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you by your admission to Confirmation, and the solemnity of the engagements into which you then entered. Remember the motives and encouragements it sets before you, to be faithful soldiers and servants of Christ Jesus. And, remembering those motives and encouragements, consider often what steps and precautions you should take, that your conduct and sentiments may correspond with your duty.
Upon both these heads I will offer a few observations, intreating all those here addressed, whether confirmed recently, or long ago, to give them their attention, and to pursue the train of thought, into those various particulars to which the different dispositions and circumstances of mankind will give rise, and which must be the subject of each individual's self examination and private meditations.
Hezekiah appeals to the Levites on the ground that the Lord had “ chosen” them “ to stand before him, to serve him ;" therefore he says, “ Be not now negligent.” Consider how great the honour, how distinguished the privilege, how responsible the state to which you have been chosen-Be not now negligent.
Let the most fervent love and gratitude, to that good and gracious Master who hath honoured you by His choice, animate your exertions. Let a noble pride, and a sense of this high and holy calling, to which you have been admitted, set you above every temptation to disgrace yourselves, and forfeit the dignity with which you are in
vested. My sons be not now negligent; for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him.”
And can we fail to perceive at a glance how forcibly these words and motives apply to those who have been confirmed, as well as to the Levites? May I not say to every such person, “ Be not now negligent, for the LORD hath chosen you, to stand before Him, to serve Him ? Have you not been indeed chosen by Him? Have you not been born of Christian parents? Have you not from your infancy been sealed with the baptismal seal of the Christian Covenant ? Have you not been brought up in a land where “ the true light shineth ?” Have you
not had free access to the word of God, to the ministrations of His priests, to the service of His House, to the prayers and praises of His Church? To these, and many other Christian privileges, God has brought you without your aid, and by events and providential arrangements altogether beyond your control, or knowledge. He has indeed chosen you. With heartfelt gratitude should you embrace, and hold fast, the blessed hopes of the calling, and endeavour to lead the rest of your lives according to this beginning '.” With what holy emulation should the recollection of this choice fill you! How should it raise your thoughts above those lusts which would disgrace you in the eyes of Him who chose you, and in whose service you have been enrolled,“ to have victory and to triumph against the world, the flesh, and the devil.” For these great and glorious purposes you were chosen; for these you have been called, like youthful knights, to take the service of heavenly chivalry; for these has the sword of the Spirit been put into your hands; for these you are clad in the whole armour of God. To you have been given, by the Captain of your salvation, spiritual weapons, and invincible strength. To you, when armed and chosen for His service, may apply, in a lower sense, the words prophetically spoken of Him who is your leader to victory against the powers of darkness, and the corruption of the world, “ Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness, and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things '.
* See Baptismal Service.
Trample upon the base enemies of God's glory, and man's salvation. To this victory you were chosen, for this you were armed in heavenly armour. How fallen, how despised, how shamefully lost would you be, if, when chosen to triumph, you should negligently become the slaves of these unworthy masters, and perish by your own folly and baseness. These surely are motives of powerful influence; to our best feelings, to our highest interests they appeal ; Be not now negligent, the Lord hath chosen you—the
great, the Almighty, the merciful, the perfect God, the God of glory and salvation, the Lord our Righteousness, the Redeemer, the Sanctifier! Is this no
“ Be not now negligent.” But Confirmation has added even another motive to these. The Lord had chosen you to serve Him; but in Confirmation you have yourself chosen to serve Him, to stand before Him! In His temple, before Him, before His highest minister, before His assembled congregation, you have chosen solemnly to enrol yourself into His service ; you have made open and public profession of your determination, to take upon yourselves all the obligations of that service, to which He had chosen you in your Baptism. As the youthful Annibal, at the call of his father, presented himself in the temple of his Gods, to swear, before their altar, and in the face of his countrymen, undying hostility to Rome, and no peace or compromise, till he should have vanquished and overthrown it; so you, at the call of your parents and sponsors, have presented yourselves in the temple of the Living God, to vow, before His altar, and in the face of your fellow Christians your undying hostility to sin; and no peace or compromise, till you shall have had victory and triumphed over the world, the flesh, and the Devil.”
Is there no call to diligence in this recollection? Is there nothing that appeals to your reason and conscience, in terms, which can be neither misunderstood nor evaded? Does not this act, from that Can you
moment to the last day of your life, set before you the exhortation, “ Be not now negligent ?” What have you undertaken, and before whom? Will the pure and Almighty God be mocked with an hypocritical and unmeaning profession? profess to stand before Him, to serve Him, when you take no care, and deny yourself no gratification to do His will? What can any reasonable being expect to result from such an empty profession? Christ has told us that the entrance to His kingdom is not to be gained by mere profession. It is not the saying “ Lord, Lord,” that He requires, but the doing the will of His Father. Professions broken only add treachery and falsehood to disobedience. Scorn and derision, as well as punishment, would be the just reward of those whose desertion and failure are made more glaring by the solemnity of their professions of service and fidelity ; who, after voluntarily coming forward under the banners of the Redeemer, and in the ranks of the faithful, like the children of Ephraim disgrace their cause, and turn their backs in the day of battle.
It would, indeed, be a strange argument to use, that we entered into engagements with our lips, and did nothing but show in our lives our disregard and contempt of them; that we made a covenant, and that we claim its privileges, on the ground of a continual breach of its obligations. The great Judge of all will not thus be set at nought. You have