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take. Christ for the supreme God, is either to carry a lie in his forehead, or to roll, in the waters of deceit and falsehood. To be called by the name of one, whom he does not worship is to have that name in vain; and to worship any thing but an infinite nature is the essence of heathen idolatry. To say that God may command us to worship a creature is giving him the lie, for he has said, I will not give my glory to another. He has forbid it in the Old and New Testament; and to think that he will establish such an iniquity by a law makes his people the servants of idols, and him the patron.
4. Being baptized into the name of any one is a public profession of our homage to him before all the world. We are not ashamed of the testimony of the LORD: 2 Tim. i. 8. And therefore this solemnity is as heavy a load upon them that do not own him, as it is upon those that openly deny him. Are we called by bis name, and is it a name that we are ashamed of? Remember how well he has spoke of those who kept his faith, and did not deny his name. Rev. ii. 8. There was some name or other which at that time the enemy struck at; some revelation that he made of himself which went heavily down; and his faithful people had rather part with all than part with this.
It is for his name's sake that ministers go out to preach the gospel, 3 John 7; it is for his name that we suffer reproach, Acts. v. 41; and yet under all the revilings of men, this
name will be as ointment poured forth to those that love him. Cant. i. 4.
And indeed this is what all parties in the world, mean by their religion. The God who is not to be owned, is a God that has no servants. All people will walk every one in the wame of his God, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever. Mich. iv. 5. Pass over to the isles of the Gentiles, and you will find they have not changed their Gods, which yet are no Gods. Jer. ii. 11.
Christ knew there would be some ashamed of him in a corrupt and an adulterous generation, and of those will he be ashamed before his holy angels. Mark viii. 38. · We have called this ordinance a sacrament which we are told is a military word, and signifies the oath of fidelity that the army took. Now the silence of a baptized person in the cause of the Trinity, shows that he is a cowardly soldier, and ought to be turned out of the camp. The title soldier belongs to ministers in the New Testament. The apostle calls those who labour in the word and doctrine fellow-soldiers, and advises Timothy to endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. And therefore any cowardice and treachery in them, is a thousand times worse than in others. They make themselves vile examples of an indifference that they ought to reprove, rebuke, and oppose. 2 Tim. ii. 4.'
But I shall be treacherous to you, and guilty of profaning the solemnity itself, if I da not tell you, that the name called upon you is
never to be concealed. Christ has trusted it with you, and he will require it of you. The fearful and unbelieving are both of them called abominable. Rev. xxi. 8.
I cannot now proceed to the other important things contained in this ordinance. Those that I have mentioned express your duty, and the rest relate to your happiness; which shews that Christ is never behind-hand with all the faith, and zeal, and self-denial of his people; for his countenance does behold the upright.
SERMON II. Baptism is the seal of a righteousness, and that
of faith as circumcision was. How that * phrase is to be understood. What the answer
of a good conscience means. What it is to
be buried with him in baptism. What to be ** baptized for the dead. Baptism ought never
to be the badge of a party. 5. Being baptized into the name of our God, siguifies the dependance that we have upon his favour and acceptance, in an everlasting covenant. The whole transaction between God and man has been in a covenant of grace; and all the external marks and figures that he ever appointed, were but so many patterns of things in the heavens. Thus Abraham received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, being "yet uncircumcised. Rom. iv, 11. Though the sign was new, yet the thing signified by it was what he had before, and that is the righteousness of fuith. This is of more value than all the.ceremonies in the world, whether they are of divine or human appointment. For though by the external part of that ordinance, Abra.“ ham had no other relation than to his carnal, seed, yet the mystery, the principle, the bene. 1 fit that is figured by it makes him, as the apostle says, the father of all them that believe, "r though they be not circumcised, that righteousness may be imputed to them also. .
The same interpretation is put upon Bap- i tism. It may be called, a seal of the righteousness of faith. Both these solemnities, that which God appointed to Abraham, and that ir which Christ, with equal authority, gave ins commission to his disciples, have their sense, their meaning, their blessing, their accomplishment, in the same good-will towards men.“ Whatever difference there is in the manner of: administration, yet the doctrine of the action : is the same in both. The thing signified by them is the Righteousness of faith.
In these two words you see the blessing of the new covenant; first, that by it and in it we receive a righteousness; and 2dly, that this i is the righteousness of faith. With what a swelling joy would Abraham submit to the pain and the peculiarity of circumcision, a.. thing never heard of before, and not likely to bę approved of then, when he understood what it meant! It was both a token of the 3 righteousness tbat he received from God, and an emblem of the faith by which he had it.
First, Each of these divine ceremonies, circumcision and baptism, are a contradiction to a maxim that ought to obtain among all our degenerate nature, that man after his fall can never be righteous with God. This is what our whole race is bound to believe ; and yet by these ordinances you see, there is a righteousness for us; pot merely a pardon, for that may be given in a way of sovereign mercy, but the believer is righteous with God; and the two external seals of the covenant, will tell him so. . "
It sounds very odd to those who either do not know what God has said, or do not heed it, that men should be both guilty and righ. teous, acquitted by the very law that had condemned them: that God should be just, and yet the justifier of him who had sinned. These things appear as contradictions to human nature. They would have no other sound in those places where the gospel never came. Indeed they have no better treatment among them who do not believe the report, and to whom the arm of the Lord is not revealed. Yet, if God is, true, his word is true, and if that is true, these doctrines are so too ; that our pardon from him, and our acceptance with bim, are upon the grounds of an unalterable equity; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Psal. Ixxxv. 10.
What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there in circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because to them were committed