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of nature, and the higher interests of a moral creature. How many parents have little or no thought beyond the indulgence of their brutish appetites?
How How many know nothing of the importance of a virtuous education? How many are there too busy, how many too
means, it is not the mere outward act, unaccompanied by a suitable inward disposition. When St. Paul says, that drift sent him not to baptize, hut H priach the gospel; i. Cor. i. i j. he means, that preaching was the principal thing he was to do in person: to baptize, he might appoint others under him; and it seems, commonly did: as St. Peter did not baptize Cornelius and his friends himself, but commanded them to be baptized: Acts x. 48. and we read in St. John, that Jesus baptized not, hut his disciples. John iv. 2,
Water-baptism therefore is appointed. And why the church of Rome should not think water sussicient itt baptism, but aim at mending what our Saviour hath directed, by mixing oil and balsam with it, and dipping a lighted torch into it, I leave them to explain.
The precise manner, in which water shall be applied in baptism, scripture hath not determined. For the word, baptize, means only to wash: whether that be done by plunging a thing under water, or pouring the water upon it. The former of these; burying, as it were, the person baptized, in the water, and raising him out of it again, without question was anciently the more usual method: on account of which, St. Paul speaks of
baptism, as representing both the death, and burial, and resurrection of Christ, and what is grounded on them, our being dead and buried to Jin; renouncing it, and being acquitted of \f, and our rising again, to walk in newness of life, Rom. vi. 4, II. Col. ii. iz. being both obliged and enabled to practice, for the future, every duty of piety and virtue. But still the other manner of warning, by pouring or sprinkling of water, sufficiently expresses the fame two things: our being by this ordinance purified from the guilt of sin, and bound and qualified to keep ourselves pure from the defilement of it. Besides, it very naturally represents that sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, i. Pet. i. 2. to which our salvation is owing. And the use of it seems not only to be foretold by the prophet Isaiah, speaking of our Saviour, he shall sprinkle many nations, Isaiah Hi. 15. that is, many shall receive his baptism; and by the prophet Ezekiel, then will I sprinkle dean water upon you, and ye pall be (lean: Ezek. xxxvi. 25. but to be had in view also by the apostle, where he speaks of having our hearts sprinkled fro/n an evil conscience, and our bodies wajbed with pure water. Heb. x. 22. And though it was less frequently used in the first ages, it must almost of nectssity have been sometimes used: for instance, when baptism was administred, as we read in the Acts it was, to several xr thousands
indolent, to execute the charge? How many ignorant of the real principles of virtue, or destitute of skill and address to instil them in an effectual manner? How many mistake the care really due to their offspring, and unhappily employ their love, in indulging hurtful humours, rather than removing them by the disagreeable severity of wholesome correction? In heaping up large inheritances, rather than providing the better treasures of useful virtue?
thousands at once. Acts ii. 4i. when it was administred on a sudden in private houses, as we find it, in the fame book, to the goaler and all his family, the very night in which they were converted. Acts xvi. 33. or when sick persons received it; in which last cafe, the present method was always taken, because the other, of dipping them, might have been dangerous. And from the fame apprehension of danger in these colder countries, pouring the water is allowed, even when the person baptized is in health. And the particular manner being left at liberty, that is now universally chosen, which is looked on as safer: because were there more to be said for the other than there is: God ivill have Mercy, and not sacrifice. Hos. vi. 6. Mat. ix. i3. xii. .7.
Arch B. Seeker's Lest, on the Cat, Vol. ?. p. 223.
This institution then calls careless parents to reflexion, gives instruction to the ignorant, and, though it creates no new obligation, yet wonderfully corroborates the calls of nature, as far as free creatures can be bound; I mean, by a deliberate engagement, solemnly entered into, in the presence of God and the face of the world.
But parents may die, they may be careless, or otherwise disqualified for the discharge of this duty. What is to be done in this case? Are guiltless orphans to be turned out helpless and unprincipled, into a wide disordered world? Are they to suffer for the folly or misfortune of parents? Are moral creatures of so little importance? Suppose then, that, besides the natural parents, some near relations or friends were engaged in the same trust, under a solemn promise of supplying the defects of parental care, whenever they Jhould happen; would not this be providing for exigences, which must frequently arise in the course of things? Can we take too many securities for the discharge of a duty, of such great and weighty importance?
Besides, the duties to be taught children, are the duties of manly life. Is there not then a further use in the mode of the institution? Does it not remind numbers at the same time of our common obligation of leading a good life; instructing not only the natural and adoptive parents, but the whole body, who are witnesses of the solemn transaction?
This provision, again, has been made by the church, in insisting upon having Sponsors for the baptized infant. Examine this institution in its first principles, and nothing can be more rational; attend seriously to these principles, in the execution of the trust, and nothing can be more useful to the world. I Have only considered the child as yet,