« AnteriorContinuar »
and shortly bruise him under our feet. Accept us, O Lord, who resign ourselves unto thee as thine own; and with our thanks and praise, present ourselves a living sacrifice to be acceptable through Christ, useful for thine honour. Being made free from sin, and become thy servants, let us have our fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Next add this, or some such exhortation, if there be time.
DEAR brethren, we have been here feasted with the Son of God at his table, upon his flesh and blood, in preparation for the feast of endless glory. You have seen here represented what sin deserveth, what Christ suffered, what wonderful love the God of infinite goodness hath expressed to us. You have had communion with the saints ; you have renewed your covenant of faith, and thankful obedience unto Christ; you have received his renewed covenant of pardon, grace and glory, unto you. O carry hence the lively sense of these great and excellent things upon your hearts. You came not (only) to receive the mercy of an hour only, but that which may spring up to endless joy : you came not only to do the duty of an hour, but to promise
that which you must perform while you live on earth. Remember daily, especially when temptations to unbelief and sinful heaviness assault you, what pledges of love you here received ; remember daily, especially when the flesh, the devil, or the world, would draw your hearts again from God, and temptations to sin are laid before you, what bonds God and your own consent have laid upon you. If you are penitent believers, you are now forgiven, and washed in the blood of Christ. O go your way, and sin no more; no more through wilfulness : and strive against your sins of weakness. Wallow no more in the mire, and return not to your vomit. Let the exceeding love of Christ constrain you, having such promises, to cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God; and as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, to be zealous of good works, and shew forth the praises of him that hath called
Next sing part of the Hymn in metre, or some other fit Psalm of
praise, ( as the 23rd, 116th, 103rd, or 100th, fc.) and conclude with this, or the like, blessing :
Now the God of peace, which brought again from
the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The Celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism.
Let no Minister, that is therein unsatisfied, be forced against his judgment to baptize the child of open atheists, idolaters, or infidels, or that are unbaptized themselves, or of such as do not competently understand the essentials of Christianity, (what it is to be a Christian,) and the essentials of Baptism, nor of such as never, since they were baptized, did personally own their baptismal covenant by a credible profession of faith and obedience, received and approved by some Pastor of the church, as before Confirmation is required, and in his Majesty's Declaration. Nor yet the child of parents justly excommunicate, or that live in any notorious, scandalous sin, or have lately committed such a sin, (as if the child be gotten in adultery or fornication,) and, being justly convict of it, refuseth penitently to confess it, and promise reformation. But if either of the parents be duly qualified, and present the child to be baptized, (or another for them, in case they cannot be present,) the child is to be received unto Baptism.
And if both the natural parents are infidels, excommuni. cate, or otherwise unqualified; yet if any become the proparents and owners of the child, and undertake to educate it in the faith of Christ, and fear of God, and so present it to be baptized, let it be done by a Minister whose judgment doth approve it: but let no Minister be forced to it against his judgment. Let the parents, or owners, come to the Minister, at some convenient time the week before, and acquaint him when they intend to offer their child to baptism, and give an account of their foresaid capacity; and receive his further ministerial assistance for the fuller understanding of the use and benefits of the Sacrament, and their own duty. The font is to be placed to the greatest conveniency of the Minister and people. The child or children being there presented, the Minister may begin with this or the like speech, directed to the parent (or parents) that presenteth it.
That you may perform this service to God with understanding, you must know that God having made man in his own image to love and serve him, our first parents wilfully corrupted themselves by sin, and became the children of death, and the captives of Satan, who had overcome them by his temptation. And as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin ; so death passed upon all, for that all have sinned, and came short of the glory of God. We are conceived in sin, and are
by nature children of wrath : for who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? By the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation. But the infinite wisdom and love of the Father hath sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. The Word was made fiesh, and dwelt on earth, and overcame the devil and the world ; fulfilled all righteousness, and suffered for our sins upon the cross, and rose again, and reigneth in glory ; and will come again, and judge the world in righteous
In him God hath made and offered to the world a covenant of grace ; and in it the pardon of sin to all true penitent believers, and power to be the sons of God, and heirs of heaven. This covenant is extended to the seed also of the faithful, to give them the benefits suitable to their age ; the parents dedicating them unto God, and entering them into the covenant : and so God, in Christ, will be their God, and number them with his people.
This covenant is to be solemnly entered into by baptism : which is an holy Sacrament, instituted by Christ ; in which a person professing the Christian faith (or the infant of such) is baptized in water into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in signification and solemnization of the holy cove