Page images
PDF
EPUB

FRIENDS,

“ In these Gospels you see the actions and hear the words of our blessed Saviour: how he commanded little children to be brought unto him, how he rebuked those that would have kept them away, how readily he blessed them, how kindly he embraced them, how he pronounced them capable of, and entitled to, the kingdom of God: how he commanded us to receive the kingdom as infants received it, and affirmed that we can no way receive it but by being like them : you know also, that although Christ commanded them to be brought unto him, there is no ordinary and appointed way for infants to come to Christ, and no way possible for them to be brought to Christ, but by this new birth and regeneration in the laver of baptism: you see also by the example and words of our blessed Lord himself, that even the most innocent persons ought to be baptized; for he himself, who knew no sin, was yet baptized in the baptism of repentance, and so to do was the fulfilling of righteousness; we may therefore easily perceive that the innocence of infants, and their freedom from actual sin, cannot excuse them from baptism. And if we remember, that although our blessed Saviour required faith of them who came to be healed of their diseases, yet by the faith of others a, who came in behalf of such as could not be brought, or could not come, the sick person was healed; we are sufficiently instructed, that although infants have no more actual faith than they have actual sin, yet the faith of others can be, and is, by the usual and revealed method of the divine mercy, as well imputed to them, to the purposes of grace and life, as the sin of Adam can be imputed to the purposes of death ; that “as in Adam all die, so in Christ all should be made alive:' we may therefore, from these certain evidences, conclude, that God alloweth in you this obedience and charity, in bringing this child to Christ, to receive all blessings of which he is capable, and a title to the promises and adoption to be the child of God, a sąnctification by the Spirit, a designation to the service of Christ, and putting him into the order of eternal life. Therefore, [as circumcision was the seal of the righteousness of faith, and yet ministered to infants eight days old, and commanded so severely, that God said, The uncircumcised child, whose flesh is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people: so baptism, which is now the sealc of the same faith and the same righteousness, and a figure like unto the former, is to be administered to infants, although they have no more actual faith than the children of the Israelites had; our blessed Saviour having made baptism as necessary in the New Testament, as circumcision in the Old. For because little children can receive the kingdom of God, and in infants there is no incapacity of receiving the mercies of God, the adoption to be children of God, a title to the promises, the covenant of repentance, and a right to pardon; whosoever shall deny to baptize infants when he is justly required, is sacrilegious and uncharitable. Since, therefore, the church of God hath so great, so clear, so indubitable a warrant to baptize infants, and, therefore, did always practise it,] let us humbly and charitably give thanks to God for his great mercies unto us all, and, with meekness and love, recommend this child to the grace of God.”

* Matt. yiii. 13, and Matt. ix. 28. John, iv. 50. Mark, ix. 23.

b All this between the crotchets may be omitted, according to the discretion of him that ministers.

Let us pray.

I.

O Almighty and Eternal God, who hast redeemed us from sin and shame, from the gates of hell and the sting of death, and from ignorance and darkness, by thy holy Son, who is that light which lighteneth every man that cometh into the world :

: we praise and glorify thy name, that thou hast called us to the knowledge of thy will, and the love of thy name, and the service of thy majesty, which is perfect freedom, the freedom of the sons of God,

II. As thou hast dealt graciously with us, so deal with this infant, whom we humbly bring and offer to our blessed Saviour Jesus, that he should receive him, and bless him with the blessings of an everlasting love. Receive him, O most gracious Lord, who is thy child by creation, make him thine

• Rom. iv, 11, 12, 13. 17. Gal, iji. 14. 29.

also by adoption into thy covenant of grace and favour; let him be consigned with thy sacrament, be admitted into Christ's kingdom, enter into his warfare, believe his doctrine, labour and hope for his promises, that this child, witnessing here a good confession, may have his understanding for ever brought unto the obedience, his affections to the love, and all his faculties to the service, of Christ; and after he hath served thee in his generation, he may receive his part and portion in thy glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Then arising from their knees, the Minister shall say unto the God-fathers

and Godmothers, as followeth : 66

“Well-beloved friends, you have brought this child to be presented unto Christ as a servant of his laws, and a disciple of his doctrine; ye have prayed that God would receive him, and give him a portion in the gospel and kingdom of his Son; ye have heard what promises God hath made on his part, and ye believe and know all his words are yea and amen,' and not one tittle of them shall pass unaccomplished; now therefore, because it is a covenant of grace and favour on God's part, and of faith and obedience on ours, though God prevents us with his grace, and begins to do for us before we can do any thing for him,-yet you, under whose power this child is, and by whose faith and charity this child comes to Christ in holy baptism, must also, on his behalf, promise that he will forsake the devil and all his wicked works, that he will faithfully believe Christ's holy Gospel, and dutifully keep all Christ's commandments.”

Minister. Dost thou abjure, and renounce, and promise to forsake, the devil and all his wicked works, not to listen to his temptations, not to be led by the flesh, by the vain powers of the world, by carnal or covetous desires, but thou wilt be the servant of the Lord Jesus?

Answer. I forsake them all, and will be a servant of Jesus.

Minister. Dost thou believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth? And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord? And that he was conceived by the Holy Ghost; born of the Virgin Mary; that he suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; that he went down into hell, and also did rise again the third day; that he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right

hand of God the Father Almighty; and from thence he shall come again, at the end of the world, to judge the quick and the dead ? And dost thou believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the remission of sins; the resurrection of the flesh; and everlasting life after death?

Answer. All this I will profess and steadfastly believe.
Minister. Wilt thou be baptized into this faith?
Answer. That is

my

desire.

Let us pray.

O Almighty God, who hast given the promise of thy Spirit to us and to our children, even to as many as the Lord our God shall call; give thy Holy Spirit to this infant, that the evil spirits of darkness may not take thy portion from thee, nor hurt the body, nor deceive the understanding, nor corrupt the will, nor tempt the affections of this infant: but that thy Spirit, who bloweth where it listeth, and no man knows whence he cometh nor whither he goeth, may be in this child as the seed of God springing up to life eternal; that the kingdom of God which is within, and cometh not with observation, may early rule and conduct this infant, prevent the folly of his childhood from growing up to sins in his youth, and may work strongly in him when his weakness, his ignorances, and temptations, are most powerful to prevail upon him; that from his cradle to his grave he may be guided by the Spirit of God in the paths of the divine commandments. Admit him, O God, into the bosom of the church, into the arms of thy mercy, into a right of the promises, into the service of Christ, into the communion of saints; and give him power to become the son of God, that being buried with Christ in baptism, he may also rise with him through the faith of the operation of God, through the same our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Then the Minister of the Sacrament shall take the Child in his arms, and

ask the name. Then naming the Child aloud, he shall dip the head, or face, or body, of

the Child in the water, saying, N. I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Dipping the head, at the naming of the holy Trinity.

If the Child be weak, or any other great cause intervene, it may suffice, instead

of dipping, to sprinkle water on the face, using the same form of words. Then shall the Priest make the sign of the Cross upon the Child's fore

head, saying,

“ We sign this child with the sign of the cross, and enrol him a soldier under the banner of Christ, to signify, and, as a ceremony, to represent, that the duty of this and all baptized persons is manfully to fight under the banner of Christ against the flesh, the world, and the devil, all the days of their life; and by the power which Christ our blessed Lord, who hath the key of David, hath given unto me, I admit this child into the communion of saints, into the bosom of the visible church, the kingdom of grace, and the title to the promises evangelical, and the hopes of glory.”

Our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus, who, when he had overcome the sharpness of death, did open the kingdom of heaven to all believers, and gave unto his church the keys of the kingdom, that his ministers might let into it all that come to him; he of his infinite goodness and truth, make good his gracious promises upon this infant, that what we do on earth according to his will, he may confirm in heaven by his Spirit and by his word, to the glory of the blessed and undivided Trinity, God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then shall the Minister add this Invitation.

Seeing now, dearly beloved, that this infant hath received holy baptism, and is washed in the laver of regeneration, admitted into the bosom of the church, into the covenant of faith and repentance, pardon and holiness ; let us give thanks to God for these graces, and pray that this child may lead his life according to the present undertaking.

1. We give thee thanks and praise, O heavenly and most gracious Father, that it hath pleased thee to call this child to thy holy baptism, to renew him with thy Holy Spirit, to admit him into the church, to adopt him for thy child, and to receive him unto the profession of thy faith : and we humbly

« PreviousContinue »