Pulpit Commentary Homiletics
I. THEY CONCERN HIMSELF. (Ver. 2.) "I wilt behave myself," etc. Here we must begin if our life is to be worthy and happy. Therefore:
1. The psalmist consider his ways. He will behave himself wisely. It was not enough that he had full and clear knowledge, and frequent good purposes and desires, and just opinions and true beliefs; what he was concerned about was as to his conduct, his behaviour. And that is the all-important thing; the others have their value as they influence that.
2. And his desire and purpose were that he should behave himself "wisely." In what vast and such variety of ways men - especially those in high station - behave themselves! "Man, vain man, dressed in a little brief authority," etc. But here was one who would sink mere self-pleasing, and the suggestions of pride and power which his high station would bring to his mind, and, like Solomon, his one desire was to behave himself wisely.
3. And his conviction was that the way of righteousness, the perfect way, was alone the way of wisdom.
4. And that for all this he needed the abiding presence and blessing of God. "Oh when wilt thou come," etc.? (ver. 1). Surely this man began well!
II. HIS HOME LIFE. "I will walk within my house," etc. He would "show piety at home." If it be not there, it does not matter where else it is. There, where it is more difficult, because we are more off our guard, and contact with wife, children, servants, is so close that there is more peril of friction and irritation than in the more distant and guarded intercourse with the world outside. A man has need of "a perfect heart," upright, faithful, and true, if his home life is to be what it should be.
III. HIS DEALINGS WITH HIS FELLOW MEN. He divides these into three classes:
1. Those whom he will avoid. They are the froward, the slanderer, the proud, the deceitful. Woe to the man whose companions are of such a sort! sorrow and shame will be his lot.
2. Those whom he will choose. "The faithful of the land;" they who walk with God. Such companions and servants do minister much to our peace and happiness.
3. Those for whom he will have no tolerance. The wicked doers. Kindness to them, whilst they persist in wickedness, is cruelty and wrong to the innocent, the godly, and to the city of the Lord. "Ye that love the Lord, hate evil" - so we are told (Psalm 97:10). And, indeed, if there be not such intolerance, it is because the love of God is weak within us (cf. Revelation 2:6, 15). The psalmist may have meant by "cutting off" the putting of them to death. A monarch such as David would have deemed that quite right. But it is a power too great for human hands to wield. Our part will be to cut off the prompters to sin in our own hearts, to slay evil passions and unholy desires there; then, by earnestly seeking the conversion of the ungodly, to cut them off from their sin. - S.C.
I. THERE WAS A TIME IN MAN'S LIFE WHEN THERE WAS NEITHER MERCY NOR JUDGMENT.
1. In Paradise, before sin had entered, there was no occasion for mercy; for mercy implies unworthiness and guilt. But these there were not. Man received love, bounty, goodness, but not mercy. Only a sinner can receive that. This is why the redeemed sinner will sing more loudly than the angels, who have never known what sin is.
2. And so, too, there was not judgment. No anger darkened the face of God; no need for the chastisements and disciplines of life. But this time will never come again.
II. THERE WILL BE A TIME WHEN MEN WILL KNOW BUT ONE OF THESE.
1. Mercy only will be known in heaven. The time for chastisement and punishment will be gone. God will have wiped away every tear. It will be mercy without judgment.
2. But judgment only will be known in hell. Mercy comes not there; for hell is a state of mind rather than a place, and the mind that has its fit place there must be forsaken ere mercy can come and do its work. The father's welcome was not given to the prodigal until he had come away from the "far country."
3. But here judgment and mercy are blended. They are the warp and woof of life; but yonder they will stand apart; where the one comes, the other cannot.
III. AT PRESENT MEN ARE THE SUBJECTS OF BOTH. This is a certain fact. It was true of David, of Israel, of our Lord Jesus Christ, for because of both mercy and judgment he came into the world. And it is true of God's dealings with humanity generally.
IV. AND BOTH ARE TO BE THE SUBJECT OF OUR SONG.
1. For think what would have been the consequences had man received nothing but mercy. See what prosperity often does now, and always will, unless diligently guarded against by faith and prayer. "How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!" (and cf. Psalm 17.). But:
2. Had God dealt with man only in the way of judgment, the results would have been no less disastrous; men would have hated God, broken out into wild rebellion, or laid down in despair.
3. And think of the service both render. The mercy of God brightens all our life, and makes up in us the love of God. "We love him because he first loved us." This is especially true when we behold the mercy of God in Christ. But his judgments also are blessed for us. "Before I was afflicted I went astray" (Psalm 119.). They bridle and curb the lawless will; they make manifest to our souls the bitter evil of sin. "Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest" - so said the saints of old; and it is true still.
4. And of the characteristics of both. Of mercy - so free, so great, so abiding, so seasonable, so undeserved. Of judgment - its purpose, its profitableness, its alleviations, its limit to the present life and never beyond our power to endure.
5. But some sing of neither. Not of mercy, for they regard not God as its giver; not of judgment, for they deem it only ill fortune.
6. Some sing only of one. Of mercy, for that is easy to sing about. Some only of judgment, - they believe only in a God of judgment, not in "our Father."
7. Let us sing of both. - S.C.
1. WE CAN SING OF MERCY. That is a very comprehensive word. It includes the Divine compassions, forbearances, long sufferings, and considerations. But there is a special tone in the word. It fits exactly into God's ways with us frail, sinful men. It would hardly be fitting to speak of God's mercy to the angels who have "kept their first estate." It is not the term we should choose by which to express his relations with them. We know the word in our human spheres. It expresses the clemency of the king towards rebel subjects. The guilty man sues for mercy. When the royal rights are vindicated, we hope that justice will be tempered with mercy. We know the word in our own home spheres and relations. Fathers and mothers are merciful towards their wayward, wilful children, considerate, patient, gentle, pitiful, hopeful. And "like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." Many of us have now no father or mother in these earthly spheres; but could we put our idea of the old child relations in the old home into a single word, that word would have to be "mercy." No other word would worthily gather up their patient, pitiful gentleness. And that word best expresses our sense of our heavenly Father's dealings with us. It is so suitable because it always carries with it the assumption of the frailty and wilfulness of those to whom it is shown. Only when people try us do we show them mercy. Then let us see if we are not really needing God's mercy.
1. It is now a good many years since you discovered your easily besetting sin. Then it ought to have been done with long ago, driven out altogether. But it is there still, spoiling your best things, making trouble for yourself, and for all around you. Then you know what is meant by God's mercy.
2. When this year began you made high resolves; but after the first flush of feeling passed, you never made any really earnest effort to carry them out. Verily God has a call to be merciful.
3. God's mercy to us ought to have made us merciful to one another. And just in this we are constantly failing. Who could bear to think of the life he has yet to live, if he might no longer hope in God's mercy? Mercy bears with us. Mercy is pitiful and kind. Mercy in God is not mere good feeling; it is active, ever doing for us something kind.
II. WE CAN SING OF JUDGMENT. This may stand for "righteousness," or justice finding practical expression. We can always have this satisfaction - God's mercy is righteous. It is never weak indulgence. God never steps aside of the right in order to do a kindness. But that is hardly the precise association of the word that we want. It is rather "the corrective recognition of our faults." It is our holy joy, that our Father-God will never leave our faults and failings, our waywardnesses and self-willednesses, alone. He is ever correctively dealing with them. Punishment, as a vindication of violated law, and as the firm reassertion of defied authority, is almost entirely a human conception; it can only be applied to the dealings of our heavenly Father with extreme caution. It is far safer for us to think of God's punishments as always paternal; and paternal punishments are, primarily, corrective. And what child could do well without corrections?
1. Divine corrections may come as the natural results of our wilfulness.
2. They come as testing losses; or as wearying strain; or as painful sickness; or as that long, long enduring which is the supreme soul test.
III. WE MUST TAKE CARE THAT WE SING OF THESE TWO TOGETHER - "MERCY" AND "JUDGMENT." It is the blending of them that so brings out the charm of the Divine ways with us. Illustrate by the bright light made by combining the flames of oxygen and hydrogen gas. Never can God's full glory shine out until we learn to blend his mercy and judgment. Mercy that cannot judge cannot be the mercy of our heavenly Father. Judgment that is not tempered with mercy cannot characterize our heavenly Father's dealings. - R.T.
I. HIS PERSONAL LIFE.
1. He sought the union of loving kindness and right in his own character. (Ver. 1.) As a Divine union found in the King of kings, and therefore the subject of his song.
2. He would seek to follow the perfect way with or by means of a perfect heart. (Ver. 2.) He would give earnest heed to whatever was right, and pursue it with an undivided heart.
3. He would live in the closest fellowship with God. (Ver. 2.) "When wilt thou come unto me?"
II. HIS DOMESTIC LIFE. (Vers. 3, 4.) How he would walk in "his house."
1. Will not allow himself to think of any wicked design or action. (Ver. 3.) Nothing in his home life that is unworthy of a king.
2. He will be guilty of no unfaithfulness. (Ver. 3.) They who "turn aside" are the unfaithful. Delitzsch says he "hates excesses;" all temptations to this he will shake off from himself.
3. He will not know fellowship with a false or "froward heart. (Ver. 4.) No commerce with those whoso policy is one of craft and deceit.
III. HE WILL MAINTAIN A PURE COURT LIFE. (Vers. 5-7.)
1. He will discourage all forms of untruthfulness and pride. Slander and deceit and lies he will not tolerate (vers. 5-7).
2. Those who serfs him in high offices must be faithful men. (Ver. 6.)
IV. HE WILL RULE THE CITY AND THE STATE SO AS TO BRING IN THE REIGN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. (Ver. 8.) Early," equivalent to "in the morning." Courts of law were held in the early morning. A dream which has its fulfilment in the vision of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:27). - S.
Psalm 100. is all about praising the Lord. This psalm is all about a holy life. The sequence of the two seems to teach that the best way of praising the Lord is by such a life as this psalm tells of. The time of the psalm's composition seems to have been when David was crowned king of all Israel, and his new government was about to begin. It has been well said that in this psalm David was both merry and wise. We have here -
I. A WISE AND HOLY RESOLVE. "I will behave myself," etc. See:
1. It begins with himself. If only everybody would begin there! But so many are for trying to put others right before they are right themselves.
2. It refers to his conduct. "I will behave. How we behave - not how we talk, think, profess, desire, but how we behave - is the all-important thing. That is what men will judge us by, and by which we shall influence others.
3. It declares his deliberate resolve. That he would behave himself wisely. Some would have said, grandly," or "merrily," or "just as I please;" but this man says, "wisely." Oh that we all would make such choice as this, especially those who are in the morning of their lives! David made this choice because he felt it so necessary. He was a king, and a foolish king is a nation's trouble. And he was a king surrounded by many perils. And the same resolve suits all sorts and conditions of men. Moreover, David felt that he would be wise only as he walked in a perfect way. The right way is the wise way, and vice versa. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Turn to the right, and keep straight on.
4. And that he made up his mind about it. "I will behave," etc. See what a number of "I wills" and "shalls" there are in this psalm. You may say, "He did not keep his resolve." That is true; but probably he would have fallen yet more deeply had he never made such resolve as this. Such resolves are good to make. They commit you on the side of God; especially the resolve to be openly and always on the Lord's side.
II. A FERVENT CRY FOR GRACE TO KEEP IT. "Oh when wilt thou come unto me?"
1. This is an interruption, but no hindrance. Holy thought and prayer may interrupt, but they do not hinder, our work. The haymaker, stopping to whet his scythe, does not hinder his work, but helps it. So does such a prayer as this.
2. It is a confession of utter weakness in himself apart from God, and a cry for God to come and abide with him. The holiest resolves, without much cry to God for grace to keep them, come to nothing.
III. THE TEST LAID DOWN whereby it should be known whether he was keeping it. There should be such test.
1. David lays down this - his conduct at home. "I will walk within my house," etc.
2. We are truly what we are at home. In the world we have to be reserved and cautious; in the Church we show our best side; but at home our true character is revealed. And, alas! some people can be saints at church and devils at home, and hence are no saints at all.
3. But we cannot be right at home unless our heart be right with God. It is a matter of the heart, and the heart given to God. Let parents remember this. If you would have a happy, heaven like home, let your hearts be perfect with God. - S.C.
I. HOME RELIGION OUGHT TO BE EASY. Because usually the atmosphere is healthy and inspiring. If we are the heads of the house we can give the tone to the house. If we are but members, still our well being is the care of all, and if religion is our concern, we are, usually, at least unhindered. For our religious habits and duties we can easily make or find fitting time and place. But this ease of home religion may come to be a temptation and peril. Men, in every sphere, reach their noblest things, by mastering opposition. They tend to lose nobility and enterprise when a thing is easy. Easy religion very readily becomes weak religion. Religion cannot bear indulgence; it needs the bracing of hardship.
II. HOME RELIGION OUGHT TO BE STEADFAST. Because there are no suddennesses, and no great variations, in the experiences and temptations of home to sway the religious barometer. The psalmist means by a "perfect heart" one quietly, steadily, persistently set on the right, the kind, and the good. The finest thing we can say of the pious man at home is that he is "always the same." It is in homes we can most fully exhibit that great grace, "patient continuance in well doing."
III. HOME RELIGION OUGHT TO BE BEAUTIFUL. Because home is the sphere in which natural amiability and personal affection find their freest expression. And these, when sanctified by sincere and earnest piety, cannot fail to make attractive characters. Appeal to all experiences thus. Are not the Christians you most admire and love those who were beautiful for Christ in home spheres? - R.T.
I. WE CANNOT HELP SEEING WICKED THINGS, BUT WE ARE NOT TO SET THEM BEFORE OUR EYES. That is:
1. He will not think of them. They may be where he cannot but see them; but he will turn away his eyes from them, and his thoughts likewise.
2. He will not sympathize with or desire them. They have a fatal attraction, and appeal to our nature where it is most susceptible of temptation.
3. He will not strive after them. However gainful they may be, their wickedness shall bar all endeavours after them.
II. WE ARE TO HATE THEM. There is to be, not the mere negative grace of not choosing them - that is much - but there is to be the further positive grace of hatred towards them. Now, to help us herein, think of:
1. The harm wickedness has done to men generally. What havoc it has wrought, and is working still! Could the world be but rid of its sin, its sorrows would not trouble us much.
2. The harm wrought in your own soul.
3. The dishonour done to Christ.
4. And let your hatred of wickedness take practical form. Attack the fortress of sin, fight against it wherever you find it, make aggressive effort against it and for the cause of Christ. So will this hatred blessedly grow.
III. WHEN WICKEDNESS SEEKS, AS IT WILL, TO CLEAVE UNTO US, WE ARE TO CAST IT OFF.
1. See how our Lord did this. "Get thee behind me, Satan!" Sin will try to adhere to you; but spurn it at once.
2. Consider how to do this. Prayer will greatly help; for sin is its direct antagonist. One must destroy the other. They cannot coexist. Plead and trust the promises of God to help you. Avoid the occasions of sin. Carry the war into the enemy's country; not merely resist, but attack. Military writers all insist on the advantage against a foe of attacking, not waiting to be attacked. And, without doubt, aggressive work for Christ, a fighting faith, is an immense advantage and safeguard. - S.C.
I. PIOUS SOULS SEE SELF-WILL AS THE ROOT OF SIN. Take man as the creature of God. Manifestly he is dependent on God. He has no independent rights, and no independent will. He has a free will within the necessary limits of the creature, but as that free will finds exercise, it can get no better standard than the sovereign and perfect will of the Creator. The supreme triumph of man's free will is his full, loving, hearty acceptance of the Divine will. Adam sinned when he put his self-will in opposition to God's will. Describe how you may the various forms that human iniquity can take (Galatians 5:19-21), the informing spirit of them all is self-pleasing, self-will. Therefore pious souls see clearly that their witness and work is not the mere cleansing of conduct, but the rooting out of the very fibres of self-will, which thread their souls as couch grass threads the fields, or cancers thread the body. Parents must deal with self-will in their children; kings must deal With self-will in their officials; Christians must deal with self-will in themselves and in the world.
II. PIOUS SOULS SEE SELF-WILL AS THE ONE THING TO RESIST. Many may be occupied with special forms of temptation, and with what they discover to be their "easily besetting sins." So they are occupied with the expressions of things rather than with the causes. Illustrate from the various treatment of skin diseases. That treatment alone is hopeful which deals with the fountain of mischief. But the psalmist is dealing with self-will in others rather than in himself. There is a self-reliance which is good, if kept within due bounds. It is the spring of enterprise; it is the spirit of the man who conquers circumstance. But it may easily become masterfulness, tyranny, pursuit of ends irrespective of means, and then pious souls feel repugnance, and may rightly show repugnance. The self-willed man is not a God-fearing man. - R.T.
I. THERE ARE SUCH PEOPLE. David had to do with many of them - Doeg, Cush, Ziba, etc. And such ever haunt the precincts of courts. And they exist still. Note their characteristics.
1. They are not men who merely speak evil of their fellow men. No good man likes to do this. But sometimes it has to be done - in giving evidence in courts of law; for the sake of vindicating or warning others. Our Lord spoke evil of the scribes and Pharisees. But he did so because, not only was his witness true, but it was necessary to be given, for the people at large were deceived by them. And he spoke freely before their face, and never because of mere personal dislike and antipathy, though he could not but have felt that, but for the sake of the many whom they were leading astray. And he affirmed only what he knew to be true. When, then, we have to speak evil of another, let us speak only as Christ did - faithfully, openly, and for the sake of others rather than our own sake. Such evil speaking is not slander.
2. What, then, is slander? It is the speaking evil on hearsay rather than proof, or on half knowledge; it is generally cowardly, "backbiting" Psalm 15. calls it. The man would be ashamed to say it openly. The motive is malignant - seeking to do evil, or, if not that, there is a culpable carelessness as to the truth, which is almost as bad. This is what the psalmist seems to mean when he says, "Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing."
II. GREAT IS THE EVIL THAT THEY DO.
1. Often to the victim of their slander. (See Edna Lyall's 'Autobiography of a Slander.') Cf. Shakespeare, 'Othello' -
"Who steals my purse steals trash... 2. To the hearer of them. A shadow has come over your intercourse with the slandered one; confidence is destroyed or much shaken; you are drawn nearer to that mad state of mind which led David to say, "All men are liars." You don't know whom to trust. 3. To the slanderer himself most of all. If it has been spoken carelessly, as it so often is, and he comes to know of the evil he has wrought, it will be a lifelong regret to him. If it has been done out of malice, then he has done not a little to harden his conscience, to sear it as with a red-hot iron. Furthermore, he has incurred the anger of God, to whom slander is abhorrent (Psalm 5:6), and one of whose chief commands is, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," etc. And he loses his own self-respect; he carries about with him the consciousness of his crime and shame, and, when found out, as he is all but sure to be, he is the object of the merited scorn of his fellow men. III. HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM. "Him will I cut off," says our text. 1. No doubt David would deal with such men in the ruthless, despotic way of an Eastern king. There would be but short shrift for such with him. 2. And so God will deal with them, unless they repent. 3. And so, in principle, should we deal with them. Be stern with the man who brings the slander; shun the company of such; warn others against him; compel the man to say openly what he has said in secret. 4. Such stern treatment necessary, for we are all prone to this sin. A burning coal thrown out in the road soon becomes dead; but cast it into a heap of straw, and then what conflagration ensues! The first pictures the fate of a good report of your neighbour - nothing comes of it. The second pictures the fate of an evil report - how that spreads fast and far! And slander is destructive of all brotherhood and confidence between man and Imam It flagrantly violates our Lord's golden rule, "Do unto others as you would," etc. CONCLUSION. 1. Are you the victim of slander? Pray for your enemy, and forgive him; then go and tell him of his fault. 2. All are in danger of this sin. Therefore seek to have your heart filled with love; let the mind be in you which was also in Christ, then slander will become impossible to you. - S.C.
2. To the hearer of them. A shadow has come over your intercourse with the slandered one; confidence is destroyed or much shaken; you are drawn nearer to that mad state of mind which led David to say, "All men are liars." You don't know whom to trust.
3. To the slanderer himself most of all. If it has been spoken carelessly, as it so often is, and he comes to know of the evil he has wrought, it will be a lifelong regret to him. If it has been done out of malice, then he has done not a little to harden his conscience, to sear it as with a red-hot iron. Furthermore, he has incurred the anger of God, to whom slander is abhorrent (Psalm 5:6), and one of whose chief commands is, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," etc. And he loses his own self-respect; he carries about with him the consciousness of his crime and shame, and, when found out, as he is all but sure to be, he is the object of the merited scorn of his fellow men.
III. HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM. "Him will I cut off," says our text.
1. No doubt David would deal with such men in the ruthless, despotic way of an Eastern king. There would be but short shrift for such with him.
2. And so God will deal with them, unless they repent.
3. And so, in principle, should we deal with them. Be stern with the man who brings the slander; shun the company of such; warn others against him; compel the man to say openly what he has said in secret.
4. Such stern treatment necessary, for we are all prone to this sin. A burning coal thrown out in the road soon becomes dead; but cast it into a heap of straw, and then what conflagration ensues! The first pictures the fate of a good report of your neighbour - nothing comes of it. The second pictures the fate of an evil report - how that spreads fast and far! And slander is destructive of all brotherhood and confidence between man and Imam It flagrantly violates our Lord's golden rule, "Do unto others as you would," etc.
1. Are you the victim of slander? Pray for your enemy, and forgive him; then go and tell him of his fault.
2. All are in danger of this sin. Therefore seek to have your heart filled with love; let the mind be in you which was also in Christ, then slander will become impossible to you. - S.C.
I. THE SLANDERER IS A MISCHIEF MAKER. HIS interest is taken not by anything good, but by something evil. Every true and good man covers over, hides, smothers down, the evil, because it is like fire - let it spread, and it will do a world of mischief. The slanderer fixes on the tiny spark of evil, fans it until it flares, and consumes reputations and ruins lives. Gossip is the slanderer's weapon. Malice is his inspiration. Self-conceit is his guide. Often pure devilry makes a man start the evil suspicion which makes the mischief of broken hearts and untold misery. It is no excuse for the slanderer, when made to face the consequences of his slander, to say, "I did not mean it." As mischief makers, gossiping women are worse than men.
II. THE SLANDERER IS A THIEF. He does not steal men's goods; he steals what is of far more value to man than what he has - he steals his reputation. Estimate the difficulty every man finds in building up a character. It may fall, like a house of cards, before the suspicion started by the slanderer; that suspicion may stick to a man for life, and he may find it impossible to recover his place. The robbery of the slanderer is oftentimes irremediable.
III. THE SLANDERER IS A DETERIORATOR OF HIMSELF. The most serious injury a man can do to his own moral nature is to give expression to the suspicious, or malicious, temper. If a good man or woman ever find themselves betrayed into becoming the originators of a slander, they feel the bitterest regrets and most searching humiliations. The had man who finds he has slandered, and will be humbled by no regrets, belongs to the devil, and will have to find his home with him. - R.T.
I. THE ARROGANT MEASURE THEMSELVES BY A WRONG STANDARD. A man may seem to have fair reason for being proud who compares himself with his fellow men. It may be honest truth that he is better bred, more refined, better educated, and more intelligent than they. But then the standard is so poor. Let him appraise himself by comparison with those who are better bred and better educated than himself. Nay, let him measure himself by the proper, the Divine, standard; then will the loftiest minded man be compelled to say after the psalmist, "My goodness extendeth not to thee, only to the saints that are in the earth."
II. THE ARROGANT BOAST THEMSELVES AGAINST GOD. Pride is the open claim to independence; the declaration of conscious self-sufficiency. The proud man needs no God, and knows no God. He never can come into right relations with God until he can get rid of that pride. All who do boast themselves against God may be reminded of that day when the "lofty looks of man shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted."
III. THE ARROGANT ARE OUT OF RIGHT RELATIONS WITH MEN. The right relations are thus expressed: "By love serve one another." The arrogant man serves nobody, only expects everybody to serve him. So he never gains love, and never receives love service. - R.T.
I. THE UPRIGHT ARE ALWAYS WANTED. Men of probity and integrity are ever being sought for. For all service character is the supreme fitness. If it seems otherwise, and we find isolated instances in which the unprincipled seem to prosper, let us think of the thousand cases in which character even triumphs over ability, and much more over unscrupulousness. If a man has character, he has a commodity that is always marketable.
II. THE UPRIGHT ARE ALWAYS TRUSTED. Illustrate by Joseph in Egypt, Nehemiah at Susa, and Daniel at Babylon. In that trust is the fullest recognition of the value of character.
III. THE UPRIGHT ARE ALWAYS REWARDED. Depend upon it, kings always know when they have good counsellors, and masters know when they have faithful servants. And it is always the aim of masters to encourage those who serve them well. Say what men will, it is most largely true that the best things of this world come to the good. And it can always be said, with absolute confidence, that God is on the side of the upright, "the Rewarder of all those who diligently seek him." - R.T.
I. THE UNTRUTHFUL MAN SINS AGAINST HIMSELF. He confuses his own sense of right and wrong; destroys his moral sense, until he discovers that he cannot trust himself.
"To thine own self be true, II. THE UNTRUTHFUL MAN SINS AGAINST HIS FELLOW MAN. For only truth can guide us aright. If those whom we trust and obey are not true, our way cannot be safe. Illustrate by the man who goes an unknown road, and receives untruthful directions. See in business affairs what mischiefs untruthfulness can make. Every man has an absolute right to demand from his fellow man a precise accordance between statement and fact. Show that secrecy, withholding, may be as effectually untruthful as any statement. We are bound to be true in every form in which we express ourselves to our fellows. Point out what self-restraints are required, if we are to be absolutely true in tones, and looks, and silences, and speech. III. THE UNTRUTHFUL MAN SINS AGAINST GOD. Who "requireth truth in the inward parts." This introduces familiar considerations, on which no special suggestions arc needed. - R.T.
II. THE UNTRUTHFUL MAN SINS AGAINST HIS FELLOW MAN. For only truth can guide us aright. If those whom we trust and obey are not true, our way cannot be safe. Illustrate by the man who goes an unknown road, and receives untruthful directions. See in business affairs what mischiefs untruthfulness can make. Every man has an absolute right to demand from his fellow man a precise accordance between statement and fact. Show that secrecy, withholding, may be as effectually untruthful as any statement. We are bound to be true in every form in which we express ourselves to our fellows. Point out what self-restraints are required, if we are to be absolutely true in tones, and looks, and silences, and speech.
III. THE UNTRUTHFUL MAN SINS AGAINST GOD. Who "requireth truth in the inward parts." This introduces familiar considerations, on which no special suggestions arc needed. - R.T.