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fwer in the negative, then by their own confeflion, there is not fo close a connexion between admitting a person to preach amongst us, and receiving him into communion, as they pretend. And we may venture to retort upon them; Shall an er. cellent, laborious and useful minister of Christ work for you, and shall he not be allowed to eat with you! What, shall he break the bread of life to you, and must he not be suffered to break bread at the Lord's table with you! Again: We will suppose a good man anda useful preacher to be fully persuaded, with the Hydroparastates in the fecond century, that water should always be used at the Lord's table, instead of wine, and that, on a princi pleof conscience, he absolutely refuses the latter : Or, that it is more significant and more agreeable to dip the bread in the wine, and receive them both at once; as practised by some in the fourth century, and ñore frequently afterwards: Or, that he consci. entiously approves the custom of the Greeks, who mix boiling water with wine, crumble the bread into it, and taking it out with a spoon, receive both elements together. * Now though, I confefs, they could not refuse him a place at the Lord's table, to partake of the holy supper in his own way, without violating the grand rule of their conduct, « God has received bim;" and though Pacificus
Witli Econom. Fæd. L. IV. C. XVII. $.10,25. To · what lenghts of fuperftition and absurdity may persons pro
felling the Christian religion run, when they leave the divine fuie of proceeding! No branches of Jehovah's worthip re. quire a more panctual regard to the sacred rule, than those which are of a positive kind; yet none have been so mutilated, metan orphosed, and abused, ae they have been, by the perverse inventions and bold impistics of men,
and Candidus could not reject him, without contradiéting the titles of their plea for free communion ; yet, I presume, the generality of our opponents would hardly allow of such a peculiar mode of proceeding, in any of their churches. No; they would be ready to say of such a candidate for fellow!hip; He Quglit to regard the example of Chrilt, who used wine : Or, he ought to obey the divine command, which requires that we should drink the wine. Yet they might not think it proper to refuse him the occasional use of a pul. pit, and might hear him preach the truth, received in common, with pleasure.
Though, as Antipadobaptists, it cannot be expected, that we should produce instances out of the New Testament, of Pædobaptist ministers being encouraged in a fimilar way; because we are firmly persuaded there were none such, till after the sacred canon was completed: yet we find, in that inspired volume, a fufficient warrant for unit. ing with those that believe, in affection and walk, so far as agreed; notwithstanding their ignorance of fome part of the counsel of God, to which a conscientious obedience is indispensably required, from all those by whom it is known. (Philip. iii. 15, 16.) Yes, the New Testament not only pera mits, as lawful, but enjoins as an indispensable dutý, that we fhould love them that love the Lord ; and that we should manifest this holy affection in every way, that is not inconsistent with a revelation of the divine will in some other respect. So it was under the Jewish economy, and so it is now, To admit, therefore, a minister to preach amon, us, with whom we should have 110 chiction in
commune, could we allow the validity of infant baptism; as it is a token of our affection for a fervant of Christ, of our love to the truth he preaches, and is not contrary to any part of divine revelation, must be lawful: or if not, it lies with our brethren to prove it; because they cannot deny that the word of God requires us to love him, and to manifest our affection for him. But as to communion at the holy table, Christians in gene. ral have had no more doubt, whether baptism should precede it according to a special revelation of the divine will ; than whether baptisın itself be a part of the counsel of God. --When we ask a Pä. dobaptist minister to preach in any of our churches, we act on the fame general principle, as when we request him to pray with any of us in a private family. And as no one considers this as an act of church communion, but as a testimony of our affection for him, so we consider that; and it is viewed by the public as a branch of the general intercourse, which it is not only lawful, but commendable and profitable to have with all that preach the gospel.
I take it for granted, that circumcision was ab. folutely necessary for every male, in order to com. munion at the paschal supper, and in the folemn worship of the fanctuary. And if so, had the most renowned antediluvians that ever lived, or the most illustrious Gentiles that ever appeared in the world, been cotemporary with Moses and sojourners in the same wilderness, they could not have been admitted to communion in the Ifraelitish church, without submitting ri circumcision. Enoch, though as a saint he walked with God; though as a prophet he foretold the coming of Christ to
judgment-Noah, though an heir of the righteousness of faith, a preacher of that righteousness, and one of Ezekiel's worthies, (Chap. xiv. 14, 16, 18, 20.)-Melchisedek, though a king, and a priest of the most high God; superior io Abraham, and the greatelt personal type of the Lord Mefliah that ever was among men--And Job, though for piety there was none like him upon earth, Jehovah himself being judge, and one of the prophet's illustrious triumvirate, (Ezek. as before.) These I say, notwithstanding all their piety and holiness, notwithstanding all their shining excellencies, exalted characters, and useful services, could not, as uncircumcised, have been admitted to communion with the chosen tribes at the tabernacle of the God of Israel, without a violation of the di. vine command. This, I persuade myself, our opponents must allow : this, I think, they dare not deny. Yet if Enoch, for instance, had been in the camp of Israel when Korah and his company mu. tinied, and had been disposed to give the rebels a lecture on the second coming of Christ; I cannot suppose that his offered service would have been rejected by Moses or Joshua, merely because he was not circumcised. Or, if Noah had been present at the erection of the tabernacle, and in. clined to give the people a sermon on the future incarnation of the Son of God, and the righteousness of faith; to which most important objects that sacred structure, with its costly utensils and folemn services, had a typical regard; I cannot but think they would have given him a hearing. Nay, I appeal to our opponents themselves, whether they do not think so as well as I. Yet that favoured people could not have admitted them to communion in some other branches of divine worship, without transgressing the laws of Jehovah. (Exod. xii. 44, 48. Ezek. xliv. 7.) If this be allowed, the consequence is plain, and the argument, though analogical, is irrefragable. For the pal chal feast and the sanctuary services were not more of a positive nature than the Lord's supper; nor were the former more peculiar to that dispen, sation than the latter is to this; but preaching and hearing the word are not peculiar to any dispensation of grace, as are baptism and the sacred fupper.
O’r Lord, though he warned his hearers against the pride and hypocrisy, the unbelief and covet, ousness, of the ancient Pharisees, and Scribes, and Jewish teachers; yet exhorted the people to re, gard the truths they delivereda (Matt. xxiii. 1, 2, 3.) Our opponents, notwithstanding, cannot imagine that Christ would have admitted those ecclefi. astics to baptism, had they desired it ; nor will they affert that any, who are not proper subjects of that ordinance, should be received into communion. When the beloved disciple faid, “Matter, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us :” Jesus anfwered, “ Forbid him not ; for he that is not against us, is for us.” (Luke ix. 49, 50.) From which iç appears, that we are under obligation to encourage those that fight against the common enemy, and propagate the common truth ; though they and we may have no communion together, in the special ordinances of God's house ; which is the very case when we admit our Pædobaptist brethren to preach among us. We are also informed, that the first Gentiles who were converted by the apostolic min.