“The boneless tongue, so small and weak, Can crush and kill,” declared the Greek. “The tongue destroys a greater horde,” The Turk asserts, “than does the sword.” The Persian proverb wisely saith, “A lengthy tongue, — an early death;” Or sometimes takes this form instead: “Don’t let your tongue cut off your head.” “The tongue can speak a word whose speed,” Says the Chinese, “Outstrips the steed.” While Arab sage doth this impart: “The tongue’s great store-house is the heart.
“Luther felt that the disposition to dishonesty and the practice of it was extremely prevalent in his day. He says: ‘God has commanded that no one damage or curtail the possessions of his neighbor. To steal signifies nothing else than to obtain another’s property by unjust means. It briefly embraces every method, in all lines of business, by which advantage is taken of our neighbor. Stealing is a widespread, universal vice.
“God puts His emphasis on the primary things, where it belongs; but he is not unmindful of anything that concerns his people. He says: ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness;’ but at the right time and with becoming eagerness, we may also seek the creature things, which, if used aright, will help us on our heavenward way, though they be but the perishing things of the earth.
“Christ speaks of the course of life through this world as a way: the broad way and the narrow way. With special emphasis do the inspired writers speak of those who live in violation of the Sixth Commandment as followers of a way, a wicked way. In the second chapter of Proverbs we read these words of warning concerning the strange woman, who has forsaken the guide of her youth and forgotten the covenant of her God: ‘Her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.
“In spite of the loathing which this subject brings to pure, modest souls it is a seductive sin. The world makes light of it. It smiles complacently at the violation of the law of chastity. Because of this, as well as for other reasons, we need to watch and pray that we be not led into temptation.”
On This Page 18. The Unspeakable Sin Marriage Divorce Personal Impurity Paying the Price The Remedy Publication Information 18.
“In thinking and speaking of murder, the average person usually has in mind only the actual and direct taking of human life, — as, for instance, with poison, a revolver, a dirk or some similarly deadly instrument. This probably accounts for the complacency so many exhibit when it comes to considering the command which says: ‘Thou shalt do no murder.’ Most people, on hearing these words, will at once say — that does not condemn me.
“This discussion brings us to the important subject of capital punishment. Capital punishment is the legally enjoined punishment for the crime of murder. It is the conviction of many that the enforcement or non-enforcement of this penalty has much to do with the attitude of our people toward the Fifth Commandment, the first requirement of which is not to take human life. Notwithstanding, there are a great many who consider this punishment as contrary to the spirit of the age and of Christianity.
The Fifth Commandment (“Thou Shalt Not Kill”) has not become antiquated… (In it) we have a statement of that Law of God which gives emphasis to the sacredness of human life, and throws about it the protecting shield of His care.
On This Page 15. The Sacred Mystery Of Human Life The Mystery of Life The Sacredness of Human Life The Christian Attitude Toward Life Publication Information 15.
Listen to what the Lord says through the mouth of St. Peter: “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether it be unto the king, as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by Him. For so is the will of God.”
On This Page 14. The Responsibilities of Government And The Governed Government a Divine Institution The Duties of Those Who Govern The Duties of Those Governed Publication Information 14.
To live means more than having food and shelter or any degree of material prosperity. Merely to vegetate, to exist, is not truly to live. To spend an existence of isolated selfishness is not really to live. A round of useless or silly pleasures is a poor, shallow, unsatisfactory kind of life.
On This Page 13. Parental Responsibility 1. The Nature and Extent of Parental Responsibility. 2. How can parents properly discharge the great obligations they owe their children?
We have, in a measure, prepared the way for the consideration of this Fourth Commandment by our meditation on the Christian family. If all families were Christian families, if all parents lived and wrought in the midst of their families in the fear and love of God, and made it their chief concern to have their children follow them in this, then we should have the least possible trouble in having the Fourth Commandment fulfilled.
We are now ready to take up the study of the Second Table of God’s holy Law. This Second Table, beginning, according to our division, with the Fourth Commandment, deals with man’s relation to his fellowman. But let us not forget that, though these commandments treat of human relations, they are still God’s laws. And equally well let us remember that the violation of these commands, while a sin against man, is, primarily, a sin against God Himself.
The giving of the Ten Commandments leads us back into the dim, distant days of Old Testament history. They were given just about as long before the birth of Christ as it is since that central event of all history.
On This Page 10. The Supreme Duty Of Man Loving God Supremely Using God’s Name Reverently The Becoming Worship of God Publication Information 10. The Supreme Duty Of Man “And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, which is the first commandment of all?
The day of rest and worship, as it has been observed from the creation to the present time, we have already considered. This subject, considered from the viewpoint chiefly of the day itself, is one of no slight importance. The very fact that for all these thousands of years there has been a day so observed gives great weight to every plea for its proper continuance and observance. But after all it is not the day in itself which is the matter of chief importance.
In all the commandments it is God who is speaking to us. But in these three He tells us how we are to treat Him personally. We are to have no other gods. He, our Creator, the author of all our blessings, claims our adoration. He demands the highest thoughts of our minds, the deepest love of our hearts, our truest service. We are not to profane His holy name.
We take up for study today the Second Commandment. A glance should suffice to show its close relation to the first. God has been standing before us in the awe-inspiring grandeur of His person. “I am the Lord thy God.” He demands that we banish all false ideas of Himself and all worship of false, imaginary gods, which would steal away the honor due Himself, the true, the living God.
“Thou shalt worship the Lord, thy God; and Him only shalt thou serve.” — Matt. 4:10.
In our recent address we spoke of idols and idol-worship, but confined ourselves closely to the grosser forms of this great sin. Though we pointed out that idolatry of this kind still largely prevails and that the simple fact of its existence entails on all the children of God the solemn duty of making the true God known, a duty we cannot shirk without guilt, still it is possible that a good many have felt that the sin of which we spoke was a thing far removed from our life, something altogether of another world, if not of the long ago.
“I am the Lord thy God… Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.” — Exodus 20:2-5.
Universally men have felt the need of a God. Man is a created being, he is dependent, he cannot live by himself.
“I am the Lord thy God… Thou shalt, Thou shalt not.” — Exodus 20:2-4.
Wherever we go in God’s universe, into whatever sphere we direct investigation, we cannot proceed far without becoming conscious of the operation of unseen, intangible forces. In other words, everywhere we find Law. There is not an atom of dust floating through space; there is not a flower which blooms, not a leaf which fades and falls; there is not a stream which, ever broadening, flows from its tiny fountain, onward to the sea; there is not a star in the vast canopy of heaven, traveling its path through the millions of sister spheres; there is not a thing anywhere but is governed by Law.
“I am the Lord thy God.” — Exodus 20:2.
Our Catechism is appropriately called the Layman’s Bible, which means that the fundamental truths of God’s Word are there made easily accessible for our people. One of the introductory questions of the catechism is: “What is in general the right use and benefit of all these chief parts?” The answer is: “That we may learn to know who we are, and how we stand in the sight of the Lord our God; who God is, and how we may become reconciled and united with Him.