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immoderate anger; variance or quarrelling; and drunkenness, are also, you will observe, classed among those works of the flesh which are violations of the baptismal covenant, and which exclude those who are guilty of them from the kingdom of God.
The second great branch of your engagement was, "belief in all the articles of the "Christian Faith." These are shortly brought together in the Apostles' Creed. Consider now how far you understand, and really believe, the several articles which that Creed contains.
The most important of them are, belief in God the Father, who created; in God the Son, who redeemed; and in God the Holy Ghost, who sanctifieth you. Have you si ncerely embraced, and do you stedfastly hold these fundamental articles of faith? Do you really believe in God the Father, who made you and all the world? Do you preserve upon your minds a constant sense of his presence, and are you guided in all you do, say, or think, by a general view to his will and his glory? Do you effectually believe in God the Son who redeemed you and all mankind? Are you really per
suaded in your heart, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did by his death upon the cross make satisfaction for your sins, and the sins of the whole world? Have you a thankful remembrance of his death, and do you shew your thankfulness, not with your lips only, but in your life?
Do you believe in God the Holy Ghost who sanctifieth you and all the elect people of God? Are you sensible that your nature is so weak and corrupted, that you cannot do any thing that is acceptable to God without the aid of his Spirit, and do you seek for that aid in fervent prayer to him, who giveth his Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Do you seek it also in the diligent use of the other means of grace, particularly in the participation of the Lord's Supper?
In the third place, you engaged to " keep "God's holy will and commandments, and "to walk in the same all the days of your "life." Have you fulfilled this part of your engagement? What the commandments of God are, you well know. Many of those which forbid the commission of sin, I have touched upon in the former part of this discourse. With regard to those commandments which enjoin religious dispositions and religious duties, ask your own consciences whether you love and serve God as you ought to do? Whether you treat his name with reverence, never taking it in vain, or in any way profaning it. Consider, whether you keep holy the Lord's day; whether you are dutiful and obedient to parents, and to magistrates, and all that are in authority; whether you are careful to keep your hands from picking and stealing, your tongue from evil speaking, lying and slandering; whether you are contented in that state of life, in which the providence of God has placed you. If you live in the wilful neglect of any of God's commandments; if you are in the habit of swearing; in the habit of neglecting church, and the duties of the Lord's day; if you are guilty of reviling, or of evil-speaking, or of any other sin against the divine law; you have broken your baptismal vow, have gone back from your baptismal engagements, and have become exposed to the curse which is threatened to all those who wilfully "go -" astray from the commandments of God."
Consider well, my friends, what has been said. Revolve it again and again in your minds, and beseech God to brng it home to your hearts and consciences. You sometimes probably hear and read of men's being converted or unconverted, being renewed or unrenewed, and many like expressions. All these expressions come in fact to the same thing; and all questions respecting them are answered by the answer to the enquiry, which I have endeavoured to press upon you. Are you sincerely endeavouring to fulfil your baptismal vow, or are you living in the neglect of it? If you are habitually mindful of your baptismal covenant, and wish, and sincerely try, to live according to it, with earnest prayer for God's grace to enable you to do so, you are converted", are renewed, are in a state of grace, in a state of justification. If you habitually neglect it, or have wilfully drawn back, and continue to draw back,
n By the term conversion, I mean a turning-r-ti turning from sin to God, the turning from the evil of our doings, the turning away from wickedness, and doing' that which is lawful and right.
s from it, you are unrenewed, and in a state of condemnation.
If you faithfully keep to the engagements into which you entered at the font; if you endeavour to renounce the sins of the devil, the world, and the flesh; if you sincerely believe all the articles of the Christian faith, even though your faith be weak; and if it is the desire and purpose of your heart to keep God's holy will and commandments, and to walk in the same all the days of your life, even though your obedience is marked with much imperfection; if, I say, this is the case, then, happy are ye. Your interest in the privileges conferred at baptism remains firm. Humbly beg God to keep you in this state, and seek for the confirmation and increase of all spiritual blessings, by devoutly partaking of the table of the Lord. But if, on the other hand, you unhappily have habitually broken, and are still living in the neglect of your baptismal vow, let me intreat you, before it is too late, to think upon the dangerous condition you are in. You " have forsaken the "guide of your youth, and broken the co"venant of your God." You have deserted