"He neither would countenance the banquet, not take the baptismal vows on him in the child’s name"

Stained glass window depicting the baptism of Christ
GNU Free Documentation LicenseStained glass window depicting the baptism of Christ - Credit: Andreas F. Borchert
Baptism, or the ritual immersion or sprinkling of a person in water to cleanse them of sin and initiate them into the Christian church, would have had very different meanings for the Catholic Colwan and the Calvinist Lady Dalcastle. According to Catholic belief, baptism is essential for salvation. Calvin, on the other hand, believed that the ritual was a sign of spiritual purgation but not the means through which salvation was achieved. The baptismal vows would have required Colwan to renounce, on the infant’s behalf, Satan, all his works and all his pomps.