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and frequently walked in : otherwise it is the good old path to be asked for; there never was any other way of salvation, or ever will be. I go on,

II. To consider the encouragement given to take the direction, and make the inquiry as above; and in this I shall be very brief; it lies in this clause, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

There is a rest for souls to be enjoyed in ordinances, when men are arrived to satisfaction about them, and submit unto them in a becoming manner; when a man has carefully and conscientiously searched the scriptures, and is come to a point about an ordinance, his mind is easy, which before was distracted and confused; and he is the more easy in that he has acted the faithful pare to himself and truth; and I cannot see how perfons can have rest in their minds, who have not stood in the ways and looked about them, searched the scriptures, and inquired for the good old paths; and in consequence of an honest inquiry, walk therein ; to such, wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and ber paths patbs of peace; there is great peace enjoyed in them, though not from them; a believer comes to an ordinance, being upon inquiry satisfied about it, as for instance, the ordinance of baptism; he, I say, comes to it with delight, passe's through it with pleasure, and goes away from it as the eunuch did, rejoicing.

There is rest for souls to be enjoyed in doctrines, which a man does enjoy; when upon a diligent search after truth, he finds it, and is at a point about it; a man that is tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, is like a wave of the sea, always restless and uneasy; a double-minded man, that halts between two opinions, and sometimes inclines to one, and sometimes to the other, is unstable in all his ways, and has no true rest in his mind; a man that is carried about with divers and strange doctrines, is like a meteor in the air, sometimes here and sometimes there; a good thing it is to have the heart established in and with the doctrines of grace ; and the way to this is to search the scriptures, to see whether these things be to or no; which when seriously and faithfully done, the issue is peace of conscience, rest in the mind.

But above all, true rest for the soul is to be had in Christ, and fuch who ask for the good and better way find it in him, nor is it to be found in any other ;. Christ is that to believers, as Noab's ark was to the dove, which could find no rest for the sole of its feet, till it returned thither : there is rest in Christ, and no where else, and he invites weary souls to come to him for it; his words are ", Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you reft ; take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in beart, and ye shall find reft unto your souls; which last clause is the same with this in our text, and

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* Matt. xi. 28, 29.

Lord seems to have had respect unto it, and to have took his language from it: and what peace and rest do weary souls find in Christ, when their faith is led to his person, fulness, blood, sacrifice and righteousness ? and such who are made partakers of spiritual rest here, shall enjoy an eternal one hereafter, for still there remains a rest to the people of God'.

To conclude ; let us bless God for the scriptures, that we have such a waymark to direct us, and point out unto us the way in which we should go;

let us make use of them; let us search the scriptures daily and diligently, and the rather, since they reftify of Christ, of his person, offices, of his doctrines and ordinances. These are the more sure word of prophecy, to which we do well to take heed, as to a light Mining in a dark place ; these are a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our paths, both with respect to the way of salvation, and to the way of our duty. These guide us to the old paths, and shew us where is the good way in which we should walk; and when we are tempted to turn to the right hand, or the left, it is best to hearken to the voice of the word behind us, saying, This is the way, walk in it m. The Bible has the best claim to antiquity of any book in the world, and the gospel, and the truths of it, have the greatest marks and evidences of it upon them. Error is old, but truth is more ancient than that, the gospel is the everlasting gospel; it was even ordained before the world unto our glory"; and the ordinances of it, as administered in the times of Christ and his apostles, should be received and submitted to, as there delivered ; and we should walk in them as we have Christ and his apostles for an example: but above all things, our concern should be to walk in Him, the way; there is no way better, nor any so good as he ; seek reft for your souls in him, and no where else; not in the law, and the works of it, there is none there; not in the world, and the things of it, this is not your reft, it is pollutedo; but seek it in Christ, where you will find it here, and more fully enjoy it with bim hereafter.

1 Heb. iv. 9.

Rev. xiv, 6.

John v. 39. 2 Pet. i. 19. Psal. cxix. 105. Ifai. xxx, 21. 1 Cor. ii. 7.

• Micah ij. 1o.

Baptifin Baptism a Divine Commandment to be Observed.

Being a SERMON Preached at BARBICAN, Oétober 9, 1765. at the BAPTISM of the Reverend Mr ROBERT CARMICHAEL,

Minister of the Gospel in EDINBURGH.



C E.

THF 'HE following discourse was not designed for the press; had it, the subject

of it would have been a little more enlarged upon; and, perhaps, might have appeared in a little better dress; but as the publication of it is become necessary, I chose to let it go just as it was delivered, as nearly in the very words and expressions, as niy memory could affist me; the sense, I am sure, is no where departed from ; that it might not be said, that any thing that was spoken is concealed, changed, or altered. The warmest solicitations of my friends would never have prevailed upon me to have made it public, being unwilling to renew the controversy about baptism unnecessarily; and being determined only to write in self-defence, when attacked, or whenever the controversy is renewed by others; for I am very sensible, that the argument on both sides is greatly exhausted, and scarce any thing new can be expected, that is serious and pertinent : but the rude attack upon the sermon in two letters in a news-paper, determined me at once to send it out into the world, as being a sufficient confutation of itself, without any remarks at all, of the lies and falfhoods, calumnies, cavils and impertinencies, with which the letters abound; whereby it will appear to every reader, how fally that writer charges me with railing against my brethren, and the whole christian world; and how injuriously he represents me, as treating all that differ from me as fools, unlearned, ignorant of the scriptures, and unclean. It is hard we cannot practise what we believe, and speak in vindication of our practice, without being abused, vilified and insulted in a public news-paper; is this treating us as brethren, as the writer of the letters, in a canting way, affects to call

us ? And how does this answer to the false character of Candidus, he assumes ? I shall not let myself down so low, nor do I think it fitting and decent to go into, and carry on a religious controversy in a newspaper, and especially with so worthless a writer, and without a name. This base and cowardly way of writing, is like the Indians manner of fighting; who set up an hideous yell, pop off their guns behind bushes and hedges, and then run away and hide themselves in the thickets. However, if the publication of this discourse should be of any service to relieve or strengthen the minds of any, with respect to their duty in the observance of the ordinance of baptism, I am content to bear the indignities of men, and shall reckon it an over-balance to all their reproaches and insults. VOL. II.


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Being about to administer the Ordinance of Baptism, before we enter

upon the administration of it, I shall drop a few words on the occasion, from a passage of scripture you will find in

I JOHN V. 3.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments, and his

commandments are not grievous.

WHAT I shall say in the following discourse, will much depend upon

the sense of the word commandments; by which are meant, not the cen commandments, or the commandments of the moral law delivered by Moses to the children of Israel; which, though they are the commands of God, and to be observed by christians under the present dispensation ; since we are not without law to God, but under the law to Christ“; and are to be kept from a principle of love to God, for the end of the commandment is charity, or love, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned b; yet these commands are not easy of observation, through the weakness of the flesh, or corruption of nature ; nor can they be perfectly kept by any of Adam's fallen race; for there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and finneth not"; and he that offends in one point is guilty of alld; and is exposed to the curse and condemnation of the law, which runs in this tenor, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them"; hence this law in general is called a fiery law, the letter which kills, and the ministration of condemnation and death, which make it terrible to offenders; however, it inay be delighted in by believers in Christ after the inward man: nor are the commandments of the ceremonial law intended, which being many and numerous, were burdensom; especially to carnal men, who were frequently ready to say concerning


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them, What a weariness is it? One of its precepts, circumcision, is called a yoke, which, says the apostle Peter, neither our fathers nor we were able to bear'; because it bound persons to keep the whole law, which they could not do; and the whole is said to be a yoke of bondage 5, and consequently its commandments grievous 3. besides this law was abrogated before the apostle John wrote this epiftle, and its commandments were not to be kept; Christ had abolished this law of commandments contained in ordinances; and there is now a disannulling of the whole of it, because of its weakness and unprofitableness": rather the commandments of faith and love the apostle speaks of in chap. iii. 23. may be defigned; And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as be gave us commandment: these were exhorcations, injunctions and commands of Christ to his disciples, which were to be kept by them, and were not grievous. Ye believe in God, says he', believe also in me; and again, A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you k; but inasmuch as Christ, as lawgiver in his church, has appointed some special and peculiar laws and ordinances to be observed, and which he calls his commandments, be that hath my commandments and keepeth them, be it is that loveth me'; very agreeably to our text; and after he had given his apoftles a commission to preach and baptize, he adds, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"; and whereas, among these commandments and ordinances, baptism and the Lord's supper are the chief and principal, I chuse to understand the text of them"; and since we are about to admi. nister the first of these at this time, I shall confine my discourse chiefly to that, and shall attempt the following things.

I. To shew that baptism, water-baptism, is a command of God and Christ,

or a divine command. II. That being a divine command, it ought to be kept and observed. III. The encouragement to keep it; it is the love of God, and it is a commandment not grievous.

I. The

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I AEts xv. 1O.
I Gal. v. 1.
Ephes. ii. 15. Heb. vii. 18.

John xiv. 1. John xiii. 34.

John xiv. 21.

m Matt. xxviii. 20. • Let the commandments be what they may, which are chiefly intended in the text; yet fince water-baptism is a commandment of God, and allowed to be such, and the rest of the commandments mentioned are not denied to be, nor excluded from being the commandments of God; there can be no impropriety in treating on the commandment of baptism particularly and singly from this passage of scripture; and it might have escaped, one would have thought, a (neer, though it has not, of a fearrilous writer, in a late news-paper, referred to in the preface.

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