The History of the Congregational Church - Chapter 7

By Rev. John A. Ross

(Hampton: Printed for the Parish - 1902)

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Form for Baptism of Infants

Address to the Parents

The covenant of God with the father of the faithful was, "I will be a God to thee and to thy children after thee." This covenant, renewed with Isaac and Jacob and incorporated in the constitution of the Jewish Church, remains unchanged to the end of time. Its conditions, privileges, and promises are still the same, only its outward sign and seal being changed by the substitution of the Sacrament of Baptism for that of Circumcision. Trusting in the mercies of that everlasting covenant, you bring these children to him who said, "Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." You humbly claim for them a name and an inheritance in the Commonwealth of his people. You therefore now renew the profession of your own faith and covenant engagement with the Lord.

You acknowledge that these your children, born of the flesh, are by nature unclean, and therefore must be born again, or they cannot see the kingdom of God.

You acknowledge that it is the blood of Jesus Christ alone which can cleanse them from all sin.

You believe in the holy Spirit of God as the only efficient source of that regeneration and sanctification which they need.

You believe in the Holy Church universal as founded on the covenant of God, and composed of all who profess the true religion, together with their children.

You believe in the promise of God to all his people as securing to them, through the grace of Christ, the benefits of his adoption, whereby they are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God.

You believe in God, the God of spirits of all flesh; and that, children being.his gift and heritage, he has the right to recall them to himself, and that, whether he give or take away, it is your duty still to say, "Blessed be the name of the Lord."

You also promise if the lives of these children be spared:--

That you will teach them reverently to read and obey the word of God;

That you will instruct them in the principles of faith and experimental piety;

That you will train them for Christ, and consider them as his;

That you will frequently pray with them and for them;

That you will set before them a godly and consistent example;

That you will bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord;

That you will strive by all the means in your power to impress upon them the obligations and privileges of this baptismal covenant, that they may in due time acknowledge and confirm them in the personal confession of their faith and the practice of all godliness;

That if it shall please God to take you away from them, you will leave them in his guardianship;

That if it shall please him to take them away front you, you will resign them to him, trusting that in life and death the Great Shepherd and Bishop of Souls will gather his lambs with his arm, and carry them to his bosom;

Thus do you profess and promise.

The members of the Church will rise.

Then doth this Church recognize these children as its own; avowing also its obligation to care for them according to the command of Christ to his apostle, when he said "Feed my lambs," and whenever they shall come to enter for themselves into a renewal of this covenant, to welcome them into full communion in the ordinances of Christ's house, and in all the privileges of believers.

Administration and prayer.

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