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QUESTION. What is your Name?- ANSWER. N. or M.
QUESTION. Who gave you this Name?-ANSWER. My Godfathers and Godmothers in my Baptism; wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.
QUESTION. What did your Godfathers and Godmothers then for you?—ANSWER. They did promise and vow three things in my name. First, that I should renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanity of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh. Secondly, that I should believe all the Articles of the Christian Faith. And thirdly, that I should keep God's holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of my life.
QUESTION, Dost thou not think that thou art boun to believe, and to do, as they have promised for thee?--ANSWER. 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.
"HE CHRISTIAN NAME.
The first question in the Catechism ur name? A man's Name signifies that
he is a responsible being, and that
definite meanings. Thus, to mention a few out of many, Seth means substituted, because he was born to Adam instead of Abel (Gen. iv. 25); Abram means high father, but when God's covenant with him was renewed, he was called Abraham, or the father of a great multitude (Gen. xvii. 5); Isaac means laughter, because his mother Sarah laughed when she heard she should have a son in her old age (Gen. xxi. 5–7); Samuel means the asked of God (1 Sam. i. 20); Ichabod means the glory is departed from Israel, in memory of the capture of the ark by the Philistines (1 Sam. iv. 21).
3. The Surname. Persons now have two names, the Christian and the Surname. The Surname is so called because it is the name given over and above the Christian name. At first it was given to a person either to mark something peculiar to him, or to preserve the name of his father. But at, or soon after, the landing of the Normans in this country, they introduced the use of surnames as fixed or family names, and this custom is now universal'.
4. The Christian Name. The surname, which belongs to a person at the moment of his birth, is not the name asked for in the Catechism. This is the Christian Name, which does not belong to a person at his birth, but is given to himat his Baptism, when he is admitted into the Christian Covenant, and as he carries
i From the French sur, Latin super, and nomen,=theover-and-above-Name. Compare Dr Johnson's definition: Surname: "the Name of the family; the name which one has over and above the Christian name."
2 See Camden's Remains, and Lower's Essays on Family Nomenclature, p. 13. A good many surnames, however, occur in Domesday Book.
Compare the Baptismal Service, Then the Priest shall take the child into his hands, and shall say to the Godfathers and Godmothers, “Name this child.”
it with him to the grave, always reminds him of that Covenanti.
5. When and by whom given. In almost every civilized nation the giving of a name has been regarded as a solemn matter, and generally has been accompanied with some religious ceremony. Amongst the Jews it was given on the eighth day after birth when the child was circumcised (Gen. xxi. 3, 4; Lk. i. 59, 60). Amongst Christian nations the Christian name is given to the child at Baptism by his Godfathers and Godmothers, that is, by persons, who act as parents: tu him in regard to God, and make for him certain
1 This Name, thus imposed in infancy, is "each one's inalienable possession; and is afterwards used in the most solemn moments of life, in the marriage-vow, in all oaths and engagements, and on all occasions when the person is dealt with in his individual capacity." See History of Christian Names, 1. 12. Even among the Greeks and Romans it was usual for a slave, when emancipated, to assume a new name in token of his having entered on a new, free life.
Among the Greeks the father gave the child its name at a solemn feast on the seventh, or tenth day after birth. The Romans inherited at least one name. But in early times the individual name (prænomen) was solemnly given to a boy at the age of fourteen. He then ceased to wear the bulla or golden ball which hung from the neck, and assumed the toga virilis or manly gown, of white with a purple hem. In later times the name was bestowed on boys on the ninth, on girls on the eighth day, and with a bathing of water. Hence the day was called dies lustricus, or dies nominum. See Smith's Dict. Antiq., Art. Nomen; History of Christian Names, 1. p. 12.
3 Hence in ancient times they were called God-sibs (sib=kin), meaning related in God, whence the present word "gossip.” A.-S. sib=akin. “And zef ho were syb to the." Myrc's Instructions for Parish Priests (A.D. 1422), published by the Early English Text Society. "A Stuarts are na sib to the king,” Scottish Proverb. The word is still used in Lincolnshire, e.g. “our Marmaduke is sib to all the gentles in the country.”
4 Hence in the Baptismal Service in the questions ad. solemn promises, which “when he comes to age, he himself is bound to perform.” Hence Godfathers and Godmothers are sometimes called Sponsors and sometimes Sureties.
CHRISTIAN PRIVILEGES. 1. Baptism admits into Covenant. The bestowal, however, of the Christian Name is but the least thing that was done for us at our Baptism. For whereas by nature we were born in sin and were the children of wrath (Eph. ii. 3), that is, strangers from the Church which is God's household, by Baptism we were admitted into the Christian covenant, and “the promises of forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, were visibly signed and sealed to us."
2. The Old or Mosaic Covenant. From the earliest times God has been pleased, of His free mercy and goodness, to enter into Covenant with man. Thus we read of His covenant with Noah 3; of His covenant with Abraham“; of His covenant with the Israelites. The last of these three covenants is called sometimes the Mosaic, sometimes the Old Covenant.
dressed to the Sponsors, and in their answers for the child, the singular number is used, because the child, not they, is considered as speaking.
1 Called in Greek 'Avddoxo, from dvadexecbal=to promise, in Latin Fide-jussores, and Sponsores, from the Latin word spondere= to vow, promise ; a surety means a bondsman, one who becomes bound for another; godfathers and godmothers become bound to see that a child shall be brought up in the faith of a Christian.
? See Article xxvII.; Nowell's Catechism.
4 Gen. xvii. 1-14. 6 Exod. xix. 3-6.
It was concluded between God and the Israelites; it was solemnly ratified by the shedding of the blood of numerous victims (Exod. xxiv. 5—8); it was administered by the hands of a Mediator, Moses (Exod. xxiv. 2; Gal. iii. 19); and the ordained mode of entrance into it was by circumcision (Lev. xii. 3; Rom. iv. 11).
3. The Christian Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant was not designed to last for ever, but to prepare for a new and better Covenant (Jer. xxxi. 31-33). This is the Christian Covenant or God's Covenant in Christ, which is not between Him and a single nation, like the Israelites, but between Him and the whole world (Heb. viii. 7—13). For the whole world the Mediator of this Covenant, JESUS CHRIST, shed His own blood upon the cross (Heb. ix. 12); to the whole world He bade His Apostles proclaim the glad tidings of remission of sins in His Name; and for all nations He ordained Baptism as the outward and visible sign of this Covenaut, and the mode of entrance into it (Mtt. xxviii.
4. Privileges of the Christian Covenant. As, then, on the occasion of his circumcision, the Jew received his name (Lk. i. 59; ii. 21), and was admitted to all the privileges of the Old Covenant, so at his Baptism the Christian is admitted to all the privileges of the New Covenant, and to him individually they are then sealed (Col. ii. 11, 12). These privileges are set forth in the Catechism under three heads, and we are taught to say, each one for ourselves, “at my Baptism I was made (i) a member of Christ, (ii) The child of God, and (iii) an inheritor of the kingdum of hearen.”
5. A member of Christ. When our Lord Jesus Christ took upon Him our nature, he became to us a second Adam, and the beginning of a new nature and life. He also purchased for Himself a universal Church,