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Consecration or Confirmation of those of
DEAR FRIENDS :
Let us hear the words of the wise, that have come down to us from ancient times, and that have been proved true by the experience of the world.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Only those who are foolish despise instruction. Forget not the law of righteousness. For long life and peace shall add to thee.
The ways of wisdom are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honor.
Wisdom is the principal thing : therefore get wisdom ; and, with all thy getting, get understanding
Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
The memory of the just is blessed; but the memory of the wicked shall rot.
The value of a virtuous woman is far above rubies.
She will do good, and not evil, all the days of her life.
Strength and honor are her clothing, and she shall reioice in timę to come.
CONSECRATION OR CONFIRMATION
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
Her children rise up, and call her blessed.
Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain ; but she that feareth the Lord shall be praised.
Do not lay up treasures on the earth only. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
Watch ye, stand fast in your faith, quit ye like men, be strong
When Moses was come of years, he refused the pleasures and riches of Egypt, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God.
Pure religion and undefiled before God is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep unspotted from the world.
Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God.
Now are we children of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be ; but when we see him as he is, we shall be like him.
Every one that hath his hope purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Some of you were consecrated to God and his truth when as yet you were too young to understand the obligations then entered into on your behalf. Some of you, perhaps, are now here for the first time to make this public dedication of yourselves to a noble life.
It is, of course, true that one may lead a right
OF THOSE OF RIPER YEARS.
eous and helpful life without making any formal pledges so to do. But in a world like this, where so much needs to be done to establish the kingdom of God (which is the perfect condition of man), it is fitting that those who are willing to consecrate themselves to the work of fighting against all evil and helping forward all good should know each other and pledge themselves to mutual aid.
By presenting yourselves here to-day, you do not commit yourselves to any fixed intellectual creed, but only to a moral purpose. Indeed, it is a part of your pledge that you will discard whatever belief you discover to be false, and freely accept whatever you become convinced is true. Only you are to be careful that neither haste, prejudice, nor passion shall control you either to accept or reject.
To find the truth and practically apply it in helping your fellow
men to be happier and better, -- this is to be your life-work.
Do you now, therefore, pledge yourselves, in all earnestness and sincerity, to do your utmost to renounce all evil and error, and to do all you can to make the world better?
Answer.- We do.
Then the Minister shall say :
This water is an emblem of purity of heart and life. And this bunch of flowers .is a symbol of a life unfolding in beauty and holding in its heart
CONSECRATION OR CONFIRMATION.
the seeds of results that shall grow and bear fruit hereafter.
Here the Minister shall baptize those who desire it, saying. I consecrate thee,
to God and his truth, and to the service of your fellow-men forever. Amen.
Then he may give each a bunch of flowers. When this is done, he shall say, addressing them all :
We now receive you into the fellowship of all those who are heartily devoted to God, to truth, and to the help of man.
Let us pray.
After the prayer, the service may be fittingly closed by sing
ing a hymn.
[If desirable, the flowers, and that part of the service connected with them, can be omitted.]
(With slight changes.) DEARLY BELOVED, we are gathered together here, in the sight of God, and in the face of this company, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony; which is commended of Saint Paul to be honorable among all men : and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. If any man can show just cause why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.
And also speaking unto the persons who are to be married, the Minister shall say :
I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the day when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in matrimony, ye do now confess it.
For be ye well assured, that if any persons are joined together otherwise than as God's law doth allow, their marriage is not lawful.