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The Collect.

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the ancient writers, called The Prayer of the Regenerate, or Believers, as being, properly speaking, their privilege and birthright.

III. After this follows a Prayer wherein we first give God thanks for affording this child the benefits of Baptism ; and then pray for his grace to assist it in the whole course of its life. * IV. And lastly, because nothing tends more

The application directly to the securing of holiness and religion

to the godfathers. than a conscientious performance of this vow of Baptism, here are added endeavours to our prayers for the fulilling thereof. In the first ages, when those of discretion were baptized, the Applications were directed to the persons themselves, (as they now are in our office of Baptism for those of riper years :) but since children are now most commonly the subjects of Baptism, who are not capable of admonition, here is a serious and earnest exhortation made to the sureties. §. 2. Which, if it be well considered, will

The ill practice shew how base it is for any to undertake this of choosing unfit trust merely in compliment; how absurd to put persons for surelittle children (whose bond is not good in human courts) upon this weighty office; and also how ridiculous for those who have taken this duty upon them, to think they can shake off this charge again, and assign it over to the parents. But yet this is frequently the custom of this licentious age, and the chief occasion of many people's falling into

, evil principles and wicked practices, which might easily be prevented, if the sureties would do their duty, and labour to fit their god-children for Confirmation, and bring them to it; which therefore the Minister is in the last place to advertise the sureties of: f for till the child by this means enters the bond in his own name, the sureties must answer for all miscarriages through their neglect; whereas as soon as the child is confirmed, the sureties are freed from that danger, and discharged from all but the duty of charity.

* Note, that this prayer, with the foregoing exhortation and Lord's Prayer, were first added to the second book of king Edward ; his first book ordering the application to the godfathers, &c., to be used as soon as the child was baptized.

+ In all the former books this advertisement concerning Confirmation was only a rubric directing the Minister to command that the children be brought to the Bishop, &c. But in the last review it was turned into a form to be spoken to the people.

39 Eixn niotwv. Chrys. Hom. 10, in Coloss. tom. iv. p. 142, lin. 41. Oratio Fidelium, August. Enchirid. c. 71

The office being thus ended, the first Common Prayer piously adds, And so let the congregation depart in the name of the Lord.




The Introduc


tism not to be

Sect. I.-Of the Rubrics before the Office.

In this and the following office, I am only to take notice of such particulars, as are different

from the Order for Public Baptism of Infants. Where either of these therefore agree with the former, I must refer

my reader to the foregoing chapter, designing this and the following Appendix only for such things as I have had no opportunity of mentioning before.

$. 1. The first rubric requires, that the Curates Rubric 1. Bap

of every Parish shall often admonish the people, long deferred.

that they defer not the Baptism of their children longer than the first or second Sunday next after their birth, or other holy-day falling between, unless upon a great and reasonable cause to be approved by the Curate.

§. 2. And that also they shall warn them, that,

without like great cause and necessity, they proexcept in cases cure not their children to be baptized at home in of necessity. their houses. But when need shall compel them so to do, then Baptism shall be administered on this fashion.

The moderation of our Church in this respect, is exactly conformable to the ancient practice of the primitive Christians; who (though in ordinary cases they would never admit that Baptism should be administered without the presence of the congregation) yet had so great a care that none should die unbaptized, that in danger of death they allowed such persons, as had not gone through all their preparations, to be baptized at home: but laying an obligation upon them to answer more fully, if God restored them."

The title of this office in both books of king Edward and that of queen Elizabeth was this : Of them that be baptized in private houses, in time of necessity: To which were added upon king James's accession the following words : by the Minister of the parish, or any other lawful Minister that can be procured. And so it continued till the Restoration, when it was altered into the title that stands above.

1 Concil. Laodicen. Can. 47, tom. i. col. 1505, A.

Rubric 2. Not to be administered at home,

lowed by our

first Reformation.

SECT. II.- Of the proper Minister of Private Baptism.

When necessity requires that Baptism be privately administered, the Minister of the Parish, Lay-Baptism alor (in his absence) some other lawful Minister is Church at the to be procured. This is an order which was not made till after the Conference at Hampton Court, upon the accession of king James I. to the throne. In botł, Common Prayer Books of king Edward, and in that of queen Elizabeth, the rubric was only this : First, let them that be present call upon God for his grace, and say the Lord's Prayer, if the time will suffer; and then one of them shall name the child, and dip him in the water, or pour water upon him, saying these words, N. I baptize thee, &c. Now this, it is plain from the writings and letters of our first reformers, was originally designed to commission lay-persons to baptize in cases of necessity: being founded upon an error which our reformers had imbibed in the Romish Church, concerning the impossibility of salvation without the sacrament of Baptism : which therefore being in their opinion so absolutely necessary, they chose should be administered by anybody that was present, in cases of extremity, rather than any should die without it.

But afterwards, when they came to have clearer notions of the sacraments, and perceived how prohibited by absurd it was to confine the mercies of God to both houses of outward means; and especially to consider that the salvation of the child might be as safe in God's mercy, without any baptism, as with one performed by persons not duly commissioned to administer it; when the governors of our Church, I say, came to be convinced of this, they thought it proper to explain the rubric above mentioned, in such a manner as should exclude any private person from administering of Baptism. Accordingly, when some articles were passed by both houses of Convocation, in the year 1575, the Archbishop and Bishops (who had power and authority in their several dioceses to resolve all doubts concerning the manner how to understand, do, and execute the things contained in the Book of Common Prayer)? unanimously resolved, that even Private Baptism, in case of necessity, was only to be administered by a lawful Minister or Deacon; and that all

2 See the Preface concerning the Service of the Church.

But afterwards


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other persons should be inhibited to intermeddle with the ministering of Baptism privately, as being no part of their vocation.* Bishop Gibson tells us, this article was not published in the printed copy; but whether on the same account that the fifteenth article was left out, (which was, that Marriage might be solemnized at any time of the year, provided the banns were duly published, and no impediment objected,) viz. because disapproved by the crown, he cannot certainly tell :* but it seems by the account that Mr. Collier gives us, as if it was published; for after all the articles, he only remarks from the Journal of the Convocation, that the queen refused to assent to the last article, (i. e. the fifteenth above mentioned,) for which reason, saith he, it was not published with the rest, which seems plainly to imply that all the rest were published. However, whether it was published or not, the bare publishing of it in writing in every parish-church of every diocese in the province of Canterbury, by order of the Bishops, who had undoubted authority to explain the rubric, was sufficient to restrain the sense of the rubric in such a manner as should inhibit all persons not ordained from presuming to intermeddle with the administering of Baptism. But besides this, Mr. Collier tells us, that notwithstanding none but the Archbishop and Bishops are mentioned for their concurrence in these articles, yet in the Archbishop's mandate for the publication, they are said to be agreed, settled, and subscribed by both houses of Convocation.. So that from this time, notwithstanding the rubric might continue in the same words, it is certain it gave no licence or permission to lay-persons to baptize. On the contrary, the Bishops, in their visitations, censured the practice, and declared that the rubric inferred no such latitude.? * This article being very remarkable, I shall here set it down in the words of the

Twelfthly, And whereas some ambiguity and doubt has arisen amongst divers, by what persons Private Baptism is to be administered; forasmuch as by the Book of Common Prayer allowed by statute, the Bishop of the diocess is to expound and resolve all such doubts as shall arise concerning the manner how to understand, do, and execute the things contained in the said book; it is now by the said Archbishop and Bishops expounded and resolved, and every of them doth expound and resolve, that the said Private Baptism, in case of necessity, is only to be administered by a lawful Minister or Deacon, called to be present for that purpose, and by none other.



And that every Bishop in his diocess shall take order, that this exposition of the said doubt shall be published in writing before the first day of May next coming, in every parish church of his diocess in this province; and thereby all other persons shall be inhibited to intermeddle with the ministry of Baptism privately, it being no part of their vocation.s S Bishop Gibson's Codex, vol. i. p. 447, and Mr. Collier's History, vol. ii. p. 552.

5 Mr. Collier's Ecclesiastical History, as before. 6 Ibid. and page 551. See Bishop Barlow's Account of the Conference at Hampton Court.

4 See his Codex as before.

However, upon the accession of king James I. to the throne, the matter was again debated in the Hampton-Court Conference ;8 the result of which was, that instead of these words, Let them that be present call upon God, &c., the rubric should be, Let the lawful Minister, and them that be present, &c. And instead of what follows, viz. Then one of them shall name, the child, and dip him in the water, or pour water upon him, saying; it was ordered that, the child being named by some one that is present, the said lawful Minister shall dip it in water, &c.* And thus the rubric stood till the review at the Restoration, when it only underwent some small variation; the Minister of the parish being first named as the most proper person to be sent for, if not out of the way; but in his absence, any other lanful Minister is to be called in that can be procured. The Church only provides that none but a Minister, or one duly ordained, presume to intermeddle in it: well knowing that the persons, by whom baptism is to be administered, are plainly as positive a part of the institution, as any thing else relating to that ordinance; and consequently that the power of administering it must belong to those only whom Christ hath authorized by the institution. It is true, there are some few of the primitive writers, who allow laymen to baptize in case of necessity:9 but there are more and earlier of the Fathers, who disallow that practice: 10 and, upon mature consideration of the several passages, it will generally be found that these latter, for the most part, speak the judgment of the Church, whilst the former only deliver their private opinion. And therefore certainly it is a great presumption for an unordained person to invade the ministerial office without any warrant. What sufficient plea the Church of Rome can pretend, for suffering even midwives to perform this sacred rite, I am wholly ignorant. For as to the pretence of the child's danger, we may be sure that its salvation may be as safe in God's mercy without any baptism, as with such a one as he has neither commanded nor made any promises

* The second rubric that I have given above in page 362, was also then altered; the old one being worded thus: “And also they shall warn them that, without great cause and necessity, they baptize not children at home in their houses : and when great need shall compel them so to do, that then they minister it on this fashion." 8 Ibid. or Collier's History, vol. ii. p. 675. 9 Tertuli. de Bapt. c. 17, p. 231, A.

10 Ignat. ad Smyr. §. 8. Const. Ap. 1. 8, c. 46. Cyprian. et Firmilian. apud Basil. Ep. ad Amphiloch. c. 1. Vide et Cyprian. Ep. 76, et Concil. Carthag. inter Cypriani Opera. Hillarii

, alias Ambros. Com. in Ephes. 4. Basil. ut supra. Chrysost. Hom. 61, tom. vii. p. 423. Vide et Baba samom. in Can. 19. Concil. Sardicens. ap. Bevereg. Annot. in Can. Apost. p. 201.

Concil. Elib. Can. 38.

Hieron. Dial. Adv. Lucifer. c. 4.

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