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thee to; how it sheweth thee thine own inability to follow, and how it giveth ability when thou art weary of toiling and labouring of thyself. Oh! this is he whom we have waited for! Thus he appeared to us; thus he taught us to turn in, and to turn from the kingdom of darkness within, towards the kingdom of light, which the good feedsman had sown in' us as a grain of mustard-feed; which when we found, we knew it to be the pearl of price, and were made willing to sell all for it; and now it is purchased, and also possessed in a good measure ; blessed be the name of our merciful God, and tender father, for ever and ever,
O hungering and thirsting foul after life (after truth, after the Lamb's righteousness), do thou also wait to be taught of the Lord (who thus taught us), and then do thou go and do so likewise, and thou wilt never repent of this purchase, or of what thou parteft with for it, when once thou comeft to enjoy and possess any proportion of it..
The Lord make thee sensible of the visits, drawings, and leadings of his Holy Spirit, and guide thy feet thereby into the way of truth and peace.
He that believeth, and is baptized, pall be saved; but be that believeth not,
ball be damned, MARK Xvi. 16. .
T HIS is a very weighty fcripture, and necessary for every Christian O rightly to understand, that he may so believe, and be so baptized, as to witness salvation by the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.. - Now what believing is this which is here required as necessary to salvation, and which the promise of salvation is to ? Is it any less than a believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, from a sense of the power which the Father hath given him to save with? Is it not an inward believing, a believing with the heart? And what baptism or washing is it which saves ? Is it not an inward washing, a washing of the soul, a washing of the heart, a washing of the conscience, from dead works, to serve the living God? Doth outward washing save the soul ? Inward washing doth; baptizing into the name doth. Bodily exercise profiteth little; but godliness (the inwardly renewing and washing of the mind) profiteth greatly.
There is one faith, one baptism. Is not the true faith inward and spiritual? Is not the one baptism so allo ? Sure I am, that he that thus believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, remaineth in the filthy, unwashed ftate, in which there neither is, nor can be, salvation; but judgment and condemnation, death and destruction, for ever. : " The apostle Peter shews, Pet. iii. what the baptism is which faveth, even that which is the antitype, or which inwardly or spiritually answers to Noah's ark. The Greek word is AyliTunGo, which fignifieth the antitype, or that which answers to the type; the substance, which comes instead of the figure or shadow, and so it is more properly and naturally rendered in the old translation thus: The baptism that now is, answering that figure, saveth. For as Noah's ark faved the bodies of those that were in it when God came to judge and destroy the old world; so the inward washing faveth those that are walhed thereby from the wrath and destruction which will come upon all that are unwashed.
Now left any should misunderstand and misapply his words, as if he spake concerning outward baptism, or washing, he explaineth himself in the following words: Not (faith he) the putting awdy of the filth of the flesh, not the outward washing of the body, that is not it that saves; but that baptism which causeth the answer of a good conscience towards God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For this is the effect of the inward baptism; fin being washed away by the water of life, by the blood of the Lamb, that which is new, that which is renewed, riseth up out of the water which washeth away fin; and then the pure and good conscience answers to God, and the foul knows and partakes of both the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; and so being baptized by the one baptism, even the baptism of Christ, into the one body, comes into the state and fellowship of the living. Another apostle also speaketh of the inward washing, even the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghoft; by which, faith he, God according to his mercy saved us, Titus iii. 5.
The apostle Paul speaks of a circumcision made without hands, and tells wherein it confifts; to wit, in putting off the body of the sins of the Aesh: and sheweth how this is effected; namely, not by Moses's circumcision, but by the circumcision of Christ, Col. ij. 21. And truly they who are thus circumcised are the true circumcision, the spiritual circumcision, who worthip God in the Spirit, and have no confidence in the flesh, but rejoice in Christ Jesus, who thus circumciseth them. Now in the next verse he speaketh of baptism, of being buried with Cbrift in baptism, and of rising with bim in the same, through the faith of the operation of God, who raised him from the dead. What is this baptism? Is it inferior to the circumcision before spoken of? Is it not without hands also? What is it that buries into the death of Christ; that raiseth into the life of Christ through the faith of the operation of God? Is not this the one spiritual and heavenly baptism, wherewith the one body is baptized by the one Spirit? What doth outward circumcifion avail ? Doth it avail any thing? What doth outward washing avail? Doth it avail any more than outward circumcision ? But the inward circumcision of the Jew inward, and the inward washing of the soul from fin, doth avail very much.
Now for that place, Matt. xxviii. 19. where Christ expresly commandeth baptizing, it is a question very weighty, and worthy duly to be confidered, what baptism he there commandech. For if it be outward baptism,
they they greatly err who apprehend it to be the inward and spiritual baptism ; but if it be the inward and spiritual baptism which Christ intended in those words, then they greatly err who apprehend it to be the outward. Now consider the words in the fear and weight of God's Spirit.
It is said, Go teach, baptizing ; but it is not said, baptizing with water, but in the name, or rather (as the Greek is) into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Now to baptize with water is one thing, and to baptize into the name is another, as they who experience the spiritual baptism know it to be. For the word of faith turns men from Satan to the power of life ; and then as they receive the power, and are made partakers of the power, they are baptized into the power and virtue of life, and so they are buried (so far as they come into Christ) by the power of his Spirit, with this heavenly baptism, into death unto sin, and by the same power are made alive unto righteousness; and so the name of the Lord, the name of the Father, Son and Spirit, comes over them, and they rise up in it unto life and righteousness, and so are dead unto sin, and alive unto God. Now any outward circumcising or washing can be but a figure of this, but the inward circumcising and washing is the thing itself. For Christ fent not his able ministers of the New Testament to minifter the letter, or to minister the figures of things; but to minister the Spirit, (else how were they able ministers of the Spirit ?) to minister the substance; not to minister a circumcision or baptism which might be shaken and pass away, as outward and elementary, but to minifter the circumcision and baptism which cannot be shaken; which is the circumcision and baptism of the gospel, the circumcision and baptism of the Spirit, the circumcision and baptism of the kingdom, which is never to be shaken and pass away as elementary, but to stand and abide for ever. Read Heb. xii. 26, 27, 28. and consider how all elementary and outward things which could be shaken, were to be shaken and pass away; that those things which were of an higher nature (even of the nature of the kingdom), might remain and be established in their stead.
And indeed as the inward circumcision could not be throughly and alone established while the figure thereof remained, the fame may be truly said concerning the inward baptism; so that by this it may appear, that the baptism of water cannot be the baptism which Christ intended in this place, because the baptism here spoken of was to continue to the end of the world; but the baptism of water is plainly of such an outward clementary nature, as might be shaken as well as circumcision, and fo was to be shaken in due time, that that which could not be shaken might remain. Read also Rev. xi. 12. where it is plainly signified, under that phrase of the outward court being left out of God's measure, and given to the Gentiles, that things of such a nature were shaken; and fo were those that were not the true and spiritual worshippers in God's fight. For they are Jews under the gospel who are Jews inwardly; and they who are VOL. II.
not Jews inwardly, are by God's Spirit numbered amongst the Gentiles. And consider how not only the notorious Heathen, but such as had got the form of godliness, but denied the power thereof, were rejected, with their outlide shadows, as really as outward Jerusalem was rejected to be trodden under foot of the Gentiles.
Object. 1. But against this it is objected, that the baptism of the Spirit cannot be the baptism spoken of in this place, because the baptism spoken of in this place is commanded; but the baptism of the Spirit was never commanded, nor was it any man's fin not to be so baptized.
Answ. Surely this is a great mistake. Was the inward washing of the heart never commanded ? Rent your hearts, and not your garments. What is this but the spiritual baptism? The gospel is a ministration of inward things, and the inward things are strictly commanded there. Can any man be saved without inward baptizing ? and is he not commanded to receive inward baptizing ? and doch he not sin, if he do not wait to receive it, and give up his heart and soul to be baptized by God's Holy Spirit? If the eye were opened in people to look into the gospel-ministration, and into the inward nature of things, this might easily be demonstrated to the least babe there. For as the gospel was before the law, and could not be disannulled by the law; so this miniftration of the Spirit's baptism (for nature and kind) was long before John's baptism, and could not be dilannulled by any outward ministration of baptism, but abideth the same for ever; and is to have its place in the gospel-state, where the figures and shadows of things pass away, and that which is true, lafting and fubftantial, filleth up the room thereof.
Now the baptism of the Spirit, or the spiritual washing and circumcifing the heart (which is all one in substance), was called for and required of the Jews under the law; and it was their sin not to answer God's call and requiring therein. Consider these scriptures following, with many more of the like nature; Break up your fallow-ground, and fow not among thorns, Jer, iv. 3. Can the fallow-ground be broken up, and the thorns rooted out (else the fowing will be amongst them), without the circumcifion or baptism of the Spirit, which is all one in nature and ground? Again : Circumcise tbe fore-skin of your hearts, and be no more fift-necked, Deut. 8. 16. Make you a new beart and a new spirit; for wby will ye die, O boufe of Israel! Ezek. xviii. 31. (Is not this all one in substance with that scripture, He that believeth and is baptized, Mall be saved?) O Jerusalem, web thine beart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved! how long Jall thy vain thougbts lodge within thee! Jer. iv. 14. Wash ye, make you, clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to da evil, learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppreled, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your fins be as fcarlet, tbey ball be as white as snow; though they be red like crimfon, they fall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye hall, eat the good of the land; but if ye
refuse and rebel, ye Mall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord bath Spoken it, Ifai. i. 16. to 21.
Is not here the true baptism, and the remission of sins, which ensueth thereupon, with the blessing on the baptized estate, and the curse on the unbaptized, which extendeth both to Jew and Gentile? for with God there is no respect of persons.
Oh! that men could read the scriptures of truth, with the true spirit and with the true understanding! For these things which were written to the people of the Jews, were written for our learning; and precious things may be learned from the scriptures, by those whose eyes are opened by the Lord, and who keep close in their reading to that which anointeth and openeth the eye; whereas others cannot but misunderstand and wrest them, to their own great danger at least, if not to the ruin and destruction of their souls.
I shall here mention but one place more, which is that of Pal. li. 17. The sacrifices of God are a broken Spirit; a broken and contrite beart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Can any offer up the sacrifice to God, but he who is inwardly and spiritually washed from that which defileth and hardenech? And doch not God require this baptism? And what is this but the baptism of the Spirit? who thus washeth the soul with his heavenly water, in the ministration of his word and power, when the virtue and efficacy thereof reacheth to the heart, in and through the faith.
Object. 2. The baptism of the Spirit cannot be bere intended, because this baptism is to be administered by men ; but the baptism of the Spirit was never administered by men ; Jesus Christ was the alone minister of this baptism.
Answ. The apostle faith, that God had made them able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit givetb life, 2 Cor. iii. 6.
Mark; They were made able ministers by God, of that which giveth life: and that they did minister the Spirit by imposition of hands, is manifest, Axls xix. 6. and in many other scriptures.
Indeed the apostles were not able of themselves, or by any virtue or strength of their own, to beget men to God, or to baptize men into his name and power ; but their sufficiency was of God.
Again, Paul was sent to the Gentiles, to open their eyes, AEls xxvi. 18. Now, opening the eyes of the blind is as peculiar to Christ, as baptizing with the Spirit can be.
When Christ gave his apostles commission to teach, baptizing, he told them, All power in heaven and earth was given bim; and bid them not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father : for John truly baptized with water, but ye mall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days bence; and that then they should receive power. What to do? To baptize with water? or to baptize into the name with the fame baptism wherewith they themselves were baptized ? See Matt. xxvii. and Asts i.