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BAPTISM OF INFANTS.
[CHILDREN ARE USUALLY BAPTIZED IN THE CHURCH,
FIRST HYMN OF THE MORNING OR AFTERNOON SERVICE. IT IS
PECTED THAT THEY WILL BE PRESENTED FOR THIS PURPOSE BY THEIR PARENTS OR IMMEDIATE GUARDIANS.]
When the Child has been brought forward to the
altar, the Minister may read as follows, from the Gospel of St. Mark:
Jesus said unto his disciples, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
He may then use the following, or some other suit
able Exhortation :
My brethren, in our treatment and regard of children, we ought to partake of the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. We should by no means despise or neglect them ; but by gentleness and watchful care, do all that we can to bring them into the fold of the good Shepherd. That God may bless our efforts in so doing, let us now pray.
ALMIGHTY and most merciful God, we give thanks unto thee, that by thy goodness we have been brought to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and to faith in him. We bless thee for the kind and encouraging words which he spoke, and for his tender compassion towards those whom he came to save; that he did not suffer little children to be driven away from his presence, but took them in his arms and blessed them. And now that we have brought to thy altar this little one, we pray that thou wilt guide and direct us, while we consecrate him to thee and to thy service. Wilt thou grant that this Baptism of Water may be the type and the earnest of the purifying influences of thy Holy Spirit, by which alone the soul can be regenerated and saved. This we do humbly ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Minister shall then address the Parents of the
Child (or those by whom it is brought forward) in these words :
By bringing this child to be baptized, you express your earnest desire that he may be consecrated to the service of God and of Jesus Christ, and that you may have strength faithfully to perform your duty towards him as Christian Parents. You do therefore promise that you will conscientiously endeavor, by the help of God, to educate him in the Christian faith, and in the practice of all Christian virtues.
When this Covenant has been assented to, the Min
ister shall take the Child in his arms, and, having first asked its name, shall name it accordingly, and dip it into the water, or sprinkle water upon it, saying,
I BAPTIZE thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Then may be offered the following Prayer:
Wilt thou gra
O God, thou beholdest the offering which thy servants have now made to thee. ciously regard them in that which they have done, and grant that their earnest prayers for this child's welfare may be answered. Help them fully to keep the promises which they have made, and bless them in all their domestic relations. By their love of this child
may their hearts be fixed on thee; and through their tender and watchful care may he be reared up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. May they always remember the uncertainty of life, and hold themselves ready to resign into thy hands the treasure with which thou hast intrusted them. Finally, wilt thou abundantly bless this child; uphold and guide him in the slippery paths of childhood and youth; prepare him for the temptations of life; watch over him in all times of trial and difficulty; and so conduct him through life, that whenever thou callest him from this world, he may be accounted worthy to enter into thy kingdom of peace and love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
BAPTISM OF ADULTS.
WHO WISH TO BE BAPTIZED HAVE COME FORWARD TO THE ALTAR, THE MINISTER SHALL READ AS FOLLOWS FROM THE GOSPEL OF St. MATTHEW :
AND Jesus came and spake to his disciples, and said, All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost; teaching them to do whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you, even unto the end of the world.
He may then use some suitable Exhortation, or he
My brethren, now that we are about to obey this command, which is with so great authority enjoined upon us, let us seek a blessing from God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.