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tired here, or rather, our animal natures, with

spiritual exercises ? How dull and drowsy is this flesh of ours ? How do we feel our hearts ever wandering from our God and his worship? But there you shall behold the great God with a steady fixation of soul on him, even that God who created all things in six days, and shall give him the honour of that creation in an immortal sabbath. There you shall see the blessed Jesus who rose from the dead on the first christian sabbath, who fulfilled his work of redeeming you from worse than Egyptian bondage, and laid the foundation of the new creation, even of new heavens and of a new earth, There you shall find complete and perpetual rest from all that is sinful and all that is painful; you shall enjoy a day of glorious and blissful worship in coinmunion with the holy and happy inhabitants of that world, and it must be an everlasting day, for there is no night there; Rev. xxii. 5.

SERMON LI.

Christian Baptism.

Mat. xxviii. 19.-Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the

name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. In all the religions which God had prescribed to mankind, there have ever been some outward rites or ceremonies appointed for man to perform, whereby God would represent the blessings of his own grace, and whereby men might profess their humble acceptance of those blessings and their own correspondent obligations to duty. These are a sort of seals of the covenant of grace between God and man: Such were sacrifices which we have good reason to believe were appointed to Adam just after his fall, when the Lord God made them coats of the skins of beasts which were sacrificed: Such was the rite of circumcision given to Abraham and his children : Such were the numerous trains of ceremonies or ordinances which were prescribed to the Jews by the hand of Moses, wherein by many offerings made by fire, by washings and sprinklings of water and of blood, the blessings of the covenant of grace were described in a sort of emblem or typical language; and the people gave up themselves to the Lord in a way of covenant according to the several appointed rules of duty.

In the religion or gospel of Christ there are but two ordinances of this kind instituted for christians to observe, that is baptism which is performed by water; and the Lord's-supper which is celebrated by bread and wine. The institution of baptism is contained in the words of my text, “ Go ye and teach all nations, or make disciples of them as it is in the Greek, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: and I am with you to authorise this practice and to bless you therein, even to the end of the world.". "The Lord's-supper is represented in 1 Cor. xi. 26. As often as ye eut this bread, and drink this cup, ye shew forth the Lord's death till he

Thus it appears that both of them are to continue till the Redeemer comes the second time, and puts an end to this world.

Baptism is my present subject, and in order to give you a brief sketch of it, I shall set the most important parts thereof

соте.

before you in this plain easy method, as I think they may be derived from scripture.

I. I shall consider what this ordinance of baptism is, and what it doth imply or signify.-11. Who are the persons to whom it is to be administered. -Ill. In what manner this ceremony is to be performed.-IV. What practical inferences or exhortations may be drawn from this subject.

First, “What is baptisin, and what is implied in it, or intended by it?" the ordinance itself, that is christian baptism, is the washing a person with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. When it was introduced by John the Baptist it was but imperfect, and therefore it was repeated in the name of Christ to the Ephesians, who had received the baptism of Johan before; Acts xix. 3—5. And even as our Lord himself practised it in the days of his personal ministry, it did not seem to be drawn out into its complete form : John baptised his disciples, pointing their faith to Jesus who should come after him : Jesus might possibly baptize into his own name as a great prophet, but not under the character of the Messialı, since he kept that point very much concealed from his common followers or disciples in his life time. However, all that was done both under the ministry of Christ and of John the Baptist, seem to be continued and included in this most perfect form of baptism which our Lord appointed to his apostles after his resurrection from the dead, and just before his ascent to heaven. Whatsoever I find therefore in the baptism of John as well as of Christ himself or bis apostles, I may reasonably presume are contained also in the outward form, and in the spiritual signification of christian baptism.

Let us consider now, “ What doth this baptism, this washing with water, mean and imply in a spiritual sense.' And under inost of the following particulars, I shall endeavour to shew what is the use of the sacred names of Father, Son and Spirit in this ordinance.

1. “ Christian baptism implies a humble acknowledgment of some defilement; otherwise there would be no need of washing Sin is often represented in scripture as a matter of uncleanness which pollutes the soul, and this it doth two ways. First, The principle of sin within us defaces the image of God which was stamped on man in his first creation, and thereby it Fenders us unfit for the presence of God and communion with kim as he is a God of spotless holiness : And, Secondly, The guilt of our actual sins exposes us to his punishing justice on account of the breach of his law, for every sin is a transgression of the law of God, and deserves death. "Whosoever therefore is baptized, doth profess and declare that he is a defiled creature, a

sinner ; that he is guilty in the sight of God, and lies exposed to his

anger, that he is unfit to converse with him or to stand before him. So the Jews who attended on the ministry of John; Mat. iii. 6. were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins; and therefore they came to the water seeking to he purified. The foundation of our hope and salvation is laid in the acknowledgment of our misery. Thig acknowledgment is eminently made to God the Father as sustaining the character of supreme Governor of the world whom we have offended by sin.

II. “Baptism implies a belief of the blessed provision which God hath made in his gospel for the purification of our souls from sin and all its defilements.”

I. “He provided for the removal of the guilt of sin;" for he sent his own Son Jesus Christ to take flesh and blood upon him that he might die to make atonement for the sins of men, and that God without dishonour to his governing justice might pardon repenting sinners. This is sometimes called in scripture, washing away our sins by the blood of Christ; 1 John'i. 7. Rev. i. 5. And for this reason the blood of Christ is called the blood of sprinkling ; Heb. xii

. 24. Now this is particularly applied to baptism ; Acts xxii. 16. Ananias said to Paul, arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord Jesus. Therefore baptism is salled the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; Mark i. 4.

2. “God hath also provided for the removal of the principle of sin, which defiles the soul of man by the persuasive arguments of his gospel which was revealed by the spirit of God, and by the powerful operations of this Spirit on his heart.” It is the Spirit of God' who is appointed to work on the dark and sinful mind of man, to change his corrupt nature, enlighten his mind, and give him a new bent and bias toward holiness. This is called renewing us by his Spirit, regenerating us, or causing us to be born again by the Spirit, giving us a new heart and a new spirit, sprinkling clean water upon us, and making us clean, and pouring out his Spirit upon men and their seed; John iii. 346. Ezek. xxxvi. 35. Is. xliv. 3. This also is in scripture applied to the ordinance of baptism, and therciore we are said to be born of water and of the Spirit; John iii. 5. And the washing of regeneration is explained by the renewing of the Holy Ghost which he shed on us abundantly; Tit. iii. 5, 8.

But bere I would stay to observe, that though both the ceremonies of the gospel, baptism and the Lord's-supper, do in some sort represent both these methods of purification from sin, that is by the atoning blood of Christ and by his sanctifying Spirit; yet the Lord's-supper more expressly represents the death and blood. of Cluist, and so more naturally and properly shews forth our

pardon and justification from the guilt of sin by the atonement which Christ hath made, whereas it is the more peculiar office of baptism to represent our regeneration or sanctification by the Spirit of God or the cleansing our natures from the power and principle of sin, by pouring the Holy Spirit upon us under the emblem of water; by which emblem in scripture the Spirit of God is often exhibited to us.

However, in general it is to be acknowledged that christian baptism in the completeness of it, implies a belief of both these blessings, even these provisions of God the Father, for the cleansing us both from the guilt and from the principle of sin by the blood of Christ and the operation of his Spirit : And I take this to be one reason why we are baptized in the name of the Father, as the author of these blessings, and of the Son and Spirit, as divine mediums to procure and con

vey them.

3. The next thing implied in christian baptism is a “humble acceptance of these blessings in the method of God's own appointment ; that is by repentance for sin in the sight of God, by faith in Jesus Christ his Son, and by seeking the influences of the Holy Spirit and obeying them.” When we come under this ordinance we do as it were by way of action and emblem consent to accept of this purification both from the guilt and principle of sid, we repent and are ashamed of our past iniquities : we trust in Jesus Christ and his atonement for pardon ; we declare our desire to become new and holy creatures by the cleansing and purifying power of the Spirit of God in the gospel; and therefore when persons professed their belief in Christ and repentance of their sins they were baptized; and those who were sincere were inwardly cleansed from their defilements, and received both these blessings. See 1 Cor.vi. 11. when the apostle had been reckoning up many vile pollutions of the inhabitants of Corinth before their conversion, and such were some of you saith he, but ye are washed in baptism as a token and seal that you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God. Faith and repentance were the great things required of those who were admitted to baptism : This was the practice of John, this the practice of the apostles in the history of their ministry. Did John the forerunner of Christ preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins? Mat. ïï. 249. so St. Peter, Acts ii. 38. Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of

your

sins." Did John call them to “ believe in Jesus who should come after him?” Acts xix. 4. So Philip the evangelist saith to the eunuch, “ If thou believest with all thy hear, that is in Jesus as

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VOL. II.

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