receive Confirmation once in our lives. Those who are going to be confirmed must prepare themselves carefully in two ways : (1) They must be truly sorry for past sin; (2) they must have faith in God's promises. Then when you have received the gifts of the HOLY GHOST in Confirmation, you must not let them lie idle (1 Thessalonians v. 19), else you will lose the power of using them, just as a man who gives up walking, in time loses the power of using his legs. There is much more to be learnt about Confirmation, but enough has been said here to set you thinking about it seriously. Your Chaplain will instruct you; the Prayer Book will instruct you (see the Order of Confirmation) ; above all, read the following passages in the Bible, and the HOLY GHOST Himself will instruct you.

Look at the following texts in connection with Confirmation :

Acts i. 3, viii. 17, xix. 6, viii. 16, 17; Hebrews vi. 1, 2; 1 Corinthians xii. 4; Galatians v. 16, 22; Ephesians iii. 16; I Corinthians xiii. 8, xii. 31 ; xiii, 1, 2 ; Luke ix. 1, 2; John vi. 70, 71, xii. 6; Daniel xi. 1 ; i Corinthians xii. 13; Titus iii. 4; Psalm lxviii. 28; Romans viii. 11, 12, 13; John iii. 5, xiv. 26 ; Colossians i. 11. If you are doubtful whether to be Confirmed or not say this short prayer :

o loving LORD, giver of grace, bring me back into Thy path from which I have strayed ; teach me what is good for my soul, and lead me to seek Thy Holy Spirit in Confirmation, through JESUS CHRIST our Lord. Amen. When you are preparing for Confir

mation say daily these prayers :

O Almighty God, who, of Thy great mercy, didst make me Thy child in Holy Baptism, help me to prepare to receive the gifts of the Holy GHOST in Confirmation. Give me true and deep repentance for the sins of my past life (especially, ...); give me a firm faith in Thee ; strengthen me, that I may have grace and courage to fight manfully, as a true soldier of JESUS CHRIST, against the temptations

of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Help me to continue Thine for ever, and to suffer anything rather than forsake Thee. This I beg for JESUS CHRIST's sake. Amen.

Almighty God, I beseech Thee to bless Thy servants who are preparing for Confirmation, especially : .. Turn them unto Thyself with their whole heart, and increase in them the gift that Thou hast given them in Holy Baptism ; through JESUS CHRIST our Lord. Amen.

There is a special privilege in store for you after Confirmation ; namely, admission to the Holy Communion. Persons may receive Holy Communion without having been confirmed, if for some cause or other they cannot be confirmed when ready and desirous to be so. This is often the case with those who live on board ship. After you are confirmed you should receive Holy Communion on the first opportunity. For our Lord has said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you” (John vi. 53). So that we cannot be good Christians without Holy Communion, even after Baptism and Confirmation ; for we should lose the benefit of them ; just as a man cannot keep life and strength in him without meat and drink. The Prayer Book by appointing a fresh Collect, Epistle, and Gospel at Holy Communion for every Sunday and Holy Day in the year, shews us in what light the Church would have us consider this Sacrament. Further, whilst it orders every one to receive Holy Communion “three times a year of which Easter to be one" it adds the words "at least,” showing that it does not mean that we are to receive three times a year only. We may be sure that JESUS CHRIST meant us to receive Him often when He said, “This do in remembrance of Me,” and “Drink ye all of it."

SELF-EXAMINATION. “ Let a man examine himself and so let him eat of that Bread and drink of that Cup.”

How will the Seaman, who wishes to live godly in CHRIST JESUS, find

the time and the place to carry out this command of St. Paul ? But, first, what is the command ? That before receiving Holy Communion a man ought to examine himself.

The Prayer Book explains this by telling us that people should ask themselves four questions : (1) Whether they repent them truly of their former sins, stedfastly purposing to lead a new life ; (2) whether they have a lively faith in God's mercy through CHRIST; (3) with a thankful reniembrance of His Death ; and (4) whether they are in charity with all men.

How, then, shall we find out whether or not we have Repentance, Faith, Thankfulness, and Charity? By placing ourselves alongside the rule of God's Commandments. This seems an easy thing to say, but the Sailor knows that for him it is no easy thing to do.

First, where shall he carry out this examination of conscience? There are times when the mess is quiet, especially in the afternoon watch at sea. In a ship where the hands make and

« ForrigeFortsett »