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the true laver of regeneration. And I think the old Mosaic typical laver might be as properly continued under the gospel, as sprinkling or dipping in water.
VII. Because Paul, a most eminent apostle, not a whit behind the chiefest, and who received his commission and his knowledge of Christ by immediate revelation, (God revealing his son in him,) and thereby knew his will, and the true spiritual nature of his baptism, speaking of that with water, declares positively, that “Christ sent him not to baptize, but to preach the gospel;" and even thanks God he had baptized no more; which would have been an high presumption, and misdemeanor, had he not known that baptism in water was no more an ordinance of Christ, than circumcision made with hands. But knowing the circumcision, and baptism of the new covenant, were altogether inward, he says, writing to the Colossians, " Ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power, in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ; buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him, through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." chap. ii. 10, 11, 12. Thus plainly rejecting both outward circumcision and baptism; the one as much as the other; and showing that the inward, wherein they are complete in Christ, is a real putting off the body of sin, a death unto it, a real burial with Christ, and rising with him; which is so far from dipping under, and rising out of the water, that it is only by a faith that is so living, and so much above all that is outward, and merely of man, that it is truly and powerfully of the very operation of God in the soul. Ilere is that resurrection of Christ, by which the good conscience is witnessed in christian baptism. And having thus shown believers' baptism to be as entirely inward as their circumcision, he immediately and very pertinently reminds them of Christ's “blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances," and taking " it out of the way, nailing it to his cross ;" cautions them to let no man judge them in respect to those outward things, which are but “a shadow of things to come,” and then roundly queries of them, “ Wherefore, if ye be dead with Christ,
from the rudiments or elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances ?” This shows, “ dead with Christ," or "planted in the likeness of his death,” is not a burial into the rudiments, or elements, as in outward baptism, but “dead with Christ, from the rudiments;” therefore he immediately enjoins, “ touch not, taste not, handle not, which all are to perish with the using, after the commandments and doctrines of men." By all which we not only perceive his full rejection of all the mere shadowy ordinances, but that he was so far from esteeming water baptism to be Christ's, that he was truly thankful to God that he had never used it, even in condescension, but in a very few instances; and that he considered the real baptism into Christ to include a death with him from all those rudimentary or elementary things which perish with the using; and which, therefore, are not to be touched, tasted, or even handled, as ordinances, nor by any means subjected to, by those who are dead to them by baptism into death with Christ.
VIII. Because all those who truly believe, and in this faith of the operation of God are baptized according to the commission, are hereby saved, as promised by Christ, in giving the commission; which is not true of all who are baptized in water. Simon the sorcerer both believed and was baptized; and yet, at the same time, was so far from having any lot, part, or portion, in gospel faith or baptism, that he was in the very "gall of bitterness, and bond of iniquity;" which no doubt has been the case with too many beside Simon: whereas all who are baptized according to the commission, and therein witness the floor of the heart thoroughly cleansed, are baptized into Christ, have put him on, the " whole armour of light," and thus . being planted in the likeness of his death, are alive in the likeness of bis resurrection, in true newness of life.
IX. Because we have no account, nor the least reason to believe, the first apostles were ever baptized in water, after John baptized them; for “ Jesus himself baptized not.” And we have heard of none else authorized to baptize them therein, but John; and so they being outwardly baptized only into John's baptism, if Christ's was also outward, and John's was not it, they never had it. And then they would have been sent to baptize others with a baptism themselves never received. But they received freely, and were freely to give, and could not give what they never received, nor what they did receive, before they had received it: and therefore were under an absolute necessity to wait till they actually did receive the baptism of the holy ghost, before they possibly could baptize others with it. This they did receive, and this they did administer; and their not presuming, nor being allowed by their Lord, to attempt baptizing according to the commission, till first thus baptized themselves, shows evidently what the baptism of the commission was, and that the qualification for its administration was through the same baptism first received in themselves--the enduement of power from on high. But had the commission intended John's baptism, that they were qualified to administer, and did administer before; had it intended water, and yet not as John's, they never receiving it after the commission, any more than before, were no more qualified to administer it afterwards, than before. Hence, it results, that Christ's is that they waited for, received, and then, through the communications of it, administered to others; that is, the one baptism of the gospel.
X. Because whoever receive Christ's baptism, are initiated thereby into the church of the first born, the pillar and ground of truth, and have their names written in heaven, have the white stone, and new name: and being buried, and rising with Christ, are joint heirs with him; and he is not ashamed to call them brethren, they in all things reverently ascribing to him the pre-eminence. But this is by no means true of all that are baptized into water. This is in substance somewhat the same as the 8th reason; but may serve to show, that as baptism in water is not saving, so it never initiates any into the church of Christ, however it is extolled as an initiatory ordinance.
XI. Because Christ himself, though he was circumcised, baptized, &c. outwardly, in order to fulfil, terminate, blot out, and for ever disannul, all such ceremonials, never circumcised or baptized others outwardly; nor ever ordered any of the multitudes that believed on him, that we have any account of, to receive either. He even washed his disciples' feet, and taught them to wash one another's; but never baptized them in water, which we may venture to believe, he would by no means have omitted, had it been his own baptism, the one saving and perpetual baptism of all true believers.
XII. Because he did baptize them with the holy spirit, declaring he sent them even as his Father sent him; that is, anointed with the holy ghost, that they should do the works which he did. (Baptize with the holy ghost, be sure, was a work which he did.) And as, in order to qualify them, he breathed on them, and bid them receive the holy ghost, this was truly sending them as he was sent, and turning their minds, and fixing their dependance, on the like anointing for qualification for the like services.
XIII. Because baptism in water is certainly one of the old things, one of the things that can be shaken; and not one that remains, when and where all are shaken and removed, that can be shaken ; not one that can remain, when and where not only the earth, not only sin, carnality, and earthly mindedness, but also heaven—things esteemed heavenly, and which were once really ordinances of God—are thoroughly shaken, and all removed, but what cannot be shaken ; which alone can remain in this truly gospel state. The rejoicing of true Christians is in that which God creates, after the old heavens and old earth are shaken, and all typical righteousness is passed away; that is, in the pure antitypical righteousness which must remain, because it cannot be shaken, but is of the very nature of, and pertaineth to, the new heavens, and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, in its pure, uncumbered, unceremonious simplicity and beauty. The elements (these elementary, figurative observations) are known, in the truly gospel state, to melt with fervent gospel heat; whilst too many are retaining these, and expecting the outward material elements to be melted with outward material fire, at the end of this outward material world : thus missing the marrow and substance of things, through the outwardness of their ideas and expectations.
XIV. Because it is certain, that it does please God to save some through the foolishness of preaching, to wit, such as truly believe. No soul can be saved, but according to God's mercy
“ by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the holy ghost.” This is Christ's baptism. And hence it follows, that every soul saved through preaching, must thereby be baptized with the holy ghost and fire, or witness the regenerating washing, and renewal of the holy ghost. For this being that without which none can be saved, it is idle to think of preaching, saving, or contributing towards the salvation of any, but through the work of this baptism. If preaching at any time contributes more or less to salvation, it certainly contributes in the same degree to this spiritual baptism. Thus Paul begat souls to God through the gospel. But no ministry that is not baptizing, can ever do this. And this is the reason why they who run without God's sending and qualifications, do not profit the people. They cannot baptize them into the name, by all their arts of rhetoric, and powers of elocution. That is a work surpassing the utmost influence of all such unauthorized ministry, and effected instrumentally by no other preaching than that which has its efficacy from the power received from on high. This even the apostles were under an absolute necessity to wait for, and receive too, before they could thus “ teach baptizing.” And the same necessity of waiting for the same qualification will remain, to all Christ's true ministers, to the world's end. Indeed, the substance of the injunction, “ Tarry at Jerusalem till you are endued,” &c., rests now with equal force on all who are equally observant of divine direction, in the work of the gospel. And to these Christ's words forever hold good, “ He that receiveth you receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.” Mat. x. 40. They who truly receive Christ, receive his baptism. Hence none truly receive his ministers, and their ministry, but therein and therethrough they receive him and his baptism. This must hold good forever; they who truly receive him, know it. It would be as true, if it had never been so expressed. Experience would livingly confirm it. But they rejoice that this great truth is so clearly, and hy so many modes of expression, established in the sacred records. And their prayers are sincerely and fervently to God, that seeking souls may be enabled to see, hear, and believe it, to the salvation of their souls, in the saving operations of the one only soul-sąving baptism of Jesus.