Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Commandment I
 Commandment II
 Commandment III
 Commandment IV
 Commandment V
 Commandment VI
 Commandment VII - Commandment...
 Commandment IX
 Commandment X
 Back Cover

Group Title: tables of stone
Title: The tables of stone
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026967/00001
 Material Information
Title: The tables of stone stories of the ten commandments
Physical Description: 72 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 15 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Newton, Richard, 1813-1887
Nimmo, William Philip, 1831-1883 ( Publisher )
M'Farlane and Erskine ( Printer )
Publisher: William P. Nimmo
Place of Publication: Edinburgh
Manufacturer: M'Farlane and Erskine
Publication Date: 1873
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1873   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1873
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Scotland -- Edinburgh
Statement of Responsibility: by Richard Newton.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026967
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in Special Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002234949
notis - ALH5388
oclc - 59820738

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
        Page 1
    Title Page
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Table of Contents
        Page 4
    Commandment I
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Commandment II
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    Commandment III
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Commandment IV
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    Commandment V
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
    Commandment VI
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Commandment VII - Commandment VIII
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    Commandment IX
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Commandment X
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

^ *

- r? ^

:; ~[LL~ -

The Baldwin ibraqy


^ '

JPj *:

-K '..

;iJ j
r. ,,.
:i- E: i.
1 7 ,i --- ;
ii ?.
L -

.... :,-
L a-
't P'Il

""' '-



: I

-u r*

iL Clr- r -- -

;J j




'forics of fe m n Qummmthment.



"" '"'. .- ." ,' .-
c"1' ~ T


(late Schenck & M'AFarlane,)














S 28

5 .

S 47


S 59

S 59





" I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other gods
before me."
" 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 ?" 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
The second thing we want our God to be able
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 would not worship

6 The Tables of Stone.

Nebuchadnezzar'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.
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. He found such a
one in our God, who. sent a great fish, like a
living ship, to take him on board and carry him
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 Him. 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 im-
mediately there was a great calm."
And so we are all exposed to sickness, danger,
and death, continually. We need some one who
can keep us alive, and protect us in all danger.
Jesus can do this. He is called the Saviour of
the body." He counts the hairs of our heads.
He is about our path, and about our bed continu-
ally. He is able to save our bodies. The birds
of the air, the beasts of the field, the people m
the world, are in His hand. He can take care of
them all. He 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 conscience, a something in our bosoms which
troubles us, and makes us feel uneasy, on account
of sin; and we want to have this conscience

The Tables of Stone.

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 mainspring 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 shoemaker ; he can't do it. I take it to a car-
penter, a wheelwright, 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 mainspring; it won't go; we want some one
to mend it. We want a new heart, or a new
mainspring 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
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 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 differ-
ent fountains; he had fasted till he was almost

The Tables of Stone.

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 sacrifice 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 the 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 salvation."
This poor man had been carrying his broken
watch to tinkers and blacksmiths. They could
do nothing with it. At last he found the watch-
maker, and all was right.
Jesus says, Look unto me, all ye ends of the
earth; for I am God, and there is none else.
Besides me there is no Saviour." We need a God
vbc tan always save.
But then there is a third thing that we expect
God to be able to do for us, and that is, ALWAYS
When we are in health, and have affectionate

The Tables of Stone. 9

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 ready to come forward and say, That is
so. He has made me happy. He makes me
happy all the time."
These are the three things which we expect
Him, who is our God, to be able to do for us.
We expect Him to be able ALWAYS TO HELP;
But then there are three things that He, who is
our God, has a right to expect from us.
He has a right to expect 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

The Tables of Stone.

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
This is the first thing He has a right to expect
from us.
The second thing He has a right to expect from
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
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.
"John, here, I want you to go on an errand;"
says the father to his son. John is making a kite.
Instead of attending, at once, to what his father
tells him, he keeps on with what he is doing, and
says, "Won't it do by and by, when I finish 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 unques-
tioning obedience. God has a right to expect this


The Tables of Stone.

kind of obedience from us. He expects us to do
everything that He commands. And it is proper
for us to do this, because we know that everything
that God commands is right.
I knew a Sunday-school boy once, who be-
came a Christian when he was about fourteen
years old. His father used to keep a grocer's
shop; and on Sunday mornings he would open
his shop, for an hour, to supply his customers
with goods. The father always called his son, in
the morning, to go down, and open the shop.
The boy never thought there was anything wrong
in it, till he became a Christian. Then he
thought about God's command to keep the Sab-
bath holy. He felt that to open the shop 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 dis-
obey his earthly father; and yet he felt still more
unwilling to disobey his heavenly Father. He
was afraid his father would turn him out of
doors, if he refused to do as he was told; 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 work was done and the shop closed, and
just before going to bed, he told his father that
he wanted to be an obedient son, and do all that


The Tables of Stone.

he told him to do, but he felt that opening the
shop, 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 then go.
The poor boy was greatly distressed, and knew
not where to go. But, on Monday morning, his
father called him to go to work as usual, and
said no more to him about going away. In a
short time after, his father gave notice to his cus-
tomers, that he wouldn't open his shop 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.
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.
Now, God expects from us this kind of worship.
Sincere ohat does God expect from us? Worship.


The Tables of Stone.

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 ourselves 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.
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 con-
dition, worthy of God for sinful creatures to ap-
pear in.
Sincere worship is what God expects from us.
But, is it sincere worship if we trifle, or play,
when those about us are 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,
He marks who humbly join in prayer,
And who sincerely sing His praise.
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 con-
sider the question-what is it to have a God ?


14 The Tables of Stone.

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
Then, He has a right to expect three things from
us. What are these ? He has a right to expect
what it is to have a true God.
A SHORT time since a book was published called
"The Reason Why." 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 any
other; 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

The Tables of Stone.

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 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 some-
times burns with a flame, and sometimes without
any. It shows the reason why" fishes have
fins; why their fins are so much smaller in pro-
portion than the wings of a bird, and why the
'Ashes' 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 pass-
ing 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 sometimes
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 important for us to try and find out the
reason for things, as far as we can.
The great philosopher, Sir Isaac Newton, was


The Tables of Stone.

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
thousands of people had seen apples fall from trees
before; 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.
There is another question suggested by this
commandment: Why should we have no other
gods than the Lord ?
I will mention three reasons. Thefirst is, because
dt is VERY FOOLISH to do so.
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 church."
"What do you go to church for? asked the
"To worship God," said the farmer.
"Pray, tell me," said he, thinking to make sport
of the man, "whether your God is a little god, or
a great God."
0 1


The Tables of Stone.

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 God.
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 en-
gineer. 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 ?
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 together. There is a boiler
in it, and a furnace. There are pipes, and joints,


The Tables of Stone.

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
To have any other god than the Lord is injuri-
ous in two ways: one way in which it is so is, that
it leaves us without help.
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


The Tables of Stone.

of children have been buried alive, or been thrown
to the wild beasts to be devoured; and all these
cruelties have been occasioned by having other
gods than the Lord.
The third and last reason is, that it is VERY
Every one of us has a heart or soul committed
to his care. It belongs to God. No one else has
any right to it. His 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 be-
tray the fortress that belongs to God into the
hands of His 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 com-
mit 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.


The Tables of Stone.

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, of
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: thou shalt 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 upon
the children unto the third and fourth generation of
them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thou-
sands of them that love me, and keep my command-
THE second commandment teaches us how we are
to worship God. Now, there are two questions that
we must try to answer in considering this com-
The first question is this : What does this com-
mandment forbid ? The second is : Why does it
forbid this ?
What does this commandment forbid ?
It forbids the use of images and pictures in our
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. 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.
Graven images have also been made of stone,
This commandment expressly forbids the worship
of any but the true God.
Secondly, Why does the commandment forbid
this ?
The reason, or cause, begins with the word


The Tables of Stone. 21

"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
Now, when we come to look at this part of the
commandment, we find there are three reasons in
it. The first reason why we are not to use images
and pictures in our worship is, because the Lord
is a jealous God.
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 cer-
tain thing, we mean to say that we know about
that place or thing. For instance, 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 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 say-
ing that He is angry. Here, for example, is a
little boy who tells a lie. His father hears of it.
He is angry, and punishes the boy. So, when
God punishes His people for their sins, He acts

The Tables of Stone.

in the same way in which a man acts wnen he is
angry, and we can only understand it by saying
that he is angry.
Therefore the Lord is spoken of as a jealous
God." This meaus 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 girl, 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 this way.
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 pros-
perous. And suppose that a wicked, good-for-
nothing man should come to your island, and try
to steal away the affections of your people, and
persuade them to make him king instead of you.
He 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 kind of
jealousy. And it would lead you to do two things.


The Tables of Stone.

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 try-
ing 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.
Satan is the wicked, worthless being who is trying
to take His place and overturn His government.
The second reason is, because if we break God's
commandments, others besides ourselves must suffer
from it.
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 strug-
gles, and groans, and dies. Poor little thing!
How did it come to suffer so! Had it ever com-
mitted any sin ? No; it was too young for that.
Then what occasioned 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 wise
than man. He knows best what laws to make.
We see just the same kind of laws in other things,
and nobody thinks of finding fault with these.
For instance, suppose I own a house in the
middle of a row of brick houses. Well, my house
is old, and overrun with rats and vermin. I have
made up my mind to burn it down. I kindle a


The Tables of Stone.

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 to
the 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 it will 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 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 explosion will blow them all up
together. It is the law God has made, for gun-
powder to explode in that way. But have we any
right to complain of this law? No. It is a good
law. Powder would be of no use without it.
But it shows us how careful we should be about
letting sparks fall into gunpowder.
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 mountain, will it stop when
it gets near the people No ; it will go thunder'


The Tables of Stone.

ing on, crushing and tearing everything 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 moun-
tain 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
The third reason why the commandment forbids
this is, because it will bring blessings on 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 commandments."
Look at good King David. He loved and
served God faithfully; 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 David.
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.


The Tables of Stone.

Let me tell you a short story to illustrate this
part of the subject before I close. The circum-
stance 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 black-
smith-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, 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,
"Mercy on us, the dog is mad!" Then the
women screamed, and there was great confusion
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
As he said this he seized the foaming beast
with an iron grasp, and dashed him on the floor.
Then a terrible struggle 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.


The Tables of Stone.

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," lie 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 through me."
Then he went to his shop. He took a strong
chain. One end of it he riveted with his own
hands round 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 God."
Nothing could save the brave smith. Soon
madness seized him; and after nine days he died.
What a noble follow What a real hero that was !
He was willing to endure all this for the sake of
securing blessings for his friends.


The Tables of Stone.

But there is a better example than the smith
of Ragenbach. It is that of Jesus. He suffered
for us for more than thirty years. He suffered
in the garden; He suffered on the cross, that He
might secure rich and everlasting blessings for
poor sinners such as we are. When we think cf
Jesus, all other examples fade away like the stars
before the sun.
And now I want each reader to ask this ques-
tion for himself. How can I do the greatest good
to myself-to my parents-to my brothers and
sisters-to my country, and to the world The
answer is very short. It is by loving Jesus and
keeping His commandments. But you 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
greatest blessing for yourselves and others.

" 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."
" 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." There
is growth in everything. When we look at a


The Tables of Stone.

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 connexion, like this, we find in all
that God does.
Something of this same kind we see in the
commandments. There is a beautiful order in
them. You know we have had two command-
ments 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 commandment teaches us how we
ought to speak about God; then the others are
occupied in showing us how we ought to act to,
wards Him, and towards our fellow-creatures.
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."
The first question to be asked of this com-
mandment is- What is meant by the name of God?
Suppose you had never seen a flower. I bring
a large, beautiful one to show you. It has a mul-
titude of leaves all growing closely together. Its
fragrance 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. Whenever you see that word you will
know that it stands for that beautiful, fine-
coloured, fragrant flower.


The Tables of Stone.

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 God Almighty Creator Maker -
Jehovah-Jesus-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 or titles.
The second question is-How is God's name
taken in vain ? This may be done in three ways.
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.
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 children, 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 fel-
low-creature. This is very wrong. It is taking
God's name in vain, to use it lightly, and without
It is taking this name in vain when we use it
FALSELY, or speak what is not true in connexion
with it.
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 he should speak the truth.
In order to make him more careful about what
he says, he is put on his oath. The person who

The Tables of Stone.

takes an 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 com-
mandment. It is taking God's name in vain to
use it falsely, or to say what is not true in con-
nexion with it.
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 Lame 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
profanely of it.
We have now to consider the third question;-
Why should we NOT take this name in vain ?
To break this commandment is a great sin.
We should not do it because it is USELESS.
There are some sins which people commit be-
cause 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


The Tables of Stone.

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, he may per-
haps 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 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? Who ever made anything by it?
Who ever thinks any better of a man for hearing
him swear ? None can think better, but a great
many will think worse of him who allows him-
self 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


The Tables of Stone.

his pocket, and said to those who stood near him,
"I always do this, whenever I hear men swear;
for I think any one who can take God's name in
vain, can steal, or do anything else that is bad."
We ought not to do it, again, because IT is
It is a niean thing to do and say, behind a per-
son'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 swear-
ing ? 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 as if it
were a brave thing to swear. But it is not. It
is a mean, cowardly thing.
Again, we ought not to do it, because it is WICKED.
To do this is to break one of God's command-
ments. 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 swearing 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 nothing


34 The Tables of Stone.

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 mo-
ment about this, they would never do it.
There is only one other reason I will speak of,
why we ought not to do this, and that is, because it
Some years ago, a lady and gentleman set off
upon ponies, to make an excursion from Margate
to Ramsgate. They were accompanied by two
boys who belonged to the place, and whose em-
ployment was to attend on persons making excur-
sions, 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, profane boy. When they were about
a mile on their way, a violent storm overtook
them, accompanied with tremendous peals of thun-
der, 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

The Tables of Stone.

place, as a warning to 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."
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 com-
mandment, because it is dangerous.
Thus we have had four reasons why we should
not take God's name in vain. It is useless to do
so; it is cowardly, wicked, and dangerous.
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 com-
mandment requires of us.

"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,
and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord
blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it."

The word Sabbath means rest. The Sabbath-


7Lie Tables of Stone.

day means the day of rest. The Bible tells us
that God was occupied for six days in making
the world. At the close of the sixth day He had
finished all that He wanted to make. The sun,
moon, and stars, and this world, with everything
in it, was completed. "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. When it says
that "God rested," it only means that He stopped,
or ceased from the work of 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. He 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 pleasure Adam and Eve must have felt
when the Sabbath-day came in that beautiful gar-
den They had no church to go to. But every
grove, the shade of every tree, was a church. The
whole garden was one great church. The congre-
gation was small-it was made up of just two
people-but it as 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


The Tables of Stone.

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.
Thus the Sabbath-day was kept in Paradise.
How pleasant it must have been to spend a Sab-
bath there!
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
0niRshed; but the first is kept now in memory of
the work of redemption, which was finished when
Jesus rose from the dead. By the Sabbath-day
is meant a day of rest.
It is necessary to stop working, if we would
keep the Sabbath. God's command is very posi-
tive 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 himself. The
commandment says--" Thou, nor thy son, nor thy


38 The Tables of Stone.

daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-ser-
vant, nor thy cattle." And God told the Jews in
another place, that He spoke these words on pur-
pose 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 ten-
der 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 labour would cease;
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 the stable and lead him to the water to drink
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 ?
Surely it is. And so it is right for the dairy-maid
to milk her cows, and for the physician to visit hiq
patients, and for those who are nursing the sick t3
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,

The Tables of Stone.

without breaking this commandment. But all
other works must be stopped.
Is it enough, however, merely to stop working ?
No; surely not.
We must spend the Sabbath-day in worshipping
God, and learning and thinking about Him.
When God tells His people, by the prophet 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." It is God's day, and
should be employed in things that have reference
to Him.
God's example is a reason for keeping it.
Then His command is another reason for keep-
ing it.
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 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 ? They would consider that he was insult-
ing 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. 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


The Tables of Stone.

singular man, and would sometimes do and say
what children are very 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 his 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 hih
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 man-
gled 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 gentleman who had so
strangely arrested his attention, and anxiously
"Pray, sir, what have I gone over ?"
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 that day.
Another 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 ? "
"Yes, sir," replied the gentleman; "and I


The Tables of Stone.

noticed that 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 for-
gotten 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!"
Thus there are reasons that refer to God, why
we should keep the Sabbath-day holy. His
example and His command should lead us to
do so.
But there is also a reason that refers to ourselves.
Keeping the Sabbath is necessary for our health
and life.
Here is my watch. Suppose I should conclude
not to wind it up to-night; what would happen to
it? It would stop. Now, our bodies and minds
are just like a watch. They need to be wound up
continually, or else they will stop going. 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


The Tables of Stone.

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 ? You would go
crazy, and die. God is the Maker of our bodies
and souls. These are like a watch, or machine,
that must be wound up regularly. God has given
us the night and the Sabbath to rest in, and get
wound up. They are both necessary. We cannot
get on 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.
A gentleman, who had been engaged as a mer.
chant, 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


The Tables of Stone.

once in a large 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 Satur-
day 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 before.
Keeping the Sabbath is necessary to our pros-
perity and happiness.
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 suf-
fer from it, in some way or other.
There were once fifteen young men living at a
boarding-house in New York. They were all en-
gaged in business, with equally fair prospects of
success. Six of them paid no regard to the Sab-
bath. 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 positions.
A clergyman who had been for many years
chaplain 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 hanged for mur-
der. As he stood upon the scaffold, he spoke to


The Tables of Stone.

the great crowd gathered round in this man-
ner :-
My friends, you have come to see a man die.
Let me advise you to take warning by me. The
beginning of my ruin was Sabbath-breaking.
This led me into bad company;-from bad com-
pany, 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 Sabbath-breaking."
I might go on 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.
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 Sunday. His employer was not a Christian
man. He had a short memory. He forgot God.
On one occasion 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 break-
ing 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 ? At last he re-
solved to do right, and leave the rest to God. So
he went to church, and kept the Sabbath, as God


The Tables of Stone.

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 pro-
mised to give him ten shillings a week. So
Willie found that God blessed him for keeping
the Sabbath.
Breaking the Sabbath does great harm to our
country. Keeping the Sabbath does great good
to it.
There is a country called Holland. 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 hap-
pen to Holland would be to have those dykes
broken down: for then the sea would rush in,
drowning the people, and destroying the country.


The Tables of Stone.

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 de-
fence around our country. Wherever the Sab-
bath is properly kept, like the dykes of Holland,
it rolls back the floods of wickedness, and pre-
vents 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.
Keeping the Sabbath does great good to our
In the land of Egypt they have no rain. In-
stead 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 fertilises the soil, and makes everything grow.
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
entire power over the Nile. Suppose that, when-
ever he chose, he could stop, or dry up those dis-
tant 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 governor ? And


The Tables of Stone.

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
country. For the power to fertilise 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.
IHe can give them, or withhold 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, my dear children, I hope, wherever you
go, you will be the firm and decided friends of the
Whether at church, or at home; in the city, or
the country; among friends, or among strangers
-oh! be sure that you always Remember the
Sabbath-day, to keep it holy."

Honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days ma#
be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth
Do you remember how many tables of stone there
were, on which the Ten Commandments were


The Tables of Stone.

written ? Two. There is another question I
want to ask. I remember, when I was a little
boy, this question was asked me, and I gave a
wrong answer to it. One day the minister was
catechising the children in the church to which I
went, and he asked us this question-" How many
commandments were there on each of the tables ?"
None of the other children answered the question,
so I thought I would answer it. I was a little
fellow, and had not learned much about the com-
mandments; but I understood enough about divi-
sion, to know that the half of ten is five; and,
thinking that was the most natural division to
make, I spoke out, and said-" Five on each, sir."
The good minister shook his head, and said, "No:
that's not right." Then he went on to tell us that
the commandments, when written on the two tables
given to Moses, were divided, not according to
number, but according to subjects. He told us
that these ten commandments all referred to two
great subjects. These are, our duty to God, and
our duty to our neighbour. Our duty to God
takes in four of the commandments. Our duty
to our neighbour takes in six. And so there were
four commandments on the first table, and six on
the second. That was the way in which I learned
how many commandments were on each of the
tables. I never forgot the lesson I learned that
day. It is about thirty-five years ago since this
took place. It seems like a long while to look
back to; and yet I remember it just as clearly as
though it only occurred yesterday.
Now we have got through with the first table


The Tables of Stone.

of the commandments. We have considered the
four which relate to our duty to God. The fifth
commandment was the first on the second table.
With this begins the subject of our duty to our
Notice, my dear children, how this second table
of the commandments begins. God is going to
show us our duty to our neighbour. How does
He begin ? Not by telling us how kings ought to
reign, or soldiers ought to fight, or how merchants
ought to conduct their business; but, how boys
and girls ought to behave at home /
When you want to do anything well, you must
be careful to begin right.
If you begin to put up a house, and lay the
foundation wrong; or to build a ship, and make
a mistake in laying the keel; you'll have to take
it all down, and begin again. Oh! it is very im-
portant to begin right. It is so in every thing.
And it is so in trying to do our duty to our neigh-
The fifth commandment shows us how we must
begin to do this. We must begin at home. You
show me a boy or girl, who is not a good son ot
daughter, who does not honour father and mother
and I will show you one who will not make a good
man or woman. What does the fifth command-
ment require us to do? To honour our father and
To honour our parents means to obey them.
But then, our obedience must be of the right kind,
or else it will be no honour to them.
Riding in a train one day, I saw a plain woman,


The Tables of Stone.

with two children, a boy and a girl, sitting at the
other side of the carriage. I was sorry to see that
the children didn't seem to mind much what their
mother said. After a while, I saw the mother
trying to get something out of a basket on another
seat. I thought, perhaps, she had some cakes or
candy in it, and that she wanted to give these to
the children, to make them mind what she said.
But when she got the basket open, she drew out
from it, not cakes or candy, but a rope, about a
yard long, and as thick as my little finger. It
had a knot on each end of it; and she doubled it
up, and held it in her hand, and shook it at the
children, whenever she told them to do anything.
She would say "John, sit down there," and
shake the rope at him. Down John would sit.
"Mary, move over into that other seat."
"John, put down that window this minute."
John obeyed instantly. He knew what would
come if he didn't. These children obeyed their
mother, but did they honour her ? No. They
didn't honour their mother; they honoured the
rope. That kind of obedience might be called
rope's-end obedience. It isn't good for much. The
motive that leads to it is the fear of punishment.
This is a wrong motive. But if we want to have
right actions, we must be sure and have right mo-
tives. We ought to obey our parents, because it
is the will of God that we should do so; and
because we love them. These are the proper
motives for obedience to our parents. What are
these motives The will of God; and love to ou


The Tables of Stone.

Now, suppose that the woman I have spoken
of had pursued a different plan. Suppose that,
instead of shaking that rope at her children all
the while, she had taken her Bible and said to
"My dear children, this is God's Word. In it
God speaks to us, and tells us what He wants us
to do. Let me read to you what God says about
children. Here in Exodus, 20th chapter and
12th verse, He says-' Honour thy father and thy
mother : that thy days may be long upon the land
which the Lord thy God giveth thee.' Now, you
see, when I tell you to do anything, or not to do
it, it is just the same as if God told you. When
you obey me you obey God. When you disobey
me, you disobey God: yes, the great, the good,
the glorious God, whom all the angels of heaven
obey., Only think what a dreadful thing it must
be to disobey Him!"
Suppose she had spoken to them in this way,
and that, instead of scolding and storming at them
continually, she had been kind, and tender, and
affectionate in her treatment of them. Then she
would have taught them to obey her from the
right motives-because it is the will of God, and
because they loved her. After this she might
have left the rope behind her.
You all remember the story of Washington,
when he was a boy. He had set his heart on
entering the navy, and going to sea. His mother
had yielded a reluctant consent. She said he
might go; but it was evident that she wanted
him to stay. A midshipman's commission had


The Tables of Stone.

been obtained for him. The vessel was about to
sail. The servant was at the door with his trunk.
He went in to say good-bye to his mother. He
found her in tears. He saw the look of deep dis-
tress that was in her face; but she said not a
word. That was enough for him. He went out,
and said to his servant, "Take my trunk back
again into my room. I will not break my mother's
heart to please myself." He gave up his com-
mission, and stayed at home.
When his mother heard what he had done, she
said,-" George, God has promised to bless those
who honour their parents, and He will bless you!"
How true those words were God did bless
George Washington; and made him a blessing to
his country, and to the world. Washington gained
many victories afterwards, but this was the most
important victory he ever gained; when he gave
up his own will to please his mother, he conquered
himself. And the Bible tells us that "he who
ruleth his own spirit is greater than he that taketh
a city."
Gustavus, the king of Sweden, in one of his
journeys, stopped at the cabin of a poor peasant,
and asked for a drink. An interesting young
girl gave him a drink, without knowing who he
was. She seemed to be in great poverty. The
king became very much interested in her, and
offered, if she would come to Stockholm, to put
her in a better position. The girl said she would
not leave her present home. "Why not ? asked
the king. Because," said the girl, my mother
is poor, and sickly, and has no one but me to take


The Tables of Stone.

care of and comfort her: and nothing that any
one could offer would tempt me to leave her."
The king entered the cabin to see the girl's
mother. There, stretched on a bedstead, whose
only covering was a little straw, he beheld an
aged female, weighed down with years and many
infirmities. His heart was touched at the sight,
and he said-" I am sorry, my poor woman, to
find you in so destitute and suffering a state."
"Alas, sir !" said the aged woman, "I should
be miserable, were it not for the kindness and at-
tention of that dear, good girl. She labours to
support me, and does everything she can for my
comfort. May God remember it to her for good!"
she added, as she wiped away a tear.
The good king could hardly speak. Presently
he slipped a purse of gold into the hand of the
daughter, and said-" Continue to take care of
your mother, and I will help you to do it more
effectually. Good-bye."
On his return to Stockholm, he made arrange-
ments to have a sum of money paid to the poor
woman every year, enough to keep her, comfort-
ably, as long as she lived; and after her death, to
be continued to her daughter. This was the way
in which God fulfilled the promise of this com-
mandment to that young girl. It was the king
who did it; but it was God who put it into his
heart to do it. He is the God from whom all
holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works
do proceed."
But there is the curse. There is a curse de-
nounced against those who do not honour their


The Tables of Stone.

parents. I said this curse is not mentioned in
the commandment. We find it in other places.
In Deut. xxvii. 16, we read these solemn words :
-" Cursed be he that setteth light by his father
or his mother." In Proverbs xxx. 17, God
speaks in this awful way -"The eye that
mocketh at his father, and despises to obey his
mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out,
and the young eagles shall eat it."
It is enough to make the flesh creep upon our
bones, and the blood run cold in our veins, to
read these passages. God's curse hangs over
every boy and girl who refuses to keep this
fifth commandment. They cannot prosper in
their ways.
Let me give you one illustration of the way in
which God's curse sometimes comes on those who
break this commandment.
There was a poor widow who had two sons.
The eldest, Charles, was ten years old. He be-
gan, soon after his father's death, to go with
wicked companions. In spite of his mother's en-
treaties and commands, he would go with them.
Well, before he was twelve years old, he was
taken up for stealing. Then he was taken away
from his mother, and put in a reformatory school,
or house of refuge, in a distant city.
He had not been there long before he was
taken sick. A dangerous fever broke out among
the boys. A kind-hearted gentleman gave his
mother money to pay the expenses of the journey,
and she went to visit her sick boy. When she
reached the place, she found him very ill. Ho


The Tables of Stone.

was too ill to be with the rest of the boys. His
mother found him in a room by himself.
There he lay, stretched upon the bed, and look-
ing so pale and thin that even his mother hardly
knew him. It was a sad and sorrowful meeting.
She talked with him, and wept over him a long
while. Then she took out a little handkerchief,
and wiped his forehead with it, and told him it
was his brother's at home.
Oh! mother," said Charles, "lay it on my
breast: I want it near my heart." Soon he
Does brother mind you ?"
Sometimes," she replied.
Oh tell him to obey you always-always
If I had done so, I never should have been here."
And he buried his face in the bedclothes, and
sobbed, and cried as if his heart would break.
Poor Charles died of the fever caught in the
place to which he was taken for breaking the
fifth commandment.
My dear young friends, my earnest hope is,
that you will all resolve, by the help of God,
always to keep this commandment.

Thou shalt not kill."
THIS is one of the shortest of the ten command-
ments. There are only four words in it. It is
wonderful to notice how very short God's laws are,


56 The Tables of Stone.

Here is God's great law against killing, written
out in four short words, or just sixteen letters.
This is the commandment we are now to con-
But you notice there are no limits put to this
law. It would seem, when we first look at it, as
if it were unlawful for us ever to kill anything.
Can this be the meaning of the law ? Certainly
not. You know we all eat meat. Every day we
have upon our tables beef, or mutton, or veal, of
chickens, or fish. The oxen, or sheep, or calves,
from which this meat came, were killed before
those joints of meat could be obtained for our
tables. The butchers killed those cattle. Was it
wrong for them to do so ? Not at all. God has
given us permission to kill these animals. He
created them to furnish food for man.
Again;--in some parts of the country hungry
wolves and savage bears prowl about. They de-
vour the sheep of the farmer, and do great mis-
chief. The farmer tries all he can to kill these
savage beasts. Is it wrong for him to do so
Sometimes we hear of dogs going mad, and
biting people. Then every one tries to kill them.
Is this wrong ? No.
Again;-suppose a wicked man knows there is
money in a certain house. He resolves to get it
Before he can do this, he will have to kill the
people iu the house. This he determines to do.
iHe arms himself with a knife. At niilnhliht he

The Tables of Stone.

enters the house. He creeps softly to the bedside,
where the inmates of the house are quietly sleep-
ing. He plunges his knife into their bosoms.
He leaves them weltering in their blood. He
clutches the gold which he covets in his blood-
stained hands, and goes away.
But soon he is found out. He is proved guilty
of the murder. He is condemned to be hung.
Is it right to put him to death? Certainly. God
tells us, over and over again, in the Bible, that the
"murderer shall be put to death."
This commandment forbids injury to the lives oJ
If a man meets another in the woods, and
plunges a dagger into his breast, that he may get
his watch, and money, does he break this com-
mandment ? Yes. But suppose that, instead of
getting his money in this way, he makes a poison-
ous drink, and sells it to the man, without telling
him what is in it; would this be breaking the
commandment ? Yes. It is just as bad to kill
with poison as to kill with a dagger.
Suppose a man stands at his door, and thought-
lessly fires a pistol into a crowd that is passing
by. One person in the crowd is killed. Is the
man who fired the pistol guilty of his death ?
Suppose I am a king. I don't think my coun-
try is large enough. I want to have part of my
neighbour's country. I raise an army and mareb
into that country. The king of that country
brings his army to oppose mine. A great battle
is fought. Twenty thousand men are killed. Who


The Tables of Stone.

killed those men ? I did, of course. Perhaps I
never fired a single gun, or shed a single drop of
blood, with my own hand; yet every drop of
blood shed in that battle would rest on my head.
Remember this when you read about what are
called great heroes and conquerors.
Who was the first murderer of whom we read
in the Bible? Cain. Do you suppose he became
a murderer all at once? No; he came to it by
degrees; just as the acorn grows into the oak.
There was a day when Cain had the first feeling
of hatred, or anger, towards his brother. That
feeling was the acorn, out of which the oak-tree of
murder grew. If, when that feeling first sprung
rp in his heart, Cain had checked it at once, that
would have been like plucking up the acorn as
soon as it began to sprout. Cain never would
have been a murderer.
Now heart-murder is as sinful in God's sight as
hand-murder. If we indulge angry and hateful
feelings in our hearts towards a person, that
makes us murderers in God's sight. The reason
is, that if we let these feelings stay there, and
grow, they will soon make us real murderers.
Ah how many heart-murderers there are among
us! HIow many who have the guilt of murder on
their souls, without having the blood of murder on
their hands !
I suppose there is not one person, however
young, who has not broken this commandment
I don't mean to say that we have all been mur-
derers outright. But we have all had angry feel-
ings towards others, and this has made us mur-


The Tables of Stone.

derers in heart. We have all reason, therefore, to
repent, before God, for the sin we have committed
in this respect. We should all pray earnestly for
pardon for the past, and for grace to help us to
do better for the future.
"Whene'er the angry passions rise,
And tempt our thoughts and tongues to strife,
To Jesus let us lift our eyes,
Bright pattern of the Christian life.
" His fair example let us trace,
To teach us what we ought to be;
Make us, by Thy transforming grace,
Dear Saviour, daily more like Thee !"

"Thou shalt not commit adultery."

Thou shalt not steal."
IN speaking about this commandment, the chief
thing to be considered is, the different ways in
which it may be broken.
You know it often happens, when you are go-
ing along a road, that you find it dividing itself
into two or more roads. These are called branches,
or forks of the road. The road or way we are


The Tables of Stone.

considering now, that is, the way of breaking
the eighth commandment, divides itself into five
forks or branches. These represent five different
ways in which this commandment may be broken,
or five different ways of stealing.
Suppose we call these forks by the five letters
of the alphabet. Then we shall have fork A,
fork B, fork C, fork D, and fork E.
FORK A is the way of stealing by FORGETFUL-
Somebody said once, that man is a bundle of
habits." This is true. Some of these habits are
good habits, but a great many more are bad ones.
Among these bad habits, none is so common as a
bad memory. This is the habit of forgetting
things. People with these bad memories borrow
things from their neighbours and friends, and for-
get to return them. Now to the persons who lend
those things, it is just as bad as if a thief should
come into their house and steal them. Umbrellas,
and books, and things of that kind, are most likely
to suffer in this way. Let me show you how it
Here is Mr John Smith. He breaks the com-
mandment by going through fork A. For in-
stance, John Smith is going to his shop one day,
when he is overtaken by a shower of rain. He
stops under cover at first; but the rain pours on.
Presently, he says to himself, What shall I do ?
I can't stay here all day; and yet I don't want
to get wet through. Ah I see, there is my friend
Johnson's; I '1 just step in there, and borrow an
umbrella." He gets the umbrella, promising to


The Tables of Stone.

see it safely returned. He carries it home, and
forgets all about it. There is no mark upon the
umbrella to show whose it is. It is never re-
turned; and so Mr Johnson loses his umbrella.
Isn't it all the same to him as if his umbrella had
been stolen ? Certainly. Mr John Smith would
be offended if any one should call him a thief.
Yet practically he is just as bad. Perhaps you
are ready to say, Ah! but he didn't intend to
steal; he only forgot. He merely had a bad
memory." Yes, but then he should not forget.
He has no business to have a bad memory. He
could help this if he chose. Do you suppose he
ever forgets when breakfast or dinner-time comes ?
Do you think he has a bad memory when other
people borrow umbrellas from him Oh no.
His memory is excellent then. This shows that
people can control their memory if they want to
do so. Memory is a thing of habit. We can get
into the habit of forgetting things, if we are not
careful; and we can get out of it, if we try pro-
perly. If we neglect to try, then we shall break
this commandment by going through the fork A,
which is the way of forgetfulness.
The fork A, or forgetfulness, is one branch of the
way in which the eighth commandment is broken.
FORK B, or CUNNING, is another branch of it.
Did you ever see a counterfeit bank note 1
This is a note which somebody has made to look
so much like a good note, that most people are not
able to tell the difference. It passes for a good
note, though it is not worth a straw. And gold
and silver coin are counterfeited in the same man-


The Tables of Stone.

ner. The people who make them think them.
selves very cunning. But they are not a bit bet-
ter than thieves.
But a great many other things may be counter-
feited, as well as money.
This fork B takes in all the various tricks and
contrivances by which cunning men manage to get
money out of people without giving them anything
really valuable in return. They may get rich in
this way, and think themselves very smart, and
pride themselves for their cunning ;-but they are
no better than thieves and robbers after all.
We pass on now to FORK C which is DECEIT.
Sometimes this deceit leads people to keep back
money that belongs to others, when they think it
won't be discovered.
A very good story in illustration of this is told
of the Duke of Buccleuch, a Scotch nobleman.
One day the duke had bought a cow in the neigh-
bourhood of Dalkeith where he lived. The cow
was to be sent home the next morning. Early in
the morning, the duke was taking a walk, in a
very common dress. .As he went along, he saw a
boy trying, in vain, to drive the cow to his resi-
dence. The cow was very unruly, and the poor
boy couldn't get on with her at all. The boy, not
knowing the duke, bawled out to him in the broad
Scotch accent, Hie, mun, come here and gie's
a han' wi' this beast." The duke walked slowly
on not seeming to notice the boy, who still kept
calling for his help.
At last, finding he couldn't get on with the cow,
he cried out in distress, Come here, mun, and


The Tables of Stone.

help us, and as sure as anything I'll gie ye lialf I
The duke went and lent a helping hand.
"And now," said the duke, as they trudged
along after the cow, "how much do you think
ye '11 get for the job ?" "I dinna ken," aid the
boy but I'm sure o' something, for the folks up
at the big house are guid to a' body."
As they came to a lane near the house, the duke
slipped away from the boy, and entered by a dif-
ferent way. Calling a servant he put a sovereign
into his hand, saying, Give that to the boy who
brought the cow."
He then returned to the end of the lane where
he had parted from the boy, so as to meet him
on his way back. "Well, how much did you get?''
asked the duke. "A shilling," said the boy, "and
there's half o' it to ye." "But surely you got
more than a shilling?" said the duke. "No," said
the boy; as sure as death that's a' I got;-and
d' ye no think it's plenty ?" "I do not," said the
duke; "there must be some mistake; and as I
am acquainted with the duke, if you return I
think I '11 get you more."
They went back. The duke rang the bell, and
ordered all the servants to be assembled. Now,"
said the duke to the boy, "point me out. the per-
son who gave you the shilling." "It was that
chap there with the apron," said he, pointing to
the butler. The butler fell on his knees, confessed
his fault, and begged to be forgiven; but the
duke indignantly ordered him to give the boy the
sovereign, and quit his service immediately. "You

0 63

64 The Tables of Stone.

have lost," said the duke, "your money, your
situation, and your character, by your deceitful-
ness; learn, for the future, that honesty is the
best policy." The boy now found out who it was
that had helped him to drive the cow; and the
duke was so pleased with the manliness and
honesty of the boy that he sent him to school, and
provided for him at his own expense.
This butler was in fork C. He broke the com-
mandment by deceit, and trying to keep back from
another what belonged, to him, when he thought
he would not be found out.
We come now to FORK D. In this branch of the
way we find those who break the commandment by
All those people who are never willing to
give a fair price for anything, are found in this
fork. There is a very large class of this sort of
people. If you go a-shopping with them you find
them always trying to beat down the price of
things. No matter whether the price is high or
low, they want to get it a little lower. They do
not consider whether the price asked for a thing
is a fair, honest price, or not; however low it may
be, they are not satisfied unless it is put lower still.
Here is a lady who is a housekeeper belonging
to fork D. She wants some strawberries. There
is a poor girl going by with a basketful on her
head. She stops the girl at the front door, and
asks the price of her strawberries. "A shilling a
quart, ma'am," says the girl.
SI '1l take six quarts if you'll let me have them
for tenpence."

The Tables ofStone.

"Indeed, ma'am, that '11 take away nearly all
my profit."
"Well, I won't give you a penny more."
The big tears roll down the cheeks of the poor
girl as she measures out the strawberries. She
has a poor widowed mother, with a sick little baby
brother, at home, who have nothing to depend on
but what she makes by selling her berries. The
shilling which the rich lady has wrung from her,
-might I not say stolen from her ?-would have
been, oh! such a help and comfort to them! And
yet this lady will go out, by and by, and spend"
crowns by the dozen on'herself, for things that she
really does not need at all. This is cruel. It is
mean. It is wicked. This is what the Bible calls
oppressing the poor, or "grinding the faces of the
poor;" and God threatens dreadful things against
those who do it. MThat lady little thinks that she.
is breaking the eighth commandment over the
head and heart of that poor girl; but she is; and
when God cones to reckon with her, she will find
it out.
FORK E treats of those who break this command.
ment by VIOLENCE and FRAUD.
The word violence here takes in all the burglars
or housebreakers, the thieves and highway robbers,
who are locked up in our prisons, or are prowling
aboui our streets. It requires no argument to
prove that these people break the commandment;
we are all agreed about this. It is very seldom
that those who have been taught 'it Sabbath
schools, when young, are ever found at last in
such company as this.


The Tables of Stone.

But the other side of this fork E takes in a
great many of what are called the most wealthy
and respectable of our "people. They break the
eighth commandment by fraud, or cheating.
Sometimes we hear that a bank is broken. We
ask what caused that bank to fail 1 It turns out,
that the president and directors of the bank took
the money which was put in it, and used it' in
business, as if it had been their own. Perhaps
they didn't intend to keep the money. They
meant to put it back again, by and by. But their
business, didn't succeed. The money was lost.
They never could get it again to put back. And
when the poor widows and orphans, whose money
had been put in the bank, to be kept safely, came
to ask for it, it was not there. The bank had
failed. The money was lost.
Now those officers had no more right to take
this money, and use it in this way, than they had
to go and break open another bank, and steal the
money locked up in it. Man's law won't punish
those men. It calls their conduct only a "breach
of trust." God's law calls it stealing. Those men
break the eighth commandment just as truly as
the midnight robber does, who creeps into your
house, and steals away your money while you are
Remember, my dear children, as long as you
live, that if ever you have any money left in your
charge, belonging to another person, you have no
more right to use that money as your own, than
you have to break into your neighbour's house,
and steal his money.


The Tables of Stone.

The people in, fork E, break this commandment
by violence and fraud.
Thus we have gone through five different forks.
Let us see if we can recollect them, and the way
in which the commandment is broken in each of

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy
WHAT is it to bear witness ? As commonly under-
stood, this refers to what takes place in courts of
law, where a person is being tried for some offence
with which he is charged.
A clergyman was once examining the children
of an infant school upon the commandments. He
put his hand on the head of a little boy, and said
-" My little man, can you tell me what the ninth
commandment means, by 'bearing false witness
against your neighbour V'"
The boy hesitated a while, and then said--
"It means telling lies, sir."
The minister didn't exactly like this answer, so
looking at a little girl who stood next to him, he
asked-" What do you say ?"
Without waiting a moment, she replied-"It '
when nobody does nothing, and somebody goes
and tells of it." Very good," said the minister.


The Tables of Stone.

The little girl's answer was a very funny one,
but the little boy's was true. Bearing false wit.
ness is telling lies; and telling lies is bearing false
witness. We break the ninth commandment
every time we tell a lie. We sometimes hear
people talk about different kinds of lies. They
call some little lies, and others big lies; some
white lies, and others black lies. But the Bible
only speaks of one kind of lies. Every lie that is
spoken is big enough and black enough to break
the ninth commandment.
Here is a large ship. It is made up of a vast
number of great pieces of timber, all fastened
together. It is very strong. It can cross the
ocean, breasting the storms, and riding over the
angry billows, without receiving any harm. But
what holds those pieces of timber together, and
makes that ship so strong? Why, the bolts of
iron, or copper, which are driven through her
Now, suppose it were possible, all at once, to
draw every bolt and fastening out of that ship, as
she sails over the ocean-what would become
of her ? She would fall to pieces directly, and
all her cargo would be lost.
Well, every family, every village or town is
like such a ship. It is made up of a number of
persons bound together. And what binds them
together? Why, truth, or confidence. Truth
among people in society is like the bolt in the ship.
If nobody told the truth, and people had no con-
fidence in one another, they could no more live
together, in families or communities, and do busi-


The Tables of Stone.

,ness together, than a number of pieces of timber,
without bolts to fasten them together, could make
a ship.
Would it not be very dangerous to have a person
on board a ship who had a machine for drawing
the bolts out, and who was trying to use it all the
time ?, Certainly it would. Well, lying is such a
machine, in families and societies. Every one
who bears false witness, in any way, is using this
machine. He is trying to draw the bolts out of
families and societies, so that they can't hold to.
gether. This is very dangerous.
In conclusion, let me entreat you to make it a
point, on every occasion, to speak the truth.
Let this be a settled rule with you; a rule, tog,
that shall never be broken. Let nothing ever
tempt you to tell a lie. God calls Himself the
God of truth." He loves the truth; and while
:',lying lips are an abomination to Him," those
that speak truly are said to be His delight"

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt
not covet thy neighbours wife, nor his man-servant,
nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor
anything that is thy neighbour's."
THE first four words of this commandment con-
tain the substance of what it requires of us.
"Thou shalt not covet." To covet, means to
have an unlawful desire for something that be-
longs to another.


The Tables of Stone.

We should not covet, in the first place, because it
If we get the things we covet, instead of being
satisfied we shall only want more.
If you put a tub, without any bottom to it,
under a pump, and begin to pump the water into
it, how long will it take you to fill it ? You never
can fill it. Well, our covetous desires are like a
tub without a bottom. And trying to get satisfied
by indulging them, is just like trying to fill a tub
with water, when there is no bottom to it.
The second reason why we should not covet is
because it is SINFUL.
It breaks this commandment. And the worst
thing you can say of any sin is, that it breaks
God's law. Remember this, whenever you are
tempted to covet anything. You break God's
commandment by it. How sinful this is!
But there is even more than this to be said
about covetousness. The covetous man breaks the
whole ten commandments at once,
Do you ask how i make this out ? Easily
enough. You know our Saviour said the ten
commandments were all embraced in two-viz.,
to love God with all our hearts; and to love our
neighbour as ourselves. But the covetous man
loves his gold with all his heart. By this he
breaks the first four commandments. He loves
his gold more than he loves his neighbour. By
this he breaks the last six commandments. What
a dreadfully wicked thing covetousness is! St
Paul tells us, as was said at the beginning of this
sermon, that covetousness, or "the love of money,


The Tables of Stone.

ts the root of all evil." This means, that it leads
people to commit all kinds of sin. It makes them
unkind, hard-hearted, cruel, and unjust. It leads
to violence, bloodshed, and murder.
When the Spaniards conquered Mexico, they
killed so many people that it might almost be
said they waded in blood to get possession of it.
And what was the chief object they had in view 1
It was to get the gold, which was found there in
such wonderful profusion.
When the emperor found that he could not pro-
tect his city against thefierce invaders, he collected
his principal treasures together, and threw them
into the lake on which his capital was built. The
Spanish general, Cortes, was so much disappointed
at finding so little gold, that he ordered a huge
gridiron to be made, and then put the emperor on
it, and roasted him over a slow fire to make him
tell where his treasures were.
The history of the world is full of the horrible
things that men have done from a desire to get
We have considered two reasons why we should
not covet. Because it is UNSATISFYING; and be-
cause it is SINFUL.
Now, my dear friends, we have concluded our
illustrations of the commandments. This last one
makes an excellent finish to them. You know
that when a carpenter drives in a nail which he
wishes shall hold very fast, he takes his hammer,
and if it be a wrought iron nail, he bends over the
end of it where it has come through, and drives it
again into the wood. This is called clenching the



The Tables of Stone.

nail. This makes it firm. Now it cannot be
drawn out.
And just in the same way the tenth command-
ment is a sort of clencher to all the rest. If we
keep this commandment properly, we shall be in
very little banger of breaking any of the others
It directs our attention to our hearts; and teaches
us to keep theip right. If we can only keep (ur
hearts right, we shall not have much trouble with
anything else. This is the reason why the Bible
says, Keep thine heart with all diligence, for out
of it are the issues of life."
And when we feel our need of the help of God's
grace to enable us to keep His commandments
how beautifully we are taught to pray for this.
"0 Almighty Lord, and everlasting God, vouch-
safe, we beseech Thee, to direct, sanctify, and
govern, both our hearts and bodies, in the ways
of. Thy laws, and in the works of Thy command-
ments; that through Thy most mighty protec-
tion, both here and ever, we may be preserved in
body and soul, through our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ! Amen."

M'Farlane &9 Erskine, Printers, Edinburgh


i : r*' r 1 > 1 '. ,:
C r r

~~4, 4 '

Arr r .

U: .'' I :
*A ).. % f

)I p- ) .t
li .r "** / .
*I ; i-:
,' ^ : ** i,'
i: r '*^ (
! *v .; l
1 *lt
'r *^ ''' *
('~~~~~~~~~~~ ''* |
; I -
"> > .

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs