« EelmineJätka »
in the thing that they allow. But that it is an external ordinance, a bodily action, which we should never have regarded without a divine appointment, is very plain. * 2. He opens out the meaning of his own institution. It is to be in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. So that, though the pouring of a little water, or plunging the whole body into a greater quantity, is no more than a washing away the filth of the flesh, yet the explication Christ has given ys of it, makes it the greatest affair we can ever engage in. You see,
1. That baptism is in or into a name.
2. This name is no less than that of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. These are the two propositions that I desire to consider. : 1. I would show you what it is to be baptized into a name; and . 2. What the great and glorious name is, that believers and their children are baptized into, that of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
1. What is the meaning of the expression, when we say that our baptism is into the name of God? This is what we should inquire into with reverence and a godly fear; and it calls us to mind, what the generality of professors seldom think of, that perhaps it is the greatest solemnity of your lives. I have been amazed to see how little of a serious temper has appeared at a baptism, among those who would be ashamed to use no more at the Lord's supper. Far be it from me, to make any comparison between them; but I should think,
that if either ordinance required a greater care and preparation, it is that of Baptism; as it is, what we do no more than once, either for ourselves, or the particular child, who is then given up. And therefore to hurry it over, as if it was, only complying with a fashion, or an introduction to revellings and banquetings, is an argument that though those people remember the water, yet they forget the name in which it is applied.
The ordinance, you know, is the first of those in which you give up either yourselves for your children to be the Lord's. Now, what do you mean in doing so? Or rather, what has the scripture told us was the design of Christ in directing the practice? That you do it in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is true. We have no authority to change the very form of those words: but what do they import? I answer, there are no less than these ten particulars comprehended in being bap-) tized into the name of our God.
1. That we confess his authority
4. That we profess our homage to him alone, before all the world.
5. That we depend upon his acceptance and favour.
6. That from him, we are to have the cular blessings of this ordinance.
7. That we would be conformed to his image.
8. That we do it with a hope of his mercy to eternal life.
9. That we are satisfied he can give us all this.
10. That we join with the whole number of his devoted people. These are duties comprehended in baptism, or felicities revealed by it: and if our souls are not employed upon them, we do but take the name of the Lord our God in vain.
1. They who are baptized in the name of God, do in that very action confess his authority: that he is the only law-giver who is able to save and destroy. This was ever the sense of a divine institution, what God meant by it, and what man ought to observe in it. Circumcision was an act of homage paid to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Any of their posterity who neglected that, neglected Him. They disowned his authority over them. On the other hand, they who submitted to it, whether of their own nation or of strangers, did in that very action, declare themselves to be the people of 'the God of Abraham. Ps. xlvii. 8.
And to the same purpose are we baptized, that it may appear we are among them, who serve and call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in every place, both theirs and ours. 1 Cor. i. 2. As many say, they will not have this man to rule over them, so we say we will, that one is our master, even Christ. Mat. xxiii. 10. Abraham did not receive the order of circumcision from Melchizedeck, but from the most
high God himself: and by the same authority are we called to baptism. None but He who had all power in heayen and earth, was able to issue the commission you find in my text. It is the declaration of God himself, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Isa. lxv. 17. And yet it is the work of Christ; for, he that sat upon the throne, said, behold, I make all new things. Rev. xxi. 5.
I know, it is said, that the Jews had a method of baptizing among them, and that our Saviour only fixed it with his disciples as he found it with his countrymen. They who tell us $o, quote the great name of Grotius aš the champion of that opinion. Indeed, I do not wonder to find any thing of that nature in the writings of one, who has committed so many robberies upon the deity of our supreme Lord; and is famous for a number of imaginations and high thoughts that exalt them selves against the knowledge of God. But the bible itself will not allow me to think as these men do, whatever their learning is.
Nothing can be more apparent, than that the Jews expected, that the person who brought baptism amongst them, must be either the Mesa siah himself, or one of his fore-runners This was the question of the Priests and Levites who came from Jerusalem to ask John, whether he was the Christ, or Eligs, or that prophet. And they who were sent were of the Pharisees, a people diligent to know the
law, and zealous to advance it. Therefore they ask him farther, why baptizest thou then, if thou be not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the Prophet? John i. 25. And John in his answer shews us, that though the Jews mistook in a circumstance, yet they were right in their notion. I knew him not, says he, but that HE should be manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. Ver. 21..
What he preached was the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the Prophet Esaias; the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths strait. And all along he bore testimony to this, I baptize you with water, but there is one among you, who is mightier than I, HE shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. And the apostle in his sermon at Antioch, (though he abounded in Jewish learning) seems to say, that they never heard of any baptizing before John. John first preached before Christ the baptism of repentance, to all the people of Israel; and, as he fulfilled his course, he said whom think ye, that I am? I am not he. Acts. xiii. 24, 25. · From which things I conclude, that the first time that ever the Church heard of Baptism, was in reference to a person who was actually, then among them, and after a few weeks was to be declared and shewn forth to Israel. We read of some that had not been baptized into the name of the Holy Ghost, but, as they say, unto John's baptism. Paul tells them, John