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is to be expected, and that however guilty and inexcusable the Church generally is, as Israel were, such must needs be the condition of it to the end. And therefore, as Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, and Caleb, and Joshua, gave thanks for, and worshipped with, all the multitude, because of God's deliverance and baptism, of which they were all partakers—though many of them afterwards perished in unbelief--and because nothing less became them, for they were all in, and some of them truly of God's holy Church ; so it behoves us to give thanks for, and to worship with, all who come to the sacrament, which the Lord by his invitation made open to all comers,—not knowing who or how many of them all shall perish in unbelief; but sure that some of them, like those just named, shall be valiant for the truth, and give glory to God, and that they must not be passed by; nor the Church cease to keep up this ordinance of God, but be constant in blessing and praising him in the use of it, for the birth, and life, and hope, and salvation of her children.
Fifthly. Therefore, if any Church or any set of persons maintain, that baptism was never intended to be administered to the many—the parents and the children—or that more is effected necessarily by our baptism in particular, with regard to spiritual regeneration, than is clearly taught by the Apostle when referring to Israel's baptism in the sea, as a type for the Christian Church, and which is one of the figures on which our whole service is based ; or, if it be denied that our Lord's parables and statements of doctrine, with regard to a church standing, comprehend the spiritual and carnal, the wise and foolish, the good and bad; then with all kindness, but with firmness and
entire assurance, it must be asserted, that such Church or such men, in that respect, are in grievous error. But it is not intended unnecessarily to write controversially. It is rather intended only to set forth the truth. And, therefore, with this brief allusion and testimony respecting those who may be in error, on a subject so important to the well-being of the Church of God: and, heartily desiring “ that all those who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth,” we forbear. But having done our best to mark the difference between Israel and the Egyptians, the baptized and the unbaptized, and thereby to show, what it is to stand rightly in the Church of the Lord, in the sight of men ; it shall now be our best endeavour to demonstrate from Holy Scripture, and to draw out the meaning of our second, and perhaps, more important proposition.
THE CHURCH OF THE LORD.
WHETHER WE HAVE A COMPLETENESS IN CHRIST, IN THE Sight or God WHO KNOWETH OUR HEARTS ?
There is so intimate a connexion between this and the former proposition, that it is next to impossible to discuss either separately. And yet, contradictory as it may seem at first view, there is no connexion necessarily between the former and this,—for it has been shown, that all that is meant by the former as regards many, may be exemplified without the latter,—but between this and the former there is a necessary and most intimate connexion ; because, whosoever finds acceptance in Christ, cannot fail, without fearful disobedience, to have complied or to comply with Christ's command.
If, then, we shall succeed to explain and illustrate this second more important proposition, we shall also throw additional light on the former; for, as we unavoidably entered much upon this whereby to explain the better or more fully the other; so we shall be led perhaps, before aware of it, and of necessity, to enlarge upon it, when we use our best endeavours to go fully into this.
To present the ground of our standing and completeness in Christ, and to mark the difference which
grace effects between man and man, we can but again have recourse to Scripture. Therein the two states, the spiritual and carnal, are contrasted; not with a view to raise an hypothesis, to show what might be ; but to state a fact, and to show what is ; that, not so much without the Church ; but rather within, and consequently among the baptized there were two classes, essentially differing the one from the other ; and, possessing or not possessing that, wherein the difference consisted. To such the Apostle directs our attention.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him : neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. ii. 14, 16.)
By this scripture we learn that the natural man, with all his natural powers and endowments, is not only ignorant of spiritual things, but altogether incapable of receiving them. He is so entirely without the faculty to discern and appreciate them, that “ they are foolishness unto him.” The wisdom and power, which are manifested by the Gospel to others, are to him, in his state, but a manifestation of folly and weakness. The reason is obvious ; they are discerned and understood only by the spiritual, and he is not spiritual, but natural.
And how unspeakably important, and yet how striking and simple, is the fact here stated ! It is this. As the child unborn can have no apprehension of the natural things to which it shall be born ; so the man not born of the Spirit, can have no discernment of spiritual things until by the Spirit he is born to apprehend them. “ But he that is spiritual,” or the spiritual man, “ judgeth all things." He is just the opposite of the former. He has the faculty to discern and understand the spiritual man, and his spiritual things; and the reason here also is equally plain ; he is born of the Spirit, and is spiritual ; and therefore he discerns them. So, likewise, does every one, more or less, who is so born ; because, by this birth he has new powers, nay, he has a new mind given him, or, more correctly, a mind for new and spiritual things. (Rom. vii. 25.) For whilst the Apostle challenges all besides, as having not this knowledge, saying, “ For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him ?” he claims this very thing in behalf of all who are spiritual, adding, “ But we have the mind of Christ.”
Now, the contrast of the characters here depicted appears to be two-fold. It regards persons; it also regards states. The natural man is common to every person, to the wise and to the foolish, to the learned and to the unlearned; but the spiritual man is peculiar to the Christian indeed. The first, or natural man, is of the earth, earthy ; the second, or spiritual man, is of the Lord from heaven. The one is a living and reasonable soul, the other is more—he is quickened also. (Ephesians ii. 1.) And, “as is the earthy, such are they that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they that are heavenly.” (1 Cor. xv. 48.)
The natural man then has simply his standing in the first Adam, but the spiritual man has his standing in