|Sermons on the Heidelberg
By Rev. G. Van
Psalter No.179 St 1,2,3,4.
Read James. 3.
Psalter No.435 St. 4
Psalter No.304 St. 1,6, 7.
Psalter No.236 St. 1, 2.
XXXVI. LORD'S DAY
Dear Hearers! When the Lord gave His servant Moses those
laws which were intended to develop Israel into a holy
nation, something happened that was more dreadful than
anything that had as yet taken place among them. The son of
an Israelitish woman, born of a mixed marriage with an
Egyptian, hence one of the mixed multitude which left Egypt
with Israel and dwelt among God's people as if he belonged
with them, strove with a man of Israel in the camp. And then
something happened that greatly perturbed the entire nation.
The boy, born of that mixed marriage, in the heat of his
anger blasphemed the Name of the Lord and cursed; therefore
those who heard it brought him to Moses. At the command of
Moses they put him in ward that the mind of the Lord might
be showed them. For such a thing had never been done in
Israel before. Even Moses the man of God did not know what
to do with such a wicked person, with such a blasphemer. In
this unprecedented case the Lord Himself must give judgment.
And the Lord spoke to Moses to give him the desired answer:
Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let
all that heard him lay their hands upon his head and after
that let all the congregation stone him.
You see, beloved, by a sin
such as this one the entire community to which the sinner
was externally bound, became guilty with him. It is true,
they had but received this guilt, this guilt had forcibly
been laid upon them, but it would have become their own
personal sin if they had not returned it to the one from
whom they had received it. The return of this guilt was
accomplished by the destruction of the sinner by the entire
congregation after they who had heard the blasphemy and
cursing had laid their hands upon the head of the
blasphemer, by which action they symbolically laid upon him
the sin by which they had been polluted. The procedure
prescribed by the law here and everywhere in a case of
public offense should be carefully studied also by us. For
the evil committed by few or many infects others like a
penetrating poison, to some it causes loathing, to others it
is a temptation. Therefore by exercising justice the evil
must be punished and the course of the poison must be
And do you not also think that
if every blasphemer and curser in this country was to be
stoned, there would not be enough stones? And would we,
would I and you go free?
That dreadful sin and its just punishment we will now
You will find our text in
Exod. 20:7. "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.
Upon these words our
catechetical instruction is based as you will find recorded
in the Heidelberg Catechism:
XXXVI. LORD'S DAY.
Q. 99. What is required in the
A. That we, not only by cursing or
perjury, but also by rash swearing, must not profane or
abuse the name of God; nor by silence or connivance be
partakers of these horrible sins in others; and, briefly,
that we use the Holy Name of God no otherwise than with fear
and reverence; so that he may be rightly confessed and
worshipped by us, and be glorified in all our words and
Q. 100. is then the profaning of God's name, by swearing and
cursing, so heinous a sin, that his wrath is kindled against
those who do not endeavor, as much as in them lies, to
prevent and forbid such cursing and swearing?
A. It undoubtedly is, for there is
no sin greater or more provoking to God, than the profaning
of His name: and therefore He has commanded this sin to be
punished with death.
Dear Hearers! Once and again we have tarried in thought
at Horebs mountain.
We have first considered the
significant and comforting introduction to the law, which
was heard from the lips of the Lord when He spoke: "I am the
Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of
Egypt, out of the house of bondage."
After that we considered the
first commandment, in which the Lord erects a bulwark
against the idolatrous nature of the deeply fallen man.
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me." And that is
precisely what the unregenerate wants, he wants to kneel to
a thousand gods, and he adds to their number again and
again. But for the true God he will not bow, Him he will not
honor, upon Him he will not depend. For that matter, he does
not know the only true God, and hence does not love Him; he
is afraid of Him; he wishes He were not there.
And when he acknowledges that
there is a God, and that this God should and must be served,
he wants to do it in a visual and sensual manner. Led by his
foolish and errant conceit, he attempts to make the
Invisible God visible in countless forms and shapes. This
was done and is still done among the heathens. This was done
by Israel at Horeb, where they made a calf to represent God.
This is done especially in the heathenish papacy. And in a
more refined manner each one of us does so, even the people
of God who have received grace.
But the Lord disallows all
such visual and sensual religion, all that making of images.
Such a religion does not please Him. Such a visual and
sensual religion provokes His Holy displeasure, that is no
religion. That is cursed image worship which He shall visit
with His Holy wrath upon even the fourth generation. By
making images one does not honor God, He calls it hating
Him, and shall visit it terribly in His own time.
And when the Papacy tried to
justify its image worship by calling its images books to the
laity, the Instructor gives this excellent answer, "We must
not pretend to be wiser than God, Who will have His people
taught, not by dumb images, but by the lively preaching of
His word." And so it is. When God wants to instruct a
concerned Ethiopian, God does not send an image, but Philip
to preach God's Word. When the Lord wants to establish a
church somewhere, He sends the lively preaching of His Word.
When He wants to bring His children to faith and cause them
to grow in faith, He uses the lively preaching of His Word.
Indeed, the establishment, the maintaining and the
reformation of His church is entirely done by the lively
preaching of His Word. Oh, beloved hearers, let us then
always esteem highly that preaching of His Word and let us
support it by our prayers and our gifts.
And now we are called to tarry
again for a moment at Mount Horeb to listen to and meditate
on the third commandment. In this commandment the Lord lays
His hand on the sin which has made our country notorious
among foreign nations. In other countries we are called "a
And still there is no sin more
provoking to God than this sin. He will also punish this sin
What a privilege it is when
the Lord plants His fear in our heart; then we have
reverence and high esteem for God's dear Name.
These matters shall become
more clear to you as you give us your attention while we are
called, in accordance with Lord's Day 36, to speak about the
third commandment or the abuse of God's Holy Name.
Permit me with a few words to show you:
1. The sin here forbidden;
2. The punishment here
3. The attitude here
The Lord grant us through grace His Spirit as we elucidate
these matters, for Jesus' sake.
"Thou shalt not take the
Name of the Lord thy God in vain." Thus, dear hearers, we
hear the highest Law-giver and Judge earnestly warn us, for
the abuse of His Holy Name is regarded by Him as doing
violence to the highest Majesty of God, which shall be
punished by the severest penalty in body and soul.
Let us then first notice the sin here forbidden.
Thou shalt not
take—literally it says "take up"—the Name of the
Lord thy God in vain"—that means lightly.
By the "Name of the Lord" you
must understand all that the dear Lord has revealed about
Himself. Some think especially of the name Jehovah which is
always written in capitals in good Bibles. And truly, this
is God's most significant name, as Hellenbroek says in his
instruction book, the name that may not be given to any
creature. "I am the Lord: that is My Name: and My Glory will
I not give to another, neither My Praise to graven images."
(Isa. 42:8.) This Name signifies the self-existence, the
immutability and faithfulness of God. It is the same Name
which the Lord spoke to Moses and with which He sent Moses
to the children of Israel in Egypt: "I am that I am!" (Exod.
3 :14.) Yet even this name can not circumscribe the entire
Divine Being, God's infinite Being can not be expressed by
one name, nay, not by a thousand names. No, we may not take
this name, nor any other name of the Lord in vain. Yea,
nothing by which the Lord reveals Himself may be taken in
vain, hence not the names of His attributes, nor His Word,
nor His works.
And that is to be understood.
Is not the Lord thy God the Most High Majesty? Is He not the
King of kings and the Lord of lords? Is He not the Righteous
One, but also the Most Gracious One, Who a thousand times
was our Benefactor? Is He not our Best, our Heavenly Father,
Who provides for all our temporal and spiritual needs, and
Who pardoned us a thousand times. And shall we then take His
Holy Name in vain?
Dear hearers, taking His Name
in vain is contrary to man's calling. Has He not created man
to declare His praise and glorify His Name? Has He not for
that purpose revealed His Name, that is Himself? Has He not
for that purpose revealed His attributes and
And how gloriously that took
place in the state of rectitude. All that was in paradise
proclaimed the praises of God. Trees, and flowers and
plants, fish and birds, four-footed and creeping animals,
yea, everything, though it be unconsciously, proclaimed the
glorious Name of God. And above that chorus of creatures
praising God, sounded the mighty voice of Adam and Eve as a
silver trumpet through the garden of the Lord, to praise and
glorify the Name of their Creator.
Then the third commandment was
not necessary. To use the Name of their Maker and Benefactor
except with deepest and childlike reverence was unthinkable.
They could not do so. Would not their voices have sounded
more pure than the heavens which declare the glory of God
and the firmament which showeth His handiwork?
Oh, had it but remained thus!
But alas, we have fallen, we have sinned. We have not
regarded nor honored the Name of the Lord. We listened to
him who was the first to take the Name of the Lord in vain,
when he lied to our first parents saying that they would not
die, not even if they ate from the forbidden tree, even if
they transgressed the laws of the Lord. And when Adam
listened to the voice of the tempter and transgressed the
commandment, he, and we in and with him, lost that reverence
and child-like fear for that dear Being. We knew Him no
more; we retained no respect for Him any more, then a root
was planted in our soul, which brought forth both cursing,
and lying. Then it was also necessary that the Lord included
the third commandment in His holy law. And it is His
unutterable goodness that He was willing to do it and that
He actually did it.
Hence the fact that there is a
third commandment is an accusation against us. The Apostle
says, "Where no law is, there is no transgression." We can
also say, Were there no sins there would be no need of a
law. Every commandment accuses us. It is proof that we do
not do that which is commanded, nor refrain from doing that
which is forbidden. Hence we are guilty of sins of omission
The third commandment then
speaks of a shameful abuse. For we ask You whereas the Lord
in condescending goodness made known to man by means of His
names His being and His attributes, so that we may learn to
know Him to our salvation, is it then no abominable and
shameful abuse of the names of the Lord by the enemies of
God when they take them lightly upon their lips to blaspheme
their Creator or to curse their neighbor by the names of
In the third commandment the
Lord does not forbid the proper and reverent use of God's
name, but the light and sad abuse of it. Hence we must not
do as the superstitious Jews do, who when reading God's Word
omit the name Jehovah and substitute another name. And why
do they do that? We noted before that literally the
commandment reads "take up." The opposite of take up,
reasons the Jew, is let lie, hence, not use. And because,
that boy of whom we spoke in the introduction was stoned
because he blasphemed the Name, and because of many other
superstitions, the Jew does not use the name Jehovah.
But again: here we find
forbidden using the name of the Lord thoughtlessly or
without reverence and for an improper or shameful
In the third commandment God
forbids not only cursing, but also, as our Catechism
correctly observes, perjury. That this commandment refers
especially to this terrible sin is evident from Lev. 19 :12,
"And ye shall not swear by My Name falsely; I am the
And truly perjury may
particularly be called a blasphemous and vain abuse of the
Name of God, for in perjury we call upon God that He will
bear witness to our lie and treachery; yea, we would make
the spotlessly holy One a servant of sin. And this sin,
however terrible it is, is repeatedly committed in many
Profaning the Name of God is
also done by rash swearing, either by the attributes of God
or by thunder and lightning, as is heard repeatedly, even
from lips of which you would not expect it.
Oh, beloved, the cursing and
profaning of the Name of the Lord is such an extensive evil,
it is done in so many ways that it is impossible to name
You ask: how is it done? Permit me to say something about
It is done by words when we
curse our neighbor in God's Name, or even call down
damnation upon our own head. Thus we would make the Lord the
executer of our hatred and revenge to our own detriment.
Alas, what has man become by sin!
It is also done by swearing,
by using words which alas some of God's people even do not
recognize as sinning, hence those swearing words are heard
also from their lips.
It is also done by blaspheming
when we charge God foolishly; when we doubt His omnipotence,
when we mock His wisdom, when we deny His providence, or
accuse Him of hardness and injustice. Well, people of God,
put your hand into your own bosom. Are you innocent in this
matter? Remember how Job in his despondency cursed the day
of his birth. Remember what Peter did in the hall of
It is also done in prayer,
when in extended long prayers that dear Name is used over
and over, sometimes a hundred times, often merely using it
as a stop-gap while thinking what to say next. That is a
terrible transgression of the third commandment. Surely such
a concatenation of sins the Lord will not regard as a
prayer. Oh, people of God, let your words be few, and
seasoned with salt.
It is also done in our
thoughts, when internally we curse or blaspheme, or accuse
that dear Being of unfaithfulness. Are you not guilty in
this? By this we do not mean the hellish torments of Satan
who under the permission of God utters curses and blasphemy
against the Lord in the tender soul of the child of God to
torture and frighten it, yea, if it were possible, to bring
it to despair. Nay, you will notice that Satan's curses in
the heart are hellish torments concerning which the soul
cries to God for deliverance, but they leave no guilt upon
It is also done by deeds, when
we pretend to serve the Lord, but secretly live in sin.
Oh, beloved, the sin
against the third commandment is so widespread. It is found
in the inner chambers of kings, in the assemblies of the
government of the nation, the state and the cities, it is
found in the courts, in schools, and homes, yea, even in
Walk along our streets and
even from the lips of children you will hear curses. There
are families in which parents and children outdo each other
in cursing. Often one of the first words little children can
utter is a curse. Is it not a dreadful thought that our
country is notorious for its curses?
The third commandment is
also transgressed by perjury. And then where shall we begin?
Shall we hear the false oaths uttered in legislative halls,
in court rooms, at marriages, and in consistory rooms, false
oaths, at which they call upon the Name of God, but which
presently prove to be oaths which men dare to break
All promises made in the Name
of God must have only the honor of God and the welfare of
man as their aim, and breaking such a promise is profaning
His Holy Name.
God's Name is also profaned
by rash swearing by heaven or earth, by our life or our
health. All unnecessary promises and promises we know we
cannot keep are included in this vain and rash swearing and
abusing God's Name.
And if you perhaps think you
are guiltless in this, we request you to consider the 100th
Question and Answer, and what our Instructor says there.
Then you, too, shall cry out "Have mercy upon me, O
For also our "silence," and
"not endeavoring to prevent and forbid" such profaning of
God's Name also renders us guilty of transgressing the third
How often we are silent
because of fear of man or for the sake of profit. And thus
we make ourselves guilty of that terrible sin. To remain a
friend of Caesar we invoke God's anger and wrath upon our
Upon all this we hear the
threatening of God, which reads: I shall not hold him
guiltless, that taketh My Name in vain.
This naturally leads us to our second thought: the
punishment here threatened.
"The Lord shall not hold him
guiltless." This negative statement contains a positive
threat to all transgressors of the third commandment.
The punishment of these sins
is certain. That proceeds from His Holy Nature, which can
not endure sin. For He is the King of kings, He it is, Who
because of His pure and holy nature must punish sin; He is
that God Who loves Himself above all, Who hates and punishes
sin, because it conflicts with His Holy Nature.
Moreover, profaning God's Name
is one of those sins which not only would rob God of His
crown but would even pierce His heart. In the original of
Lev. 24:11 we read that the boy blasphemed "or pierced" the
Name of the Lord.
"There is no sin greater or
more provoking to God, than the profaning of His Name; and
therefore He has commanded this sin to be punished with
death," says the Catechism.
And how could it be otherwise?
We, sinful contemptible sinners, become indignant, we become
angry when people dare to misuse our name, or slander it,
and would the Lord not have a holy and terrible anger
against those who profane His Holy Name? God hates and
punishes sin, and no wonder, cursing and swearing are not
only the fruit of unbelief, but are the proper works of the
devils. A curser shows plainly that he is an image-bearer of
the devil and that he is related to the doomed in hell.
Such profanity He who is the
faithful one, also in His threatenings, will not allow to go
Would you have proof?
Pharaoh cried, "Who is the
Lord, that I should obey His voice? And see how the waters
of the Red Sea covered this cursing and swearing king. Then
you shall see how God punishes this sin.
Recall again the son of
Shelomith of Lev 24.
Take also, for example, the
woman, the unfaithful wife, who. called upon to take the
oath of purification, committed perjury. By a special plague
and punishment of God she was publicly smitten with terrible
bodily ailments. (Num. 5.)
Goliath also dared to defy the
armies of Israel's Jehovah. Remember the four hundred
prophets of Baal; who were killed by Elijah, because they
Yea, consider the slandering
Sennacherib and how the Lord killed one hundred eighty-five
thousand men of valour in one night.
Another example is the mocking
Belshazar and his thousand drunken lords and God wrote His
sentence upon the wall: Thou art weighed in the balances,
and art found wanting," which sentence was executed that
But never has the Lord
revealed His holy indignation against the misuse of His Name
more gloriously than on Golgotha in the death of His Holy
For notice what took place in
the hall of Caiaphas: There He stood—our Jesus in our
stead, covered with our sins, the sins of His church. And
now notice that it is the sin against the third commandment
of which He is accused and for which He is sentenced to
death. "He hath spoken blasphemy"—"He is guilty of
Oh, people of God, see how
your Surety is led out of Jerusalem as a blasphemer. Yea,
look to Golgotha and there you see how God punishes sin, how
He visits the profaning of His Name with the most dreadful
punishments in body and soul. Truly, with an eye upon that
Christ, we cry out to you, who know yourself as a slanderer:
Ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your
body, and in your spirit, which are God's. And you who still
continue in sin, you also may look to Calvary, you will then
see that God did not spare His own Son. How then shall you
escape, if you continue on and on in sin.
Dreadful is the punishment
threatened upon the transgression of the third commandment.
For what is the future of a blasphemer? Is that future not
terrible? Not only does God in time punish the curser so
that he experiences that the curse is consuming his income,
but all this is nothing compared to what awaits them in the
future, in eternity.
For when one profanes God's
eternal Name, God will requite that sin with eternal
punishment. One day all those who did not learn to bow
before the Lord here, shall find themselves in a cursing
company and with gnashing of teeth they shall curse and
profane God's Name eternally and gnaw their tongues
eternally with pain and sorrow of heart.
Blessed then is the people
that by grace have learned: to bow before that high Majesty,
to tremble at His Name, and to fear Him with childlike
Having heard what the Lord forbids in the third
commandment, and the punishment He threatens, let us finally
also say a few words about the attitude here commanded.
Let us now sing Psalter No.304
stanzas 1, 6 and 7.
The Lord demands in this
commandment that we shall fear Him with child-like fear. The
Instructor says in his answer, "that we must use the Name of
God not otherwise than with fear and reverence." And how
shall natural man do that?" How shall we utter the Lord's
Name with fear and reverence, if no fear and reverence
dwells in our heart.
According to Solomon, the fear
of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. For only when by
grace the Holy Spirit has worked that fear of God in the
heart, then we hate and flee from sin, and first of all from
the sin of cursing and slandering. It is true, God's people
learn by discovering grace to know themselves as bastards,
and they learn to understand that not only outside of them
but also within them a company of blasphemers is found. For
we are born in the City of Destruction, we are born with a
cursing heart. In our state of nature this became evident,
although in one person more than in another. And this is the
cause of our grief and sorrow.
When the Holy Spirit works
that childlike fear in our hearts, we love the Lord
uprightly, as children born of God. Then we receive deep
reverence for His holy Name. Then we regret our past life.
Then we bring the blasphemer within us to the judgment bar
of God. Then we implore the Lord with deep contrition for
the forgiveness of all our sins, but especially for the sins
we committed against the third commandment. Then we ask Him
whether He will graciously save us from that terrible sin,
so that we may never again pierce His holy Name with
thoughts, words or deeds. We ask Him to set a watch before
our mouth, and to keep the door of our lips, so that we
would never use His Name except with fear and reverence.
How very differently a
godfearing person utters the Name of the Lord than an
unregenerate person. Oh, how unsuitable, how presumptuously
do unregenerate ministers or leaders address the Lord in
prayer. It is as if they were addressing someone equal or
inferior to them. And they would have you consider it
child-like liberty, an evidence of their friendly communion
with the Lord. But it is nothing like it. It is an insolence
that cuts us through the soul, so how terribly must the Lord
then be affronted.
No, my dear hearers, would you
hear how a friend of God addresses the Lord in prayer? Would
you hear how a man communing familiarly with the Lord
approaches Him? Turn then to your precious Bible, Genesis
18. There a man stands before God, whom the Lord Himself
calls His friend. And now hear how meekly, how humbly and
how servile he speaks to the Lord: "Behold I have taken upon
me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes."
(verse 27) And again, "Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I
will speak" (verse 30) and again, "Behold now, I have taken
upon me to speak unto the Lord." (verse 31) Does that not
sound quite differently than the presumptuous address of
those others we have mentioned. My hearers, the Lord wants
us to use His Name with fear and reverence in our praying,
reading, speaking and singing. It is a great mercy that He
was willing to reveal His Name to us, and that we may take
His Name upon our lips, but let reverence, then, never be
The Lord demands in the third commandment that we rightly
confess His Name. And that confession can only be rightly
done when a band of love has been laid between the Lord and
our soul, between Christ and our heart, so that the love of
God impels us to confess openly that He by grace has become
the God of our salvation and the God of our heart and
"with all His people I will
To rightly confess the Lord's
Name also means that we humbly confess in secret and in
public, before friend and foe, Him from Whom we expect all
salvation, even though it would involve a loss for us. Hence
it means to acknowledge God's Name everywhere, to rebuke the
blasphemer, admonish each other, and speak when we hear
others of God's people use profane language.
We have just sung with
My voice and of His glory sing."
Oh, people of God, how
often we are remiss in this matter, how difficult it is, how
much we need grace to do so! And if it is difficult to do it
among friends, what will it be among enemies, at the market,
or in the factory, or in your store among your
And we must do it uprightly,
that is, solely to His glory, without any other motive, for
instance, to be considered a pious Christian, or to merit
heaven thereby. No, our sole motive must be love and
reverence for the Lord and His Christ. Alas, we must cry
out, "And enter not into judgment with Thy servant: for in
Thy sight shall no man living be justified."
Finally, the third commandment demands that He be
glorified in all our words and works.
The attitude of soul here
commanded is in perfect accordance with the rules of the
sanctuary and the demands of the new life.
For is it not the purpose of
that new life to glorify the Lord in word and deed, in life
and conversation? Yea, it is the innermost desire of the
soul of all who are truly born of God, to glorify and praise
in all their words and works Him Who in the Son of His love
revealed Himself as a merciful and gracious Being. And
although God's people must repeatedly confess, "The good
that I would I do not, but the evil which I would not, that
I do. Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me?"
still it is the desire of their heart, and the choice of
their life to glorify God in all things, so that also in
respect to the third commandment, they cry out, "How I love
Thy law, it is my meditation all the day."
Is the law of God also your meditation all the day, my
fellow traveler to eternity?
Perhaps you belong to those
wellbred, polite people, who do not curse or use profanity,
who think cursing is beneath their dignity. Perhaps you
belong to those employers or those higher officers who do
not use God's Name or other so-called strong language to
make their subordinates respect their will, and to keep them
under their control and discipline. I think that is very
fine. It makes you a respectable person. But, do you also
have the attitude of heart that God demands? Is there that
right confessing and worshiping of the Lord so that He may
be glorified in all your words and works? If the latter be
not present, the first part means nothing. Certainly, to
refrain from doing what God forbids in the third commandment
may make you a respectable person, but if what the Lord
commands is not added, it shall not avail you for
And it shall be terrible in
the day of judgment to stand before God as one who profaned,
or at least did not honor, His holy Name. The Lord shall not
hold you guiltless. No, indeed. He shall sling you out as
out of the middle of a sling into hell fire. Oh, fall even
now at His feet and implore His forgiveness, beseech Him for
heart-renewing grace. Remember, He shall not hold him
guiltless that taketh His Name in vain.
"The wicked like the driven
chaff Are swept from off the land, They shall not gather
with the just, Nor in the judgment stand."
And you who have learned to know and accuse yourself as a
blasphemer before God, who have often wept over that sin,
even though the words did not pass over your lips. The
Lord's holy Name is so precious to you, to confess and
glorify Him is the delight and choice of your heart. Your
soul is pierced as if with a dagger, when you hear the
Lord's Name profaned. You have known the times when you
would rather receive a slap in the face than hear the Name
of your Maker and Benefactor be pierced. And yet you fear
that you shall one day fall a prey to the wrath of the Lord.
For you there is forgiveness. For such He sent His Son, for
such the dear Jesus permitted Himself to be condemned as a
blasphemer and to be crucified. My hearty wish for you is
that the Holy Spirit will take you by the hand and lead you
to the foot of the cross. He give you grace to lay your
heart upon that offer and you will hear, "My son or
daughter, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you."
But, dear people of the Lord,
let this guilt-remitting grace be an incentive for us to
curb as much as we can and wherever we can all cursing and
profanity. Over against the cursing and profanity of the
world, we must place a right confession, a true calling on
His Name, and a reverent praising of the Lord, and that in
the church, in our family, in the world, yea, in every
realm. Remember, it concerns God's honor.
ministers have written sermons on the fifty-two Lord's Days
as we find them in our Heidelberg Catechism. One of these
ministers and servants of the Most High, is the late Rev. G.
Van Reenen, of the Netherlands. When he was not able to
preach any more because of a throat ailment, God inclined
his heart to write sermons, and work while it was day. This
work he continued until the day of his death in the year
Rev. Van Reenen has written
these sermons for the common people. In all these sermons he
breathes the spirit of humility and self-denial. Throughout
all these sermons he indicates the necessity of knowing by
experience these three important parts, misery, redemption,
and gratitude, as he himself was not a stranger
Van Reenen does not know that his Catechism sermons and
others have been translated into the English language. He
confessed in his life not to be worthy of any honor or
praise; that we may then by grace give all honor and praise
to Israel's God and King, saying with the Psalmist, "Not
unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory,
for Thy mercy and for Thy truth's sake." Psalm
115:1. (Pastor J. Van Zweden)
Reprinted and Translated from the
Holland by the Netherlands Reformed congregations in America
(1955). This series on the Ten Commandments was taken from
the W. B. Eerdmans' December, 1979 edition of the book,
The Heidelberg Catechism, by Rev. G. Van
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