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low them clearly to imply, that` God has afforded
to every man the means of working out his sal“vation ;' because nothing is said about those means; and because a vast proportion of mankind are destitute of the light of revelation, and “ perishing for lack of knowledge.”—When we pray, · Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, infidels, (evidently including, or principally meaning idolatrous gentiles,) and heretics, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy word, and so fetch them home, blessed *Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among *the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made
one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our *Lord ;' we take it for granted that, unless they receive the word of God, and believe in the Lord Jesus, and be gathered into his fold, they cannot be saved. But,“ how shall they believe “ in him of whom they have not heard? and how “ shall they hear without a preacher?” The whole collect implies that they who have not the word of God, “ the word of the truth of the gos“ pel," are destitute of the means of salvation; and is totally inconsistent with the sentiment that they may be saved, for Christ's sake, by obeying the light of nature, without hearing of Christ, or believing in him: nay, with peculiar energy and solemnity, it implies the contrary.
* In the prayer of consecration in the Communion Service, it is said, that Christ, by one • oblation of himself once offered, made a full, * perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world;' and
• in delivering the elements the minister declares, 'that the body of Christ was given, and his blood ‘shed, for every communicant; he prays for the
salvation of every communicant separately, and he calls upon every communicant, to eat the bread and drink the wine, as symbolical represen* tations of Christ's body and blood, in remem• brance that Christ died, and that his blood was shed for him. Is it not then the principle of our church, that Christ by his death purchased the * redemption of every one of its members; and - can this principle be reconciled with the Calvin'istic tenets of election and reprobation?']
It is indeed the principle of our church, that Christ purchased the redemption of every one of Sits members ;' and also that he will certainly save every one of those who are truly such : and it takes it for granted that the communicants are, according to their profession, true believers. But, in the present state of things, the communicants in this land form a very small part of that multitude who are called “members of the established 'church ;' that church is only a small part of the universal visible church; and the visible church does not, at this day contain more than one third of the human species, probably much less. This principle, therefore, can do little towards establishing the doctrine of universal redemption; and I cannot see any difficulty in reconciling it with the Calvinistic doctrine of election, or even reprobation : for none suppose that any true believers will be found among the reprobate : and the communicants are addressed, and prayed for, as true
believers. If such difficulty exist, let it be clearly stated.
. In the form of public baptism of infants, the
minister prays, in the beginning of the service, " that the child may be received into the ark of * Christ's church: that he may come to the land
of everlasting life, there to reign with God ' world without end ;' and that he may come
to the eternal kingdom which God has promised by Christ our Lord :' and consequently our church supposes, that every child brought to be baptized is capable of attaining eternal salvation. The minister afterwards prays, that 'this child now to be baptized may receive the fulness of God's grace, and ever remain in the number of God's faithful and elect children. This prayer
evidently shews, that our church considers bap• tism as placing every child in the number of
God's elect, and that this election does not imply (a certainty of salvation. Every baptized child,
says our church, is an elect person, may or may not continue an elect person, and may or may not * be saved. Can any assertions be more opposite to
the fundamental principle of Calvinism? After the baptismal words are pronounced, the child is declared to be made partaker of the death of - Christ,' and consequently the redemption pur'chased by Christ, according to our church, extends to every person received into his holy religion by baptism.'!
Why do we pray for these blessings, if they be inseparable from the external administration of
Ref. 270, 271.
baptism? Where does our church say that every • baptized child is an elect person?' Certainly the assertions here made are opposite to the fundamental principles of Calvinism, but they are not the assertions of our church. The prayer is offered before the child is baptized; and therefore, if baptism be election, as well as regeneration and justification,) before it is elected : so that the words, ever remain in the number of thy faithful and
elect children,' cannot refer to the present state of the child, as unbaptized, according to this principle. Indeed they refer to receive the fulness
of God's grace, rather than to baptized. But the word faithful ought also to be noticed. Does baptism likewise make the infant faithful, or a believer? “Why then are infants baptized, when
by reason of their tender age they cannot perform "them' (repentance and faith)? When the infant, advancing to riper years, becomes a true believer, and, receives the fulness of God's grace,' in answer to the prayers made for him; he is manifested to be one of the elect children of God; and we pray that he may thus be numbered with them, and continue among them to the end. “I know that “ this shall turn to my salvation, through your “ prayers, and the supply of the Spirit of Christ."! Our continuance in a state of grace, however ensured by the promise and covenant of God, and the intercession of Christ, must always be sought by prayer, as pleading the promise ; and this is as proper, in respect of others, as ourselves, and the doctrine of our church coincides in this scriptural statement of the subject. But how can 'an elec
.. 'Phil. i. 19.
tion; received in baptism, and liable to be lost again, be made to accord with the apostle's words? “ He hath chosen us in Christ before the founda“ tion of the world, that we should be holy, and “ without blame before him in love:” “God
“ hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, -“ through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of
“ the truth; whereunto he hath called you by our “ gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord “ Jesus Christ.”] Or to the words of our Article: God has decreed by his counsel, secret to us, to
deliver from curse and damnation those whom . he hath chosen in Christ outof mankind ; and to : bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as ' vessels of honour. Can a baptismal election, such as is described in the quotation, be the election here spoken of ?-Universal or general redemption implies something more, than that every baptized person should have encouragement to seek forgiveness, through the propitiation of the death of Christ ; for this all men, to whom any report of the gospel comes, equally possess : but it implies much less, than that every unbaptized person is actually interested in that propitiation in the same manner as all true believers are. It has been observed, that the offices of our Church go upon the supposition that men are what they profess to be: the profession made in baptism by adults, if sincere, actually proves them partakers of the death of Christ: and the profession made. by parents and sponsors at the baptism of infants, in their name and stead, is taken as the profession of the infants, and so they are spoken of as par
'Eph. i. 4.. 2 Thess. ii. 13, 14.