Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

for yourselves, you should take upon yourselves to discharge the duties incumbent on all Christians; and for yourselves engage, that, by the grace of God, you would resist sin, embrace the articles of Christian faith set forth in the Apostles' creed, and follow the moral commandments of God revealed in the law and the Gospel.

The Jews, who had been circumcised when eight days old, undertook to observe the laws of Moses when they were thirteen years old. You, who were baptized in the days of your infancy, may undertake to observe the duties of Christianity in faith and practice, at an age not differing much from that of Jewish persons who promised obedience. You will accordingly, at this solemn meeting, in the presence of God and of this congregation, each of you for yourselves, in your own persons, and in your own names, undertake to do what your godfathers and godmothers promised you should do. You will confirm their promise, and declare it is your intention, by the grace of God, to resist sin, to embrace the articles of the Christian faith, and to follow God's commandments revealed in the law and the Gospel.

Your several ministers have already explained to you the important nature of the sacred engagement which you are now about to make. Show the good effects of their repeated and salutary instruction. When you declare you ratify and confirm the promises of your godfathers and godmothers, not only declare it with a loud voice, but let the thoughts of your hearts accompany the words of your lips. In the prayers which will be offered join devoutly, and on your knees; for that is the posture in which it becomes man to address his Almighty Creator! When you come to the altar,

? whilst humble supplication is made for you, that God may defend you, may give you grace to increase in goodness, and finally bless you with eternal happiness in a future state ; let your behaviour be sedate, and grave, and serious. For the solemnity demands such behaviour. The concern manifested for the salvation of your souls by the very act of praying for you ; the subjects of the prayer itself, and the unspeakable majesty of the great God, to whom the prayer is offered, are circumstances which should strike every considerate mind with sober reflection, and banish every mark of impertinence and folly.

Do not leave the church till the service is concluded, and the blessing has been pronounced. If you depart before the service is thus completed, you will show very unbecoming impatience. When

you have properly concluded the service, then, as soon as may be convenient, return to your own homes. Whether you are inhabitants of this place, or proceed homewards at some distance, make it a matter of conscience to be quiet and orderly; for such quiet and orderly conduct will best suit the occasion of this day.

Let the whole of the religious service now to be performed, sink deep into your minds. Renew the remembrance and impression of it, by often reading over the service of confirmation in private. And let it never be out of your recollection, that all of you alike, whether rich or poor, whether high or low, have one and the same work to accomplish. That work is, by the help of the Holy Spirit, for which you must daily pray, so to lead a sober, honest, virtuous, and holy life, that you may be blessed with the favour of Almighty God in a future state of immortal existence, through the merits and intercession of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, our great Redeemer, mighty to save !

II.

DEARLY BELOVED IN THE LORD, When our blessed Lord, the Saviour of the world, called sinners to repentance, he exhorted them in these compassionate and encouraging words, “ Come “ unto me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I “ will refresh you.” • What was the weight, from the pressure of which they were to be relieved ? It was the consciousness of guilt disquieting their souls with the anguish of remorse, and alarming them with dreadful apprehensions of future punishment. Ask those, who under grace are beginning to turn from a course of iniquity to the ways of righteousness. Taught as they have been by woful experience, they will confess that the burden of sin is, more than all others, painful, grievous, intolerable.

You that come hither from other places, have heard it said from the Holy Scriptures ; you that constantly attend this church have heard your own minister preach on the text of Scripture, and by convincing arguments prove to you, there can be no peace to the wicked.

Of you that are now met for the holy purposes of this day's solemnity, it is presumed the greater part are as yet strangers, not indeed to sorrow for acts of levity and of indiscretion, but to the pangs of conscience on recollecting crimes committed with premeditation and evil design. May you long continue to be laudable for what is good; and, as you advance from one to another period of life, may you “ grow in grace *,” and in the knowledge of Christ's religion ; cultivating and practising “whatsoever things are truet,” according to reason and revelation ; “whatsoever things are honest,” in the judgment of upright men, and in the sight of God; “ whatsoever things are just,” on principles of equity; “ whatsoever things are pure,” in their own nature, and in their consequences; “ whatsoever things are “ lovely,” for their kindness in conduct and manner; “ whatsoever things are of good report,” among the wise and pious. “ On these things think.” Important, requisite, and indispensable it is, that you should think of them frequently, should attend to them seriously. For you must be told with a warning voice, that, as you pass on from year to year, you will, from within and from without, from your own hearts, from the influence of bad example, and from the language of corrupt persons; you will, from these sources, be liable and exposed to temptation, which would entice you to offend against what you know to be commanded on the one hand, and forbidden on the other, by our Lord himself and by His Apostles. Resist those temptations, as you value the

peace

of As we are all born under the consequences of Adam's transgression, we all inherit a nature prone to sin. The manifold trials of our faith and virtue, which, in our course tlırough life, we must expect to encounter, do not come on us with but one assault. In various

ways they meet us, through the whole duration of our capacity for thought, judgment, and action. They adapt their force, and change their kind, according to the

your souls.

* 2 St. Peter, iii. 18.

† Phil. iv. 8.

« EdellinenJatka »