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even so we also should walk in newness of life." Baptism then, if received rightly, is the plenary remission of sin.
This is proved by the following passages from scripture :~Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins. (Acts ii. 3—8.) Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins. (Acts xxii. 16.) He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. (Tit. iii. 5.) Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Heb. x. 22.)
The Fathers speak in the same language :—By the sacrament of Baptism the pollution of our natural birth is put away. Origen »» Luc. 2. Horn 14." It is lawful for any man, in his infancy, or in middle age, or in old age, to receive this circumcision made without hands (i. e. baptism,) wherein we do not undergo labour, but lay aside the burden of our sins, and find the forgiveness of our faults committed at all times. Chrysostom in Gen. Horn 40. Renovation in baptism is made in a moment by the remission of all sins; for there is not as much as one that remains, however great, which may not be pardoned. Augustin de Trin. 1.14. c. 17.) Now being made free from sin, says St. Paul to such persons, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. The apostle Peter says,—Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God.
Seeing then the importance of this holy Rite, let it encourage Parents to bring their Infants into covenant with God. Let not the irreligious lives of baptized persons around you be an excuse for neglecting this blessed privilege; for they are increasing their responsibility, and will have to answer for their sinful course before a pure and holy Judge, at the last day. Still even to such, there may be forgiveness, one of the articles of our Church teaches us, that after we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God, we may arise again, and amend our lives. Tertullian says, God would not threaten the impenitent unless he forgave the penitent. Hooker says, Predestination bringeth not life, without the grace of external vocation, wherein our baptism is implied. (Rom. viii. 3.) If Christ Himself who giveth salvation, do require Baptism, (Mark xvi. 16.) it is not for us that look for salvation, to sound and examine Him, whether unbaptized men may be saved; but seriously to do that which is required, and religiously to fear the danger which may grow by the want thereof. Bear in mind that the efficacy of Christ's blood applied in baptism continues, and the penitent and contrite heart may obtain fresh supplies of strength and grace by seeking and praying for the help of the Holy Spirit.
Last, but not least, be careful in your selection of Sponsors; choose such as are living in the fear of God, and striving to keep his commandments: such as will give your children when they advance in years, not only good counsel and advice, but their good example, and ultimately perhaps, with Divine assistance, be the saving of little ones, of whom it is our heavenly Father's will that not one of them should perish. Who is there that does not feel his own natural corruption, and the tendency consequent upon it, to neglect spiritual matters and religious ordinances? To such who feel this weakness, let them go to the fountain of living waters, and like Naaman, the Syrian, wash, and be clean! Look upon this ordinance as accomplishing an outward purification. Let it be verily, "a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness;"— and having begun a good work, live to perform it in righteousness and faith, until the coming of our Lord; when renewed, and cleansed, and sanctified, you will be called to mingle among the redeemed -when this mortal shall have put on immortality, and you are borne on angels' wings to meet your [Deliverer in the air; for the door of heaven is opened, and Myriads Of Saints are lifting up their heads as they enter the portals of this holy city to receive the ransomed of the Lord, and an entrance is "ministered unto them abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
"In token that thou shalt not fear
Oh, may the Holy Ghost with power
Thy heav'nly birth attest;
Then be thy name confest.
Fearless, and faithful to the end,
Tread all temptation down;
Hereafter share his crown."
9IIKARCROFT, TYP. CHSLXSTOAB.
THE BLESSINGS OF THE EUCHARIST.
This do in remembrance of me.—Luke xxii. latter clause 19th ver.
This is a positive injunction and invitation from Christ himself; and were it only on this ground it should he constantly attended to by all his professing servants. Yet, alas! in this Laodicean age, it is too little thought of, and too much neglected. We know in our natural life that we are in a constant requirement of food and sustenance, and that without such, we should die. Do we forget that our spiritual life equally needs constant supplies of Divine grace? For as long as we are in this continual warfare of trial and trouble, we must be supported by something more than the consolation which the worldly give, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." As continuance of Life therefore, is the desire of every one; and as at Baptism, we lay a foundation of a new life, so in maturer years we must seek that food and diet which will enable us to sustain this new birth. That food and diet is the holy Eucharist; for the flesh of Christ is meat, and His blood is drink: through faith we taste eternal life, and are in communion with Him, even on earth. He who hath said of the one sacrament, "Wash, and be clean," hath said concerning the other, likewise, "Eat and live."
If the poor distressed woman of whom we read in the 9th chap, of St. Matthew, 21st verse, went to Christ for restoration of her health, without the knowledge we have, and felt that if she did "but touch the skirt of his garment she should be made whole," how much more easily can we persuade ourselves through faith, of the efficacy of the Lord's Supper, and the certainty of his imparting new life and vigour in our souls, and preserve us until he summons us to his presence. But, as I have before said, this blessed ordinance—this great privilege is now too little thought of, and too much neglected.
What is required of them who come to the Lord's Supper? "To examine themselves, whether they repent them truly of their former sins, stedfastly purposing to lead a new life; have a lively faith in God's mercy, through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death; and be in charity with all men." Are these duties difficult i far from it! Is it, that you imagine you require a long time for preparation and repentance? Remember the language of the pious Bishop Hopkins, "I must profess that I look upon that man who hath endeavoured to serve God conscientiously in the ordinary duties of every day, to be sufficiently prepared for this holy and blessed ordinance, if he be suddenly called to partake of it; and called to it he is, whensoever he hath an opportunity of receiving. And that a pious and inoffensive Christian life was looked upon as the best preparation to this holy ordinance, as this ordinance itself was looked upon to be the greatest obligation to such a life, appears by the histories of the primitive times; wherein we have account given us that the Christians did every day, and at the farthest every Lord's day, communicate in the Lord's Supper; so that there could be no considerable space of time set apart for particular preparations; but a holy, blameless life was thought sufficient to qualify them for worthy receivers:" (of course he means pre-supposing the presence of a lively faith in Christ:) "neither do we find that they put such a mock honour upon the holy sacrament as to advance it so high that they durst not come near it, and so neglect it out of pure respect."
Again, if you indulge in sins which at last have become your idols, and you feel that yqu cannot easily and quickly overcome them, What is your remedy? but to pray earnestly for help from above, and so resist the temptations which are drawing you day by day nearer to eternal Death. Picture to yourself a future v.tfeas, when Christ may say to thee, "Friend, how earnest thou