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you are released from the penalties of the violated law of God, and placed in a state in which you may obtain everlasting life. Let this truth, that, through the merits of your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, those sins are pardoned for which no efforts of your own could atone, and those imperfect services which his grace alone enables you to render, accepted and rewarded with the bliss of heaven, not to be merited by any human services, be the subject of your most lively and grateful contemplation at this time, when this pardon is to be assured, in the ordinance which they receive, to those who in humble penitence pledge themselves to those services. You come now to the living God; you come solemnly to promise to serve him, him who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, who is a great God and terrible; in the language of the leader of Israel, testing the sincerity of the vows of the people, "he is a holy God, he is a jealous God, he will not pardon your transgressions and your sins." Ah! this is the alarming, this is the discouraging language with which we would seek to repress resolutions of obedience to the High and Holy One, made only in your own strength, trusting for acceptance to your own merits. But no, my young friends, you will not thus approach unto the most high God. Your own righteousness -alas! it is but imperfect, imperfect in motive, in extent, in degree-what can it do, were it perfect as that of the cherubim, towards cancelling the penalty due to the least transgression which you may have committed, or towards meriting those rewards of glory which, infinite in degree and eternal in duration, transcend the most exalted virtues of a finite creature? Your own strength
alas! what can it do, when weak reason misleads, when violent passions impel, when powerful temptations rush upon you? No; you come with the same affecting expressions of humility and trust with which, in another ordinance, I hope you will one day appear before the Lord-" Our trust is not in our own righteousness, O God, but in thy manifold and great mercies in Jesus Christ, thy Son." You come not trusting in your own strength, but adopting, from the heart, the sentiment which the servant of the Most High utters for you and for himself" Our help is in the name of the Lord." No consciousness of imperfection, no sense of unworthiness, no view of the divine majesty, holiness, and justice, while you come unto God through this new and living way which he hath appointed, even faith in his Son Jesus Christ, should deter you from the devotion of yourselves to him in the resolution, "We will serve the Lord."
And the resolution may then be made under the animating influences of a lively hope.
Your trust staid upon your God-your reliance on the merits of your Saviour-your confidence on his grace-the resolution made, with infirmity indeed, but seriously, firmly, unreservedly, humbly, contritely, to serve the Lord-how animating the prospect before you! The favour and gracious goodness of your God, that favour which is life, that goodness which is better than life, are assured to you. The Holy Spirit will ever be with you, to guide, to sanctify, to console you. The hand of your heavenly Father will ever be over you, to protect and to bless you. And if, led in the knowledge and obedience of his Word, daily increasing VOL. II. 17
in his Holy Spirit more and more, you continue his obedient children in this life, you will continue his for ever. The ages of eternity, in their ceaseless revolutions, will bring with them to you accessions of felicity; this felicity, in its feeblest lustre, lowest degree, eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, nor can the heart of man conceive it. In that intenseness and that fulness to which, by continual progress, it will be exalted through the endless series of ages-ah! the renewed powers of a celestial nature can alone enable us to realize it, the enlarged capacities of a celestial nature alone enable us to enjoy it.
You who now propose, in your sincere devotion to God, to secure your title to these privileges, what an animating prospect for you! Brethren, what an animating prospect to us all! Would that I could say so! But, alas! there are some here who will witness a resolution made, which they never made, which they do not design to make, or have made only to neglect and violate. But why thus decline to make the resolution of devotion to the service of their God? or, if made, why should they neglect or violate it? The service of the Lord, to which reason and religion call them, is a reasonable service; for it is in all respects congenial with the dictates of reason-it is perfect freedom, freedom from guilty fears, from turbulent passions, from lusts that war against and degrade the soul. Great peace have they who are engaged in it-peace, from the assurance of the divine favour here, from the hope of the fruition of the divine presence hereafter. They fear not the changes of time; for they have the promise of him who rules all the events of time, that all things
shall work together for their good. They fear not the events of eternity; for there is laid up for them · a crown of glory. Eternity they indeed have cause
to fear, who here make no preparation for it in the humble and faithful service of their God; and on that eternity, banish the thoughts of it as we may, we must enter. Let that service, then, which alone can prepare us for it, be the choice of us all. Let the resolution be now offered seriously, firmly, unreservedly, in penitence, in humility, in dependence, in faith, in hope, in that hope in God and in the glories he has promised that will never fail; let the resolution be made not only by the young. and interesting flock who are specially called to make it, but by all; so that from this assembly, as from the congregated tribes of Israel, the voice of holy resolution may ascend to the throne of heaven-" We will serve the Lord." Hear it, merciful Father; accept it, gracious Lord; bless it, O our God, bless it with thy favour and grace, with the fulness of thy glory.
FOR THE HOLY COMMUNION.
LUKE Xxii. 19.
This do in remembrance of me.
My brethren, the festival is approaching, at which the faithful are called to celebrate, in the holy supper, the glad tidings of redemption through a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
The church also has been witnessing a joyful spectacle; she has beheld her young members cherishing with pious fervour those baptismal vows which consecrated them to the service of the Lord, and with holy resolution renewing these vows in the ordinance of confirmation. She feels a lively solicitude that they may complete their Christian character, that they may secure their title to their Christian privileges, by complying with the injunction of their Lord and Master-" Do this in remembrance of me."
How many, who have become members of Christ's fold in baptism, and have had their baptismal privileges confirmed to them in the imposition of hands, stop here, as if they had fulfilled their Christian obligations; unmindful of that injunction of their Lord and Master, which calls them to partake of the communion of his body and blood-" Do this in remembrance of me."