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Inftructions and Exhortations in the Adminiftration of the Sacrament of Baptifm.
F there be any number of perfons prefent, the Prieft fhall deliver himself to them, in the beginning, in the following manner, Speaking diftinctly and deliberately:
The Sacrament of Baptifm, which we are now going to adminifter, is an ordinance of our Lord Jefus Chrift; by means of which we are deliver ed from the power of Satan, whose slaves we were born by fin; and, being washed from fin, by virtue of the blood of the Son of God, we receive through him a new birth, by which we are made children of God by grace; are incorporated in Jefus Chrift; and confecrated as God's Temples by his holy Spirit; becoming, at the fame time, living members of the Church; and receiving an A 2 undoubted
undoubted right and title to the eternal inheritance of the kingdom of heaven.
In this Sacrament therefore our fouls are fanctified by Chrift; being cleanfed by the laver of water, in the word of life. (Ephef. v, 26.) This water and word are the outward myfterious figns of that inward grace, by which the foul is here cleanfed and fanctified; and are effential to baptifm. The other ceremonies, though not of the fame effential neceffity, ferve for further inftruction and edification; and as they are primitive and apoftolical, ought by no means to be omitted. The perfon therefore, who is to be baptized, is prefented to the Church, by his Godfather and Godmother, as his fpiritual parents; and as witnesses, and fureties for his fulfilling his baptifmal engagements. Thefe give in his name; which ought not to be heathenifh or profane, but Chriftian indeed, taken from fome one of the Saints of God, that with them his name may be enrolled in the book of life. They afk, in his name, of the Church of God, to be admitted to the Faith; that is, to be made a Christian, and this in order to everlasting life, which is not to be obtained, as the Prieft here puts them in mind, without keeping the commandments; and efpecially the two great precepts of divine charity.
Then follow divers ceremonies, and prayers, to prepare the foul for the grace of baptifm: fuch as the blowing thrice on the face, in contempt of Satan, commanding him to depart, and to give place to the holy Spirit: The imprinting the fign
of the erofs on the forehead, and on the breaft; that Chrift crucified may take poffeffion there: The putting in the mouth a grain of blefs'd falt; as an emblem of true wisdom and difcretion, which feeks God in all things; and of the feafoning of the foul, with the grace of Christ, to keep it from the corruption of fin: The repeated Exorcifms; in order to caft out the devil: And the touching the ears and the noftrils, with fpittle, faying Ephphetha, be thou opened, in imitation of Chrift, S. Mark vii, 32; to fignify the neceffity of having the fenfes of the foul open to the truth and grace of God.
In the next place, comes the folemn renounc⚫ ing of Satan, and of his works, and of his pomps: to fignify, that we cannot be received into the number of the children of God, by Baptifm, as long as we fide with his enemy, the devil; or follow his works, of darkness and fin; or his cheating pomps and vanities; by the love of which he keeps unhappy worldlings enflaved under his ty ranny. By this folemn renunciation, we promife a perpetual allegiance to our Lord; and declare an eternal war against his enemies, the devil, the flesh, and the world. And therefore we are immediately anointed, for this fpiritual warfare, as champions of Chrift, with the holy oil, (denot→ ing the spiritual unction of divine grace) applied to our breafts, to fignify the fortifying the beart with heavenly courage, for the conflicts we are to go through; and between the boulders, to exprefs the neceffity of the like fortifying grace to fupport the croffes, we are to carry on our A 3
Shoulders, together with all the labours and diffi culties, we are exposed to in this warfare.
Then after requiring a folemn profeffion of the belief of all the articles of the Chriftian faith, the Sacrament of Baptifm is duly administered with the confecrated water, poured out on thể head, three times, in the form of a crofs; to answer the names of the three Perfons of the divine Trinity; and with the words ordained by Chrift, viz. I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghoft. And then to denote the royal dignity, to which the Chriftian is raifed by his Baptifm; and his fellowship with Chrift, the great Anointed of God; as alfo his being now folemnly dedicated and confecrated to be the eternal Temple of the living God, he is anointed on the top of the head in the form of a cross, with the facred Chrifm, which is a myfterious compound of oil, and balm, or fweet fmelling balfam, bleft by the Bishop; and used in the confecration of fuch perfons and things only, as are in a particular manner fanctified to God, and cannot without a facriledge be profaned, or alienated from his divine fervice.
After this follows the putting the Chryfom, or white garment on the perfon baptized; denoting the robe of innocence, with which we are clothed in Baptifm, with a folemn charge, to preferve it undefiled; and to carry it, without fpot or ftain, before the judgment feat of Chrift. Laftly a burning light is put into the hand of the new Christian, to fignify the lamp of faith, which he must keep burning with the oil of charity, and good works,
for the glory of God, and the edification of his neighbour; and with it, be ever ready to go forth; to meet the heavenly bridegroom; and to be admitted by him to that happy nuptial feaft, which knows no end.
Thus, dear Chriftians, you fee, that the ceremonies, ufed in Baptifm, are very expreffive, as well of the admirable effects, and graces, conferred on the foul, by this Sacrament; as of the obligations we here contract; and the covenant we here make with God: A covenant, by which he, on his part, receives us into the number of his children, through his only Son Jefus Chrift; and promises us an everlasting kingdom, for our inheritance: and we, on our part, give ourselves up entirely to him, for time and eternity; and engage ourselves to keep all his commandments; ever to renounce Satan and fin; to ftand always firm to our faith; and to lead both innocent and edifying lives. All this then we are bound to, by the folemn engagements of our baptismal covenant; and in confequence of our being here fo happily and fo holily dedicated, fanctified, and confecrated, to God, to be children of fo great a Father, members of the myftical body of his Son Jefus Chrift, incorporated into him; and temples of his divine Spirit.
This therefore principally calls for our attention, when we affift at the administration of the Sacrament of Batifm; this we ought daily to think on: we have all long fince entered into this covenant of life with the living God: we have all made him thefe folemn promifes: we have all been