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agreeably to which I conceive it to be the opinion of the generality of the national clergy, that by that facrament we are made Christians, and are born anew of water and of the Holy Spirit : or that I may express myfelf in the words of the late apoftolical Bishop Wilfor's that “ Regeneration or New-Birth is that spi

ritual change, which is wrought by the Holy « Spirit upon any person in the use of bap“ tism ; whereby he is translated out of his “ natural state, as a defcendant of Adam, to a

fpiritual state in Christ ; that is, to a state of " salvation; in which, if it is not his own « fault, he will be faved." This doctrine however is virtually at least, if not actually, denied by some niinifters of our Church : and it is denied in terms, which charge the maintainers of it with blindness and ignorance ; with innovating on evangelical truth ; with being oppofers of the do&rines of the Gospel, and patrons of a heathenish superstition.

As it may be important to prove, beyond the poffibility of a fufpicion to the contrary, that the accusation, which is to be made the subject of our present inquiry, implicates the Church of England as well as the generality of her ministers, I shall venture to show by the adduction of several paffages in her Liturgy,

• Works, vol. iv. p. 4!1. 8vo.

which it might be otherwise superfluous to specify before such an assembly as the present, that the doctrine of regeneration by baptism is moft clearly afferted by her : or, in other words, that “ she supposes in strict conformity “ with the Scriptures," not merely " that « all real Christians are regenerate by God's “ Holy Spirit'," by which I understand all those, who live a Christian life ; but that those also are so regenerated, to whom baptifm is rightly administered, notwithstanding by the future conduct they may forfeit the privileges of their new birth.

The office with which I begin is the mic nistration of public baptism to infants, which the priest, having ascertained that the child bas not been baptized, is directed to commence in this form : “ Dearly beloved ; forasmuch as “ all men are conceived and born in fin, and 6 that our Saviour Christ saith, none can enter “ into the kingdom of God, except he be re

generate and born anew of water and of the

Holy Ghoft; I beseech you to call upon « God the Father through our Lord Jesus “ Christ, that of his bounteous mercy he will

grant unto this child that thing which by “ nature he cannot have, that he

may “ tized with water and the Holy Ghoft, and

be bap

See Overton's True Churchmen, &c. p. 109.

* be received into Christ's holy Church, and “ be made a lively member of the fame." I give the address at length, because it is placed at the very opening of the ministration of baptism, and is designed to draw the attention of the hearers to the purpose, for which baptism is administered. It consists of two parts; an admonition to the people to pray, and a reason for the admonition : what they are to pray for, partly is, that " the child may be baptized “ with water and the Holy Ghost :” the reason for their being called on fo to pray, is " foraf“ much as Christ faith, none can enter into “ the kingdom of God, except he be regene66. rate and born anew of water and of the

Holy Ghost." Putting these passages together, what else is the prayer that the child may be baptized with water and the Holy Ghost, than a prayer that by baptism he may be born anew ?

Proceeding to the prayers, I do not reft on that general expreffion in the first, where we pray God" to wash and fanctify the child with “ the Holy Ghost:" but going forward to the fecond, I beg your attention to that passage, wherein the priest is directed to say, “ Al

mighty God, we call upon thee for this in“ fant; that he, coming to thy holy baptism, may

receive remiffion of his sins by spiritual regeneration.” The passage needs no comment: it will only be recollected that the quef tion is, what does the Church of England understand by our Saviour's expression of being born of water and of the Spirit ? Nor is it necessary to make any other comment on the following extracts, while I point to that prayer, where we intreat Almighty God to “ give his

Holy Spirit to the infant about to be bap“ tized, that he may be born again :" to the prayer of consecration, where we intreat him, to “ fanctify the water to the mystical washing

away of fin, and to grant that the child, now 6 to be baptized therein, may receive the ful“ ness of his grace, and ever remain in the “ number of his faithful and elect children;" to the address immediately following the baptismal rite, wherein the priest calls on the congregation to give thanks to Almighty God, expressly for this cause “ seeing that the child

is regenerate;" and to the thanksgiving that follows, wherein we are instructed to “ yield “ thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, “ that it hath pleased thee to regenerate the “ infant with thy Holy Spirit, and to receive “ him for thine own child by adoption.” These words must be left to speak for themselves. They admit of no illustration or explanation. Language cannot be plainer.

Let us proceed to the ministration of private baptism of children, where, it may be first re

marked, that the prayers being the same as in the public baptism, the same expressions of course occur, as those already noticed. But when the child, that has been privately baptized, is admitted into the public congregation, the doctrine is repeated under several new forms of expression. The child, being born in original fin, is said to “be now by the laver “ of regeneration in baptism received into the < number of the children of God:” a prayer is offered to Almighty God to "give his Holy

Spirit to the infant,” not, as in the former office, that he may be born again, but that he

being born again may continue God's fer" vant:" the congregation is required to give thanks to Almighty God, for that the child is by baptism regenerate:” and in the same form of prayer as before, thanks are yielded to our most merciful Father, for “having pleased “ to regenerate the infant with his Holy Spic. “ rit, and to receive him for his own child by

adoption.” This great variety of expressions, wherein the same doctrine is fo repeatedly conveyed, proves to my mind most satisfactorily, how tenacious the Church of England is of the doctrine of baptifmal regeneration, and how anxious she is to impress it upon her members.

This variety we trace still farther exemplified in the ministration of baptism to such as

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