This is an age of looseness and crime,
From the heathen debased to the rich of the time;
The tendency strong, in church and the state
Is to go where you please and leave open the gate.
It may be that old Dobbin, quite stiff in his knees,
Will stand in the park, though not tied to the trees;
And Spitfire, the colt that will never be tame,
Has broken six halters and made himself lame.
But will this be excuse to throw halters away,
To let each horse decide where to go or to stay?
Then why do men fight against law and good rules
For guidance of wise and restraining of fools?
For horses or men there is only one hope–
If they break their restrictions, just double the rope;
And if the good laws are wisely applied,
They may learn how to stand without being tied.
I dislike to see boys not high as your shoulder
That know ten times more that persons much older,
And when Father and Mother lay down some restrictions
Get pouty and sullen and begin to cause friction.
I never saw Master or Miss such a saint
But that they were bettered by parents’ restraint;
But many a one to the gallows has come
For want of a law and a rod in the home.
And then when it comes to the laws of the land,
So many thus tied will not even stand.
Some men for a dollar will take a man’s wife,
Or cheat him in trading or marry his wife,
Or steal from his neighbor his chains or his axes,
Or give him short measure, or be dodging his taxes;
But in spite of law breaking, there is not a man
Not constantly helped by the laws of the land.
In matters of church, we know very well
No law of itself can save one from hell;
Yet by heeding laws, a man’s ways are made clean
And pitfalls avoided that he never had seen.
The flesh can be checked and the conscience alarmed
And evils surpassed by which others are harmed.
By law man is brought, on this side the grave,
To the point where the Word and the Spirit can save.
Now if children are wiser than matron or sire
And safely can play with poison and fire,
And loungers in stores with soapbox for stool
Know better than Congress how nations to rule,
And the wisdom of God in one single brother
Is greater than Bible and conference together,
Then nail up the church! Lay the Book on the shelf!
And let every man be a law to himself!
If opposers of law just only could see,
They are cutting a limb ‘twixt themselves and the tree;
And if they succeed, they not only will fall,
But down will come home, church, nation, and all.
If men want no law but their own precious will,
Let them herd with the bushmen till they get their fill.
I think one such year would certainly end it–
They would favor God’s Law and forever defend it.
--George R. Brunk, Sr.