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¶ Then the minister shall take the child into his hands, and say to the friends of the child:
Name this child.
¶ And then, naming after them, he shall sprinkle or pour water upon it, or, if desired, immerse it in water, saying:
BAPTIZE thee in the name of the
And the people all kneeling, the following prayer shall be offered :
GOD of infinite mercy, the Father of all the faithful seed, be pleased to grant unto this child an understanding mind and a sanctified spirit, that he may be thy servant and thy child all his days. May thy providence lead him through the dangers, temptations, and ignorance of his youth, that he may never run into folly or into the evils of an unbridled appetite. We pray thee so to order the course of his life, that by good education, by holy examples, and by thy restraining and renewing grace, he may be led to serve thee faithfully all his days, so that, when he has glorified thee in his generation, he may be received into thy everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, let
thy mercy and compassion descend upon these, thy servant and handmaid, the parents (or guardians) of this child. Grant unto them, we beseech thee, thy Holy Spirit, that they may, like Abraham, command their household to keep the way of the Lord. Direct thou their actions, and sanctify their hearts, words, and
purposes, that their whole family may be united to our Lord Jesus Christ in the bands of obedience and love; and having been in this life thy holy children by adoption and grace, may they finally be admitted one and all into the church triumphant in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.
A Service for the Consecration of children without Baptism.* The child being brought before the altar by its parents or guardians, the minister shall say:
BELOVED the numerous
ELOVED brethren: The Scriptures fur
nish us with numerous examples of the consecration of children to the service of God, by their devout parents. In the first book of Samuel, and in the first chapter, we have the
* Many pious parents who can see no sufficient warrant for infant baptism in the Scriptures, do, nevertheless believe in the public consecration of children to God, after the example of devout Jews of a former dispensation, and the practice of our Lord himself. Many Baptists, even, are in favor of this practice. Dr. JUDSON, the celebrated Baptist missionary, introduced the practice into India, where we believe it is still continued by that zealous denomination. We see no valid reason why this Scriptural custom may not with propriety be introduced into all Christian churches. It is not infant baptism, to which Baptists object, while, on the other hand, even Pedobaptists must admit, that it is better to have such consecration and prayer without baptism, than to have no presentation or consecration of our children to God. We submit, therefore, the above, and what follows, as an appropriate service for such consecrations.
following account of the consecration of the infant Samuel, by his godly parents Elkanah and Hannah:
ND the man Elkanah, and all his house,
went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever. And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him. And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh and the child was young. And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, O my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshiped the LORD there.
Our divine Redeemer, also, was thus presented to the Lord, by Joseph and Mary.
ND 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. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord.-Luke ii. 21, 22.
¶ The minister shall then say to the parents:
IN presenting this child for consecration to God, you not only acknowledge your indebtedness to him for all past mercies; and your belief in his gracious and overruling providence; but you also manifest thereby a desire that your offspring should enjoy the benefits of early consecration to God, and of special prayer on his behalf, by this church and congregation; that, if spared to adult years, he may early know and follow the will of God; may live and die a Christian; and may finally attain to everlasting life in heaven.
But in order to this, it will be your duty, as his parents (or guardians), to teach him early the fear of the Lord; to watch over his education, that he be not led astray by false doctrines; to direct his youthful mind to the Holy Scriptures, and his feet to the sanctuary; to restrain him from evil associates and habits; and, as much as in you lieth, to "bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
Quest.-Will you endeavor so to do, by the help of God?
Ans. I will.
HEY brought young children to Christ, that he should "put his hands on them and pray," (Matt. xix. 13); and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.-Mark x. 13, 16.
¶ The minister shall then receive the child from its parents or otherwise, place his right hand upon its head, and say:
RECEIVE, O Lord, we beseech thee, this
thy child, whom we now consecrate to thee, and to thy service for ever. Preserve thou his life, and lead him early to the knowledge of thy ways. Replenish thou his soul with thy heavenly grace, that he may continue thine for ever; and finally, after this life, do thou bring him to the joys of thy everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then handing the child back to its parents, the minister kneeling with them at the altar, shall offer the following prayer:
GOD of infinite mercy, look down upon this child whom we have this day consecrated to thee and to thy service, in the assembly of thy people. Accept him as thine own, and be thou his God. Let thy shield be over him, and thy good providence lead him through all the dangers of childhood and youth, and the perils of maturer