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world as not abusing it; to have our conversation in heaven; and while we labour—as we mustfor the meat that perisheth, to keep ever foremost in our mind, and to seek, with our heart's best affections, that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.

This, brethren, is the lesson. May God write it on all our hearts! May He enable us so to use the time that remains to us- be it short or long

that it may turn in the end to our profit; “ that, whether we live, we may live unto the Lord; or whether we die, we may die unto the Lord;" that in death, as in life, we may have this seal,—that we are the Lord's!

Shiplake, Dec. 31, 1854.

SERMON XXIX.

CONFIRMATION.

[SUNDAY BEFORE CONFIRMATION IN SHIPLAKE CHURCH.]

2 COR. vi. 1.

“We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also

that

ye receive not the grace of God in vain."

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The first thing that must strike us on reading these words of St. Paul, is, that it is possible to receive God's grace in vain. They remind us of what our Church teaches in the Sixteenth Article_“ After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin;" and, it is added, “ by the grace of God we may arise again, and amend our lives.”

From this we judge it a delusion to suppose, that once in a state of salvation, we shall always be in that state.

There is no sanction for this in the Scriptures ; none in the experience of man's history. On the contrary, we have instances everywhere of men who have had God's grace, and shown by their lives that they were under His leading, but who yet, for lack of watchfulness, have fallen into grievous sins; done acts which they could not have done, had they remained in a state of grace.

And such examples are recorded for our warning: to check pride, and false confidence; to urge us to diligence, and active serving of our God. What they say to us, is—“Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.”

The warning is surely for us all. There is not one, not th? most advanced in Christian

hristian grace and holiness, who is secure from falling. There is not one who does not need to be continually proving himself, whether he be sound in faith, pure in life, walking as Christ's servant in the world.

But while the text thus contains a word of exhortation for us all, my object in choosing it has been with especial reference to the younger part of those present— with reference to you, brethren, who have been for the last few weeks in preparation for being confirmed.

As the day is now so near when you will be admitted to that holy rite—when you will renew your promise, and choose your Master; when, in return, God will assuredly send out His blessing, and strengthen you with the Holy Ghost the Comforter - I like not to lose this, the last opportunity I shall have, of speaking to you a few words of

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counsel on this subject; not so much about confirmation itself, for that we have fully gone into at other times, but about the duties which rise out of it—what you must do who desire to perform your promise — what precaution you must take, what safeguards employ, if you would not receive God's grace in that ordinance " in vain.”

And, in the first place, I must be allowed to notice, that the fact of the Bishop coming here to confirm you in your own church, ought to prove no little help to you.

When I was confirmed, I went to a large town, where there were several hundreds of young people congregated together from all the country round. The town, too, was the more full, from the number of friends and acquaintances who came to see the candidates confirmed.

It was rather a gay, than a religious spectacle. I look back to it, at this time, with no edifying recollections. Then, by reason of there being so many, the service was very long; and the crowd did not separate in that quiet, orderly way, which befitted the solemn purpose for which we were assembled. They hurried away, here and there, with the eagerness of children let loose from school. If the Bishop's charge had made an impression on some, to judge by what one saw, that impression was not general. The most part carried on their

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faces no expression of seriousness. It is to be feared, that on that day, and in that church, there were not a few who received “ the

grace

of God in vain!”

Now, brethren, you have a great safeguard against such a loss, in the Bishop's coming here to confirm you by yourselves, in your own parish church.

I do not say but that, even as it is, you may not, some of you, miss the blessing, and receive no good from your confirmation; but surely, if you do, the fault will rest with yourselves.

As far as could be, the way has been made easy to you. The service in church will not be a long one, and there will be no crowd of strangers to draw off your attention from it.

There will, I hope, be some here beside yourselves; there will be, I hope, your own friends and fellow-parishioners — and the more that can come of these the better - but still we shall, who are here, be no strangers to you; we shall all be persons interested in your welfare; we shall all rejoice at your answering well; we shall all be hurt, and pained, by any the least levity, or inattention on your part.

And so, as I said, the way, through the Bishop's kindness, has been made smooth for you. You cannot fail, if you come here next Tuesday, with

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