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ture. When we feed upon Christ swer of our Catechism, in which by faith, we must absolutely for- Baptism is thus defined. sake the rule and dominion of sin, Baptism is a sacrament, whereshake off Pharaoh's yoke; and we in the washing with water in the must sit loose to the world and name of the Father, and of the Son, every thing in it; forsake all for and of the Holy Ghost, doth sigChrist, and reckon it no bad bar nify and seal our engrafting into
Christ, and partaking
of the beneAs it is of no inconsiderable im fits of the covenant of grace, and portance to know the typical im our engagement to be the Lord's.” port of the ancient rites of Circum Baptism is a word of Greek dericision and the Passover, not only vation,* and the verb from which the that their true nature may be un noun is derived properly denotes, in derstood, but as illustrative of the its use as applied to this ordinance, spiritual design of Baptism and to wash. That such is its true sigthe Lord's Supper, which have nification, and that it is applicable come in their place, I thought it to every species of washing, wheproper to give the somewhat ex ther by sprinkling, affusion or diptended explanation to which your ping; and whether a part only or attention has just been called. I the whole of a substance is to be only add, that although “the sacra- washed or cleansed, has been clearments of the Old Testament, in ly, and I think most conclusively regard of the spiritual things there- shown, by the learned Dr. John by signified and exhibited, were for Owen, in his short treatise on the substance the same with those of subject of Baptism. On this point, the New;t" yet as the former look- however, as well as on the quesed forward to a Saviour who was tion whether infants are the
proper yet to come, and the latter regard subjects of baptism, volumes of him as having come, and made controversy have been written; and known, fully and distinctly, the the controversy is apparently as nature and design of his mediato- far from being settled now, as at rial undertaking, they make the any former period. The mode of spiritual things which they repre- baptism, however, is, I think, alsent, far more plain and impressive lowed on all hands to be less imto believers under the gospel, than portant, than the point which rethey were to those who lived under lates to the proper subjects of this the legal and typical dispensation ordinance. In considering the next which preceded them.
answer in the Catechism, I shall In concluding my remarks on be called to discuss briefly, the subthe answer now before us, it may ject of infant baptism; but in rebe proper just to mention, that the gard to the manner of administerPapists, among the other unauthor- iug this ordinance, I shall add but ized supplements which they have little to the remark already made. impiously made to the word of It is admitted that baptism by dipGod, have added five sacraments ping, or by immersion, is lawful and to those which that word prescribes valid. Yet as it is never necessaand sanctions; namely, confirma- ry,t and in this climate is sometion, penance, ordination, marriage times improper, if not impractiand extreme unction for none of ble, and in my apprehension is which can even a plausible plea be made out, from any passage of sa * Βαπτιζω -Βαπτισμος. cred scripture.
7“ Dipping of the person into the water We now proceed to the next an
is not necessary; but baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling
water, upon the person." Confes. Faith, * Henry
Confession of Faith. chap. 28, sec. 3d.
THE THRONE OF GRACE.
never expedient, I have for myself, cept in regard to the mode of adalways declined administering it in ministering baptism, except that it this form; yet I would not censure is to be performed by the applicathose of my brethren who, to sa- tion of water in the name of the tisfy the scruples of certain indi- Three one God; and the recorded viduals, have adopted a different examples of its administration course. Although there is reason were attended by circumstances to believe from some passages of which render it in a very high descripture, that in the land of Ju- gree probable, that the ordinance dea, where ablutions were fre was much more frequently admiquent, grateful and healthy, the nistered by sprinkling or affusion, baptism of John, and of the apos- than in any other way. tles of Christ, was sometimes ad. The farther consideration of ministered by dipping, yet there this answer of our catechism must is neither precept nor any clear be delayed till our next lecture. example, for the immersion of the whole body in water, when an individual is baptized. On the other hand, there are numerous examples of baptism, recorded in (Continued from p. 344.) the New Testament to have taken 6. Christ's ascension into heaplace in such circumstances that ven, is a ground of boldness in neither dipping nor immersion was coming to the throne of grace. at all probable, if in some it was So in the context, verse 14. He is even practicable. It would not be passed into the heavens. This is difficult to show, that the three great ground of faith, that Christ thousand who were baptized on is in heaven, and for us hath enterthe day of Pentecost, and whose ed within the veil, Heb. vi. 20. How conversion and preparation for that dare a sinful man adventure into ordinance could scarcely have ta- God's presence? Because there is ken place before mid-day, or even a sinless man there, that went a later hour, could not, in the re- thither on purpose to mind our mainder of that day, have been im- business who are on earth. No mersed, although the whole twelve man ever went thus into heaven, apostles had been constantly em- and on this errand, but our High ployed in the service; that is, on the Priest; John iii. 13. All others supposition that the parties were go thither to get for themselves: taken individually, and the words Christ ascended to get and to give; of the institution were repeated Psalı lxviii. 18. Eph. iv. 8. How in each instance separately, as we kindly did our Lord deal with his ought to believe was the fact. In disciples about this, and how hardlike manner, it is highly improba- ly were they persuaded to submit ble that the jailer of Philippi and to his going away? He told them his household, who were baptized whither he was going, and for in the night, had either the means what; he told them of his returnof immersion at hand, or went ing again, and receiving them to abroad for the purpose. The bap- himself, never to part more; John tism of the centurion Cornelius, xiv. 2, 3, 4; and yet sorrow filled and of the apostle Paul himself, as their hearts; John xvi. 6. He again well as of the households that we saith, ver. 7. Nevertheless, it is ex are informed were admitted to this pedient for you that I go away! ordinance, was far more probably you will not be content, because it performed by sprinkling oraffusion is necessary and fit for me, I tell ihan by dipping or immersion. In you the truth, it is expedient for you a word, we have no scriptural pre- that I go away. How hard was it
to believe this? What was, to all the vessels of grace; Eph. ii. 4, 5. reason, more expedient, yea, ne- They are dead in sins when grace cessary, than that such weak scho- finds them first. The first thing lars should have their blessed Mas- grace doth to them, is, to quicken ter's company? It was so far from them with Christ, then raising them seeming expedient to them, that up together, then setting them in they thought they would be ruined heavenly places in Christ Jesus. All thereby: and were very near it; our life springs out of Christ's Luke xxiv. 21. Although the mat- grave: John xii. 24. Verily, verily ter be not so obvious to our con- I say unto you, except a corn of ceptions and liking, yet really it is wheat fall into the ground and die, it a greater mercy and advantage to abideth alone: but if it die, it bringus, that we have our glorified Me- eth forth much fruit. This headiator at the Father's right hand, venly grain, Jesus Christ, must be than if we had him present with sown in the earth and die; and us upon the earth. It is more ex- from the virtue of that death, all pedient for us that he is where he the life of grace and glory grows is, than it would be to have him up in all his branches. He is inwhere we are. Poor distressed deed the tree of life, that now growbelievers, they cry for ministers eth in the midst of the paradise of and Christians to pray with them, God: Rev. ii. 7. And he is the and for them: O but if they had glory of the place, and the eternal one hour of Christ's bodily pre- food of all the happy inhabitants sence with them, and had him to thereof. But he was once dead in pray for them, as he did for some his grave; and grew out of that when he was on earth, what hea- grave, up to all that glory and digvenly consolation would it be to nity that we shall one day be blessthem? Take in by faith the com- ed with the beholding of: John fort of his being in heaven, and his xvii. 24. In this his glory in heabeing as knowing and mindful of ven, he intercedes for us. Interyou, and as able to help, and that cession is a sort of praying: 1 Tim. as speedily, as he was on earth, or ii. 1. Supplications, prayers, intercould be, if he were now on earth cessions, and giving of thanks, are
commanded to be made for all men. 7. Lastly, Our Lord's interces- We have one sad intercession: sion in heaven, is a great and Rom. xi. 2. Elias made intercesstrong ground of confidence in sion to God against Israel. He coming to the throne of grace. was a severe Prophet, and had seThis is in the context. This is vere service put in his hand. But the last ground of Paul's triumph our great Prophet and High Priest of faith: Rom. viii. 33, 34. Who makes no intercession against his shall lay any thing to the charge of Israel, but all for them. God's elect? It is God that justi This intercession of Christ, fieth: Who is he that condemneth? which is so great a ground of It is Christ that died, yea, rather that boldness to us at the throne of is risen again, who is even at the grace, stands in theseright hand of God, who also maketh Ist, in his appearing in heaven, intercession for us. His faith be- in our nature, and in our name, gins at Christ's death, and riseth before God: Heb. ix. 24. For out of his grave with him, ascends Christ is not entered into the holy up with him to the right hand of places made with hands, which are God, and concerns itself in his in- the figures of the true, (and those tercession there. Not unlike this were the places the high priests rising and climbing of faith, is his of old entered into) but into heaven account of the rising of grace on itself, now to appear
in the presence
of God for us. He is there, not do remain visible marks and sig. only for himself, to reap the glo- natures of his humbled state, on rious fruit of his hard work on the glorified body of our Lord Jeearth, but for his people, as their sus. That is indeed to know Christ head and representative. All the after the flesh, in a bad sense: 2 Cor. church, the body, is now in heaven v. 16. But his entering with his itself, because its head is there: own blood, is spiritually to be unEph. ii. 5, 6. Christians, you are derstood, that Christ's appearance now lying among the pots, and de in heaven, is to bring up a memofiled with the smoke and soot of rial continually before God, of the this sinful world; you are some virtue and savour of that sacrifice times plunged in the ditch, till your he offered without the gates of Jeown clothes abhor you, as Job rusalem: Eph. v. 2. Christ hath speaks; chap. ix. 31: you cry out, loved us, and hath given himself for Wo is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, us, an offering and a sacrifice to that I dwell in the tents of Kedar: God for a sweet-smelling savour. : Psal. cxx. 5. Let faith say, “But This savour never spends or wears where is my Lord and head? Is out. The blood of Jesus, in the he not in heaven? in that glory virtue of it, in the merit of it, and that I am not able now to bear a in the power of it, is as fresh this view of? And he is appearing day, as in the day it was shed on there, as my nearest and dearest
He is still the new slain : friend. I am ashamed to look on way to the holiest of all: Heb. I. | myself, and my loathsome defor- 20; as fresh and fragrant as ever. mity; I am afraid that so foul and If men by their unbelief account it spotted a face as mine should be old or stale, and to have lost its seen in heaven. But Christ is savour and virtue to themselves; . there, and my Christ is there; and and if they will seek for somewhat there he is to appear for me, who else to procure them acceptance in must dread my personal appear-' heaven, let them try, and perish; ance there, if it were not for this for none can help them that reject appearance of my head for me.” Christ. But our Lord presents
2dly. Christ's intercession stands nothing for the salvation of his in this, That he, in our nature and body, the church, but his own in our name, presents continually blood; and nothing else is acceptthe savour of his sacrifice: Heb. ed in heaven for this end, but that ix. 12. He went into the holy place, precious blood. And all they to not with the blood of goats and whose conscience this blood is ap; calves, but by his own blood, having plied, and who come into it, and obtained eternal redemption for us. feel its virtue and power, will abAaron, and his successors in the hor all vain and dangerous mixoffice of high priest, were appoint- tures of any thing with this soveed to offer the great sacrifice of reign balsam. It is always sayearly atonement at the altar, and voury in heaven; and it is always with the blood thereof to enter into savoury to all them that are in the the holy of holies, and to sprin- right way to heaven.
Our Lord, kle the mercy-seat (their throne of in his intercession, fills heaven grace) with that blood: Lev. xvi. with the almighty and eternal sa14. Our Lord Jesus, the antitype, vour of his blood; and heaven is offered the sacrifice of himself in filled with the praises of it, and of his death; and, in and with the the shedder of it: Rev. v. 9-19. virtue of that sacrifice, he entered If its savour do not fill the parts heaven, to sprinkle the highest al- of the earth where it is preached, tar therewith. It is but fond it is because men have lost (or så. Popish fancy to think, that there ther never had the spiritual sense
that only can take in this savour, Song i. 7. Miserable souls are and not because this blood is im- they who love not Christ; and dull paired in its virtue. But this is unobservant people are they that the sin and misery of this con- know not what, or whom their demned world, that what is most souls love. Is the love of Christ a savoury in heaven, is least savour mere notion? Is it not a most sened on earth; and what is most sible, holy, and spiritual passion, or sought after, prized, and doted on rather a heavenly grace? Can men in earth, is vanity and abomination love Christ, and not feel it? Should in heaven: Luke xvi. 15.
they feel it, and not avow it? Is 3dly. In Christ's intercession, there any thing we should be there is his knowledge of, and ashamed of in the love of Christ, sympathy with the ailments and but the shameful smallness of it? distresses of his people. This the that our highest and hottest love apostle takes notice of in ver. 15. is so unsuitable a return to his inHis knowledge of their distresses, comparable loveliness, and his wonwe can more easily account for, derful love to us, and the dear dethan for his sympathy. His om- monstrations of it? All ye that niscience as God, we believe. Pe- love our Lord Jesus in sincerity, ter sweetly owned it: John xxi. 15, look on him, and love him more; 16, 17. O that Christ would with love him with all your souls, and power ask the same question at blush with shame that you love all of you, and that you could give him no better. Blow the coals of the same answer! Christ's ques. love by faith, and let the flame tion is, Lovest thou me more than mount up to heaven, and ascend ye these?" "Not long since thou saidst in the flame of the altar, as Manoah's so, what sayest thou now?” Pe- angel did, Judg. xiii. 20. You that ter's answer is, Yea, Lord, thou doubt of your love to Christ, go knowest that I love thee. And on to him, fall down before him; anthe repeating of the question, Pe. swer Peter's question, according ter gives the same answer, ver. 16. to the true sense of your souls, and When Christ a third time asked it will be, Lord thou knowest that I the same question, Peter was love thee. Love Christ, and ye will grieved, ver. 17, and answers, quickly feel ye love him. A sight Thou knowest all things, thou know- of Christ will beget love, and love est that I love thee. As if he had will quickly speak for itself, 2 Cor. said, “I dare not compare my
14, 15. to thee, with that of others to thee; But for Christ's sympathy with thou hast reason to question my his people, this is harder to conlove to thee, because of my late ceive, than his knowledge of their woful denial of thee: but yet I distresses. It is a sympathy difdare call thee to witness, who ferent from what he had in the knowest all things, that I do love days of his own infirmity. It is as thee. Though all my brethren tender, but not disturbing; as real, love thee better than I do, or can; but not afflicting. It is inconsistthough I be more unworthy than ent with his glorified state, to have any, to be loved by thee; yet I am any trouble. His sympathy itself sure I love thee.” If the love of is to be believed; the manner how Christ were as a hot fire within, it acts, is unsearchable: Heb. ii. and its coals were casting out a ve 17. In all things it behoved him to hement flame, as Song viii. 6, be- be made like unto his brethren; that lievers would more often call he might be a merciful and faithful Christ by that sweet name, sweet High Priest, in things pertaining to to us to speak, and sweet to him God: Heb. iv. 15. He is touched to hear, Othou whom my soul loveth: with the feeling of our infirmities;