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THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM.
Baptism is not to be unnecessarily delayed; nor to be administered, in any case, by any private person: but by a Minister of Christ, called to be a steward of the Mysteries of God.
“It is usually to be administered in the Church, in the presence of the congregation; and it is convenient that it be performed immediately after sermon.
“ After previous notice is given to the Minister, the child to be baptized is to be presented, by one or both of the parents, signifying their desire that the child may be baptized.
“Before Baptism, let the Minister use some words of instruction, respecting the institution, nature, use, and ends of this ordinance; showing
" That it is instituted by Christ; that it is a seal of the righteousness of faith; that the seed of the faithful have no less a right to this ordinance, under the Gospel, than the seed of Abraham to circumcision, under the Old Testament; that Christ commanded all nations to be baptized; that He blessed little children, declaring that of such is the kingdom of heaven; that children are federally holy, and therefore ought to be baptized; that we are, by nature, sinful, guilty, and polluted, and have need of cleansing by the blood of Christ, and by the sanctifying influences of the Spirit of God.'”..
UR help is in the Name of the Lord, who made
heaven and earth. AMEN.
you present this child to be baptized ? Answer: We do.
UR Lord showeth us in what poverty and misery
we all are born, when He saith that we must be born again. For if a renewal of our nature be necessary, in order that we may enter the Kingdom of God: This signifies that it is originally guilty and depraved. Thus He teacheth us that we must humble ourselves, and become displeased with ourselves; and thus He prepares us to desire and seek His grace : whereby all our depravity and the guilt of our former nature shall be
For we are not capable of receiving that grace, unless we be first emptied of all confidence in our own strength, righteousness, and wisdom, even so as to condemn all that is in ourselves.
Now, when our Lord hath shown us our misery, He doth likewise comfort us by His merciful assurance : promising to regenerate us by His Holy Spirit in a new life, that shall be to us as it were an entrance into His Kingdom. This regeneration consists of two parts: First, That we renounce ourselves, not following our own reason, pleasure, and will; but bringing into subjection our understanding and affections to the wisdom and righteousness of God; and mortifying all that is of us and of our flesh. And secondly, That we follow God's light, obeying and delighting our
selves in IIis good pleasure, as He manifests it by His Word, and leads us to it by His Spirit. The fulfilment of both these parts is to be found in our Lord Jesus Christ; Whose passion and death are of such power, that, participating in them, we become as it were buried unto sin, that our carnal lusts may be mortified and slain. So too by the power
So too by the power of His resurrection, we are raised to newness of life in God, by so much as His Spirit conducts and governs us, to work in us the things that are well-pleasing to Him. But the first and principal point of our salvation is, that by His mercy He remits to us all our offences, not imputing them unto us, but destroying even the remembrance of them, that they come not into account at His judgment.
These benefits are conferred when God is pleased to incorporate us into His Church by Baptism. For in this Sacrament He testifies to us the remission of our sins. And for this cause He ordained the sign of water, figuring to us that as by this element the stains of the body are cleansed, so He is willing to wash and purify our souls, that no spot may any longer appear upon
them. Here also He doth represent to us our regeneration; which, as we have said, consists in the