Colossians 3:9
Do not lie to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices,
Sermons
AngerH. W. Beecher.Colossians 3:5-9
Blasphemy, its NatureJ. Daille.Colossians 3:5-9
Control of TemperW. Baxendale.Colossians 3:5-9
Conversion and the Old NatureH. W. Beecher.Colossians 3:5-9
Corruptions Overcome by GraceC. H. Spurgeon.Colossians 3:5-9
Corruptions Overcome GraduallyC. H. Spurgeon.Colossians 3:5-9
CovetousnessW. Arnot, D. D.Colossians 3:5-9
CovetousnessEdgar A. Poe.Colossians 3:5-9
Covetousness is IdolatryColossians 3:5-9
Denying TheColossians 3:5-9
Dissuasives from EvilBishop Davenant.Colossians 3:5-9
Effects of DisobedienceE. Foster.Colossians 3:5-9
Filthy ConversationJ. Daille.Colossians 3:5-9
Gold in the HeartColossians 3:5-9
MaliceJ. Daille.Colossians 3:5-9
Mortifying the FleshT. Hamilton, D. D.Colossians 3:5-9
Purity of ConversationChristian, BostonColossians 3:5-9
Slander Cannot be RecalledW. Baxendale.Colossians 3:5-9
Slaying SelfA. Maclaren, D. D.Colossians 3:5-9
The Believer's View of Past SinBishop Meade.Colossians 3:5-9
The Children of DisobedienceJ. Parker, D. D.Colossians 3:5-9
The Evil SpeakerJ. Daille.Colossians 3:5-9
The Evils of Bad TemperJ. Daille.Colossians 3:5-9
The Flesh to be CrucifiedColossians 3:5-9
The Idolatry of CovetousnessC. S. Robinson, D. D.Colossians 3:5-9
The Mortification of the Sinful Principle in ManG. Barlow.Colossians 3:5-9
The Wrath of GodJonathan Edwards.Colossians 3:5-9
The Wrath of God a Present ThingJ. Spence, D. D.Colossians 3:5-9
Death to EvilU.R. Thomas Colossians 3:5-11
Dying Before RisingR. Finlayson Colossians 3:5-11
Mortification After DeathR.M. Edgar Colossians 3:5-11
A Warning Against Social SinsT. Croskery Colossians 3:8, 9
The New Life in Christ the Death Warrant to Old SinsE.S. Prout Colossians 3:8-11
The Ground of These Practical PreceptsT. Croskery Colossians 3:9, 10
Acting a LieColossians 3:9-11
Example of TruthfulnessThe Duke of Wellington.Colossians 3:9-11
Falsehood Difficult to MaintainArchbishop Whately.Colossians 3:9-11
Folly and Misery of LyingR. Gilpin.Colossians 3:9-11
Kinds of LiesBishop Davenant.Colossians 3:9-11
Life Changed for the BetterFamily TreasuryColossians 3:9-11
Love of TruthH. O. Mackay.Colossians 3:9-11
Lying Against ReasonDurandus.Colossians 3:9-11
Lying UnsafeProverbsColossians 3:9-11
New Leaves Pushing Off the OldC. H. Spurgeon.Colossians 3:9-11
Speech and Mind Must be At OneColossians 3:9-11
Spiritual Renewal in ChristJ. Spence, D. D.Colossians 3:9-11
The Disgrace of LyingLord Bacon.Colossians 3:9-11
The Folly of LyingAddison.Colossians 3:9-11
The Nature of LyingColossians 3:9-11
The New Nature Wrought Out in the New LifeA. Maclaren, D. D.Colossians 3:9-11
Truth and FalsehoodJ. H. Wilson.Colossians 3:9-11
Seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of him who created him. We have here the negative and the positive aspects of the great spiritual change effected in conversion.

I. THE NEGATIVE ASPECT OF CONVERSION. "Ye have put off the old man with his deeds."

1. The old man is the old unconverted self, strong in his deeds of sin. His deeds are catalogued among the "works of the flesh;" (Galatians 5:22, 23), as well as in the context. He is to be discerned, indeed, by his works like a tree by its fruits.

2. The putting off of the old man is twofold, namely, at conversion and in the gradual process of sanctification. Some teach that the old man is an unchanged and unchangeable being, and that, as he has been crucified in Christ (Romans 6:6), we have nothing more to do with him. In that case, if we have put on the new man, we are perfectly sinless.

(1) There is a putting off of the old man at our justification.

(2) There is a gradual putting off likewise - a "mortifying your members which are upon the earth," which is to continue till we get rid of all his deeds. The counsel, therefore, to put off the old man and put on the new man is like the similar counsel, "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 13:14), addressed to those who had already "put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).

II. THE POSITIVE ASPECT OF CONVERSION. "And have put on the new man." This is the regenerate man. He is a "new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15).

1. The nature of this newness.

(1) He has a new nature - "born from above" (John 3:3). He has "a new heart."

(2) He has a new obedience, both as to its spirit, its matter, and its end (Romans 12:1).

(3) He has a new citizenship (Philippians 3:20).

(4) He has new desires (Psalm 51:2; Matthew 5:6; 1 Timothy 4:8).

2. It is a nature constantly renewed unto full knowledge. "Which is being renewed unto knowledge." It is not at once complete, but in a state of constant development by the Holy Spirit. Knowledge is a principal part of the new grace of the believer.

(1) It is the beginning of eternal life (John 17:3).

(2) It has transforming power (2 Corinthians 7:18).

(3) It is necessary to our understanding the wiles of the devil and resisting the temptations of the world (1 Peter 5:9).

3. Its renewal is after a Divine pattern. "After the image of him who created him." The allusion is to Genesis 1:26. The image of Christ in the believer is analogous to that of the image of God in the original man, but will be far more glorious, as the second Man is more glorious than the first man. Thus we see the process of putting on the new man in its beginning (Galatians 3:27), in its continuance (Romans 13:14), and in its completeness (1 Corinthians 15:53, 54). - T.C.







Lie not one to another: seeing that ye have put off the old man and his deeds.
The apostle enforces his exhortation by two arguments: first, "Ye died with Christ," etc.; second, "Ye have put off the old man," etc.

I. EVERY CHRISTIAN IS THE SUBJECT OF A CHANGE. The "old man" refers to our degenerate nature, and "its deeds" the practical outcome of this degeneracy. The "new man" is the new nature, for the creation of which God has provided in His Son. The grand change takes place in the heart, and is perfected in the life. This change is —

1. Divine in its origin. It is not the result of human skill or self-development.

2. Progressive in its nature, "which is being renewed." There is in every case a commencement, whether known or not, at regeneration; but as in the case of the new-born infant, its powers have to be expanded and renewed day by day. At no point in this progress can the Christian say, "I have attained or am perfect." There is in this fact(1) a solace which may well prevent discouragement at the consciousness of manifold imperfections; and(2) a stimulus which should lead us to seek with ardour the influence and evidence of a progressive piety. A statue under the chisel of the sculptor is ever being renewed, until the marble form assumes a perfect likeness of the ideal; so under the hand of God the soul grows in the attributes of spiritual life and the beauties of holiness.

3. Glorious in its model. "After the image of Him." Christ is "the image of the invisible God," and comformity to Him is the pattern of our renewal. This includes much more than the mere restoration of the image lost by Adam.

4. Grand in its result. "Renewed into knowledge"; i.e., knowledge is not the means, but the purpose. It is that of God and things Divine. To know God and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent, is life eternal. To the attainment of some kinds of knowledge character is essential, and pre eminently it is so here. It is to be an intuition — not a cold intellectual acquisition (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 3:16-19). Life without this change is vanity. The "old man" may be rich and strong, but the "new man" only can see God and enter heaven. "Except a man be born again," etc.

II. IN THIS SPIRITUAL RENEWAL HUMAN DISTINCTIONS ARE OF NO AVAIL OR ADVANTAGE.

1. National distinctions: "Greek and Jew." One nation has no advantage over another. The sensual Hindoo, the literary Chinaman, the stolid Hottentot, the energetic European, are alike by sin removed from the life of God; and the gospel is equally adapted to all.

2. Ritual distinctions (Galatians 6:15). A man born in a Christian country requires a change of heart as much as one who dwells in a pagan land. There may be much higher external privilege in one case than in the other, but that does not confer the change, nor is it to be confounded with it.

3. Political distinction: "Barbarian, Scythian." The Scyttrians were at the lowest point of the scale of civilization. The savage and the polished citizen require alike the washing of regeneration.

4. Social distinction: "Bond, free." The diversities of condition which divide men are unrecognized. Here rich and poor meet together.

III. IN THIS SPIRITUAL CHANGE CHRIST IS EVERYTHING. "All and in all, Christ."

1. He is the principle of the change. Every Christian is created anew in Christ Jesus.

2. He is its sustenance and strength. As the renewed soul feeds on Him by faith, so it grows up in Him. There can be no advancement away from Him.

3. He is its perfection. We are to be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

(J. Spence, D. D.)

I. THE CHANGE OF THE SPIRIT'S DRESS.

1. We have the same idea before. "Death" is equivalent to the "putting off of the old," and "resurrection" to "putting on of the new." The figure of the change of dress to express change of moral character is frequent in Scripture. "Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness." Zechariah saw the high-priest change his filthy garments for festal robes when God "caused his iniquity to pass from him." See also Christ's parables of the Wedding Garment and Prodigal Son, and Paul's exhortation to Christ's soldiers to put off their night-gear, "the works of darkness," etc. In every reformatory the first thing done is to strip off and burn the rags of the new-comers, and then give them a bath, and dress them in clean clothes. Character is the garb of the soul. Habit means costume and custom.

2. The apostle hazards a mixed metaphor — "Put on the new man" — to show that what is put off and on is much more truly part of themselves than an article of dress. There is a deeper self which remains, the true man, the centre of personality. Thus the figure expresses the depth of the change and the identity of the person.

3. This entire change is assumed as having been realized at that point of time when the Colossians began to put their trust in Christ.(1) Of course the contrast between the old and the new is greatest in converted heathens. With us, where Christianity is widely diffused, there is less room for a marked revolution. Many can point to no sudden change, or if they have been conscious of a change, have passed through it as gradually as night passes into day.(2) But there are those who have grown up without God who must become Christians by sudden conversion. And why should this be regarded as impossible? Is it not often the case that some ignored principle has come, like a meteor in the atmosphere, into a man's mind, and exploded and blown to pieces the habits of a lifetime? And why should not this be so with the truth of God's great love in Christ?(3) The New Testament does not insist that everybody must become a Christian in the same fashion. Sometimes there will be a dividing line between the two states as sharp as the boundary of adjoining kingdoms; sometimes the one will melt imperceptibly into the other. Sometimes the revolution will be as swift as that of the wheel of a locomotive, sometimes slow and silent as the movement of a planet.

4. But however brought about, this is a certain mark of the Christian life.(1) If there be any reality in the act by which we have laid hold of Christ, old things will have passed away — tastes, desires, etc. — and all things will have become new, because we move with a new love, have a new hope, aim, song.(2) This is a most needful test for those who put too much stress on believing and feeling. Nor is it less needful to remember that this is a consequence of faith in Christ. Nothing else will strip the foul robes from a man. To try to begin with the second stage is like trying to build a house at the second story.

5. The practical conclusion: "Seeing that." The change, though taking place in the inmost nature, needs to be wrought into character and wrought out in conduct. The leaven is in the dough, but to knead it thoroughly into the mass is a lifelong task, only accomplished by our continually repeated efforts.

6. So the apparently illogical, Put off what you have put off, and put on what you have put on, is vindicated. It means, Be consistent with your deepest selves; carry out in detail what you have already done in bulk. Cast out the enemy already ejected front the central fortress, from the isolated positions he still occupies. You may put off the old man, for he is put off already; you must do so, for there is still danger of his again wrapping his poisonous rags about your limbs.

II. THE CONTINUOUS GROWTH OF THE NEW MAN, ITS AIM AND PATTERN.

1. The new man is "being renewed" — a continuous process, perhaps slow and difficult to discern, but, like all powers and habits, it steadily increases; and a similar process works to opposite results in the old man (Ephesians 4:22).

2. This renewing is on the man, not by him. There is a Divine side. The renewing is not merely effected by us, nor due only to the vital power of the new man, but by the "renewing of the Holy Ghost." So there is hope for us in our striving, for He helps us. "Work out your own salvation," etc.

3. The new man is renewed "unto knowledge." Possibly there may be an allusion to the pretensions of the false teachers to a higher wisdom, There is but one way to press into the depths of the knowledge of God, viz., growth into His likeness. We understand one another best by sympathy. We know God only on condition of resemblance. For all simple souls, bewildered by the strife of tongues, and unapt for speculation, this is a message of gladness.

4. The new man is created after "the image," etc. As in the first creation, so in the new. But the old image consisted mainly in the reasonable soul, the self-conscious personality, the broad distinctions between men and animals. That humanity, in a sense, still has, though marred. The coin bears His image and superscription, though rusty and defaced. But the new image consists in holiness. Though the majestic infinitudes of God can have no likeness in man, we may be "holy as He is holy," be "imitators of God," "walk in love as He hath loved us," and "in the light as He is in the light."

III. THE GRAND UNITY OF THIS CREATION.

1. "Christ is all." Wherever that new nature is found, it lives by the life of Christ.

2. All who are His partake of that common gift. He is in all. There is no privileged class, as these teachers affirmed. Necessarily, therefore, surface distinctions disappear. Paul's catalogue may be profitably compared with Galatians 3:28.(1) Greek and Jew. The cleft of national distinctions, which never yawned more widely than this, ceases to separate.(2) Circumcision and uncircumcision. Nothing makes deeper and bitterer antagonisms than differences in religious forms.(3) Barbarian, Scythian: which reflects the Greek contempt for outside races as of lower culture. A cultivated class is always tempted to superciliousness, and a half-cultivated class more so, as was the case at Colossae. In the interests of the humble virtues Christianity wars against the pride of culture, the most heartless of all.(4) Bondman, freeman. That gulf was too wide for compassion to cross, though not for hatred to stride over. The effacement of this distinction is seen in the letter to Philemon which was despatched with this.

3. Christianity waged no direct war against these evils. Revolution cures nothing. The only way to get rid of evils engendered in the constitution of society is to elevate and change the tone of thought and feeling, and then they die of atrophy. Change the climate, and you change the vegetation. Until you do, neither mowing nor uprooting will get rid of the foul growths. So the gospel does with all these lines of demarcation between men. What becomes of the ridges of sand that separate pool from pool at low water? The tide comes up and over them, and makes them all one, gathered into the oneness of the great sea.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Manton says that "Old leaves, if they remain upon the trees through the autumn and the winter, fall off in the spring." We have seen a hedge all thick with dry leaves throughout the winter, and neither frost nor wind has removed the withered foliage, but the spring has soon made a clearance. The new life dislodges the old, pushing it away as unsuitable to it. So our old corruptions are best removed by the growth of new graces. "Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." It is as the new life buds and opens that the old, worn-out things of our former state are compelled to quit their hold of us. Our wisdom lies in living near to God, that by the power of His Holy Spirit all our graces may be vigorous, and may exercise a sin-expelling power over our lives: the new leaves of grace pushing off our old sere affections and habits of sin. With converts from the world it is often better not to lay down stringent rules as to worldly amusements, but leave the new life and its holier joys to push off the old pleasures. Thus it will be done more naturally and more effectively.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Family Treasury.
The leader of a very ungodly set of fellows in a dye-house became converted. Two of his fellow-workmen were so struck with the change that for a time they followed him in his new way, and behaved like good Christians. The ridicule and violence of the rest were, however, too strong for their resolution, and they turned to their old ways, while John, the first convert, clung close to Christ, and stood firm as a rock. John did not say much, but he answered scoffs and railing by a consistent Christian life. One day, however, when his fellow-workmen were boasting what good infidelity could do, and how much harm the Bible had done, his soul was stirred within him; he turned round, and said, feelingly, but firmly, "Well, let us deal plainly in this matter, my friends, and judge of the tree by the fruit it bears. You call yourselves infidels.: Let us see what your principles do. I suppose what they do on a small scale they will do on a large one. Now, there are Tom and Jem," pointing to the two who went with him and then turned back. "You have tried your principles on them. When they tried to serve Christ, they were civil, good-tempered, kind husbands and fathers. They were cheerful, hardworking, and ready to oblige. What have you made them? Look and see. They are cast down and cross; their mouths are full of cursing and filthiness; they are drunk every week; their children half clothed, their wives broken-hearted, their homes wretched. Now, I have tried Christ and His religion, and what has it done for me? You know well what I used to be. There was none of you who could drink so much, swear so desperately, and fight so masterly. I had no money, and no one would trust me. My wife was illused; I was ill-humoured, hateful, and hating. What has religion done for me? Thank God, I am not afraid to put it to you. Am I not a happier man than I was? Am I not a better workman and a kinder companion? Would I once have put up with what I now bear from you? I could beat any of you as easily now as ever. Why don't I? Do you ever hear a foul word from my mouth, or catch me at a public-house? Go and ask my neighbours if I have not altered for the better. Go and ask my wife. Let my house bear witness. God be praised, here is what Christianity has done for me; there is what infidelity has done for Jem and Tom." John stopped. The dyers had not a word to say. He used a logic they could not answer — the logic of a life.

(Family Treasury.)

If the following three circumstances concur — that what is uttered be false, that it was wished to announce a falsehood, and that it was the intention to deceive — then it has the qualities of a lie complete; for it is false both materially and formally.

( Thomas Aquinas.)

There are lies pernicious, officious, and jocose. The first is employed for the sake of injury; the second for that of assistance; the third for diversion. But the Scripture denies any one of these to be lawful (Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15; Proverbs 12:22; Ephesians 4:25).

(Bishop Davenant.)

Language was instituted, not that. men might deceive one another by it, but that they should use it to tell their mutual thoughts; it is therefore an act unlawful to reason for one to utter words to signify that which he doeth not intend in his mind.

(Durandus.)

— Language is a natural sign of the understanding; it is therefore unnatural that any one should signify that by his speech which does not exist in his mind.

( Aquinas.)

Clear and sound dealing is the honour of man's nature; and that mixture of falsehood is like alloy in gold or silver, which may make the metal work better, but it debaseth it. For these windings and crooked courses are the goings of the serpent, which goeth basely upon the belly, not upon the feet. There is no vice that doth so, cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious; and therefore Montaigne saith prettily, "If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth is aa to say that he is brave towards God and a coward towards men. For a lie faces God and shrinks from man."

(Lord Bacon.)

Proverbs.
A liar is sooner caught than a cripple. Liars should have good memories, a lie has no legs.

(Proverbs.)

It is difficult to maintain falsehood. When the materials of a building are solid blocks of stone, very rude architecture will suffice; but a structure of rotten materials needs the most careful adjustment in order to make it stand.

(Archbishop Whately.)

Truth is always consistent with itself, and needs nothing to help it out; it is always near at hand, sits upon our lips, and is ready to drop out before we are aware. A lie is troublesome, and sets a man's invention upon the rack; and one trick needs a great many more to make it good. It is like building on a false foundation, which continually stands in need of props to shore it up; and proves at last more chargeable than to have raised a substantial building at first on a true and solid foundation.

(Addison.)

Once while Rowland Hill was spending an evening at the house of a friend, a lady, who was there on a visit, retired, that her little girl of four years old might go to bed. She returned in about half an hour, and said to a lady near her: "She is gone to sleep; I put on my nightcap, and lay down by her, and she soon dropped off." Mr. Hill, who overheard this, said: "Excuse me, madam: do you wish your child to grow up a liar?" "Oh dear, no, sir; I should be shocked at such a thing." "Then bear with me when I say you must never act a lie before her. Children are very quick observers, and soon learn that that which assumes to be what it is not is a lie, whether acted or spoken." This was uttered with a kindness which precluded offence, yet with a seriousness that could not be forgotten.

The folly of lying consists in its defeating its own purpose. A habit of lying is generally detected in the end; and after detection, the liar, instead of deceiving, will not even be believed when he happens to speak the truth. .Nay, every single lie is attended with such a variety of circumstances which lead to a detection, that iris often discovered. The use generally made of a lie is to cover a fault; but as this end is seldom answered, we only aggravate what we wish to conceal. In point even of prudence, an honest confession would serve us better.

(R. Gilpin.)

In the course of my acquaintance with Sir Robert Peel I never knew a man in whose truth and justice I had a more lively confidence. In the whole course of my communication with him I never knew an instance in which he did not show the strongest attachment to truth, and I never saw, in the whole course of my life, the smallest reason for suspecting that he stated anything which he did not firmly believe to be the fact.

(The Duke of Wellington.)

One drizzly March evening, Stonewall Jackson was about to start at dusk for the residence of a friend a mile distant. "Is it imperative that you go to-night?" he was asked. "Not specially so," he replied. "Then why walk a mile in the rain if to-morrow will do as well?" "Well, I was talking with Colonel M this morning, and told him that my conversation with Cadet D was held in barracks on Monday. I have since recollected that it was held on the parade-ground, and that it was on Tuesday." "Does anything depend on this statement?" "Nothing whatever." "Why, in the name of reason, then, do you walk a mile in the rain for a perfectly unimportant thing?" "Simply because I have discovered it was a misstatement, and I could not sleep comfortably to-night unless I corrected it." And go he did.

(H. O. Mackay.)

I. The NATURE of the sin of lying. The youngest of us knows the thing too well — the intentional leading of others to understand as true what we know to be false.

1. It may be by a lying word — a sin of the tongue, telling a lie, speaking a lie.

2. It may be by a lying LOOK — a sin of the eye — looking a lie.

3. It may be a lying ACT — a sin of the hand — acting a lie. This is one of the most common forms of it, and least thought of. Still to keep by school-life: It is the hour for arithmetic. You have got some hard sums to do — too hard for you to master without more time than you have got now. You ask your neighbour to show you his slate, or you look over the shoulder of the boy before you who is always correct, you see you have been mistaken, rub out the wrong figures, fill in the right — in a moment you are on your feet as having finished your work, read off your sum, get your mark, and, with it, credit for being one of the few who are correct. That is a theft, but it is also a lie; it is stealing, but it is also lying. It was not the tongue, but the hand that did it. And here let me warn you against being parties to the lies of others. You are a young servant. You have broken accidentally a favourite china bowl. You do not know what to do. It is the first time such a thing has happened with you. You fear your mistress will be angry; perhaps you will have to replace it out of your half year's wage, small as it is, just on purpose to make you more careful for the future. So instead of making an immediate and full confession, explaining how it took place, and saying you will be more careful in time to come, you take up the pieces, and lay them aside till you have opportunity of getting them out of the way; or you join the broken piece in as neatly as yon can, set the bowl in the press, and the discovery is never made that you had any hand in it, till you are in another situation. You have been acting a lie; and I can hardly over-estimate the wrong you have done, most of all to yourself. When Jacob put the kid-skins on his hands and neck, and served up dainty meat to his old blind father Isaac, passing himself off for his brother Esau, he acted a lie; in was lying kindness. Before leaving this head, let me say a word regarding equivocating — that is, saying what has a double meaning — what may be taken up in two ways — the mere word true, the thing false — a kind of half-lie.

II. The CHARACTER of this sin. It would take long to bring out all the bad features of it. Take the following:

1. It is a cowardly thing. No brave boy would lie. Cowards tell lies. Fear lies at the bottom of falsehood, and no liar need pretend to be brave. If I were in search of courageous boys, I would seek truthful ones. Our Scottish martyrs, the good Covenanters in olden times, were bright examples of strict adherence, not only to the truth, but to truthfulness; and There shall we find any more brave? A lie would have saved their lives — a single lying act — one lying bow of the head — but they would not.

2. It is a mean thing. It is not manly, Some of the cases I have mentioned, showing utter disregard to the feelings and interests of others, are base, shabby contemptible in the extreme. Never expect much at the hand of liars. They would sacrifice your interests to their own any day.

3. It is a God-dishonouring thing. How much is said of God in connection with truth! He is called the "God of truth." It is said, He "keepeth truth for ever." Every word of His is so unchangeable that His "truth" is just used for His "word"; they mean the same thing. He is called "God who cannot lie." His people are called "children that will not lie." Lying lips are said to be "an abomination" to Him. Truth is part of God's likeness — God's image. What dishonour, then, must be done to the God of truth by lying! You don't like lying things; a lying apple, beautiful and inviting without, but rotten within; a lying penny, bright but bad; a lying cat, that invites you to make much of it, and seems ever so friendly, and then bites or scratches you; a lying lottery, that promises a prize and gives a blank; a lying branch, that invites your foot to rest upon it, and then gives way and throws you to the ground. And God dislikes lying things too. This is the worst feature in it all — it is so dishonouring to God. This is seen in the way He speaks of it and punishes it.

4. It is a devilish thing. God is the "God of truth," the devil is the "father of lies," is a "liar," ay, and the father of liars. Lying is so vile a thing, and the word "lie" is so black, even to the world, even to the wicked, even to careless children, that they try to use it as little as possible, and it is spoken and thought lightly of, under another name — a "fib;" "it was only a fib" — a kind of harmless, innocent falsehood — a little lie — a softer name for a bad, black thing.

III. The DANGER of it.

1. It is a growing sin. By this I mean it is always increasing. One lie leads to and necessitates another, till no one knows where it will end. It is like a snowball, the further it is rolled the more it increases in size. Once or twice indulged, it soon becomes a habit.

2. It leads to and is linked with many other sins. You seldom find lying alone. It is something like drinking: it leads to almost every other sin, and all other sins seek its help, and hide themselves under it. I can hardly fancy a liar to be honest — either to fear God or regard man.

3. It degrades the whole character. When a habit of lying has been formed, we may well fear the worst. When truthfulness goes, the whole character goes along with it. There is an end to all confidence. For a young apprentice, or a young servant, there is nothing I fear so much as untruthfulness.

IV. The PUNISHMENT of it. This is two-fold.

1. Here — in the present world. There is the loss of character; the loss of all respect. There is degradation; misery; shame. No one can respect a liar. It carries its own punishment with it.

2. Hereafter — in the world to come. Remember, dear children I that sooner or later the lie will be discovered — every lie! If not here, at any rate hereafter.

V. Our DUTY regarding it. "Lie not: putting away lying — speak the truth."

1. Strive against it.

2. Watch against it. You must not leave the door open.

3. Pray against it.

4. Seek to love the truth.Get the heart filled with the love of Christ, and then you will love the truth, and of necessity hate lying. Every effort will strengthen you, and the more you seek after the truth, the stronger you will become in it. Rather be simple than deceitful; rather be the cheated than the cheater, for it is written, "The Lord preserveth the simple."

(J. H. Wilson.)

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