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EXHORTATION TO PARENTS AFTER BAPTISM. To be read or omitted at the discretion of the Minister. THE design of receiving infants by baptism into
1 the Church of Christ, is, to remind parents of their duty to them in their innocent and helpless age, to train them up as his disciples and the children of God; that as they have been the instruments of bringing them into this mortal life, they may have the comfort of contributing to their future happiness in a life which will never end.
Remember then that this child belongs to God who gave it to you, that it may be educated and fitted for himself; and if, through your criminal neglect or bad example, his reasonable creature be lost, he will require it at your hands.
Instil therefore into his tender mind the knowledge, reverence, and love of God, the Heavenly Father and Maker of all; and a deep sense of the duty which he owes to him. Acquaint him with his benevolent designs from the beginning, for the recovery of a degenerate and perishing world, to their duty and happiness; and lead him to learn the mind and will of God for his salvation, from that inestimable treasure of wisdom, the Holy Scriptures, especially the words of Christ and his apostles; and not from the doctrines and inventions of men.
Check the first risings of envy and pride in his breast, by teaching him humility and a just knowledge of himself ; that all he possesses or hopes for is from God, whose free bounty alone maketh the
difference between his creatures. But, at the same time, inform him of the dignity of his nature ; of the importance of reason, the light of God within him, by which he is to govern himself, to restrain his appetites and passions, moderate his affections, to know the God who made him, to learn his will, to become like unto him, holy, just, and good. Teach him above all things to abhor falsehood and lies; and to love and cultivate truth and integrity, which will make him amiable in the eyes of all, and acceptable to God. Tell him that he is to love and to do good to all men, because all are equally the children of God with himself, and the objects of his fatherly kindness and care ; that he is not born only for himself, but for others; to serve his country and mankind, by promoting truth and virtue, and the public good. Sow in him betimes these seeds of piety, charity, sincerity, and all goodness; for otherwise the weeds of evil will spring up in his heart, which ye may never afterward be able to root out. And although no pains which ye can take, can ensure success, yet whatever happens, ye will have discharged your duty, and not have the guilt and mortifying reflection of having contributed to the ruin and misery of those you love. Remember the saying of the wise man, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. If your labors should be successful, it will be a source of the highest and purest pleasure and satisfaction to you; and ye will have the joy of leaving behind you those who may live and do good in the world, when ye shall be no more in it. And may the supreme Father and Governor of all things direct and bless you in the faithful discharge of your duty, for his glory, the good of mankind, and the advancement of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Where there are other Sponsors who present the Child
to be baptized, and not the Parents, the Minister may
thus begin the Exhortation. VE who have now undertaken the care of this
child, who naturally belongs to the parents, must take heed and remember that it is also a child of God, for whom it is to be educated and fitted ; and if, through your, &c.
END OF BAPTISM OF INFANTS.
The Minister may begin the Service with the following
Observations, relating to the Appointment, Nature, and Use of Baptism.
OUR blessed Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ,
having himself published his religion for the salvation of the world, to the Jewish nation, commissioned his apostles to complete the work he had begun, by preaching his Gospel to all nations.
All power, said he, is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you ; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.
By this direction of our Saviour, all persons are to be acknowledged as members of his Church, by baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. They are then consecrated to the divine service, in that religion which came from God the Father, was published to the world
by his Son, and confirmed by the operations of his Holy Spirit.
By this ordinance Christ hath wisely provided to keep up in his Church a sense of the purity of his doctrines, and the obligations to universal holiness of life, which are incụmbent upon his disciples. Water is employed as an emblem of purity, or of that moral and religious improvement, in which all our Christian advantages should terminate.
Let us, therefore, as many as are here present, remember the purity of our Christian faith and professions; and by the present administration of baptism, take occasion to establish in our minds a lively sense of our obligations to serve God, according to the Gospel of his Son, in holiness and righteousness all our days.
Then shall the Minister say to the Person desiring to
be baptized, OUR Lord Jesus commanded, that all persons
baptized should be instructed in his holy Gospel. You, in the profession of the Christian faith, present yourself to be baptized according to his institution. Do you now promise, that you will receive the instructions of the Christian religion, and govern your faith and practice by its doctrines and laws ?
Answ. This I now promise, and, by the help of God, will endeavor to perform.
The Minister shall then baptize the Person, saying,
BAPTIZE thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.