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persist in their obstinacy, and treat the persuasions of Their friendly advisers with neglect and contempt. What is the chief means by which repentance is produced?
A view of a crucified Saviour. The penitent, looking at the cross of Christ, sees himself a sinner, and mourns over those sins which crucified the Lord of life.
Unless we feel something of this, we are not real Christians. The only entrance to the way which leads to eternal life, is by this godly sorrow and heart-felt repentance. The passage is very difficult, and we must strive to enter in at the strait gate.
Notwithstanding the necessity and benefit of repentance, we must remember that it does not atone for sin. How are we to obtain repentance ? By prayer.
Prayers for Repentance, in the Liturgy. Collect, Ash-Wednesday... Create and make in as new aud
contrite hearts. Absolution. Let us beseech him to grant us true repentance. Litany. That it may please thee to give us true repentance.
How necessary is it for those who have not already repented, to set about the important work immediately! Do not trifle with God. Difficulties will increase with
IV. On Faith. What is Faith ?
St. Paul briefly defines it to be The substance of things soped for, the evidence of things not seen,
Heb. xi, 1. Christ is the object of a Christian's faith, and the hope set before us; faith is not a state of the understanding merely, but of the heart. To believe testimony, and rely on the promises of men, is natural; but spiritual things are so far beyond our apprehension, so humbling, and so opposite to worldly pursuits, that we cannot believe the things which concern our eternal salvation, so as to love them and act upon them, (and none is true
II. On Baptism.
Who gave you this Name?
My Godfathers and Godmothers in my Baptism, wherein I was made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven, What is Baptism?
It is an act of dedication to God, being a covenant admission into Christianity, in which, on God's part, all the blessings of the Gospel are made over to the baptized ; and the person baptized takes on him, by a solemn profession and vow, to observe and adhere to the whole Christian religion. It is, therefore, a means whereby we receive the grace of Christ, and a pledge to assure us thereof. What is implied in Baptism?
An acknowledgment of our defilement by sin, and of the necessity of our being washed from its pollution. As children are defiled by original sin, being born in the flesh, they are admitted into the outward Church by the ordinance of baptism, wherein they are washed by water, as a type of that inward washing by the Holy Ghost, without which they cannot be members of the true Church. Need we be baptized more than once?
No. Baptism is the ceremony whereby we obtain admission into the Christian Church ; and need not be repeated.
One Lord, one faith, one baptism. Eph, iv, 5. Was there any ceremony answerable to it among the Jews?
Yes; the rite of circumcision, when their children were thus admitted into covenant with God, and names were given to them. Abrani's name was changed to Abraham. Gen. xvii, 5. i Isaac's name was given, Gen. xxi, 3, 4. John the Baptist's name was given. Luke i, 59, 63. Our Saviour's name was called Jes118, Luke ii, 21.
Baptism is acknowledged by St. Paul to have succeeded in the place of circumcision, and is now what that institution formerly was.
In wbom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made
without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the fiesb. by the circuncision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, whereby also ye are risey with him, through the faith of the
operation of God. Col, ii, 11, 19. In what light are Circumcision and Baptism to be con
sidered? 1. As a seal of spiritual blessings and outward privileges.
Seals are intended for the confirmation or attestation of the agreement entered into by the parties who use them. In this case Baptism vouches the truth of God for the performance of the promises made in his word. He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the rigliteousness
of faith. Rom. iv, 11.
2. As a sign of regeneration, 80 many of us as were baptized unto Jesus Christ, were baptized
into his death. Rom. vi, 3. As Christ died for our sins, so we should die unto sin. As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ,
Gal. iii, 27.
Yes, certainly; infants were admitted members of the Church, under the law, by circumcision, which was the only rite of admission either for children or adults. Baptism is the only ordinance in the Christian Church, whereof children can partake, they must therefore be admitted to it, otherwise the dispensation of the gospel must be more limited than that of the law. Children are certainly as capable of receiving the blessings, and fulfilling the duties required of them now, as under the Jewish economy.
The covenant made with Abraham was,
The promise of the Gospel is,
Jesus ways, speaking of children whom he invited to come to him, of such is the kingdom of God, i.e. the gospel church. Matt.
xviii, 4; xix, 14; Mark x, 14. 'The Apostles baptized whole households, which we must suppose included children. And when she was baptized, and her household, &c. Acts xvi, 15. And was baptized, he and all bis, straightway. Acts xvi, 33.
The child of a believing parent is said by St. Paul to be holy, which could only be, by its being dedicated to God in baptism. But now are they holy.' 1 Cor. vii, 14. Who ordained baptism?
Christ himself. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them. Matt.
xxviii, 18, 19. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved. Mark xvi, 15,16. Did our Lord himself baptize ?
No. Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples. \John iii, 22, 6;
What is baptism called in the Catechism ?
A sacrament, which formerly meant a military oath to be faithful, but which we understand to be “ An outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.” (See the concluding Chapter.)
Words, precepts, and promises, are liable to be forgotten; therefore, in condescension to our weakness, God has vouchsafed to represent the most considerable points of religion in visible ceremonies, that we may the more easily understand the things represented, and keep in our minds a remembrance of the things signified. Thus sacrifices were appointed to Adam, circumcision to Abraham, and various significant ceremonies to the Jews. What is the outward visible sign or form in baptism?
Water; wherein the person is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 'Why are we baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and
Holy Ghost ? To shew we believe in, and rest for salvation on their work, acknowledging the Father as our Creator, the Son as our Redeemer, and the Holy Ghost as our Sanctifier. What does water represent to us ?
The cleansing of the soul from sin by the blood of
Xxxvi, 25, 37. .
What is the inward and spiritual grace?
A death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness.
We were dead in trespasses and sins in our natural state; in our regenerate stale we should be alive unto righteousness. We should retain no love for sin, and whenever we feel it rising within us, we should strive : against it, and pray to God to enable us to conquer it. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein ?
Rom. vi, 2. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Rom. vi, Likewise reckon ye yourselves to be dead unto sin, Rom, vi, 11, By whom the world is crucified unto me. Gal. vi, 14. What do you mean by a new birth unto righteousness ?
Receiving a new and divine nature totally opposed to the corrupt nature we derived from Adam, The hearts and affections of those who are thus born again, are set upon God, and their constant desire is to please and obey him. Which were born not of the will of man, but of God. John 1, 13, Except a man be born again, be cannot enter into the kingdom of
God. John iii, 3, 5.
No: Children may receive the Holy Ghost, in answer to the prayers offered for them at their baptism; but the outward sign will not profit those who live and die without the inward grace. Circumcise, therefore, the foreskin of your heart. Dent. x, 16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Mark xvi, 16.
Abraham was circumcised after he became a believer; Ishmael was circumcised, who never believed; and Isaac was thus initiated into the Church when he was only eight days old, and of course before he believed.
The beliet here required, is a personal application to Jesus. It is not enough to confess him with our mouth, but our hearts must also be influenced, (Rom. x, 9.) otherwise our faith will be of as little avail as that of Simon Magus.