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nant, in which, as a penitent believer, (or the seed of such,) he giveth up himself (or is by the parent given up) to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, from henceforth, (or from the time of natural capacity,) to believe in, love and fear this blessed Trinity, against the flesh, the devil, and the world ; (and this, especially, on the account of redemption ;) and is solemnly entered a visible member of Christ and his Church, a child of God, and an heir of heaven. How great now is the mercy, and how great the duty that is before you ! Is it a small mercy for this child to be accepted into the covenant of God, and washed from its original sin in the blood of Christ, (which is signified and sealed by this sacramental washing in water ;) to be accepted as a member of Christ and of his Church, where he vouchsafeth his protection and provision, and the means and Spirit of grace, and the renewed pardon of sin upon repentance ; and for you to see this happiness of your child ? The duty on your part is, first to see that you are stedfast in the faith and covenant of Christ, that you perish not yourself, and that your child is indeed the child of a believer : and then you are believingly and thankfully to dedicate your child to God, and to enter it
into the covenant in which
stand. must know, that your faith, and consent, and dedication, will suffice for your children no longer than till they come to age themselves; and then they must own their baptismal covenant, and personally renew it, and consent and give up themselves to God, or else they will not be owned by Christ. You must, therefore, acquaint them with the doctrine of the Gospel as they grow up, and with the covenant now made; and bring them up in the fear of the Lord. And when they are actually penitent believers, they must present themselves to the Pastors of the church, to be approved and received into the communion of the adult believers.
If the persons be before well instructed in the nature of
Baptism, and time require brevity, the Minister may omit the first part of this speech, and begin at the description of Baptism, or after it. If there be need of satisfying the people of the duty of baptizing infants, the Minister may here do it; otherwise let the questions here immediately follow.
The Minister shall here say to the Parent, and the Parent
answer, as followeth :
IT being the faithful and their seed to whom the promises are made ; and no man will sincerely dedi. cate his child to that God that he believeth not in, himself; I therefore require you to make profession of
your own faith. Quest. Do you believe in God the Father Almighty ? &c.
Answ. All this I do unfeignedly believe.
Quest. Do you repent of your sins, and renounce the flesh, the devil, and the world, and consent to the covenant of grace, giving up yourself to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as your Creator and reconciled Father, your Redeemer and your Sanctifier ?
Ansu. I do.
Or thus rather, if the Parent be fit to utter his own faith :
Quest. Do you remain stedfast in the covenant which you made in Baptism yourself ?
Answ. Repenting of my sins, I do renounce the flesh, the devil, and the world; and I give up myself to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, my Creator and reco iled Father, my Redeemer and my Sanctifier.
Quest. Do you present and dedicate this child unto God, to be baptized into this faith, and solemnly engaged in this covenant unto God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, against the flesh, the devil, and the world ?
Answ. It is my desire: I do present, and dedicate him for this end.
Quest. Do you here solemnly promise, that, if God continue it with you till it be capable of instructions, you will faithfully endeavour to acquaint this child with the covenant in which he was here by you engaged, and to instruct and exhort him to perform this covenant, as ever he looks for the blessings of it, or to escape the curses and wrath of God: that is, that he renounce the flesh, the world, and the devil, and live not after them; and that he believe in this one God in three persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, his Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier; that he resign himself to him as his absolute owner, and obey him as his supreme Governor, and love him as his most gracious Father, hoping to enjoy him as his felicity in endless glory?
Answ. I will faithfully endeavour it.
Quest. Will you to this end faithfully endeavour to cause him to learn the articles of the Christian faith, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Command
ments; and to read or hear the holy Scriptures, and to attend on the public preaching of God's word? Will you endeavour, by your own teaching, and example, and restraint, to keep him from wickedness, and train him up in a holy life?
Answr. I will faithfully endeavour it, by the help of God.
Then let the Minister pray thus, or to this sense :
Rom. v. 12. Eph. ii. 3. John iii. 16. Gen. iii. 15. John iv. 42. Heb. ix. 26. Rev. i. 15. Rom. v. 10. Tit. iii. 5. Rom. xvi. 20. Heb. viii. 6. Matt. xxviii.
O Most merciful Father, by the first Adam sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and we are all by nature children of wrath. But thou hast given thy only Son to be the seed of the woman, the Saviour of the world, the Captain of our salvation; to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and to
wash us in his blood, and reconcile us Gen. xvii. 10, 11. unto thee, and to renew us by the Holy
Ghost, and to bruise Satan under our Rom. vi, 3, 4.
feet. In him thou hast established the covenant of grace, and hast appointed this holy sacrament of Baptism for our
solemn entrance into the bonds of the Matt. xxiii. 37. covenant, and stating us in the blessings
Ezek. xx. 37.
Tit. iii. 5.