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mises made to them in the sacrament of Baptism; and by which they may be induced to preserve an uniform evangelical obedience to the commands of God unto their life's end.

It is not by the bare reception of the Sacramentby the outward washing-even as it is accompanied, if they receive it rightly, by regenerating grace, that Christians are made secure of eternal salvation. They are, indeed, by this mean made heirs of it, and are thus placed in a state of salvation; but unless they keep" the answer of a good conscience," in the persevering performance of their baptismal vow, they will rather increase their condemnation by neglecting the grace bestowed upon them to enable them to keep it, than benefit by the advantages of which they actually had possession.


14. Those, however, who are not arrived at the of reason, and cannot understand or enter into any engagement for themselves, are plainly incapable of the repentance and faith which are required of adults, as the terms on which God will enter into covenant with them. Children, therefore, who have all a title by promise to the blessings of the covenant, are admitted to partake of this initiatory Sacrament, in the faith of the Church,-engagement being made in the name of infants by their sureties, that when they grow up, they will perform all that is incumbent on them as faithful members of Christ's Church. And all infants receiving the outward form properly administered, receive also the inward and spiritual grace of regeneration, together with all the benefits included in it. It is, however, expedient that when they come of age to take upon themselves the promise

made for them at their baptism, they should solemnly, and in presence of the Church acknowledge and ra tify the engagement in their own name. This is properly done in the rite of Confirmation, in which, by prayer and the imposition of the Bishop's hands, spiritual grace and strength are obtained by those who sincerely desire assistance, to enable them to perform all that they are at any rate bound to undertake, as soon as they are capable; and all that they must fulfil, if they would preserve the inestimable benefits derived to them from their baptismal contract.

§ 15. Adults with sincere repentance and stedfast faith, and all infants without exception, coming to Baptism, rightly—that is, according to the ordinance and conditions prescribed by Christ himself-receive the Sacrament, and are made partakers of the heavenly grace. The union of the sign and thing signified is complete to them. Together with the outward sprinkling of water they receive the inward affusion of the Spirit, they are regenerated and endued with all the hopes and privileges of the children of God.

That which God has himself united he will not separate without sufficient cause. In the case of hypocrisy, or absolute unfitness for the reception of the Sacrament, the perverseness and wickedness of man prevent the goodness of God from following its course; for God cannot, according to his word, bestow grace upon the impenitently wicked. But in the case of unconscious infants, who are incapable of actual sin, no obstacle can be opposed by them to the benevolence of their heavenly Father, and all are, therefore, necessarily regenerated.

§ 16. Regeneration, or the New Birth, cannot, any more than the natural birth, occur more than once but the preventing and sanctifying grace of the Spirit, which is bestowed in Regeneration, may for a time, or may finally, be lost. He who continues in a regenerate state, that is, a state becoming a child of God, does not commit sin-willingly or habitually -but he who does so sin ceases to be beloved by his heavenly Father. If through wilful blindness, or habitual sinfulness, the Spirit be quenched, and the other advantages acquired at Baptism be forfeited, this one still remains,-namely the covenant-promise of God, that upon sincere repentance the sinner shall be restored to favour. The state of Regeneration, therefore, simply considered as a state of spiritual existence begun at Baptism, cannot so be lost, while natural life continues, as that the regene, rated should entirely be deprived of all its benefits,but it may be unavailing unto the end, and its most valuable privileges may never be received.

Regeneration is the first step to salvation, but it does not ensure our arriving at the end, because, notwithstanding our footsteps have been led into the way of life, and our feet mercifully guided in the track, we may turn aside and depart altogether from it.

17. Nearly allied to Regeneration, partially included in it, but yet essentially distinct in its efficient cause, its nature, and its properties, is that grace and gift of God which is denominated Renovation.

Renovation is a renewal of the heart and mind;-the forming anew of the dispositions and affections which actuate the conduct, the putting on of the new creature or the new man, who after God is created in

righteousness and true holiness. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, who was bestowed in Baptism, co-ope. rating with the good-will and sincere endeavours of the regenerate, to produce a tenour of life conformable to the will of God, and consistent with the character of his adopted Son. Renovation is the effect not of the operation of the Spirit alone; but of that operation conjointly with the efforts of the individual, who is enabled by preventing grace to will and to do what is pleasing and acceptable to God. The seed of Renovation is sown by Baptism in unconscious infants, because in their regeneration such a measure of the Spirit is imparted as will produce a Renovation, if it be not obstructed, when the child becomes a responsible free agent. In the baptism of adults Renovation must be matured by repentance and faith, in order that their regeneration may be salutary, or that their admission into the outward privileges of the Christian Church may secure to them the inward and spiritual benefits arising from it. But in all in whom the propensity to sin remains, as it does in every man although he be regenerate, daily renovation is required, either to regain the steps which have been lost through such presumptuous or secret sins as beset the Christian in his spiritual course, and constitute his daily trial, or to improve in grace and gain new accessions of such holy and virtuous affections as are necessary to qualify him for the kingdom of heaven, for a state of purity and blessedness.

§ 18. Renovation differs specifically from Regeneration, as Renovation is the work of the Spirit, unconfined to time or means, but Regeneration

is ordinarily wrought by the sacrament of Bap, ` tism, as an instrumental cause; inasmuch as this is properly a translation from a state of wrath to a state of grace, in which, as an act, the recipient is altogether passive, whereas that is a transformation from the actual habits of a man who is under slavery to sin, to those of a man who is freed from such bondage, and become the servant of God. This, like our natural birth, is a single act which can. not be repeated; that, like the use of medicine, an act which needs to be repeated whenever our spiritual health is affected or endangered; and, like the use of proper aliment, to be continued, in order that the new life which we received at Baptism may be strengthened and advanced from day to day, till it issue in immortality.

The repentance and faith which are required of adults to be baptized, and which must therefore precede Regeneration, are in fact Renovation, in the general sense of the word, but are scarcely to be considered such in the same sense, or certainly in the same degree, as that Renovation which is the joint work of the covenanted grace of the Spirit, and the accepted efforts of the regenerated Christian.

There are, it is to be observed, frequent exhortations addressed to Christians in the Gospel to be renewed, but not one to be regenerated, it being the constant duty of every one who has received the gift of the Spirit, or who has been regenerated, to improve this gift, and to shew forth continually the effect of it in repentance and amendment, Exhortation to a member of the Church of Christ, especially if he have been made a partaker of the covenant in infancy, as is most generally the case, to become regenerate, is ob

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