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The Ministration of Baptism to such as are of Riper Years.
Dearly beloved, forasmuch as all men are conceived and born in sin, (and that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and they that are in the flesh cannot please God, but live in sin, committing many actual transgressions :) and that our Saviour Christ saith, None can enter into the kingdom of God, except he be regenerate and born anew of water and of the Holy Ghost: I beseech you to call upon God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that of his bounteous goodness he will grant to these persons that which by nature they cannot have; that they may be baptized with water and the Holy Ghost, and received into Christ's holy Church, and be made lively members of the same.
Then shall the minister say,
Almighty and immortal God, the aid of all that need, the helper of all that flee to thee for succor, the life of them that believe, and the resurrection of the dead: we call upon thee for these persons; that they, coming to thy holy baptism, may receive remission of their sins, by spiritual regeneration. Receive them, O Lord, as thou hast
promised by thy well-beloved Son, saying, Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: so give now unto us that ask: let us that seek, find: open the gate unto us that knock; that these persons may enjoy the everlasting benediction of thy heavenly washing, and may come to the eternal kingdom which thou hast promised by Christ our Lord. Amen.
After which he shall say,
Almighty and everlasting God, heavenly Father, we give thee humble thanks, for that thou hast vouchsafed to call us to the knowledge of thy grace, and faith in thee; increase this knowledge and confirm this faith in us evermore. Give thy Holy Spirit to these persons, that they may be born again, and be made heirs of everlasting salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.
Then shall the people stand up, and the minister shall
Hear the words of the Gospel, written by St. John, in the third chapter, beginning at the first verse.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be
with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Then the minister shall speak to the persons to be baptized on this wise :
Well beloved, who are come hither, desiring to receive holy baptism, ye have heard how the congregation hath prayed that our Lord Jesus Christ would vouchsafe to receive you, and bless you, to release you of your sins, to give you the kingdom of heaven, and everlasting life. And our Lord Jesus Christ hath promised, in his holy word, to grant all those things that we have prayed for: which promise he for his part will most surely keep and perform.
Wherefore after this promise made by Christ, you must also faithfully, for your
part, promise, in the presence of this whole congregation, that you will renounce the devil and all his works, and constantly believe God's holy word, and obediently keep his commandments.
Then shall the minister demand of each of the persons to be baptized, severally,
Quest. Dost thou renounce the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and the carnal desires of the flesh, so that thou wilt not follow or be led by them? Answ. I renounce them all.
Quest. Dost thou believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth? and in Jesus Christ his only-begotten Son our Lord? and that he was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary? that he suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried: that he rose again the third day; that he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, and from thence shall come again, at the end of the world, to judge the quick and the dead?
And dost thou believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints; the remission of sins; the resurrection of the body, and everlasting life after death?
Answ. All this I steadfastly believe.
By the holy catholic Church is meant the Church of God in general.
Quest. Wilt thou be baptized in this faith?
Quest. Wilt thou then obediently keep God's holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of thy life? Answ. I will endeavor so to do, God being my helper.
Then shall the minister say,
O merciful God, grant that the old Adam in these persons may be so buried, that the new man may be raised up in them. Amen.
Grant that all carnal affections may die in them, and that all things belonging to the Spirit may live and grow in them. Amen.
Grant that they may have power and strength to have victory, and triumph against the devil, the world, and the flesh. Amen.
Grant that they being here dedicated to thee by our office and ministry, may also be endued with heavenly virtues, and everlastingly rewarded, through thy mercy, O blessed Lord God, who dost live and govern all things, world without end. Amen.
Almighty, ever-living God, whose most dearly-beloved Son Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of our sins, did shed out of his most precious side both water and blood; and gave commandment to his disciples that they should go teach all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: regard, we beseech thee, the supplications of this con