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alteration; and he, as HEAD and LORD of the church, now does it; requiring it to be administered from this hour, "In the name of the FATHER, and of the Son, and of the HOLY GHOST." This I consider as a RENEWED INSTITUTION of the same sacred rite, altered only in its reference to the coming of Christ to set up his kingdom. And, what adds greatly to the solemnity of it in this renewed form, our Lord delayed its institution till his last moments on earth, and then united it with his final parting and solemn charge, given by Matthew and Mark in the verses following.

Matt. xxviii. 16. Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 18. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 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: 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mark xvi. 15. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned. 19. So then, after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

How solemn and interesting was this occasion! The Redeemer had undergone the baptism of his sufferings, last described-he had been bathed in blood in the garden!-he had sunk into death on the cross under floods of wrath, due to mankind! But now he is risen triumph ant, and is about to ascend to his glory.

He had appointed his disciples to meet him on a mountain of Galilee where he was to give them his last most solemn and important charge contained in the verses above. The interesting hour is come; we may be sure the disciples are eager to catch every word from their ascending Lord, and that he would give them his directions in the plainest language possible.

He begins by encouraging their sorrowful minds, with a view of his supreme power in heaven and earth-in heaven, to give them the Holy Spirit; to employ the angels in their behalf; and, finally, to bestow the kingdom of heaven upon them. So he had all power in earth, to gather his church out of all nations; to subdue or restrain his enemies; and to reign over and dwell with his people as Lord and King of Zion

Hence the Saviour gives them the "COMMISSION" for preaching and baptizing, which you, my reader, cannot too attentively consider. If you conceive there is any obscurity in the one Evangelist, the other will explain him; and this explanation you will, no doubt, esteem preferable to ten thousand criticisms. By uniting the words of both, they may be thus disposed: "Go ye, therefore, into all the world; "teach all nations. and preach the gospel to every creature; him that

"believeth baptize, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of "the Holy Ghost, and he shall be saved; but he that believeth not "shall be damned."

Our great Legislator, who only has right to enact laws for his church, to whom we must submit, and who will have nothing taken away from, or added to his word, Rev. xxii. 19, has here described to his apostles the person to whom they are to administer this his ordinance, namely, the BELIEVER; the person who shall cordially believe the gospel which they shall preach. And if we allow him to have expressed his mind clearly and fully, he restricts the ordinance to the believer alone. He has given no direction to admit any other to it; and who will dare to speak where He is silent? Who shall enlarge or extend the limits HE has prescribed or, who will dare to go beyond, or attempt to remove, the boundaries He has fixed and established? Surely the mind of a true disciple recoils at the thought! Let us now hear the remarks of some eminent Pædobaptist writers on these passages :—

Mr. ARCHIBALD HALL, Predecessor of Mr. Waugh, of London. "How grand and awful is that weighty preface to the institution of Christian baptism! Matt. xxviii. 18, 19. Who is that daring, insolent worm, that will presume to dispute the authority, or change the ordinances of HIM who is given to be head over all things to the church? The solemnity of this ordinance is complete; and all the purposes of its institution are secured by the authority and blessing of Christ. His laws are not subject to any of those imperfections which are attendants of the best contrived systems among men, and frequently need explanations, amendments, and corrections. It is most dangerous and presumptuous to add any ceremony, or to join any service, on any pretence, unto Heaven's appointment.” ""* Gospel Worship, Vol. I. p. 325, 326.

SAURIN. "In the primitive church, instruction preceded baptism; agreeable to the order of Jesus Christ, Go, teach all nations, baptizing them," &c. In Pæd. Exam. Vol. II. p. 274.

MR. BAXTER has a very forcible passage on the same place. "Go, disciple me all nations, baptizing them. As for those who say they

*MR. SIMEON, of Cambridge, has given us a skeleton of a sermon on this Commission of Christ, in which he proposed to consider, "I. The authority he claimed. II. The commission he gave to his Apostles. 1. They were to teach all nations. 2. They were to baptize their converts in the name of the sacred Three." Then, he adds, "But though they first taught adults, and then baptized them, THEY REVERSED THIS ORDER With respect to infants."

On reading this last sentence, the inquirer with surprise might ask, Who reversed this order? The answer here is, the Apostles. Reversed what order? The answer is, the order of Jesus Christ; first, to teach, and second, to baptize.' Awful thought! that mortal worms should presume to alter the institutions of the Lord of Glory; yea, to reverse the order HE ordains!

Here is a candid confession that the order of Jesus Christ is "reversed, with reapect to infants." A fact, alas! too plain to be denied.


With respect to the Apostles, however, the charge is not true. They never reversed any order or appointment of Christ. He enjoined upon them, in his last words, to "teach men to observe whatsoever he had commanded them;" and any adding or taking away, to say nothing of reversing, he solemnly prohibited. Rev. xxii. 18, 19. The order of Christ is reversed, but it was not till the Apostles and primitive Disciples were long in the dust; as I shall show in the Appendix.

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are discipled by baptizing, and not before baptizing, they speak not the sense of the text; nor that which is true or rational; else, why should one be baptized more than another?-This is not like some occasional historical mention of baptism; but it is the very commission of Christ to his apostles, for preaching and baptizing; and purposely expresseth their several works in their several places and order. Their first task is, by teaching, to make disciples, which are, by Mark, called believers. The second work is, to baptize them, whereto is annexed the promise of their salvation. The third work is, to teach them all other things which are afterwards to be learned in the school of Christ. [Observe what follows.] To contemn this order, is to renounce all rules of order; for where can we expect to find it, if not here? I profess, my conscience is fully satisfied from this text, that it is one sort of faith, even saving, that MUST GO BEFORE BAPTISM; and the profession whereof, the minister must expect." In Pæd. Exam. Vol. II. p. 270. See also other

authors below.*


THE last Scriptures we cited, close the information which the Four Gospels afford us on the subject of Baptism. Before we pass to the subsequent books, I beg to remind the reader, that we have had before us the practice of John; and the Example, Practice, and Command of our Lord Jesus Christ. As yet, we have not met with a single passage or word, which can fairly be interpreted as indicating that any persons should receive this ordinance, or are proper subjects for it, but those who have been first taught the gospel, and who profess to believe it.

But I am most anxious to impress on the attention of an inquirer the words of Jesus in the Commission, which we have just read. Remember, reader, that this Jesus is to be our JUDGE at the last great and awful day; and that He will not judge us according to the opinions or practices of men, but according to his own word. Upon this command of our Saviour, I would, therefore, beg briefly to add, and leave to the reader's deliberate meditations :

1. That we have here the enactment of the DIVINE LAW, in reference to Baptism: and this Law we find delivered in language the most solemn, and in circumstances the most interesting and affecting.

* JEROME, the most learned of all the Latin Fathers. "They first teach all the nations; then when they are taught, they baptize them with water; for it cannot be that the body should receive the sacrament of baptism, unless the soul has BEFORE received the true faith." In Gale's Reflections on Wall, p. 319.

POOLE'S CONTINUATORS: "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations. The Greek is, make disciples all nations; but that must be first by preaching and instructing them; and Mark expounds it, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; that is, to every reasonable creature capable of hearing and receiving it. I cannot be of their mind who think that persons may be baptized before they be taught: we want precedents of any such baptisms in Scripture."

Annot. in loc.

CALVIN. "Because Christ requires teaching before baptizing, and will have believers ONLY admitted to baptism, baptism does not seem to be rightly adminis tered, exce; faith precede." In Pad. Exam. Vol. II. p. 272.

2. That this Law of Jesus is not like human laws, which admit of alterations or amendments. None but Jesus has authority to alter: and, coming from the Fountain of heavenly Wisdom, who will presume to improve upon His appointment? And

3. This Law is as delightful to the mind of a Christian, as it is solemn. The words, "baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," imply a public recognition of the glorious change which has taken place in the spiritual circumstances of true converts, in their having passed from the family of sin and Satan, into the family of the TRI-UNE GOD! A change, not of the ordinance, but of the power and grace of God.

We now pass on to the Acts of the Apostles. Here we have an historical relation of the labors of the Apostles, for above thirty years after the ascension of Christ; and here we shall find the baptism of many thousands of persons. If we have misunderstood the will of Christ on this subject, THE APOSTLES SURELY DID NOT, and their obedience to his command will correct our error; but if, on the contrary, we have rightly interpreted his will, their obedience will confirm our opinion.



"THE penman of this Scripture," the Assembly of Divines, in their argument to it, assures us, "was Luke the Evangelist, (as appears from the first words of it,) for the most part an eye-witness to the things he records, being constantly a fellowlaborer with Paul. His purpose," they add, "in writing this narrative was, as he intimates in his first preface, that the Church might have the certain knowledge of Christ, his gospel, and kingdom; that our faith might not be built on the uncertain reports of pretenders to truth." Hence, admitting the writer to be a faithful and pious historian, and writing purposely for the direction of the Church of Christ in all following ages; and, above all, under the influence of the Spirit of God, we may safely rely, not only on the accuracy of the accounts, but on the fulness and sufficiency of the information to answer the professed purpose.

We have here, on infallible record, NINE INSTANCES of the administration of baptism, which we will examine in their own order.

§ I. The Baptism at the Feast of Pentecost.

On this memorable occasion, which was but ten days from the ascension of Christ, when the Apostles and Disciples were together at Jerusalem, it pleased God to accomplish the promise of sending them the Holy Ghost. By his miraculous power they were enabled to speak in different languages to the multitude then assembled at Jerusalem from different nations: so that every one heard, in his own tongue, the wonderful works of God. Peter delivers to the multitude an impressive discourse, in which he charged the Jews with having crucified the Lord of glory; but added, that God had raised him from the dead, and exalted him to his right hand, as the only Lord and Christ. Upon this follow the verses relating to the ordinance, and descriptive of the subjects of it.

Acts ii. 37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the Apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized

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every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost: 39. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

41. Then they that gladly received his word, were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers; 47. Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved,

Here we must observe how the apostle Peter obeys his Lord's direction in the Commission. He begins by preaching, and never mentions a word about baptism, till he evidently found some of his hearers answering the character, "he that believeth." Hence, the persons who were baptized are thus described,-1, Their hearts were deeply penetrated by the truth they heard, so that they cried, What shall we do? 2. They are exhorted to repent of their sins. 3. They at length 66 GLADLY RECEIVED THE WORD," and thereon were baptized, and added to the church. 4. They afterward continued steadfast in the doctrine of the gospel, and in the practice of its duties. Not a word of this will apply to infants.

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There is, however, one clause in the 39th verse of the above scriptures, "The promise is to you, and to your children," which is commonly urged in favor of infant baptism; as if the apostle alluded to some promise, on the ground of which, infant children were deemed proper subjects of Christian baptism. To answer which, let the three following things be considered :—


1. The promise, to which the apostle alludes, has no relation to infant children, it being the promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost, joined with its effects, of which infants are incapable. My reader will observe that the people, on this occasion, were astonished at the effects produced by the gift of the Spirit. The apostle assures them, verses 16-18, that it was the fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel; which prophecy is thus expressed, chap. ii. 28: "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy," &c. The apostle having delivered an impressive discourse, observing his hearers deeply affected and amazed at the gifts of the Spirit, in order to turn their amazement into hope and joy, refers them a second time to this promise, and to their own interest in it, in the following words, ver. 38, 39, "Repent, &c. and you [yourselves] shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; FOR [by this I assure you of it] the promise is to you and to your children." Now, as the gift of the Spirit, with his miraculous powers, is the object of the promise, and, as infant children are incapable of that gift, children in infancy cannot be intended. Thus,

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