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semble the expression-regeneration or new birth,-and lead us to suppose that they were intended to designate the same change, and to convey the same ideas to our minds. But since these figures speak of a change, to which baptism is instrumental, we reasonably conclude, that to be born again of water and of the Spirit, and to be saved by the washing of regeneration, signify a change effected through the same medium. And this conclusion is confirmed by a comparison of these figurative passages with those texts of Scripture which connect salvation, the forgiveness of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, with baptism, in plain and literal language. We are, therefore, fully justified in the use which we make of this word regeneration, and other words of the same family, to signify, in one comprehensive phrase, the spiritual benefits conveyed over to us in the sacrament of baptism.

3. In some of the passages recited, faith (or that word-1 Pet. i. 23; James i. 18; which is the object of a Christian faith, and implies faith as its correlative) and repentance are spoken of in connexion with baptism, as qualifications for the saving use of it. But where these qualifications are not mentioned, they are obviously implied and understood. Hence we conclude that faith and repentance are necessary qualifications for baptism, wherever the subject is capable of them.

4. We must observe that, according to the whole tenor of Scriptural doctrine, regeneration uniformly implies a strict obligation to newness of life, and improvement in Christian virtues. These are the duties of regenerate man; not the necessary, but the legitimate and intended effects of the new birth, depending on the right use of the means of grace and spiritual assistance, and the right exercise of that principle of self-action, which God has implanted in us. For what St Peter says of our regeneration in baptism, and first entrance into the Christian state, applies with equal force to every stage of the life of trial: Baptism doth save us, not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God.' 1 Pet. iii. 21.


What baptism is you will also discover by next examining the Book of Common Prayer. Read the ARTICLES in the following order The 1st, 15th, 16th, 25th, 27th. Next, take the OFFICES, especially the one for the MINISTRATION of PUBLIC BAPTISM of Infants,' and observe the statements, that all men are born in sin,' none can enter into the kingdom of God except he be regenerate and born anew of water and of the Spirit;' and notice especially

the terms 'regenerate,' regeneration, mystical washing away of sin,' &c. Then, the CATECHISM, first, in the 2d and 4th answers; and secondly, in answer to the questions on baptism. From a review, then, of our ARTICLES, BAPTISMAL OFFICES, and CATECHISM, we infer that

1. They maintain the doctrine of regeneration in baptism in the most decided manner, grounding it on the same texts of Scripture from which the ancient Christians had deduced it-including under it forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven and never introducing the word itself, except in conjunction with baptism.

2. They teach, in common with the writings of the ancient Christians, the necessity of faith and repentance, as qualifications for the salutary effects of baptism. But they never contemplate any person, however qualified, as regenerate, till he is actually baptized.

3. They suppose that infants, who are necessarily free from actual sin, are duly qualified for baptism, and are looked on by God precisely in the same light as penitents and believers: and they unequivocally assert that every baptized infant, without exception, is born again.

4. They suppose that all baptized persons, whether infants or adults, contract a solemn engagement to holiness and newness of life and that their continuance in a state of salvation depends on their future conduct.

5. They lay down a very plain and broad distinction between this grace of regeneration, and conversion, repentance, renovation, and such Christian virtues and changes of the inward frame, as require the concurrence of man's will and endeavours, imply degrees, and are capable of increase.'-Bethell on Bap. Reg. 4th Edit. p. 69.

Having thus briefly explained the nature and DOCTRINE of baptism, I shall add a few directions as to the RITE.

1. Though baptism may be administered at any age, it is best done in infancy. See Article 27, and the 1st Rubric in the (Private) Baptismal Service,— They defer not the baptism of their children,'&c.

2. When you have made up your mind to have your child baptised, select sponsors from the most pious of your friends, and give notice to the clergyman some days before, at latest before the beginning of morning prayer.-See 3d Rubric.

3. Baptism must be administered on SUNDAYS (or other holy days)

IN CHURCH, before the CONGREGATION* assembled for Service, at the FONT, AFTER THE SECOND LESSON, with three sponsors, all communicants. For proof, see the 3d Rubric at the beginning of Public Baptism,' and the 17th Canon of the Church.

'If the occasion be so urgent as to require baptism at home, the Church has provided a particular office for the administration of it, which directs that the essential parts of the sacrament be administered immediately in private, but defers the performance of the other solemnities till the child can be brought into the church. As to the office [the ministration of public baptism] we are now upon, it is by no means to be used in any place but the church. It is ordered to be said at the font, in the middle of the morning or evening prayer, and all along supposes a congregation to be present; and particularly in one of the addresses which the priest is to use, it is very absurd for him to tell the godfathers and godmothers, in a chamber, that they have brought the child thither to be baptized, when he himself is brought thither to baptize it. It is still more absurd for him in such a place to use that expression: Grant that whosoever is here dedicated to Thee by our office and ministry,' &c. For he knows that the word 'here' cannot be applicable to the place he is in; nor yet has he any authority to admit or alter the form. In our own Church, indeed, since our unhappy confusions, this office hath been very frequently made use of in private; and some ministers have thought themselves, to prevent the greater mischief of separation, necessitated to comply with the obstinacy of the greater and more powerful of their parishioners; who, for their ease or humour, or for the convenience of a more splendid and pompous christening, resolving to have their children baptized at home, if their own minister refuse it, will get some other to do it.†

* Presbyterians ought surely not to object to one public baptism, for in the 'Directory' appended to the Confession of Faith on the administration of baptism, it states: Nor is it to be administered in private places, or privately, but in the place of public worship, and in the face of the Congregation, where the people may most conveniently see and hear.' P. 331.

+ Two instances of this recently occurred. A most worthy and influential member of my congregatiou wished me to baptize a relation's child, the father being a Presbyterian, the mother a Romanist. The ceremony was to be in a dining room, with one of the sponsors a non-communicant. I remonstrated, but in vain,-the parties were obstinate, and of course I could not depart from my ordination vow. In the words of Wheately, their own minister refusing, they got some other to do it.' and no doubt on their own

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But such persons ought calmly to consider how contrary to reason and the plain design of the institution of this sacrament, this perverse custom, and their obstinately persisting in it, is. For what is the end of that sacred ordinance, but to initiate the person into the Church of Christ, and to entitle him to the privileges of it? And where can there be a better representation of that society than in a congregation assembled, after the most solemn and conspicuous manner, for the worship of God, and for the testifying of their communion in it? Where can the profession be more properly made before such admission-where the stipulation given-where the promise to undertake the duties of a Christian, but in such an assembly of Christians? The ordinance is certainly public-public in the nature and end of it, and therefore, such ought the celebration of it to be; the neglect whereof is the less excusable, because it is so easily remedied.-Wheatly on Common Prayer, p. 327.

4. Every sponsor should read most carefully the Baptismal Service, reflect on the solemn nature of his position, and never undertake what he does not mean to perform. Nor should he, on the other hand, if duly qualified, refuse to accept this interesting office. In Scotland, parents, if communicants, may be sponsors, by Canon 17. No sponsor can be admitted who is not a communicant. Neither shall any person be admitted godfather or godmother to any child at christenings or confirmation before the said person so undertaking hath received the Holy Communion.-Canon 29 of the Church ́ of England. If proper sponsors are provided, no minister can refuse to christen (by Canon 68) any child that is brought to him on Sundays.

5. Pay particular attention to the following points of the Baptismal Service. (1.) The question-‘Hath this child been baptized or no?' is asked, because baptism can only be administered once. (2.) The Exhortation and Prayers clearly declare the doctrine of baptism, so that no one can suppose it a form only. (3.) The Address to the sponsors shows that they promise for the infant, that he will believe and act as a Christian. Every sponsor must answer the clergyman's questions in an audible and distinct manner in the words

terms. One of my vestry asked me to administer the rite in Church but after service, as one of the sponsors had a prejudice against public baptisms. On my declining, he applied to another, who, though usually considered a sound Churchman, did not hesitate to baptize the child after the congregation had left! Comment is unnecessary.

of the book. (4.) The clergyman next prays that God


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would sanctify this water to the mystical washing away of sin."* By this is meant, not that the water contracts any new quality in its nature or essence by such consecration, but only that it is sanctified or made holy in its use, and separated from common to sacred purposes.'Wheatly. (5.) The name now conferred is the Christian name, the badge of our new birth, given by the sponsors, according to the custom of the Church in all ages. (6.) The outward sign is water, administered either by immersion or affusion, the former being the more primitive, the latter the more usual, both agreeing in this, that they figure a death and burial unto sin. (See Wheatly, p. 341.) (7.) The form, Baptize in the name,' &c., is our Lord's; it reminds us not only that we are baptized by authority of the Triune Divinity, but that we are admitted members of a Church professing that creed. (8.) As the sign of the cross after baptism sometimes gives offence, it may be right to notice, that no Popish superstition is in any way intended, as may be seen from the 30th Canon, and from Wheatly, p. 349. In the early Church, long before Popery was heard of, men gloried in the sign of the cross, as is testified by Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Lactantius, Chrysostom, and others. And though, in after ages, this sign or symbol was, like many others, exalted into an object of idolatry, still the abuse of a thing is no argument against its proper use. In the reign of Edward VI. and Queen Mary, it was defended and retained in the Church by the very men who suffered for their opposition to Romanism. Besides, the Church holds that the sign of the cross is no part of the sacrament of baptism; for the infant is fully and perfectly baptized before the sign is used. Yet she has retained its use, following therein the primitive and apostolic Churches, and accounting it a lawful outward ceremony and honourable badge, whereby the infant is dedicated to the service of Him that died upon the cross.'-Canon 30. (9.) The clergyman then declares that the child is regenerate;' but lest any should thence infer that salvation is completely secured, irrespective of renewal, he calls on the congregation to join him in prayer that this child may lead the rest of his life according to this beginning. (10.) Lastly, the Exhortation to the godfathers and godmothers, which, if it be well considered, will show how base it


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* Presbyterians condemn this as superstition, forgetting that in their own office the minister is directed to join prayer with the word of institution for sanctfying the water to this spiritual use.'-Directory, p. 332.

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