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R I T U A
CHAPTER I. Instructions and Exhortations in the Administration of the Sacrament
of Baptism. there be any number of persons present, the Priest hall deliver himself to them, in the
beginning, in the following manner, speaking diflinčily and deliberately:
The Sacrament of Baptism, which we are now going to administer, is an ordinance of our Lord Jesus Chrift; by means of which we are delivered from the power of Satan, whose daves 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 Jesus Christ; and consecrated as God's Temples by his holy Spirit; becoming, at the same time, Kiving members of the Church; and receiving an
undoubted right and title to the eternal inheritance of the kingdom of heaven.
In this Sacrament therefore our souls are fanelified by Chrift; being cleansed by the laver of water, in the word of life. (Ephes. v, 26.) This water and word are the outward mysterious figns of that inward grace, by which the foul is here cleansed and fanäified; and are eflential to baptism. The other ceremonies, though not of the same effential necessity, ferve for further instruction and edification; and as they are primitive and apoftolical, ought by no means to be omitted. "The person therefore, who is to be baptized, is prelented to the Church, by his Godfather and Godmother, as his spiritual parents; and as witnesses, and fureties for his fulfilling his baptismal engagements. These give in his name; which ought not to be heathenish or profane, but Christian indeed, taken from fome one of the Saints of God, that with them his name may be enrolled in the book of life. They ask, in' his name, of the Cburch 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 Priest here puts them in mind, without keeping the commandments; and especially the two great precepts of divine charity.
Then follow divers ceremonies, and prayers, to prepare the foul for the grace of baptism: 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 cross on the forehead, and on the breaft; that Christ crucified may take poffeffion there : The putting in the mouth a grain of bless'd salt; as an emblem of true wisdom and discretion, which feeks God in all things, and of the feaJoning of the foul, with the grace of Christ, to keep it from the corruption of fin: The repeated Exorcisms; in order to cast out the devil: And the touching the ears and the noftrils, with fpittle, saying Ephphetha, be thou opened, in imitation of Chrift, S. Mark vii, 32; to signify the neceffity of having the senses of the soul open to the truth and grace of God.
In the next place, comes the folemn renouncing 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 Baptism, 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 promise a perpetual allegiance to our Lord; and declare an eternal war against his enemies, the devils the flesh, and the world. And therefore we are immediately anointed, for this spiritual warfare, as champions of Chrift, with the holy oil, (denoting the spiritual unction of divine grace) applied to our breasts, to fignify the fortifying the beart with heavenly courage, for the conflicts we are to go through; and between the poulders, to express the necessity of the like fortifying grace to support the crosses, we are to carry on our
shoulders, together with all the labours and diffi culties, we are exposed to in this warfare.
Then after requiring a folemn profession of the belief of all the articles of the Christian faith, the Sacrament of Baptism is duly administered with the consecrated water, poured out on the head, three times, in the form of a cross; to answer the names of the three Persons of the divine Trinity; and with the words ordained by Chrift, viz. I baptize thee in the name of the Fas ther, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghof. And then to denote the royal dignity, to which the Christian is raised by his Baptism; and his fellowship with Christ, the great Anointed of God; as also his being now folemnly dedicated and consecrated 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 Chrism, which is a mysterious compound of oil, and balm, or sweet smelling balfam, blest by the Bishop; and used in the confecration of such persons and things only, as are in a particular manner fanctified to God, and cannot without a sacriledge be profaned, or alienated from his divine service.
After this follows the putting the Chryfom, or white garment on the person baptized; denoting the robe of innocence, with which we are clothed in Baptism, with a solemn charge, to preferve it undefiled; and to carry it, without spot or stain, before the judgment feat of Christ. Lastly a burning light is put into the hand of the new Christian, to signify the lamp of faith, which he muft 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 ad mitted by him to that happy nuptial feast, which knows no end.
Thus, dear Christians, you see, that the ceremonies, used in Baptism, are very expressive, 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 Jesus 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 en gage ourselves to keep all his commandments ; ever to renounce Satan and fin; to stand 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 consequence of our being here so happily and so holily dedicated, sanctified, and consecrated, to God, to be children of so great a Father, members of the myftical body of his Son Jesus Christ, incorporated into him; and, temples of his divine Spirit.
This therefore principally calls for our attention, when we affist at the administration of the Sacrament of Batism; this we ought daily to think on: we have all long since entered into this covenant of life with the living God; we have all made him these solemn promises : we have all