is the greatest crime against
our country, so it is the greatest sin we can commit
against our God. Yes, it is very wicked to
have any other gods but the Lord. There is
robbery in it; and there is treason in it.
Thus we have considered three reasons why we
should have no other god but the Lord. It is very
foolish; very injurious; and very wicked to do so.
40 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
I do not stop to ask if any of you are guilty of this
great sin. We are all guilty of it, till we are converted,
and become Christians. If Jesus has not changed
your hearts, and made you His children, you are all
guilty of this great sin. You have some other god
than the Lord. You have surrendered the fortress
of your heart to the power and authority of the
enemy of God. You are in rebellion against Him.
The banner of rebellion is waving over the fortress
of your heart. What will you do Oh haul down
that flag. Open your heart to Jesus! He wants
you to do this. He says: "Behold, I stand at the
door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and
open unto me, I will come in, and sup with him."
Jesus wants your heart; and Satan wants it. Whose
shall it be
If you want to know to what country a fort or
town belongs, you look to the flag that waves over
it. That shows whose it is. And so it is with our
hearts ? But what are the flags of our hearts ? Why,
our actions. These shew whose we are, and whom
we serve. Jesus said, "Ye are my friends, if ye do
whatsoever I command you." When we do what
Jesus wants us to do, we hoist His flag. When we
do wrong; when we get angry, or break the Sab-
bath, or disobey our parents, then we hang out
Satan's flag. Shall he be our master ? Shall we do
his work ? Shall he be our god ? Oh! let us pray
for God to help us to tear down Satan's flag, and to
keep the flag of Jesus over us. In the language of
the hymn we are about to sing, let us say:-
"Lord, in Thy name appearing,
We come on bended knee :
Oh! teach us how to worship
No other god but Thee !"
THE FInST COMMANDMENT. 4]
HYMN ON THE FIRST COMMANDMENT
There are no gods but One; yet we,
A thousand things may take,
And set them on our spirit's throne,
And thus a god may make.
That is our god, which most we love,
And which, could we possess,
Would make us all the fulness prove,
Of earthly happiness.
Pleasure, or dress, or selfish ease,
May be a god to me;
SFor thousands, Lord, bestow on these
The love they owe to Thee !
But how shall these our spirits cheer,
When care or sorrow's nigh ?
How can they bring the Saviour near,
When we are called to die 1
Then rule Thou only in my mind !
Thine only let me be!
And, loving all men, let me find
No other god but T'hee
42 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
,e -tnu ont --- -i _t.
'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness
of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath,
or that is in the water under the earth:
"Thou halt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them : for I the
Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT. 43
upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep
my commandmente."-ExoDUS xx. 4-6.
Ir you should go to a new school, to which you had
never been before, one of the first questions you
would ask your teacher would be, What must I do,
sir? And when your teacher had opened the book
you were to study, and marked out your lesson, the
next question you would want to ask would be, How
must I learn it ? Am I just to read it over? or, am
I to say it in my own words ? or, must I commit it
to memory, and say it word for word, just as it is in
the book ? What you were to learn, and how you
were to learn it, would be very important questions.
When God brought the Israelites to Mount Sinai,
as I told you in the first sermon on the command-
ments, they were taken as it were, to a new school.
God was their teacher. He came down upon the top
of Mount Sinai, in the midst of thunder and light-
ning, to teach them. The first lesson they had to
learn was about worship. What must we worship ?
was the question. The first commandment answered
this. It told them they were to worship the Lord
their God, and no one else.
Then the next lesson they had to learn was, How
must we worship the Lord ? The second command-
ment answers this question. The first commandment
points out the true object of worship: the second
points out the true manner of worship. One shows
us whom we are to worship; the other shows us how
we are to worship.
The second commandment is our subject this after-
noon. It teaches us how we are to worship God. Now,
there are two questions that we must try to answer
in considering this commandment.
The first question is this : What does this com.
44 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
nandment forbid The second is: Why does it
What does this commandment forbid ?
It forbids the use of images and pictures in our
Let us see what this commandment says: It says,
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image."
"A graven image," of old time, is the same that we
should now call a carved image. A graver, then,
was the same as a carver now. And a carver, we
know, is one who carves, or makes images, or figures
out of wood. The figure-heads of men, or women,
or other objects that we see on the bows of ships and
other vessels, are graven or carved images. And so
are the figures of Indians that we see, as signs, in
front of certain stores. Or the graven image might
have been made of stone. Then we should call the
maker of it a sculptor; and we should speak of such
an image as a statue. A graven image might have
been made either of wood or stone.
We often read, too, in the Bible, of molten images,
though they are not mentioned in the commandment.
A molten image was one made out of melted metal,
such as iron, or brass, or gold, or silver.
But the commandment speaks of a likeness of
anything," as well as of an image. What does it
say about this ? Thou shalt not make unto thee
. any likeness of anything that is in heaven
above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in
the water under the earth."
The likeness here spoken of means a picture or
painting of anything. Hanging up in the Hall of
Independence, in Chesnut Street, is a painted portrait
of General Washington.
There is also in that hall a statue of Washington
carved out of wood. That is a "graven image" of
Washington. But is it wrong to have that "graven
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT. 45
image," or that likeness there ? Is that breaking the
second commandment ? No. Does anybody ever go
there to worship that image of Washington 1 No.
Does anybody ever go into that hall to worship the
likeness of William Penn ? .or Lafayette ? or Frank-
lin 7 No. This commandment only forbids us hav-
ing images, or likenesses, for the purpose of worship-
ping them. It does not forbid us to have images, or
statues, or paintings, just to look at, and admire, for
the beauty of their form, or for the wonderful way in
which they are made to look like real persons, or
There is a building called "The Academy of Fine
Arts." This is full of graven images, and molten
images, and the likenesses of things in heaven, and
things on earth, and things in the water under the
earth. There are many pieces of beautiful sculpture
there ; statues, or images in plaster, and brass, and
marble ; and many interesting paintings. But it is
not wrong to have them, because they are not put, or
kept, there for people to worship them, but only to
look at, and admire. And it is only having images
or pictures to worship, that the commandment for-
bids. It is not having them that is forbidden by the
commandment, but making a wrong use of them.
But suppose, now, that some one should say to
you that he believed it was wrong to have images
or paintings at all, even though they were not wor-
shipped. And suppose this person should try to per-
suade you to go home and destroy all the images or
paintings in your dining-rooms, how could you prove
clearly that he was wrong ?
Let me show you. The second commandment says,
we must not have images or pictures to worship them ;
but this does not mean that we are not to have them
for any other purposes. For in another place in the
Bible (Deut. iv. 19) God says we must not look upon
46 THE KInG S HIGHWAY.
the sun, and the moon, and the stars to worship them.
Now, is it wrong to look at the sun, and moon,
and stars ? Of course not. Why, we cannot help
looking at them, unless we pluck our eyes out, or
keep them shut all the time. Oh no, they are
glorious objects. It does us good to look at them,
and think about them. When you look at a beautiful
star in the heavens at night, how often you are
ready to take up those simple words and say ;-
"Twinkle, twinkle, little star !
How I wonder what you are."
David used often to look up to the stars, when he
was watching his sheep in the fields of Bethlehem;
and he felt that it did him good. It was this feeling
that led him to write the words of that beautiful
Psalm (viii. 3, 4,) in which he says ;-
When I consider the heavens, the work of Thy
fingers : the moon and the stars which Thou hast or-
dained ; what is man that Thou art mindful of him,
or the son of man that Thou visitest him ?" Looking
at the heavens made David feel humbled. And so it
will help to make anybody feel. People in old time
carried this feeling so far that when they looked upon
the sun, and moon, and stars, they worshipped them.
God forbade the Israelites to do this. But nobody is
so foolish as to suppose that this is intended to for-
bid people looking at the heavenly bodies for any
other purpose. And if you admit this, then you
must admit that the commandment which forbids our
having images, or paintings, for the purpose of wor-
shipping them, does not forbid our having them for
But, when the heathen make images of their gods,
and then kneel down and worship them, do they
break this commandment I Yes. And when the
"THE SECOND COMMANDMENT. 47
Roman Catholics make crucifixes-images of the
Saviour on the cross-or images of the Virgin Mary,
or pictures of the saints, and bow down before them
in worship, is this breaking the second command-
Those who pray to the virgin and the saints, think
that they will be more ready to hear their prayers
than the blessed Saviour Himself; but is not this a
A Romish priest was once talking to a clever boy,
belonging to his parish, who had been attending a
Protestant school in the neighbourhood. The priest
tried to persuade him to give up his Testament, and
pray to the virgin, to take care of him, and keep him
from danger and harm.
"Plase, your riverence," said the boy, "I rade
in the gospel that when the virgin was on earth, in
going home from Jerusalem she lost her son. She
couldn't tell where he had gone, and was three days
before she found him. Now, if she couldn't take
better care than that of her own child, who was so
near to her, faith, and I'm thinking it's mighty leetle
care she'll take of me, who am so far away from
There was a Scotch nobleman, once, who was a
Roman Catholic. He was very rich ; but lived a
retired life, and left the management of his affairs,
very much, in the hands of his steward, and other
servants. One of his tenants, named Donald, was a
uious Protestant. He rented a farm from the noble-
man, on which his forefathers had lived above two
hundred years. The lease, by which he held the
farm, was on the point of expiring, and the steward
refused to allow Donald to renew it, intending to give
it to a friend of his own. Poor Donald was greatly
distressed, at the thought of being turned out from
his home. He tried every argument in his power to
48 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
induce the steward to let him remain on the farm,
but in vr'n. At last he resolved to make the case
known Fr his lordship himself, feeling sure that he
would Fant his request. But when he applied at
the castle door he was sent away ; the steward hav-
ing given orders that he was not to be admitted.
Donald was almost in despair. Finally, however,
he resolved upon a bold step. He climbed over the
garden wall, and, entering a private door, made his
way, unobserved, towards the apartments of the
nobleman. As he drew near he heard his lordship's
voice engaged in prayer. He waited till he should
conclude, and while doing so distinctly heard him
pleading earnestly with the Virgin Mary, and St
Francis, to intercede with the Father and Son in his
After the voice ceased, Donald knocked gently at the
door and was admitted. He told the simple tale of his
distress. The kind-hearted noblemanwasmuch affected
by his statement. He assured him, at once, that his
lease should be renewed, and himself and family pro-
tected from the resentment of the steward. Donald
was delighted with the success of his plan. He poured
forth his warmest thanks to his generous benefactor,
and was about to take his departure, when a feeling
of anxiety for his gracious patron took possession of
his mind, and he thought he would try and speak a
word to him, that, by God's blessing, might do him
My lord," said he, "I have been a bold man in
venturing into your presence, but you have forgiven
me, and saved me and my family from ruin ; I would
again be a bold man, and speak a word by your lord-
"Well, Donald, speak out," said the nobleman.
"My lord," replied Donald, "as I stood waiting
at your door, I heard you praying, with great earnest-
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT. 49
ness, to the Virgin Mary and St Francis; you seemed
to be very unhappy. Now, my lord, forgive me, but
I cannot help thinking that the Virgin Mary and St
Francis will do you but little good. I should have
been a ruined man if I had trusted to your servants :
I came direct to your lordship, and you heard me.
Now, if you would but leave the Virgin Mary and St
Francis, who, I am convinced, will do no more for
you than your steward would for me, and just go di-
rectly to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and pray for
what you need, He will hear you, and grant you the
desires of your heart : for He has said in His Word,
'Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast
We are not told what the effect of Donald's appeal
was; but certainly his argument was a good one ;
and we may hope that it led the nobleman to see the
folly of applying to the servants, when he might go
at once to the Master: the folly of praying to the
saints, when he had the privilege of praying to Jesus,
the Lord of all the saints.
Thus I have tried to answer the first question:
What does this commandment forbid 1
It forbids the use of images, or pictures, in our
We now come to the second question. This is:
Why does the commandment forbid this ?
The reason, or cause, begins with the word "for,"
in the commandment. God says, "Thou shalt not
make unto thee any graven image, &c., for (or because)
I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the
iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the
third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love
me and keep my commandments."
Now, when we come to look at this part of the
commandment, we find there are three reasons in it.
50 TIE KING S HIGHWAY.
The first reason why we are not to use images and
pictures in our worship is, because the Lord is a
The Bible speaks'to us of God as if He were like
ourselves. And the reason of this is, that we could
not understand what was said of Him, if it spoke
about Him in any other way. For instance, in one
place in the Bible, God says, that all day long He
has stretched out His hands to His people." But
has God any hands I No. But if you want to in-
vite a child toward you, you stretch out your hands
and say, Come," This is an inviting act. It shows
that you want the child to come to you. And so
when God wants His people to come to Him, He says
He stretches out His hands.
In another place in the Bible, God speaks of put-
ting His everlasting arms about His people. But
has God any arms ? No. But when a mother puts
her arms around her child, she does it to show her
love and care for it, and her desire to protect it from
harm. And so, when God would show how He loves
and cares for His people, and intends to protect
them, He speaks of putting His everlasting arms
There is a passage in the Bible which tells us that
"the eyes of the Lord are in every place." Now, has
God any eyes ? No. But when we say that our eye
is in a certain place or on a certain thing, we mean to
say that we know about that place or thing. For in-
stance, my eye is on that pew. I know who are in
it. My eye is on that door; I know if any one
comes in, or goes out. My eye is on that boy, or that
girl; I know what he or she is doing. And so when
we read that God's eye is "in every place," it means
that He knows all that is done in every place.
The Bible sometimes speaks of God as being angry.
Now God is never really angry. But He acts in a
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT. 51
similar way to that in which men act when they are
angry ; and there is no other way in which we can
understand this than by saying that He is angry.
Here, for example is a little boy who tells a lie. His
father hears oi it. He is angry, and punishes the
boy. So, when God punishes His people for their
sins, He acts in the same way in which a man acts
when he is angry, and we can only understand it by
saying that he is angry.
And just so, in this commandment, the Lord is
spoken of as a jealous God." This means that God
feels and acts very much as men do when they are
jealous. Now there are two kinds of jealousy. One
is a wrong feeling, the other is right.
For instance, here is a little gill, four or five years
old. She is the only child in the family. She is
loved and petted greatly by her parents. After a
while a dear little baby comes into that family. But
instead of loving it, the little girl hates it, and wishes it
was away. She can't bear to think that her parents
should love any one but herself. She is jealous of
the baby. But this is a wrong sort of jealousy. It
is a mean, wicked feeling. God is never jealous in
There is another sort of jealousy. It is a good and
right feeling. I wonder if I can show you just what
it is. Let me try.
Suppose, for instance, you were the king of a large
island. You love your people very much, and they
love you. They are all happy and prosperous. And
suppose that a wicked, good-for-nothing man should
come to your island, and try to steal away the affec-
tions of your people, and persuade them to make him
king instead of you. lie wants to take away your
kingdom, and rob and ruin your people. Now you
might very well feel uncomfortable about this man.
This feeling would be jealousy. It would be a right
52 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
kind of jealousy. And it would lead you to do two
things. You would watch him very closely. With
the eye of a lynx you would follow him in all his
movements. And if you caught him actually trying
to draw off the affections of your people from you,
and stir them up to rebellion, oh! then you would,
if in your power, punish him how severely!
This is something like the feeling in God which
the commandment calls jealousy. God is a great
King. All His willing subjects are happy. Satanis
the wicked, worthless being who is trying to take His
place and overturn His government. One of the ways
in which he attempts to do this is by drawing mep
into idolatry. Where he can't succeed in getting met.
to practise open idolatry, by giving up the worship of
God altogether, he tries to get as near this as he can,
by persuading them to use images, and pictures in
.heir worship. He knows that this is contrary to
God's commandment. He knows it is very displeas-
ing to God. He knows that all who use these images
and pictures are doing his (i.e. Satan's) work, and
helping to make him king instead of God. Hence
God is jealous of Satan and his efforts. He watches
him narrowly; and all who try to help him. He feels
hurt when people lend their influence to Satan, His
great enemy, and our enemy. And it is right for Him
to feel so. And He is not only quick to see, but strong
to punish all who help Satan in this matter.
The commandment forbids us to use images or pic-
tures in our worship, because the Lord is a jealous God.
This is the first reason.
The second reason is, because if we break God'i
commandments, others besides ourselves must suffer
God says He visits the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children, unto the third and fourth genera-
tion of them that hate Him." This does not mean
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT. 53
that the souls of children are lost on account of their
fathers' sins : but it means that sin is such a dread-
ful thing, that if we commit it, it will bring suffering
upon others, as well as on ourselves, in this life. This
is God's law. No persons can alter it, any more
than they can make the sun rise in the west and
set in the east.
There is a little infant six months old. It has the
convulsions. See how wildly its little eyes roll!
See how it foams at the mouth It struggles, and
groans, and dies. Poor little thing! How did it
come to suffer so Had it ever committed any sin ?
No ; it was too young for that. Then what occa.
signed its sufferings ? The sin of Adam, committed
six thousand years before, was the cause of it. This
is very fearful. You ask me to explain it. I cannot
do it. No one can explain it. And yet no one can
deny it. Some people find fault with this law. But
God is wiser than man. He knows best what laws
to make. We see just the same kind of laws in
other things, and no body thinks of finding fault
For instance, suppose I own a house in the middle
of a row of frame houses. Well, my house is old, and
overrun with rats and vermin. I have made up my
mind to make a bonfire of it, and burn it down. I
kindle a fire in the midst of it, and very soon it is all
in a blaze. Now when the fire has done burning my
house will it stop? Ah! no; it will spread tothe
house next door, and then to the next, till the whole
row is in flames. God has made it the law of fire to
spread. Once kindle a flame, and no one can tell
how soon will it stop ? This is the law of fire. But
have we any right to complain ? No. It is a good
law; it is the best law that can be made; but it
teaches us to be careful how we kindle fires.
Suppose a man takes a keg of gunpowder into the
54 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
midst of a room full of people. He says he is tired
of living, and wants to kill himself. Then he lights
a match and thrusts it into the powder. Will it just
kill him only without others ? No ; the dreadful ex-
plosion will blow them all up together. It is the law
God has made, for gunpowder to explode in that way.
But have we any right to complain of this law ? No.
It is a good law. Porder would be of no use with-
out it. But it shows as how careful we should be
about letting sparks fall into gunpowder.
I Suppose you throw a stone into the air ; what will
become of it ? It will fall to the ground. That is
the law God has made for stones and heavy bodies.
It is a very good law. Suppose we were on the top
of one of the high mountains in Switzerland. A
great many people are climbing up the steep side of
the mountain. Now, if we loosen a great mass of
rock, and send it rushing down the side of the moun-
tain, will it stop when it gets near the people ? No;
it will go thundering on, crushing and tearing every
thing before it. But have we any right to complain
that God has made it the law of heavy bodies to fall ?
No ; but knowing this law, we ought to be very care-
ful how we loosen great rocks, and throw them down
from the tops of mountains. And it is just so with
sin. Like fire it spreads, and rages, and burns, more
than those who kindle it expected. Like powder, it
explodes with terrible effect, and injures others than
those who dropped the spark into it. Like the rock,
loosened from the mountain-top, it is very hard to
stop, and will crush all in its path. God has made
this to be the law of sin, to show us how dreadful a
thing it is, and to make us afraid of breaking His
commandments, because it will bring evil on others
as well as on ourselves.
This is the second reason why God's law forbids
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT. 55
us to use images, or pictures, in our worship. It brings
evil on others as well as on ourselves.
But there is a third reason why the commandment
forbids this, namely, because it will bring blessings om
others, as well as ourselves, if we mind it.
We read here, that the Lord showeth mercy to
thousands of those who love Him, and keep His com-
Look at good King David. He loved and served
God f.irli,, ; and hundreds of years after he was
dead and buried, God spared the people of Israel,
many a time, when they deserved to be punished,
and heaped blessings upon them for the sake of
Look at Joseph. You know how God blessed
Potiphar and his house, and the keeper of the prison,
and Pharaoh upon his throne, and all the land of
Egypt, for the sake of Joseph.
And look at Abraham. He kept God's command-
ments. God told him to offer up his darling son,
Isaac, for a burnt-offering. He went away imme-
diately to do it. God blessed him for this, and pro-
mised to bless all the world through him on account
of it. It is about four thousand years since Abraham
obeyed God in this way. And yet we, here in this
church, to-day, are sharing in that blessing. Jesus,
our glorious Saviour, was Abraham's son, and all the
blessings that Jesus brings us come through Abra-
ham's obedience. And in the same way, God will
bless others, through us, if we keep His command-
ments. What a strong motive this is! Why, we
read of persons being willing to suffer the greatest
evils for the sake of doing good to others.
In the battle of Sempach, fought between the Aus-
trians and the Swiss, before the use of fire arms, a
brave Swiss soldier, whose name was Arnold Winkel-
reid, nobly sacrificed his life for the sake of his country
56 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
The Swiss army was very small, and that of the Aus-
trians very large. The Austrian front presented such
an unbroken ridge of spears, that the Swiss soldiers
could not get at their enemies. So Arnold told his
comrades to follow him, and he would open for them
a way to victory. Ie then rushed up to the Austrian
front, and grasping as many spears as he could reach
with his outstretched arms, they were thrust into his
body; and as he sunk down to the earth, pierced
through by all those spears, the Swiss soldiers
pressed into the opening thus made, and gained the
Make way for liberty,' he cried;
Make way for liberty, and died."
Arnold Winkelreid laid down his life for the sake of
securing blessings for his country.
You know that in Holland there are large parts of
the country that lie below the level of the sea. The
people, in those parts, build great walls, or banks of
earth, to keep the water from overflowing the country.
These banks are called dykes. Sometimes these dykes
give way, and then the water rushes in and overflows
the country, destroying much property and many
One night a little boy, in Holland, was returning
home from a village, to which he had been sent by his
father, on an errand. As he was walking along he
saw a little hole in the dyke, through which the wa-
ter was beginning to run. The hole was so small that
he could just cover it with his hand. He knew that if
it was left till morning, the bank would be washed
away, and the sea would rush through and drown all
the village. He was even afraid that, if he left it
till he ran to the village and back again, the opening
made might be too great to stop till much damage
had been done. So he resolved to stay there and
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT. 57
keep his hand over the hole till somebody came by
whom he could send to tell the villagers of their dan-
ger. Then he took his stand on the dyke, and kept
his hand over the place, and waited patiently for
somebody to come. But no one came. The shades
of evening gathered round: the darkness of night
settled upon him : still no one came. Hour after
hour rolled slowly away, and there the brave boy
stood manfully at his post. In cold and darkness,
wet, tired, and shivering, he remained there, stoutly
pressing his hand against the dangerous place. All
night he remained in that position. At last the
morning broke. A clergyman, walking on the dyke,
heard a groan, and looked round to see where it
What are you doing there, my child he asked,
seeing the boy, and surprised at his strange position.
I am keeping the water back, sir, and saving the
village from being drowned," said the boy, with lips
so benumbed with cold that he could hardly speak.
The astonished minister took the boy's place, and sent
him to tell the villagers. They came and stopped
the breach. Thus, the boy at the dyke was willing
to suffer all night for the sake of doing good to his
friends and neighbours.
Let me tell you one more story to illustrate this
part of the subject before I close. The circumstance
I am going to tell you took place about twenty years
ago, at a village called Ragenbach, in Germany. One
afternoon a great number of the village people were
assembled in the large room of the inn. There was
only one door to the room, and that stood open. The
village blacksmith -a good-natured, pious, brave-
hearted man-sat near the door, talking pleasantly,
with some of his neighbours in the room.
All at once a large dog came and stood right in the
door. He was a great powerful beast, with a fierce
58 TIE KING'S HIGHWAY.
frightful look. His head hung down, his eyes were
bloodshot, his great red tongue hung half out of his
mouth, and his tail was dropped between his legs.
As soon as the keeper of the inn saw him, he turned
pale, and exclaimed, MAercy on us, the dog is mad !"
Then the women screamed, and there was great con-
fusion in the room. There was no way out but by the
door in which the dog stood, and no one could pass
him without being bitten.
Stand back, my friends," cried the brave smith,
" till I seize the dog; then hurry out while I hold
him. Better for one to perish than for all."
As he said this he seized the foaming beast with an
iron grasp, and dashed him on the floor. Then a ter-
rible !,..l.1. followed. The dog bit furiously on
every side, in a most frightful manner. His long
teeth tore the arms and thighs of the heroic smith,
but he would not let go his hold. Unmindful of the
great pain it caused, and the horrible death which he
knew must follow, with the grasp of a giant, he held
down the snapping, biting, howling brute, till all his
friends had escaped in safety. Then he flung the
half-strangled beast from him against the wall, and
dripping with blood and venomous foam, he left the
room, and locked the door. The dog was shot through
the window: but what was to become of the brave
but unfortunate smith ?
The friends whose lives he had saved at the expense
of his own, stood round him, weeping. Be quiet,
my friends," he said, don't weep for me; I've only
done my duty. When I am dead, think of me with
love; and now pray for me that God will not let me
suffer long or too much. I know I shall become
mad, but I will take care that no harm comes to you
Then he went to his shop. He took a strong chain.
One end of it he rivetted with his own hands round
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT. 59
his body, the other end he fastened round the anvil, so
strongly that no earthly power could loose it. Then
he looked round on his friends and said,-
Now it's done-you are all safe. I can't hurt
you. Bring me food while I am well, and keep out
of my reach when I am mad The rest I leave with
Nothing could save the brave smith. Soon mad-
ness seized him ; and after nine days he died. What
a noble fellow What a real hero that was He was
willing to endure all this for the sake of securing
blessings for his friends.
But there is one example better than any of these.
Think of Jesus. He suffered for more than thirty
years. He suffered in the garden; IHe suffered on the
cross, that He might secure rich and everlasting bless-
ings for poor sinners such as we are. When we
think of Jesus,-Arnold Winkelrcid-tlie boy at the
dyke-the smith of Ragenbach, and all other exams
ples fade away, like the stars before the sun.
The third reason why the commandment forbids the
worship of imaryes is, because minding it will briny
blessings on others, as well as on our ourselves.
Now we have had two questions before us. What
does this commandment forbid ? and 1Why does it
forbid it ? Under the second question, we have had
three reasons;-The first reason is, because God is a
jealous God. The second is, because others beside our-
selves must .. if we don't mind. And the third is,
because it will bring blessings on others, beside our-
selves, if we do mind.
And now, my dear children, I want each one of
you to ask yourself this question. How can I do
the greatest good to myself-to" my parents-to my
brothers and sisters-to my country, and to the
world I The answer is very short. It is by loving
Jesus and keeping Iis commandments. But you
60 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
never can do this in your own strength. No. But
if you ask Jesus to give you the help of His grace
and Spirit, then you will be able to love Him, and
keep His commandments, and thus secure the great-
est blessing for yourselves and others !
HYMN ON THE SECOND COMMANDMENT.
While angels bow before Thee,
And sing Thy praise above;
Lord, teach us to adore Thee,
And seek Thy pardoning love.
And while our lips are singing
The notes we love to raise,
Oh may our hearts be bringing
A tribute to Thy praise.
Thou art a God who beareth
No rival near Thy throne;
Yet many a creature shareth
The love that is Thine own.
A thousand things around us
Our idol gods may be:
And many a tie hath bound us
That binds us not to Thee.
THE THIRD COMMA NDMENT. 61
But, in His name appealing,
Who died that we might live;
Before Thy footstool kneeling,
We pray Thee to forgive.
Oh help us, now and ever,
Our hearts on Thee to place,
And every tie to sever,
That draws us from Thy face.
Ne ^~ij'tr CQommanbnm nt.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain for the
Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain."
ExoDUs xx. 7.
WHAT do oak trees come from ? Acorns. Yes, we
read in our primers ; Tall oaks from little acorns
grow." But if you plant an acorn in the ground to-
62 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
day, will you find an oak tree there to-morrow ? No;
it takes the oak a great many years to grow. And
so when the farmer sows his field with wheat it takes
it a good while to grow. It springs up gradually.
There is "first the blade, then the ear, afterwards the
full corn in the ear." So the river is made up of the
drops which the rills roll into it; and the ocean is
made up of what the rivers pour into it.
What are you boys good for?" asked a gentle-
man one day of some little fellows, who were playing
at the corner of the street. One of them looked up
to him with an air of importance, and said, We are
good to make men of, sir." Yes, the tiny baby, in
time, grows to be a big boy ; and the big boy, after
a while, grows to be a man. And so there is growth
in everything. When we look at a tree, there are
first the roots; then the trunk ; then the branches;
and then the leaves and fruit. You cannot have the
leaves without the branches. You cannot have the
branches without the trunk. You cannot have the
trunk without the roots. Order and connection, like
this, we find in all that God does.
Something of this same kind we see in the com-
mandments. There is a beautiful order in them.
You know we have had two commandments already.
And if you examine them, you will find that these
two commandments begin with teaching us how we
ought to feel towards God. Then this third com-
mandment teaches us how we ought to speak about
God ; then the others are occupied in showing us how
we ought to act towards Him, and towards our fel-
What are the words of the third commandment ?
"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God
in vain ; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that
taketh His name in vain."
Now, there are three questions to be answered in
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT. 63
considering this commandment. The first question
is--What is meant by God's name ? The second
question is-How is this name taken in vain 1 The
third question is- Why should we not do this ?
Our first question is--What is meant by the name
If I were speaking to a congregation of grown per-
sons, I should say that God's name means His titles,
and attributes. I will say the same to you ; and I
think you can understand what I mean by His titles
But what is a title or name 7 It is the word by
which a thing is known. For instance, here is this
church in which we are now assembled. What is it
called St Paul's Church. That is the title or name of
of it. That is the word by which it is known. You
distinguish it from all other churches by that word.
Suppose you had never seen a flower. I bring a
large, beautiful one to show you. It has a multi-
tude of leaves all growing closely together. Its fra-
grance is delightful-you seem as if you would never
be tired of smelling it. Its colour is a deep red, or
crimson. I write the title of the flower under it-
rose. The flower is a rose. That is its name. When-
ever you see that word you will know that it stands
for that beautiful, fine-coloured, fragrant flower.
And so every word used in the Bible to stand for
God, is meant by His name. We find a great many
words of this kind. Among them are these-Lord-
-Preserver-Redeemer-King of kings, and so forth.
The commandment means any, or all, of these when
it speaks of the name of God. These are His names
But there was another word that I said was meant
by the name of God, besides the word titles. What
is that ? His attributes.
64 THE'KING 8 HIGHWAY.
An attribute is something that belongs to a person
or thing, and forms a part of his character or nature.
For instance, did you ever taste the water from the
sea l How does it taste Salt Yes. Hence, it
is always called salt-water. It belongs to sea-water
to be salt. That is a part of its nature. Saltness is an
attribute or quality of sea-water. I am sure I need
not ask you if you ever tasted sugar ? Everbody has.
And how does it taste ? Sweet 1 Yes. It belongs
to sugar to be sweet. It is a part of its nature.
Sweetness is an attribute or quality of sugar. And
so the attributes of God are the things that belong to
Him, and form part of His nature. Thus-wisdom
belongs to God. That is one of his attributes. Power
belongs toGod. Thatisanotherof His attributes. And
so goodness-mercy-love-and the like, are all the
attributes of God. They belong to His nature.
We read in the Bible that once, when Moses was on
earth, he wanted to see God. God told him that he
could not see His face, because it would kill him to do
that. But God said He would teach Moses His name,
and show him a little of His glory; abopt as much
as he could bear, without hurting him. S.. He put
Moses in a cleft, or hollow place of a rock, on the side
of a mountain, and covered him with His hand so that
he could just get a peep, or glimpse of His glory as He
passed by. And while He was going by, this was
the way in which God spelled out, or spoke His own
name;-" I am the Lord God, merciful and gracious,
forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin." This
is God's name. It is made up, you see, of titles and
attributes. The titles are Lord and God. The attri.
butes are mercy, grace, forgiveness. God's name
means His titles and His attributes. What does it
mean 7 His titles and His attributes. This is the
first question we were to consider.
And now we come to our second question-How ir
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT. 65
God's name taken in vain? This may be done in
a. We take God's name in vain when we use it
LIGHTLY, or without thinking.
God regards our treatment of His name as if it were
our treatment of his person.
Suppose that Jesus should come, personally into
the midst of us, in all the glory of His heavenly state,
or just as the disciples saw Him on the Mount of
Transfiguration; should we venture to speak to Him,
in the same familiar way in which we speak to our
intimate companions 2 Certainly not. We could not
dare to do it. The majesty of His appearance would
overpower us with awe and reverence. If we did any-
thing at all, it would be to fall down before Him, and
say, each one for himself, with the apostle Thomas,
" My Lord, and my God !"
Well, we should treat His name as we would treat
His person. When we read His name, in the Bible
or elsewhere, or when we use it in singing or prayer,
we should think how great and glorious He is, and
use it with reverence.
I remember reading about a good man once, who
made it a rule always to pause and look up, before he
spoke the name of-God. But we often hear child-
ren, and men and women too, speak of God's holy
name as lightly as they would speak of their own
name, or the name of a fellow-creature. This is very
wrong. It is taking God's name it vain, to use it
lightly, and without thinking.
b. It is taking this name in vain when we use it
FALSELY, Or speak what is not true in connection with
Suppose we are attending a trial, in one of our
courts of justice. A person is called up as a witness ;
that is, he is required to tell what he knows about
the case on trial. Of course it is very important that
66 THE KING S HIGHWAY.
he should speak the truth. In order to make him
more careful about what he says, he is put on his
oath. I mean by this, the person is required to stand
up. Then he lifts his hand towards heaven, and says
something like this;-" I do solemnly swear, or affirm,
that in what I am going to say, I will speak the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; so help
me God." These are very solemn words, for one to
use who knows, that God will bring him into judg-
ment, for every idle or false word spoken. The person
who takes this oath, really prays for God to punish
him, if he do not tell the truth. To say what is not
true, after taking this oath, is to break this command-
ment. It is taking God's name in vain to use it
falsely, or to say what is not true in connection
c. But we break this commandment also when we use
God's name PROFANELY.
This refers to cursing and swearing by this name.
You all know what this means. You hear this done
continually in the streets.
Wicked men, and boys, swear awfully by the name
of the Great and Holy God, who made them, and
who preserves them continually. How dreadful this
is It is enough to make the flesh creep upon one's
bones, and the blood run cold in one's veins, to hear
the shocking way in which sinful men will use the
name of that Great Being, before whom we are told
that the angels veil their faces, and in whose presence
they bow down in solemn reverence. This is the
chief thing to which the commandment refers. To
speak lightly or falsely of God's name, is to break this
commandment ; but it is especially so to speak pro-
fanely of it.
Thus we have considered the first two questions that
were asked. We have seen what the name of God
means. It means His titles or attributes. We havo
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT. 67
seen, also, when this name is taken in vain. It is so
taken when we speak lightly of it; when we speak
falsely of it; and when we speak profanely of it.
We have now to consider our third question;-
Why should we NOT take this name in vain?
To break this commandment is a great sin. Yet
it is a very common sin. What a multitude of
swearers there are! The Bible tells us that, "be-
cause of swearing the land mourneth." Jer. xxiii.
10. If we love our country, and want td see it pros-
per, we must be convinced of the great evil of this
habit of swearing, and not only keep free from it our-
selves, but also try all we can to keep others from it.
For this cause, I will dwell longer on this last ques-
tion, than on either of the others. I wish to mention
five reasons, why we should not be guilty of taking
God's name in vain. Try and remember them.
a. We should not do it because it is USELESS.
There are some sins which people commit because
they find some use in it. If a poor fellow is hungry,
and almost starving, and he steals a loaf of bread to
satisfy his hunger, and keep him from starving, you
can hardly blame him. At any rate, you feel disposed
to excuse him. His hunger is some apology. He
did wrong to steal; yet there was some apology for
him. He had an object to gain. There was use in
what he did.
Or, suppose a man is selling a lot of goods. If he
tell the truth about them, he will only get ten pounds
for them ; but if he tell a lie, and stick to it, he may
perhaps get twenty pounds for them. That would be
a great temptation with many people, to tell the lie.
But it would not make it right. Nothing can make
it right to tell a lie. And if a man should make a
hundred pounds by a single lie, he would gain more,
in the long run, by telling the truth. No lie prospers.
"Honesty is the best policy." But if a man found
68 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
he could make ten or twenty pounds by telling a lie,
he might say there was some use in it. But what use is
there in swearing 1 Who ever made anything by it ?
Who ever thinks any better of a man for hearing him
swear I None can think better, but a great many
will think worse of him who allows himself to swear.
Good old Bishop Griswold used to say, that when
men go a fishing, they always put some bait on their
hooks. But when Satan tempts men to swear, he
throws out a hook without any bait on it, and
swearers are foolish enough to be caught by it.
The good John Howard was once going out into
the street. As he reached the door he heard some
dreadful oaths, from several men coming down the
street. He immediately buttoned up his pocket,
and said to those who stood near him, I always do
this, whenever I hear men swear ; for I think that any
one who can take God's name in vain, can steal, or dq
anything else that is bad."
It used to be thought that swearing, if useful no-
where else, was so, at least, on board ship. Cap-
tains and officers used to think that it was impossible
to keep men in order, on board ship, without
swearing at them. But this was a great mistake.
A pious captain was once appointed to the com-
mand of a British ship of war. When he went on
board, before the ship sailed, he called all the crew to
him on deck, and said to them ; -" My lads, there
is one law I Wish to make, and which I am very
anxious to have kept. It is a favour which I will
ask of you, and which, as a British officer, I expect
will be granted, by a crew of British sailors. What
do you say, my lads ? are you willing to grant your
new captain one favour 7" "Ay, ay, sir," cried all
hands ; let's know what it is."
Well, my lads, it's this : you must allow me to
swear the first oath in this ship. No one on board
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT. 69
must swear an oath before I do; I am determined to
swear the first oath on board. What say you, my
lads; will you grant me this favour V" The sailors
stood, and stared at one another for a moment, quite
at a loss what to say. As one of them afterwards
said; -" They were taken all aback ;" or, as another
expressed it;-" They were brought up all standing."
But the request was so reasonable, and the captain's
manner so kind and pleasant, that they couldn't think
of refusing. Directly, with a general burst, the crew
exclaimed;-" Ay, ay, sir." Then some one pro-
posed, Three cheers for the captain." In a minute,
off went the tarpaulins, and "Hurrah hurrah!
hurrah !" went sounding out, right merrily, from the
decks of that man of-war. Swearing was abolished
on board that ship. They found it was of no use.
And if it is not necessary on shipboard, it is not ne-
cessary anywhere. We ought not to take God's name
in vain, because it is useless.
We ought not to do it, again, because IT Is
It is a mean thing to do and say, behind a person's
back, what you would be afraid to do, or say, before
his face. Everybody admits this. But you may ask,
What has this to do with swearing ? Can any one
swear behind God's back ? or where He will not hear
it? Of course not. God is in every place, seeing
and hearing all that is done or said. But swearers
don't think of this. They don't believe it. They feel
as if they were out of sight and hearing of God; as
if they were behind His back; or else they would be
afraid to swear. This shows that it is cowardly in
them. I know that men and boys sometimes feel aq
if it were a brave thing to swear. But it is not. It
is a mean, cowardly thing.
You remember what took place when God came
down on the top of Mount Sinai, and gave these com-
70 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
mandments to Moses. Dark clouds covered all the
top of the mountain. An angel's trumpet was heard
in the midst of the clouds. It sounded long and loud.
The mountain shook, and trembled, as if it was afraid.
Lightnings flashed, and thunders rolled out from those
clouds. How awful it must have been! Now, do
you suppose that the vilest swearer in the land would
have been willing to go and stand at the foot of that
mountain, and, while it was trembling under his feet,
with the lightning flashing, and the thunders rolling
around him, there deliberately curse and swear by the
name of God? No. He would have been afraid.
Why ? Because he would have felt himself to be in
the presence of God. Then, why is not such a man
afraid to swear at other times ? Because he does not
feel that he is in the presence of God. He feels as if
God were absent, and he is willing to do behind His
back, as it were, what he would be afraid to do before
His face. But this is cowardly.
A gentleman once heard a labouring man swearing
dreadfully, in the presence of a number of his com-
panions. He told him it was a cowardly thing to
swear so, in company with others, when he dared not
do it by himself. The man said he wasn't afraid to
swear, at any time, or in any place. I'll give you
two pounds," said the gentleman, "if you will go
into the village graveyard, at twelve o'clock, to-night,
and swear the same oaths you have just uttered here,
when you are alone with God."
"Agreed," said the man, "It's an easy way of
earning two pounds."
"Well, you come to me to-morrow, and say you
have done it, and the money is yours."
The time passed on. The hour of midnight came.
The man went to the graveyard. It was a night of
pitchy darkness. As he entered the graveyard, not a
sound was heard. All was as still as death. Then
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT. 71
the gentleman's words-" alone with God "-came
over him with wonderful power. The thought of the
wickedness of what he had been doing, and what he
had come there to do, darted across his mind like the
lightning's flash. He trembled at his folly. Afraid
to take another step, he fell upon his knees, and, in-
stead of the dreadful oaths he came to utter, the ear-
nest cry went up ; God be merciful to me a innerr"
The next day he went to the gentleman, and thanked
him for what he had done; and said he had resolved
never to swear another oath as long as he lived.
We ought not to take God's name in vain, because
it is cowardly.
We ought not to do it, again, because it IS VULGAR.
It is contrary to good manners. Really polite
people will not do it. The poet Cowper once wrote
these lines about swearing. It would be worth while
for every boy in our land to commit them to me-
"' It chills my blood to hear the blest Supreme
Lightly appealed to on each trifling theme;
Maintain your rank; vulgarity despise;
To swear is neither brave, polite, nor wise."
True politeness will always lead us to avoid doing
anything that will hurt the feelings of others. If
you are invited out to tea, and, while sitting at the
table, the person who invited you, or any one else of
the company, should speak unkindly and disrespect-
fully of your father, or mother, you would feel that it
was very impolite. But Jesus is the best friend His
people have. He is dearer to them than father, or
mother, husband, or wife. It is, therefore, impolite
in the highest degree, for any one to speak lightly, or
disrespectfully of Him, in the presence of those who
72 MHE KING'S HIGHWAY.
A Southern planter had a favourite negro servant,
who was ordered to stand opposite to him, and wait
at table. His master was a profane person, and often
took the name of God in vain. Whenever he did so
the negro made a low and solemn bow. On being
asked why he did this, he replied, that he never
heard that great name mentioned, but it filled his
soul with awe and reverence. His master was a gen-
tleman. And though he did not fear God, yet, out of
politeness, he gave up swearing, because he was not
willing to hurt the feelings of his servant.
A merchant and shipowner of New York, was
standing at the entrance of his store, conversing with
a gentleman on business. A pious sailor belonging
to one of his vessels, came to the store to enter it;
but observing that the door was occupied, modestly
stepped aside, not willing to interrupt the conver-
While waiting there he heard the name of Jesus
profanely used, and, on turning to look, he observed
that it was his employer who was speaking. Instantly
changing his position, and standing in front of the
gentlemen, with his head uncovered, and his hat un-
der his arm, he addressed the merchant in this lan-
Sir, will you excuse me if I speak a word to
you ?" The gentleman, recognizing him as one of the
crew of his vessel, recently arrived, and supposing
he might have something to say about the business of
the ship, told him to speak on.
You won't be offended, then, sir, with a poor
ignorant sailor, if he tells you his feelings ?" said he.
Certainly not," replied the merchant.
Well, then, sir," said the honest-hearted sailor,
with much feeling, "will you be so kind as not to
take the name of my blessed Jesus in vain ? He is a
good Saviour ? He took my feet out of 'the horrible
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT. 73
pit and miry clay, and established my goings.' Oh,
sir don't, if you please, take the name of my Jesus
in vain He never did any one any harm, but is always
This was said with so much earnestness and feel-
ing, that the gentleman was quite touched. His eyes
filled with tears, and he said;-
My good fellow, God helping me, I will never
again take the name of your Saviour in vain."
Thank you, sir," said the honest tar; and, put-
ting on his hat, he went away to his work.
We ought not to take God's name in vain, because
it is vulgar.
Again, we ought not to do it because it is WICKED.
To do this is to break one of God's commandments.
Many a person allows himself to get into the habit of
swearing, who would be frightened at the thought of
robbery or murder. And yet robbery and murder
are only sins against our fellow-creatures; but swear-
ing is a sin directly against God. The wickedness
of any act depends, a good deal, on the character of
the person against whom it is committed. But think
how great, how glorious God is! All the kings on
the earth, and ten thousand times more, are as no-
thing compared to Him. Oh! how great the wicked-
ness, how awful the sin of taking His holy name in
vain Surely, if people only thought a moment about
this, they would never do it.
A clergyman and his friend, once went to attend a
religious convention in a certain city. During their
stay there, they stopped at the house of a physician.
He was a very intelligent, gentlemanly man, but very
much in the habit of profane swearing, The clergy-
man was told of the doctor's bad habit, before he went
there, and had made up his mind to say something to
him about it, when he heard him make use of an oath.
To his surprise and gratification, however, the doctor
74 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
never swore once, all the time they were there. On
the evening before they went away, the clergyman
Doctor, we are going to leave you tomorrow; we
cannot go away without thanking you heartily, for
all your kindness; and yet, allow me to say, there is
one thing, my dear sir, in which we have been dis-
Disappointed ?" said the doctor.
Yes, sir, but most agreeably."
How so, sir?"
We were told, my dear sir, that you were very
unguarded in your speech, and that we should often
hear profane language from you. But, during our
whole stay, we have not heard a single profane word
used; and we are agreeably disappointed to find that
you have been misrepresented."
No, sir," replied the doctor, I have not been
mirepresented. I am sorry to say that I have fallen
into the bad habit of using profane language; but,
sir, how could I be so impolite as to swear before re-
ligious people, and one of them a clergyman? "
The eyes of the minister filled with tears, while he
earnestly grasped the doctor's hand, and exclaimed-
My dear sir, you surprise me. Can it be that an
intelligent man like you, will pay more regard to a
fellow-creature, a worm of the dust, like yourself,
than to the Great Creator, the Lord of heaven and
Gentlemen," said the doctor, "I never before saw
the folly and wickedness of profane swearing, as I see
it now. I will never swear again."
We ought not to take God's name in vain, because
it is wicked.
There is only one other reason, I will speak of, why
we ought not to do this, and that is, because it is DAN-
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT. 75
The commandment says, God will not hold those
guiltless," who do it. This means that God will cer-
tainly punish them for it. The Bible tells us that
God will bring every work into judgment, whether
it be good, or whether it be evil ." It tells us, again,
that for every idle word that men speak, they must
give account at the last day." And, if for every "idle
word," much more for every profane word.
But God does not always wait till the day of judg-
ment, before he punishes men for taking His name
in vain. He often punishes them for it now, in this
Some years ago, a lady and gentleman set off upon
ponies, to make an excursion, from Margate to Rams-
gate, in England. They were accompanied by two
boys, who belonged to the place, and whose employ-
ment was to attend on persons making excursions,
and drive the ponies. One boy, named John, was
about seventeen years old; the other, named George,
"was about thirteen. John was a very wicked, pro-
fane boy. When they were about a mile on their
way, a violent storm overtook them, accompanied
with tremendous peals of thunder, and awful flashes
of lightning. This obliged the lady and gentleman to
stop, and seek shelter in a neighboring cottage. The
boys, with their ponies, went under a shed. John
was very angry on account of the delay. He cursed
the lightning, and the thunder, and the rain, and the
God who sent them. George was frightened, and
begged him to stop. Then John called him a coward
and a fool; and, with a dreadful oath, he swore that
he would go on in spite of the storm. But, just as
he was starting, a terrible flash of lightning came.
It burnt his clothes, and struck him dead upon the
spot. This produced a great excitement in the
neighbourhood. Thousands of people came to look
at the spot. A sign was set up at the place, as a
76 THE KING'S HtGHWAY.
warning tc all who went by. These were the words
upon it,-" Reader, prepare for eternity. A boy was
struck dead here, while in the act of swearing."
I remember, some time since, hearing of a rich
man, who had a large plantation. He was the most
terribly profane man that had ever been known in the
neighbourhood. He could hardly speak a word on
any subject, without mingling it with oaths. It was
perfectly shocking to hear him speak. At length he
was seized with a stroke of something like paralysis.
Thia left him in good health, only he had lost the use
of his limbs. And the remarkable thing about it was,
that the power of speech was taken away from him,
except that he could still swear. Profane words were
all that he could utter. He used to be carried about
his plantation by his servants, in a sort of hand-
carriage, and the only words that ever fell from his
lips, were dreadful oaths and curses. How awful
this must have been What a terrible illustration it
affords of that passage of scripture-Psalm cix. 17-
19-in which God says, that because the wicked
"love cursing, it shall come into their bones like oil,
and they shall clothe themselves with cursing like a
garment." Surely this man was so clothed. A
dreadful garment it must have been to wear !
These cases show us what the commandment means
when it says, God will not hold them guiltless that
take His name in vain." We see from them that we
ought not to break this commandment, because it is
Thus we have had five reasons why we should not
take God's name in vain. It is useless to do so; it
is cowardly, vulgar, wicked, and dangerous.
I have tried to answer the three questions proposed,
and to show you, first, whal is meant by the name of
God? It means His titles and attributes. Secondly,
how this name is taken tn vain 1 By using it lightly,
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT. 77
falsely, profanely. Thirdly, W hy we should not do
this? It is useless, cowardly, vulgar, wicked, and
My dear children I spoke at the beginning of this
sermon, about oaks growing out of acorns. Now, if
we wanted to prevent any oak trees from growing, the
best plan would be not to put any acrons in the ground,
would it not 1 And so, if you want never to swear
big oaths, the best plan is not to make use of little
ones. There are a great man-7 little oaths that peo-
ple use without thinking. But these only prepare
the way for using other oaths.
There are many persons who are unwilling to
swear by the name of God, but who think nothing of
swearing by George," or by jingo," or by some-
thing else. Others are ever ready to exclaim, "good
gracious," or mercy on us," and the like. These
are the beginnings of swearing. They are to profane
swearing what acorns are to the oak. When you
hear persons using these expressions, you may say to
yourself-" There, the acorn has sprouted; by and
by it will come to an oak."
Our Saviour said, when on earth, Let your yea,
be yea, and your nay, nay; for whatsoever is more
than this cometh of evil." This means that we should
use plain language, without swearing of any kind. And
this is what the third commandment requires of us.
Then lest us all pray with David-Psalm cxli. 3-
Set a watch, 0 Lord, before my mouth; and keep
the door of my lips : or, in the language of our ante-
communion service, let us pray-" O Lord, have
mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this
law." May God give us all grace to do so for Jesus'
78 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
HYMN ON THE THIRD COMMANDMENT,
ALMIGHTY God, while we
Our youthful voices raise,
And offer up to Thee
The tribute of our praise,
Oh! may Thy love our hearts inflame,
And teach us to adore Thy Name.
Thy Name, in beauteous lines
Of light of life, and love,
Throughout creation shines,
Around, beneath, above-
And all on earth, in air, and sea,
Pour forth a song of praise to Thee I
But in the Saviour's face
We read its fairest lines.
Oh! with what wondrous grace,
The Name of Jesus shines;
As children in His arms He pressed,
And with His choicest blessing, blessed.
Oh! may we never dare
To act that wicked part;
Nor offer up a prayer
That comes not from the heart :
Or speak that Name, in careless phrase,
That heaven adores and earth obeys.
Dear Saviour, to our hearts,
Thy Name in mercy show,
The blessings it can give,
Oh! may we early know
Thus shall we yield it honour due,
And others win to love it, too.
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT. 79
And when, before Thy Throne,
We all at last appear;
Thy Name of Love, alone,
Shall be our safety there.
In it we'll stand before Thy Face,
Perfect through Thy abounding grace I
80 THE KING'S HTIGWAY.
', .i _t-71 .
gje onrt a nmntmn unnt.
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou
labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the
Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor
thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle,
nor the stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord
made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, andrested the
seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hal-
lowed it.-EXODUS xx 8-12.
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT. 81
WHAT is the difference between day and night On
is light and the other is dark. What is the differ-
ence between summer, and winter ? One is warm and
the other is cold. What is the difference between a
bird and a fish ? One lives in the air, and the other
lives in the water. What is the difference between
a rose, and a lily? One is red, and the other is white.
What is the difference between sugar, and vinegar 1
One is sweet, and the other is sour. Very well. Now,
what is the difference between the fourth command-
ment and any of the rest ?
There is one word in this commandment, which we
do not find in any of the others. It is the first word
that occurs in it. What is it ? The word-"Remem-
ber." If you turn to the first commandment, does it
begin-" Remember that thou have no other gods
beforeme No. There isno "remember" about it.
Does the fifth begin -" Remember that thou dost
honour thy father and thy mother ?" Not at all.
We do not find this word in any of the others. This
is singular. It means something. It shows us that
there was one thing in which this commandment dif-
fered from all the rest ; it was this-the fourth com-
mandment was an old commandment : the rest were
all new ones.
I do not mean to say that the people did not
know that it was wrong to steal, and to kill, and to
commit such like sins; but I mean to say, that God
had not given the people laws on these subjects, as He
did at Mount Sinai. But He had given them the
law about the Sabbath; and this is the reason why,
when we come to this law, we find it beginning-
" Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
82 THE KING S HIGHWAY
We must know a thing before we can remember
it. If you go to a new school, the teacher first tells
you what the rules of the school are, and then expects
you to remember them. He would be a very unrea-
sonable teacher, if he expected you to remember them
before you knew them. You can't keep a thing in
your hand till you get it there. And it is just so
with the mind. To know a thing is to get it in the
mind. To remember it, is to keep it there, after you
have got it. Now, this law, or commandment about
the Sabbath, was given to Adam and Eve in Para-
dise. It had always been known after that. It is
the oldest law in the world. It was the first law
God ever made for people, in this world, to mind.
And this is the reason why the commandment begins
with the word-" Remember."
Now, let us look at this fourth commandment.
In order to understand it, there are three questions for
us to ask and answer.
The first question is; WHAT Is MEANT BY THE
SABBATH DAY I The second question is; How
MUST WE KEEP IT HOLY 1 and the third question is;
WHY SHOULD WE DO THIS ?
Now, for the first question; WHAT IS MEANT BY
THE SABBATH DAY ?
The word Sabbath means rest. The sabbath day
means the day of rest. The Bible tells us that God
was occupied, for six days, in making the world. By
the close of the sixth day IIe had finished all that He
wanted to make. The sun, and the moon, and the
stars, and this world, and everything in it, was com-
pleted. And God looked on all that He had made,
and behold it was very good." Then, on the seventh
day, He rested. This doesn't mean that God was
tired, as you, or I, should be, if we had been working
hard all the week. God never can be tired. If He
had gone on making worlds, without stopping a mn-
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT. 83
ment, for six years instead of six days, or for six hun-
dred, or six thousand years, He would not have felt in
the least tired. When it says that God rested," it
only means that he stopped, or ceased from the work
")f creating, or making worlds. He had made as many
as He wanted, and then He stopped. In this way
" He rested on the seventh day, and hallowed it," or
made it holy. Hie did this in order to teach Adam,
and Eve, and all their children, that He wanted them
always to stop their work on this day, and keep it
holy in the same way.
The Sabbath day was first kept in Paradise. What
a nice time Adam and Eve must have had, when the
Sabbath day came in that beautiful garden They
had no church, like this, to go to. But every grove,
the shade of every tree, was a church. The whole
garden was one great church. The congregation was
small-it was made up of just two people-but it was
a very attentive one. They had no printed Bible,
like ours, and no ordained minister to preach them a
sermon. Their Bible was all around them. Every
blade of grass, every trembling leaf, every opening,
fragrant, beautiful flower, preached a sermon to them.
Everything they saw seemed to have a tongue with
which to speak to them of the power, and goodness,
the wisdom, and the love of God. They had no organ,
and no choir, to help them, when they wanted to sing
the praises of God. But the gentle wind, that made
sweet music as it swept through the trees of the gar-
den, was their organ; the warbling birds, as they sang
among the branches; the rippling brooks, as they
murmured softly through the groves;-these were
their choir to hymn "their Great Creator's praise."
Thus the Sabbath day was kept in Paradise. How
pleasant it must have been, to spend a Sabbath there !
And the Sabbath day was kept after Adam and Eve
were driven out of Paradise. Enoch kept it, when he
84 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
"walked with God" upon the earth. Noah kept it
in the ark. Abraham and Jacob kept it. The Isra-
elites kept it, in the wilderness, before they came to
Mount Sinai. And it was remembered and kept by
those who loved God, in after ages.
The seventh day was kept as the Sabbath till after
our Saviour rose from the dead. Then His apostles
and followers kept the first day of the week, instead
of the seventh. And this has been observed ever
since. This is the day we keep. The first day of the
week is our Sabbath. This has been kept for nearly
two thousand years. We keep this day in memory
of the resurrection of Jesus. The seventh day used
to be observed in memory of the work of creation,
which was then finished; but the first day is kept
now in memory of the work of redemption, which was
finished when Jesus rose from the dead. By the Sab-
bath day is meant a day of rest. This is the answer
to our first question.
The second question is; How MUST WE KEEP THIS
DAY HOLY i
Two things are necessary if we would keep the Sab-
bath properly; one is, To stop working;-the other
is, To spend it in worshipping God, and thinking and
learning about Him.
It is necessary to stop working, if we would keep
the Sabbath. God's command is very positive about
this. It says-" Six days shalt thou labour and do
all that thou hast to do : but the seventh day is the
Sabbath of the Lord thy God : in it thou shalt do no
manner of work." This is very strong language. And
it is very plain, too; nobody can mistake it. But
suppose a man stops working himself, is it any harm
to let his servants, or his children work ? Of course
it is. Just as much as though he did the work him-
self. The commandment says-" Thou, nor thy son,
nor thy daughter, nor thy man servant, nor thy maid
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT. 85
servant, nor thy cattle." And God told the Jews in
another place, that He spoke these words on purpose
that their servants and cattle should rest, as well as
themselves. This shows us how good, and kind, and
tender God is, that He thinks about, and takes care
even of the very cattle. The Bible tells us that God
is "good unto all, and His tender mercies are over
all His works." The fourth commandment shows us
how true this is.
If this commandment were properly obeyed, what a
quiet time there would be all over the world one day
in seven All stores would be closed. All factories
would be stopped. All labour would cease. There
would be no cars running, no engines puffing, no sound
of saw or hammer heard ; but every person and thing
would be at rest. How calm and peaceful everything
would be !
But is it not lawful to do some particular kinds of
work on Sunday ? Certainly. Our Saviour said it
was lawful for a man to loose his horse from tht
stable and lead him away to the pump, or the creek,
to get a drink of water, on the Sabbath. He said it
was lawful for a man, if he had an ox or an ass, that
had fallen into a pit, to pull it out on the Sabbath.
Suppose a vessel is wrecked on the coast, and the
passengers, if not relieved, must soon perish; would
it not be right for any, who could do so, to go and
help them Of course. Suppose a building 'takes
fire ; is it not lawful to try to put it out I Surely it
is. And so it is right for the dairy-maid to milk her
cows, and for the physician to visit his patients, and
for those who are nursing the sick to do and get all
that is necessary for their comfort. It is right to do
good, on the Sabbath day. Works of mercy, and
works of necessity, may be done, without breaking
this commandment. But all other works must be
86 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
Is it enough, however, merely to stop working 1
Suppose a man stops working, and then lies in bed all
day; is that keeping the Sabbath holy I No ; surely
not. Suppose he stops working, but spends the day
in visiting among his friends; is that keeping the
Sabbath holy I No. Suppose he stays at home, and
reads newspapers; is that keeping the Sabbath 1 No
If a company of boys go out and romp in the woods,
or fly their kites, or play marbles ; or if a company of
girls get their dolls out, and dress, and undress them
they are not working; but are they keeping the Sab-
bath I Not at all
It .is not enough to stop working; we must spend
the day in worshipping God, and learning and think-
ing about Him. Whatever else we do is breaking the
Sabbath. When God tells His people, by the pro-
phet Isaiah, how they ought to keep the Sabbath, He
says they should "call it a delight, the holy of the
Lord, honourable ;" and they should "not do their
own ways, nor find their own pleasure, nor speak their
own words." Isaiah Iviii. 13. Here we see how God
would have us keep the Sabbath. It is His day. It
is set apart for Him. He intends that we should em-
ploy the day-not a part of it, but the whole of it-
in worshipping Him, in reading, and talking, in think-
ing, and learning about Him. It is God's day, and
should be employed in things that have reference to
Him. This is the way in which we should keep the
Sabbath holy ;-by stopping work; and by worship-
ping God; and learning and thinking about Him.
And now we come to the third question: WHY
8HOULD WE DO THIS I I will mention three reasons.
One of these refers to God; one refers to ourselves;
and one refers to our country.
Now, what is there in reference to God, which
shows us why we ought to keep this commandment 1
There is His example and command.
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT. 87
God's example is a reason why we should keep the
Sabbath day holy. He rested from all His work."
He did this to set us an example.
But some people think the Sabbath was only in-
tended for the Jews. How can we show that this is
not so ? Several things about the Sabbath show it.
The time when it was first kept shows it. It was
first kept in the garden of Eden. But were there any
Jews in Paradise ? No. The Jews sprung from
Abraham, and Abraham didn't live till more than
2,000 years after Adam was driven out of Paradise.
Then the work from which God rested shows that it
was not intendedfor the Jews only. In what work had
God been engaged for the six days before the first
Sabbath ? Making the world. But was the world
made for the Jews only ? No ; it was made for the
Gentiles also ; yes, and much more for the Gentiles
than for the Jews ; for the Gentiles possess a hundred
times more of the world than the Jews ever did.
And then, the company in which God put the fourth
commandment, shows that it was not intended for the
Jews only. What company was this ? It was the
company of the ten commandments. Hemadeit one
of the ten. These were written on-what ? Tables
of stone. God did give the Jews some laws which
were for themselves alone. These were written with
ink, in a book. But the fourth commandment was
not put among these. It was intended to last for
ever : it was meant for all the world. For this rea-
son it was put in company with the ten command-
ments, and written on stone.
God's example is a reason for keeping it.
Then his command is another reason for keep-
Suppose a person should go into the presence of
the Queen of England, when she was sitting on her
throne, before all her nobles and princes, and, taking
88 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
a book containing the laws of the kingdom, should
deliberately throw it on the floor, and trample on it;
-what would be thought of that person I They
would consider that he was insulting the Queen. His
conduct would be considered outrageously wicked.
And so it would be. But this is only what every
Sabbath-breaker does in the presence of the great
King of kings. No person can break the Sabbath
without trampling on His laws.
One morning a gentleman was going to church.
He was a happy, cheerful Christian, who had a very
great respect for the Sabbath. He was a singular
man, and would sometimes do and say what children
are apt to call very "funny things." As he was going
along he met a stranger, driving a heavily loaded
waggon through the town. When this gentleman got
right opposite to the waggoner, he stopped, turned
round, and, lifting up both hands, as if in horror, he
exclaimed, as he gazed under the waggon:-
There, there,-you are going over it! You have
gone right over it !"
The driver was frightened. He drew up his reins
in an instant; cried-" Whoa-whoa !" and brought
his horses to a stand. Then he looked down under
the wheels, expecting to see the mangled remains of
some innocent child, or at least some poor dog, or pig,
that had been ground to a jelly. But he saw nothing.
So, after gazing all about, he looked up to the gentle-
man who had so strangely arrested his attention, and
Pray, sir, what have I gone over 9"
"Over the fourth commandment," was the quick
reply. "'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it
The farmer found it hard work to start his wag-
gon again, and it was very dull driving all the rest of
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT. 89
Just so every Sabbath-breaker treats God's com-
mandment. God says ;-" Bemember the Sabbath
day." But oh! how many people forget it!
A gentleman was going along a country road one
Sunday. A person came up to him, and, bowing
politely, said ;-
Sir, did you pass three men driving a flock of
sheep along this road V"
Yes, sir," replied the gentleman; "and I noticed
ahat one of them had a blue jacket on, and that they
all had short memories."
"Short memories !" said the stranger; "I don't
see how you could tell what sort of memories they
Certainly, I could," said the gentleman, "for you
know God has said-' Remember the Sabbath day, to
keep it holy !' But those men had all forgotten it.
They had short memories."
Ah how many people there are with just such
memories It is often very inconvenient to have a
short memory, in reference to other things; but in
reference to God, it is very dangerous to have such a
memory : for we read in the Bible these solemn
words ;-" The wicked shall be turned into hell; and
all the people that-forget-God !" Ps. ix. 17.
God had a right to demand all our time, if He had
chosen; but He claims only one day out of seven.
How ungrateful and wicked it is, when people are not
willing to give Him even that !
One Sunday a gentleman was going to church. On
his way he saw a company of big boys, playing, on the
common. He wanted very much to show them how
wrong it was for them to be so doing; but he knew
that if he began to reprove them they wouldn't listen
to him. So he walked leisurely up to them, and sat
down on the grass. Presently, in a pleasant, familiar
tone, he said ;-" Boys, I want to tell you a story "
90 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
Directly they all gathered, unsuspectingly, around
him, and he began as follows ;-
There was once a good man, who was noted for
his kindness and liberality. At the time of which I
speak, he was on a journey. As he was pursuing his
way, along a lonely road, he met a man who repre-
sented himself as having suffered a great loss, in con-
sequence of which he was in deep distress. With his
usual kindness the good man instantly drew out his
purse; and after examining it, he said, I have only
thirty shillings with me; but I think that with five
shillings I can get to the end of my journey, and you
shall have the rest.' With this he handed the man
the twenty-five shillings. Wasn't that generous I
Wouldn't you have thought that the beggar must have
gone off feeling very grateful and contented ? Cer-
tainly, we should have expected this. But he did no
such thing. He was not a beggar at all, but a robber;
and seeing that the good man had still five shillings
in his purse, he knocked him down with a club, and
stole his last money from him."
The boys were very indignant on hearing this.
They all cried out against the shameful conduct of the
robber. One of them went so far as to say he didn't
think anybody could be found quite so wicked as that.
"Now, stop," said the gentleman; "let me tell
you, boys, this is just what you are doing. God has
emptied, not His purse, but His heart, for your bene-
fit. He has given you freely six days, out of the seven,
for your own use. He has kept only one for Himself,
to be kept holy, and spent in worshipping Him; and
yet you are so mean as to rob Him even of that !"
The boys hung down their heads. They had not a
word to say, but broke up their play and went off.
Thus there is a reason that refers to God, why we
should keep the Sabbath day holy. His example, and
His command should lead us to do so.
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT. 91
But there is also a reason that refers to ourselves.
Keeping the Sabbath is necessary for our health and
Here is my watch. Suppose I should conclude
not to wind it up to-night; what would happen to
it ? It would stop. It is necessary to wind a watch
up, if you want it to keep going. Now, our bodies
and minds are just like a watch. They need to be
wound up continually, or else they will stop going.
These are wound up by resting. When we go to bed,
and sleep, at night, we are getting wound up for the
next day. You know how often, when night comes,
you feel tired, heavy, and good for nothing. If you
sit down to read a book, or study a lesson, you very
soon fall asleep over it. Just like a watch that is run
down, you are ready to stop. But after a good, long
sleep, you wake up bright, fresh, strong, and ready
for anything. The reason is, you are wound up. But
suppose you should resolve not to sleep any more;
what would be the consequence 1 You would go
crazy, and die. Some watches need to be wound up
every day, and others only once a week. When we
buy a watch, or clock, we always ask the maker of it
how often it is necessary to be wound up. And we
always follow his directions, because we know that,
as he made it, he understands all about it. But God
is the Maker of our bodies and souls. These are like
a watch, or machine, that must be wound up regu-
larly. The Maker knows best how often to wind
them up. If we ask Him, He says ;-" Every night,
and once a week besides." God has given us the
night and the Sabbath to rest in, and get wound up.
They are both necessary. We cannot get on long, or
well, without them. Some people think they know
better than God. They try to do without resting on
the Sabbath, but they always suffer from it.
William Pitt, the great statesman of England, had
92 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
so much business to attend to, that he resolved to
work on Sunday as well as week days ; but in a short
time it brought on a stroke of apoplexy, and he died.
Lord Castlereagh, another great English statesman,
did the same thing. It drove him crazy, and he blew
his brains out with a pistol.
A gentleman, who had been engaged as a merchant,
in a very extensive business, for twenty years, once
said to a friend ;-" Sir, if it had not been for the
Sabbath, I should have been in my grave long ago."
No doubt of it," said his friend; don't you
remember Mr H-, who used to be one of our
most successful merchants ? He said he could not
spare time for the Sabbath. He found it the best
day of the week in which to plan new voyages. He
always spent his Sabbaths in that way. Well, he
has been in the Insane Asylum for years, and will
probably die there."
Men who labour six days in the week, and rest one,
can do more work, in all kinds of business, and in all
parts of the world, and do it better, than those who
labour seven. This experiment has been tried, over
and over again. It was tried once in a large grist
mill. For a number of years the mill had been kept
going seven days in the week. Then the owner made
a change. He ordered the men to stop the works at
eleven o'clock on Saturday night, and not to start
them till one o'clock on Monday morning. Thus he
allowed his men a full Sabbath every week. The
result was, that the very same men actually ground
fifty thousand bushels more in a year, than had ever
been ground, in that establishment, in a single year
And this is just as true in regard to horses and
cattle as it is to men.
A gentleman was travelling on horseback, in Penn-
sylvania. He stopped at a tavern on Saturday even-
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT. 93
ing. The next morning the landlord asked him if he
wanted to have his horse ready. Not till to-mor-
row," said he. I never travel on the Sabbath,
unless in case of absolute necessity. I am on a long
journey, and wish to perform it as soon as possible.
I have been long accustomed to travel on horseback,
and have found, that if I stop on the Sabbath, my
horse will travel further during the week than if I do
There were two neighbours, in the State of New
York. They each started on the same day, with a
drove of sheep, for a distant market. One started
several hours before the other, and travelled every
day, without regard to the Sabbath. The other rested
every Sabbath. Yet this man arrived at the market
first, with his sheep in better condition, and got
better prices for them than the their In giving
an account of his journey, he said, that on Monday
he drove his sheep about seventeen miles; on Tues-
day sixteen, and so on lessening one each day till
Saturday, when he drove them only about eleven
miles. But on Monday, after resting the Sabbath,
they could travel seventeen miles again; and so
on, each week. You see the sheep were wound
up, by resting, as well as the man. But his neigh-
bour's sheep, which were not allowed to rest on the
Sabbath, ran down before they arrived at the market,
and could not travel more than six or eight miles a
Thus we see that keeping the Sabbath is necessary
to our health and life.
It is necessary, also, to our prosperity and happi-
God designs the Sabbath to be a blessing to those
who keep it, and He will make it a blessing to them.
Those who neglect it will always suffer from it, in
some way, or other.
94 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
There were once fifteen young men, boarding at a
private boarding-house, in the city of New York.
They were dl engaged in business, with equally fair
prospects of success. Six of them paid no regard to
the Sabbath. In the course of time, all of those six
either failed in business, or came to a miserable end.
The other nine regarded the Sabbath, and with one
exception they all prospered, and rose to prominent
A clergyman, who had been for many years chap-
lain to the Maryland Penitentiary, took great pains
to find out what it was which first led the prisoners
to go astray, and, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred,
he found that Sabbath-breaking was the beginning of
their wicked courses.
A young man was going to be hung for murder.
As he stood upon the scaffold, he spoke to the great
crowd, gathered round, in this manner;-
My friends, you have come to see a man die.
Let me advise you to take warning by me. The be-
ginning of my ruin was Sabbath-breaking. This led
me into bad company;-from bad company, I went
to drinking ;-from drinking, to robbing orchards and
gardens;-from this, to housebreaking ;-and from
this, to murder. Thus I have been brought to my
present sad condition. Many of you are young : in
an especial manner let me warn you to beware of
We often find people suffering loss from breaking
the Sabbath, but they will surely prosper who keep it.
There was a young farmer once, who had a large
quantity of grain in the field, which was cut, and
dried, and ready for the barn. From the appearance
of the sky, one Sunday morning, he thought there was
going to be a change of weather. Fearing that if a
wet spell should set in, he might lose his harvest, he
called his men together, and proposed that they should
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT. 95
go to work and gather in the grain. His grandmother,
a good, pious woman, who lived with him, tried hard
to persuade him not to do it. But he wouldn't listen
to her. He and his men went to work with all their
might. By the middle of the afternoon they had the
grain all in. A thousand sheaves of grain were snugly
stowed away in the barn. By that time it had begun
to rain. Now, grandmother," said the young man,
with great glee, as he entered the house, "it's all
safe. Let it storm as much as it pleases, my harvest
is safe under my roof." Just as he spoke these words,
there came a vivid flash of lightning, and a tremendous
peal of thunder. It seemed to shake the house to its
very foundations. Presently some one exclaimed,-
" Oh the lightning has struck the barn !" They all
rushed out, and, sure enough, it was even so. The
barn was in flames, and the sheaves which the Sabbath-
breaker thought so safe, were all burned up before
I might go on for a long time telling you about
different cases, which show the evil that follows from
breaking the Sabbath, and the blessing that follows
from keeping it; but I will only mention one more.
There was a boy, once, working in a factory, in
England. His name was Willie. He received only
five shillings a week; but that was the principal de-
pendence of his poor mother. He was a good boy,
and always went with his mother to church on Sun-
day. His employer was not a Christian man. He
had a short memory. He forgot God. On one occa-
sion he was in a hurry to get some work done, and he
gave notice to his hands, on Saturday, that he wanted
them to work all the next day. Willie was very
much tried to know what to do. He couldn't bear
to think of breaking the Sabbath. Yet, if he didn't
go to work, he was afraid he should lose his place,
and then, what would his poor mother do I At last
96 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
he resolved to do right, and leave the rest to God.
So he went to church, and kept the Sabbath, as God
has commanded. The next morning, as he was going
into the factory to begin his work, his master met him.
Where were you yesterday, sir "
I went to church, sir," said Willie.
Then you may go to church again to-day, for I
don't want you here," was his reply.
Poor Willie felt very sad. When he thought of
his mother, he couldn't help crying. But he thought
that would do no good; so he wiped away his tears,
and set out to seek for a new situation. He called at
several places, but the only answer he received was-
" We don't want any boys." At last he called on a
gentleman, who asked him why he had left his last
place. His ready reply was-" Because I wouldn't
work on Sunday, sir." The gentleman was pleased
with this; so he engaged him to work, and promised
to give him ten shillings a week. So Willie found
that God blessed him for keeping the Sabbath.
Thus we see there is a reason that refers to our-
selves why we should keep the Sabbath. It is neces-
sary to our health and life : to our prosperity and
But there is a reason that refers to our country-
why we should keep the Sabbath day holy.
Breaking the Sabbath does great harm to our country.
Keeping the Sabbath does great good to it.
You know there is a country in Europe called Hol-
land. The land there is very low. In some places it
is lower than the sea. The only way in which they
can keep the sea from overflowing it, is by building
great walls, or banks of earth, which are called dykes.
One of the greatest evils that could happen to Hol-
land, would be to have those dykes broken down;
for then the sea would rush in, drowning the people,
and destroying the country.
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT. 97
In the Bible, wickedness is compared to floods of
water. The greatest harm that can happen to a
country is to have these floods let loose upon it. To
protect us from this harm, God has given us the
Sabbath. It is God's wall of defence around our
country. Wherever the Sabbath is properly kept,
like the dykes of Holland, it rolls back the floods of
wickedness, and prevents them from sweeping in ruin
over the land. But every Sabbath-breaker is trying
to throw down these protecting walls, and let the sea
of wickedness come rushing in upon us.
You know that in France, during the Revolution,
at the close of the last century, they tried the experi-
ment how they could get along without the Sabbath.
They resolved to have no Sabbath. They burnt the
Bible. They said there was no God; no heaven; no
The result was dreadful. All kinds of wickedness
prevailed. The prisons and dungeons were crowded
full of prisoners. These prisoners were the best peo-
ple in the land. They were taken, by cart-loads,
every day, and beheaded. The blood of the people
was shed like water. That time was called The
reign of Terror." It was the most dreadful time
ever known in the history of the world. They had
broken down the Sabbath-God's protecting wall-
and wickedness rolled over the land in a flood. Every
Sabbath-breaker is helping to do this same thing here.
Breaking the Sabbath does great harm to the country.
But keeping the Sabbath does great good to our
You know that, in the land of Egypt, they have no
rain. Instead of rain, they depend on the overflowing
of the river Nile. This river runs all through Egypt.
Every year it rises over its banks, and spreads itself
gently over all the land. This overflowing of the
Nile fertilizes the soil, and makes everything grow.
98 THE KING'S HIGHWAY.
Thus the Nile is the greatest possible blessing to
Egypt. The comfort of the people, and their very life
depend upon it. This river Nile rises far away up
among the mountains of Abyssinia.
Now, suppose that the governor of Egypt had en-
tire power over the Nile. Suppose that, whenever he
chose, he could stop, or dry up those distant springs,
and prevent the river from rising. And suppose he
should tell the people, that if they did not mind his
laws, and do what he told them, he would dry up the
springs of the river, and not let it rise. Then would
it not be a very dangerous thing to disobey that go-
vernor 1 And would it not be very important for the
people of Egypt to try and please their governor?
Yes. And every man who kept his laws, would
be doing the greatest good to his country. Well,
now, we have no such river as the Nile in this coun-
try. For the power to fertilize our land, and make
things grow in it, we depend, not upon a river, but on
the dews and the rains. And God, our Governor, has
entire power over these. He can give them, or with-
hold them, just as He pleases. Breaking the Sabbath
provokes God, and tempts Him to take them away
Keeping the Sabbath pleases Him, and He promises to
send dews, and rains, and peace, and plenty on those
who honour His Sabbaths. The Sabbath-keeper does
great good to his country.
Now we have had three questions. Thefirst was-
What does the Sabbath day mean ? It means a day of
rest. The second was--low may it be kept holy? By
stopping work-by worshipping God-thinking and
learning about Him. The third was-Why should we
keep it holy ?
In answer to this, we had three reasons. One re-
fers to God;-His example and command. Another
refers to ourselves ;-our life, and health ;-our hap-
piness, and prosperity. The other refers to our coun-