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GALATIANS iii. 27. For as many of you as have been baptized
into Christ, have put on Christ.
My friends and hearers, it is my intention to go on, in several lectures one after another, in giving you an account of all that is contained in the gospel of St. Matthew, which is the first book of the New Testament, a most material part of that holy book called the Bible, I have already gone so far as the sixth chapter, and I shall, as I go along, tell you a great deal of our Saviour's life and death, of his sufferings for us and for our salvation, of his crucifixion, resurrection on the third day from the grave, of his being raised up into Heaven in the presence of his disciples, of his being appointed by God to come again at the end of the world, to judge the quick and the dead, that is, those who shall be found alive at his com. ing, and those who have died from the time when the world was made uptil the last day.
I shall give you all that our Saviour said, of the good advice he gave us, and the good instructions he left behind, how he lived a most holy life, did many wonderful works, and above all, how be told us, that God is pleased on his account, to forgive us all our sins, and receive us into Heaven, if we repent, believe in him, and lead good lives. I shall not, however, go on with these things at present: but as several of you have been christened this evening, I shall tell you at once all that I have been telling to such of you as I have been preparing for the last six weeks for christening, I shall tell you what baptism is, and what the duties are of those who have been baptized.
Baptism, my friends, means washing, and is the ceremony appointed by our Saviour for admitting us into his religion, for making us members of his Church on earth, and if we believe and behave as such, making us members of that society in Heaven, which is made up of all the holy and the good, the spirits of the just made perfect. When our Saviour was about to leave the world, and return to Heaven, he ordered his apostles to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. These are the words, you find, which we now use : and by which you are baptized in the names and dedicated to the service, of the Father of whom are all things, of the Son, who died to save you, and of the Holy Ghost, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels,
and all just works proceed, and through whom alone, the sinful race of men can be made fit for the presence of God, and the pure mansions of Heaven. The apostles did as their Lord commanded, and very soon after his death baptized three thou
Formerly, baptism was performed by dipping the whole body in water, which meant, that they then died to sin, and when they rose out of the water, rose to newness of life, rose with new hopes and new desires, the hope and the desire of holiness and of Heaven. This custom was found inconvenient, and was, after a time, changed to sprinkling the forehead with water, which shews that we are sprinkled with that blood of Jesus Christ, which is the fountain for all sin and uncleanness, and washes away the stains of guilt, and of sin. Water is used as the porest liquid, as that, with which all things are washed and made clean. If single persons were received to baptism, they promised for themselves ; and when fami.
lies were received, the promise was ex. tended to their children which had always been enjoyed in the child among the people of God. Children, should, as soon as possible, be made to share the great blessings which they enjoyed, and therefore children were baptized, on condition, that they had godfathers and godmothers, who should promise to bring them up in a religious and virtuous way, and take all pains that they may become Christians indeed. The catechism tells us, that when we are baptized, we are made the children of God, because we are all born in sin, and are subject to God's displeasure, and but for our Saviour, we should have perished everlastingly and become the children of the devil; but by believing in Christ, and behaving like Christians, we are made the children of God. We are also members of Christ, we are made a part of his Church, a part of him, we dwell in him, and he in
And we are also made inheritors of the kingdom of Heaven. The wages of