EIGHTH MEDITATION. I AM A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH

I AM A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH BY VIRTUE OF MY BAPTISM.

“Baptism was appointed to be the sign of our entrance
and reception into the Church. Baptism, in separating
and distinguishing the members of the Church from the
rest of mankind, connects and unites them with the
Church, and with one another.” (Ursinus).

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body. —
1 COR. xii. 13.

Baptized into one body; that is, into the
Church which is the Body of Christ. As it
brings me into covenant with God, it brings
me into the family of God, which is made up
of the children of the covenant. “By bap-
tism, as the sign of the covenant, I have,
been incorporated (Einverlerbet Heid. Catch. Ques.74)
into the Christian Church,
and distinguished from unbelievers, as was
done in the Old Covenant or Testament by
circumcision, instead of which baptism was
instituted in the New Covenant.” Of the
Church I am taught to believe that “I am,
and forever shall remain a living member
thereof.” (Idem.c Ques.54).
“Baptism is a sacrament of the New Tes-
tament instituted by Christ, which seals
unto the faithful, who are baptized in the
name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
remission of all their sins, the gift of the
Holy Ghost, and their engrafting into the
Body and Church of Christ, whilst they, on
the other hand, profess that they receive
these blessings, and that they ought and
will henceforth live unto Him.” (Ursinus).
Though a member of the Church, I am not
yet in full communion. I have been made
one of the family, but I have not yet been at
Thy table, which is spread for Thy children.
But I have a right to it; and as soon as I
ratify the vows made for me in my baptism,
and receive, by the “laying on of hands,”
the “solemn benediction of Thy Holy
Church,” I will be admitted to the blessed
supper of the Lord.
This solemn step I am now fully resolved
to take. O how I long for this blessed privi-
lege! Soon I shall appear as a guest at Thy
table. Lord Jesus! Soon I shall feed on the
fatness of Thy house, and drink of the river
of Thy pleasures. Soon Thou shalt give me
to eat of the hidden manna. O for the bread
which cometh down from heaven, that I may
eat thereof, and never die!

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