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Now that this fiery Appearance at the time of the Apostles being baptized with the Holy Ghost, was that very Baptism with Fire which was promised by St. John Baptist, will appear, if we observe, that whereas St. Matthew, ch. 3.11. and St. Luke, ch. 3. 16. do report, that the Baptist declared, that our Savior should baptize with the Holy Ghost, and with Fire; the other Evangelists, viz. Śt. Mark, ch. 1. 8. and St. John, ch. 1.33. reporting the very same thing, do speak nothing of the Baptism with Fire, but of that with the Holy Ghost only. Nor does either our Savior himself, Alts 1, 13. or St. Peter, Afts 11. 16. make any mention of the Fire; tho' both of them do mention that with the Holy Ghost, and do most plainly allude to that very Prophecy of the Baptist
, in the account of which by St. Matthew and St. Luke mention is expresly made of the Fire also. From whence it follows that Baptism with the Holy Ghost and with Fire, were not different Baptisms; but that one was a Circumstance attending the other aç the firt Administration of it, and not afterwards. For we never read of any Appearance of Fire, when Cornelius and his Friends, or any other Persons, were baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Besides, Baptism with Fire was promised at the same time with Baptism with the Holy Ghost; and without all doubt the promise has been just ly performed: but this promise never was performed at all, unless it was performed at the Day of Pentecost; and therefore that Appearance of fiery Tongues upon the Day of Pentecost, must needs be accounted the Performance of that
pro mise which was made of Baptism with Fire.
I must add, that Baptism with Fire is never mencioned in all the Bible, but when 'tis promised together with Baptism with the Holy Ghost. And therefore we must not separate them, but explain Baptism with Fire as I have already done, and be. lieve it to be only a Circumstance, which was once to attend the Baptism with the Holy Ghost.
If it should be objected, that the promise of Baptism with Fire was made to all Christians, becausé St. John Baptist faies, be fall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with Fire, Matt. 3.11. whereas very few were baptized with Fire, if my notion of that Baptism be true; I answer, that the Word you must of necessity be limited, as I have shewn, ch. 18. p. 232, 233. whither I refer the Reader,
Thirdly, as for that Baptism which is mentioned, Matt. 26. 22. and Luke 12. 50. I take it to be a Baptism with Afflictions, that is, a State of Misery and Calamity, such as our dear Redeemer was content to endure for our fakes. This
appears from the Texts themselves. Our Lord asked the Chil. dren of Zebedee, whether they were able to drink of the Cup that he was to drink of, and to be baptized with the Baptism which he was baptized with, Matt. :0.22. And Luke 12, 50. he saies, I have a Baptism to be baptized with; and how am I Straitned, till it be accomplished, or finished, as the original imports ?
I know, some persons had rather understand this Baptism to be Baptism with Death; but I cannot assent to them. Because I think 'tis universally granted, that the fame Baptism is meant in both these Texts. Now in the former of 'em Baptism with Death, or a violent and unjust Death, cannot be meant. For our Savior tells the Sons of Zebedee, Matt. 20.23. that they should drink of the Cup that he was to drink of, and be baptized with the
Baptism that he was baptized with. Whereas St. John the Evangelist, who was one of the Two, did not die a violent and unjust Death. I had rather therefore suppose, that the Baptism meant in these twoplaces, is the Baptism with Afflictions, as I have al
'Tis true, our Lord calls his Death a Cup, Mate. 26.39, 42, and he compares Death to drinking of a Cup, when he speaks of tasting of Death, Maik 9.1. and the same Phrase is used by the Jews, John 8.52. But this does not contradict my notion; because a violent and unjust Death is a great Affliction, and consequently may be justly called a Baptism with Afflictions. But I affirm, that the Baptism mentioned in those Texts cannot be limited to our Savior's Death, but must signifie a Baptism with Afflictions in general, one of which Adicions a violent and unjust Death is: and I embrace this opinion for the reason already given.
But I shall not contend about this matter; especially since the Quakers seem to be on my side. For Mr. Barclay (a) faies, He urgeth Christ's saying, Luke 10:50. I have a Baptism to be baptized with ; and how am I Itraitned, till it be accomplished? as if this were to be called Christ's own Baptism; and fo I fall grant it with respect to bis personal Sufferings.
CH A P. XXII.
of the State of the Question concerning the
Necessity of Water-Baptism.
Must now state the Question concerning the
Necessity of Water-Baptism. Our Adversaries affirm, that God has not commanded us to be baptized with Water; whereas we on the contrary affirm, that God has commanded us to be baptized with Water. But upon Suppofition, that God has commanded us to be baptized with Water; 'tis agreed on both fides, that Water-Baptism is net cessary.
But still’t will be a Question, whether it be absolutely necessary, or no. Now, tho' we affirm that Water-Baptism is commanded; and consequently, that 'tis absolutely necessary for those who do or may know that 'tis so commanded, to be baptized with Water : yet we do by no means limiothe boundless Mercies of God, but grant that he may extend them in some cases to such persons as are not baptized with Water, and consequently have not a covenant right to them. I fay, we dare not tie up the Hands of the Almighty, or prescribe what Rules he shall observe in Extraordinary Circumstances; for instance, when an Infant dies afa soon as ʼtis Born, or unbaptized through the Parents neglect, or when no lawful Administrator of Baptism can be called, or when the Element cannot be procured. But yet we firmly believe, that since Water-Baptism is commanded by God, therefore he who wilfully neglects being so baptized, cannot possibly be saved.
Because he wilfully neglects
a positive precept, the Observance of which God made necessary to Salvation, And God is as certainly bound by his Veracity to damn such a per
son, as he is bound thereby to pardon those who f perform what he requires of them.
It may be said perhaps, that I have now sent the Quakers to the bottomless Pit. But God forbid. For I affert no more, than that those who wilfully neglect Water-Baptism, shall undoubtedly be damned. But do I say that the Quakers do neglect it wilfully ? God only knows their Hearts, and how far their neglect of Water-Baptism iş' wilful. And therefore, tho I affirm, that a wilful neglect of Water-Baptism is most certainly a damnable Sin; yet I do not say, that this or that person does wilfully neglect Water-Baptism. Wherefore I leave the judgment of particular persons to God, who alone can make just Allowances for Prejudice, Education, &c., which may polli.
bly render the sin of the Quakers involuntary, and ha consequently such as God can, and (we charita
bly hope) will forgive in those, who walk uprightly according to the best of their Knowledge.
Thus then have I shewn, in what Sense we assert the Necessity of Water-Baptism. We assert, that God has commanded us to be baptized with Water, and that 'tis necessary for us to obey that, as well as other commands of God; and that if we wilfully neglect to obey that Command, we shall as infallibly perish, as if we wilfully neglect to obey any other Command.
Wherefore to prove this Necessity of WaterBaptism, nothing more is required, than to prove that 'tis commanded; and this I shall endevor to do. Only I think it proper first to observe, that my