The Ten Commandments
‘You shall have no other gods before Me.‘
‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.‘
‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.‘
‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.‘
‘Honor your father and your mother.‘
‘You shall not murder.‘
‘You shall not commit adultery.‘
‘You shall not steal.‘
‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.‘
‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.‘
While Reading “Address to the Negros in the State of New York” I felt as though I was reading an excerpt from one of my own family members. I can relate and clearly understand what he is writing and advising in the reading, not only because I am African American, but because I am religious. My comprehension and understanding starts to blur when I think about those individuals reading the text that are not African American, that are not religious or are not familiar with difference of “God vs. gods.
To break down the passage in a more clear way, I found the material to be equivalent to the 10 commandments. These were rules and regulations that God created for the man to be obeyed and abided by during daily life. The first rule Hammon wrote about was obeying your master. This rule brought me to the fifth commandment: “Honor Your Father and Mother. “ He speaks about how you respect your master even if you feel they are wrong, just as God tells us to do the same with our overseers.
The second piece of advice Hammon speaks about is honesty and faithfulness. This reminds me of the ninth commandment: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You should always be honest and faithful to your master as you should with everyone.
He then goes on to share that you should never back bite your master. That you should never steal from your master. “Biting the hand that feeds you.” This reminded me of the eighth commandment: “You Should Not Steal.” The bible talks deeply about stealing, lying and killing. That you must repent if these actions take place.
The last commandment he refers to is the third commandment: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.” This is profaneness and will not be tolerated by God. Do not swear by His name. He stresses to the fact that there is such a place called “Heaven” and there is a place called “Hell.” They are places that you hope for or that you fear.”Oh my friends, be warned to forsake this dreadful sin of profaneness.”-Hammon
In his conclusion, Hammon suggests that you read your Bible. If you don’t know how to read, you should learn. Not learn just to read, but learn to read so that you can read the Bible, for there will be no point in learning the task if you are not reading His word.