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of the truth, 2 Thess. ii. 15, as preparatory to the full enjoyment of the beatific vision beyond the grave: and all this without consulting nfan, or assigning any cause, but that which is nevertheless intelligible to the meanest capacity; Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same Tump, to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" Romans ix. 21. This is what is meant by eternal and personal Election, uniformly found in the creeds of our judicious evangelizing brethren; by which they are distinguished from the ancient, Universalists, Socinians, Arians, Arminians, Baxterians, with many other ancient and modern fleshpleasing Systems, too numerous for insertion. The Apostle of the Gentiles, however, whose ortho doxy no good man will question, declares the Church was bought with the blood of God, Acts xx. 28; nor did he fear, in holy triumph, to challenge the universe, as to the efficacy of the atonement; "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's Elect? it is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Romans viii. 33, 34.


But to attend to our design, the candid Christian, whilst reading of a Church in the house of Nymphas, Colossians iv. 15; of one in the dwelling of Philemon, Philemon 2; of another in the abode of Priscilla and Aquila, Romans xvi. 5; will readily perceive the term (scriptu rally embraced) refers not to an unmeaning heap of stones and rubbish, vulgarly supposed to be more holy than other places; nor to any num

ber or description of men, usurping anti-apos tolic authority over the consciences and pockets of their fellow mortals; 1 Cor. iv. 12; Acts xx. 33, &c. but to a Society of rational beings, constituting a spiritual building of lively stones, by the quicking energy of the Holy Spirit, 1 Peter ii. 5. Persons who have been brought from under the vassalage of sin and satan, to enjoy the light and liberty of the children of God. Disgusted with the maxims of the world, the insipid philippics of nominal Christians, and united by a sympathy of soul, peculiar to their state,theyresolve, in the strength of Omnipotence, to give themselves up first to the Lord, and then to one another, according to the will of God; 2 Corinthians viii. 5. Satisfied with the views and experience of each other, they bind them. selves in the bond of charity, "to follow the same rule" to mind the same things; striving to regulate their lives individually, as well as their conduct collectively, according to the mind of Christ, as practised by the Apostles and primitive Christians: namely, "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world. Moreover, every Church, modelled by the New Testament, recognises the two positive ordinances, which were enjoined and instituted by our Lord Jesus Hin:self. Baptism and the Supper-being evidentlydesigned to be continued in the Church to the end of time, 1 Cor. xi. 26, to the exclusion of all others, invented by designing men. The former, to be attended to but once, and by Believers only, Acts viii. 37; Matthew iii. 8; humbly conceiving, if language


mean any thing, from the general use of the word Baptize, abundantly proved by learned men to mean nothing more nor less than dipping, plunging, &c. that the subjects are to be put under water, thereby declaring their desire to die unto sin, and live a new life unto God; by a voluntary act,* rationally embracing the grand design of the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh, John i. 3, 8; Coll. ii. 12; Rom. vi. 4; as well as answering a good conscience, and honorably following the Primitive Worthies by that unerring rule, "If ye love Me, keep my commandments," John xiv. 15. The latter, i. e. the Supper, as often as convenient; being admirably calculated and designed, by our indulgent High Priest, to confirm and solace the weary pilgrim on his journey from time to eternity. Oh! happy souls, who feast on the substance, whilst attending to the sign! How oft does the hungry, sin-sick Christian, behold to his comfort, through the medium of the element of bread, the mangled Body of his dear Lord! How often, by faith, can he view Him bruised for his trans gressions! Who can describe the mingled emotions of his fertile mind on these occasions, whilst traversing the gloomy garden, and awful Calvary?-Say, ye highly favoured few, if ye can, how pleased and grieved, when the hard heart, of which you so much complain, softened

This in general is performed by all that are baptized when they are adult, as being by their own actual consent baptized in the name of Christ. Dr. Owen in loc.

It may not be superfluous to add what the late Mr. Edwards, of America, has observed on this subject, "Repentance is a qualification that must be visible in order to Baptism!" Edwards on the Affections, p. 380 and 381, "They should profess their faith in Jesus Christ, &c."

by the genial warmth of the Holy Comforter, melts into sympathy and love! With mingled feelings of joy and contrition, you rejoice it is true, under a sense of pardon; whilst grieved, and partially tasting bitterness of spirit, for the sins which occasioned it. Insipid, Christian, as these things may appear to the natural man, who receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, 1 Corinthians ii. 14, you can, however, set to your seal that God is true, by realizing, at such seasons, fresh assurances of interest in that Blood, the wine is intended to represent.

Thus, as it respects believers, by the different Ordinances of divine appointment, the great business of sanctification is promoted, sin mortified, and satan, in many of his devices, defeated; while the new principles of faith, hope, : and love, are invigorated in the soul; like sons, not slaves, of the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, they are regaled from time to time, sitting under the banner of redeeming love; sweetly impressed with gratitude and joy, and refreshed with the solacing breezes of the Holy. Spirit; they breathe in the views of the Psalmist; "Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee," Psalm lxxiii. 28.

Having thus imperfectly glanced at the nature of a Gospel Church, its standing Ordinances, and the Characters composing it, according to the New Testament; the following Maxims will, it is presumed, appear eligible; as the basis and cement of Christian union.

1st. To reject all creeds and formulas-bring every opinion to the law and to the testimony, Isaiah viii. 20.*

2d. To maintain the separate and independent government of our own Society, as to the choice of Officers, and the admission of Members; taking it for granted, according to divine appointment, that no Officers are necessary but Pastors and Deacons.

N. B. Every candid man that can read his Testament must know this truth, that many practise another course, proves, that they are wise in their generation. Luke xvi. 8.


3d. To observe inviolable secresy in all matters relating to the Church.

4th. To keep up and maintain the regular worship of God among ourselves, not forsaking

* Subscription to all Human Creeds implies two disposi tions contrary to true religion, and both expressly forbidden by the Author of it; these two dispositions are, love of domis nion over the conscience in the imposer, and an abject preference of slavery in the subscriber: the first usurps the rights of Christ, the last swears allegiance to a pretender; the first domineers and gives laws like a tyrant, the last truckles like a vassal; the first assumes a dominion incompatible with his frailty, impossible even to his dignity, yea denied to the dignity of angels; the last yields a low submission inconsistent with his own dignity, and ruinous to that very religion which he pretends by these means to support. Jesus Christ does not require, he does not allow, yea he expressly forbids both these dispositions, well knowing, that an allowance of these would be a suppression of the finest dispositions of the human soul, and a degrading of revelation beneath the religion of nature.

Rob. Preface to Saurin's Sermons, 3 vol.

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