Westminster Seminary California
Notable Quotables: Ussher on the Corporate Nature of Baptism


Every one that is present at Baptism should consider that that being a public action of the congregation, every particular person ought reverently to join in it. Shall the whole Trinity be present at Baptism (Matt. 3) and we be gone? Join ought every one in prayer to God for the infant, join in praises to God for his mercy, that we, and our children are brought forth, and brought up within the pale of his Church (whereas the rest of the world are like a wilderness) and thank God for adding at present a member to his Church. Join every one ought in meditation of the pollution of nature, of the blessed means of redemption by Christ, of the happy benefits that God seals up unto us in our Baptism, even before we knew them; of the vows and promises which we in our child-hood made by those who were undertakers for us: and finding our failings, ever time we are present at Baptism, we should renew our covenant with God and labor to get new strength to close with his promises, which in our Baptism he made unto us. Thus if we were wise to make a right use of it; we might learn as much at a Baptism as at a Sermon.

Taken from James Ussher, author of A Body of Divinity (1648)