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and power. And if at length, after all my deep and long mifery, the Lord hath given me to meet with and enjoy that which is truly excellent (among those whom men defpife) I could heartily wish for you, that ye alfo might meet with and enjoy the fame, without paffing through that mifery and bitter anguish and diftrefs of fpirit, through which the Lord led me thereto. The Lord preferve his people, by the arm of his mighty power, which he hath stretched out for them, and whereby he hath gathered them to himself. And thofe which are not yet of this fold, oh! that it would please him to seek them out, and bring them home alfo; that the Lord may be one, and his name one amongst us, and that that which divideth and fcattereth from the living truth, might be fcattered and brought to nought every where, in all who would be one, and defire to ferve God (with one consent) in that which is true and pure, Amen.

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HICH is the gospel-baptifm, or of what kind is the bap tifm in the gospel-ftate? Is it outward or inward? Is it the figure of the inward baptifm, or the inward baptifm iv

N. B's. Anfwer is, It is a flooping to God's law

Reply, This is a very improper anfwer, and not all to the thing in hand; for the query was not concerning the stooping or fubjecting to baptifm, but what the baptifm is, which is to be ftooped and fubjected to, whether that be an inward or outward baptifm? Whether it be a figure of the holy and heavenly baptifm of the gofpel, or the holy and heavenly baptifm itself? So that, in these words, there is no answer at all returned to the query, but rather the afferting of another thing, which the query did not mention, altogether improper in this place; for the query tends to determine what the baptifm itself is, and when that is once determined, about stooping and fubjecting to it, there will be no queftion I hope between us.

Now to explain what this law of God is, which is to be stooped to, he faith, It is the law of the Spirit of life in Chrift; quoting to prove it, Rem viii. 2. Matt. xxviii. 18, 19. Mark xvi. 16.

Reply, That baptifm, water-baptifm (as he afterwards expreffeth it in his answer to this query), is the law of the Spirit of life in Chrift Jefus, I never read in fcripture. Nor doth it effect in the heart what the law of the Spirit of life in Chrift Jefus doth, which the apoftle faith, made him free from the law of fin and death; and it hath virtue and power in its nature over the law of fin and death, which water baptifm hath not. The law of Tin and death is of an inward and spiritual nature; and the law of the Spirit of life also is of an inward and fpiritual nature, ftronger than the law of fin and

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death, and is able to make free from the law of fin and death inwardly. But water-baptifm is an outward thing, an elementary thing, not able to reach the law of fin and death, nor to make free from it. I beseech you confider, ye who look upon this to be a command and ordinance of our Lord Chrift, are ye, or are they, who are outwardly baptized with water, made free from the law of fin and death thereby? Nay, Paul himself, who was by the law of the Spirit of life in Chrift Jefus made free from the law of fin and death, yet was not made free fo by outward baptifm. For if he was outwardly baptized (as I am ready to believe he was, it being usual at that time) it was when Ananias came to him, and when the scales fell from his eyes, and he received fight, Alts ix. 18. But he was not then made free from the law of fin and death; for afterward, in his inward and spiritual exercise and holy travail, he found and complained of a law in his members, warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of fin in his members, Rom. vii. 23. This was not a fate of freedom from the law of fin; for with his flesh he ftill ferved it, while in this state. But when by the Spirit the flesh was crucified, when the law of the Spirit of life in Chrift Jefus prevailed over the law of fin and death in his members, then he was no longer under Satan's captivity by fin, but a delivered man, made free therefrom, by the law of the Spirit of life in Chrift Jefus. Then he knew the truth, and the power and virtue of the truth manifested itself in him, and made him free, and he was free indeed; and faid no more he could not do the good he would, nor forbear doing the evil he would not; but he was more than a conqueror over the evil, and fet at liberty to work righteousness, and could do all things through Chrift that ftrengthened him. Oh! that ye that plead fo much for outward water, knew this law writ in your hearts, and the effectual power and virtue thereof freeing you from the law of fin and death, and then ye would no more attribute that to an outward thing (or to your obedience as to fuch an outward thing) which belongs to the Spirit and power of the Lord Jefus, and to the law of his life inwardly written in the heart.

Another fcripture he brings to prove water-baptifm to be the law of the Spirit of life in Chrift Jefus, is Matt. xxviii. 19.

Reply, If it were granted, that Chrift did in that place command waterbaptifm, yet that would not prove it to be the law of the Spirit of life in him. The law of the Spirit of life in him is a deep thing (I beseech you do not mistake it), and hath mighty effects in the foul, which water-baptifm never had, nor can have upon any. The law of the Spirit of life. in Chrift Jefus, hath that virtue and power from God in its nature, which water-baptifm is not capable of. The figures, the outward reprefentations, have not a capacity to receive that from God, which the inward law and fubftance hath.

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But that outward baptizing with water is there commanded by Chrift, is not at all manifeft from that fcripture, but rather the contrary, if it be well minded. For Chrift faith, all power was given him in heaven and earth, and bids them go and baptize. Doth he lay with water? Nay; doth he not fay into the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit? So that now, when the gofpel is preached in the Spirit and power of God, and his Spirit and power reacheth to our hearts, we are by that Spirit and power both taught and baptized inwardly, gathered into the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit, and baptized into their name. And he that doth this in the heart, teacheth the heart to call this the gofpel-baptifm; and to call that which came forth in the hands of the fore-runner, the type or figure of this, the reprefentation of this, the fhadow of the gofpel-baptifm, but not the gofpel-baptifm itfelf. Indeed we dare not call John's baptifm, or water-baptifm, the gofpel-baptifm, or Chrift's baptifm; the Lord who hath manifefted things to us, and taught us to put a difference between things that really differ, would judge and condemn us for fo doing.

Mark further, Chrift, who faith, All power in heaven and earth is given me, and therefore bid them go teach and baptize, yet withal bid them wait for the fame Spirit and power which was given him, As i. 4.-8. And then having his Spirit and power, wherewith he inwardly taught and baptized, might they not be able therewith to reach the heart and confcience, and fpiritually both to teach and baptize, as inftruments in God's hand, in the fpringings of his life and power in them?

Now to manifeft this further; for I feel the Lord opening my heart in this thing, and I hope it is for your fakes (Oh! ye miftaken ones in this weighty bufinefs!), that the Lord may explain things of this nature to you, and do you good thereby. To whom was this commiffion or command, in the authority and power of God's Spirit given, to go and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name, &c.? Was it not especially given to the apostles, who were especially gifted thereunto? And was not Paul one; yea, one of the chief, made fo by God our Father, and the Lord Jefus Chrift? And he being in a special manner fent to the Gentiles, or Heathen nations (for the Jews were but one nation), did not this commission extend to him, and this command lie upon him? Now if this command did extend to inward, fpiritual, gofpel-baptizing, with the Spirit and power of the Lord Jefus, he had it as full as any of them; but if it be understood of water-baptifin, we do not find that he had any fuch commiffion, but rather otherwife. Read his commiffion, Acts xxvi. 18. is there any thing of water-baptifm in it? There is remiffion of fins, which depends upon believing and turning to God, in his illuminating Spirit and power, but nothing of water-baptifm. And mark, it is God that opens mens eyes, and it is God that opens their hearts, and inwardly turns them from darkness to light, and Satan's power to God; yet Paul was fent by the Lord to do this. And is it an harder matter inwardly to baptize, than to do this? So that it

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