Abbildungen der Seite

inspired apostle; St. Paul styles him " the Lord's brother, (Gal. i. 19.) We find him presiding at the council at Jerusalem, (Acts xv.) and yet he says, that a religious man is to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. Away, then, with all idle notions of a bare, dead, speculative faith. Give to faith in the only Saviour, whose blood can alone cleanse from sin, its proper place—give to the work of the Spirit its proper place. No man can even say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Give all glory to God! But remember that the disciple thus blessed must walk as his Master walked; and when you see Jesus Christ going about doing good, then think of the practical part of religion, Go, and do thou likewise. When you see him healing the sick, be tender over them. When you hear him pardon sin, be gentle and compassionate, watchful over your own sins, merciful to the sins of others. If he forgives you ten thousand talents, do not think it much to forgive a poor brother a hundred pence. If he sat with Martha and Mary, and raised Lazarus and the widow's

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

son, do

in their affliction.

you visit the fatherless and widows

But there is a duty, and that not a very
easy duty, yet behind-" to keep ourselves
unspotted from the world." Of the three
grand spiritual enemies whom we promise at
our baptism to renounce, the world stands as
it were in the midst. The child is asked, "Who
gave you this name?"-"My godfathers
and godmothers in my baptism, wherein
I was made a member of Christ, the child of
God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of
heaven!”—“What did your godfathers and
godmothers then do for
They did
promise and vow three things in my name :
first, that I should renounce the devil and
all his works, the pomps and vanity of this
wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the
flesh; ; secondly, that I should believe all
the articles of the christian faith; and,
thirdly, that I should keep God's holy will
and commandments, and walk in the same
all the days of my life." I beg you to ob-
serve, that the language of the apostle and

* Our young persons about to be confirmed take these promises and vows, made by their sponsors, upon themselves in confirmation.

[ocr errors]


of our church are the same. more! The question is put. not think that thou art bound to believe, and to do, as they have promised for thee?" Yes, verily! and by God's help so I will. And I heartily thank our heavenly Father that he hath called me to this state of salvation, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. And I pray unto God to give me his grace, that I may continue in the same unto my life's end."

I would humbly ask any unprejudiced mind, what can be more suitable to the case of young persons entering upon life than this catechism? The world besets them; they are to keep themselves unspotted from it.-How? not by their own power or strength; but, the Lord helping them, they exert themselves; the Lord teaching them, they gain wisdom; the Lord warning them of dangerous paths, they, by the same grace, “walk in the narrow path which leadeth unto everlasting life."

Look once

"Dost thou

In every stage of our journey, there are temptations peculiar to that stage. But so are there especial helps and assistances. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse



his way? even by ruling himself after thy word. The aged have their temptations; therefore, until the journey ends, you must "watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation. You must guard against hypocrisy and self-righteousness, as well as against idleness and sloth. Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit like men; be strong." And even under the most trying circumstances the Christian may rejoice. My brethren, says St, James, Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience; and let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." We are led then to this conclusson, that there may be, and doubtless that there is, much outward profession of religion without any heart-work, which will avail us nothing; and that there is, and ever will be, a sound principle of faith, working by love, which, proceeding from the good Spirit of God, branches forth into every good word and work. "This man is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, and he shall be blessed in his


deed." Never cry down religion because there are some few hypocrites in the world; but see it as it really is, in faith and practice; and, on the other hand, never suffer yourselves to be deceived by mere professions. Try the spirits whether they be of God." Prove all things. Hold fast that which is good; abstain from all appearance of evil, and the very God of peace sanctify you wholly and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Thus will religion be your inward guide and counsellor; whilst it is seen that you are indeed religious, by the good fruit which the tree produces.

« ZurückWeiter »