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THE THIRD COMMANDMENT.
THE Third Commandment is, “ 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,"
There is no vice more common among bad boys than that which is forbidden by this commandment. And there is no sin that is more offensive to God than this.
We would not speak lightly of one of our friends, and it would grieve us to hear any one speaking unkindly of those we love.
But God is our best friend. He watches over us by day and by night, and every hour that we live we must depend on him for the breath we draw.
His ear is open, and he hears every word that we say, and it must offend him to listen to his creatures when they take his holy name in vain.
This sin is one that leads to many others. When a boy has learned to swear, he is ready for almost any evil work; and hence it is, that when we know a boy is in the habit of this vice, we at once set him down as a bad boy, whom all others ought to avoid.
You should not play with one who uses wicked words; and if you tell him why it is that you do not like to play with him, perhaps you will be able to induce him to abandon his evil habits. You should say, “ If my companions grow profane,
I'll leave their friendship, when I hear
And learn to curse, and learn to swear.”
And then you may repeat these lines :
Why should I join with those in play,
In whom I've no delight :
Who call ill names and fight ?"
If children have been taught when they are quite young that it is an evil and wicked thing to take the name of God in vain, they will find it very hard to swear when they grow up to be young men.
But I have known a youth, whose parents had instructed him in the Bible, and who learned to swear by going into bad company. At first he used only those bad words which some boys use who are afraid to swear, but very soon he would take an oath, as if he thought it was a very brave thing to swear.
From this, he came to be the companion and friend of the wicked, and was soon known as one of the worst boys in the village.
He grew up to be a young man, and was fond of low company. He would rather spend an evening at the tavern, than in the home of his parents with his sisters and brothers.
He became a drunkard; and died in prison.
His mother had loved him very dearly, and had often tried to persuade him to turn from his evil ways, but he would not.
And when she heard that he had died in such a place, a poor outcast, she sunk down and died in a few days, of a broken heart.
This wicked boy was the cause of his mother's death, and the first vice that he was known to be guilty of, when he was a boy, was that of profane swearing
THE Fourth Commandment is, “ Remember the
Sabbath day to keep it holy : six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shalt not do any work, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
All the good, whether they are old or young, delight in keeping holy the Sabbath day.
It has been well called the Lord's Day. It belongs to him, and we are to spend it in his service, and not in seeking our own pleasure.
But the highest pleasure of those who love God and keep his commandments, is to do his will; and to them there is no higher pleasure on the Sabbath, than to spend its sacred hours in the worship of the Lord.
A little girl had been taught at the Sunday School, that she must remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Her wicked mother sent her to do some needless work on that day, and the girl said, “Will not God see me?" Then the mother was so surprised that her child should be more afraid to do wrong than she was herself, that she promised never to tell her to do any work on the Sabbath again.
There is a very pretty little hymn, which was written by Mary Lundie Duncan, that you will be pleased to read. It is on “Preparing for Sunday.”
“ Haste ! put your playthings all away,
To-morrow is the Sabbath day;
“Bring me your German village, please,
Your waxen doll, with eyes of blue,
“Now take your Sunday Pictures down,
“There is your hymn-book : you shall learn
There are so many books for children to read on the Sabbath, and so many pleasant duties for them to do, that they may find the day to be the happiest of the week.
How much better it is for them to go to the house of God and join with his people in his worship and praise, than to go with the wicked to spend the day in idleness or sinful amusements.
You may have seen wicked boys going off on the Sabbath to play in the fields or on the ice, instead of going to the Sabbath School.
Such boys are in the high way to ruin. Not long ago, a man was brought out to the gallows to be hung for murder. Just before he was hung, he said a few words to the multiude before him, and his words were