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another MS. above nine hundred years old!; and the English offices have long interposed it between the profession of faith and the administration of baptism. We do not, however, find this interrogation in the sacramentaries of Gelasius or Gregory, nor in the most ancient monuments of the Gallican church.
Wilt thou be baptized in this faith? Answer. That is
Item Sacerdos. Vis baptizari?
The succeeding promise of obedience is of very great antiquity. Justin Martyr says that those who were to be baptized promised that they would live according to the rules of Christianity". The Apostolical Constitutions, written about the end of the third century, appoint a promise of obedience, to be made after the renunciation of Satan, as the church of England does ; but this promise precedes the profession of faith in the Constitutions.
The form of promising obedience in the eastern churches, as we learn from the Apostolical Constitutions, and the rituals of the churches of Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria, together with the testimonies of Chrysostom, Basil, Cyril of Alexandria, and others P, consisted of a solemn adoption of the service of Christ, and was generally conveyed
1 Martene de Antiq. Eccl. ευχομένων και συννηστευόντων αυRit. tom. i. p. 180. 192. τοίς. έπειτα άγονται υφ' ημών ένθα
m Manuale Sarisb. fol. 43. ύδωρ έστι, και τρόπον αναγεννή
η Οσοι αν πειθώσι και πιστεύ- σεως δν και ημείς αυτοί αναγεννήωσιν αληθή ταυτα τα υφ' ημών δι- θημεν, αναγεννώνται. Justin Marδασκόμενα και λεγόμενα είναι, και tyr, Apol. i. p. 88. ed. Thirlby. βιούν ούτως δύνασθαι υπισχνώνται, Apost. Const. lib. vii. c. 42. εύχεσθαί τε και αιτείν νηστεύοντες pBingham's Antiquities, b. ii. παρά του θεού των προημαρτημέ- C. 7. 8. 6.
. . νων άφεσιν διδάσκονται, ήμών συν
in a very few words; such as, “I give myself up
I to the government of Christ.” The form of question and answer in which the promise of obedience in the English ritual is conveyed, has been adopted in order to preserve uniformity with the renunciations and professions, which have from time immemorial been made in that form by the English and all other western churches.
ENGLAND. Wilt thou then ALEXANDRIA. Confiteor te obediently keep God's holy Christe Deus noster, et omnes will and commandments, and leges tuas salutares, et omnem walk in the same all the days religionem tuam vivificam, et of thy life?
omnia opera tua, quæ vitam Answer. I will.
impertiunturr. ANTIOCH. Consentio tibi CONSTANTINOPLE. Kai ouvChriste Deus. Ego N. et omni τάσσομαι τα Χριστο... Interdoctrinæ, quæ a te divinitus rogat eos, Συνετάξασθε το Χριtradita est per Prophetas, Apo- otộ; Et dicunt, Evveratáuedas. stolos, et Sanctos Patres. Confiteor et credo, et baptizor in te, et Patre tuo, et in Spiritu tuo vivo et Sancto 9.
THE BENEDICTION AND CONSECRATION OF THE WATER.
We have now considered all the preparatory parts of the office of Baptism. These parts were sometimes separated by an interval of time from the administration of the sacrament; but the remainder of the office has most commonly been all repeated at the same time. The part of the English baptismal office which I consider at present, consists of benedictions of the candidate for baptism, and of the
9 Rituale Syrorum, Asseman. Codex Liturg. tom. i. p. 159. Codex Lit. tom. i. p. 238.
s Goar, Rituale Græc. p. r Rituale Copt. Asseman. 341.
water prepared for the administration of the sacrament. We find in many ancient rituals that these benedictions were conveyed in a form which bore a near resemblance to that of the eucharist. Thus in the Gallican church the benediction was preceded by the form of Sursum corda,“ Lift up your hearts," &c. and then began, “ It is very meet and right, O holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God,” &c. It then proceeded to commemorate the mercies of God in a thanksgiving, in the course of which God was implored to sanctify the water, and send down his Holy Spirit, and to confer various benefits on those who were to be baptized thereint. The benediction of the font in the church of Constantinople is made in a manner similar to that just described, except that it does not begin with Sursum cordau. In like manner we find the benediction of the font and solemn prayers in the church of Antioch to have begun with thanksgiving, and afterwards proceeded to prayer, benediction, and invocation of the Holy Spirity. In the patriarchate of Alexandria the consecration of the font begins with Sursum corda, &c. then the priest makes a thanksgiving, as in the liturgy, or eucharist, in the course of which the deacon commands those that sit to arise, and look towards the east; and, at the close, the people all repeat Tersanctus. And then the priest proceeds to pray for the Holy Spirit to bless the water, and those that are to be baptized therein, and to give them remission of their sins, and regeneration, &c.
t Missale Gothicum, Mabil- Vet. tom. ii. p. 849. lon, Lit. Gallican. p. 247. Mis- u Goar, Rituale Græcum, sale Gallican. vetus, ibid. p. p. 352. 363. Sacramentar. Gallican. v Rituale Syr. Asseman. CoBobiense, Muratori Lit. Rom. dex Liturg. tom. ii. p. 218.
At the close of this prayer and consecration the people all repeat the Lord's Prayer W. All this bears a remarkable similarity to the eastern liturgies. However, we do not find, in the ancient sacramentary of Gelasius, that the benediction of the font much resembled that of the eucharist*. Nor does the similarity appear in the sacramentary of Gregory the Greaty. However, in subsequent times the benediction in the Roman church, and in several other western churches, was preceded by the form of Sursum corda, &c.2; which custom may perhaps have been derived from the eastern churches, or from the churches of Gaul. In most of the old rituals we find that the font was hallowed with various ceremonies besides prayer. It was customary to make the sign of the cross, as we learn from the testimony of Chrysostom, Augustine, and PseudoDionysius. The Roman church, and the mono
a physites of Armenia, pour chrism, or holy ointment composed of oil and balsam, into the water. The church of Constantinople does not b. Various other rites have been devised by the Christian churches, some of which are used in one place, and some in
w Rituale Copt. Alexandrin. in Matt. p. 475. ed. Commelin. Asseman. Codex Liturg. tom. Πάντα δι' αυτού τελείται τα καθ' ii. p. 169-176. Compare this ημάς κάν αναγεννηθήναι δέη, σταυwith the canon of the Coptic pòs capayivetui, &c. Augustin. liturgy of Basil, Renaudot. Li- Hom. 27. olim 50. tom. x. p. turg. Oriental. Collectio, tom. 175. “Quia Baptismus, id est,
aqua salutis, non est salutis, * Sacramentar. Gelasii, Mu- nisi Christi nomine consecrata, ratori, tom. i. p. 568, &c. qui pro nobis sanguinem fudit,
y Sacramentar. Gregorii à cruce ipsius aqua signatur.” Menard. p. 71.
See also Dionys. de Hierarch. z Martene de Antiq. Eccl. Eccl. c. 2. Rit. tom. i. p. 176. 185. 189. b Asseman. tom. ii. p. 207. Missale Rom. p. 176.
note i. a Chrysost. Hom. 54. al. 55.
i. p. 13, &c.
another. But every church is
church is to be left to her own liberty as to the rites of consecration; for not only do we find, from the Apostolical Constitutions, that the consecration of the water was originally made only by prayer', as it is in the English ritual; but it has always been held by orthodox divines, that the sanctification of the water is not necessary to the effectual administration of the sacrament of regeneration.
The following benedictions as to substance are found in the most ancient monuments of the eastern and western churches; and the form in which they are conveyed, according to which, the response of Amen frequently occurs, is visible, not only in all the most ancient western benedictions of the people, but in the office for consecrating the water in the Alexandrian church d.
It is worthy of notice, that the English ritual, in directing that the water should be sanctified for every occasion on which baptism is to be administered, is supported by the ancient and immemorial practice of the churches of Constantinople, Antioch, and the other eastern churchese. The Roman church only appoints the water to be changed, and new water to be consecrated, when that which has been in the font becomes unfit for usef.
O merciful God, grant that the old Adam in this child may be so buried, that the new
Domine Deus æterne ... fiat locus iste dignus, in quem Spi. ritus Sanctus influat : sepelia
c Apost. Const. lib. vii. c. 43:
d Rituale Alexandrin. Copt. Asseman. tom. ij. p. 173.
e Goar, Rit. Græc. p. 352, 353
i Rituale Romanum, p. 6. de Materia Baptismi.