Wrong notions in support of them ; which we are extremely backward to acknowledge.

What are we very apt to do in consequence of this ?

We are very apt to model our religion in such a manner as to leave rooin for our faults.

What may be the advantage of right explanations ?

They may preserve persons from thus deceiving themselves, and guard them against future and present danger.

What is a still greater advantage of instruction ?

It brings frequently before people's eyes those truths on which otherwise they would seldom reflect. It also keeps the thoughts of their duty continually at hand, to assist them in resisting the temptations with which they are attacked.


On the Privileges of Baptism. WHAT does the Catechism of our Church begin

with? With a prudent condescension and familiarity, by asking the introductory questions-What is your name ?Who gave you that name?

To what do these questions very naturally lead ?

They naturally lead the person catechised to the mention of his baptism, at which time it was given.

Is the giving a name any necessary part of baptism?

No, this might have been done either before or after. wards, though it has been always done then,

From what circumstance might the Jews derive the practice of naming the child when it was circumcised?

It was no uncommon thing in ancient times, to give a person a new naine when he entered into the service of a new master; and the child when circumcised was considered as devoted to the service of God: they therefore, in compliance with the above mentioned custom gave it a name. The first Christians in imitation of them, would of course do the same thing when they baptized their children.

In what respect may this practice be useful?

It might be very useful if persons would but remember of what it tends to remind them, that they were dedicated to Christ; when their christian name was given them; and would make use of thạt circuinstance frequently to recollect those promises which were then solemnly made for tliem.

If we do not perform these promises what are we?
We are Christians not in deed, but in name only.
By whom was our baptismal name given us?

Not by our parents as we read in Scripture, the name of Jewish children was, but by our godfathers and god. mothers,

Is there any advantage in this custom ? . It has a double advantage: It may admonish them, that having conferred the title of Christians upon us, they are bound to endeavour that we may behave worthily of it. And it may adı

us, that our name having been given us by persons who were our šureties, we are bound to make good ileir engagements.


To what do we become entitled by baptism?
Certain privileges.
What does it oblige us to perform?
Certain duties.
What is done in order to recommend these duties ?
The privileges are mentioned first.

Has not God an absolute right to our observance of his laws, without informing us before hand what benefit we shall reap from them?

Most certainly; and our business is to chey, and trust him with the consequences.

What has God in his great mercy been pleased to do to encourage and attract his poor creatures ?

He has been pleased to enter into a covenant, a graci. ous agreement with man : suhjecting himself, as it were, to bestow certain blessings on us, provided we perform certain conditions.

To how many heads are the privileges, thus conditionally secured to us, reduced in the Catechism?

Into three.

1st. The person who receives it, is therein made a Member of Christ.

2nd. A Child of God.
3rd. An Inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Can we at first perfectly understand the strength and beauty of the figure of speech, being made a Member of Christ?

What does it pre-suppose ?
Of what we must all be sensible, more or less,

that are every one originally prone to sin, and actually sinners.



To what are we then liable ?
To punishment.
Of what are we destitute ?

Destitute of the hope of preserving ourselves, by our own strength, either from guilt or misery.

What does it further imply?

What the Scriptures clearly teach, that Jesus Christ hath delivered us from both.

On what terms ?

On the most equitable, our becoming his, by accepting him for our Saviour, our Teacher, and our Lord.

To what does our Catechism compare this union ?

In conformity with the language of holy writ, it conpares it with that of the members of the body to the head: and how proper the comparison is, will easily appear, by carrying it through the several particulars, in which the similitude holds.

From what does perception and motion proceed in every living creature ?

From the head.

From whom does the knowledge of God's will, and power to obey it, flow?

From Christ.
Can you carry on the comparison ?

Yes; as the head governs and directs each limb, so Christ is the Sovereign and Law-giver of each Believer ; as being joined to the head makes the whole body one animal frame, so being joined to Christ makes the whole number of Christians one spiritual society. As communication with the head' preserves our natural life, so communion with Christ supports our' religious life.

What is this manner of speaking then, admirably fitted represent ?

The happy relations in which we stand to our Redeemer.

What is it also calculated to do?

It is calculated to remind us of the duties which are derived from these relations ; namely, the honour and obedience due to him, who is the 6 head over all things to his body, the Church.” Of our continual dependence on him; and of the tenderness and kindness which we owe to our fellow Christians, and they to us, being all united through him so intimately to each other.

How does the Apostle St. Paul argue upon this subject ?

He says By one spirit we are all baptized into one body : as in the natural body, “ the

eye cannot


unto the hand, “I have no need of thee,' but even the more feetle and less honourable members are necessary; so in the spiritual body, they, who in any respect, may seem to excel others, ought by no means to despise them; since every good Christian is, in his proper degree and place, both a valuable and useful Member of Christ.

What is there also in the natural body?

A connection and sympathy in the several parts; by jwhich the good state of one preserves the others in health and ease, or its bad state gives them pain and disorder. 2? What should there then be in the spiritual body, and all true members of it?

A mutual caution not to do harm to each other, and a mutual desire of each others benefit.

« VorigeDoorgaan »