And when your son asks you in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments…
We are also favoured with Divine ordinances, as were the Israelites; and for the same purpose, for a pious testimony to keep alive upon the earth a remembrance of God's surpassing love. As to them pertained "the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the law and the service of God and the promises," so to us pertain the gracious promises of life and salvation, and all the privileges and ordinances of the Christian covenant. So that when children, as reason begins to dawn, and they find themselves growing up amid certain religious ordinances, shall ask the meaning, we may always be able to point, with humble gratitude, to the origin and intent of every duty and service. The lisping babe is given to hear, perchance is taught to sing, of the cross which was traced on its forehead in infancy; and the pious mother is asked, What did it signify? She will point with tenderness to the Cross of Christ, to the sacrifice of the spotless Lamb; and the holy emblem, thus stamped upon the youthful mind and heart, may be there forever fixed by the Holy Spirit of God, as a living image of the truth in Jesus, as an everlasting memorial of His dying love. The child lifts up its hands in prayer; and wherefore lifted up? To its Father in heaven; to the mercy seat at which a Saviour pleads; and from which the Holy Spirit, with His manifold gifts, is sent down, gifts for childhood and youth, for manhood and age: and this in obedience to that Saviour's word (Matthew 7:7; John 14:13; John 15:16). The child learns to read; the Bible is opened; and every page is fraught with grace, is glowing with mercy. Here are tender invitations which the youngest can understand and feel. And thus our youth have in their hand a constant remembrancer of God Almighty's goodness; the Word written by the Spirit, and taught by the Spirit, to each obedient heart of old and young. The points are but few, respecting children, upon which we can now touch; but there is yet another, which marks rather the transition state between the child and the man, at least where greater responsibility beans. The children of the Church are brought to the bishop to be confirmed and here is a mighty memorial. All the privileges of holy baptism are then placed in view, and impressed powerfully on the heart. And over the whole of our Christian life and walk the tokens and reminiscences of God's goodness are plentifully spread; in all our Divine ordinances and services, and in all our providential experiences. Every Sabbath, what a blessed memorial! How does it remind us of the great Creator, and of His resting from all His works! how of our own rest in Him and in heaven! There is likewise that holy rite and service which the Lord Himself appointed with His dying breath as the sacramental emblem of His love. This is the most perfect of all the testimonies: a perpetual representation of the sacrifice before the Church, for the benefit of the faithful, for the conviction of all; a perpetual application of it, through the power of the Spirit, to the believer's heart and soul. And our faithful Church, in all her constitution and services, has acted upon this monitory plan; has sought to stir up continually the pure minds (of her children) by way of remembrance; and to keep the wonders of Divine grace, one after another, always before our eyes. At various seasons of the year she sets before us the marvellous acts of redeeming love, all that Jesus has done and suffered on our behalf: the mystery of His holy incarnation; His holy nativity and circumcision; His baptism, fasting, and temptation; His agony and bloody sweat; His cross and passion; His precious death and burial; His glorious resurrection and ascension, and the coming of the Holy Ghost. And besides her faithful dealing on these great occasions, she is continually bringing to view other objects also, other tokens of love, other means of grace, of high importance to be borne in mind and diligently observed. The lives and deaths of her apostles and martyrs are set in order, as so many patterns of righteousness, so many beacons of grace, etc. And there are other dealings of God with us to be treasured in the memory; the mercies of His providence and of His grace experienced in our own persons. We have been cast on a bed of sickness; who raised us up? in danger, who delivered us? in the deep of affliction, who sent the Comforter? We have sinned: we have been alarmed; we repented, prayed, promised, and were spared; and should not that holy season, should not all these days of grace, be kept in mind? Let us not unfrequently shut up the busy present, and muse upon the solemn past. God give us grace to deal faithfully; to prize the privileges, to look upon the blessings showered down upon us, to keep them in grateful remembrance, and so fix our affections upon the one thing needful.
(J. Slade, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you?