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qualified, by the renewing agency of the Divine Spirit, as we humbly conceived ourselves to be. Now, can it be supposed that this command extends to nonę but those among real converts, who feel its force on their own consciences? Or, may we fafely conclude, that a believer is no further obliged by any divine precept, or prohibition, than he fees and acknowledges the obligation, in regard to himself? If so, a believer who has been baptized, may live all his days in the neglect of communion at the Lord's table, and Itand acquitted of blame ; and covetousness is no crime, in thousands who bow at the shrine of Mammon ; for there are comparatively few lovers of money, who acknowl. edge their guilt in that respect. Nay, on this principle it will follow, that the more ignorant any believer is, and the less tender his conscience, he is under so much the less obligation to obey the divine commands. But the reader will do well to remember, that the Great Supreme does not lie at our courtesy for his claim of obedience upon us, in any instance that can be named. No: it is not our convi&tion of the propriety, the utility, or the necessity of any command which he has given, that entitles him to the performance of it ; but, in all things of a moral nature, our being rational creatures is the ground of his claim; and in those of a positive kind, our being qualified according to his direction, whether we be so wise and so sincere as to acknowledge the obligation, or no. Thus it appears that the epithet ftria, if taken in the sense already explained, is no difhonour to us.

But if, on the contrary, our brethren mean by the epithet, that we are bigotted, unnecessarily exad, unfcripturally confined; their forwardness to give us a name calls for our censure. In the former fense, I will venture to affirm, every Baptift ought to be a stri& one, or else to renounce the name. In the latter use of the term, we reject the distinguishing epithet, and require our opponents to prove-I say to prove, not to surmise, that it juftly belongs to us. And that they use the word in this obnoxious meaning appears to me, by the tenor of their arguing ; by luperadding that harsher epithet rigorous; and by that home charge, of greatly injuring the honour and interest of true religion, and not a little contributing to the cause of infidelity ?

But if we be Stria Baptists, what are they? Our brethren will not be offended, if I again ask, What are they? and by what name shall we call them? That they are not ftri& Baptists, is out of all dif. pute; because from such they expressly distinguish themselves, and have abundant reason, if the charge just mentioned be true, to be ashamed of them. I am obliged, therefore, if it be lawful for me to imitate their officiousness, and to give them a name, (for as yet they are half anonymous) to search for some significant and descriptive adjective, that will set them at a wide distance from the strict Baptists. But what must it be? Inaccurate, or loose, or latitudinarian I would not, designed. ly, be guilty of a misnomer ; but as all these terms are very different in their meaning from that obnoxious word ftria, it can hardly be supposed that I am far from the truth. As they profess them. selves Baptists, there we agree; but as they hold the ordinance of baptism with a loose hand, there we differ; and hence the necessity of such oppo. litely significant epithets, to mark our different conduct. For names, you know, are so much the more perfect, by how much the more they express the nature and properties of persons and things. Yes, the practice of our opponents makes it evi. dent to all the world, that the term Baptists, when applied to them, is to be understood in such a lat. itude of signification, as will comport with receiv. ing persons to communion, who, in their judg, ment, are unbaptized. That is, they are Baptisis, when the ideas expressed by that name suit the difpofitions of their hearers; and they entirely omit the ordinance, from which they take their denomination, when candidates for communion with them do not approve of it. And, which makes their conduct, in this respect, appear exceedingly strange, they do not, like his Holiness of Rome, expressly claim a dispensing power ; nor, in the madness of enthusiasm, pretend to any new revelation ; nor yet, with the disciples of George Fox, consider baptism as a temporary institution.

Our character, then, is fixed. Their own pens have engrossed it. And, be it known to all men, we are Stri& Baptists. To this character, as before explained, we subscribe with hand and heart, in the last words of the celebrated Father Paul, Efto perpetua. Their's I have attempted to draw, in contrast with our's, and will now venture to call them, Latitudinarian Baptifts. Whether they will allow the name to be juit, and esteem it as we do our's, I am not certain. But of this I make no doubt, that the religious world in general, were they to see and compare it with the opinion and practice of our brethren ; would pronounce it den {criptive of the persons to whom it is given. Stric

Baptijfs- they will permit our character to stand first, as it has .confessedly the right of. primogeniture-Stri&t Baptists !--- Latitudinarian Baptifts ! These characters, in contrast, found very oddlys I must confess; and they are but of a novel date. For they do not appear to have had a existence till about the middle of the last century. What a pity it is but something of a fimilar kind could have been found, in the ancient monuments of the Jewish church, relating to circumcifion, as a prerequisite for communion in it. Had it apa peared, in any authentic records, that the fons of Abraham, in times of yore, were divided in their judgment about that obsolete rite; and that some of them were called Strid Circumcifonists, and others Latitudinarian Circumcifonifts ; it would have giveng at least, an air of antiquity to our brethren's hy. pothefis, practice, and character. But we muk take things as we find them.

I just now recollect, what many of my readers must know to be fact, that our Pædobaptift brethren, when they have a mind to shew their wit and be a little merry at our expense, represent the Baptifts, without distinction, as exceedingly fond of water ; as professors that cannot live in a church state, without a great deal of water. Nay, one of them has very politely called us (watery Bigots ;' and then adds, Many ignorant sprinkled Christians are often, to their hurt, pulled by them into the water.'*

* Dr. Mayo's True Scripture Doctrine of Baptism, p. 33 Poor ereatures! How much these • sprinkled Christians' aré co be pitied, when treated so rudely by watery bigots! Is there no remedy against such an invasion of personal liberty, by appealing to Cæfar? If there be, a Doktor of Laws would not spend his time ill in pointing it out, for the benefit of

According to this Gentleman, then, we are watery bigots. Well, it does not greatly distress me to be thus represented by a sneering antagonist; because I really believe that much water is necessary to baptism, and am no less confident, that baptism is necessary to communion at the Lord's table. But since I have maturely considered the fingular character and peculiar situation of our latitudinarian brethren, I can by no means think it either candid or equitable that they should be thus repre. fented. Because it is evident, evident even to demonstration, that their profession and practice taken together will not admit of it. They, it must be acknowledged, will sometimes declaim aloud on the necessity of a profession of faith, and of immersion in the name of the triune God, to constig tute that baptism which is from heaven. So, when they write on the subject, and publish their thoughts to the world at large, they assert these things with the greatest confidence. They will also, with the venerable John, go down into Jordan, and there administer the significant ordinance : fo that one would be tempted to think they were Siriat Baptists, real Baptists, and that Baptism has no faser friends upon earth. But when they plead for free communion, they talk a different language ; they speak of it as an indifferent thing and a mere trifle, that is not worth contending about. And, when they admit communicants, they often ad in a different way; for, in receiving a Pædobaptist, what they consider as real baptism is entirely set alide. They might, conse. soch ignorant sprinkled Christians,' and to prevent any of chem being buri, in future.

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