Come Join Us In Remembering What The World Has Forgotten..... The Seventh Day Sabbath!
The Scaredness of Ones's Word
(Something That Is Missing In Today's Society)
The Advocate of Truth
From the pages of Indian history comes to us the story of two young Creek braves, Watka and Deer. They met at an Indian conference. They both fell in love with the same Indian maiden who was also present. Trouble arose. There was a short fight, resulting in the death of Deer.
For this homicide, Watka was tried under the laws of his tribe and was found guilty of murder and sentenced to be executed a day in August. Immediately on conviction the condemned Indian was released on parole, as others in the same circumstances had been, it being not an infrequent tribal custom. No bond, no surety of any kind, nothing but Watka‘s word to report for execution was required.
Watka could kill his rival in love in the heat of passion, but he would not violate his word, once given, to do what he was supposed to do. Watka married the girl on whose account he had fought and killed Deer and when the day of execution approached he made preparations to die, making every possible provision for his widow.
But the tribal fathers in the council decided to forestall the execution. Watka was a very valuable player on the famous Indian baseball team, and a number of games in which he was needed to play had been scheduled. For this reason, and this alone, he was reprieved till the last day of October, in order that he might fulfill his baseball engagements. The games ended. Watka had been in many different states playing ball. He had so many chances to escape where he would never be found. But Watka had given his word, and on that day of appointment he presented himself before the warden for execution.
An incident not unlike this is related of a Bay State Tory, Dick Johnson, in the Revolutionary war. After his arrest, upon his personal word to the sheriff, he went about his usual work, in and out. When it was time for him to be tried for high treason, he set off alone and walked through the forest to Springfield, Mass. to be tried for his life. But a member of the Massachusetts Assembly, knowing this man to stick by his personal convictions and beliefs, rescued him from the rope. His plea for the Tory was that, “A man had a right to his beliefs in this new country, and that was not a reason for an execution.” What I am saying is that, one time, a man’s word was as good as
anything: money, bonds, surety, etc.
The only thing that resembles this kind of virtue anymore is the Bible. The Bible is the only Word that we can trust in anymore.
If we live by this wonderful Book and obey it, we will also keep our word, and we will be justified for it.
Then, also, we come across an old story of the Punic captive, released that he might advise Rome to make peace. “But, Regulus, what will become of you?”
“I gave my word to return, and I will keep it. But do you refuse to make peace?”
Who would not go far to see such men as Damon andPythias, the one ready to die as a substitute for his friend and the other voluntarily ready in his place at the death block when the hour struck?
When the sacredness of one’s word is matched in the attributes of his character throughout, all that constitutes a man, then we find that there is something in a man (or woman) greater than his occupation or his achievements, grander than acquisition of wealth , higher than genius, more enduring than fame. “The truest test of civilization,” says H. W. Emerson, “is not the census, not the size of cities, nor the crops, no, but the kind of men the country turns out.”
Montaigne kept his Castle gates unbarred during the wars of the Fronde, because his reputation for integrity was better defense than a whole regiment of horsemen.
“Your lordships,” said the Duke of Wellington in Parliament, “must all feel the high honorable character of the late Sir Robert Peel. I was long connected with him in public life. I never knew a man in whose truth and justice I had greater confidence.”
Are not the characters of great men the dowry of a nation? Chateaubriand said he saw General George Washington but once, yet it inspired his whole life. To Washington, Jefferson once wrote: “The confidence of the whole nation centers in you.”
Of Abraham Lincoln, his great antagonist, Senator Steven A. Douglas said that there was safety in the very atmosphere of the man. Manhood is above all riches and overtops all titles. Character is greater than career.
“Character must stand behind and back up everything, the sermon, the poem, the picture, the play. None of them is worth a straw without it.”
Martin Luther said at a government building dedication: “The prosperity of a country depends not on the abundance of its revenues, nor on the strength of its fortifications, nor on the beauty of its public buildings, but it consists in the number of cultivated citizens, in its men and women who are enlightened and have character.”
The value of personal integrity is inestimable.
Character is best built and cultivated by learning and keeping the Ten Commandments. A person who is God fearing and obedient can be trusted, and his integrity will be pronounced. Where is that person who can keep his word today?
Why are there so many divorces today?
Again, it is a lack of keeping your word. When you say, “I do,” to keeping your husband or wife, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health, till death do you part,” and then dissolve that marriage because you are tired of matrimony, is a lack of character, and you are breaking your word as well as the Commandments of God.
This quality, which we sometimes speak of as characterizing, “a man we can tie to,” is always at a premium in any place in the world. People of their word are Commandment keeping people.
A man of character that we can tie to is always at a premium all over the world. It is said of the personal experience, “That one good, strong, sound man is worth a thousand men without character and without stability in building up the Church of God.”
Give us a man, or woman, young or old, rich or poor on whom we know we can thoroughly depend, who will stand firm when others fail. He is a friend faithful and true, the advisor honest and fearless, the judge just and chivalrous, a teacher of truth and righteousness.
In such a person there is the Kingdom of God and a fragment of “The Rock of Ages.”