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passion, which brought the Lord of glory down from heaven? What interest have I, in his great salvation? What scriptural grounds of confidence have I, that I am one of that number, who will be saved out of the ruin of a lost world, and pass through the grave and gate of death, to a joyful resurrection? Life will soon be over: and is it not important, beyond all calculation, to know whether that endless future, which spreads out into infinitude before us, will be eternal happiness, or eternal misery? To the mansions of God's glory, there is but one door,-even Christ, the true and living way, the only mediator between God and man. Have we, then, believed on him, for pardon and forgiveness-and has the same blood that justifies, begun to sanctify our souls? Do we feel it cleansing us from all sin—I do not mean from outward sin, (though this it must do, also, or our religion is vain,) but from inward sin -from pride-from impurity—from whatever can offend the eyes of him, who searcheth the reins and heart? Have we a spirit easy to be entreated, ready to be reconciled, forgiving others, even as Christ forgave us, gentle, mild, compassionate? Is the love of God a well-spring of joy, of serenity, of cheerfulness, of liberty, of happiness, in our souls? Is God's presence continually before us? Have we, thus, our fellowship with
the Father and the Son? Is our religion a present salvation, the earnest of our inheritance? Do we experience what our hearts assure us, is the commencement, in some faint degree, of the glory to be revealed? Is it our sweetest consolation, to look beyond the valley of the shadow of death, to look across that Jordan which we all must pass, and see, by faith, the inviolable peace, the smiling fertility, the verdure, the sunshine, and the glory, of the heavenly Canaan? If so, we are born from above-we have the mind of Christ-and if we are faithful unto death, we shall receive a crown of life. If not-if we have not that faith which purifies the heart, and works by love-if we do not, at least, hunger and thirst after the righteousness I have described; we are not, according to the plainest meaning of the Scriptures, in a state of salvation. But the door is always open. Let us, this day, repent of all our sins, and believe the Gospel; and "behold! now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation."
To conclude. None of you, my brethren, (if there be any such here,) who feel unconcerned in these matters, can form any conception of the painful anxiety, which ministers often experience, when they address a congregation of professing Christians. We seem to ourselves as if we beheld many of you scattered upon the hills, like
dash it from you, and Like one who stands
sheep that have no shepherd. We see you toiling for happiness; and we see the cup of living water near your lips, while you say, "Am I not in sport?" on some lofty summit which overlooks the ocean, we see the haven of eternal rest, opening her calm bosom, to receive you; while many of you are steering off, that you may plough the dark waves of this troublesome world—that you may navigate a sea that knows no bounds, till you strike upon some hidden rock, and then go down, and render all our lights and signals vain, and leave our warnings and invitations to float upon the winds of heaven. In such a spirit of deep anxiety, with many tears and prayers, we would beseech all that are unconverted to God, now to turn unto him, and live. We would pray you, in Christ's stead, to be reconciled to God. We trust that we can say, with the apostle, “We also believe, and therefore speak.” Will you, then, receive our witness? Will you believe the testimony of God himself? Will you take part with those, whom God has covenanted to pardon, to save, and to make a blessing for ever? Will you cause the angels in heaven to rejoice over a sinner that repenteth? Will you make a holyday in heaven, and put a new song into the mouths of the blessed, and cause them to tune their harps,
that they may sing, for you, the triumphs of redeeming love?
May these affecting motives, these animating considerations, reach your hearts, and gently force a passage to the seat of conscience, and touch the springs of life and immortality, within you! And may we all depart from this house of prayer, with renewed resolves, with a firm, unalterable purpose, that we will, for the time to come, serve God with an undivided heart; and, henceforth, live no longer unto ourselves, but unto Him that died. for us, and rose again!
ECCLESIASTES, xii. 1.*
"REMEMBER NOW THY CREATOR IN THE DAYS OF THY
As the nature of the important service to be performed this day has been, I trust, already explained to you, I shall avail myself of the present opportunity, by endeavouring to turn this solemn scene, and the position in which you now stand before God and man, to practical account. And I pray, that the Divine Spirit may mould your hearts, as well as my own, into such a frame of serious reflection as befits me as pastor and you as the younger members of this portion of the flock, which the Redeemer has purchased with his precious blood.
* Preached in the church of Fethard, at a Confirmation held there, on the 13th of August, 1840, by Stephen C. Sandes, D.D., Lord Bishop of Cashel, &c., and published by the desire of his lordship, and at the request of the Clergy, then present.