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can be looked upon as completely a member of the church of Christ.'*

Perfectly conformable to these testimonies, are tie Catechisms and Confesions of faith, that have been published at any time, or by any denomination of Christians : for if the positive institutions of Christ be not entirely omitted, baptism is not only always mehtioned firit, but generally mentioned in such a way, as intimates that it is a prerequisite to the Lord's table. And so, even in our common forms of speaking, if we have occasion to mention both those folemn appointments of our Lord, baptism still has the priority. Thus generally, thus universally, is it allowed, that baptism is necessary to communion at the Lord's table.-Nay, many of our Protestant Dissenting brethren consider the ordinance in a more important light than we. For they frequently represent it, as a seal of the covenant of grace ; as a mean of bringing their infant offspring into covenant with God; and some of them severely censure us, for leaving our children to the uncovenanted mercies of the Most Higli, merely be cause we do not baptize them. Expressions and sentiments these, which we neither adopt nor approve; because they seem to attribute more to the ordinance, than the sacred {criptures, in our opinion, will warrant.

It appears, then, to be a fact, a stubborn, incon. testable fact, that our judgment and conduct, relating to the necessity of baptism in order to communion, perfectly coincide with the sentiments and practice of cur National Church, and with all Pædo. baptist churches in these kingdoms. Nor have I

* Lectures, p. 508, 512. Discourses on Regen. Pole fcript to Pref. p. 12, 13.

heard of any such church now upon eartli, witli which we do not, in this respect, agree : for none, of whom I have any intelligence, be their fentiments or modes of worship whatever they may, in regard to other things, admit any to the sacred supper, who have not, in their opinion, been baptized.-- And, on the other hand, when the importance of baptism comes under consideration between us and them, it is manifest, that both Conformist and Nonconformist Pædobaptists in general, ascribe more to it than we, and place a greaterdependence upon it. Consequently, neither candour, nor reafon, nor justice will admit that we should be charged, as we have frequently been, with laying an unwarrantable stress upon it.

The point controverted hetween us and our Pxdobaptilt brethren is not, Whether unbaptized believers may, according to the laws of Christ, be ad. mitted to communion ; for here we have no difpute ; but, What is baptism, and who are the proper subjects of it? In the discussion of these questions there is, indeed, a wide and a very material differ. ence ; but in regard to the former we are entirely agree.Why, then, do our brethren cenfure us as unchuritably rigid, and incorrigible bigots ? The principal reason leems to be this: They, in general, admit, that immersion in the name of the triune God, on a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, is baptism, real baptifin ; while our fixed and avowed perfuafion will not permit us to allow, that infant sprinkling,* though performed with the greatest solem

* The reader is desired to observe, that when I make use of the phrase infant sprinkling, or any expresion of a Gimilar impori, it is merely by way of dipinètion ; vithout annexing any Prcondary, or obnoxious idea to it.

nity, is worthy of the name. Consequently, though they, consistently with their own principles, may receive us to communion among them, yet we cannot admit them to fellowship with us at the Lord's table, without contradicting our professed fenti. ments. For it appears to us, on the most deliberate inquiry, that immersion is not a mere circum. Atance, or a mode of baptism, but essential to the ordinance : fo that, in our judgment, he who is not immersed, is not baptized. This is the principle on which we proceed, in refusing communion to our Pædobaptist brethren, whom, in other refpects, we highly esteem, and towards whom we think it our duty to cultivate the most cordial affection.. Nor can we suppose but they would act a similar part, were they in our situation. Were they fully persuaded, for infance, that the great Head of the church had not commanded, nor any way autho. rized, his ministering servants to require a profeffion of faith prior to baptism; and were they equally certain that the ordinance never was administered by the apostles to any but infants, nor in any other way than that of aspersion, or pouring ; would they not look upon the immerhon of profelfing believers as a quite different thing from baptism? And, were this the case, would they not consider us as unbaptized, and refuse to have communion with us on that account? I am persuaded they would, notwithstanding their affection for any of us, as believers in Jesus Christ. Consequently, if we be really culpable in the eyes of our brethren, it is for denying the validity of infant baptism; not because we refuse communion to Pædobaptists for an error in our judgment, which misleads the con, science; not for perverseness of temper, or a want of love to the disciples of Christ.

Nor was the Lord's fupper appointed to be a test of brotherly loveamong the people of God; though several objections that are made against us seem to proceed on that supposition. It must, indeed, be allowed, that as it is a sacred feast and an ordinance of divine worship, mutual Christian affection among communicants at the same table, is very becoming and highly necessary, and so it is in all other branches of social religion. But that sitting down at the holy supper should be considered as the criterion of my love to individuals, or to any Christian community, does not appear from the word of God. No, the supper of our Lord was designed for other and greater purposes. It was intended to teach and exhibit the most interesting of all truths, and the most wonderful of all transactions. The design of the Great Institutor was, that it should be a memorial of God's love to us, and of Immanuel's death for us : that, the most astonishing favour ever displayed ; this, the most stupendous fact that angels ever beheld. Yes, the love of God, in giving his dear, his only Son; and the death of Christ, as our divine substitute and propitiatory facrifice, are the grand objects we are called to contemplate at the Lord's table. As to a proof, a substantial proof of our love to the children of God, it is not given at fo cheap and easy a rate, as that of sitting down with them, either occasionally or Itatedly, at the holy table. Numbers do that, who are very far from loving the disciples of Christ, for the truth's fake. To give real evidence of that heavenly affection, there must be the exercise

Puch tempers, and the performance of such ac

tions, as require much self-denial; and without which, were we to commune with them ever so often, or talk ever so loudly of candour and a catholic spirit,-- we should, after all, be deftitute of that charity, without which we are nothing.The reader, therefore, will do well to remember, that the true test of his love to the disciples of Chriit, is not a submission to any particular ordinance of public worship; for that is rather an evidence of his love to God and reverence for his authority; but sympathizing with them in their afflic. tions, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and taking pleasure in doing them good, whatever their necessities may be.. For this I have the au. thority of our final Judge, who will say to his people ; " Come, ye blessed of my Father, for”what? Ye have manifested your love to the saints and your faith in me, by holding free communion at my table with believers of all denominations? No such thing. “ But, I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat ; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink ; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me ; I was in prison, and yo came unto me."*

Our opponents often infinuate, that we are more zealous to establish a favourite mode, and make profelytes to our own opinion and party, than to promote the honour of Jesus Christ and the happiness of immortal fouls. Were this the case, we should, indeed, be much to blame, and greatly disgrace our Christian character. • But why are the Baptists to be thus represented ? Do they affirm that the kingdom of Christ is confined to them ? that they only have the true re

* Matt. xxv. 34–40. Luke xiii, 25, 26, 27.

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