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it may be more fruitful: and let not the thorns of sin prevail against thy faithful, whom thou hast brought out of Egypt by the baptismal font; but protect them by thy holy spirit, that they may be continually enriched by the fruits of good works. Thro' the same—in unity of the same.
V. PROPHECY. Borurhm. The misfortunes of the Israelites were in punishment of their sins —The value of true wisdom; where to be found; Christ taught it the Israelites, and will at last appear in flesh .
_ljl ear that thou may'st learn wisdom. Why, O Israel, art thou in the land of thine enemies? Thou art grown old in a strange country: thou art defiled with the dead: thou art reckoned among those that descend into hell. Thou hast forsaken the fountain of wisdom. For if thou hadst walked in the ways of God, thou hadst certainly dwelt in peace for ever; Learn where wisdom is, where fortitude is, where understanding is: that thou may'st know, at the same time, where there is long continuance of life and food, where there is the light of the eyes and peace. Who hath found out her abobe? And who hath gone into her treasures? Where are the princes of the Gentiles, and they that rule over the beasts that are upon the earth? That sport with the birds of the air: that hoard up silver and gold, in which men confide, and there is no end of their getting? They that work in silver, and are solicitous, and whose works cannot be found. They are cut off, and are gone down to hell, and others are risen up in their place. Young men have seen the light, and dwelt upon the earth: but they have not known the way of knowledge, nor understood its paths? nor have their children received it: it was far from them. It hath not been heard of in the land of Canaan, nor seen in Theman. The children of Agar also, who seek after the wisdom, which is of the earth; the merchants of Merrha and of Theman, and the tellers of fables, and the searchers of prudence and understanding, have not known the way of wisdom, nor remembered her paths. O Israel, how great is the house of God, and how large the place of his possession! It is great, and hath no bounds; it is high and immense. There were the giants, those men famous of old, of great stature, expert in war. The Lord chose not them, nor did they find the way of knowledge: and therefore did they perish. And because they
commandments of life: give had not wisdom, they perished through their folly. Who hath gone up into heaven, and taken her, and brought her out of the clouds? Who hath crossed the seas, and found her, and brought her home preferably to the choicest gold? There is none that can know her ways, nor can search out her paths: but he that knoweth all things, knoweth her, and hath found her out by his understanding. He that made the earth at the beginning, and tilled it with cattle, and four-footed beasts: he that sendeth forth the light, and it goeth: and called to it, and it obeyed him with trembling. And the stars gave light in their stations, and rejoiced: they were called to, and they said: Here we are: and they shined forth with chearfulness to him that made them. This is our God, and no other shall be set in competition with him. It is he that found out all the way of knowledge, and delivered it to Jacob his servant, and to Israel his beloved one. After these things he was seen upon earth, and conversed with men.
Let us pray. Deus, qui nobis.
OGod, who hast commanded us, by thy prophets, to relinquish the things of this world, and to hasten to those that are eternal: grant that, by thy heavenly inspiration, we may comply with what we know thou hast commanded. Thro'.
VI. PROPHECY. Exec. xxxvii. Under the type of the restoration of the Jews after the captivity, is foretold the future resurrection if our bodies, and the eternal rest and glory of the saints of God.
IN those days: The hand of the Lord was upon me, and brought me forth in the spirit of the Lord; and set me down in the middle of a field, that was full of bones : and led me about them on every side. And there were very many of them all over the field, and exceedingly dry. And he said to me: Son of Man, dost thou think that these bones will return to life? And I said: O Lord, God, thou knowest. And he said to me: Prophesy concerning these bones: and thou shalt say to them: Ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God to these bones: Behold I will send spirit into you, and you shall live. And I will put sinews on you, and make flesh grow over you, and I will draw a skin over you, and put spirit in you, and you shall return to life, and know that I am the Lord, And I prophesied as he commanded me: and while I prophesied, three was a noise, and behold there was a motion: and the bones came together, each one to its own joint. And I saw, and behold sinews and flesh came on them, and a skin was drawn over them, but they had no spirit. And he said to me: Prophesy to the spirit, Son of Man: prophesy, and say to the spirit: Thus saith the Lord: Come spirit from the four winds, and blow on the slain, and let them return to life. And I prophesied, as he had commanded me: and the spirit came into them, and they came to life, and stood on their feet, being an exceeding great army. And he said to me: Son of Man, all these bones are the house of Israel. They say: Our bones are withered, and our hope is lost, and we are cut off. Wherefore prophesy, and say to them: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I will open your graves and bring you out of your sepulchres, O my people: and I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, and brought you out of your sepulchres, O my people: and shall have put my spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will make you rest in your own land; saith the Lord Almighty.
Let us pray. Domine Deus.
Lord God of hosts, who raisest up what is fallen, and keepest up what is raised ; increase the number of those, who are to be renewed by thy holy name: that all who receive holy baptism, may always be governed by thy holy inspirations. Thro'.
THE BLESSING OF THE FONT.
ALtho', in case of necessity, any natural water will do for the administration of baptism; yet the Church, from the earliest ages, hath blessed, in a solemn manner, the water set apart for that purpose. During, therefore, this ceremony, let us remember it was by baptism we became the children of God: that we then renounced the Devil, his works, and his pomps: that we were then consecrated to Christ, and promised an inviolable fidelity to him: That we received, at the Font of baptism, the white robe of innocence, and the burning Taper of charity. Have we not put out this taper? Have we not defiled that white robe? Have we never returned to the works and pomps of Satan? Such is the examination we ought to make, such the thoughts we ought to entertain, not only on this day, and Whitsun-eve, but frequently, and more particularly during this Paschal time.
When the Celebrant goes towards the Font, is said the TRACT. As the hart that Sicut desiderat cervus ad panteth after the fountains fontes aquarum: ita desiof water: so my soul pant- derat anima mea ad te, eth after thee, O God. V. Deus. V. Sitivit anima mea My soul hath thirsted after ad Deum vivum: quando the living God : when shall veniam & apparebo ante I come and appear before faciem Dei. V. Fuerunt the face of God. V. My mihi lacrymae meae panes tears have been my bread die ac nocte, dum dicitur day and night, while they mihi per singulos dies: say to me every day, Where Ubi est Deus tuus? is now thy God? May the Lord be with you all. R. And with thy spirit. Let us pray. Concede.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we, who celebrate the gift of the Holy Ghost, may, by the inspiration of heaven, earnestly thirst after the fountain of life. Thro'—in unity of the same.
When the Priest comes to the Font. May the Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit. Let us pray; Omnifjotens.
OAlmighty and Eternal God, be present at these mysteries, be present at these sacraments of thy great goodness: and send forth the spirit of thy adoption to regenerate the new people, whom the font of baptism bringeth forth: that what is to be done by the ministry of us thy servants, may be accomplished by the effect of thy power. Thro'. R. Amen.
. V. May the Lord be with V. Dominus vobiscum. you. R. and with thy spi- R. Et cum spiritu tuo. V. rit. V. Raise up your Sursum corda. R. Hahearts on high. R. We bemus ad Dominum. V. have them raised up to the Gratias agamus Domino Lord. V. Let us give Deo nostro. R. Dignum thanks to the Lord our &justumest. God. R. It is meet and just.
IT is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, to give thee thanks always, and in all places, O holy Lord, Almighty Father, and Eternal God. Who, by thy invisible power, dost wonderfully produce the effecti of thy sacraments: and, though we are unworthy to administer such great mysteries, yet, as thou dost not abandon the gifts of thy grace, so thou inclinest the ears of thy goodness even to our prayers. O God, whose spirit in the very beginning of the world moved upon the waters; that even then the nature of water might receive the virtue of sanctifkation. O God, who by water didst wash away the crimes of a guilty world, and by the overflowing of the deluge didst give us a figure of regeneration; that one and the same element might, in a mystery, be the end of vice, and the origin of virtue. Look down, O Lord, on thy church, and multiply in her thy regenerations, who, by the streams of thy abundant grace, fillest thy city with joy; and openest the fonts of baptism all over the world for the renewing of the Gentiles; that by the command of thy majesty it may receive the grace of thy only Son from the Holy Ghost; Here the Priest divides the water in the form of a cross.
WHO, by a secret mixture of his divine virtue, may render this water fruitful for the regeneration of men: to the end that those, who are to be sanctified in the immaculate womb of this divine font, and are to be born again new creatures, may come forth a heavenly offspring; and that all, however distinguished by age in time, or sex in body, may be brought forth to the same infancy by grace, their spiritual mother. Therefore may all unclean spirits, by thy command, O Lord, depart from hence: may all the malice of diabolical wiles be entirely banished; may no power of the enemy prevail here: let him not fly about to lay his snares; let him not creep in by his secret artifices; let him not corrupt with his infection.
Here he touches the water with his hand.
Me, this holy and innocent creature be free from all assaults of the enemy, and purified by the destruction of all his malice. May it become a living fountain, a regenerating water, a purifying stream; that all those that are to be washed in this saving bath, may obtain, by the efficacy of the Holy Ghost, the grace of a perfect purification.
Here he makes the sign of the cross thrice over the Font, saying;
WHEREFORE I bless thee, O creature of water, by the living f God, by the true f God, by the