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We wish to be the Lord's, and not another's. The rea collection of his glorious PERSON, and his distinguishing LOVE, inspire us afresh with ardour, to devote our persons, our time, our talents, to the honour of his name, and the benefit of our fellow creatures. O that this day the GREAT CAPTAIN OF OUR SALVATION may renew our COMMISSIONS, and anoint our shields afresh! Come, my brethren, be ye faithful unto death, and he will give you a crown of life. Let persecutions rage, let the springs of nature fail, and let sin, and death, and hell, unite their tremendous force-our Redeemer is mighty, the Lord of Hosts is his name. We know in whom we have believed. We are not yet disposed to change masters. He hath said, I will never leave thee nor fora sake thee. A few more changing scenes—then comes the blissful period, when you shall see your Saviour face to face; and, amidst the angelic throng, hear his voice address you- COME, WELL DONE THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANTS, ENTER YE INTO the JOY OF YOUR LORD! AMEN.
The substance of this Discourse was delivered to the Church under the Pastoral care of the Rev. ARCHIBALD Maclay, after the baptism of nine person's.It was afterwards enlarged, and is now published by request.
GALATIANS III. 27.
FOR AS MANY OF YOU AS HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST,
HAVE PUT ON CHRIST,
As this morning your Minister baptized several persons, on profession of their faith in Christ Jesus, in order to their fellowship with you as a Church: it is not improper that I should offer you a Discourse on the ability of Believers and of a Church, to improve the subject of their baptism. It is, however, requisite that I should first make some general observations, which may lead you to understand the sentiments contained in the text.
It is well known that this epistle was written by the apostle Paul to the Churches in Galatia, who flourished in a profession of the Gospel, until certain teachers crept in amongst them, who attempted to blend the rites and ceremonies contained in the laws of Moses, with those established by Jesus Christ in his Gospel. Among many other arguments, he endeavours to convince and reform them of their errors, by stating to them the nature and intention of their baptism; which is expressed in the words of the text. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Not Moses, nor any of the Hebrew rites, but Christ Jesus the Lord. To be baptized into Christ, is not merely yielding obedience to his authority and command in this institution ; but, it is an act of faith, exerted by the baptized, whereby believers, and no others, can possibly realize their union with him, and an interest in his sufferings, death, and resurrection, which are so strikingly exhibited in this solemn and expressive ordinance. This subject Paul also explained to the believers at Rome :-Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into his death? that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Rom. vi. 3, 4.) Christ, in his baptism by John, anticipated and realized his own death, burial, and resurrection, as the representative, head, and redeemer of his people. With this view, I think, Jesus said unto John, Thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. In like manner, a true believer in Jesus, by his public act in baptism, testifies his hope of interest in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Son of God, as the source and foundation of his salvation; and thus is baptized into Christ. At the same time, the believer confesses his death unto sin, by the death of Christ, and a most fervent determination to live in newness of life. Therefore as the body in baptism has communion with the element of water, so the believing soul, by obedience in this ordinance, seeks and enjoys more intimate and sensible communion with Christ, in all the fulness of the glory of his grace.
The phrase in our text, to put on Christ, is used in the Scriptures to familiarise to our minds the act of faith in Christ, as we put on a garment upon our person, for its defence, comfort, and pleasure. It is used to teach us THREE important lessons for our instruction.-First, the putting on Christ as a robe of righteousness and a garment of salvation. Isaiah Ixi. 10. This we need, for all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; these must be taken away, and Christ, as the Lord our righteousness, put on for our personal justification and communion with God. This new robe is declared to be, The righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe. (Rom. iii. 22 ;) This righteous garment was the holy triumph of Paul in the near approach of his death: That I may be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. (Phil. iii. 9.) This righteousness alone constitutes the believer's standing at the throne of grace ; and, possessed of this, he shall be acquitted in the day of