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XIX. Q. How did you promife by your Sureties faith to believe the promifes of God made to you in your Baptifm?
A. By promifing to believe in the Holy Ghost, and in the forgiveness of fins, I did promife to believe that God will give me the grace of the Holy Ghoft, and the forgiveness of my fins. And by promifing to believe in God the Father, and in Fefus Christ our Lord, and in the life everlasting, I did promise to believe that God will be my Father, and that Chrift will be my Lord as to one of his members a, and that they will bring me to inherit the kingdom of heaven. All these mercies promis'd in God's Word, I believe he will give me, if I truly repent, for the fake of Chrift's fuffering and Dying for the forgiveness of our fins b. XX. Q. You have told me why infants are Baptiz'd. How are you fure they must be Baptiz'd.
A. Our Saviour Chrift fays, That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and cannot enter into the Kingdom of God, except he be born of water and of the Spirit a. And he commands all to be Baptiz'd instead of being Circumcis'd b.
a To fave me, and: fanctify me', and to take tender care of me.
Eph. 5. 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30. See the Benefits and Vows of Baptifm, 2. 4. b See 14 2
a John 3. 5, 6, 7. Except Tis, any one be born, &c. as Gen. 17. 14. The fame is affirm'd Tit. 3. 5. b When Matth. 28. 19. Chrift commanded all to be Baptiz'd, instead of being Circumcis'd, then Baptifm was made fo neceffary for Children. And the Jews cuftom of Baptizing, not only Circumcifing Infants as well as elder perfons, was chang'd into the Chriftian Baptifm. See Hammond Annot. on Matth. 3. 1; and his discourse of Baptizing Infants
We may not understand this fo feverely, as to think an infant that dies unbaptiz'd without any neglect of his Parents, does lofe the benefit of Baptifm; any more than the child that
died uncircumcifed before the eighth day, did lofe the benefit of Circumcifion, Gen. 17. 7. In this cafe God accepts the will for the deed. He hath faid, I will have mercy, and not facrifice. Matth. 9. 13. ch. 12. 7. Hof. 6. 6.
Nor may we think any infant damned, that dies unbaptiz'd before it is his own fault. Ezek. 18. 20. For Chrift hath Redeemed all mankind. He has bought, and paid for the Salvation of every one. Heb. 2. 9. Then none can be damned or not have the grace that is neceffary for his everlasting Salvation, without his own wilful fin, (Rom. 5. 15, 18) however God deals with him in this world. Matth. 7. 1, 2.
But it is a damnable fin in the Parents, or in any other concern'd, to neglect the Baptizing of any child: as it was in the Ifraelites to neglect Circumcifion; for which neglect God fought to kill Mofes. Exod. 4. 24, 25, 26. And we may be fure that God, in this world, will vifit this fin of the Parents upon the unbaptized child, as well as any other fin.
XXI. Q. And where are all the promises of Baptifm made to infants?
a In Chrift's Blef fing are contain'd all the mercies of the Gofpel.
A. In the tenth Chapter of St. Mark Chrift promises all to infants, by most lovingly calling them to him for his Bleffing a, and declaring that
of fuch is the Kingdom of God.
XXII. Q. When do children come to age to perform what they promis'd by their fureties; that they may keep, and not lose the Great Benefit of their Baptifm?
A. As foon as they are able to learn and understand any
Ifai. 28. 9, 10. Phil. thing of what they promis'd,
a Deut. 6. 5, 6, 7.
2. 12. 2 Pet. 3. 17,
they must diligently learn and do all they can a. And they must continue diligently learning and doing all they can, as long as they live b.
XXIII. Q. Now tell me in short the whole doEtrine of Baptifm.
a So far as to un
derstand and believe the words of it. So
as to do their Parts
A. Perfons of age, reafonably inftructed in the Catechifm 4, and in the Service of therein with under- Baptifm b; truly repenting, standing and devotion. and believing that God hears their Prayers for Pardon and grace, for the fake of Chrift's Dying for our fins; they come to Baptifm. And Infants are brought to Baptifm by thofe that will fee them taught the fame Catechifm, repentance, and belief.
Thofe Infants and Perfons of age, after prayer for the pardon and grace given in Baptifm, they are wafh'd in token of their forfaking fin by the grace of the holy Spirit; and fo are given up to believe and obey the Father, and his Son, and their Holy Spirit.
This being done, the pardon of all their fins, and grace to live well are affur'd to them c, fo long as they faithfully contruly repenting of their failings.
Thus God washes them from fin by the Blood of his Son.
tinue in their duty,
Because the learning these things require time; Perfons of riper years are to be firft taught the Principles, Heb. 6. 1, 2: 1. To call to mind as many of their fins as they can, and do the work of Repentance: and to believe that upon their true repentance God forgives them for the fake of Christ's Dying for our fins. Luke 24. 47. 2. The doctrine of Baptism, as it is in this Answer: and the promise of a Comfortable increase of grace by the Laying on of hands. And 3. The belief of the Refurrection of the dead, and Eternal Judgment.
These Principles being learnt, and the work of repentance perform'd; upon their believing that God hears their prayers for pardon and grace in
Baptifm, for the fake of Chrift's Dying for our fins, they may in danger of death be Baptiz'd; even if their true repentance be but heartily begun. Luke 15. 20. ch. 19. 8, 9. 2 Sam. 12. 13. Provided, if life permit, they do without delay go on, and perfect their good beginning.
But if that danger do not appear, they are next to be taught fhort Prayers: 1. A fhort plain form of Confeffion of fins. 2. The Lord's Prayer, fo as to fay it with understanding; or if this cannot be peedily learnt, (for fome are fo dull) a fhort Prayer in the plain fenfe of the Lord's Prayer, until they can fay the Lord's Prayer with understanding. And 3. A fhort plain Thanksgiving for God's mercies to them and to all men.
After these things they are to be taught the Catech ifm, and the Service of Baptifm, as is aforefaid. And then after their renewing the work of repentance, they must be folemnly brought to Baptifm, as foon as they can be brought. And after Baptifm they muft with all diligence learn and do all that is needful for their Souls health.
The reason of all this is, that the Holy work of Baptifm may be not flightly, but duly perform'd, and with due Reverence. And fuch Reverence to this Holy Sacrament is no more than what our Church plainly fuppofes in the Rubrick of the Order of Baptifm of perfons of riper years.
Here it may be asked, why did St. Paul convert and teach, and Baptize the jaylor, and all his Family; and finish all between midnight and morning? As 16. 25 to 35.
To this is to be anfwer'd, That the Apostles, being miraculously affifted by the Holy Ghoft, might do more in few hours, than we can in many days. And we know nothing to the contra
ry, but that all thofe of riper years whom they fpeedily Baptiz'd, had fometime liv'd in the knowledge and fear of God. Acts 10. 2. ch. 13. 16, 26, 43. And then it did not require much time for the Inspired Apoftles to make them Chriftians. To this is no objection, that thofe As 2, were through ignorance guilty of the Blood of Chrift. Luke 23. 34. And we are not told that they were all Baptiz'd the fame day; but that they were that day converted. The words, Then they that gladly received his word, were baptized, fignify no more, than that they did without delay Repent, and receive Baptifm, as they could do thofe duties, as they ought to be done.
For the perfect understanding of the Sacrament of Baptifm, it is expedient to fhew how the Baptifm of John, and of Chrift, and of the Apoftles, was one and the fame Baptifm.
The Baptism of them all was the Baptifm of repentance in the Name of Chrift, for the remiffion of fins. Of John. Mark 1. 4. Acts 19. 4. Of Christ. Mark 1. 15. John 3. 22, 23. Of the Apostles. Acts 2. 38. 1 Pet. 3. 21.
The Baptifm of Chrift and of John was not only in the Name of Christ, but alfo in the Name of the Father, and of the Holy Ghoft. For it was commanded by the Father. Mattb. 3. 15. John 1. 33. ch. 6. 38. And they who were Baptized by them, were given up to the repentance and faith commanded by the Father. John 12. 49, 50. Acts 19. 4. And the fame Baptifm, and repentance and faith were taught by the Holy Ghost in the mouth of Chrift, (Luke 4. 1, 14, 15, 18. John 3. 34) and of John. Luke 1. 15, 16, 17. And both they and the Apostles, Matth. 3. 11. John 7. 37, 38, 39. Acts 2. 38, pro