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and an end so calm, to all the pleasures of lewdness and sensuality, and the bounces of a false and ignorant security."
And now, concerning such as have once known better things, been washed in degree from their filthiness, and felt the consolating streams of God's love shed abroad in their hearts, but have met with a loss, and received a wound by hearkening to this syren song, this musical enchantment, my soul truly mourns over them, whether they be such as make open profession of this opinion, or such as among the various denominations have, without professing it, been inwardly hurt by secretly giving way to its poisonous influence. Oh! that ye may yet profitably consider the divine refreshment of spirit once enjoyed in the day of your espousals. Oh! that ye would exercise holy retrospection, would review the state from whence you are fallen, and endeavour to do your first works, renew your first faith, and improve your first love; lest darkness, total darkness, come upon you! O ye who have been the Lord's, called! my soul's desire, and prayer to him is, that ye may be his chosen ; that as in degree you have once had a foretaste of heaven's true joy, so ye may be admitted into the full fruition thereof, in a mansion of never-ending glory. But know ye, and take it for certain, that all those who stand on Mount Sion with harps of God in their hands, singing the new song, which no others can learn, are only those who are redeemed from the earth, and from among men; those who follow the Lamb wheresoever he goeth, and that in the regeneration; those who bear their daily cross in the true self-denial. It is no plea of union, inclusion, &c. without this that will avail. No unclean thing can ever enter; and no human quibble, of clean in Christ, whilst you remain unclean in yourselves, wil ever stand in the presence of Christ, or meet the approbation of him who views all men as they really are.
Come, my friends, look about you a little. I seek your eternal welfare. I wish you to be able to stand before that tribunal, where no false gloss will avail. Unless you now feel God's owning presence, and witness real sanctification, you have no sure evidence of salvation. Oh! have a care lest your tion fail you; lest your building fall; for if it does fall, great will be the fall thereof. Oh! that ye had continued to hearken to the Lord's commandments; then should your peace have been as a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. My heart's desire is, that you may yet, ere you go hence, return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on you, and to our God, who will abundantly pardon the truly repentant and returning soul; but will reject and forsake the generation of his wrath forever!
And, now, all ye pleaders for universal salvation, I wish you may really witness eternal salvation in the realms of bliss, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in God's everlasting kingdom. But remember well that Christ has no un-cross-bearing disciple: your reward, after all, must be according to your works, according to “ the deeds done in the body;" that is, here, in time. Therefore, let not the silken cords of this boasted union hold you fast in sin and pollution; lest ere you are aware they are rent in sunder, and fail you, to a dismal disappointment. Do not, I beseech you, suspend your eternal happiness upon a rotten reed of speculative error. I warn you, as you must give an account, do not trifle with your own souls, nor trust to any of these vain, ideal dreams of union, inclusion, or any other false hope of future happiness. But now, in season, for now is the time, set about, and in earnest pursue, through divine assistance, a work of renovation and cleansing, of real sanctification and true holiness; lest, too late, you rue your sad neglect, and mourn your awful disappointment; having, after all your boast of certain happiness, in shame and confusion, when you are called to your final inheritance, to read in awful, legible characters, in a dread hand-writing on the wall against you, “ Menė, mene, tekel, upharsin," or at least thus much of it, “ Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting." Farewell.
Not, like John's, into Water; but, according to the real Nature of the Gospel
into the very Name, Life, and Power of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
SHOWING That the Apostles' use of Water Baptism was by no means an ordinance of
Christ, but as the Baptism of John; and that all who are baptized into Christ, have put on Christ, not only professionally, but substantially: that is, bave put him on as the whole armour of light, and walk in him in newness of life.
This little treatise, reader, is written chiefly for the help and information of such as are in a state of honest inquiry, and who have not yet seen clearly beyond some of those former observances, which at the very best were but preparatory, and pointing to him, and his work on the soul, in whom they all end, and are done away forever ; but partly for the confirmation and establishment of such as have been already convinced of the unshadowy dispensation of the gospel.
I have long seen with sorrow, that many sincere souls are much detained from the substance, by undue attachments to the sign. I have once known and groaned under this bondage and entanglement myself; for though I was never a partaker in any of those outward ordinances, yet I was divers years blinded in my understanding, through the vail that was over me, in reading the accounts of baptism in the New Testament. I could not understand why the apostles used water, especially after Christ's resurrection, if it was not Christ's baptism ; nor how men could possibly baptize with the holy ghost; and therefore finding men commanded to baptize, and that they did baptize with water, 1 concluded, very ignorantly, that water was commanded by Christ. This conclusion, I have since seen, was the natural result of inexperience, in an anxious investigation of things not known by mere human wisdom, or creaturely abilities, but only spiritually discerned. And as my mind was sincerely engaged to see for myself, and avoid all deception, it pleased him who has the key of David, (after I had passed several years of doubt and hesitation, sometimes concluding I should before long be baptized in water, and then struck with an inward and feeling conviction of its utter insufficiency towards effecting the renovation and cleansing which my soul at times longed for,) to open my understanding, chiefly by his own internal operations and illuminations in my inquiring mind, without much of any instrumental means, either reading or hearing; so that I saw clearly (which I had too long been very dull in believing, and fearful in receiving) that Christ himself in spirit had long time been striving with me, moving in me, wooing, calling, knocking, checking, restraining, constraining, and powerfully impressing my mind; but I knew him not, and, in that inward and immediate way, sought not after him. When, alas! had I but known the gift of God, and who it was that inwardly talked with me, I might have asked of him, and received the living water of his heavenly kingdom; as afterwards I did, to the full satisfaction of my thirsty soul. And when this became my joyful experience, wherein the beloved of my soul met with me, as with many others, in the garden, saying, “Eat, O friends-drink, yea drink abundantly, 0 beloved,” Cant. v. 1, I became perfectly satisfied, that outward bread, wine, and water, were no part of the baptism or supper of the Lord, nor
any way necessary to his anointed, in things pertaining to salvation. It was not very long after this, before I not only believed, but knew, by most consolatory experience, that men, even in in our day, though helpless of themselves, are through divine assistance enabled, instrumentally, in a very powerful and heartwatering manner, to baptize with the holy ghost. For being now engaged to feel after God, if happily I might from time to time renewedly find him, he was not only pleased in these my silent approaches, in religious meetings, and more retired waitings, to arise in me immediately, with the brightness of a morning without clouds, and powerfully to manifest himself to me and in me, as a fountain of living waters; but was also graciously pleased to send among us, of his servants, such as were well qualified to do the work of evangelists, and who being largely acquainted with the soul-saving baptism of Christ in themselves, were so filled with the holy ghost, and spake so demonstratively, in the life, evidence, and divine virtue and vigour of it, that it was like the oil poured on Aaron's head, which ran down to the very skirts of bis garment; it even reached, overflowed, and filled my poor soul.
Much I could write respecting these blessed days of my espousals, but enlargement here may be improper; I shall therefore just say, that had I not felt living desires that others may come to a full participation of the same blessed experience, and that none may be longer unprofitably amused and detained, by lifeless signs and symbols, from the all-suficient substance, thou reader, had never heard from me in this way. I know many find their interest in keeping up a show in these things, and representing them of exceeding great importance. I have no doubt many very sincerely urge them upon their friends and acquaintance, as believing them injunctions of the gospel; but I am also sadly sensible that too many “seek their gain from their quarter," and obtain it, by keeping up a lifeless round of prayers, preaching, singing, eating, drinking, dipping, sprinkling, dc. and am convinced beyond scruple, that the mammon of unrighteousness, this way increased, is a powerful obstruction to the coming of the kingdom of our Lord, in life and power, unclouded and uneclipsed by the retention of vailing and darkening observances.