And Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun.…
The bulk of men treat religion as if it were a fancy or a myth. They deem it useful for the sick, the aged, and the dying. But for the healthful man and the active man of business it is voted a bore. Now, Moses puts religion in its right place when he declares it vital to human interests - vital, in the highest and largest sense. "It is your life."
I. THE OBJECTS ABOUT WHICH RELIGION TREATS ARE REAL, NOT SHADOWY. "It is not a vain thing." The eye of man cannot embrace God's universe. The material kingdoms are not all. God's creation extends above and beyond the reach of mortal sense. With respect to much that God has made, "eye hath not seen, nor car heard, nor mind conceived." Science deals with one class of objects, religion with another class. The subject-matter of religion is the most excellent, substantial, and enduring. It treats of God, heaven, eternity, the soul of man - its sins and sorrows, the way to holiness, the hope of everlasting life. These things come not under the cognizance of our sensuous organs; they are more substantial than the granite rocks - more real than jewels.
II. THE TRUTHS CONCERNING RELIGION ARE AUTHENTIC, NOT ILLUSORY. They come to us supported by abundant evidence, both internal and external. They come with's better title to belief than any books of equal antiquity. If we reject Moses and Isaiah, we are bound, in self-consistency, to reject Thucydides and Herodotos, Bode and Gibbon. But to every Christian, the most conclusive evidence is experimental. He has the "witness in himself." The truth, admitted to his mind, has elevated his tastes, enlarged his views, purified his affections, ennobled and beautified his whole nature. As light suits the eye and music the ear, so the truth of Scripture exquisitely suits the needs and aspirations of the soul. It meets a real want.
III. THE HUMAN INTERESTS, WHICH RELIGION PROMOTES, ARE REAL AND PRECIOUS, NOT VAPID OR FANCIFUL. These interests are internal and external; they reach to the family and to the utmost limits of human society; they embrace the present and the unbounded future. Reconciliation with God, the removal of sin, the development of man's best nature, the heritage of inward tranquility, the conquest of care, the extraction of blessing out of sorrow, a hope that conquers death, - these are among the advantages obtained by religion. It makes men better husbands, better masters, better servants, better citizens, nobler, truer, wiser. It imparts a meetness for the society and the service of heaven. It brings advantage to every relationship and circumstance of human life. "It is not a vain thing;" it is life and health and joy. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun.