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all figures in the time of the gospel ;' adding, that we, mortals, cannot think, or speak, or work without figures;' distinguishing between 'prenunciative and commemorative signs ridiculing me for such an assertion. But if my reader will turn to page 24 of my Key, cited by this author, he will find, I only deny, under the gospel, the necessity and service of prenunciative or forerunning signs; joining to signs, figures and shadows; and promiscuously using them to one and the same purpose, and therefore not all signs, but signs of something to come, and to be accomplished by the coming thereof; as the following words, he makes another quibble upon, plainly show; viz. That the nature of the gospel is inward, spiritual, and eternal.' But he leaves out, that therefore the continuing to practise figures, signs and shadows, as still in force, (which forerun Christ and his dispensation) make his coming of none effect.' For then he had given too strong a reason for our disuse, and disappointed himself of the unfair advantage he endeavours to gain upon me, by letting his reader see that I did not deny the continuance of all signs, but prenunciative or forerunning ones; such as are of the nature of figures and shadows, and therefore can have no commission to perpetuate them; of which I take water-baptism and the supper to be two. For Christ, as well as John, declares water-baptism a forerunner of a more excellent baptism. And one thing wherein that excellency of Christ's baptism consists, is the durableness of it: but if John's is to last as long as Christ's, Christ's does not excel John's in duration; quite contrary to John's own discrimination and testimony, viz. " He (Christ) shall increase, and I decrease."
But if it be considered, that this adversary would make me deny all signs, as Exodus vii. 8, 9. Numb. xi. Psalm lxxvii. Jer. xxxii. (just as his friend J. Faldo, and some of that ingenuity, have made us to deny all scripture commands, because some of us have said, (in temporary and extraordinary cases, as that of Jeremiah, Jonas, Amos, &c.) 'That which is a command to another, is no command to us, unless the same spirit require the same, or the like thing of us;' therefore the moral law, or decalogue, is no law or command to us, nor are we obliged to yield obedience to it, (though it be general and perpetual); I say, they that consider the justice 1 of my parallel, and injustice of his insinuation, will perceive he is not a fair enemy, nor ought to have credit with his reader, to our prejudice.
I am, then, no more against figures, than against forms. We cannot, I know, live, speak, or act without them: but these are not forerunning signs or forms, temporary and
shadowy observations; but such necessary and essential ones, as are coupled to our very being, and requisite converse among men.
But from this he falls hard upon me, because I say, the gospel is inward, spiritual, and eternal:''For,' says he, without many figures, this is not sense; and with them, is either not true, or not to the purpose. The gospel, being the new covenant, is neither inward nor outward. Will W. P. never leave talking of inside and outside of things that have no sides?' This language, I doubt not, will sound harsh, as well as light, to other people's ears, as well as ours: and truly he is a daring and adventurous person; for till now, I thought truth had an inside: if he had read the 31st of Jeremiah, he would have found there, that the gospel is an inward state, and has an inside; where God, speaking by that prophet of the gospel, or new covenant time, says, "Behold, the days come that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt (which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord): but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Now here is truth with both its sides: truth in its outward appearance, according to the low and carnal state of man : and this may be called, comparatively, the out-side of truth. Here, also, we may learn, that truth has an inside; a more spiritual and eternal part; and that is what I call the gospeldispensation: or, that this more inward and spiritual appearance of the truth, is the new covenant, or gospel. What else did our Lord Jesus intend by the gospel of the kingdom, than the blessing of the power of God, to deliver man from the power of sin, and Satan the original of it? So the apostl phrases it, "The gospel is the power of God to salvation."" That is, the power of the kingdom of God, and that is the gospel of the kingdom. Now if this be not of an inward, spiritual, and eternal nature, nothing can be: which, I presume, the reader will, with me, think an absurd, as well as unchristian conclusion.
But he says, 'It is partly inward and partly outward.' I say, it is inward, but it may be outwardly expressed by a godly conversation; and so far, and no otherwise, it may be said to be outward. Nor does this weaken my assertion, or the consequence I have observed from it; viz. that the gospel, and new covenant, came not with outward observations: and that water-baptism was such; therefore no ordinance of the kingdom of the Messiah.
But if it be an ordinance, as this author says, p. 87, and that the inward part keeps time with the outward (for there he allows of inside and outside), then it would do so to as many as have the outward part administered to them but we have no evidence of such concurrence of the Holy Ghost. We have never found it in ourselves, nor do we see it in others, that are in the practice of it, but much the contrary; in that envy, pride, luxury, and covetousness prevail, and little of the true cross of Christ, self-denial, dying daily, or the new creature appears: how, then, does the inward grace make up but one baptism, if it accompany not water? But of that I have already treated before; and, it is plain, it is but gratis dictum on our adversary's side. He begs the question.
Lastly, page 90, finding himself a-ground about the sage of the apostle Paul, I Cor. i. 7." For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel;" he endeavours to gloss away its force, what he can, from the end for which I cited it, and the apostle writ it. The first thing he opposes is, that since water-baptism was Peter's and his brethren's commission, which Christ gave them before his ascension, to the end of the world-it is not to be imagined that Matthias and Paul were without it.' But in this also he begs the question.
I have already showed that commission is mistaken by him, and that water is no ways concerned in that text; and that water-baptism was John's, and not Christ's; and that they were not one baptism, or inseparable in their administration. Also, that practice is no institution; and that 'water-baptism is a prenunciative sign, and had its accomplishment in that baptism of the Holy Ghost, as John had in Christ; the two administrators of the two baptisms.
But next, he says, 'Paul spoke an ellipsis, elegantly; meaning, that he was not sent only to baptize, but chiefly to preach; citing two or three scriptures, that he imagines parallel, and illustrating that place, as Hos. vi. 6. “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice. And, "Let women adorn themselves, not with putting on apparel," &c. I Pet. iii. 3.
"Now,' says he, 'these places prove, that the Israelites were not to sacrifice to God, and women must go naked, &c. (as some Quakers did) with the same evidence that Paul's words teach, that Christ sent him not to baptize.' He might, if he had pleased, have cut it all short, and (like what L. Muggleton once said of Moses) have told us, Paul did not mean what he writ. But these places are ill applied by this man; for when God said, "He would have mercy, and not sacrifice," he meant not to have sacrifice at that time, and in those cases, wherein he called for mercy. He would not be so put off, nor have duties exchanged: that speech is limited to, and to be interpreted by, the present state of the people he spoke to, who were unqualified for sacrifice, because they were unmerciful and cruel; and the merciful God, in that state, would have none of their sacrifices. What is this to the apostle's words about baptism, that denies it any part in his commission? There is no parallel in the case; but if any, it is for us, rather than against us: for that of not putting on of apparel, it is evident, for so the apostle intended by Ἢ ἐνδύσιος Ιματίων κόςμ®, as the words themselves plainly import, viz. garments of finery and ornament, and not useful clothing. So that the apostle meant what he said, in the use of the word; for such apparel is not to be ever used by true Christians.
For his saying, that some of our women have gone naked; it is affirmed with lightness; though some few of our friends have gone naked, for a sign to this generation, power, in token of God's stripping some persecutors of their and in particular that generation of the clergy, that preceded the restoration; which, having risen through persecu cution, forgot their pleas, when they had power, towards those that dissented from them; and testified against the same evils in them, that they had justly inveighed against in the former bishops' days. And now he may see we are not against all signs.
To conclude: It is plain the apostle had no obligation upon him to this expression, from a comparison any had made between water-baptism and the preaching of the gos pel. Nor does he use any, though this man makes him to lo so, to justify his imagined elegancy. The occasion of this expression, the text shows, was the vanity of some disciples, hat were comparing and boasting of their baptizers: not a word of baptism itself, to over or undervalue that tradition. Why, then, does Paul take occasion, not only to strike at hem, but baptism too? What had baptism done, to be so varsely treated? 'So sacred an institution; the very rite r door of admission (says this man) into the kingdom of the
Messiah,' p. 80. Why, without doubt, it was to let them see, that they had so little cause to boast of their respective baptizers, (for, "who is Paul, and who is Apollos?") that they ought not to value themselves upon that very baptism, since it was not what he had in commission, but what he had used as a tradition, that had obtained some credit among them: else, the apostle must not have had the same commission that the other apostles had; who yet said, “he was behind none of the rest of the apostles."
Again, Baptizing, (in Mat. xxviii. 19.) was as much the apostle's commission as teaching or preaching: nay, the preferable part. For though preaching opened their understandings, it was baptism that gave them admission into the kingdom of the Messiah; made them subjects thereof; and instated them in the rights of it: yea, the seal of the covenant that God made by Christ with mankind, without which no remission of sins, or entering of God's kingdom. Can such a baptism (and such an one this adversary renders water-baptism) be no essential part of Paul's commission, or not upon equal terms with teaching, when by it people are to be interested in the sacred name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; that is, to be made, qualified, admitted, and sealed, true Christians, subjects of Christ's kingdom, citizens of heaven, and endowed with all the privileges thereof. How little is this man willing to allow baptism to be, that he may keep it any thing in force, and excuse it from the general sense of the apostle's words? Were there as much difference between preaching and baptism, as between mercy and sacrifice, it might have helped him better. But inasmuch as the apostle denies water-baptism to be in his commission, and that it is certain he had the same commission the rest had, whatever was his practice, in condescension (as in circumcising of Timothy) that baptism that is indeed in Christ's commission, Mat. xxviii. must be the baptism of the Holy Ghost. And this is the less to be doubted, since the same apostle that denies water-baptism any place in his commission (which he could never, if an ordinance of Christ, and the rite of admission into the kingdom of the Messiah) makes baptism an article in his epitome of Christianity, viz. That there is (Eph. iv. 5, 6.) "one Lord, one faith, one baptism: one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." This baptism being therefore essential, must be that of his commission, and consequently the baptism of the Holy Ghost, Acts i. 15.
But, after all, I know not what right this man has to argue upon the head of water-baptism against us; since, if I mistake him not, he is of those that make children the subjects