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' atonement,' in which we may wash away the 'guilt of sin.' "This is he that came by water "and blood; not by water only, but by water and "blood" but of "the blood," and faith in the blood of Christ, the Lord's supper is the outward ' and visible sign.' Baptism-is a sign of regeneration, or new birth, whereby, as by an instrument; they that receive baptism rightly, are grafted into the church the promises of the forgiveness of Isins, and of our adoption to be the sons of God, ' are visibly signed and sealed." Whether baptism imparts the Holy Ghost, or not, will be considered in the remarks on the next chapter.
P. xxix. 1. 24. It had been foretold, &c." John Baptist said, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me-shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire."4 The baptism with water is here expressly distinguished from the baptism" with the Holy Ghost "and with fire:" and, however the water of baptism may convey the supernatural assistance of the 'Holy Spirit,' it cannot surely be "baptizing with "fire." The words certainly imply something, which Christ could and would do; but which John could not. "John truly baptized with water, but
1 1 John v. 6. 2 Art. xxvii.
" It had been foretold by John the Baptist, that Christ should
baptize with the Holy Ghost, meaning that the baptism insti'tuted by Christ, and administered by his apostles and their suc'cessors, should convey the supernatural assistance of the Spirit "of God.'
* Matt. iii. 11. Mark i. 8.
ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not "many days hence." The promise was here made by our Lord to the apostles, a promise, that they themselves should be "baptized with the Holy "Ghost;" not that they should baptize others with the Holy Ghost, which they were no more able to do, than John Baptist had been; however Christ might accompany the baptism with water, as administered by them, with the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The outward sign man may impart; but God alone can give the thing signified. It is never said, that the apostles, or that any man, except Jesus Christ, baptized with the Holy Ghost:" though the laying on of the apostles' hands with prayer, was the general sign of the Lord's conferring the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, on those who had been baptized. I say general; because the Holy Spirit was thus poured out on Cornelius and his friends, before baptism, and without the laying on of the apostles' hands.2 No doubt, in one sense Christ baptizes all his true disciples with the Holy Ghost: " By one Spirit we are all baptized into one "body." It was of this baptism, that John said to our Lord, "I have need to be baptized of thee."4 John did not need to be baptized "with water," by the apostles or ministers of Christ; nor even by the Saviour himself. He lived and died, before baptism," in the name of the Father, and of the Son, " and of the Holy Ghost," was instituted: but, as
1 Acts i. 5. 4 Matt. iii. 14.
born in sin, he needed to be "washed and sanctified, and justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, "and by the Spirit of our God;" as our Lord said unto Peter. "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part " in me." 992 The application, however, of John Baptist's words by our Lord, when about to ascend into heaven, to his apostles and disciples, is restricted, by the words "not many days hence," to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon them, on the day of Pentecost:3 not merely by enduing them, more abundantly than before, with miraculous powers, and conferring on them the gift of tongues; but by purifying their minds and hearts, from all ambitious and secular thoughts and desires; and by elevating their desires and affections to every thing holy, sublime, and divinė; as by fire, which changes into its own nature whatever is capable of that change, and consumes whatever is not capable of it.
P. xxx. l. 3. This communication, &c."4 Whence then come the holy desires, the good counsels, and the just works' of those, who repent and believe before they are baptized? Admitting, in this place, that baptism is regeneration, or, that regeneration uniformly accompanies baptism, when rightly administered: yet, as according to his Lordship's
1 Cor. vi. 11. 2 John xiii. 8. 3 Acts ii. 2-4. << This communication being made at baptism, at the time ' of admission into the gospel covenant,, every Christian must 'possess the invaluable blessing of preventing grace, which, 'without extinguishing the evil propensities of our nature, in
spires holy desires, suggests good counsels, and excites to just 'works.'
subsequent statement, the grace of baptism may be lost by sin; such professed christians, as have lost it, perhaps at an early period in life, do not possess the invaluable blessing of preventing grace' and if it be not restored, in some other way, subsequent to baptism, they must for ever remain destitute of it.
P. xxx. l. 11. It tells us what we ought to do, 'not with the erroneous judgment of man, but with 6 the infallible truth of God.' Either the holy scriptures tell us the same; and so according to this there is no distinction between the word of truth and the Spirit of truth: or some suggestion, whisper, or impression, distinguishable from the operations of our own minds, seems implied in the words; and indeed more strongly, than in most things found in the writings of Calvinists, who are, without distinction, condemned as Enthusiasts. The word of God sufficiently tells us what we ought to do:' and if the Holy Spirit do nothing more than this, we are no nearer salvation, than before; unless it be more difficult to tell men their duty, than to induce and enable them to perform it: but this is contrary to universal observation and experience. P. xxx. l. 13. " Nay more, it affords us actual · support in the discharge of our duty, by strengthening our feeble nature, and invigorating our vir'tuous resolutions. This indeed is something more, than telling us what we ought to do:' but the grand desideratum, a willing mind, is not provided for. Unless it be true, in fact, that all baptized persons are inspired with holy desires, inclinations, and counsels, and an efficacious excitement to good
Note from Barrow,
works; the whole must come far short of what our case requires, as far as baptism is concerned. To all persons, &c."1 If this were indeed the case, surely we should witness more of the happy effects. in children, and young persons, brought up under religious instructions. But what impartial observer does not know, that baptized children, from the first dawn of reason, are as self-willed, wayward, passionate, rebellious against authority, as envious, contentious, prone to deceit, and unteachable in respect of what is truly good, as other children are?
P. xxx. l. 18. C If we make, &c."2 Being by 'nature born in sin, and children of wrath, we are hereby made the children of grace." According to this, either the outward and visible sign,' in baptism, or the inward and spiritual grace,' or both combined, makes the baptized person, a child of grace and if baptism is regeneration, or uni
1. "To all persons by the holy mystery of baptism duly initiated "to Christianity, or admitted into the communion of Christ's " body, the grace of God's Holy Spirit certainly is bestowed, "enabling them to perform the conditions of piety and virtue "then undertaken by them; enlightening their minds, rectifying "their wills, purifying their affections, directing and assisting "them in their practice; the which holy gift (if not abused, ill"treated, driven away, or quenched by their ill behaviour) will "perpetually be continued, improved, and encreased to them."
* If we make a right use of baptismal grace, it is encreased; and by repeated additions, in consequence of right use, it 'carries forward the human soul from one degree of religious proficiency to another, till it qualifies us to be "heirs of God," "and joint heirs with Christ."