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XXVII. Of Baptism. BAPTISM is not only * a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened ; but it is also a sign of regeneration, or new birth,
We receive this person into the congregation of Christ's flock, and do sign him with the sign of the Cross; in token that hereafter he shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, and manfully to fight under his banner against sin, the world, and the devil; and to continue Christ's faithful soldier and servant unto his life's end. Amen.
And as for you, who have now by Baptism put on Christ, it is your part and duty also, being made the children of God and of the light, by faith in Jesus Christ, to walk answerably to your Christian calling, and as becometh the children of light: remembering always that Baptism representeth unto us our profession; which is, to follow the example of our Saviour Christ, and to be made like unto him; that as he died, and rose again for us, so should we, who are baptized, die from sin, and rise again unto righteousness; continually mortifying all our evil and corrupt affections, and daily proceeding in all virtue and godliness of living. Bapt. Serv.
We say that Baptism is a sacrament of the remission of sins, and of that washing which we have in the blood of Christ; and that no person which will profess Christ's name, ought to be restrained or kept back therefrom: no not the very babes of Christians : for so much as they be born in sin, and do pertain unto the people of God. Jewell.
Dearly beloved, forasmuch as all men are conceived and born in sin, (and that which is born of the flesh is flesh,) and they
• According to his mercy he Therefore we are buried with him saved us, by the washing of re- by baptism into death: that like as generation, and renewing of the Christ was raised from the dead Holy Ghost. Tit. iii. 5. Jesus an- by the glory of the Father, even so swered, Verily, verily, I say unto we also should walk in newness of thee, except a man be born of water life. For if we have been planted and of the Spirit he cannot enter together in the likeness of his into the kingdom of God. John iii. death, we shall be also in the like5. As many of you as have been ness of his resurrection. Rom. vi. baptized into Christ have put on 3-5. Buried with him in baptism, Christ. If any man be in Christ he wherein also ye are risen with him is a new creature. Gal. iii. 27. through the faith of the operation 2 Cor, v. 17. So many of us as of God, who hath raised him from were baptized into Jesus Christ the dead. Col. ii. 12. were baptized into his death?
whereby as by an instrument, e they that receive Baptism rightly, "are grafted into the Church ; that are in the flesh, cannot please God, but live in sin, com: mitting many actual transgressions; and that our Saviour Christ saith, None can enter into the kingdom of God, except he be regenerate and born anew of water and of the Holy Ghost; I beseech you to call upon God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that of his bounteous goodness he will grant to these persons that which by nature they cannot have; that they may be baptized with water and the Holy Ghost, and received into Christ's holy Church, and be made lively members of the same. Bapt. Serv.
Q. Do all generally, and without difference, receive this grace ? A. The only faithful receive this fruit; but the unbelieving, in refusing the promises offered them by God, shut up the entry against themselves, and go away empty. Yet do they not there by make that the sacraments lose their force and nature. Nowell,
Q. What is required of persons to be baptized ? A. Repentance, whereby they forsake sin; and faith, whereby they stedfastly believe the promises of God made to them in that sacrament. Catechism.
Q. Tell me then briefly in what things the right use of baptism consisteth ? A. In faith and repentance. For first we must with assured confidence hold it determined in our hearts, that we are cleansed by the blood' of Christ from all filthiness of sin, and so be acceptable to God, and that his Spirit dwelleth within us.
And then we must continually, with all our power and endeavour, travail in mortifying our flesh, and obeying the righteousness of God, and must by godly life declare to all
men, that we have in baptism, as it were, put on Christ, and have his Spirit given us. Nowell, p. 104.
Doubt ye not therefore, but earnestly believe, that he will favourably receive these present persons, truly repenting and coming unto him by faith ; that he will grant them remission of their sins, and bestow upon them the Holy Ghost; that he will give them the blessing of eternal life, and make them partakers of his everlasting kingdom. Bapt. Serv.
Beloved, ye hear in this Gospel the express words of our Saviour Christ, That except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Whereby ye may perceive the great necessity of this sacrament, where it may be had. Bapt. Serv.
d'As the body is one, and hath tized into one body. 1 Cor. xii. 22, many members, and all the mem- 23. The church is his body. Eph. bers of that one body, being many, i. 22, 23. As many of you as have are one body; so also is Christ, been baptized into Christ have put For by one spirit we are all bap- on Christ. Gal. iii. 27.
* the promises of forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are 8 visibly signed and sealed;
Whereas by nature we are the children of wrath, that is, strangers from the Church, which is God's household, Baptism is, as it were, a certain entry, by which we are received into the Church, whereof we also receive a most substantial testimony, that we are now in the number of the household, and also of the children of God; yea, and that we are joined and grafted into the body of Christ, and become his members, and so grow into one body with him. Nowell, p. 103.
e Q. What is the inward and spiritual grace ? A. A death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness: for being by nature born in sin, and the children of wrath, we are hereby made the children of
grace. Catechism. The secret and spiritual grace is of two sorts: that is, forgiveness of sins, and regeneration, both of which in the same outward sign have their full and express resemblance. Nowell, p. 103.
* Give thy Holy Spirit to this infant; that he may be born again, and be made an heir of everlasting salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. -We beseech thee, for thine infinite mercies, that thou wilt mercifully look upon this child; wash him, and sanctify him with the Holy Ghost; that he being delivered from thy wrath, may be received into the ark of Christ's Church; and being stedfast in faith, joyful through hope, and rooted in charity, may so pass the waves of this troublesome world, that finally he may come to the land of everlasting life; there to reign with thee world without end, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Bapt. Serv.
8 First, as the uncleannesses of the body are washed away by water, so the spots of the soul are washed away by the forgiveness of sins. Secondly, the beginning of regeneration, that is, the mortifying of our nature, is expressed by dipping in the water, or by sprinkling of it. Finally, when we by and by rise up again out of the water, under which we be for a short time, the new life, which is the other part, and the end of our regeneration, is thereby represented. Q. Thou seemest to make the water but a certain figure of divine things ? A. It is a figure indeed, but not empty or deceitful, but such as hath the
• Then Peter said unto them, Spirit of his Son into your hearts, Repent, and be baptized every one crying Abba, Father. Gal. iv. 6. of you in the name of Jesus Christ Let us draw near with a true heart, for the remission of sins, and ye in full assurance of faith, having shall receive the gift of the Holy our hearts sprinkled from an evil Ghost. Acts ii. 38. Because ye conscience, and our bodies washed are sons, God hath sent forth the with pure water. Heb. x. 22.
b faith is confirmed, and grace increased by
truth of the things themselves joined and knit unto it. For as in Baptism God truly delivereth us forgiveness of sins and newness of life, so do we certainly receive them. For God forbid we should think that God mocketh and deceiveth us with vain figures. -Q. Do we not then obtain forgiveness of sins by the outward washing or sprinkling of water ? A. No. For only Christ hath with his blood washed and clean washed away the spots of our souls. This honour, therefore, it is unlawful to give to the outward element. But the Holy Ghost, as it were, sprinkling our consciences with that holy blood, wiping away all the spots of sin, maketh clean before God. Of this cleansing of our sins we have a seal and pledge in the Sacrament.Q. Whence have we regeneration ? A. None other ways but from the death and resurrection of Christ. For by the force of Christ's death our old man is, after a certain manner, crucified and mortified, and the corruptness of our nature is, as it were, buried, that it no more live and be strong in us. And by the beneficial mean of his resurrection he giveth us grace to be newly formed unto a new life, to obey the righteousness of God, Nowell, p. 104. See Art. XVII. s, t.
Sanctify this water to the mystical washing away of sin; and grant that this child, now to be baptized therein, may receive the fulness of thy grace, and ever remain in the number of thy faithful and elect children, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Bapt. Serv.
Almighty and everliving God, who hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants by water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given unto them forgiveness of all their sins; strengthen them, we beseech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost the Comforter, and daily increase in them thy manifold gifts of grace; the spirit of wisdom and understanding; the spirit of counsel and ghostly strength; the spirit of knowledge, and true godliness ; and fill them, O Lord, with the spirit of thy holy fear, now and for ever. Amen. Confirmation Serv.
O merciful God, grant that the old Adam in these persons may be so buried, that the new man may be raised up in them. Amen. Grant that all carnal affections may die in them, and
h Then they that gladly received and singleness of heart, praising his word were baptized. And God, and having favour with all they continued stedfastly in the the people. Acts ii. 41, 46, 47, Apostles' doctrine and fellowship, He that believeth and is baptized and in breaking of bread, and in shall be saved. Mark xvi. 16. prayers. And they continuing daily i Arise, and be baptized, and with one accord in the temple, and wash away thy sins, calling on the breaking bread from house to house, name of the Lord. Acts xxii. 16. did eat their meat with gladness
virtue of prayer unto God. * The Baptism of young children is in any wise to be retained in
that all things belonging to the Spirit may live and grow in them. Amen. Grant that they may have power and strength to have victory, and to triumph against the devil, the world, and the flesh. Amen. Grant that they being here dedicated to thee by our office and ministry, may also be endued with heavenly virtues, and everlastingly rewarded through thy mercy, 0 blessed Lord God, who dost live and govern all things, world without end. Amen. Bapt. Serv.
* Q. Why then are infants baptized, when by reason of their tender age they cannot perform them? A. Because they promise them both by their sureties ; which promise, when they come to age, themselves are bound to perform. Catechism.
For our Lord Jesus Christ doth not deny his grace unto such infants, but most lovingly doth call them unto him, as the holy Gospel doth witness to our comfort on this wise.
S. Mark x. 13. They brought young children to Christ, that he should touch them; and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
-Beloved, ye hear in this Gospel the words of our Saviour Christ, that he commanded the children to be brought unto him; how he blamed those that would have kept them from him; how he exhorteth all men to follow their innocency. Ye perceive how by his outward gesture and deed he declared his good will toward them; for he embraced them in his arms, he laid his hands upon them, and blessed them. Doubt ye not therefore, but earnestly believe, that he hath likewise favourably received this present infant; that he hath embraced him with the arms of his mercy, and (as he hath promised in his holy word) will give unto him the blessing of eternal life, and make him partaker of his everlasting kingdom. Wherefore we being thus persuaded of the good will of our heavenly Father, declared by
God said unto Abraham, Thou you and your children. Aets ii. 38, shalt keep my covenant therefore, 39. Lydia was baptized, and her thou and thy seed after thee in household. Acts xvi. 15. The jailor their generations. He that is eight was baptized, he and all his. Acts days old shall be circumcised. Gen, xvi. 33. I baptized the household xvii. 9, 12. Be baptized every one of Stephanas. 1 Cor. i. 16. of you, &c. for the promise is unto