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[The following sermon was preached at the installation of Rev. Edwin J. Gerry, as Pastor of the Unitarian Society in Standish, Maine, on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1846, and is printed as a tract in compliance with the request of the Installing Council.]
GOD'S COMMANDMENTS, &c.
THUS HAVE YE MADE THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD OF NONE EFFECT
BY YOUR TRADITION. - Matt. xv. 6.
In proof of this charge, our Saviour produces an example. He refers to cases where children neglected to support and cherish their parents. Nothing could be plainer than the requirements of the moral law on this subject. Honor thy father and mother, was the commandment of God. And yet this was set aside, and made of none effect, by the traditions of the times. It appears that a practice had grown up of alienating one's property by devoting it to the purposes of sacrifice or worship. Thus consecrated by the solemnities of an oath to religious uses, no part of it could be taken to fulfil the duties of filial piety, even though aged and infirm parents might suffer years of helpless poverty and want. We need not suppose that the custom had its origin in selfish and cruel motives. It is more naturally and credibly accounted for by supposing it to be established by the power of false reasonings and erroneous opinions. We can easily imagine the steps by which a sincere and pious Jew might convince himself that any thing taken