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He our Father, and we His children, we may have occasion to try as well our past lives as our present conversation; and to prove ourselves, whether we stand fast in the faith of God's Elect, or have strayed from Him through unbelief and ungodly lives. If our consciences do thus accuse us, yet by hearing the loving promises of our heavenly Father, who calls all men to mercy by repentance, we may henceforth walk more warily in our vocation. Moreover, ye that be fathers and mothers, should take peculiar comfort in seeing your children thus received into the bosom of Christ's Congregation: whereby you are admonished to nourish and bring up the children of God's favour and mercy, over whom His fatherly providence continually watches.
And as this ought greatly to rejoice you, knowing that nothing can happen unto them without His good pleasure, so should it make you diligent and careful to nurture and instruct them in the true knowledge and fear of God. Wherein if
Wherein if ye be negligent, ye do not only injure your own children, hiding from them the good will and pleasure of Almighty God their Father : but also you heap upon yourselves judgment, in suffering His children, bought with the blood of His dear
Son, so treacherously for lack of knowledge to turn away from Him. Hence it is your duty with all diligence to provide that your children, in due time, be instructed in all knowledge necessary for a true Christian: chiefly that they be taught to rest upon the righteousness of Christ Jesus alone, and to abhor and flee all superstition and idolatry. And now to the intent that we may be assured that you, the parents of this child, consent to the performance of all this : Declare here, before the face of God's Congregation, the sum of that Faith wherein ye believe, and will instruct your
Then the father, or in his absence the godfather, shall rehearse the articles
of his faith, as follows:
I believe in God, etc.
LMIGHTY and Everlasting God, who of Thine
infinite mercy and goodness hast promised unto us that Thou wilt be not only our God, but also the God and Father of our children: We beseech Thee, that having called us to be partakers of this Thy great mercy, in the fellowship of faith, it may please Thee to sanctify with Thy Holy Spirit, and to receive into
the number of Thy children this infant, whom we shall baptize according to Thy Word: That he, coming to perfect age, may confess Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent; and may so serve Him, and be profitable unto His Church, in the whole course of his life, that this life ended, he may be brought, as a lively member of His body, unto the full fruition of Thy joys in the heavens : where Thy Son, our Saviour Christ, reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, world without end. And in His Name we pray, as He hath taught us, saying:
Our Father, etc.
The administration of the ordinance as in the preceding form.
APTISM is an holy Sacrament instituted by
Christ : in which a person professing the Christian Faith, or the infant of such, is baptized with water into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: in signification and solemnization of the holy covenant in which as a believer, or the seed of believers, he giveth up himself, or is by the parent given up, to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost :
to believe in, love, and fear this blessed Trinity, against the flesh, the devil, and the world. Thus he is solemnly entered a visible member of Christ and His Church, a child of God, and an heir of heaven. How great now is this mercy, and how great the duty that is before you! Is it a small mercy, for this child to be accepted into the covenant of God, and washed from his original sin in the blood of Christ—which is signified and sealed by this sacramental washing in water : to be accepted as a member of Christ and of His Church, where He vouchsafes His protection and provision, and the means and Spirit of grace, and the renewed pardon of sin upon repentance? The duty on your part is, first, to see that you are stedfast in the faith and covenant of Christ; that you perish not yourself; that your child is indeed the child of a believer : And then, you are believingly and thankfully, to dedicate your child to God, and to enter him into the covenant in which you stand. And you must know that your faith, and consent, and dedication, will suffice for your children no longer than until they come to age themselves : and then they must own their baptismal covenant, and personally renew it, and consent and give themselves up to God, or else they
will not be owned by Christ. You must therefore acquaint them with the doctrine of the Gospel as they grow up, and with the covenant now made : and bring them up in the fear of the Lord. And when they are actually penitent believers, they must present themselves to the Pastors of the Church, to be approved and received into the communion of the adult believers.
The Minister shall here say to the Parent, and the Parent answer, as fol. loweth:
ND now, because these promises are made only to
the faithful and to their seed, and because no man can sincerely dedicate his child to that God in whom he believeth not himself: I therefore require you to make profession of your own faith.
Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth : And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead ?
Do you believe in the Holy Ghost ; the Holy