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fate, those who will presume to dishonour and insult Him.
The miracle was not intended to show the mere punishment due to hypocrisy; it chiefly showed that God's Spirit resided in the Apostles; and could both detect and punish the deceitful. But other and more terrible judgments are held forth to the guilty. And though in the present day the miraculous power be not granted to the Bishop, neither can he discover, nor visit the false professor of the Gospel; yet God still can and most assuredly will. The hand and the prayer of the Bishop will descend in vain upon the head of the hypocrite. The Spirit of God will not pour out His gifts upon those, who lie to Him, and intend not to profit by His graces. They will be left to their own hardened hearts; they will have no part with Christ; they will go on in their own devices; they will be left in a situation as perilous as that of Ananias; their hearts and thoughts are open to their Judge; and unless by His mercy some great and awful dispensation of His grace and providence shall open their eyes to their danger, they will persist till, before the judgment seat of God, they sink under the appalling remembrance of their folly and wickedness ; and, in answer to their plea of having taken upon themselves the vows, and embraced the hopes of Baptism, they shall be told that they have lied, and lied not unto men, but unto God.
Consider then, my brethren, I intreat you, consider well the nature of what you are going to do, in Confirmation. Bear with you to this momentous ordinance a profound and solemn sense of the holy profession you are going to embrace,—of the great duties you are to undertake,—and of the hallowed and all-seeing God, in whose presence you are to declare your consent to the promises made for you in your Baptism.
Awed alike by the great importance of your engagements, and by the sense of your unworthiness and weakness, lift up your heart and your voice to the throne of grace, in the name and through the merits of that Redeemer who is mighty to save. Let your thoughts be intent upon the great work of salvation, to which you are pledging your earnest and continual labours. Consider the assistance you require both to will and to do, and the condition on which that assistance is promised. It is to be ASKED in faith and sincerity. May then your petitions thus ascend before God. May your whole heart, and soul, and mind, accompany the Bishop in fervent and effectual prayer, that the Lord will strengthen you with the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, and daily increase in you His manifold gifts;-the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and ghostly strength,—the spirit of knowledge and true godliness; and fill you with the spirit of his holy fear, now and for ever."
ADMONITION TO THOSE CONFIRMED.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy unworthy servants grace by the confession of a true faith to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity; We beseech thee, that thou wouldest keep us steadfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.
2 CHRON. xxix. 11.
MY SONS, BE NOT NOW NEGLIGENT; FOR THE LORD HATH CHOSEN YOU TO STAND BEFORE HIM, TO SERVE HIM.
WHEN Hezekiah addressed this exhortation to the Levites, they had come forward to resume their office on the restoration of the service of the Temple, and its purification from the profanation and defilement to which it had been for a period subjected. He reminds them of the perilous state in which they were placed by the sinfulness of their nation, and tells them the course he had adopted,
to avert from himself and his subjects the just wrath of God. "Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that his fierce anger may turn away from us1."
The Levites were parties, distinguished and much honoured parties, with him in this covenant. By every tie of duty and interest, by their sense of the honour conferred on them, and by their love of the merciful Lord, who had permitted them to serve Him, he urges them to acquit themselves worthily of their high calling, and not to neglect the avenue to mercy which had been opened to them. " My sons be not now negligent, for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him."
Though this exhortation immediately applied to the discharge of the peculiar duties of the Levites, under that covenant; it surely, in principle, must ever apply to the duties of all who enter into covenant with God. With peculiar propriety may it be addressed to those, who, in confirmation, have been enrolled with special solemnity under the banner of their Redeemer, and have devoted themselves before the congregation to serve the Lord. They, as the Levites, renew a covenant with the Lord God of Israel. They know that, according to the word of God, there is a temple, not made indeed with hands, but the temple of their body-that temple in which, the Holy Ghost declares, He will dwell, if it be
1 Ver. 10.
kept undefiled. They are conscious of the defilement and profanation of that temple, both by the fall of their race and by their own actual sins; and like the Levites to whom Hezekiah addressed his exhortation, they seek to restore it, and to avert the "fierce wrath" deserved by those who profaned it. They turn to the blood by which it is to be cleansed, they seek to renew" the covenant," and offer themselves to the service of Him, whose "wrath" they would deprecate, and whose mercies and bounties they would share. They claim a post of duty, as well as of honour, of trial, as well as of safety. Every circumstance of their situation addresses itself to their noblest feelings, as well as to their dearest hopes. To the heart and conscience of every Christian, the recollection of what he has vowed, and what his Lord has promised and done for him, appeals in the self same exhortation as that of Hezekiah to the Levites: "My sons, be not now negligent, for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him."
Follow up then, my brethren, the suggestions which this view of your situation presents. Do not pass over this important event, as you would an ordinary occurrence, without meditating upon the great influence it may have upon your present welfare, and your eternal destination. Reflect upon it, not only immediately after the Bishop's hands have been withdrawn, but frequently, in after life; recal to your mind the honour and advantage conferred upon