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We are to make them the daily rule of our life, and to walk in them, which implies activity. Good works, which God hath before ordained, that we should
walk in them. Eph. ii. 10. How long is this obedience required ?
All the days of my life. Not only in our childhood, when we are subject to our parents, masters, and teachers, but when we are grown up, and no longer under their control. Might serve him in holiness and righteousness all the days of
our life. Luke i. 75. “ Dost thou not think that thou art bound to believe, and to
do as they have promised for thee ?"* “Yes, verily.; and by God's help so I will: and I heartily thank our heavenly Father, that he hath called me to this state of salvation, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. And I pray unto God to give me His grace, that I may continue in the same unto my life's end." Why are you bound to believe and to do these things ?
Because what my Sponsors promised was in my name, and for my benefit; and because God requires it as my duty.t
If we do not repent and believe, baptism will avail us nothing: but if we had not been baptized, we should not be at all excused for neglecting these important duties. He is not a Jew who is one outwardly. Rom. ii. 28.
If in future life, you are workers of iniquity, the privileges of baptism will increase your condemnation, and it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah, in the day of judgment, than for you. Are we able to do these things of ourselves ?
From Him “all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, do proceed.”—2d Collect Evening Prayer.
His help is to be had by prayer, and the grace which he communicates is abundantly sufficient.
* See note at the end of the chapter, page 30.
t Ibid., second part. See also the remarks of Archbishop Secker in the note to Chapter II.
In the Liturgy we pray, 3d Collect Morning Prayer.-That all our doings being ordered
by thy governance, &c. 4th Sunday in Advent.— With great might succour us. 1st Sunday after Epiphany.-May have grace and power faith
fully to fulfil the same. 4th Sunday afler Epiphany.--By reason of the frailty of our
nature we cannot always stand upright; Grant to us such strength, &c. 2d Sunday in Lent.—Keep us both outwardly in our bodies
and inwardly in our souls. Easter Sunday:-Put into our minds good desires. 4th Sunday after Easter.-Who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men; Grant unto thy people
that they may love, &c. 1st Sunday after Trinity.-We can do no good thing without
thee. 9th Sunday after Trinity:
-That we who cannot do any thing that is good without thee, may by thee be enabled to live according to thy will. 15th Sunday after Trinity.—The frailty of man without thee cannot but fall; keep us ever by thy help from all things hurt
ful. Will he give us his grace in answer to prayer ?
Ask, and it shall be given you. Matt. vii. 7.
xxi. 22. If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts, &c., how much
more shall your heavenly Father. Luke xi, 13. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. John
xiv, 14. Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it
you. john xvi. 23. Why are the blessings connected with Baptism, and to which
you are called, described here as a state of salvation ? Because we are thereby admitted to the privileges of that covenant of grace by which salvation is given to mankind. In what does salvation consist ?
In being saved from the love, practice, and dominion of sin, and from hell, the punishment of sin: and in being restored to the favour of God, and fitted for the enjoyment of eternal life. Who are called to this salvation ?
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters. Isa. lv, 1. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden. Matt.
xi. 28. Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every
creature, &c. Mark xvi.'15, 16. Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come
in. Luke xiv. 23. That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in
his name among all nations. Luke xxiv. 47. If any man thirst let him come unto me, and drink. John
vii. 47. Let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take
the water of life freely. Rev. xxii. 17. Who calls us ?
Our heavenly Father.
Be not like the deaf adder, (Ps. lviii. 4,) that stoppeth her ear; nor like those, (Matt. xxii. 3,) who, when invited, would not come; do not “ begin to make excuses,” like those mentioned in Luke xiv. 18; but obey the kind, the gracious call, like Abraham, (Gen. xii. 1. 4.) Like Samuel, (1 Sam. iii. 10,) say, · Speak, for thy servant heareth ;" and when bid to follow Christ, (like Matt. ix. 9,) arise and follow him. There is yet room.
O delay not till the door of mercy is closed on you for ever!
This a holy calling
6 called to this state of salvation through Jesus Christ our Saviour." Every mercy we receive comes through him, especially this new covenant of grace. He is the Mediator. He opened the way for the salvation of sinners, by the sacrifice of himself. Who gave himself a ransom for all. 1 Tim. ii. 6.
From his merits our pardon and acceptance proceed: in him the exceeding great and precious promises of the Scriptures were made; and the gift of the Holy Spirit, by which they are applied, is the purchase of his blood, o how precious should he then be! You say, ' 1 heartily thank our heavenly Father, that he hath called me to this state of salvation. You have indeed reason for the deepest gratitude. Contrast your condition with that of millions around you. Consider the Heathen, living without hope and without God in the world, (Eph. ii. 12,) while you have Bibles and instructers, and all those means of grace which are able to make you wise unto eternal life. Show forth then the praise of Him who hath thus blessed you.
" not only with your lips, but in your lives, by giving up yourselves to his service, and by walking before him in holiness and righteousness all your days.”
ON THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE BAPTISMAL PROMISES. In repeating the Catechism we acknowledge that we are bound by the promises of Baptism. There is a more solemn acknowledgment and assent to them in Confirmation, to which all baptized persons should look forward as a part of their duty. This is not the place to dwell at length upon this subject, but those who have not yet made the acknowledgment of their obligations by confirming them through their own personal act, should keep in mind, “that at a suitable time, when their understandings are matured, and their minds well instructed, they ought in God's presence, and before the congregation of his people, to take upon them: selves the baptismal obligation : to renew in their own name 'the solemn promise and vow; ratifying and confirming the same, and acknowledging themselves bound to believe and to do all those things which their sponsors then undertook for them; so soon as they are sufficiently instructed in the Church Catechism, set forth for that purpose;' so soon as they have obtained a competent knowledge of their duty to God, and of their salvation in Christ, and are prepared, with a right faith and sincere piety, to devote themselves to God in a religious profession, they should be brought with their own voluntary consent and desire to the Bishop;' they should be instructed” (and of course endeavour to learn themselves) “how and when to receive Confirmation."--Bishop Griswold's Pastoral Letter.
ON THE OBLIGATION OF THE BAPTISMAL PROMISES "It should be carefully considered, that whatever duty or obligation is laid upon all or any one in the administration of Baptism arises from the nature and divine authority of the sacrament, and not from the responses; and if nothing be said in the child's name, as in private Baptism, the covenant is the same, as is also the obligation. In the responses which the Church requires, we recognise and express those duties of repentance, faith, and obedience, which, according to our knowledge and abilities, are inseparably connected with our being members of Christ's Church."-Ibid.
ON THE CREED.
• What is the second thing your Sponsors promised for
6 That I should believe all the Articles of the Christian faith." What is the summary of a Christian's faith?
The Apostle's Creed.
What is the first article in the Apostle's Creed ?
“ I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.”
What it is to believe* in God has been before considered, under the chapter on Faith. It will now be necessary to inquire into the object of Faith-God. Who is God?
A spiritual being existing of himself, from whom all things proceed, on whom all things depend, and who
The Heathen almost all acknowledged a God; indeed, the works of creation most clearly declare his existence. The heavens declare the glory of God. Ps. xix. 1. He left not himself without witness, in that he gave us rain from
heaven, &c. Acts xiv. 17. For the invisible things of him are clearly seen, being under
stood by the things that are made; even his eternal power
and Godhead. Rom. i. 20. Is the knowledge of God necessary ?
This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true
God. John xvii. 3.
He is ETERNAL, having neither beginning nor end. Abraham called on the name of the everlasting God. Gen.
xxi. 33. I lift up my hand, and say, I live for ever. Deut. xxxii. 40. The eternal God is thy refuge. Deut. xxxiii. 27. From everlasting to everlasting thou art God. Ps. xc. 2. The everlasting God fainteth not. Isa. xl. 28. Thy name is from everlasting. Isa. Ixiii. 16. According to the commandment of the everlasting God. Rom.
xvi. 26. Thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. Heb. i. 12. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, which
is, and which was, and which is to come. Rev. i. 8.
He is INCOMPREHENSIBLE.
See note at the end of this section, page 38.