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Of the Preaching of the Word.

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Sect. I. THE preaching of the word be

ing an institution of God for the falvation of men, great attention should be paid to the manner of performing it. Every minifter ought to give diligent application to it; and endeavour to prove himself a workman that needeth not to be ashamed ; rightly dividing the word of truth.

Sect. II. The subject of a sermon should be fome verse, or verses of scripture; and its object, to explain, defend, and apply some part of the system of divine truth ; or, to point out the nature, and state the bounds, and obligation of fome duty. A text should not be merely a motto : but should fairly contain the doctrine proposed to be handled.

It is proper also that large portions of scripture be fometimes expound. ed, and particularly improved, for the instruction of the people in the meaning and use of the facred oracles.

Sect. III. The method of preaching requires much study, meditation and prayer.- Ministers ought, in general, to prepare their sermons with care ; and not to indulge themselves in loose, extemporary harangues; nor to serve God with that which cost them nought. They ought, however, to keep to the fimplicity of the gospel; expressing themselves in language agreeable to fcripture, and level to the underítanding of the meanest of their hearers; carefully avoiding oftentation, ei. ther of parts or learning.-They ought also to adorn, by their lives, the doctrine which they teach; and to be examples to the believers, in word, in converfation, in charity, in fpirit, in faith, in purity.

Sect. IV. As one primary design of public ordinances is to pay social acts of homage to the most high God, ministers ought to be careful, not to make their fermons so long as to interfere with, or exclude the more important duties of prayer and praise; but preserve a juft proportion between the several parts of public worship.

Sect. V. The sermon being ended, the minister is to pray, and return thanks to almighty God: then let a pfalm be fung; a collection raised for the poor, or other purposes of the church; and the affembly dismissed with the apostolic benedi&tion.

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Of the Administration of Baptism.
Sect. I. APTISM is not to be unneces.

sarily delayed; nor to be admi. nistered, in any case, by any private person ;



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but by a minister of Chrift, called to be the fteward of the mysteries of God.

Sect. II. It is usually to be administered in the church, in the prefence of the congregation; and it is convenient that it be performed imme. diately after sermon.

Sect. III. After previous notice is given to the minifter, the child to be baptized is to be presented, by one or both the parents fignifying their desire that the child may be baptized.

Sect. IV. Before baptism, let the minister use fome words of instruction, respecting the inftitution, nature, use and ends of this ordinance: fhewing,

"That it is instituted by Christ; that it is a seal of the righteousnefs of faith; that the feed of the faithful have no less a right to this ordinance, under the gospel, than the feed of Abra

ham to circumcifion, under the Old Testament; 'that Christ commanded all nations to be baptized; that he bleffed little children, declaring that of such is the kingdom of heaven; that

children are federally holy, and therefore ought 6 to be baptized; that we are, by nature, sinful, guilty and polluted, and have need of cleansing by the blood of Christ, and by the fan&tifying influences of the Spirit of God."

The miniiter is also to exhort the parents to the careful performance of their duty: requiring,

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"That they teach the child to read the word of God; that they instrucl it in the principles lof our holy religion, as .contained in the ferip'tures of the Old and New Testament; an excel. ·lent summary of which we have in the confef. fion of faith. of this church, and in the larger and shortet: catechisms of the Weltminster' assembly, which are to be reconimended to them, as aa dopted by this church, for their direction and 'alliitance, in the discharge of this important du:

y; that they pray with and for it ;. that they • set an example of piety and godlinefs before it, and endeavour, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring up their child in the nur. 'ture and admonition of the Lord.'

Sect. V. Then the minister is to pray for a blessing to attend this ordinance;. after which, cal. ling the child by its name, he fall say,

'I baptize thee, in the name of the father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.''

As he pronounces these words, he is to baptize the child with water; by pouring or sprinkling it on the face of the child, without adding any other

ceremony: and the whole shall be concluded with prayer.

Although it is proper that baptism be admi. nistered in the presence of the congregation ; yet there may be cafes, when it will be expedient to administer this ordinance in private houses; of which the minister is to be the judge.

c H A P.


Of the Administration of the Lord's Supper.


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Sect. I. THE communion, or supper of the .

Lord, is to be celebrated frequently; but how often, may be determined by the minister and eldership of each congregation, as they may judge moít for edification.

Sect. II. The ignorant and fcandalous are not to be admitted to the Lord's fupper.

Sect. III. It is proper that public notice fhould be given to the congregation, at least, the fabbath before the adminiftration of this ordi nance, and that, either then, or on fome day of the week, the people be inftructed in its nature, and a due preparation for it; that all may come in a suitable manner to this holy feast.

Sect. IV. When the sermon is ended, the minister shall shew,

"That this is an ordinance of Christ; by read'ing the words of institution, either from one of

the evangelists, or from 1 Cor. xi, chapter ; which, as to him may appear expedient, he

may explain and apply; that it is to be obferv. ed in remembrance of Christ, to thew forth his *death till he come; that it is of inestimable be. nefit, to strengthen his people against fin; to *support them under troubles; to encourage and

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