You shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
If you consider, you will find that there is scarcely a sin which does not concentrate into itself the venom of many sins. It is sinfulness against God, whose law it violates; against our neighbour, whom, directly or indirectly, it inevitably injures; against ourselves, whom it tends to destroy. But the reason why every sin has this threefold cord of iniquity is because the tabernacle of God is with men, so that in every act of sin we cannot but sin against Him by defiling His temple, against ourselves by desecrating the inner sanctuary of our own being, against others because they, too, are His living sanctuaries. When the great American orator, Daniel Webster, was asked what thought impressed him most by its awful solemnity, he answered at once, "The thought of my immediate accountability to God." There is a form of this thought yet more impressive — to feel that God is with us and in us; that every sin against ourselves or our brother-man is also a sin committed in His very presence-chamber, and therefore also a sin committed directly against Him. In sinning against myself, I sin not against a mere handful of dust, a mere piece of clay, but against that which is majestic, eternal, and Divine, against the Holy Spirit, against the Lord Jesus my Saviour, against the eternal Lord of all my life. A living poet has said, "Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control, these three alone lead life to sovereign power." It is most true. Self-reverence depends upon self-knowledge, and it leads to self-control; and these are the elements of the only true greatness of mankind. Now I wish to show how this high reverence for our being lifts men above temptation, and how the absence of it or unfaithfulness to it plunges them in vice and shame. For instance, self-reverence results in the preservation of innocence, of perfect childlike innocence in some men, the heart of childhood taken up and glorified in the powers of manhood, the young lamb's heart amid the full-grown flocks. This is one of the loveliest, certainly one of the rarest, if not always the most instructive, forms of human character. Again, this self-reverence, even if it has failed to produce this absolute innocence which is the rarest thing in all the world, may yet lead to the repentance of an intense conviction. If it has not kept a soul from lying, for a moment at least, among the dust and potsherds of a sensuous life, it can yet uplift it from them and give it the wings of a dove.
Parallel VersesKJV: Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.