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John Jay, on Baptism

June 22, 2010

From a letter of John Jay to Gouverneur Morris, February 22, 1813:

“You request me to be one of the godfathers. Baptism is too generally regarded as being little more than a customary ceremony ; and yet the purpose of it, and the names used on the occasion, show it to be a solemn procedure. It confers privileges, and imposes obligations of the highest class. Whoever consents to be employed as a shepherd, should recollect, that if a lamb be lost by his negligence, he must answer for it to the owner of the flock. Sponsors, however, not unfrequently become such, with as little sense of personal responsibility, as actors on the stage make the engagements, &c, allotted to their parts.”1

1. The Life John Jay With Selections from His Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers. by His Son, William Jay in Two Volumes. Vol. II., 1833.

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