« PoprzedniaDalej »
ner, but that he should rather turn from his Sins, and be saved; and for that End hast encouraged us to come boldly to the throne of Grace, that we may find Mercy in the Time of Need; O do thou vouchsafe to hear the Prayers and Cries of me, thy sinful Creature, who do most earnestly implore thy Mercy in the Pardon of all my Sins, for the Sake of thy dear Son, and my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who suffered and died once a most bitter Death upon the Cross, that we might not die and suffer eternally. Amen, Amen.
O God, the Father of Heaven, have Mercy upon me a miserable Sinner; and from thy Wrath, and from everlasting Damnation, Good Lord deliver me.
Grant, O God, that Knowing these Terrors of the Lord, I may effectually be persuaded to break off my Sins; for it is a fearful Thing to fall into the Hands of the living God, who is a consuming Fire to all the Workers of Iniquity. By the Assistance of thy heavenly Grace, I resolve this Day, O Lord, and all the Days of my Life, to live as becomes one that has Eternity in View: that when my perishing Body shall crumble into Dust, my Soul may be received into
Abraham's Bosom: And that at the general Resurrection in the last Day, when Soul and Body shall be reunited, I may be acceptable in thy Sight, through the alone Merits and Intercession of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
If you are desirous to know how many Sacraments Christ hath ordained in his Church: the Answer is plain: two only, as generally necessary to Salvation : That is to say, "Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.
The Sacrament of Baptism was instituted by our Saviour in the New Testament in the Room of Circumcision; and it is the appointed Way of entering into Covenant with God, of becoming a Member of Christ, and an Inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven. And without being baptized, you have no Right to the other Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. But because some weak, misguided Persons, think that Infant-Baptism is not true Baptism, I shall shew very briefly what Proofs we have for Infant-Baptism.
1. All Children are conceived and born in Sin; hence arises the Necessity of their being washed in the Laver of Regeneration; and of being thereby made the Children of Grace, which cannot in an ordinary Way be effected, but by Baptism.
2. Our Saviour commanded little Children to be brought unto him, and took them up in his Arms, and blessed them. Moreover, they were admitted into the
Church of God under the Old Testament, and sure they ought not to be put in a worse Condition under the Gospel. Who then can forbid Water, that they should be baptized?
The Jews admitted into their Church, Children, as well as adult Persons, by Circumcision. Though by Reason of their tender Age, they could not express their Belief of the Law, nor promise Obedience to it. And therefore, the Apostles of our Lord and Saviour, who were sent to make Proselytes to Christianity, could not debar Children, whom the Jews admitted, unless our Saviour had expressly forbidden
Again, the Practice of baptizing Infants appears in the Christian Church, from the Usage of the Apostles, who baptized whole Families; Lydia and her Household, Acts xvi. 15. The Jailor, and all his House, Acts xvi. 33. And the Household of Ste phanus, 1 Cor. i. 16. Nor is it at all reasonable to Suppose that there was no Child, or Infaut, in all these Households. Besides, after St. Peter had given the following Exhortation to the Jews, Acts ii. 38. Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ for the Remission of Sins; he adds the following very remarkable Words: For the Promise is unto you and to your Children. And to put this Matter past all doubt, we know that to baplize Infants has been the Practice of the Christian Church in all Places, and in all Ages. And it has -continued in the Church for above seventeen hundred Years; So that if Infant-Baptism be not true Baptisın, there has been no true Church since our Saviour's Days.
But it appears from the Word of God, from good Reason, and from the Judgment and Practice of the universal Church, that Infants may, and ought to be baptized; that the Church of Christ has done right in baptizing them; that the Church does well in baptia
ing them; and that in this, as well as other Matters, she continues in the true Faith, Doctrine, and Practice ́of the Apostles.
It is needless, I hope, to answer every Objection to this Practice. However, I will answer the chief one, which is drawn from a mistake of our Saviour's Words, Matt. xxviii. 12. Go and teach all Nations, baptizing them. Teaching being put before baptizing, they think Persons ought to be taught before they are baptized. But the Order of Words is no rule for the Order of Things. Besides, observe, I pray, that what we translate Teach all. Nations, is in the Ori ginal, Disciple or make Disciples, as has been fully proved by learned Men. I request all who are haptized in their Infancy, to pray for their mistaken Brethren, that God would please to bring into the Way of Truth all such as have erred, and are deceived.: that as we have but one Lord, and one Faith, so we may have but one Baptism. This is added for the Instruction of such as live like Heathens without Baptism.
This naturally follows next in Order, and is in Pursuance of the great Vow we made at our Baptism. The Practice of Confirmation is as ancient as the Days of the Apostles: St. Paul laid his Hands on the baptized at Ephesus, and confirmed them, Acts xix. 6. Though the Samaritans had been converted and baptized by Philip the Deacon, they did not receive the Holy Ghost till St. Peter and St. John had confirmed them. Acts viii. 14. Tertullian who lived in the second Century, says, that they laid on Hands after Baptism, to invite the Holy Ghost. St. Cyprian has these words: Upon those who have been baptized in the Church, the Holy Ghost is invo