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times practise the Christian. You are afraid of their starving, and therefore provide for your own; if you did not so, it would be denying the faith. But are there no other neglects that will be called your denying the faith? Let your surrender of them to God, and the rest of your behaviour be all of a piece; that when your child is capable of asking you, why you are at so much pains to instruct him, so afraid of his doing ill, so importunate for him on your knees, you will be able to say, this is no more than following the baptismal vow.
4thly, there must be always a looking to Jesus. This may be called a general direction that belongs to every duty. But here it stands under a particular mark; for the apostle says that baptism saves us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, angels and principalities and powers being made subject to him. .'
A regard to him is that which animates our practice, as well as maintains our hope. The apostle argues in the beginning of the next chapter, forasmuch as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, we should arm ourselves with the same mind; for he that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sin, that he should no longer live the rest of his time in the flesh, to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. And the same plea is drawn from that article of his story which is mentioned in my text, his resurrection: that as we are buried with him in baptism, so in that, we are also risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead: and you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has quickened together, having forgiven you with him all trespasses. Col. ii. 12, 13.
This will keep you to the purity of worship; for if you be dead with Christ, as you ought to be in baptism, to the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances after the commandments of men? This will give a heavenliness to our conversation: If ye be risen with Christ set your affections on things above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Col. iii. 1. And this will make you dare to die, knowing what consignments you have made, for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God, that when he who is our life shall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory.
Let these be the heads of nurture and ad. monition, that you give your children, that they may have the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. Desire that they may learn Christ, and be found in him. We have a mighty run now against revealed religion, by those who do not much exceed their brethren, in what is called natural. But remember that you are baptized not only in the name of the Father, but of the Son and the Holy Ghost. And shall your children be. brought up as without Christ? Or ever say to you as some disciples at Ephe sus did to Paul, we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. We may well answer to such a profession, as he did, unto
what then were ye baptized? We find the danger of those impressions, made upon those, that never had any education, or through a great deal of sloth, have lost it. You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest you also, being led away by the error of the wicked, fall from your stedfastness : but grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and
In this, you will see your persons accepted, your iniquities pardoned, your debates with one another reconciled. He has united you in principle. You have obtained the like precious faith, through the righteousness of God and our Saviour. He has united you in character, for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, sprinkling or dipping, for ye are all one in Christ. And he will unite you in habitation : You are no longer to be assemblies scattered or separated by conscience or prejudice. Our various opinions about this ordinance, shall hinder none of us from that common salvation that we have in him, who has baptized us with the Holy Ghost. To him that has loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.
DOCTRINE OF BAPTISM,
PROVING THAT IT IS IN THE FAITH OF
SERMON I. The improvement of Baptism is a thing of more
value than the mode and the subjects. It was appointed by Christ; administered by teachers; always desired by converts; to be performed by the use of water, in the name of God, (which, makes it one of the greatest works in life) i.e. with regard to his authority, command, pera fection, honour, favour, blessing, image, mercy, capacity, and the communion of his saints. It was not a practice borrowed from the Jews. Christ's deity argued from the ordinance. We are universally resigned to him ; worship him as God, with an open profession.
MATT. xxviii. 19. Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost. I Have not chosen these words to entertain you with any doubtful disputations about the subject or the mode of baptism; but upon a superior design, and that is, a right improvement of the ordinance. The other way of preach
ing, ministers questions, rather than godly edifying that is in faith; 1 Tim. i. 4. What I aim at, is a point in which we are all'united. It is a more awful question what it is to be baptized, than who should be the persons, and how it ought to be performed.
I think it no hard matter for sincere Christians to be convinced, that it is possible to differ, with equal love to God, and equal charity to one another. There is no occasion, on this account, to judge and set at nought your brother. Rom. xiv. 10. If you see there is a spirit of religion in the people, take care you do not ruin it in the manner of this debate. Do not speak of that, with contempt, which others observe with reverence; but receive one another as Christ has received us to the glory of God. Rom. xv. 7. Let not that which is matter of conscience to them, be matter of ridicule to you.
I have all the conviction which can be desired, that many who offer their children to God in baptism dare not be guilty of profaning an ordinance, and that many who take another method, dare not be guilty of neglecting a duty. Each of them gives God thanks, and obey what they take to be his will. He has a glory from them both; they are equally accepted by him. Religion has not made either opinion, a term of communion with God; and I see no need that it should be a term of communion with men. As we have one Lord, and one faith, so we have no more than one baptism. Eph. i. v. 5.