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Die USD: vaars, wat framed with ir nr 2 i sice, the collects of our irry Niemies turity and comprehension But it does gens and expressive lanoma r eccelets to be admired. They have in them the science, which particularly recommends tbess to the notice and approbation of considerate Christians. For, continually and forcibly do the collects remind us of Him, through whom are made acceptable to God the obtain retnission of our we regain the favour ar nually and forcibly r cessor, and Redeer
“ There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved *,” but only the ime of Jesus Christ ! Therefore, by causing you to 2 baptized into the religion of Christ, your parents howed a conscientious concern, and a tender regard or you. By its creeds, calculated for that end; by its atechism, drawn up for that express purpose ; by its ippointment for reading the Ten Commandments on every Sabbath Day; by its ministers continually giving instruction ; the church hath provided ample means for your being taught what you were to profess, when you should be capable of answering for yourselves. You will presently be asked, in a most solemn manner, if you will now yourselves engage to fulfil the promise given ; if you will now bind yourselves to observance of the vow, which, at the time of your baptism, was made in your name. True indeed it is, that the very act of your appearing at the altar will imply you do take such promise and vow on yourselves. It is, however, expected, because it is highly proper, that you should with a loud voice pronounce the words which the service for confirmation prescribes. Utterance of those words is but momentary; the meaning of them leads to a consequence deeply important. For, in effect, each of
thus : “ I acknowledge it is my duty to « avoid every thing which is vicious and sinful. I ac
knowledge it is my duty to reco doctrines, " delivered by Christ His Ar
rules of "my faith. I
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The service for
confirmation prescribes ; or when you come to the altar, without having spoken aloud, but having assented tacitly, you will be understood each of you as intimating this: “I acknowledge it is my duty to avoid every “ thing vicious and sinful. I acknowledge it is my duty “ to receive the doctrines delivered by Christ and His
Apostles, as the rules of my faith. I acknowledge it is
my duty to · keep God's holy will and commandments, " and to walk in the same all the days of
And now, my brethren, if the sacred place in which you create an opinion, that such is your meaning ; if the presence of Him, from whom no secrets are hidden, even God, who will know the sincerity of if the force of what you either declare with your lips or think in your minds ; if these combined and weighty circumstances make on you that impression which they ought to make ; you will not only be grave and serious while you remain here, but you will also be considerate; you will be sedate; you will be correct; you will be sober; you will be quiet; you will be regular, when you
have left the church, and at an early season are on your way towards your own homes. By such behaviour you will make it evident you have paid due attention to the counsel of your ministers ; by such behaviour you will give comfort to your parents ; by such behaviour you will do credit to yourselves. For your conduct will be such as becomes persons who are conscious they are but just returning from a religious ordinance; an ordinance, of which the immediate object is to inculcate on your minds the necessity of believing and acting as true Christians through the whole of your existence in this world ; an ordinance, of which the final design is, to prepare you for the attainment of eternal happiness
, when you rise from the grave to life immortal.
DEARLY BELOVED IN THE LORD, The purpose
for which we are now assembled, is, that you may have an opportunity of declaring in the church your wish and resolution to fulfil the promises which your godfathers and godmothers made for you at the time of your baptism. Thus, in the presence of the congregation here met, froin henceforth through the remainder of your life you will devote yourselves to Almighty God, through faith, worship, and obedience towards Christ our Lord ! Which things when you have done, by the imposition of our hands, and by solemn prayer, you will be humbly recommended to the blessing of God, that He may assist you with grace to know your duty, and with strength to perform it. And well fitting it is you should make this declaration, should thus devote yourselves, and that the favour of God should thus be supplicated on your behalf. For such was the usage of the Jewish church.* When their children were come to years of discretion, they presented themselves before a congregation of the people ; they
See Hole's Practical Discourses. Dis. viii. vol. iv. p.64. The writer quotes Buxtorf, as his authority.
“ Liberi Judæorum majorennes erant superatis tredecim annis, tum et ad jugum legis suscipiendum erant obligati, tutoribus non egebant ampliùs, et pro seipsis loqui poterant." — Kypke in cap. 9. v. 21. Evang. St. Joannis.
expressed their obligation to be subject to the law, to keep the sabbath, to observe the passover; and thus they acknowledged in their own names that they were bound to the covenant, into which their parents had entered them in the earliest days of their infancy. Prayers were made for them, and the high-priest laid his hands on them. The Christian church hath acted wisely in adopting many customs, which bear a resemblance to the solemnities used by the chosen people of God. One
One among others of this nature is the primitive and sacred ceremony of confirmation, to which you are now coming.
Right it is you should come to confirmation with the view of afterwards coming to communion at the Lord's Supper. The church, of which you are members, directs that all persons should, if possible, be actually confirmed, or, if they have not opportunity to attend that solemnity, should at least conceive an earnest desire to be confirmed, before they partake of the Lord's Supper.
The reason is this : Baptism is a covenant, in which God on his part vouchsafes to promise us spiritual blessings, if we on our part will undertake to discharge certain duties. When we are infants, we are incapable of undertaking this in our own persons ;
the condition therefore on our side cannot then be fully acknowledged. But when we have attained to years of discretion, it must be acknowledged, if we wish to derive the full benefit which may be expected from baptism. When in our own persons we have made such acknowledgment, and have taken upon ourselves the condition in all its force, then the covenant is complete, and we may hope, by the mercy of God, to receive all the blessings annexed to baptism, the first sacrament. But the covenant is not complete, if we rest satisfied merely with the outward sign of baptism, and afterwards take