« הקודםהמשך »
to latest age
it while memory holds her seat -- from earliest youth
-at home and abroad—in your private meditations and your public professions -- in your secret communings with God, and in your open worship of him in his church — in your personal tastes and in your social enjoyments — in your labour and your rest, — by your dispositions and your con. duct — by your words and your deeds — by the purity of your heart and by the lustre of your life! Amen!
RENUNCIATION OF THE DEVIL.
James, iy. 7.
Resist the Devil.
I HAVE now explained to you the Nature of Confirmation, as we gather it from perusal of the Order for it in the Book of Common Prayer. And I have pressed upon you the Importance of addressing yourselves without delay to serious preparation for this necessary rite.
The character of this preparation follows from the consideration of the Nature of the rite. Confirmation is the public personal ratification of our baptismal vow. Our right reception of it, therefore, will depend on the degree of intelligence and seriousness with which we understand, consider, and take up for our own, that BAPTISMAL Vow, as it was made for us by our godfathers and god
mothers, and is recorded in the Catechism of our Church. And consequently on this Vow the whole question of the Bishop, to those who come to be confirmed, turns. “ Do ye here, in the presence of God, and of this congregation, renew the solemn promise and vow that was made in your name at your Baptism ; ratifying and confirming the same in your own persons, and acknowledging yourselves bound to believe, and to do, all those things which your godfathers and godmothers then undertook for To which 66
every one shall audibly answer, I do.”
What, then, are those things which your godfathers and godmothers then undertook for you? You find them declared in the third answer of the Catechism. They did promise and vow three things in my name. First, that I should renounce the Devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities 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.” And all this, recollect, is promised, as the just and proper consequence of the privileges to which Baptism admits you. Baptism enrols us members of the Christian Church. That Church is the family of God. We are thenceforth, therefore, G
dren. And, consequently, the first duty of every Christian child is, to renounce everything that is contrary to his heavenly Father - to believe and embrace everything that his father teaches him - to do everything that his father would have him do.
And hence the threefold nature of the Baptismal Vow: the first engagement of which is to
NOUNCE EVERY THING THAT
GOD,—the Devil, who is the great enemy of all goodness, and those delusions of the World, and of the Flesh, — by which the Devil works, to allure, and to hurry us, away from goodness.
Let us pause now on the first particular of this Renunciation. “ They did promise and vow... that I should RENOUNCE WORKS.”
In order to understand which solemn Vow, we must inquire what is the specific mark by which Scripture characterises the Devil ; and then we shall perceive what it is to renounce him and his works.
The specific mark of the Devil, in Scripture, is as his various names at once declare, that he is the Enemy, the Opposer, the Adversary, of God and Goodness. For the words “ Devil" and " Satan," (the one the Greek, the ther the Hebrew term for
the same idea,) denote one who obstructs another's path -- who sets himself against him, to thwart, hinder, and frustrate his purposes. As, for example, in the Book of Numbers, xxii. 22, we read that “ the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an Adversary” (to be a Satan, is the Hebrew phrase)
against Balaam.” And in the First Book of Kings, xi. 14, “ The Lord stirred up an Adversary (a Satan) unto Solomon, even Hadad the Edomite." And again, v. 23, 25, “ God stirred him up another Adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, - and he was an Adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did, and he abhorred Israel.” And therefore these names are given, in other places of the Bible, by eminence, to The Devil, The Satan,—the rebellious and apostate spirit who has set himself against God, and labours to obstruct his path, and hinder and frustrate his designs. And hence, when “ Elymas the sorcerer withstood Barnabas and Saul,” when they were called by Sergius Paulus to preach to him the word of God, and “ sought to turn away the Deputy from the faith,” Paul reproved him in these words — “ O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the Devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord ?” Acts xiii. 10. Which
passage of a single verse, all that is comprehended in the
in the compass