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all evil. Therefore vanity and self-conceit, immoderate anger, ill-temper and hard-heartedness, repining at the good of others, or even at our own disadvantages; in short, whatever disposition of our souls is dishonourable to God, prejudicial to our neighbour, or unreasonable in itself, falls under the same denomination with the afore-mentioned vices. For the works of the flesh, saith the Apostle, are manifest: abultery, fornication, uncleanness, hatred, variance, wrath, strife, seditions, envyings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I also told you in time past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into this rest, any of you should come short of it †. And let us diligently and frequently examine our hearts, whether we use every proper method to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of Godt.

But before I conclude, I must desire you to observe, concerning each of the things, which we renounce in baptism, that we do not undertake what is beyond our power; that the temptations of the devil shall never beset and molest us; that the vain shew of the world shall never appear inviting to us; that our own corrupt nature shall never prompt or incline us to evil: but we undertake, what, through the grace of God, though not without it, is in our power: that we will not, either designedly or carelessly, give these our spiritual enemies needless advantages against us; and that, with whatever advantage they may at any time attack us, we will never yield to them, but always resist them with the utmost prudence and strength. This is the renunciation here meant ; and + Heb. iv. 1. 2 Cor. vii. 1.

Gal. v.


the office of baptism expresseth it more fully; where we engage so to renounce the devil, the world, and the flesh, that we will not follow nor be led by them. Now God grant us all, faithfully to make this engagement good, that after we have done his will we may receive his promise*!

* Heb. x. 36.



OUR Catechism, in the answer to its third question, teaches, that three things are promised in our name, when we are baptized: that we shall renounce what God forbids, believe what he makes known, and do what he commands. The first of these hath been explained to you. The second and third shall be explained, God willing, hereafter. But before the Catechism proceeds to them, it puts a fourth question, and a very natural one, considering that children do not, as they cannot, promise these things for themselves, but their godfathers and godmothers in their names. It asks them therefore, whether they think they are bound to believe and to do, as they have promised for them? And to this the person instructed answers, Yes, verily: the fitness of which answer will appear by inquiring,

1. In what sense, and for what reason, they promised these things in our names.

2. On what account we are bound to make their promises good.

1. In what sense, and for what reason, they promised these things in our names. A little attention

will shew you this matter clearly.

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The persons who began the profession of Christianity in the world, must have been such, as were of age to make it their own free choice. And when they entered into the covenant of baptism, they undoubtedly both had the privileges of it declared to them, and engaged to perform the obligations of it, in some manner, equivalent to that which we now use. When these were admitted by baptism into the Christian church, their children had a right to be so too, as will be proved in the sequel of these Lectures: at present let it be supposed. But if baptism had been administered to children, without any thing said to express its meaning, it would have had too much the appearance of an insignificant ceremony, or a superstitious charm. And if only the privileges, to which it is entitled, had been rehearsed; they might seem annexed to it absolutely, without any conditions to be observed on the children's part. It was therefore needful to express the conditions also. Now it would naturally appear the strongest and liveliest way of expressing them, to represent the infant, as promising by others then, what he was to promise by and for himself, as soon as he could. So the form, used already for persons grown up, was applied, with a few changes, to children also. And though, by such application, some words and phrases must appear a little strange, if they were strictly interpreted; yet the intention of them was and is understood to be a very proper one; declaring in the fullest manner what the child is to do hereafter, by a figure and representation made of it at present.

But then as baptism is administered only on the presumption, that this representation is to become in due time a reality: so the persons, who thus promise in the child's name, are, and always have been, looked

on as promising, by the same words, in their own name, not indeed absolutely, that the child shall fulfil their engagements, which nobody can promise; but that, so far as need requires, they will endeavour that he shall on which it may be reasonably supposed, that he will. Anciently the parents were the persons, who at baptism, both represented their children, and promised for their instruction and admonition. But it was considered afterwards, that they were obliged to it without promising it and therefore other persons were procured to undertake it also: not to excuse the parents from that care, from which nothing can excuse them; but only, in a case of such consequence, to provide an additional security for it. If then the parents give due instruction, and the child follows it, the godfathers have nothing to do, but to be heartily glad. But if on either side there be a failure, it is then their part and duty to interpose, as far as they have ability and opportunity with any prospect of success. Nor is this to be done only till young persons take their baptismal vow upon themselves at confirmation, but ever after. For to that end, even they, who are baptized in their riper years, must have godfathers and godmothers present: not to represent them, or to promise for them, neither being wanted; but to remind them, if there be occasion, what a solemn profession they have made before those their chosen witnesses *.

This then is the nature, and these are the reasons of that promise, which the sureties of children baptized make in their name; which promise therefore may without question be safely and usefully made, provided it be afterwards religiously kept. But they, who probably will be wanted to perform their pro

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