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1724.

. and for other Reasons as followeth. Thirdly, That - Water-Baptism, which was John's, was practised by • the Apostles, is true ; but it was not practised by

Christ, who, no doubt, would have done it if it • had been absolutely necessary ; for he disdained not • to wash his Disciples Feet, a much more de

spicable Office than that of the Baptismal Ceremony : So because Christ did not himself practice it, nor, as we conceive, commanded us to go into material Water, we therefore forbear it. Fourtbly,

That che Apoftles did baptize with Water, we deny • not ; and that they were circumcised, and did cir

cumcise, is also undeniable. Now, must we circum

cise because the Apostles did, and were themselves • circumcised? Consider that carefully, and I hope

that will give thee some Sight or Light into, or concerning the Dispensation of Water - Baptism, which was John's Baptism, and was glorious in its Day and Dispensation, in pointing at Christ's Baptism, until it came, which was the Substance, and

was with spiritual Fire, and spiritual Water, and « will continue for ever.' To Christ, and his Bap

tism, I heartily direct thee for further Instruction, in whom is Light, and that Light is the Life of Men, 'or Life, and that Life the Light of Men.

And further, I would write a little of my own 'Thoughts concerning Water - Baptism, and on

some Texts of Scripture, being Christ's own Words, viz. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved, and be that believeth not, hall be damned, or • condemned, Mark xvi. 16. Now this must needs « be understood of the Spirit's Baptism"; for it would o be absurd to say, or believe, that all who are bap« tized with the Element of Water, are faved, or all ( who are not baptized with Water, are damn'd; " therefore it is the Spirit's Baptism, that all professing « Christianity ought to come unto' to witness Salva• tion. Again, Christ says, Except e Man be born of

· Water,

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1724. Water, and of the Spirit, be cannot enter into the

Kingdoin of God, or of Heaven, Matt. iii. 5. This • divers will have to be a Mixture of the Element • Water, and of the Spirit ; but Christ says, It is the Spirit that quickenetb, the Flesh profiteth nothing': The . Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they

are Life, John vi. 63. And that which is born of

the Fles is Flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit, ?is Spirit, John iii. 6. According to which Doctrine, I have Faith to believe, that outward, Aeshly, or elementary Water - Baptism, profits little

or nothing to the Soul. Again, Why should the · Water in that place be understood of the Element,

any more than the Fire in the other, viz. To be bapSrized will the Holy Ghost and with Fire? Since Chrift

faid, My Words they are Spirit and Life. Remem. ber the Well of Water that springs up to eternal • Life in the Believers : Remember the Water that • Christ gave, whosoever drank of it was never to 6 thirst more.

This is all' spiritual, which the car'nal Mind cannot comprehend or enjoy, but is wit

neffed by the spiritual Man. And further, if we

consider what Confusion there is in the World about • this Water-Baptisın, it may well put a tender-seek

ing Soul upon further Search into the Nature of holy, laving Baptism. The Papifts have one way; the Lutherans and Calvinists another' ; 'the Baptifts, they have another; and all differ so widely, chat,

generally speaking, they will not worship together ; s neither are they ever like to be reconciled, except they come to the holy Spirit and divine Power of Jelus, the good Saviour and precious Guide of Souls. That Saying of his hath pften been a Com

fort to me in dep Exercisis and Distresses of Mind, o when he said to his Disciples, It is expedient for you thal I go away for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come; 'but if I go away, I will pray to the Father, and he will send the Comforter, the Spirit of Trulb, in my Name, and when he is come, be fall

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lead you, and guide you into all Truth; he hall take of 17246 mine, and give it unto you, and shall bring all Things o to your Remembrance, that I have spoken unto you. ! And that he was to convince the World of Sin ; 6 and that he shall abide with you for ever. May • the precious Gift of the Spirit be given to thee, and

to all true Seekers of God, his Christ and Kingdom, • is my real Desire, and humble Prayer to the most * High. [See the four Evangelists for the Promise, they not wording it alike.]

Having answered the most of thy Letter, I would add a few Lines more, viz. I have known s some who could not be satisfied with Words about • this Point of Baptism with Water, until Christ had 6 by his Spirit given them Satisfaction in themselves 'c and as thou comes more and more into close Com

munion with his Grace and Spirit in thy own Soul,

I hope thou also will have better Satisfaction than • thai of Words only. I have known some of the

People called Baptifs, who have been convinced 's of the Truth, according to our Way and Principle,

to whom all 'the Writing, and Disputing, and • Reading, and Preaching, about this point, could

never give ample Satisfaction, until they had it in-
wardly and immediately from Chrift, manifested to
them by his holy Spirit in their Hearts, as aforesaid.
Tho' I would not be understood to be against satis-
fying one another as much as liech in our Power,

and as we find Openness in the Love of God and • Christ. And further, I never understood that any

of our Society were absolucely against such prac

tising of it, who could see no further, or did really o think in their Consciences it was their Duty lo to do: • But we believe, that we fee beyond the figure or

Shadow, and are come to the Substance, for the • Reasons mentioned, and many more which might

be given. Several Treatises have been written upon • this Subject, one of which is very full (before we

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were a People) by William Dell, a wise and learned Man, and one who had a large Sense of the Power

of God: And among us Barclay's Apology, and a ¢ Treatise by John Gratton, who was a Baptist

Preacher, and one by Joseph Pike : And also here is a little Book of Thomas Upher's (a Baptist Preacher before he came to join with us) which I send thee, with whom I was well acquainted, as also with those Men who subscribed it. If thou applies thyself to Richard Smith, of Burlington, he is as likely as any I know to help thee to those Books, all

which are larger on the Subject, and have given Sa<tisfaction to Thousands about it ; tho' soine, as I have

said, could never be satisfied with Words.' In read

ing the latter Part of thy Letter, I was tenderly af? fected, and my Prayers to the Almighty were, that

he would please to direct thee by his Power and Spirit, and the Grace of his dear Son, who hath said, He that cometh unto me, I will in no wise caft

off. Now, tender Friend, Christ is the true Light, « that lighteth eyery Man that cometh into the < World, by which Light thou must walk to the 6 Kingdom and City of God. He is the Door into

the true Sheepfold: He is the Truth, in whom thou must believe: He is the divine Life and Light of the Soul: He is the true Chriftian's All in all : And as the Kingdom is within (as said Christ) so the King is also within, and without also. He is God Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, the immorstal Jehovah, and is God over all, blessed for ever. ? And as a Servant of his, I recommend thee, with my

own Soul, unto him for Preservation and divine • Direction ; for it is the great Work of Christ's true • Ministers and Servants, to direct the seeking, travel. Sling Souls to him ; to whom, with the Father, and the eternal Spirit, be Glory, now, and evermore. Amen, From thy assured Friend in Chrift.

T.C.

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The Person to whom I wrote this Letter, some Time 1724. after informed

me,

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great Satisfaction. After I had stay'd at Home some Time, and pretty well recovered of the Hurt I had by my Fall, I visited some Meetings about Home,' as Philadelphia, Philadel. Abington, and German town. In several of those Meet- phia, &c. ings I was concerned to exhort Friends, as our Meetings and Worship was, in this Province of Pensylvania, a kind of national Worship, to beware that they did not indulge themselves in the Sins of the Nacions, but to be careful to keep to the holy, self-denying Life of Jesus.

On the 5th of the Sixth Month, between the Hours of nine and ten in the Night, there was an Earthquake, which divers People were very sensible of ; and about this Time divers People were taken off with a violent Fever ;' and I was concerned in several Meetings to put the People in mind of their Mortality, and Shortness of Time here ; and also of the Uncertainty of it, and the Neceflity of speedy Preparation for their final Change and tuture Well-being. In the aforesaid Month I was at our Youths Meeting in Philadelphia, where I was concerned to advise Parents to do juftly to their Children, in the divers Relations of a Child's State ; to be just in Correction, and to be sure to give them Learning, and train them up in Reading of the holy Scriptures, they being able, through Faith in , Christ, to make us wise to Salvation. I also was earnest in Exhortation to the Youth, to obey and honour their Parents, and to have a Care not to be disobedient to their Fathers and Mothers. I had a Concern also to remind that large Congregation, that the Almighty had stretched out his Arm of Power, with his Rod, and had given the People of this Land three Strokes therewith, as a gentle Admonition towards Heartpreparation, to meet him, and to prepare for their latter End, or final Diffolution : Which was first, A Sickness, or peftilential Fever, which carried off

many

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