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A. All those who have really experienced religion, or who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth, whether they belong to the visible Church or not.(d)
Q. 6. What is to be understood by the Church militant?
A. All true Christians who, while here in probation, are conflicting with sin, Satan, and the world. (e)
Q. 7. What is meant by the Church triumphant?
A. All true Christians, who are in a glorified state, or are confirmed in holiness and happiness in heaven.(f)
Q. 8. What particular act constitutes, or embodies, a particular Church visible?
A. The act of covenanting. Every body of associated persons must have some bond of union, some covenant, some associating act.(g)
Q. 9. When did the Church invisible have its origin?
Ă. Soon after the apostasy of man. It is generally supposed that Adam and Eve repented and believed in the promised Seed. Abel, it is certain, was believer.(h)
(d) 2 Tim. ii. 19. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are bis.-1 Cor. xii. 12, 13. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
(e) 1 Tim. vi 12. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.—Rev. xxi. 7. He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.-Eph. vi. 12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
(f ) Rev. v. 9. And they sung a new song, saying. Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast slain; and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and torgue, and people, and nation.
(g) 2 Cor. viii. 5. And this they did not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God-1 Tim. 6. 12. And hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
(1) Gen. iii. 31. Unto Adam also, and to his wise, did ihe Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.-It is supposed by some, that these were skins of beasts slain and offered in sacrifice, and that this circumstance is indicative of the faith of our first parents in the great atoning sacrifice, which is Christ, of whom these were a type.-Heb.
Q. 10. What qualifies for membership in the visible Church?
A. Experimental piety, or vital godliness—repentance, and faith.(i)
Q. 11. Are all who profess religion possessed of this qualification?
A. They are not. Some are hypocritical professors. No Church on earth, probably, is entirely pure.(j)
Q. 12. What is the design of the institution of the Church on earth?
A. The maintenance and diffusion of the truths of religion, the support of Gospel ordinances, the promotion of holiness and happiness among mankind, and the edification of the people of God.(k)
Q. 13. What are the special ordinances of the Church?
A. Baptism and the Lord's Supper.(1)
xi. 4-By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
(i) Acis viii. 47. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.-Acts ii. 41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
(j) Matt. xiii. 47. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind.-Matt. viii. 21, 22, 23. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, Have we not prophesied in ihy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (k) Eph. iv. 11–13.
And he gave some, apostles: and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the 'stature of the fulness of Christ.--Eph. v. 27. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
(1) Matt. xxviii. 19. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing ihem in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.–1 Cor. xi. 21. 25. And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testameut in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me,
Q. 14. What is the destination of the Church militant?
A. Its destination is to increase until it shall fill the earth, and to continue to the end of the world.(m)
Q. 1. What is Christian baptism?
A. It is a special or positive ordinance of Christ, and consists in the application of water to a person in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.(a)
Q. 2. When was this sacrament instituted?
A. After Christ's resurrection from the dead, and just before his ascension into heaven. And it is a public and formal though implicit abrogation of the Mosaic economy, and an authoritative establishment of the Christian dispensation. It marks a new era in the history of the Church.(6)
Q. 3. What is signified by baptism!
A. It represents the necessity of the sprinkling or washing of the soul from sin and pollution by the Holy Spirit, in his purifying and cleansing influences. It is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. It is not regeneration, but the symbol of it. It is also a seal of the covenant of grace, both on the part of God, and of him who is baptized. It is an initiatory ordinance, an appointed requisite of admission into the visible Church. And it is a solemn dedication to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.(c)
(m) Is. ii. 2. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it.--Matt. xvi. 18. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
(a) Matt. xxviii. 19. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
(b) See reference a.
(c) Tit. jii. 5. Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration
Q. 4. By whom should baptism be administered?
A. By a minister of the Gospel-one who has been properly baptized, and inducted into the ministerial office. He administers the ordinance in his official capacity.
Q. 5. Who are the proper subjects of baptism?
A. All who profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to Him, and the children of such as are members of the visible Church, if in a state of minority. Q. 6.
What is the evidence that believers are proper subjects of baptism?
Å. The fact that the Scriptures require of adults, or those who can believe, faith in order to baptism, and that such as did believe were baptized. This was the case with the three thousand converted on the day of Pentecost, with the Eunuch, the Jailer, Lydia, and the people of Samaria. This argument, which proves that adults must believe in order that they may be baptized, does not prove that infants are not proper subjects of baptism. If it does, then the same mode of reasoning will prove that all infants are lost. For it is expressly said in Scripture, that he that believeth not shall be damned. But infants cannot believe; therefore, according to this reasoning, they must all perish. But this none will say. The truth is, that when the Scriptures speak of faith, as necessary to baptism or salvation, they refer solely to adults, those who are capable of believing. They have not the least respect to infants, who cannot believe. The fact, then, that faith is necessary in adults, in order to qualifiy them for baptism, is no argument for, or against, the baptism of infants.(d)
Q. 7. What is the evidence that the children of the members of the visible Church, or believers in covenant, are proper subjects of baptism?
and renewing of the Holy Ghost.-Acts i. 5. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.—1 Pet. i. 2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.
(d) Ps. 1. 16. But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst take my covenant in thy mouth?-Acts ji. 41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized, and the same day there were added unto them about three
A. In Scripture there is no command prohibiting the baptism of infants, and no evidence that they should not be baptized. The baptism of the children of believers in covenant may be argued, 1. From the covenant God made with Abraham. This was the covenant of grace, and it extended not only to Abraham, and his children, and his household, but to all his posterity, especially his children by faith, for an everlasting covenant. The seal of this covenant, under the Jewish dispensation, was circumcision, and was affixed to males only of the Jews and proselyted Gentiles. The seal of the covenant under the Christian dispensation, is baptism, and is to be applied to both males and females, for they are all one in Christ Jesus. The children of believers under the Jewish dispensation, received the seal of the covenant, which was circumcision. So the children of believers, under the Christian dispensation, should receive the seal of the covenant, which is baptism. This is a token of their covenant relation. The Christian Church is a continuation of the Jewish Church. Consequently as baptism is founded on the same relation of parents and children, and as, in regard to the covenant, it answers the same purpose with circumcision, so it comes in the place of it. The covenant remains the same, though the seal of it is altered. (e)* 2. Another argument for the baptism of
thousand souls.-Acts viii. 37. And Philip said, If thou believest with thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ, is the Son of God.-Acts xvi. 31. 33. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.--Acts xvi. 11. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us, whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. -Acts viii. 12. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
(e) Gen. xvii. 7. 9, 10, 11, 12. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in their generations, for
* “There never was any age, at least since Abraham,” says Dr. Wall, “in which the children, whether of Jews or proselytes, that were admitted into covenant, had not some badge or sign of such their admission. The male children of Abraham's race were entered by circumcision. The whole body of the Jews, men, women, and children, were in Moses' time baptized. After which the male children of proselytes, that were entered with their parents, were, as well as their parents, admitted by circumcision, baptism and a sacrifice; the female children by