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TABLE OF CONTENTS.
PRELIMINARY REMARKS on the pre
sent relaxed observance of Baptismal
OBJECTIONS stated and answered.
VII. SENTIMENTS of the REFORMERS.
VIII. ADVANTAGES which might be expected to arise from the above interpretation of our BAPTISMAL SERVICE.
MODES humbly suggested of carry-
THE REV. EDWARD BICKERSTETH.
SECRETARY TO THE CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
To improve a community of natural men, united for the common advantages of social life, into a Communion of Saints, enjoying the privileges, discharging the duties, and encouraging the hopes of the Gospel-is the highest object at which both the Statesman and Divine can aim, though they should live in the most refined condition of society upon earth.
It is with this view, I conceive, that the State has instituted our Ecclesiastical Establishment; and that it expects all-both Divine and Layman to concur in advancing the kingdom of "the Christ of God," as the highest possible attainment that can make the subjects of the realm truly happy whether here or hereafter.
This kingdom of Christ is a spiritual kingdom; and does not proceed from any native moral power or goodness of man whatever it
is founded on the assumption of man's utter worthlessness and sinfulness before God: it is eminently the kingdom of PROMISE-a kingdom of mere mercy, and love, and grace, and peace.
On this principle, I conceive, in perfect consistency with the genuine Gospel of Christ, the Established Church of these realms is built. It is assumed that every child introduced into her communion, is introduced in virtue of the PROMISE made to the children of believers: on this ground the Parents and Sponsors present the Child; on this ground the Church receives the Child into "the Communion of Saints ;" and on this ground she commits the responsibility of educating the Child to the Sponsors, as interested in all the privileges of the PROMISE. On this ground she instructs him in her Catechism; on this she prepares him to be Confirmed by the Bishop; on this he is interested in every subsequent formulary, and throughout all her Liturgy; and on this ground she takes her leave of him, in the last act of kindness, she can pay him in this world, when she gives "hearty thanks" to God, "for that it hath pleased " him "to deliver this our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world."