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“The longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while
The author of these sermons found, upon entering on his present parish, that the sacrament of baptism was generally considered, as a mere form of giving children a name, without any respect to the spiritual benefits connected with it in the word of God. Having commenced from the first, the practice of baptizing publicly, after the second lesson, on the last Sunday of each month, he also made a point for some time of always preaching on that day upon the subject of baptism. The following sermons, among many others, were preached on those occasions. He has reason to hope that they have not been without the designed effect of producing more correct and scriptural views of this sacrament. He hopes they will be found on a level with the understanding of the poorest of his brethren ; and he earnestly prays, that the blessing of that Holy Spirit, of whose work the sermons speak, may make them useful to all who read them.
may doubt, whether the views of baptism, here set forth, are in accordance with the formularies of our dear Church, the writer without entering on controversy would suggest his own view (in which he believes the great body of the thoughtful and enlightened members of the Church will agree), that the Church of England regards baptism, as in every case the door of admission into the visible Church on earth ; but that, while she pronounces on the actual and spiritual regeneration of all baptized persons, whether adults or children, she does this in the spirit of faith, hope, and charity, and regards them all as spiritually regenerate, unless, and until their lives prove the contrary.
The reader will see at once that the sermons are only suited for plain persons, not for critics and divines. He commends them, with all their faults and imperfections, to the blessing of the Great Head of the Church, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, Christ Jesus.
Steventon, May 18, 1846.
St. JOHN III, 5.
" 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.”.
TAESE words occur in that interesting conversation, which took place by night between our blessed Saviour and the Jewish ruler Nicodemus.
Nicodemus had come to Christ, professing a conviction of his being “ a teacher come from God," and seeking further instruction, as to the things which he taught. Our blessed Lord met these professions by unfolding to him one of the great mysteries of the Gospel, the necessity of the new birth, of being born again, or from above. This is declared in the third verse, “ 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, like all natural men, was both ignorant of this mighty change himself, and utterly