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to-morrow. Confirmation is an idle and imperfect act, if it end in itself. The blessing which is implored on your behalf, "will certainly abide with you," saith the pious Archbishop Secker, "unless by wilful sin or gross negligence, you drive it away; and in that case, you must not hope that your Baptism or your Confirmation, or the prayers of the Bishop, or the Church, or the whole world will do you any service. On the contrary, every thing which you might have been the better for, if you had made a good use of it, you will be the worse for, if you make a bad one."1 If therefore, the use of this means of grace should be blessed to you, it should encourage you to the use of more means. It should lead you from confirmation to communion, that in the frequent renewal of your covenant in the latter, you may not forget the privileges connected with the former. You profess to desire the society of Christians-you would fain enjoy the fellowship of saints: remember, then, the disciples were to be met with at the supper of the Lord-that is the time and place to renew again and again your profession of faith, and avowals of love towards Him, who "loved you and gave Himself for you." The frequent and worthy receiving of the sacrament of Christ's dying love, is a powerful means of keeping alive, and burning, the flame of Divine love in your hearts, and to exert its grateful influence on your lives. It is a great help to consistency of character, and conducive to the grace of perseverance. A negligent communicant makes an inattentive Christian-while the contrary practice of regular and devout attendance at Christ's table, bringing the heart into sacramental discipline, and exercising the mind with the affecting mys
1 Sermon on Confirmation.
teries of godliness, is usually found to be productive of the happiest effects in the formation and proportion of Christian character. The spirit of the sacrament seems to hover over the person of the communicant, and to follow him into the world, and into his daily avocations, shedding a hallowed influence over his life and conversation, and leading him on, as by an unseen seraph's hand, "from grace to grace, and from strength to strength, until each one of them in Zion appeareth before God."
Your qualifications have been thus exhibited to your view, and I trust commended to your consciences in the sight of God. I repeat the points which we have endeavoured to urge upon you, that you must come in a spirit of prayer-in the exercise of faith-in the sense of your own helplessnesswith a just impression of the solemnity, and responsibility of the transaction in which you are to be engaged-entertaining sound and enlightened views of evangelical truth-and finally intending, by God's grace, to lead a new life, honouring Christ's sacraments and ordinances through the rest of your days.
Dear brethren, are you really qualified in these respects? Do desire to be so? If not-if there be one amongst you unwilling to abide by this standard, you are deceiving your souls, and I would have you stay away-pray do not come yet-"it is better that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay"—not that the refusal of the vow absolves you of a jot or tittle of the obligations contained in itbut by making a special engagement with God, and breaking it after, you will grievously add to your condemnation.
On the contrary, you who do resolve to abide by your vows, and trust to be qualified according to these instructions, I bid you welcome in the name of Christ; come in faith. Be much in prayer during the interval between this day and your confirmation-seriously read over, and study, the promises and vows made for you in your baptism, as contained and expounded in the Catechism, and which will be solemnly repeated, and personally addressed to you, in the office of confirmation, which office you will also diligently peruse and study.
To the whole congregation I commend the devout consideration of the above reflections, which are equally binding upon all, as upon the parties about to be confirmed. If any of you have forgotten and neglected the engagements by which you pledged yourselves to God, at the period of your confirmation, repent and humble yourselves, and seek for grace to amend your lives, and, "remember whence you are fallen." You must bear with me, in my anxiety to press home these convictions upon all our hearts, for I desire to be found faithful,-I would blow alike the trump of jubilee to animate the returning sinner and the persevering saint-but the trump of judgment to wake the slumbering and impenitent-you must not be angry at either note-the loud blast of Sinai, or the music of Bethlehem, should both accompany the voice of the preacher for woe to him should a single soul suffer by his neglect, and die in its unbelief. It is an awful warning that appeals to ministers, "If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"
THE APPEAL TO THE UNCONFIRMED.
"AND Jesus answering said, were there not ten cleansed, but where are the nine ?"-LUKE Xvii. 17.
WHEN Jesus, in the days of his flesh, in the exercise of His divine ministry, had wrought a miracle of healing upon ten lepers, who had the privilege to bring their sad disaster within reach of His sympathy; out of this number suddenly healed on their way to the temple, only one, and he a Samaritan stranger, had the grace given him to turn back and glorify God, in the person of His dear Son, for the special mercy which had been vouchsafed to him. The rest continued their way to the priests, by whom probably they were dissuaded from returning to Jesus, in spite of their deep obligation to His wondrous mercy, and leaving the poor stranger to turn back alone, elicited the mild reproach of Jesus on their ingratitude, "Were there not ten cleansed, but where are the nine? there are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger." The incident is a prophecy of the fate of Christ's tender mercies in the after days of His Church. How small a proportion do the thankful bear to the number benefitted by Christ in His Gos