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will not be such enemies to your own souls. Let me rather hope that you will make the - Sabbath of the Lord,” as in other respects, so especially in this, “ a delight, holy to the 5 Lord, and honourablet;" that so far from neglecting, you will be anxious to take part in his public worship, and like David be sincerely grieved when you are unavoidably prevented ; that you will really take pleasure in the public exercise of devotion, and will rejoice to resort to the house of God - with the voice of praise and - thanksgiving, with the multitude that " keep holy day.”
DEUT. iv. 23.
covenant of the Lord your God, ALTHOUGH God the eternal Spirit is to be worshipped with a spiritual worship, yet the devotion of the mind may be assisted by sensible objects. It has accordingly pleased the divine Author of our religion to appoint certain significant rites to be the means of conveying to us God's grace, while at the same time they have in themselves a natural tendency to excite and strengthen a religious frame and temper of soul. Such rites are the two Sacraments: for by the word Sacrament, you know, is meant “ an outward and visible sign”a sign that may be seen—" of an inward
and spiritual grace given unto us;" which sign must have been “ordained" or appointed “by Christ himself, as a means, $ whereby we receive such grace, and as a
pledge” or token“ to assure us” that we do receive it. The only two Sacraments thus appointed by Christ are Baptism and the Lord's Supper ; both of which are declared by our Church to be "generally ne
cessary to salvation,” necessary to the salvation of all those who have it in their power to partake of them.
The first of these Sacraments is Baptism.
The necessity of Baptism appears to arise from the lost state in which man is by nature, The natural state of man is repeatedly called in Scripture, “the flesh.” Our Saviour says, “ that which is born of 66 the flesh is flesh a." St. Paul assures us, “ that they that are in the flesh cannot
please Godb;" and tells the Ephesians, that they had heretofore been “dead in
trespasses and sins," had been the " children of wrath even as others.” Accordingly our Church begins her office for Public Baptism with reminding the congregation that all men are conceived and “ born in sin, and that our Saviour Christ “ saith, none can enter the kingdom of “ heaven except he be born anew of water * John iii. 6. b Rom. viii. 8. Ephes. ii. 1, &c. .
" and of the Holy Ghost.” This plainly refers to our Lord's conference with Nicodemus, in which he says, “ Except a man “ be born again-born of water and of the
Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of “Godd.” The rite of Baptism had been before in use among the Jews: and that they were supposed not to be ignorant of its spiritual signification, we may infer from our Lord's saying to Nicodemus, “ Art " thou a master in Israel, and knowest not " these things?” When St. John came as the harbinger of the Messiah, he came baptizing those who repented of their sins. And our Lord himself, though he needed it not, yet submitted to be baptized, in order that he might fulfil all righteousness. And when the time came that the Christian religion was to be preached throughout the world, he adopted the rite of Baptism, as the means of admission to the privileges of the Gospel. Thus in his commission to the Apostles to make disciples of all nations, he charged thein“ to baptize them, in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and “ of the Holy Ghost®.” From that time to & John ii. 3, 5. e Matt. xxviii, 19.
the present, Baptism, the washing of regeneration, has been the instrument of admission into the Church of Christ; and thus our Catechism instructs us, that in Baptism we change a state of wrath for a state of grace ; that in Baptism “we are " made members of Christ, children of “ God, and inheritors of the kingdom of 66 heaven.' Members of the Church of Christ have an interest in the promises made to that Church, in the promise of the Spirit among the rest. The offices for Baptism, accordingly, consider the baptized person as being made God's own child by adoption, as being regenerate.
The benefits of Baptism being so great, and its necessity so apparent, it is very right and fitting that parents should take an early opportunity of bringing their children to the baptismal font. The Prayer Book says, that “ children who “ are baptized, dying before they commit actual
sin, are undoubtedly saved ;" consequently, a parent who for a long time wilfully defers the baptism of his child, acts as if he was regardless of its soul's health. You will not think, that there is any inpropriety in entering into covenant with God infants, who from their tender age cannot understand