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you must strive after, and labour to attain those marks of the ripe, full-grown man, which you see in their fullest perfection in the Person and character of your Lord : viz. these - a wise and understanding heart, the mastery over yourselves, a will obedient in all things to the will of God, a great sympathy with and fellow-feeling for all

your kind.

In other words, you must strive and pray so to live ever henceforward, that you may use, as words applicable to yourselves, the words of the Apostle in the text, - When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child : but when I became a man, I put away childish things!

SERMON XXXIII.

AFTER CONFIRMATION,

PHARAOH'S OBSTINACY.

Exod. x. 27.

But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not

let them go.

The words of my text are from the first lesson for this afternoon. And in that lesson we have the sad and awful spectacle of the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, his obstinate resistance to God's will, his determination not to let the people of Israel go.

Nor is it in the 10th chapter of Exodus only, but in the 9th and preceding chapters, that we have set before us the same sight. For all that God punished Pharaoh with His sore judgments; for all that He sent plague after plague upon Egypt; for all that Pharaoh, smarting under the chastisement, did repent, and promise to release the Israelites, no sooner was there a respite granted him, but he again hardened his heart, and would not let the people go.

Such a sight is fitted to awaken very serious thoughts in our hearts. To see a man striving with his Maker—to see a man, not simply rebellious once, and afterwards repentant and obedient, but a man always rebelling against God one whom no warning, no chastisement could change-a man so fierce in his opposition to God, so blind to his own powerlessness, as to repeat again and again his transgression-again and again to defy the Almighty, and provoke Him to anger—such a spectacle is as sad and awful as it is singular. It is a spectacle of more than human wickedness. We may indeed find, in the history of wicked men, some resemblance to it-cases of men hardening their hearts under God's chastisement, refusing to let their sin gorepenting, perhaps, for a moment, and then returning to their provocation : but I know not that we shall ever find any case of a man so utterly hardened, so proof against all warning and all correction, as was Pharaoh.

He appears to out-top all others in the greatness of his wickedness. So much so, that we can only compare him with the author of all evilour enemy and God's enemy- the Devil.

And so, I think, it was intended. So, I think, we shall best turn to our profit the account of Pharaoh, and his obstinate provocation in the Bible, if we view him as a type of Satan—an image of that potent Tyrant who is the world's Taskmaster, who lays heavy burdens upon us, and keeps us in cruel bondage — will not let Christ's redeemed people go!

That, surely, is one use of Pharaoh's history. We may see there for our warning, how hard it is for us to get quite free from the hold which Satan has upon us— hard, even with all the help that is afforded us—even with One to

go

before us, and lead us out of bondage—even when a way of escape has been made for us through Jesus Christ.

That is the point I wish to put clearly before you now— before you, especially, my brethren, who have just been confirmed.

You have renounced the Devil, and all his works. You have declared publicly and solemnly, that you would have the Lord for your God; that you would yield yourselves His servants, and not Satan's servants to obey ; that the Lord, and He alone, should be your Master.

And you have done well — well and wisely. It is a great step in the way to a full deliverance to have arrived at a clear and decided choice of God for your Lord. It is a great and blessed help

a

a

to be assured, as you have been, that God accepts your service; that His Fatherly hand is over you ; that you are in a very real and especial manner His people.

Yes, and more. It is a blessed thing—a great help and encouragement to a Christian in his warfare with evil, to have tasted, were it only for a single day, of the heavenly gift, and to have been made a partaker of the Holy Ghost — to have felt Him working in us, putting good thoughts into our hearts, lifting up our affections to things above, filling us with joy and peace in believing !

And that blessing was, I trust, yours, and of many others who were confirmed by the Bishop last Wednesday. To a looker-on it appeared a truly religious, truly edifying service. And to those of you who were more directly engaged in it, it must have been a source of good—a real strengthening of your souls, a confirming you in true godliness.

When you left the church on that day, you left it-many of you did - steadfastly purposed to lead good and Christian lives; determined, God helping you, to have nothing to do with sin and Satan, but to carry out the promise you had given, of utterly renouncing these, and serving

God only

But now comes the difficulty. Can you do as

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