Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

ducing any proof from his writings tious concession of Mr. Baxter, I that he did so, is uncandid; but for will give a few more paragraphs him to more than insinuate that from the same page. « All," he Mr. Kinghorn's reasoning proceeds says, “ that ought to be admitted upon the same principles, is posi- visible church members, ordinarily tively unjust.

sought to be baptized.”-“By a ., The Reviewer, having (probably visible church member, I mean plainto his own satisfaction) despatched ly, one that is a member of the the testimony of Dr. Wall, proceeds visible church, or of the church as to try his hand upon that of Richard visible. And by admitting, I mean Baxter, who, he says, “assuredly held solemn admitting. As I before disno such popish views of Baptism," tinguished between disciples incom[as that it regenerates the infant.] plete, and complete, so here I do of “ On the contrary, in his Christian church members. As a soldier Directory, he only contends, that before listing, [being enrolled,) and unbaptized persons ordinarily,* are as a king before crowning and take not to be admitted to the rights and ing his oath; so are we and infants communion of the visible church, church members before Baptism. because we must know Christ's But as every one that must be ad. sheep by his own mark.” From mitted solemnly into the arıny, must this the Reviewer infers, that Mr. be admitted by listing, as the solemn Baxter “ is extremely guarded, and engaging sign; so everyone that hath hesitates to deny, that cases might right to be solemnly admitted into occur in which unbaptized persons the visible church, must ordinarily should be admitted to commu- be admitted by Baptism: so much nion.”+ An answer to this repre- to make that plain which was plain sentation may be found in the note before."I at the foot of the page..

Again, “ If we have neither preTo prove that the quotation made cept nor example in scripture, since by Mr. Kinghorn was not an incau. Christ ordained Baptism, of any

- other way of admitting members, * It does not appear in what precise but only by Baptism ; then all that sense Mr. Baxter uses the term “ ordina- must be admitted visible members rily.” If he means by it “ according to established rules,” or “ settled method,”

o must be ordinarily baptized. But the Reviewer is only quibbling when he since Baptism was instituted or esconsiders it as proof of a cautious manner tablished, we have no preceptor of speaking. But if he means "common- example of admitting visible memly,” or “ usually," then he certainly in. tended by it, that this was the rule though Ders any

youth bers any other way, (but constant there might be exceptions to it. The fol. precept and example for admitting lowing extract from his work entitled this way;) therefore all that are ad

Church Concord,” &c. p. 63, may ex- mitted visible members must be plain his meaning. In reply to the ques. bantized "E tion, “ What are the necessary terms for the communion of Christians personally And in the paragraph from whence in a particular church?” he answers : Mr. Kinghorn has quoted, he says: • The people must be baptized persons," "I know not wbat, in any shew &c. and then he adds, “ Whether open of reason, can be said to this, by professed covenanting may not serve without Baptism in case of necessity, those !

those that renounce not scripture : where Baptism cannot be had, is a case so for what man dare go in a way extraordinary, that we need not here which hath neither precept nor exammeddle with it.” The exception supposed, establishes, rather than impairs, the force of his argument.

$ Plain Scripture Proof, &c. p. 23. * P. 545. + Ibid.

Ibid.

ple to warrant it, from a way that fession by Baptism : for Baptism is. hath the full current of both?, Yet that peculiar act of profession, they that will admit members with which God hath chosen to this use. out Baptism, do so.” “ It is evi- When a person is absolutely devotdent," he adds, “ from the very ed, resigned, and engaged to God, nature and end of Baptism, which in a solemn sacrament, tbis is our is to be Christ's listing engaging regular, initiating profession; and sign; and, therefore, must be ap- it is but an irregular embryo of a proplied when we first enter his army." fession, which goeth before Baptism

The Reviewer has given a quota- ordinarily.” tion from Baxter's.“ Christian Di. One cannot but wonder at the efrectory," but does not appear to frontery of the Reviewer, in drawing have seen, or consulted that work.. conclusions from a single passage He was indebted to Mr. Kinghorn misunderstood, which are directly for it,* and has used it apparently opposed to the current opinions of for the purpose of distorting its Mr. Baxter. meaning and design. To prove that As if with the intention of holding he has totally misrepresented Mr. up the strict Baptists to contempt, Baxter's opinions, I shall give a few the Reviewer has introduced some extracts from that work. The num- coarse and exceptionable language, ber might have been greatly in- employed by opponents of Mr. creased; but these will be sufficient, Bunyan. I shall not attempt a vinif the word of that writer, respect- dication of those writers, neither ing his own sentiments, is to be should I have thought the Reviewer's taken.

remarks respecting them worthy of The reader is referred to the notice, had he not concluded by , “ Cases of Conscience about Mat- saying, " But these are the geters Ecclesiastical," appended to the nuine and original grounds of strict ! third part of the Christian Directory. communion, and the practice can -Qu. 13, p. 789: " Whether there be consistently maintained on no be such a thing as a visible church, other.” . and what it is. This church is the If by the original grounds of strict universality of baptized - visible communion," he refers to the nature Christians, headed by Jesus Christ of positive law respecting instituted himself.” , Qu. 35, p. 809: “ The worship, I feel no hesitation in saying, case stands thus, , God saith in his If it be admitted to be the reveal. covenant, He that believeth shall be ed will of Jesus Christ that all his saved, and ought to be baptized to disciples should be baptized at their profess that belief, and be invested admission into his church, then, no in the benefits of the covenant: and one is at liberty to dispense with the he that professeth to believe, (whe, observance of that rule ; for “ to ther he do or not,) is by the church obey is better than sacrifice;" and to be taken for å visible believer, no circumstances whatever, (except and by Baptism to be received into cases of impossibility, as Mr. Baxter the visible church.” In p. 846, he reasons,) can be a sufficient excuse introduces this “ Objection :- But for disobedience. And unless the it is profession, and not Baptism, Reviewer can prove that“ persons that makes a visible member. Ans. who are regenerated and are joined That's answered before; it is pro- to Christ,” are at liberty to refuse

- compliance with a law of Christ for * See Kinghorn's Terms of Communion,

no other reasons than their not being p. 157.

able to understand its meaning, or

because they are not willing to obey prey to the teeth" of their oppoits directions, he must admit, that nents, it will not arise from any want those who are bound to keep the of a disposition to worry whom laws of Christ's house are not at li. they cannot devour.” He tauntingly berty to dispense with, their strict says of Mr. Kinghorn, “ Is he observance. If the Reviewer choose ashamed of the consequences of his to designate a refusal to admit pious own conclusions, that he shrinks persons to the Lord's Table, who from meeting them ?" And what have not been baptized, “ exclud. are these consequences? Why, ing Pædobaptists in the character of that “ the apostolic Brainerd, or the moral delinquents;” and “ as ad- heavenly-minded Howe," would ministering the awful penalty of ex. have been rejected communion communication," we cannot help it. with a strict Baptist church, “beWe would rather suffer “the of. cause their Baptism was a nullity. fence of the cross," tban endeavour I answer again, this refusal could to avoid it, by neglecting to obey not fairly be thought as insulting, our Lord's commission, first to bap. or even unkind, if it were considered tize his disciples, and then to teach that it is the scriptural rule that them to partake of the Lord's Sup. Baptism, in every case, ought to preper, according to his previous com- cede an admission to the Lord's Tamand, though we should thus escape ble. The servants of Christ are to from the taunts and bitter invectives conforun themselves to their Lord's even of an Eclectic Reviewer, directions, and “ not to prefer one Whether he like it or not, we shall above another;" and, therefore, not, while we believe Baptism to be persons not scripturally qualified, a necessary prerequisite to com- which unbaptized persons are not, munion, cease from saying, that whatever may be thought of the asall unbaptized persons, (i. e. they sertion, ought not to be sanctioned who have not been immersed on a in the neglect of compliance with credible profession of repentance an ordinance of Christ. A late and faith, however pious, . and writer on this subject has said in though we may judge them to be reply to Mr. Hall's statement, quoted regenerate persons, have not the above, “ Admitting, then, that it is scriptural qualification ; and be- a matter of service, and not of discause the scriptures do not recoge cretion, the charge of exercising nise them as obedient disciples, in prerogative,' by repelling from regard to Baptism, that we are not communion a Howe, a Leighton, at liberty to receive them to the or a Brainerd, fails for want of Lord's Table. I am well aware that evidence. Blackstone says, “ As this will expose me to the awful for those things which a sergant may charge made by Mr. Hall, and ap. do on behalf of bis master, they proved by the Reviewer, of“ invest- seem all to proceed upon this prining every little Baptist teacher," or ciple, that the master is answerable according to the improved version, for the act of his servant, if done by “ Abraham Booth or Dr. Gill, with his command, either expressly given the prerogative of repelling from his or implied; nam qui facit per alium, communion, a Howe, a Leighton, or facit per se.' Mr. Hall will not deny a Brainerd, whom the Lord of glory that the apostles understood their will welcome to his presence." Lord to mean expressly, that per

The Reviewer calls this "a biting sons should be first baptized be. conclusion;" and certainly, if the fore they were introduced to comstrict Baptists are not made "a munion in his church; and the

proof of their so having understood it was a term of salvation, that every bis will, as being afforded by their one who believed should also be uniform and general practice. The baptized, it was also a legitimate · Baptist ministers who are charged term of communion. But, as a with exercising prerogative,' by re- condition of salvation, if it has not quiring Baptism as a qualification been formerly (formally) abrogated, at the Lord's Table, consider they it has undergone that silent repeal, are safe in imitating the apostles; which has resulted from its being.no and that as servants acting on be longer the inseparable concomitant half of their master, they ought not of true faith." I really cannot comto receive persons who are destitute pliment the Reviewer, even by sayof what, in the apostolic - age, was ing, “ This is specious enough :" as an indispensable prerequisite. They it is not likely to impose on any but therefore feel quite at ease, believing very, very w simple people!" The that the master whom they serve phrases “a term of communion will not despise them, but approve with Christ," “ a term of receiving their conduct as that of good and the Holy Spirit,”. “ a term of salvafaithful servants."*

tion,” he employs as synonymous in The Reviewer endeavours to get their meaning, and as referring to rid of the argument that apostolic the scriptural expressions, “ Repent practice ought to be exactly imi- and be baptized;" “ If thou betated, and of the inevitable in- lievest with all thine heart, thou ference, that, as the apostles never mayest be baptized.” Repentance admitted unbaptized persons to the and faith, not Baptism, were made Lord's Supper, such Christians essential to the reception of Christ, ought not now to be received. Mr. and the enjoyment of his salvation. Kinghorn had said, “When Christ But where is it said, that Baptism made known his terms of com- was so considered ?. Neither Bapmunion to his disciples, Baptism tism, or any other action performed was one; let it be shewn (said he) by a believer in Christ, was ever "a that this part of his appointment is condition of salvation ;" it was a abrogated.” The Reviewer replies, visible profession of faith in Christ, « This is specious enough, and has an evidence of it, and considered as imposed upon many simple people, one of those fruits of obedience But what can be more unfair than which necessarily grew from it ; the attempt to confound the abro. but not as “ the inseparable concogation of Baptism as an institute, mitant of faith in Christ!” The with the abrogation of Baptism as a case of Simon the Magician, and term of communion with Christ." others, fully proves, that neither He then adds, and I beg the reader primitive" ministers, nor even in. to observe it, as it shews how hard spired apostles ever did admit per. run a Calvinist, and the Defender of sons to Baptism, from an ability to Nonconformity, must have been to search the heart; but upon a creemploy such arguments :-"When dible profession of their faith in Christ required Baptism as a term of Christ. It is then most absurd for receiving the Holy Spirit, weil the Reviewer to ask, Whether that might the Church require it. When which never existed, viz, Baptism as

a term of SALVATION has been ab* See a pamphlet, entitled “ Baptism

rogated. What Christ required

from all his followers, in reference the Scriptural and Indispensable Qualification for Communion, &c. by Joseph to Baptism, was obedience to bis Ivimey, p. 80. Sold by Whittemore. comniaud. Has this law been ever

W

repealed ? Is it this law of which from “ the simplicity of Christ" in the Reviewer says, “ If it has not supposing, first, a state of things to been formally abrogated, it has un- have arisen “ by the alterations in dergone a silent repeal ?" Lest we the circumstances of society," which should mistake his meaving, he ex- would affect the law delivered by plains it by saying, “ It is quite evi. Christ, and, secondly, that Baptism dent that, since the time at which was a circumstantial in the primiBaptism was appointed, some 'tive practice,” hazards a doubt. change in the state of Christ's He says, “ We doubt much whether household has taken place.”- the apostles ever inculcated that or

The Reviewer may endeavour, by dinance (church fellowship) on the special pleading, to make out these unbaptized, or taught it as a duty, statements. I challenge him, how- detached from the observance of the ever, fairly to meet the question, Is Supper."* Judging solely from the the law of Baptism, as the first pub- scriptures, we have strong evidence lic act of homage to Christ, abro- that they did not : for they first ingated ? Has this law undergone a culcated upon disciples that they silent repeal? What would the Re- should be baptized, Acts ii. 38; and viewer think if a Papist were to say, then those whom they baptized they that though Christ had said, re- admitted to their fellowship, or comspecting the use of the cup in the munion : v. 42. Nothing can be Lord's Supper, Drink ye all of it;' more plain than that, in this instance, yet, in so far as this command re- Baptism preceded their admission to ferred to the laity, it had undergone the Lord's Table; the same thing a silent repeal? If the law of Christ, evidently took place in other cases, respecting Baptism as preceding com- nor is there a single passage to be munion, has undergone a repeal, found that ever intimates a different however silently, what is to prevent order. the repeal of all his laws by similar The Reviewer evidently smarts means? He says, “ Mr. Kinghorn under the lash of Mr. Kinghorn, for is obliged to concede there is no di- his having described the spirit of rection in the word of God that the strict Baptists towards open commu. unbaptized should not partake of the nion churches, as “ both intolerant Lord's Supper." Admirable reason and malignant." He durst not ating this, especially in a Nonconform- tempt the proof from any circumist! 66 You must concede," says a stances that have recently taken Papist, “ there is no direction in the place. The instances which he has word of God that bells, and horses, adduced are mere gratuitous stateand churches, should not be bap- ments without a shadow of evidence. tized !” “You must concede," says If he can produce evidence of any an Episcopalian, “ there is no com- Baptist ministers, of the present mand in the word of God why a com- day, who : “ have suffered much municant should not kneel at the from the intolerance and unkind. rails.To both of these the Re- ness of their strict communion viewer could make no reply: but to brethren,” let him do it. Who will each of theni a consistent Dissenter believe, that could he have produced would say, What the scriptures do any such instances, he would have not command, cannot be urged as a omitted to do it? He certainly matter of duty, and what they do ought to have made a candid connot repeal we have no authority to

automy " * This passage is very obscure: the declare abrogated.

above is the only intelligible meaning I The Reviewer having departed could give it.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »