Imatges de pÓgina

of yourselves to God in the ordinance of confirmation, prevent you from discharging this great duty? Solemn as may be the renewed surrender of yourselves to your God and Saviour, sealed by the memorials of his body and his blood, it is his command, it is your duty, and ought to be performed.

God graciously invites us to his table, and holds forth all those promises of mercy and of grace that are calculated to encourage and animate us. He appears there as our reconciled God and Father in Jesus Christ, offering us those memorials of his love, and pledges of his grace, that are calculated to call forth all our pious affections, and to nourish and strengthen our frail and sinful nature to everlasting life. He presents himself there as our Saviour, who bought, with no less a price than his own blood, our redemption from sin and death, and our title to immortal glory. He asks a return for this infinite love; he calls upon us to celebrate it in the supper which he instituted. He makes it our interest, our eternal interest, to render this return; for he offers to seal and to assure to us, in his holy supper, our pardon, our adoption into his family, our title to his grace and favour, to the inheritance of glory. Is it possible that a tribute can be denied to him, urged by the united impulses of duty, of gratitude, and of interest?

Are the qualifications for this holy ordinance too serious and rigorous? It is a mistake, a great mistake, to consider these qualifications as different from those which made you worthy recipients of the laying on of hands. This ordinance you received, or ought to have received, in penitence, in faith in God's mercy, in resolutions of a new and holy life. And what but penitence, faith, and re

solutions of a new and holy life, are the qualifications for the Lord's supper? What says the church, in the exhortation at the celebration of the communion-" Repent ye truly for your sins past; have a lively and steadfast faith in Christ our Saviour; amend your lives, and be in perfect charity with all men; and, above all, give most humble and hearty thanks to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the redemption of the world by the death and passion of our Saviour Christ." These are the dispositions and resolutions required of those who come to the Lord's table. And were not these in effect the dispositions and resolutions with which you were exhorted to receive the laying on of hands? If you were not deterred from the one ordinance on account of the holy qualifications necessary, there can be no reason for your withdrawing from the other-from an ordinance which, while it does not insist on greater qualifications, admits to greater privileges, even to a spiritual participation of that body and blood offered and shed for our redemption, and the powerful pledge to us of pardon and of life.

What was the act which you performed in confirmation? A solemn renewal of your baptismal vows-a devotion of yourselves to the service of God. And what is the act required of you in the Lord's supper? "We offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls, and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee." You have made this surrender of yourselves to God in the laying on of hands; the renewal of it is all that is required of you at the holy table. You were not too young to devote yourselves to your God and Saviour in the one ordinance, you

cannot be too young to devote yourselves to him in the other. Ah! why should the youthful heart, that most acceptable offering to God, be withheld from him? Why should the youthful heart, glowing with all the lively sensibilities of our nature, be withheld from that God and Saviour who alone can save it and make it happy? Why should it be left to that world which can never confer on it felicity—which will infallibly corrupt it, and make it miserable-miserable here and hereafter?

Christian parents, desire no greater blessing for your children than to see them sincere and humble guests at that holy table, where their Lord appears, to refresh them by his mercy, to sanctify them by his grace, to preserve them to everlasting life.

Young disciples of this gracious Master, you are already consecrated to his service; cast not away the badges of your devotion to him-the symbols of his body and blood. You have once confessed him before men; renounce him not, when he requires, as the test of your devotion, your participation of the memorials of his love, and the pledges of your redemption. What will the whole world profit you, if you lose your souls? Make it your supreme object to save them; and for this purpose come with penitence, with faith, with resolutions of a new and holy life, to your God and Saviour, at his table. He will pardon, bless, and protect you; and if you will not tear yourselves from him, he will be your guide unto death, your refuge and portion for ever and ever.

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PSALM CXVI. 18, 19.

I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the Lord's house.

UTTERED by a pious Israelite, this declaration was a resolution to celebrate, in the ordinances of the temple, the goodness of God, and to perform his vows of love and duty.

For Christians is appointed, in the supper of the Lord, an ordinance, in which they are enjoined, by solemn memorials, to celebrate the infinite mercies of God displayed in the redemption by his Son Jesus Christ; and to perform their vows. of love and duty, by offering themselves, their souls and bodies, a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice to the Lord God of their salvation.

The resolution of the devout Israelite will, we trust, be that of persons of different descriptions at the ensuing festival, when we shall see them paying their vows to their God and Saviour in the courts of this his holy temple, and in the most solemn ordinance to which it is appropriated.

"I will pay my vows unto the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the Lord's house."

Let us hope that this, expressive of a resolution to participate of the Lord's supper, will be the

resolution of those who have hitherto lived a life of sin.

If they would but consider their weighty obligations to that Being whom, as their Creator, they are bound to adore and serve as their Sovereign, to obey-as their Benefactor, to love-as their Judge, to fear, they would feel and acknowledge how great is their criminality in their present course of rebellion against him; and the consciousness of their guilt, and the apprehension of the wrath that awaits them in that future world in which they are to account for their conduct in the present, should be increased by the reflection that, in despising and neglecting the salvation of the Gospel, they are trampling under foot the Son of God, doing despite to his Spirit, and counting the blood of his covenant an unholy thing. Oh! how thankful should they be, that the Almighty Sovereign whom they have contemned and offended, hath not cut them off in the midst of their iniquities! For then-it is the denunciation of his justice, and his truth and his power will assuredly execute it-their portion would have been with the ungodly, in that place where the smoke of torment ascends for ever and ever-where the weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth never cease-where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Ye who live a life of sin-and all live a life of sin, but those who, transformed by the renewing of their mind, delight in the service of God, in the exercise of holy love to him, studying supremely to keep his ordinances and obey his laws-ye who live a life of sin, the gracious Being whom you have offended, God, your Creator, Sovereign, Benefactor, Judge, is not yet provoked to seal up his mer

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