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are to be re-baptized when they come to years of discretion; or that, since they cannot personally believe, it is better to omit their baptism than that they should be baptized only in the faith of the church :* let him be accursed.
« 14. Whoever shall affirm, that when these baptized children grow up, they are to be asked whether they will confirm the promises made by their godfathers in their name at their baptism; and that if they say they will not, they are to be left to their own choice, and not to be compelled in the meantime to lead a Christian life, by any other punishment than exclusion from the eucharist and the other sacraments, until they repent:t let him be accursed.”
* “That when baptized they receive the mysterious gifts of faith cannot be matter of doubt; not that they believe by the formal assent of the mind, but because their incapacity is supplied by the faith of their parents, if the parents profess the true faith; if not, (to use the words of St. Augustine,) 'by that of the universal society of the saints ;' for they are said, with propriety, to be presented for baptisın by all those to whom their initiation in that sacred rite was a source of joy, and by whose charity they are united to the communion of the Holy Ghost.”— Catechism, p. 173..... “ Insane persons, who are favoured with lucid intervals, and during these lucid intervals, express no wish to be baptized, are not to be admitted to baptism, unless in extreme cases, when death is apprehended. In such cases, if previously to their insanity, they gave intimation of a wish to be baptized, the sacrament is to be administered ; without such intimation previously given, they are not to be admitted to baptism; and the same rule is to be followed with regard to persons in a state of lethargy. But if they never enjoyed the use of reason, the authority and practice of the church decide that they are to be baptized in the faith of the church, on the same principle that children are baptized, before they come to the use of reason.”—Ibid. p. 175.
† “ Every member of the church of Rome is bound to believe that all baptized persons are liable to be compelled, by punishment, to be Christians; or, what is the same in Roman-catholic divinity, spiritual subjects of the Pope. It is indeed curious to see the Council of Trent, who passed that law, prepare for the free and extended action of its claims by an unexpected stroke of liberality. In the session on baptism, the Trent Fathers are observed anxiously securing to Protestants the privilege of true baptism ;” (see Canon 4.1 “ Observe now the consequences of this enlarged spirit of concession, in the two subjoined canons ;” (see Canons 8 and 14.] Thus the council “has converted the sacrament of baptism into an indelible brand of slavery ; whoever has received the waters of regeneration is in the thrall of her who declares that there is no other church of Christ. She claims her slaves wherever they may be found, declares them subject to her laws, both written and traditional, and by her infallible sanction, dooms them to indefinite punishment, till they shall acknowledge her authority and bend their necks to her yoke. Such
Other opinions and practices connected with this sacrament are detailed in the - Catechism ;” they must be briefly noticed.
The mode of baptism is declared to be indifferent. “According to the common practice of the church, baptism may be administered by immersion, infusion, or aspersion ; administered in either of these forms, it is equally valid. In baptism, water is used to signify the spiritual ablution which it accomplishes, and on this account, baptism is called by the apostle a · laver.' This ablution takes place as effectually by immersion, which was, for a considerable time, the practice in the early ages of the church, as by infusion, which is now the general practice, or by aspersion, which was the manner in which Peter baptized, when he converted and gave baptism to • about three thousand souls. It is also matter of indifference to the validity of the sacrament, whether the ablution is performed once or thrice; we learn from the epistle of St. Gregory the Great to Leander, that baptism was formerly and may still be validly administered in the church in either way."*
The ministers of the sacrament are, bishops and priests by right of office; deacons by permission of the bishop or priest; in case of necessity, all persons, “even the laity, men and women, to whatever sect they may belong. This power extends, in case of necessity, even to Jews, infidels, and heretics, provided, however, they intend to do what the Catholic church does in that act of her ministry.”......" Let not the faithful, however, imagine that this office is given promiscuously to all; so as to supersede the propriety of observing a certain order amongst those who administer baptism ; when a man is present, a woman; when a clerk, a layman; when a priest, a simple clerk should not administer this sacrament. Midwives, however, when accustomed to its administration, are not to be found fault with, if sometimes, when a man is present who is unacquainted with the manner of its administration, they perform what may otherwise appear to belong more properly to men.""*
is, has been, and will ever be, the doctrine of the Roman-catholic church ; such is the belief of her true and sincere members ; such the spirit that actuates her views, and which by every possible means she has always spread among her children. Him that denies this doctrine, Rome devotes to perdition. The principle of religious tyranny, supported by persecution, is a necessary condition of Roman Catholicism; he who revolts at the idea of compelling belief by punishment is severed at once from the communion of Rome.”—Practical and Internal Evidence against Catholicism, p. 121---124.
* Catechism, p. 164.
It has been found necessary to limit the number of sponsors to one male or female, or at most, to one male and one female; chiefly, “to prevent the multiplication of affinities, which must impede a wider diffusion of society by means of lawful marriage;" for the administrator contracts a spiritual affinity with the candidate, and the sponsor with the godchild and its parents, “ so that marriage cannot be lawfully contracted by them, and if contracted, it is null and void.”+
The ceremonies with which the church of Rome has encumbered baptism may be reduced to three heads : such as are observed before coming to the font; such as are used at the font; and those which immediately follow the administration.
In the first place, the water is prepared, and 5 consecrated with the oil of mystic unction;" this is most commonly done at the festivals of Easter and Pentecost. The person to be baptized is brought or conducted to the door of the church, and is prohibited entrance, “ as unworthy to be admitted into the house of God, until he has cast off the yoke of the most degrading servitude of Satan, devoted himself unreservedly to Christ, and pledged his fidelity to the just sovereignty of the Lord Jesus. Catechetical instruction follows:-“ if the person to be instructed be an adult, he himself answers the interrogatories; if an infant, the sponsor answers according to the prescribed form, and enters into a solemn engagement for the child.” Next comes exorcism, consisting of “ words of sacred and religious import, and of prayers; and is used to expel the devil, to weaken and crush his power.” Salt is put into the mouth, intimating that “ by the doctrines of faith, and by the gift of grace, he shall be delivered from the corruption of sin, experience a relish for good works, and be nurtured with the food of divine wisdom.” The forehead, eyes, breast, shoulders, ears, are signed with the sign of the cross, “ to declare, that by the mystery of baptism, the senses of the person baptized are opened and strengthened, to enable him to receive God, and to understand and observe his commandments.” The nostrils and ears are touched with spittle:—" by this ceremony we understand, that as sight was given to the blind man mentioned in the gospel, whom the Lord, having spread clay on his eyes, commanded to wash them in the waters of Siloe; so by the efficacy of holy baptism, a light is let in on the mind, which enables it to discern heavenly truth.”
* Catechism, p. 167, 168.
† Ibid. p. 170, 171.
At the font, the person to be baptized is asked, “ dost thou renounce Satan ?” “and all his works ?” “ and all his pomps?” To each question, “ he, or the sponsor in his name, replies in the affirmative.” Next, he is anointed with the oil of catechumens" on the breast, that by the gift of the Holy Ghost he may lay aside error and ignorance, and receive the true faith ; for “the just man liveth by faith,'-on the shoulders, that by the grace of the Holy Spirit he may be enabled to shake off negligence and torpor, and engage actively in the performance of good works; "for faith without works is dead.'” The apostles' creed, in the form of questions, is then propounded to him, and belief is signified, personally or by the sponsor. Upon this baptism is administered.
After baptism, the crown of the head is anointed with chrism, “ thus giving him to understand, that from the moment of his baptism, he is united as a member to Christ, his head, and engrafted on his body; and that he is therefore called a Christian, from Christ, as Christ is so called from Chrism.” A white garment is put on him, with these words, “ receive this white garment, which mayest thou carry unstained before the judgment-seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, that thou mayest have eternal life. Amen." Infants receive only a white kerchief, accompanied with the same words : “ According to the doctrine of the holy fathers, this symbol signifies the glory of the resurrection, to which we are born by baptism; the brightness and beauty with which the soul, when purified from the stains of sin, is invested ; and the innocence and integrity which the person who has received baptism should preserve through life.” A burning light is put into the hand, “to signify that faith, received in baptism, and inflamed by charity, is to be fed and augmented by the exercise of good works.” Lastly, a name
wn of them is admired, perestions, is
is given, “ which should be taken from some person whose eminent sanctity has given him a place in the catalogue of the saints: this similarity of name will stimulate to the imitation of his virtues, and the attainment of his holiness; and we should hope and pray, that he who is the model of our imitation, may also, by his advocacy, become the guardian of our safety and salvation.* Such are the unauthorized and foolish additions made by the church of Rome to the simple ritual of Scripture. Justly may it be asked, “ Who hath required this at your hands ?"
Seven effects of baptism are enumerated by the compilers of the “ Catechism.” It is said to “ remit original sin and actual guilt however enormous ;” to remit all the punishment due to sin; to bestow invaluable privileges, such as justification and adoption ; to produce abundance of virtues; to unite the soul to Christ; to seal it with an ineffaceable character; and to open the portals of heaven.m Here, again, “ faith is made void.”
Confirmation was the last subject of the decree. " Canon 1. Whoever shall affirm, that the confirmation of the baptized is a trifling ceremony, and not a true and proper sacrament; or that formerly it was nothing more than a kind of catechizing; in which young persons explained the reasons of their faith before the church : let him be accursed.
66 2. Whoever shall affirm, that they offend the Holy Spirit, who attribute any virtue to the said chrism of confirmation : let him be accursed.
66 3. Whoever shall affirm, that the usual administrator of confirmation is not the bishop only, but any ordinary priest : let him be accursed.”
According to the doctrine of the Romish church, confirmation is so called, because the person who receives it 6 is confirmed in strength, by receiving new virtue, and becomes a perfect soldier of Christ.” It is affirmed that it was instituted as a sacrament by the Redeemer himself, and that 6 at his last
* Catechism, p. 187-192. The Spaniards are noted for the number of their names. They suppose that “as many saints as have their names given to a child at baptism are in some degree engaged to take it under their protection.”-Doblado's Letters from Spain, p. 323.
† Catechism, p. 177—186.