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duced a language not entirely scriptural. Yet I trust it will appear, that their words taken together, by no means imply that baptism and regeneration are synonymous, or that baptism in all cases, even when rightly administered, is accompanied with regeneration.

A large proportion, however, of the evangelical clergy do suppose that some special gracious effect attends the due administration of infant-baptism, which they think to be meant in our baptismal forms, by the word "re. 'generated,' and 'regenerated by the Holy Ghost.'

The parents and those who bring infants to be baptized, as members of the church, are supposed, in our offices, to be themselves true christians: it is assumed, that they really desire and pray for the inward and spiritual grace of baptism,' both at other times, and when the child is about to be baptized: that they come, as those did, who “brought their young children to “ Christ, that he should lay his hands on them and pray "over,'* or bless, them. It is assumed also, that when baptism is publickly administered, the congregation unites in fervent prayer to the same effect: and they take it for granted, that God hears and answers these earnest prayers; and return him thanks for so doing. This seems a general view of the doctrine implied in the baptismal offices of our church. Probably too much is assumed; or more, at least than accords to present circumstances.

P. Ixxxvii. 1. 6. "We shall, &c.** If baptism be itself regeneration, or inseparable from it; why do we

• Matt ris. 13. p. We shall find this word used exactly in the same manner in our liturgy, articles, and homilies. In the beginning of the service of Publick Bap'tism of Infants, we pray, that the infant brought to be baptized may be 'washed and sanctified with the Holy Ghost; may receive remission of his

sins by spiritual regeneration; may be born again; and that the old Adam may be so buried, that the new man may be raised up in him.'


pray thus: “We beseech thee, for thine infinite mercies, " that thou wilt mercifully look upon this child; wash “him, and sanctify him with the Holy Ghost; that he, 'being delivered from thy wrath, may be received into the ark of Christ's church, &c.'

• We call upon thee for this infant, that he, coming to thy holy baptism, may receive remission of his sins by spiritual regeneration,' that this infant may enjoy the everlasting • benediction of thy heavenly washing.'-'Give thy • Holy Spirit to this infant, that he may be born again?'* The prayers themselves evidently distinguish between baptizing with water, and spiritual regeneration, and the heavenly washing: between what man can do; and what only God can do: and this implies that one may be done without the other.

P. lxxxvii. 1. 19. Seeing now, &c.'t The supposition, that the blessing is granted in answer to the prayers of the congregation, shows most evidently, that it is quite distinct from the opus operatum, and only connected with it by “the prayer of faith:” • Doubt ye not

therefore, but earnestly believe, &c.' If then, “prayer of faith” be entirely wanting, the inward and spiritual grace may not attend the outward baptism. I do not mean that the baptism is not valid, or that the infant is not baptized; but that regeneration does not, even according to the charitable hope expressed in the baptismal service, in this case, necessarily accompany baptism.

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Prayers, Baptismal Service. t. Seeing now that this child is regenerate and grafted into the body of • Christ's church. And in the concluding prayer, the priest returns thanks • to God that it hath pleased him to regenerate this infant with the Holy • Spirit, and to receive him for his own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into his holy cliurch; and it is added, that God for his part will most surely keep and perform his promise, of releasing him from his sins, sanc• tifying him with the Holy Ghost, and giving hin the kingdom of heaven ' and everlasting life.'

The case of the comparatively few, who, in the estab. lished church are baptized adult, requires a distinct consideration. Either these persons are previously true believers, and then their baptism is a profession, and recognition, of their regeneration; or, they are mere formalists: and whether God generally blesses a formal and insincere profession, (not to say a hypocritical attendance on his ordinances,) for the regeneration of the persons concerned, the reader must judge for himself.

P. Ixxxix. I. 12. The service, &c.'* As nothing materially differs in the form of private baptism from that of publick baptism, no remarks are necessary; but some notice must be taken of the office of baptism, as administered to adults.—The quotation, here adduced, is taken from the introductory exhortation. The prayers are nearly the same, as in the office for infant-baptism. But the gospel appointed to be read is, our Lord's conversation with Nicodemus concerning regeneration: and on this is grounded an exhortation: ‘Beloved, ye • hear in this gospel, the express words of our Saviour

Christ; that “except a man be born of water, and of " the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Whereby we perceive the great necessity of this sacrament, where it may be had. Likewise immediately

The service of baptism of such as are of riper years, begins thus: • Forasmuch as all men are conceived and born in sin, and that which is

born of the flesh is flesh, and they that are in the flesh cannot please God, .but live in sin, committing many actual transgressions; and that our Sa. « viour Christ saith, ' None can enter into the kingdom of God, except he be ' regenerate and born anew of water and of the Holy Ghost; 1 beseech you • to call upon God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that of his * bounteous goodness he will grant to these persons that which by nature * they cannot have; that they may be baptized with water and the Holy • Ghosi, and received into Christ's holy Church, and be made lively mem•bers of the same. And after the baptisipal words are pronounced, the

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personis baptized are declared to be "regenerate and now born again."



before his ascension, (as we read in the last chapter of * St. Mark's gospel,) he gave command to his disciples saying, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel "to every creature; he that believeth, and is baptized u shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned;", which also showeth the great benefit we reap thereby. For which cause St. Peter the apostle, when upon the first preaching of the gospel, many were pricked to the heart, and said to him and the rest

of the apostles, “ Men and brethren, what shall we do?” * replied and said unto them; “ Repent and be baptized “ every one of you, for the remission of your sins, and

shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; for the promise is to you and your children, and to all that "are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words exhorted he them, " saying, Save yourselves from this untoward genera"tion.” For (as the same apostle testifieth in another place,) “ Even baptism doth now save us, (not the

putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a " good conscience towards God,) by the resurrection " of Jesus Christ.” • Doubt ye not therefore, but earnest*ly believe, that he will favourably receive these present persons, truly repenting, and coming unto him by faith; that he will grant them remission of their sins, * and bestow upon them the Holy Ghost; that he will 'give them the blessing of eternal life, and make them

partakers of his everlasting kingdom.' The portions of Scripture, introduced into this exhortation, have been considered, and certainly are highly appropriate. Baptism, as being “ born of water,” 'is very necessary, · where it may be had:' but being “born of the Spirit," is indispensably necessary. The 'great benefit derived 'to adults by baptism,' is spoken of as connected with their truly repenting, and coming to the Lord by faith." but, if they do not truly repent, and come to the Lord by faith;' if they be hypocrites, or have only a dead faith; are we not to doubt, but that he favourably receives them, and not only at present, 'grants them remission

of sins, and bestows on them the Holy Ghost; but that 'he will give them the blessing of eternal life, and make * them partakers of his everlasting kingdom?' They who come to baptism, in this manner, beyond all controversy, were not previously regenerate; no intimation is given in the exhortation, concerning baptismal regeneration, especially of those who have not true repentance and faith: and hence, it may be fairly concluded, that if they live and die, without subsequent regeneration, they cannot enter “ into the kingdom of God.”

Then follow the questions proposed to the persons to be baptized; and he, who can answer them sincerely and intelligently, has “the answer of a good conscience “ towards God;" he who can only answer them hypocri. tically or ignorantly, has no more, “than the washing "away of the filth of the Aesh.”

After the adults have been baptized, it is added "See“ ing that these personis are regenerate, and grafted into "the body of Christ.” Upon the supposition, that they approached to baptism truly repenting, and coming "unto him by faith,' no doubt they are regenerate; but it is not said that they were regenerated in baptism. The expression being now born again,' does not necessarily imply that this was effected at the very moment of their baptism; but that now, at the time, when the thanksgiving is offered, they are numbered among the regenerate. The language is so general, that person's of rather differ. ent sentiments may use it, without scruple: it is certain, however, that this office does not say that baptism is regeneration, or uniformly attended by it.

The subject of baptism, as administered to adults, in

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