« PrécédentContinuer »
And may the Spirit of God furnish you with correct answers to them!
I have a word to say to you.
Whatever impression these well-designed papers may make upon the thoughtless and profane-I calculate on your countenance, support, and prayers, in bringing about a reformation in relation to the ordinance of baptism. Such a reformation is greatly needed; and all the friends of the Lord Jesus Christ must assist in it. In this thing, you are to know no man after the flesh. If it be a brother, or a sister, or a child, that is put under censure, and so deprived of the privilege of presenting his or her offspring, your first enquiry is to be Is this right? If so; your next enquiry is to be this: For who am I→ a communicant in God's house, a sworn friend to the Lord Jesus Christ-for whom am I to feel the greatest regard; for Christ and his ordinances, or for earthly relatives and friends? The church must suffer, or offenders must suffer. And I hope, you will not hesitate to show that you love Christ more than parent or child-more than sister or brother; and that you prefer Jerusalem above your chief joy.
BRETHREN OF CONSISTORY,
You are associated with me in the government of God's house; and it has not been the least gratification I have enjoyed, during my settlement here,
find you ever willing to exercise a prudent, yet firm discipline: And I would now be guilty of great unkindness and injustice, did I even suspect you of unwillingness to co-operate with me in guarding against the profanation of the holy sacrament of baptism.
Let me, however, remark to you, that increased prudence, zeal, and firmness will be required in producing a reformation, which I know you have greatly desired. You must, with your minister, bear the heat and burden of the day. You must stay up his hands, as did Aaron and Hur the hands of Moses, that Amalek prevail not against Israel.
The views I have endeavoured to support, and according to which I should feel gratified to have our practice regulated, may be stated in very few words.
1. Every baptized person is a member of the church, bound to perform the duties of a member, and subject to the watch and government of the church.
2. Every person, making application for the baptism of his child, is to be considered as expressing his desire to take hold of the covenant made with Abraham, which requires holiness of heart and practice; and ought therefore, upon the first application, to give evidence, that he is prepared to make a public profession of religion.
3. Every person, so making a profession of religion, and neglecting to commune, ought to be dealt
with in the same manner, as would be considered necessary, if a professor should be regular in his attendance at the Lord's table, but neglect to offer up his child or children in baptism.
And now to the God, that is in covenant with his church and people,-Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; the God, into whose name we have been baptized, -the God of the Bible, and the God of salvation,— three distinct and equally glorious persons, in one undivided and all-glorious Essence,-be ascribed; equal, undivided, and eternal praises. Amen.
Sacrament of the Supper, instituted by ChristCommand to observe it, binding on all in gospel countries, who have come to years of understanding-especially on baptized persons.
HAVING finished our remarks on baptism, the first sacrament of the covenant of grace, under its evangelical administration; we now proceed to submit to your consideration a few reflections on the sacrament of the supper.
We have before remarked, that every positive institution must originate in a Divine command. To Christ, as King in Zion, appertains the right to appoint sacraments; and the business of the church is, to administer and execute his appointments, according to his own directions. "In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.'
Our first enquiry, therefore, in relation to this ordinance, must respect its origin, and the obligations which it imposes upon us to glorify God, in its devout celebration. To these particulars, we now solicit your attention.
Of the origin of this institution, the writers of the New Testament give the following account.
* Mat. xv. 9.
And as they were eating [the passover] Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples; and said, Take eat, this is my body. And he took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."* With this, the account given by Luke,f as well as that given by Mark, substantially agrees. Paul, who did not originally belong to the company of the Apostles, and who was consequently not present when the supper was instituted, was, after his conversion, favoured with a special revelation on the subject, which, accompanied with some remarks dictated by the Spirit of inspiration, we have in his first Epistle to the Corinthians. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it; and said, Take eat, this is my body which is broken for you this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner, also, he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the
* Mat. xxvi. 26-28.
+ Chap. xiv. 22-25.. Chap. xi. 23-29,