Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: April 25th On the covenant of baptism

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

MONDAY AFTER LOW SUNDAY 

ON THE COVENANT OF BAPTISM

Consider first, that in baptism we make a solemn covenant with God, by which he on his part adopts us for children, admits us to all the great and glorious advantages and prerogatives which belong to his children, and gives us an unquestionable right and title to the inheritance of his everlasting kingdom. But then, all this is upon articles, to which we on our part bind ourselves by the strongest engagements and vows, which if we violate, in that moment we forfeit both the dignity of children of God, and all the other excellent treasures we received at our baptism, together with all title either to the favour or the kingdom of God. The first of these articles, by which we engage ourselves to God in baptism, is the promise we there make ever to adhere to him by a firm and constant faith in all his divine truths. My soul, hast thou been true to this part of thy covenant? The faith which thou hast promised was not a barren, speculative belief like that of those who ‘make profession of knowing God, but deny him in their works,’ Tit. i. 16.; but a ‘faith that worketh by charity,’ Gal. v. 6; a faith that showeth itself by the life: ‘the just man liveth by faith.’ Hath thy faith been such?

Consider 2ndly, that another article of our baptismal covenant was to wage a perpetual war with Satan; to renounce him for ever with all his works of darkness and sin, and all his pomps of worldly pride and vain glory; and to adhere to God by a strict and perpetual allegiance to his divine majesty. My soul, what has thy life hitherto been? Hast thou kept this covenant? Hast thou effectually renounced Satan? Hast thou constantly waged war against that usurper, that cruel tyrant, that mortal enemy of thy God? Or hast thou not suffered him to take possession of thee again by sin? Hast thou not been all thy life long his slave? Have not his works and his pomps had a greater share in thy affections than thy duty and allegiance to thy God? O, be confounded at thy past disloyalty and breach of covenant! O, dread the consequences of this perfidiousness: repent and amend.

Consider 3rdly, that in our baptism we also engage ourselves to a strict observance of the whole law and the commandments of our heavenly Father, our King, and our God; but more especially of the great commandment of ‘loving him with our whole heart, with our whole soul, with our whole mind, and with our whole strength;’ and of loving our neighbours as ourselves.’ For inasmuch as he there adopts us for his children and his heirs, in return he strictly requires of us the obedience due from children to such a Father; with a love and preference of him before all things else, and a perpetual conformity in all things to his blessed will. See now, my soul, upon how many titles thou belongest to God, and art bound to love him and to serve him with all thy powers. Thou art his by creation – he made thee for himself. Thou art his by redemption – the Son of God having purchased thee with his own blood: ah, at how dear a rate! Thou art his by dedication, being consecrated to him in baptism. And thou art his by all the articles of the covenant then made with him.

Conclude to observe, henceforward at least, these thy baptismal vows, and since God claims thy whole being upon so many titles, give thyself to him without reserve for time and eternity, by perfect obedience, conformity, and love. O, beg of him continually that nothing in life or death may ever be able to separate thee any more from him.

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