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takers of its promises. And we are particularly instructed, both how we ought to pray to God; and what those sacraments are which are necessary to be administered unto, and received by all of us.
Of the Benefits of the Gospel-Covenant.
1. Q. WysA. (0 pour name i A. &. or iM.
2. Q. 2Uho gabe pott tbfa name?
A. jftp <©oofatbers ano ^oomorhers, &c.
3. Q. What is that name which is here demanded of you?
A. It is my Christian name; therefore so called, because it was given to me by my Godfathers and Godmothers, in my baptism* For as from my natural parents I derive the name of my family; so from those who were my spiritual parents, I take that name, which properly belongs to me as a member of Christ's church. Gen. xvii. 5. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham: for a father of many nations have I made thee. Gen. xxi. 3, 4. And Abraham called the name of his son that was bor n unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his sou Isaac, being eight years old, as God had commanded him. Luke, i. 59, 60. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child: and they called him Zacharias, after the name of' his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. Luke, ii. 21. And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel, before he was conceived in the womb.
4. Q. Whom do you mean by your Godfathers and Godmothers?*
A. I mean those persons who became sureties for me at my Baptism: aud upon whose promise, there made in my name, I was baptized, and so fcederally admitted into the communion of Christ's church.
5. Q. Does the church require every one who is to be baptized to have such sureties?
A. It does; and, as far as we can learn, has done so from the very times of the apostles.
6. Q. For what end has it required them?
A. For several ends: at first to be witnesses to the church that the person was baptized, and thereby had a right to be admitted into the communion of it. Afterwards, when children began to be chiefly baptized, who could not answer for themselves, to promise and covenant for them: And take care that when they came to years of discretion, they should not only be taught what they had done on their behalf, but should be so bred up as to be ready, by God's grace, to make good themselves, what their Godfathers and Godmothers had before promised in their names.
7. Q. Is it the duty of every Godfather and Godmother to take such a care of those whom they answer for?
A. Yes, certainly; and our church does accordingly, in a very solemn manner, charge them with it. And the sum of what she requires of them is this: 1st. To put those for whom they have answered in
* See below, sect. xiv.
mind, what a solemn vow, promise, and profession they made by them at their baptism. 2ndly, To take care that, as soon as they be able to learn, they be taught their Catechism, and instructed in the nature and extent, as well as importance of what they promised for them; and of their obligations to fulfil it. And in order to both these, 3dly, To call upon them to go to clmrch, to hear sermons, and to serve God diligently both in public and private; and if they find them negligent in any of these, to admonish and reprove them; and, in a word, to do what in them lies to engage them carefully to fulfil what they charitably undertook on their behalf. 1 «
8. Q. But why may not all this be as well done by every one's own parents, as by Godfathers and Godmothers?
A. It is no doubt the duty of all Christian parents to do this. They are bound, as soon as conveniently they can, to bring their children to baptism. As soon as they grow up, they are bound to instruct them in their duty, and to see that they fulfil it. But yet still, as it is of great advantage to every child to have others concerned to look after him besides his natural parents, especially in matters of such high concernment, so the analogy of this sacrament seems rather to require that some other persons should answer for them. That as by baptism we are born again, and by that new birth contract a new relation, and enter upon a new state; so we should derive this new and spiritual birth from some other parents than those from whom we received our natural. But, however, it is certainly more safe for any child to be under the care and concern of four or five persons, than of two or three: who may both supply the de
fects of careless and negligent parents, whilst they are alive, and be instead of them, if they should chance to die before their children are grown up, and instructed to take care of themselves.
9. Q. What then is to be thought of those, who, having been sureties for children at their baptism, do afterwards take no such care of them?
A. They are certainly guilty of a very great fault: *They break their faith with the church, which upon this trust, admitted them to be sureties for them at their baptism. *They become, in some measure, answerable to God for the ignorance and wickedness of those whom they ought to have instructed and corrected. * And they increase the prejudices of such as are not well affected to the use of sureties in baptism; which have little to support them besides the unhappy observation of the negligence of too many, who, having taken such a sacred trust upon themselves, do afterwards make but little conscience of fulfilling it as they ought to do.
10. Q. What are the benefits which have accrued to you by your baptism?
A. They are many, and great ones; but may, in general, be reduced to these three; that thereby 3
toas matte a member of Cbrfst, the rhtlb of 6ott, antt an taberftor of the Wnjgfoom of beaten.
11. Q. How were you hereby made a member of Christ?
A. As I was made a amember of his mystical body, the church; of which Christ is the bhead. al Cor. xii. 27. Ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. b£ph. iv. 5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, v. 23. Christ is the Head of the church.
Proofs Subjoined.—Rom. xii. 5. So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Eph. i. 22, 23. He hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things, to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
12. Q. How were you hereby made the child of God?
A. As, by this means, I was taken into covenant with him; was adopted into his family; dedicated to his service; and entitled to his promises. Gal. iii. 26, 27. Ye are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ and if ye be
Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. See Gal. iv. 5, 7. But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a. woman, made under the law: to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son: and if a son, then an heir of God, through Christ. Eph. i. 5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
Proofs Subjoined.—John, i. 12, 13. As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to tJiem that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of' the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Heb. ii. II, 12, I 3. For both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church