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'then are infants baptized, when by reason of their 'tender age they cannot perform them? Ans. * Because they promise them both by their sureties, which promise, when they come to age, • themselves are bound to perform.'—This answer has already been noticed, in the remarks on the Offices of baptism : I shall therefore only add, that it seems to imply that, if the infants thus promising by their sureties do not, when they come to age, perform the promise as they are bound to do; they are not to be regarded as having obtained any share in the blessings above stated, as 'the inward and spiritual grace of bap'tism.' And, in this too common case, of what use can it be to persuade them that they have actually received the blessing, while it is obvious that they do not perform the promise, on account of which they were admitted to baptism ?-Here at least is no ground for concluding it to be the doctrine of our church, that baptism and regeneration are synonymous or inseparable.

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In the Office of Confirmation, the Bishop, after • the renewal of the baptismal vow, but previous ' to the laying on of hands, prays thus : ‘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,'-evidently referring to the ‘rite of baptism.''

If the last clause, quoted from this prayer, ‘re' fers to the rite of baptism,' then all the sins com

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1 Ref. 90.

mitted by the person confirmed, even after baptism, till the time of his confirmation, were forgiven when he was baptized ; and thus forgiven before they were committed !-an absurd tenet, of which Papists on the one hand, and Antinomian Calvinists on the other, have made most pernicious use. -But let it be noticed, how the prayer is introduced : Then shall the Bishop say, 'Do ye here,

in the presence of God and of this congregation, ' renew the solemn promise and vow, that was ‘ made in your name at your baptism : ratifying ' and confirming the same in your own persons ; ' and acknowledging yourselves bound to believe ‘ and to do all those things, which your godfathers and godmothers then undertook for you ?-And

every one shall audibly answer, I do.'1 On this most solemn, and explicit, and public profession, they are received and acknowledged as true believers; and prayer is made to God for them in these words, ' 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,' &c.—The sincerity of their personal profession being assumed, it is supposed that the profession made by them through their sureties in baptism was sincere also; according to that general charitable supposition which runs through all these offices, and indeed through other parts of the liturgy. On this ground it is

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I Confirmation-Office.

likewise assumed, that the inward and spiritual grace of baptism attended the outward and visible sign, (or at least followed it,) and that they have been regenerated, not only by water,' but ‘by the * Holy Ghost;' and that, as true believers, all their sins committed since baptism are, on this their solemn renewal and ratification of the baptismal vow, ‘forgiven them :' and that, being already partakers of the manifold gifts of grace,' they only need to be confirmed and increased'in them. -But, supposing this profession, made at confirmation, to be insincere, formal, and hypocritical ; (as Simon Magus's at baptism ;) and will any teacher of the Christian church say, that the persons who make this profession are, not only' re

generated by the Holy Ghost,' but also forgiven all their sins ?' In how many instances, amidst the multitudes of young persons often confirmed in a few hours, this profession is at least unmeaning ; let those who are most conversant with such subjects and scenes determine for themselves. But, except the profession be sincerely made, indisputably pardon of sin is not granted : otherwise confirmation must be supposed even more efficacious than the sacrament of baptism itself; for few will maintain, that a wicked man is pardoned, receiving baptism on a hypocritical profession of faith and repentance."

11 Pet. iii. 21.

Doctrine of the Collects and Homilies concerning

Baptism and Regeneration.

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* In the collect for Christmas-day, again in allusion to our Christian baptism, and to a passage of Scripture already quoted, we pray to Almighty God, that 'we, being regenerate and made his · children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by his Holy Spirit. Here, ' being regen

erate’ is a translation of regenerati, having been regenerated by baptism.

This collect indeed supposes, that the persons, who use it as the desire of their hearts in prayer, have been 'regenerated and made the children of 'God by adoption and grace:' neither do I consider it as ' a prayer for regeneration, as some do, and as even the prayer books circulated by the

Society for promoting Christian knowledge 'did, a few years since ; 2 though this has been lately changed. The collect is, however, totally silent as to the time when, and the means by which, they who use it were regenerated and adopted. Baptism is not so much as alluded to; and something subsequent to baptism, and of a more spiritual nature than any external observance, may be and probably was intended.

“Whence we may conclude that our reformers, ' who were perhaps more accurately acquainted ' with the doctrines and language of the New

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Regeneration,

Ref. 90. -prayer for it.

VOL. VII.

2 Table of Collects. Collect for Christmas day.

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* Testament, than the divines of any other age 'or country since the days of the apostles, did not · think it consistent with the principles of the

gospel to require regeneration from those who ' were already baptized. Nor do they ever apply • the word regeneration to any operation of the 'Holy Ghost except at the time of baptism.'1

The eulogium on our venerable reformers has from me at least unqualified approbation : but surely the quotations already made from some of them, and other quotations which will shortly be made, shew that the subsequent propositions are far too large and general; nay, as to many of the reformers, and those of peculiar eminence in the company, directly contrary to their most express statements and instructions !

* In the Homilies, we find the following passages : in speaking of churches, wherein be · ministered the sacraments and mysteries of our

redemption, it is said, “The fountain of our re'generation is there presented unto us; the par

taking of the body and blood of our Saviour · Christ is there offered unto us :' (signifying bap'tism and the Lord's supper :) ‘Our Saviour Christ

altered and changed the same [the practice of ' frequent washing among the Jews) in his church ' into a profitable sacrament, the sacrament of our

regeneration or new birth' (that is, baptism). · He saved us by the fountain of the new birth,

and by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which ' he poured on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ ‘our Saviour, that we, being once justified by his

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1 Ref. 91.

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