Sermons on the Heidelberg
By Rev. G. Van
Psalter No.260 st. 1,2.
Read Isaiah 44.
Psalter No.308 St. 3,4.
Psalter No.260 St. 3, 4, 5.
Psalter No.337 St. 1, 2,3.
XXXV. LORD'S DAY
Dear Hearers! It is a dreadful and soul-stirring event
which is recorded for us in Levit. 10. In that chapter we
read of two men, even sons of the High Priest of Israel, two
priests of the Lord, who were consumed by fire that went out
from the Lord and thus they died before the Lord.
What a dreadful judgment! One
moment they are healthy and the next moment they fall down
dead as if struck by lightning! Such an event can overcome
the dearest child of God. Sometimes the Lord takes His child
home with an Elijah's wagon as it is called. Then it is no
judgment, but rather a great favor, a goodness of the Lord,
by which He would spare that child the death struggle.
But for Nadab and Abihu, the
sons of Aaron, it was indeed a judgment. They were stricken
and consumed by the fire of God's wrath.
And why? What gruesome sin had
they committed? Had they forsaken the God of heaven and
served other gods? Oh no! They had each taken their censors
and gone into the tabernacle to offer incense. They took
incense prepared according to the instructions of the Lord
and laid that in their censors. They did that all in the
right way. But they took strange fire, that is fire that was
not taken from the holy fire of the Tabernacle. That aroused
God's wrath and they had to pay for their sin with their
Our heart is troubled when we
consider how many in our days do as Nadab and Abihu, Oh no,
they are no great sinners, no atheists, no idolators; they
serve the Lord, the true God, they approach unto Him, they
pray to Him and thank Him, they draw near to Him, but with
strange fire. They draw near to Him with the fire of their
self-loving, selfish, prayers, with their carnal tears, with
the strange fire of a self-willed religion. With such the
churches are filled.
And how sad will their end be.
Oh, sinner, God can only be approached in the perfect
sacrifice of Jesus Christ. God wants to be served, but only
in that way which He himself prescribes in His Word. He
wants to be served, but in spirit and truth, not in a
material and sensual way. Thus the Lord Jesus said to the
Samaritan woman, "The hour cometh, when the true worshippers
shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth." Our
corrupt understanding thinks otherwise. It wants to serve
God, but in a visible and sensual manner.
But how good the Lord is! It
has pleased Him to erect a dam against such worshiping,
which is an affront upon His Majesty. He did so in the
second commandment that now requires our attention.
You will find our text in
Exod. 20:4-6 "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven
image, or 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 thousands of them that love me and keep
Upon these words is based the
subject of our Catechetical instructions as you will find
recorded in the Heidelberg Catechism:
XXXV. LORD'S DAY.
Q. 96. What doth God require in
the second commandment?
A. That we in no wise represent
God by images, nor worship him in any other way than he has
commanded in his word.
Q. 97. Are images then not at all to be made?
A. God neither can, nor may be
represented by any means: but as to creatures; though they
may be represented, yet God forbids to make, or have any
resemblance of them, either in order to worship them or to
serve God by them.
Q. 98. But may not images be tolerated in the churches, as
books to the laity?
A. No: for 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
Dear Hearers! Again we return in thought to Mount Horeb,
the same place where we tarried last week.
Then we witnessed how the Lord
our Lawgiver, amidst fearful signs of His Majesty descended
to proclaim the constitution of His house.
We have considered the
impressive introduction, which says, "I am the Lord, thy God
which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt out of the
house of bondage." We called this introduction impressive
because of the illustrious person speaking, Namely, Israel's
Jehovah, the Lord our God. In the second place we called it
impressive because of the relationship of God to His people
of which it attests "I am thy God." That majestic Lawgiver
is our God. Can you think of anything more precious? Blessed
is the nation whose God is the Lord, and the people whom He
hath chosen for His own inheritance." But we also called the
introduction impressive because of the deliverance it calls
to mind. For the Lord reminds His people that He has brought
them out of the house of bondage. What a heavy yoke did the
Lord break for His people.
By what a way of miracles did
He lead them. And into what a glorious rest did He bring
Certainly, literally this
applied to God's covenant people of old, but in a spiritual
sense, in a more glorious and exalted sense, this applies to
all God's people, the spiritual Israel.
Then we heard concerning the
first commandment: what it demands, what it forbids, and
whither it drives us.
Now we request your attention as we wish to present in
accordance with the Thirty-fifth Lord's Day the second
1. The priceless contents,
2. The powerful argument, and
3. The excellent defence now require our attention.
The Lord grant us His Spirit both in speaking and hearing
for His own sake.
Let us then first consider
the priceless contents of the second commandment, and that
in accordance with Question and Answer 96.
What doth God require in the
second commandment? It was not without great cause, my
hearers, that in the midst of His awful majesty God spoke on
Mount Sinai, "Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven
image, nor the likeness of any thing."
Of what priceless content this
word is becomes evident when we consider the tendency of our
deeply fallen nature. That tendency is to serve and glorify
the Lord in a carnal, visible and sensual manner.
Take, for example, the
heathens. The apostle Paul says (Rom. 1:19) "Because that
which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath
showed it unto them." "But they glorified Him not as God,
neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations
and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves
to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the
incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible
man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping
And now you must not think
that all the heathens thought those images were God Himself.
Some simple ones did, but there were others among the
heathens who knew God is spiritual, and who testified "In
Him we live, and move and have our being. (Acts 17 :28). And
still their darkened heart was led to make images of the
Lord in various forms. Hence that was doing what God
forbids. Someone may say, "Yes, but those were heathens, of
them you can expect nothing else."
Then give your attention to
the people of Israel. What did they do at Horeb, a few days
after the Lord had proclaimed His law? They made a golden
calf and cried the one to the other, "Lo, this is your God,
who has brought you up out of Egypt." Do not suppose that
they thought that calf had actually delivered them. Oh, no,
but they made an image, a graven image of God, of Him who
had delivered them. And now we surely need not look further
into the history of Israel to convince you of the fact that
they were hardened image worshipers; at least until the
Babylonian exile. Some one may say, "Yes, but those were the
But do you not also find that
worshiping of images in the Roman Catholic Church? Not all
at once, but gradually image worship crept into the church.
First they had the images of the martyrs, then of mother
Mary, then the image of the cross and of the crucified
Christ, of the Holy Spirit, and of the Father, and all this
they say to glorify and serve God.
At a Synod in 842 that
abominable image worship was legalized. Is this the proof of
the tendency of fallen man to serve God in a sensual and
"Yes, you say, "but those were heretics."
But what do Protestants do?
Is there no image-worship among them? Happily you do not
find among us the idolatory of the papacy, but there is also
a more refined image worship.
What carnal conceptions do we
often have of God. What self-willed service do we offer that
dear Being, Who would be served only in Spirit and truth.
And all self-willed religion is nothing but image-worship.
One person imagines a God Who is only love, Who threatens,
but does not punish, Who is too good to strike. Another
thinks of God as being solely stern justice, Who cannot be
Alas! even with God's people
do we find image worship. How much image-worship there is in
our home, our heart, and our prayer. What hard thoughts we
have of God, what disobedience, etc. And that is all
image-worship. Hear what Samuel says: "Behold, to obey is
better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness
is as iniquity and idolatry." (1 Sam. 15:22, 23.)
Oh people of God, by nature
our heart is a breeding place of idolatry. They who learn to
know their heart are not surprised at the foolishness of
Israel. Alas, our heart is as a temple of images.
Do you know how it became so?
It is because of our fall. Our deep fall was the first
transgression of the second commandment.
Hence we also called the
contents of the second commandment priceless, because of the
bulwark God erects in it.
My hearers, God will not be
served thus. He will not be served by pictures and images.
He will not be glorified in a carnal manner. The Lord has a
loathing, an abhorrence of all self-willed religion. He
alone can say how he shall be served.
God cannot be served by such
sensuous images or conceptions. That God Who fills heaven
and earth, Who is All-sufficient and Omnipresent, can not be
portrayed by anything material or visible. "To whom then
will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal?" saith the Holy One
in Isaiah 40:25. Yea, to whom then will ye liken God or what
likeness will ye compare unto Him? For no one hath seen God
at any time; the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of
the Father He hath declared Him (John 1 :18). To try to make
an image of God and to serve Him in a sensuous and visible
manner is an insult to the Highest Majesty. It does not
enhance, but rather obscures His glory.
How will God be served? Go
in the thought to the temple at Jerusalem. There you see,
according to Jesus' parable, (Luke 18 :10) two men going up
to pray. The one is a self-righteous, conceited Pharisee and
the other a publican. He stands afar off. He dares not even
lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but, smiting upon his
breast, he prays, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner." Lo,
thus God wants to be served, as the publican did. He then
went down to his house justified.
How would God be served? As
that woman of which we read '(Luke 7) who standing at Jesus'
feet wept, washing His feet with tears and drying them with
the hair of her head. My dear hearers, have you ever wept
over your guilt and sin at Jesus' feet? That is the religion
which Jesus commends.
Do you still ask how the Lord
would be served? Go then upon the way to Jericho. There you
see two blind men sitting by the wayside. They heard that
Jesus was passing by. Then they begin to cry out, "Have
mercy on us, 0 Lord, thou son of David." The multitude
rebuked them, that they should hold their peace. But they
cried the more and the more earnestly, "Have mercy on us, O
Lord, thou son of David." They cried thus until Jesus stood
still and asked, "What will ye that I shall do unto you?
Then they had but to tell of their need and the Lord gave
them their desire. Lo, that is true religion.
Do you still ask how you must
serve God? Do it as the spouse did in the Song of Solomon
when she cried out as she embraced Jesus in faith, "My
Beloved is mine, and I am His."
Once more, do as the psalmist
did in Psalm 116 when he was overwhelmed with God's
benefits, saying, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all
His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation,
and call upon the name of the Lord."
Do you still ask how God would
be served? Do as Paul did when, running the race of
sanctification, he cried out, "I follow after, if that I may
apprehend it." Serve God as Jacob did when upon his deathbed
he spoke, "I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord."
Thus the Lord teaches His
people, by faith. To that end He regenerates them through
the Holy Spirit. Then instead of carnal they become
spiritual. He reveals to them God's holiness and glory, then
they see that He cannot be served in a material way. Then
they learn to abhor the sensuous religion of themselves and
others. That Spirit teaches them how God would be served and
glorified, and teaches them how they must walk.
On this side of the grave it
will be full of defects, but one day they shall serve God
Then He shall be served as the
second commandment prescribes, and that not only by the
angels, but also by just men made perfect. Released from all
carnal thoughts and sensual religion, they shall serve Him
in Spirit and in truth. Ah, child, then we shall never make
or set up graven images, nor bow down to them.
But let us in the second place notice the powerful
To safeguard men, and
especially His people from sensuous religion, the Lord added
to this commandment a powerful argument derived from His
"I am the Lord, Jehovah, the
high exalted One. "My glory will I not give to another,
neither my praise to graven images."
I am thy God. I have created
and recreated thee. I have delivered and entered into a
covenant with thee. I am thine and thou art mine. Thou hast
freely chosen Me to be thy God and Lord. Then do not become
an apostate by serving Me by a manner I do not wish.
I am a jealous God. People of
the Lord, remember the moment when you made the choice of
Ruth, when you gave heart and hand to the Lord, when you
entered into a covenant with Him, when you subscribed with
your hand unto the Lord.
Thus thy Maker is thine
Husband, the Lord of hosts is His Name. And now He does not
want you to go a whoring from Him with wood and stone, with
gold and silver. He does not want you to seek to please Him
with graven images or likenesses. He wants your heart, your
spirit, your soul and your mind.
That powerful argument
is also derived from His stern righteousness. Attempting to
make something like Him, or serving Him in a sensual manner,
the Lord calls a hating of Him. And those who hate Him He
will punish, and that to the third and fourth generation.
And the Lord has abundantly shown that this is no empty
threat. Take for example, Korah, Dathan and Abiram, who sank
alive into the pit, with all their possessions. And how
terribly did the Lord punish Ahab for his image worship by
destroying his entire posterity. And was not idolatry and
image worship the reason why the Lord sent the people of
Israel to Babylon? And do we not see even today that the
Lord visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the fourth
generation of them that hate Him?
This caused the enemies among
Israel who misinterpreted this truth to exclaim, "The
fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are
set on edge." But the Lord says, "The soul that sinneth, it
We must remember there are
different kinds of sins: there are personal sins, family
sins, church sins, national sins and there is a sin of the
whole world, that is the sin committed by Adam and imputed
to all people. Thus God visits the sins of a country and a
nation to the entire nation.
But if the children break away
from the sins of their parents, the Lord spares them. Thus
the children of the wicked Korah, who would have no
fellowship with the sins of their father, but had separated
themselves from him, were not sent alive into hell with
their father, but were appointed as singers in the Temple,
and that of the sweetest and tenderest psalms, such as
Psalms 42, 44, 49, 84, and 85 which were all for the sons of
Korah. Thus the Lord also dealt with the son of the wicked
Jeroboam, in whom was found some good thing toward the Lord
God of Israel, and the Lord took him into His glorious
heaven. Again, that powerful argument to safeguard men and
especially His people from image-worship is derived from His
rich mercy. His mercy extends to thousand generations. But:
For them that love Him -Who are they? They are those who are
regenerated in whose heart love is shed abroad. They are
those who can say with John, "We love him, because he first
They are those who keep His
commandments, who consecrate themselves to the Lord, who as
Abraham do not withhold their only son from Him.
To such then He shows His rich
mercy. The Lord Jesus says: (John 14:21) He that hath My
commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and
he that loveth Me shall be loved of My father, and I will
love him and manifest Myself to him." Such, then, are
blessed of the Lord, to them He shows His mercy for many
How richly was Abraham's
family blessed! And there still are richly blest families to
whom God shows His rich mercy for their father's sake.
Let us in the third place observe the excellent defense.
"Are images then not at all to be made?" so ask the papists
and also Luther. Question 97.
The Roman Catholic and the
Lutheran churches persistently transgress this commandment
of the Lord.
A severe struggle was waged in
the Christian Church, especially in the East concerning the
honoring of images. At first image worship was condemned. At
the Council of Constantinople in the year 754, the image
worship was condemned because it robs God of His honor, for
He alone is worthy to receive the honor of being worshiped.
Still the church of Rome insisted on having its way. The
Council of Trent, held in 1545 to 1563, has confirmed the
having and worshiping of images. Their purpose is to glorify
God and to attract people, because those images are as books
for the laity, (We prefer calling them members.) The
Romanists say they differentiate between honoring and
worshiping; but the ignorant crowd does not differentiate;
in practice they certainly do worship the images.
The Instructor gives an excellent answer. "God neither
can nor may be represented by any means," says the
Instructor very truly.
As we have already said, God
cannot be represented. God is a Spirit, no man has ever seen
Him. Also at Mount Sinai Israel saw no similitude and in
neither the tabernacle nor the temple was any image of God
to be found. The Infinite God cannot be represented. What
the Roman Catholic church makes of it is a caricature, an
insult to God. Neither may it be done. God will not permit
insignificant mortals to make an image of Him.
But nor is it necessary. God
has revealed Himself in the Son of His love. My dear
hearers, our precious Lord Jesus is the image of the
invisible God. He is the brightness of His glory and the
express image of His person. He that hath seen Him hath seen
the Father. God grant that we often, yea, always look upon
Him as He lay in Bethlehem's manger as He crept in
Gethsemane, as He stood before Pontius Pilate, as He hung on
Golgotha's cross, as He arose in Joseph's garden, as He
ascended from the mount of Olives, as He sits at His
Father's right hand.
He who has seen Him, thus with
an eye of faith for his own soul, that privileged one has
seen God so precious and so glorious that a whole gallery of
Papist images are unnecessary, yea, loathsome to him.
Are images then not at all
to be made? All creatures may be represented, because they
are finite. Thus many likenesses were found in the
tabernacle and temple even on the mercy-seat. Were not the
likenesses of two cherubim placed on it? But those
likenesses may not be honored, much less may we serve God by
No, the Lord is not opposed to
art and science. Could we but say that art and science are
not opposed to God! But so very often they are. As a result
of sin art and science are at the service of Satan, of the
world and of sin. See the products of literature, sculpture,
painting and drawing! What filthy, lying, vulgar books,
paintings and images there are. They are loathsome. It is no
wonder that the arts and sciences are discredited by God's
people, with what is truly good and beautiful there is so
much that is filthy and destructive.
But Rome does not yet
yield. Hear Question 98: "But may not images be tolerated in
the churches, as books to the laity?"
The papacy holds that the
people, — called the laity in distinction to the
clergy-need, in addition to the preaching, visual
instruction by means of images. Therefore they call those
images "books to the laity."
The Instructor again gives
an excellent answer: "We must not pretend to be wiser than
And that is precisely what
man wants. He has fallen so low, he is so stupid and
foolish, that he wants to be wiser than God. Man wants to
tell God what to do and what not to do and how to do it.
Nevertheless, not the church,
but God Himself chooses the means to be used for bringing up
the people that He has sovereignly chosen, and that He
wishes to save, to the true knowledge of God which is
indispensable to their salvation.
While in Old Testament times
it pleased Him to instruct His people by means of sacrifices
and shadows, according to His wisdom and sovereignty He gave
the church of the new covenant other means to teach them to
salvation. Certainly, the Lord could have used images, but
it pleased Him to use only a crucified Christ, in Whom by
faith He gives them to see everything they need to meet in
peace Him against Whom they have sinned.
No, indeed, not by dumb
images will He teach His people. They are lying teachers.
Look at the images in the churches and homes of the Roman
Catholic people, do they teach you saving knowledge of self,
of Christ and of God? If you speak to those people who
always are kneeling before those images, you will find not
one-tenth of the knowledge of the truth that you will find
with an only mediocre catechumen.
"I will send a famine in the land, not a famine
of bread, nor a thirst of water, but of hearing the words
of the Lord."
Dear hearers! God gave us
His Word, that dear Bible, that precious book of comfort.
That is our book of instruction. That glorious book we have
received from our God. And is not this clear evidence of the
foolishness and enmity of Rome? Those poor people, who also
have a soul for eternity, may, yea must stare at those dead
images, but may not read in the Bible, the book that could
make them wise unto salvation, You see, then they would
become too wise.
For in that dear word of God,
that is written by the Holy Ghost with His own hand, as it
were, that is a living and everlasting word, He has revealed
to us all that is necessary for us to know for our salvation
and our peace with God.
In that Word the Lord has
clearly recorded the life history of us all. As a memorandum
of our baseness and wickedness the Lord has recorded therein
the entire history of our forsaking of God in our heart and
But in that same Word He also
unfolds to us the blessed secret, namely, how the Lord Who
cannot let any sin go unpunished, can, and will become the
God of a guilty sinner.
Yea, that same Word in which
almost every page declares, "For all have sinned and come
short of the glory of God," also teaches us to testify with
humility of heart, "But there is forgiveness with Thee, that
Thou hast be feared."
Nay, people of God, the Lord
did not give you dumb images, but He wrote for us a living
Word, a Word, in which He disclosed. to us the council of
peace, the covenant of redemption, a Word in which He
disclosed the blessed secret of His Father heart.
The Lord instructs us by His
Word, a Word that gives us counsel when we are in despair,
comfort when we are comfortless; a Word that is a light for
our path and a lamp for our feet when we walk in darkness; a
Word in which He calls to sinners, "Come now and let us
reason together; though your sins be as scarlet, though they
be red like crimson, I will make them white as snow, and
pure as wool. In that Word the Lord instructs us; from what
principle, according to what rule, and to what purpose we
must know and serve God.
And He gives Interpreters with
it! He sends and qualifies people to explain that Word. Here
also we see the goodness of Him Who has no need of us, but
Whom we need so much.
And even this would not be
sufficient, but the dear Lord adds His power to the Word.
See, for example the first great Christian Pentecost. Three
thousand people from all tongues and nations, bow before God
and cry out, "What must we do to be saved?" This was the
fruit of the simple preaching of Peter, but made effectual
by the Holy Spirit. So it was also with Lydia, whose heart
was. opened at the preaching of Paul, and also with the
But what further need have
we of witnesses? You yourself, child of God, and we, are
living witnesses to the truth of the answer of the
Instructor: "God will have His people taught, not by dumb
images, but by the lively preaching of His Word.
let us sing Psalter No.260 st. 3, 4, 5.
Dear Hearers! What thankfulness do we owe the Lord
for delivering us from the image worship of the Romanists.
That deliverance cost blood and tears, yea, precious
Oh, how happy our forefathers
were when God Almighty intervened to deliver His church from
They say it was not right of
our forefathers, and perhaps that is so, I am not certain
about it, but I can understand very well, that when the
Romish fetters fell from their hands, that their free hands
took the mallet to crush the images by which they had so
long angered and provoked God.
It is surprising that the
images were crushed every time God gave a reformation. What
did Moses do with the golden calf? What did Gideon do with
the altar of Baal? What did Hezekiah do with the brazen
And it is still thus. I have
read that the Spirit of God is converting people in Russia.
And the first of all they take the images and relics out of
the churches and, sometimes walking in procession, cast them
into the river.
And what should our fathers
have done with those images? Surely, they could not let them
remain in God's house of prayer. Where then should they have
kept them? Frankly, I think those iconoclasts (image
brakers) did a good deed. Of course, there were also bad
elements among them, for, alas, there is always chaff among
And what did the papacy do? It
crushed no images, but living people, by the thousands, and
that solely because they wanted to serve God according to
the second commandment and according to their
"Not by dumb images, but by
the lively preaching of His Word." Yea, to hear the
preaching of that Word our fathers went through fire and
water, for that they gave their money and possessions, for
that they jeoparded their lives.
There are still people, also
in our country, who travel miles to heard the lively
preaching of the Word of God, to whom that is worth
everything. Wherever God's servants preach the Word of God
in simplicity, they find interested hearers.
There is much complaint, and
that there is much reason to complain of the neglect of the
public ministry of the Word is a sad fact, but we must also
say that often the preaching contributes to that neglect.
What good does it do a poor, simple, uneducated, hungry soul
to listen to a learned discourse, a discourse full of
beautiful metaphors and learned terminology? Give those
people bread, bread for their souls, bread to satisfy their
hunger after God. The minister's worship for his images is
nothing to them. They need the "lively preaching of the
"The lively preaching" need
not be a preaching with much commotion. No, but it is a
preaching in which the way of God is plainly and clearly
portrayed, and the life of a child of God is sketched
according to the Word of God. The sermon can never be too
simple, and a calm preacher is very desirable.
Dear child of God, how
sweet and good it is when your soul may be lively under the
lively preaching of His Word. That is medicine for your
soul. Such a sermon is balm for your wounds; it is food and
drink for your spiritual life, it is sustenance upon your
way. Then God is to you as they that take off the yoke on
your jaws and laid good meat unto you. Then you sing with
David, "The habitation of Thy house is ever my delight."
Then you sing, "Sweeter are Thy words to me than all other
good can he." Then you are as a watered garden. Then
instructed in His holy law to praise His Word you lift your
Now a person who honors or
worships images never feels thus. Oh, it is such a poor god
whom the Roman Catholics serve. And they also have a soul
just like ours, and they also are going to their long home,
but not to the Father's house. Oh, that there might still be
a prayer and a sigh in our heart for those poor, deceived
people. Lord, open their blind eyes for the abominable
deception of their teachers of lies.
But it shall be terrible for
those people who are dead, and remain so under the lively
preaching of His Word. Alas, poor sinner, as dead wood, as a
fire-brand, you will soon be cast into the unquenchable
fire. Oh, that God would still have mercy on you for Jesus'
sake. Become like unto an image yourself, like unto the
image of God. Then you will for ever be satisfied with God's
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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