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you have promised? Can you live as those who have been made free from sin, and taken service with God, ought to live ? Are you in no danger of falling back- of becoming what so many older than yourselves are, slaves to Satan, led captive by him at his will ? That, I repeat, is what you have to consider
It is no use hiding the truth. Good resolutions, however solemnly made, are easily broken. It is hard - I have never said otherwise-it is hard to serve the living God: to walk in the strait and narrow path of a Christian life-hard to deny ourselves, hard to resist temptation, hard to take up the cross and follow Jesus. And why is it so hard ? partly because of our corrupt nature, and partly because we have one who is bent on doing us harm
us harm-one who is very powerful in his malice-one who, like Pharaoh, will not let God's people go!
Do not think, brethren, that because you have made one good step in the right direction, that therefore you are safe. For, hear what Pharaoh, who is the type of the Devil, did of old. When at length he had consented, terrified at the death of all the first-born in Egypt, to let the Israelites leave his land — no sooner had they gone, but he repented himself, and pursued after them, he and all his host, six hundred chosen chariots, and
to let you go
overtook them, as they were encamped by the coast of the Red Sea. Now, learn from this how reluctant Satan is
Learn from this what is your present position. You, like the Israelites, have met with a great deliverance. You have got, as 'it were, one stage on your way out of Egypt towards Canaan. You have taken your journey from Succoth, and are encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness!
But that great wilderness is still before you, with all its trials, and disappointments, and drought, and heat, and fiery serpents; or, in other words, you have still to cross the greater part of life's journey, and all its worst temptation yet to encounter. And besides this, there is one following after to overtake you, if he can, and carry you back to the old bondage in Egypt.
That, brethren, is your position—a position of peril, a position that calls for anxiety, but not the less a position of hope and blessedness.
Look at it seriously, and consider what should be now your behaviour. And shall I be wrong if I say that you must now, and ever henceforward, use every means of grace that God has given you, to help to your complete deliveranceto lead you to the rest of heaven? Not easily, be sure of this, not easily will
Satan be baffled. If he find you careless, negligent, off your guard, he will certainly take advantage of you, and make you his prisoner. You can only keep clear of his attacks by constant watchfulness, and constant prayer.
That is one thing to be remembered. In order to lead a good life — to make your calling and election sure, you must be much in prayer. For, by prayer you keep open the way of communication between your souls and God. Prayer is the Jacob's ladder which reaches from the earth to heaven, on which ascend and descend God's angels, with messages of grace for man. Pray then, and faint not. Watch unto the same yourselves each day when you get up, and when you lie down, to open out, in stillness and alone, your heart's wants to God. Pray to your Father in heaven which seeth in secret. Pray Him, in the very words of that prayer which was offered on your behalf at confirmation, and which you will do well to use daily for yourselves - pray Him to strengthen you with the Holy Ghost the Comforter, to increase in you His manifold gifts of grace, the spirit of wisdom and understanding; the spirit of counsel and ghostly strength; the spirit of knowledge and true godliness; and to fill you with the spirit of His holy fear !
Further, as another great and precious means
of grace, I would say, seek God in the sanctuary. Learn to love His public worship. Learn to feel the joy and comfort of common prayer. Come always to your Parish Church, and bring with you attentive ears, and teachable hearts.
Of all the outward helps to a good and Christian life this is one of the greatest-the meeting together in God's house, poor and rich, child and grown man, as one family in Jesus Christ-to render to God thanks for His great benefits, to set forth His most worthy praise, to hear His most holy Word, and to ask what we require, as well for the body as the soul.
Now I would ask of you not wilfully to miss a single opportunity of sharing in this worship. Sanctify the Sabbath, as the Lord hath commanded ; and sanctify it in this way, by lifting up your hands with your hearts in the Sanctuary, and praising the Lord !
And, brethren, when I exhort you to attend upon God's public worship, let me add, that I include every part of God's worship- the service of the Holy Communion as well as our Morning and Evening Prayer.
Now that you have been confirmed, it will be your privilege, your right, to partake of the Holy Supper, and I trust you will all avail yourselves of it. It is so lately that you have heard the Bishop's words on this grave subject, that I have some doubt whether I should touch upon it now, lest I weaken the force of what he has already said. But I cannot conclude my remarks to you to-day, without once more pressing upon you, and not upon you only, but upon
grown-up persons here present, the duty of coming to the Lord's Table.
You know, I am sure, why it is our duty. You know what we do there-even remember the most precious death of our dear Saviour, in the way He has Himself appointed. You know, that besides remembering Him, we meet Him there. That He in that sacrament is present with us — present in the heart of His faithful worshippers
—the spiritual food and sustenance of our souls. You know-for I have often brought this subject before you—you know that in the Holy Supper we have at once the pledge of Christ's great love, and the most touching memorial of His death!
But surely, knowing this, you ought not to hesitate about being communicants.
God forbid that I should urge you to do that which was not for your good to do! I know that it is for your good. I know, and am persuaded, that nothing will so assist you in journeying through the wilderness, in keeping out of the