|Sermons on the Heidelberg
By Rev. G. Van
Psalter No.38 st. 2, 3.
Read Romans 13.
Psalter No.83 st. 1, 2.
Psalter No.9 st. 3.
Psalter No.370 st. 1, 2.
XL. LORD'S DAY.
"God abhors the man who loves violence and base
Thus my dear hearers we
have sung together. Yea, God abhors the man who loves
violence, who stains his hands with the blood of his
neighbor, yea, even of his own brother. That dreadful sin
began already shortly after creation, we find it recorded on
the first pages of the Bible. In Genesis 4:10 we hear
Jehovah speak, "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto
Me from the ground."
What had happened, and what
act of violence was committed is known to you. The one son
of father Adam and mother Eve had slain their other son in
the field. And the only reason for his act was that the Lord
had respect unto the offering of the god-fearing Abel.
Therefore the wicked Cain, whose offering was a stench in
God's nostrils slew him.
And lo, the first family was
plunged into deep mourning. They had lost two sons in one
day: the one was dead, and the other as a murderer under the
curse of God was a vagabond in the earth. That was the fruit
of their fall, by it man became blood thirsty, even more
than the wild animals round about them.
And what streams of blood have
flowed upon the earth since it received the blood of Abel.
There have been streams of blood, even of God's dear
children. Ask the valleys of Piedmont, ask the green
mountains of Scotland against which the sighs of the
persecuted ones have echoed. Yea, ask the lowlands of our
own native country. What pools of blood have drenched our
Netherlands. And the only reason was that the children of
God, in Netherlands as well as in Piedmont and Scotland,
wished to fear and serve their God according to God's Word
and their own conscience.
Is man more dangerous than
wild animals? Yes, my hearers, he is. That is why murder and
slaying are daily occurences; therefore we all have become
murderers and slayers.
But how great, then, is the
incomprehensible goodness of Him Who is our Creator, Who
gave us life, and therefore is the only one Who has the
right to take our life; since it pleased Him to erect a
bulwark against our blood-thirstiness, murderousness and
vindictiveness in the commandment which now requires our
You will find our text in
Exodus 20:13, "Thou shalt not kill."
Upon these and similar
expressions of the Bible our Catechetical instruction is
based as you will find recorded. That neither in thoughts,
nor words, nor gestures, much less in deeds, I dishonor,
hate, wound, or kill my neighbor, by myself or by another;
but that I lay aside all desire of revenge: also, that I
hurt not myself, nor wilfully expose myself to any danger.
Wherefore also the magistrate is armed with the sword, to
Q. 105. What doth God require in
the sixth commandment?
A. That neither in thoughts, nor words, nor gestures, much
less in deeds I dishonor, hate, would, or kill my neighbor,
by myself or by another; but that I lay aside all desire of
revenge; also, that I hurt not myself nor wilfully expose
myself to any danger. Wherefore also the magistrate is armed
with the sword to prevent murder.
Q. 106. But this commandment
seems only to speak of murder?
A. In forbidding murder, God teaches us, that he abhors the
causes thereof, such as envy, hatred, angel, and desire of
revenge; and that he accounts all these as
Q. 107. But is it enough that
we do not kill any man in the manner mentioned above?
A. No: for when God forbids envy, hatred, and anger, he
commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves; to show
patience, peace, meekness, mercy, and all kindness, towards
him, and prevent his hurt as much as in us lies; and that we
do good, even to our enemies.
My dear hearers!
After we have given a
short, simple explanation of the first table of the law, we
have on the preceding Lord's Day considered God's demand of
love in the first commandment of the second table of the Law
which speaks of the love we owe our neighbors, and
especially our parents.
The Instructor showed us how
extensive, according to the Word of God the fifth
commandment is. For it not only speaks of the love we owe
our parents but also shows us that we must show all honor,
love, fidelity and submission to all those whom God has
placed over us. The fifth commandment not only tells us:
"Honor thy father and thy mother, but the Lord also tells us
Render unto Ceasar the things
which are Ceasar's and unto God the things that are
How very evident it is, then,
that the great Lawgiver, Who is a God of love and of order,
desires our peace and salvation. He desires that love and
order shall reign in our hearts, in our home, in the church
and in the state.
And now we are called to give
our attention to that commandment in which the Lord clearly
shows His care for that most precious of our possessions:
Our life is that precious gift
that we received from Him Who is the fountain and cause, the
preserver and dispenser of it.
We esteem our life very
highly. Man clings to his life more than to anything else.
What care he bestows on it! And no wonder! Our lifetime is
our time of grace, our time of preparation for eternity.
Among the few truths spoken by the father of lies is this
one: "Skin for skin, yea all that a man hath will he give
for his life." And truly, the Egyptians gave everything to
Joseph to preserve their life, and the Gibeonites were
willing to hew wood and draw water for the Israelites all
their life, if they might but live.
With what grief and sorrow a
life is lost! Enter the death chamber of a father, mother or
child who is struggling with death. Everything is tried to
save that life. See those spasms, that resistance to death.
What gladness there is when the doctor gives hope for
improvement. How dreadful it is, on the contrary, when the
doctor gives no hope at all and speaks the awful words, "You
must die." Death is something unnatural. God did not create
death. We called death into being by our sins. Alas, death
separates two friends that are closely attached to each
other, namely, body and soul. One thing can reconcile us
with death; and that is the knowledge that our death is
gain. Even then the Lord must give grace to die, else the
message, "Prepare thee for removing" is still heard with
grief and sorrow, as, for example, Hezekiah.
God gave us our life. He alone
has the disposition of it. He determines both its beginning
and its end. Therefore He sharply forbids killing any one
without His command.
Permit me to draw your
attention to the goodness of God in guarding our life, in
accordance with the sixth commandment and the explanation of
it in the Catechism, Questions 105-107.
"Thou shalt not kill." That is
a short commandment, but rich in content and precious in
This commandment does not
refer to the life of plants, insects or animals. There are
fanatics who declare that we may not kill animals, not even
unclean and harmful insects, and then appeal to this sixth
commandment. But the Hebrew word here translated "kill" is
used only when killing people is spoken of, never when the
killing of animals is meant.
Neither does this commandment
forbid a lawful killing.
There is murder which God
Himself commands. See Genesis 9:6, where the Lord says
"Whoso sheddeth blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for
in the image of God made He man." Judges commit a great sin
when they permit the wilful murderer and slayer to live.
Perhaps it is because of this sin that murders and slayings
are increasing so terribly. When we want to be wiser than
God, we always go wrong.
Lawful killing also includes
killing in a lawful war. A lawful war is a war waged to
protect the true religion, to preserve liberty and to defend
our country. In Deuteronomy 7 God commands Israel to destroy
the Canaanites without mercy or pardon, and in 1 Samuel 15
the Lord gives the same command concerning Amalek. Also in
the New Testament the lawful war is not forbidden. In Luke
3:14 John the Baptist tells the soldiers how to conduct
themselves, but he does not say they may not be soldiers. In
Matthew 8 we read that the Lord praises the faith of the
centurion, but not that He forbade him to be a soldier. In
Acts 10:33-48 we can read that the Holy Spirit descended
upon people who carried weapons, upon Cornelius, the
centurion, and his friends. Do we then not favor antiwar
movement and the peace movement? My hearers, have you not
also observed that since the laying of the first stone of
the Peace Palace in The Hague, the wars have multiplied and
have become a thousand times more terrible?
Lawful killing also
includes killing in self-defense.
The Lord says (Ex.
22:2) "If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that
he die, there shall no blood be shed for him." Hence, if a
robber, thief or murderer, attacks you, it is no sin if you
kill him in self-defense.
Thus it is also with an
unintentional murder. In Deut. 19:1-10 such a murder is
mentioned, taking for an example a case of one who is hewing
wood when the head of the axe slips from the helve, hitting
his neighbor so that he dies. For such a one there were
cities of refuge to which he might flee to save his life
from the avenger of death. These cities were not a place of
refuge for a wilful murderer or slayer, seeking refuge in
those cities would not avail them. They were under the
sentence of God: "He that smiteth a man so that he die,
shall be surely put to death.
The sixth commandment
forbids the unlawful murder. That is killing with a hostile
mind upon one's own authority, without receiving a command
from God for it.
Hence, the unlawful
murder can be committed inwardly by evil thoughts. In Zach
8:17 the Lord says, "And let none of you imagine evil in
your hearts toward his neighbor, and love no false oath: for
all these are things I hate, saith the Lord." Oh, beloved,
how many murders are committed and how many slayings are
planned in our wicked heart. How often a Cain's fist is
raised within! He that knoweth the heart says, in Matthew
15, "Out of the heart proceed — murders." Have you
learned to know that heart? Then you must place yourself,
with me, on the list of criminals. Terrible as this is, it
is a blessing that it still remained within, then at least
it did not disturb others. But sometimes that which is
within comes out.
We can also slay our
neighbor by angry words. David in Ps. 57:4 speaks of sons of
men whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a
sharp sword. The Omniscient God knows how many live a
languishing life, yea, how many are lying in the cemeteries,
having been slain by evil words that dishonored, mocked or
cursed them. Then I think of the words of Ishmael that
mocked Isaac, of Shimei who cursed David, of Nabal who spoke
provoking words to David and his men which, had Abigail not
prevented it, would have led to bloodshed. Oh, how necessary
it is that we daily pray the Lord to set a watch before our
mouth, so that no sharp, harmful words are spoken by us.
Then we may also pray to be saved from the "false tongue,
sharp arrows of the mighty."
This commandment can also be
transgressed by an angry countenance or incensed gestures, a
face upon which Satan put his stamp, and eyes as flames of
fire. Such a face Cain must have had when the Lord spoke to
him, (Gen. 4:6) "Why art thou wroth and why is thy
It is becoming worse: in his
answer to the 105th question the Instructor also speaks of
that which can be considered the cause of murder, such as
dishonoring or humiliating one. Then I think of the base and
wicked treatment David's messengers got by Hanun, of which
you read in 2 Sam. 10:4. Hanun shaved half their beards and
cut off their garments so far that the men were ashamed to
The Instructor also speaks of
wounding or maiming ones neighbor. The Lord seriously
cautions us about this in Ex. 21:24, 25 and Lev. 24: 19, 20,
"If a man cause a blemish in his neighbor, as he hath done,
so shall it be done to him, breach for breach, eye for eye,
tooth for tooth, etc.
So it is also with wilfully
exposing someone to danger. Thus the Lord says of the ox
that was wont to push, and then killed someone, both the ox
and the owner had to be killed. (Ex. 21:29). So there was
also blood guiltiness upon the house of a man if he failed
to put a battlement for his roof and a man fell from it.
And now we come to the deed
itself. It is with sin as with the trees: the trunk grows
out from the roots, upon the trunk grows the leafage and
among the leaves the fruit. Scripture also speaks thus:
"When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin,
when it is finished bringeth forth death." Thus it is also
with the transgression of the sixth commandment; the
Instructor first speaks of murderous thoughts, then of
murderous acts and then of executed murder, which consists
in taking a life.
We can do so in various
manners. God's Word speaks of killing a person with an
instrument of iron, with a stone, or with a hand-weapon of
wood. (Num. 35:16-18). We can also commit murder by giving
one poison. One can also kill a person by betrayal, under
the guise of friendship, as Joab and Abner, or by
One can also kill a person by
giving the order to do it, as with David and Uriah; by
delivering him over to that end, as Judas did; by advising
it, as Caiaphas, and by giving false witness, as with
How cruel man has become by
sin! Must you not agree, dear hearers, when you consider all
those means by which a person can embitter, shorten or take
away the life of another?
And yet all those means we
have enumerated from the Bible are but child's play compared
to the cruel and terrible inventions to destroy life in our
days. Think of the submarines. With one shot they can send a
ship with hundreds of people into the deep. Think of the
airplanes and poison gases. A few minutes of murderous
effort by a few planes can destroy a city, leaving nothing
but ruins full of maimed bodies. That is our work! We have
brought it about by our sin. No, you must not say it is the
work of those people, no, that is our work, that is the work
of mankind, and of mankind we are members.
And now there are people who
cannot wait until God puts an end to their brief life. They
take their own life. It is terrible how the number of
suicides in these wicked times increases day by day. May the
Lord graciously save us from that dreadful sin.
Also by shortening our lives
do we come before God upon the list of suicides. And we can
do this by willfully exposing ourselves to danger, by
climbing too high, swimming too deep, eating or drinking too
much or too little, sleeping too long or too short a time,
working too hard or too little, etc. And now I have not yet
mentioned the present-day audacious recklessness. Also by
revelings, fornication and drunkenness and other similar
irregularities men do not live out half their days. (Ps.
In Question 106, the objection
is raised that the sixth commandment seems to speak only of
murder. But the Instructor answers very correctly: that the
Lord also abhors the causes of murder, such as envy, hatred,
anger and desire of revenge, and accounts all these as
The Instructor here mentions four causes of murder:
(1) Envy, that is that
malicious feeling that arises when we begrudge our
neighbor's prosperity. Solomon calls it "the rottenness of
the bones." Because of selfishness the envious Cain could
not endure Abel, nor Saul, David.
(2) Hatred is another cause of
murder. Envy cannot endure the neighbor's prosperity, but
hatred can not endure the neighbor himself. And when the
Lord does not prevent it, hatred leads to murder, as it
would have in the case of Esau and Jacob.
(3) Anger is the third cause
of murder. Anger is that evil mind against the neighbor by
which envy and hatred reveal itself. Anger is a momentary
madness. The terrible effect of anger was experienced by the
men of Shechem, who were killed by Simeon and Levi, of whom
Jacob said, "Cursed be their anger." In anger David would
have slain the entire house of Nabal, had God not prevented
it. We should always remember the word of the Lord, "The
wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God."
(4) The Instructor also
mentions desire of revenge. That is the burning desire to
seek revenge. But the Lord says, "Whosoever hateth his
brother is a murderer." He who is revengeful shows the true
character of the devil, who as the murderer is called the
avenger in Psalm 8:2. Recall the language of Lamech (Gen.
4:24) "Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, but Lamech seventy
My hearers! The sin against
the sixth commandment is called an imitation of the devil,
an abomination which God abhors, a crime that defiles the
land, a sin crying to heaven for vengeance, and an accursed
sin. (See John 8, Psalm 5, Numbers 35, Genesis 4 and
If the act is
terrible, the punishment is also severe.
(a) God punishes this
sin inwardly, by pangs and unrest in the conscience.
And this is already terrible. Think of Cain, who wandered
and roamed from place to place without ever finding rest
from that voice within which continually called to him,
"Murderer, where is your brother? You killed him, murderer,
murderer!" Is that not terrible? Think also of Herod, who
always thought he saw the spirit of John the Baptist. And
think of Pilate of whom it is said that he could find no
rest, was rejected by Caesar, and died a miserable death.
And thus it is with every murderer and slayer. They must
admit as did the thief on the cross, "We receive the due
reward of our deeds." That worm within, that smarting
remorse, must be unbearable, they say.
(b) Externally, God
wills that these sins shall be punished by death. "Whoso
sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed" thus
saith the Lord. That was done in Israel, and formerly also
in this country. Then men did not argue about it, they
simply obeyed the commandment of God. The catechism reminds
us that therefore the magistrate is armed with the sword.
But now the sword is rusting in its sheath. Neither slayer
nor murderer are punished in accordance with God's command.
They are punished with an imprisonment of a few years, that
is, if they are found to be "not responsible." In some
countries murder and suicide are glorified, and
birth-control is openly advocated and praised. In the
inverted world in which we live, parents with many children
are despised, and those who restrict or illegally prevent
birth are praised and promoted.
My hearers, is it a
wonder that God's hand rests heavily upon rulers and people;
that murder is increasing so terribly; that often criminals
are not found anymore; that the Lord holily mocks the
detectives, police hounds, and such? How many parents who
wanted but one son or daughter, now have no son or daughter?
And in places where childbirth is encouraged, where premiums
are given to large families, this is not done because God
wills it, but rather to have large armies, to have them
slain on the battlefields of an often unjust war.
(c) God shall punish
this sin eternally. Ye know that no murderer hath
eternal life abiding in him," says the Apostle of love. (1
John 3:15). The eternal punishment which the slayer and
murderer must bear shall be terrible! No, we cannot even
attempt to describe it. It will be horrible.
Come, let us sing,
Psalter No.83 st. 1, 2.
Still, there is forgiveness.
That we may declare to you in the name of the Lord! None of
you, whoever you may be, or whatever you may have done, may
say, "My sin is too great to be forgiven." There is
forgiveness, but only in the blood of Him Who was willing to
live, to suffer and to die, also for murderers and slayers.
How gloriously and clearly this forgiveness was shown on
Golgotha. There at Jesus' right and left side there were
hanged two people who had committed terrible crimes against
the life of their neighbor: they were murderers.* And even
hanging on the cross, as it were at the portals of death,
they reviled the holy Jesus. (Matth. 27:44 and Mark 15:32).
Then Jesus sends His high-priestly prayer to heaven,
"Father, forgive...". And the Father Who always hears Him,
sends His Spirit. A ray of light enters the murderer's soul;
he sees who he is and what he did; acknowledges that he is
worthy of death. But by that light he also sees who He is
Who is hanging beside him, and what He has done. Then the
prayer comes from his lips, "Lord, remember me . . "Today
shalt thou be with Me in paradise." What rich grace it is
that promises paradise to murderers. But that is not for all
murderers, but only for those for whom He prays, for those
who acknowledge their guilt and come to Him with true
That is necessary for each of
us, also for you, unconverted one. How many murders you have
committed, even though God prevented you, and me, from the
deed itself. For have you not heard that the Lord also
counts the cause of murder for a murder? May you then
acknowledge that you are worthy of condemnation. And may you
learn to flee with all your guilt and sin to the throne of
grace. May you still learn with Mary Magdalene to mourn over
your sins at the feet of Jesus, and smite upon your breast
as the publican, pleading, "God, be merciful to me, a
Well, people of God, how much
reason we have to be thankful! But how much reason we have
to be humble, and we also have reason to be prayerfully
watchful, for remember, the causes of murder such as envy,
hatred, anger and the desire for revenge are still deep in
our heart. How often that becomes evident. When someone
insults us, how often we act as our own judge! We have not
yet unlearned the prayer of the disciples that fire come
down from heaven to consume our enemies. Oh, do not commit a
murder because someone owes you a few pounds. May God give
you grace to find refuge in Jesus, He casts no murderer
away. One day you shall hear, "This day shalt thou be with
Me in Paradise."
Dear hearers, thus we
have shown you what the sixth commandment demands and the
punishment for the transgressor. But we have not yet
finished. We have remarked earlier that it is not sufficient
to refrain from doing that which God forbids, but we must
also practice the opposite virtues. We must keep in mind
that the commanded virtues are included with the forbidden
Thus the Instructor asks in
Question 107, "But is it enough that we do not kill any man
in the manner mentioned above?" And then he answers, "No,
for when God forbids envy, hatred and anger, He commands us
to love our neighbor as ourselves."
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor
as thyself." That is the summary of all the commandments of
the second table of the law, as the Lord Jesus Himself said.
Love is the bond of
perfectness that binds all virtues together and excludes all
vices, and hence is a general virtue which includes all the
duties of the second table of the law. The Apostle writes
(Rom. 13:9) "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou
shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear
false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any
other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this
saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as
But here the
reference is to that special love to the neighbor, by which
we love his life as his most precious possession and hence
diligently seek to protect his life and make it pleasant, so
that thus living he may be able to glorify his God.
Of that love we can
- It seeks peace. It
follows after peace, not at the expense of the truth, but in
keeping with the truth.
- It is not envious. It
rejoices in another's welfare.
- It is meek. It does not
revenge itself. Cain's hatred and Lamech's vengeance is
foreign to it.
- It is merciful to the
needy as the Samaritan near Jericho.
- It is kind. No, this love
has no sour face and bitter mind.
- It endures patiently.
- Hence it also abhors
inflicting material, and even more inflicting spiritual
Dear hearers, how pleasant
it is to experience such love! How pleasant to be treated so
mercifully as that Jewish man was treated by that Samaritan,
and as Mephibosheth by David. How pleasant people could make
your life! Oh, if man dealt as friendly with you as Joseph
did with his brothers and as Esau did with Jacob when he met
him; he kissed him. How pleasant it is when our shortcomings
are so patiently borne, as the disciples experienced of
their Lord and master when they had fallen asleep, or when
they acted or spoke a bit foolishly. The dear Lord palliated
the offense by saying, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh
is weak." Again how sweet it is when men live friendly and
peaceably with us; when they further our welfare; when they
strive for our good name; when they seek to warn us of evil;
when men pray for us, when men seek to promote our temporal
and eternal welfare. Why, how much trouble people could ward
away from us and how much peace they could bring us.
Neighborly love, how sweet it is to experience thee!
But also, how difficult it is
If we are slandered or
insulted, the Lamech's spirit arises in us. We say, "Do you
think I will allow them to take away my crown? Then it is
"an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."
You want others to be
patient with your weaknesses, but are you patient with those
of others? Do you strive for another's good name, the good
name of one you do not like? Do you do your best to advance
another's cause, also if it means a slight loss for
yourself? Do you practice neighborly love, also if you must
suffer for it?
If you can answer these
questions affirmatively, you would not only have more
understanding than your teachers, but also more, much more
virtue than they. For they know that preaching about
neighborly love from the sixth commandment is quite a
different thing than practicing it. The person who needs
neighborly love the most often practices it the least. And
the person who talks most about the lovelessness of these
evil days, is very often the most loveless. While man is in
trouble, he preaches about neighborly love until he is
helped out of it, but when he is out of his pit, he does not
heed another who is still in it. We see that in the butler.
When he was out of prison, he did not consider poor Joseph.
For two years he forgot Joseph, that poor boy. People who
preach about benevolence are sometimes the most miserly.
"One cannot give to every cause and to everyone," they say
and they give nothing to any cause, and to anyone. If poor
people were rich they would be generous! But when they
become rich and as they become richer, they become more and
Only one has lived upon
this earth who preached neighborly love and also practiced
it perfectly. That one is our Lord Jesus Christ. See Him
come in the counsel of peace, in the fulness of time, follow
His ways and notice His deeds. See Him in Bethlehem's
manger, in the garden of Gethsemane, on the cross of
Golgotha, in Joseph's sepulcher, always and ever He
practiced perfectly the sixth commandment. He never
transgressed this commandment, neither by sins of omission
nor by sins of commission. Even when he was angry it was
still pure neighborly love.
And now look at yourself in
this mirror. No, we must not use a man full of faults for
our mirror, but in this mirror we must study ourselves.
You unconverted ones have
nothing of this love. Certainly, there is a natural
gentleness, there is something that we call neighborly love,
which also bears its fruit, which we call good, yea,
excellent. But in the sight of God Who seeks for perfection,
and Who demands patience, peaceableness, forgivingness,
etc., from you, in the sight of Him you are hateful and
revengeful. He sees not only the tree, but also the
You cannot thus enter heaven.
Your guilt must be covered with the righteousness of Christ,
and your heart must be renewed by the Holy Spirit.
Learn to supplicate the Lord
for this while it is still the day of grace for you, before
the Lord makes it dark for you, and as a malefactor you sink
away into eternal perdition.
And we, children of the Lord,
what a small beginning we have of this obedience. Examine
your life in accordance with the explanation of this
commandment, and let your conscience make the application.
Is there no reason to shame yourself before God?
Dear child of God, the Lord
grant us grace to meditate much on the life of Jesus and to
tarry much at Golgotha, thus to learn not only how Christ
atoned for our transgression, but also what God in the sixth
commandment demands of His children. Would that be
beneficial for our sanctification? Hear what the Apostle
says (2 Cor. 3:18) "But we all, with open face beholding as
in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same
image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the
The Lord then grant us that by
grace for Jesus' sake, Amen.
*In the Holland Bible both Matthew and Mark speak of the
malefactors crucified with Jesus as "murderers."
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. Wen 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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