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diction and giving of the sacrament of salt; and finally, the officiating minister took the infant by the hand, and introduced him into the church as a complete catechumen'. From this ordo, which (as I have observed) immediately preceded baptism, the revisers of our ritual chiefly derived the introductory part of the office of baptism. In this part of the office, as first revised, were contained the rite of signing with the cross, and the exorcism; and at the end of it, the priest was to “take one of the children “by the right hand, the others being brought after “him, and coming into the church toward the font,” to repeat a certain benediction *. On further consideration, the revisers of the English ritual did not think it advisable to retain any of these rites in the introductory part of the office of baptism. Nor was it proper that they should have retained them. For if they be regarded as a portion of the baptismal office, they are comparatively modern rites, and are never mentioned by the Fathers. And if they be regarded as forming the office for making a catechumen, it appears to be perfectly unnecessary to use them in infant baptism, because, though infants may receive remission of sins and divine grace by baptism, they cannot be instructed in the doctrines and duties of Christianity, and therefore cannot really be catechumens. And nearly the same reason will justify the omission of these rites in the introduction to adult baptism. For the ancient catechetical discipline of the church being extinct, it is useless to continue ceremonies which have no longer any meaning; and at all events men were not baptized
* Manuale Sarisb. fol. 33– & Prayer Book, 1549. Pub36. Manuale Eboracens. lic Baptism, fol. 3.
immediately after they were made catechumens, as is now the case in the Roman ritual. However, as the prayers which accompanied these ceremonies at the first revision of the English ritual were very good, it was not thought expedient to remove them. So that to the present day the introduction to the office of baptism derives its origin, in some measure, from the ancient office for making a catechumen. From the custom of considering the office for making catechumens as a portion of the baptismal office, it happened that the corresponding introduction of the revised English ritual, when it received several alterations or additions of prayers and exhortations, assumed much more of the appearance of a portion of the baptismal office than it had formerly possessed. In the ancient offices the priest prayed that “the child might advance from day to “day, that he might be made fit to obtain the grace “of baptism’.” This evidently inferred that baptism was not yet to be conferred for some time longer. In the revision of the office, baptism was spoken of throughout, as then and there to be administered. The office is preceded by an enquiry whether the child hath been already baptized or not. This question is also directed by the ancient manuals of the churches of Salisbury and York". After this
f “Aperi ei Domine januan pietatis tuas, ut signo sapientiae tuae imbutus omnium cupiditatum foetoribus careat, et ad suavem odorem praeceptorum tuorum laetus tibi in ecclesia tua deserviat, et proficiat de die in diem, ut idoneus efficiatur accedere ad gratiam baptismi tui.” Manuale Sar. ad
faciendum Catechumenum, fol.
the priest commences an address or preface to the congregation, inviting them to pray for the child. We can perhaps scarcely find any parallel to this amongst the primitive rituals of the church, except in those of the churches of Gaul. The Gothic and ancient Gallican liturgies or missals published by Thomasius and Mabillon, prescribe an address or preface of this kind at the very commencement of the office of baptism". It is true that the following address does not coincide exactly in expressions with that of the English ritual, but still there is a general resemblance: and indeed we find that a very different address was used even in the Gallican church at another time or place. The collect which follows the address in the Gothic missal, bears also some resemblance to the collect which immediately fol
lows our address, as will be seen below.
Dearly beloved, forasmuch as all men are conceived and born in sin; and that our Saviour Christ saith, None can enter into the kingdom of God, except he be regenerate and horn anew of water and of the
Auctorem ac reparatorem nostrum omnipotentem, fratres carissimi, qui ornamenta naturae amissa per culpam, dignatus est reparare per gratiam, sub reverendo mysterii praesentis officio suppliciter ex
* Miss. Gothic. p. 247; Miss. Gall. vet. p. 362. Mabillon de Liturg. Gallicana. The expressions of this address appear to be borrowed from the “Simplex ac Pia Deliberatio” of Herman, archbishop of Cologne, Bonnae, 1545; a collection of offices and rites of the Church. The address at the beginning of Baptism, fol. Lxx. contains the following: “Dilecti in Jesu Christo, quotidie ex verbo Dei audimus
. . . nos omnes concipi et nasci in peccatis, esse reos irae Dei . . nisi liberemur morte et meritis Filii Dei . . . Pro Christiana pietate vestra hunc puerum assumite, et ad Christum adducite, et offerte piis vestris precibus, quo peccatorum suorum ab illo consequatur remissionem, transferatur in regnum gratiae ereptus à tyrannide Satanae, et constituatur haeres aeternae salutis.”
Holy Ghost; I beseech you to call upon God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that of his bounteous mercy he will grant to this child that thing which by nature he cannot have ; that he may be baptized with water and the Holy Ghost, and received into Christ's holy church, and be made a lively member of the same.
Almighty and everlasting God, who of thy great mercy by the baptism of thy wellbeloved Son Jesus Christ, in the river Jordan, didst sanctify water to the mystical washing away of sin ; we beseech thee, for thine infinite mercies, that thou wilt mercifully look upon this child, wash him and sanc
oremus: ut aquis his virtutem transfundat, et ad peragendum sacratissimæ regenerationis effectum præsentia trinæ majestatis adsistat : confringat et conterat super has aquas caput draconis : ut sub undis fecibus transactione secreta chirographum pristinum evacuetur, et debitoribus cum Christo per baptismum consepultis, ita hic agatur mortis imitatio, ut salvatis perditis sola se sentiat in terris perditione. Per Dominum i.
Deus qui Jordanin fontem pro animarum salute sanctificasti: descendat super aquas has Angelus benedictionis tuæ : ut quibus perfusi famuli tui, accipiant remissionem peccatorum ; ac renati ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, devoti tibi serviant in æternum. Per Dominum j.
* Miss. Gallican. vet. ap. Mabillon, Lit. Gall. p. 362. I have printed this formulary as I found it, not thinking it advisable to alter the language of the original.
1 Miss. Gothicum, ibid. p. 247. The form was taken immediately from the Ritual of Herman, archbishop ofCologne, entitled “ Simplex ac pia Deliberatio,” fol. lxxiii. ** Pater omnipotens Deus, qui . . . baptismate Filii tui Christi Jesu, Jordanem et cæteras aquas ad sanctam demersionem, atque
ablutionem peccatorum consecrasti. Rogamus te pro immensa misericordia tua, infantem hunc propitius respice, veram illi fidem, et Spiritum Sanctum tuum dona, ut per hoc sacrosanctum diluvium in eo submergatur et pereat quicquid ex Adamo sordium contraxit, ut ex impiorum cœtu segregatus, in sancta Ecclesiæ tuæ arca tutus servari possit, et nomen tuum alacri et ferventi Spiritu semper confiteri, et sanctificare, et regno tuo constanti fiducia, et certa spe
tify 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.
The next collect has been very anciently used in
the English churches, since we find it in the manuals of Salisbury and York: in these ritual books it occurs in the office for making a catechumen; which, as I have observed, formed the first part of the baptismal service. It is also found in many ancient MSS. some of which seem to have been used
nine hundred years ago".
Almighty and immortal God, the aid of all that need, the helper of all that flee to thee for succour, the life of them that believe, and the resurrection of the dead; We call upon thee for this infant, that he, coming to thy holy baptism, may receive remission of his
Deus, immortale praesidium omnium postulantium, liberatio supplicum, pax rogantium, vita credentium, resurrectio mortuorum ; te invoco super hunc famulum tuum N. qui baptismi tui donum petens, aeternam consequi gratiam spirituali regeneratione desiderat.
inservire, qué tandem cum piis
siae Turonensis ante annos octingentos (900) exaratis.” Martene, de Antiq. Eccl. Rit. tom. i. p. 41. It also occurs in the Sacramentary of Gregory, Muratori, Liturgia Romana Vetus, tom. ii.