|Sermons on the Heidelberg
By Rev. G. Van
Psalter No. 227 st. 1, 2.
Read Isaiah 58.
Psalter No. 250 st. 1, 2.
Psalter No. 341 st. 1,2,3,4.
Psalter No. l20 st. 3,4.
My dear hearers!
The good Lord has provided in our glorious and
invaluable book of Psalms, a Psalm for every day and for
Thus the title of the Psalm
from which we sang reads, "A Psalm or Song for the sabbath
day." Hence it was a psalm which the Lord intended to be
sung especially on the sabbath day in church services and in
the family circle, by His covenant people of old and
certainly by us, upon whom the ends of the world are
The contents of this precious
psalm can teach us what should be the subject of our
meditations and conversations, and what should be the
purpose of our preaching and church attendance. For in this
psalm we find a sincere glorification of the great works of
God's creation and providence, and the great purposes He
intended to attain and does attain. The purpose is the
glorification of His Name, both in the humbling and
punishing of the wicked, so that they might see and
acknowledge that He is the Most High; and in blessing the
righteous so that they might have reason to show that the
Lord is upright, their Rock in Whom there is no
Among other reasons, the
Sabbath was also instituted so that Israel might remember
the great work of creation, and their deliverance out of
slavery in Egypt by a chain of wonderful plagues by which
the Egyptians, their enemies and oppressors, were humbled
and punished, and they were liberated and exalted.
No, the Lord did not give that
day to be spent in laziness and slothfulness. The Lord gave
His people the Sabbath day to be spent in holy meditation on
these great works of God, so that their minds, filled with
deep reverence and grateful acknowledgment will be the more
lifted up to render to God the honor of His Name.
It was this consideration that
prompted the God-fearing poet to compose this glorious
psalm, and to present it to the congregation in order that
they might sing it, especially on the Sabbath day, and thus
to direct the true sabbath keepers in sanctifying the day
and to give suitable matter for meditation.
There have been some who gave
the psalm this title: "a Psalm or song for the age to come,"
and that because this psalm gives a prophetic vision of the
New Testament days. For would not then the children of God
enjoy the spiritual rest, which the Messiah would merit for
them by His atoning death? Were the Sabbath days of the Old
Testament not a shadow of that sweet rest? And do not God's
people enjoy a taste of that sweet Sabbath rest in their
Yea, we may freely stretch the
final fulfillment of the Sabbath song to the last days. Only
then will the true Sabbath dawn. Then all the enemies which
had flourished as the grass shall be destroyed forever, and
the blessed flourishing period of God's church shall arrive
and endure to eternity.
These matters shall become
more clear to you if with your devoted attention we consider
the fourth commandment according to the thirty-eighth Lord's
You will find our text in Exod. 20:8-11.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six
days shalt thou labor, 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 manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy
cattle, nor thy 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.
Upon these words is based the catechetical instruction as
you will find recorded in the Heidelberg Catechism:
XXXVIII. LORD'S DAY.
Q. 103. What doth God require in
the fourth commandment?
A. First, that the ministry of
the gospel and the schools be maintained; and that I,
especially on the sabbath, that is, on the day of rest,
diligently frequent the church of God, to hear His word, to
use the sacraments, publicly to call upon the Lord, and
contribute to the relief of the poor, as becomes a
Christian. Secondly, that all the days of my life I cease
from my evil works, and yield myself to the Lord, to work by
his Holy Spirit in me: and thus begin in this life the
Four times already we
were privileged to tarry at the famous mountain from which
the God of Israel chose to proclaim the constitution of His
house and kingdom.
The first time we heard and
considered there the gloriously comforting and instructive
introduction to the law of the ten commandments, which
reads, "I am the Lord thy God, Which have brought thee out
of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."
And because He is the Lord our
God, He demands that we shall have no other gods before Him.
He demands that He alone shall and can be known, trusted,
served, loved and glorified as God.
In the second commandment He
demands that we shall serve Him spiritually. He is a spirit,
and wills therefore that men, especially His people, shall
serve and worship Him in spirit and in truth. The Lord
loathes and is terribly displeased by the heathenish and
Romish image worship. Those images are teachers of lies, an
affront to the majesty of the Most High.
In the third commandment the
Lord demands that we shall serve Him with deep reverence. In
both the preceding Lord's Days we have discussed this
particularly. To save time we will not repeat it now.
We are called now to consider with devoted
attention the fourth commandment.
The basis, the demand, and the prospect of this
commandment now ask our attention.
The Lord be gracious and near and dear to us in
speaking and hearing, for Jesus' sake. So be it!
"Remember the Sabbath day
to keep it holy," thus, my dear hearers, Israel's Lawgiver
and Judge calls to us all in the fourth commandment,
directing us to the grave necessity of consecrating and
hallowing the day which the Lord has graciously set apart
and given to us after six days of labor, by delighting
ourselves in His Person and service.
The commandment to keep the
Sabbath day holy unto the Lord rests upon firm and solid
The basis then of this
commandment first requires our attention. When asked
concerning the basis of the fourth commandment, we may
answer: That basis lies in God's own will and being.
No, that basis is not in
the need of man. That is often quickly and thoughtlessly
said, "Man needs a day of rest and therefore we have one."
But if we see the riding and racing, the jumping and romping
thousands of people do on the day of rest, we would not be
so quick to believe that people need a day of rest. Most
people seem to need rather a day of sport.
As we have already said, the basis of the Sabbath day lies
in God's will and being.
As the Most High Sovereign of
all creation Who made all things for Himself, it was God's
will to set apart a day on which His creature should rest
and delight himself in God the Creator and Maker of all
Hence the Sabbath day must be
said to be of divine origin, since it is designed and
ordained by God Himself, of Whom, and through Whom and to
Whom are all things, hence also the Sabbath.
God Himself set the example.
For He says in this commandment, "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."
When the Creator of the ends
of the earth had shown His almighty power, wisdom and
goodness in the works wrought by His omnipotence on each of
the six days of creation, He rested on the Sabbath day of
all His works, for God saw that all His hands had made was
It will not be necessary to
remark that God was not tired or weary; for the Creator of
the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary.
Resting means here that God ceased to create new things. His
creative power remains eternally the same. The Lord's
resting on the Sabbath day consisted in looking down upon
all creation with delight and holy pleasure. He rested in
His holy and pure creation, and thus He gave an example to
man His creature, showing him how he must delight himself in
God, his Maker and Creator.
Hence the deepest basis of
this commandment lies in the ordinance of God.
He, the Lord, in condescending
goodness gave the Sabbath day as a day of rest from all the
labor man must perform in six days with all his power and
will, so that particularly on this day he would delight
himself in God's favor and communion with all the zeal and
fervor of body and soul.
Yea, to rest in God, to
delight ourselves in Him, to lay ourselves at His heart and
in His bosom, that is the purpose for which the dear Lord
gave the Sabbath day and that is the privilege which He
graciously bestows upon man as the work of His fingers.
Hence the commandment of the
sabbath is the oldest and first commandment of the Lord,
founded in His sovereign will, in His love to Himself and to
After the creation of heaven
and earth, then that took place to which the fourth
commandment refers particularly: "The Lord blessed the
Sabbath day and hallowed it."
But this commandment also is
based on the proclamation of the law at Mount Sinai.
There in the solemn
proclamation of the law of God's house and kingdom, the Lord
solemnly renewed this commandment with Israel. I say:
renewed it for, as we have said, the Sabbath already existed
from the beginning of creation. Also in the days of Enos men
came together on a certain day, the Sabbath day, to call
upon God's Name together. And the regulations concerning the
gathering of manna, which took place already before the
lawgiving at Sinai, clearly show that the Sabbath was known
to Israel before this.
But it seems that the
keeping of the Sabbath day was neglected during Israel's
stay in Egypt.
Therefore in the fourth
commandment the Lord reminded His people with whom He had
graciously entered into a marriage covenant, by saying,
"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." Hence it
was no new commandment.
The Lord engraved this law in
stone with His finger, to signify that it is an everlasting
law, although, not in its form, but in its essence.
And although for Israel of old
it was highly ceremonial, yet for them too it was no day of
mourning, but of rejoicing. Busy Jerusalem was then filled
with holy silence, or else a song of praise was raised,
accompanied by the harp or a stringed instrument, when they
sang, "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and
to sing praises unto Thy Name, O, Most High. And then these
happy choruses are answered by the other players singing,
"One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek
after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the
days of my life." Then God's creation and lawgiving were
commemorated, God's deeds were glorified and His works
There has been much strife
concerning this fourth commandment. The opinions concerning
it vary widely. The Jews think the commandment of the
seventh day with all its ceremonial accompaniments is of
everlasting power. The Socinians and others teach that with
the coming of Christ in the flesh, this entire commandment
is annulled, so that those living under the new-dispensation
are not bound to a weekly Sabbath. Hence these consider the
fourth commandment to be entirely ceremonial.
According to our doctrine this
law is partly ceremonial and partly moral. That which was
ceremonial was abolished by the coming of Christ, but that
which is moral can never be abolished, but was given as an
everlasting ordinance by the Lawgiver to His church.
But then you ask: Why
do we keep the first day instead of the seventh day as the
Sabbath day?" In answer to this question we can say, "Our
basis for it is found in God Himself as Recreator."
For the first day of the week
was ordained and sanctified by the Lord Himself as the day
of triumph for His Son. On that day the Lord saw every thing
that He had made in the realm of grace and redemption, and
behold, it was very good! And God rested in the work of
Christ. And Christ, as the reward upon His labor, rested
with His church in God. Therefore the church of old already
cried out, referring to the resurrection day, "This is the
day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in
He, Who is Lord of the
Sabbath, has Himself, as the King of the church He has
purchased, ordained and sanctified that day.
Upon that day He arose a
victor from the grave, and by His resurrection He sanctified
On that day He repeatedly
revealed Himself to His disciples, and on that day He also
sent His Holy Spirit, so that the church of the new covenant
sings, "This is the day of full salvation, which God has
made and sanctified. Come, let us voice our jubilation, and
triumph in the grace supplied."
On the day of the Old
Testament the Lord Jesus rested in the grave, and He in Whom
all things would be recreated buried the Old Testament
Sabbath in Himself and thus Christ made the first day of the
week a day for commemorating the recreation.
And this, too, is remarkable:
In the old dispensation the reward followed after the labor.
Then it was: first work, and then rest. On the other hand,
in the new dispensation we first receive the reward, first
rest and then work out of gratitude.
That the first day of the week
was sanctified by Christ is evident from the conduct of the
Apostles. Repeatedly they convened on that day, and the Lord
appeared in their midst, thus giving His approval.
On the first day of the week
they repeatedly came together to break bread. On that day
the Spirit from on high was poured out upon the church of
God. And Paul admonishes the church of Corinth that on the
first day of the week every one should lay something in
store for the poor.
By the early Christians the
first day of the week was kept as the day of rest, as is
evident from the writings of the church fathers.
Yea, the early Christians had
the custom of greeting each other on the first day of the
week with the words, "The Lord is risen indeed."
And it is remarkable
that the Lord has never shown His displeasure about keeping
the first day. I have never met a child of God whose
conscience spoke because he kept the first day instead of
the seventh day. But often they and we have experienced that
the Lord refreshed us on the first day of the week with the
Sabbath blessings to the salvation of our souls.
And, to mention no more, this
first day of the week was never established by any
ecclesiastical assembly, for that was unnecessary. For
certainly that which Christ approved and which the Apostles
upheld had, as an institution of God, no need of further
Thus, dear hearers, we have
said something about the basis upon which the commandment of
the sabbath rests. Let us now in the second place notice the
demand of the fourth commandment.
We find that demand in the answer to Question 103.
We think that answer of our
Heidelberg Instructor somewhat narrow-minded. I think if a
pious, well-educated man were to answer this 103rd question
today, his answer would be quite different than that of our
His answer leaves the question
of the Sabbath quite untouched. Of that which the Lord
forbids you read nothing at all in his answer. You hear
nothing about violating the Sabbath day.
Very learned men ascribe these
facts to the zeal with which our fathers contended against
Romish work holiness, and in their zeal they went to the
other extreme. Since this is meant to be a simple
explanation of the Catechism, it would be unsuitable to
delve deeper into this matter. Those who want to know more
about it can study the works of the older and later learned
men who wrote about this subject.
How dreadfully Satan deceived
our first parents! He told them that if they ate of the
forbidden fruit they would be as God, knowing good and evil.
What a liar! Large volumes have been written about the
Sabbath, and now we often still do not know what is
forbidden and what is commanded, what we may do and what we
may not do. For instance, may a man ride his car or his
bicycle to church on the Lord's day, if the distance is too
great for walking? One dear pious brother will say, "No,
absolutely not." Another dear brother, no less pious, says,
"Certainly you may." One brother told me that he often went
to God's house praying on his bicycle, and at times returned
with thanksgiving and singing psalms. Another brother felt
so guilty about the matter while bicycling that he lost
control of his wheel and fell. Another question is: may one
use a public conveyance on the Lord's day for an emergency,
for example to visit a dying father, mother, daughter or
son? We are very much inclined to say, "On no account." But
another says that it is permitted. I would say: "Public
conveyances may not be permitted to ride on the Lord's Day,
but then we are not permitted to make use of them.
Oh, what a liar Satan is! And how foolish we are, how
ignorant in the things of the Lord!
It is very evident from
what the Lord wants us to abstain, namely from all common
labor, such as buying and selling, etc. We must abstain from
all works of the flesh We must abstain from all that which
is not to God's glory, to our salvation, or to a blessing
for our neighbor.
Why did the Lord give us that
day? To that question the answer must be that the Lord gave
us that day to be spent in His service for the salvation of
our soul, for a blessing to our neighbor and for the glory
How good God is! For we live
as foolish slaves of sin in a world full of selfish
creatures pursuing after money, wealth and pleasure. "The
tender mercies of the wicked are cruel," says Solomon. And
if their tender mercies are thus, what must the other then
That world then, would let you
work in the dust of the earth day and night and every day of
your life. They would let you work yourself to death to
enrich themselves. And we are so foolish that we would spend
our entire lifetime to satisfy and care for our body and the
carnal pleasures of others and of ourselves.
But now the dear Lord came and said, "My child, it shall
not be so, I give you one of the seven days of the week,
then you need not work, then you may lay down your tools;
then you may close your business, your store, your books and
your safe; then you may cease all your common labor that you
must do because of sin; then bus and train, horse and wagon
may, yea must stand still; then your son, your daughter,
your manservant and maidservant are free from common labor;
and then you may rest; yea, you may use that day for the
salvation of your soul, use it to find refuge for your lost
soul in Him, Who is the Ark of safety; then you may go to My
house of prayer to hear the voice of My servant, who shall
show you the way of salvation; then you may pour out your
heart in prayer, then the high praises of God may be in your
mouth; then together you may glorify Him with the harp and
voice; then you may give a thank offering for the church and
its services, and to support the school and the poor. In one
word, child, I give you that first day of the week to
experience that day as I, the Lord your God experienced the
My hearers, what do you say of so much love and goodness
and faithfulness as the Lord has shown His creature. Do you
not see that the commandments of the Lord are not grievous,
that they are pure love.
But we are so degenerate and
so corrupt that when the Lord has given us as a favor, we
consider it a difficult matter, a grievous task. Instead of
saying, "On the Sabbath day we need not work, we
need not buy or sell, but we may delight ourselves in
God and His service, we now hear, "We may not work
and we must go to church."
Thus a labor of love has
become slavish work because of sin, the Sabbath has become a
heavy yoke. Now people say, "Sunday is the Lord's day, those
six days are our days, but the seventh one is the Lord's."
We should rather say, "The day of rest is our day which God
has given us, and no one can take it from us. Six days I
will work for you, but that one day is given to me, so that
I may rest and delight myself in God and in His works; that
day I may spend as God spent it."
But the natural man cannot and
does not keep the Sabbath thus. The unregenerate makes his
Sunday into a sin-day, and spends it in laziness, or
gluttony or else in Pharisaical work-holiness and slavish
A wonder must be performed in
man. He must be born again, grace must be shown him. He must
be spiritual to perform the blessed demand of the fourth
commandment in spirit and in truth."
Dear brothers and sisters, were we not also
sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers
lusts and pleasures? And did we not do so every day, but
especially on Sunday? That would have remained so until we
fell into hell.
Then the Spirit of God came.
He loosened those bands of sin and the ties of iniquity.
Then the evil of sin melted away, and the choice was made to
fear and serve God. Then, among other things, God's day
became precious to us. Then we marvel that the Lord has
still given us such a day, even after the fall. Then we
shame ourselves because the day which God has given us for
the salvation of our soul and the glory of His Name, we have
abused to provoke God and to ripen ourselves for our eternal
perdition. Yea, then it became our aim to learn to keep the
Sabbath as our Instructor teaches us in His answer.
And still God's children are
no Sunday Christians. God's children would like every day to
be a day of rest. Sunday Christians are those who want to be
religious only one day a week, and then go to God's house
but once and that for as short a service as possible.
But God's people would like
every day to be a Sabbath Day. They wish to fear and serve
the Lord out of love all their days. God's house is the
dearest place to them. They "diligently frequent the church
of God." Do you hear what the Instructor says? They do not
go diligently to the minister, but to the church. That is
the object of their love. There they go diligently, even if
there is no minister, even if there is (only) a reading
They do so "especially" on the
Sabbath day, but they also do so whenever the opportunity is
there during the week. Not only is God's house a precious
place to them, but also the Bethels and the Peniels, and the
inner chamber are precious places they love to tarry, also
when it is not Sunday. God's people sometimes work in church
and sometimes have such blessed moments while at work that
their tears begin to flow. Then they are working with zeal
and still they are resting in God. Have you ever experienced
Singing, praying and thanking
with the congregation is precious to them. But, they also
pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks. The high
praises of God are in their mouth, sometimes even at
midnight. "In the night His song shall be with me."
Oh, it is good and sweet when
on the Lord's Day they may sit in the house of God to hear
His word. But, they love best to preach and speak about God
and His service every day. They can not do it all in one
day. I remember very well when I wished every Sunday were
four times as long to speak about God and His service and to
glorify God with song, prayer etc. Those were not my worst
"And to use the Sacraments"
say the Instructor. How sweet it is when on the Sabbath Day
the table of the Lord is prepared, and we may be satisfied
with the seals of God's covenant and we may receive and
enjoy the pledges of His love out of the hands of the
minister. But, God's people also have communion when it is
not Sunday and when the table is not prepared. They do this
whenever Jesus comes in to them and in a spiritual way sups
with them and they with Him.
Also the church and the school
have their hearty support, not only on Sundays, but also
through the week.
This, then, is what the
Instructor means when He says, "That all the days of my life
I cease from my evil works, and yield myself to the Lord, to
work by His Holy Spirit in me; and thus begin in this
life the eternal sabbath .
That leads us to our third point: The prospect of the
But let us first sing
Psalter No. 341: st. 1-4.
"And thus begin in
this life the eternal sabbath," so says the Catechism. The
eternal sabbath is that rest that remains for the children
of God, that heavenly, perfect sabbath, that eternal
That sabbath is begun in this
life by God's people. They learn to know something of that
which shall be known perfectly above.
God's people enjoy something
of that which shall be enjoyed eternally above. Here they
enjoy the crumbs of the feast above. Here they taste drops
from that river clear as crystal, which was seen by John.
And the blessed moments of rest which they experience here
in the midst of the strife is enough to make them familiar
with the sweet rest they shall enjoy hereafter.
And God's children at times do
here that which they shall hereafter do perfectly. Here
already they learn to lay their crown reverently at the feet
of the Lord. Here, at times their incense gives forth its
My hearers, God's children
will not enter a strange heaven, they shall not do a strange
work, nor enjoy a strange food, for they have here begun the
eternal sabbath. And every Sunday brings them a step nearer,
and every Sunday seals to them that one day they shall enjoy
the eternal Sabbath. Yea, child of God, every Lord's Day
calls to you, "The year of your release, your jubilee, is at
Beloved hearers, thus we have briefly elucidated
for you the basis, the demand and the prospect of the fourth
How very, very sad the
situation is in our country in respect to the keeping of the
Sabbath. Words cannot adequately describe the full extent of
Sabbath-breaking. That riding and speeding and feasting and
shouting on God's holy day is most terrible. How forebearing
and unmeasurably long-suffering God must be! How men provoke
God when they abuse such a holy day, given out of love for
such a glorious and holy purpose, so profitable for both
body and soul! It is evident, my hearers, that our country
and nation are making themselves ripe for God's judgments. I
can understand that God cuts off prayer by His people for
the country and nation, that He says, "Pray thou not for
And how is the holy day of
rest kept in your home? Is it noticeable that it is God's
day? I dare not raise the veil that hides the desecration of
the Sabbath in many so-called Christian homes.
How do you yourself keep the
Sabbath? What value do you place on church services and
preaching? Do you "diligently frequent" the house of God? Do
you go to hear the word of God or to criticize? How do you
listen to the word that is read or preached?
How do you contribute to the
relief of the poor? Is it truly "as becomes a Christian?"
And how is it with your visiting the sick and the poor? You
know that this belongs to the pure and undefiled religion
before God and the Father. (James 1.27). And now I have not
yet spoken about the hidden, the spiritual Sabbath
observance. Do you truly cease from your evil works? Do you
yield yourself to the Lord to work by His Holy Spirit in
you? Do you truly thus begin in this life the eternal
Ask yourself these questions.
Answer them before God. And then remember what God says of
the transgressor in Psalm 95 verse 11. There God says that
He has sworn a heavy oath that the transgressor shall never
enter that rest which is the portion of His people.
He who does not begin the
eternal Sabbath in this life shall not share that Sabbath
rest. He shall sink away into hell fire to regret eternally
that he had abused the time God gave him for his salvation,
and spent it for his own eternal destruction.
But it is different
with you who have received grace. Oh yes, I know that every
evening of your life and especially every Sunday evening you
must invoke the blood of Christ over your conduct. when you
ask yourself, "How have I spent this day?" How much reason
you have to shame yourself before an All-knowing God. It is
good that you notice this, that you do not merely pass over
this, that you mourn because of this, that this humbles you
before the Lord, that this drives you to beseech the Lord to
give you His Holy Spirit on every Sabbath Day, yea, all the
days of your life, to work in you the proper frame and
desire for the Sabbath so that you may receive the Sabbath
rest and blessing.
But still, has not God's day
become very precious to you? What a foretaste of the eternal
Sabbath have you sometimes enjoyed on God's day! Then on
Monday you still enjoyed the aftertaste, and on Tuesday you
began to count the days till the next Sunday again. And what
a pleasure it was to have another evening of it during the
week, for it seemed such a long time from Sabbath to
Sabbath, the shewbread became so old. But if during the week
there was another opportunity to go to the house of prayer,
then it was a feast of fat things, a day of slaughter!
Thus it was formerly. Is it
still thus? If you can answer "yes" to this question I am
happy with you. May the Lord prolong the happy days for
But there are also those with
whom it was so formerly, but how is it now? I had better not
say how it is with you now. "Be ashamed and confounded for
your ways, child of God."
But God keeps His word and is
faithful forever. In Christ God is and remains ready to
forgive. God, Who beholds no iniquity in Jacob, neither sees
perverseness in Israel, sees your trouble and sorrow. He
will grant you full and free remission of your sins. He
knows that we have no might to strive against the spirit of
temptation and against our indolent and sinful flesh. But
soon, O happy prospect, soon He will take us up into glory.
Then we are delivered from all that hindered us in keeping
the Sabbath holy according to the desire of our heart. Then
we will be always with God, always together, with the whole
church. Then there shall never be an evil lust, our indolent
flesh shall never hinder us. Then we shall always be in a
blissful frame, then we shall always sing, worship, magnify
and praise Him Who has loved us with an everlasting love. In
a word, then it shall be the eternal Sabbath!
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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