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Turks, Heathens and Christians, among whom, he laies, are some Members of Christ's Church, are universally guilty of Idolatry. Nor can he shew any one person among them all, who (if he did worship at all,) was not chargeable therewith.

If it be objected, that our Savior faies, Except a man be born of Water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God, John 3.5. and that to be born of the Spirit is to be made holy, and to enter into the Kingdom of God is to be made a Christian or Member of Christ's Church ; I say, if this be objected, I answer, that upon Supposition that being born of the Spirit does signify being made Holy, and granting that to enter into the Kingdom of God fignifies to be made a Christian or Member of Christ's Church; yet I deny that it will follow from hence, that no wicked Man can be a Christian or a Member of Christ's Church. For our Savior there speaks of such Qualifications as were requisite to make a Man, not a bare professed Christian, or only an outward Member of his Church; but of what was requisite to make a Man a living Member, such a Mem. ber as he expected every Man should be in order to his obtaining those invaluable Blessings which he intended to confer on all his living Members. Our blessed Lord never strived to make Men bare Pro. fessors of his Doctrine, but constantly shewed them the Necessity of obeying his Word also. And after the same manner without all doubt he had been acing towards Nicodemus; and therefore tells him,

that a Man could not enter into the Kingdom of - God as he would have him, unless he were born

of the Spirit, or made Holy. But at other times our Savior's Phrase is altered; for he faies, Joh. 8.13. If ye continue in my word, then are ye my Disciples indeed, thereby informing us; that such



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persons as did not continue in his Word, were not his Disciples aanbão indeed or truly, but only Profesfors of his Doctrine. They were Disciples, 'tis true; but how? hypocriticallyı; outwardly, and in pretence only. When therefore I assert, that a wicked Man may be a Member of Christ's Church, I mean, he may be a profeffed outward Member thereof, in which senle St. Paul acknowledges he may be a Member : but he is not a true living Member thereof, in which sense our Savior tells Nicodemus that a wicked Man cannot be a Christian. And indeed, unless what I have said be allowed, our Savior and St. Paul must contradict each other. For St. Paul (as has been shewn) exprefly declares a wicked Profeffor to be a Brother, and within the Church; and unless our Savior be supposed to speak in that sense which I have given his Words, he must be understood to deny what St. Paul has affirmed. But if our Savior be supposed to speak of his living Members only, then his Words are most perfectly consistent with St. Paul's. For that Man, who for his Wickedness cannot be a Member of the Church in our Savior's sense, may notwithstanding be a Member thereof in St. Pauls.

Secondly, I must desire the Reader to observe, what it is that makes a Man a Member of Christ's Church. Now as in the Body of Man, that cannot be a Member, which is not joined to the Body; so neither in the Church of Christ can that Man be a Member, who is not joined to the Church. In order to this joining 'tis necessary, not only that the Man be capable thereof, but that there be fome actual Tie or Bond of Uni

For as a piece of Flesh is not a Member, unless it be (not only capable of being united to the other Flesh, but alsó) actually united to the Body:



so neither is a Man a Member of Christ's Church merely upon the account of his owning the Truths of Christianity; unless he be also tied to the other Christians by that Bond of Union which Christ has appointed to join a Man to the Number of his Disciples. Now this Bond of Union is the Co. venant made in Water-baptism, as I shall afterwards fhew : and therefore till a Man be baptized, to he is not a Member of Christ's Church ; but as soon as he is baptized, he is a Member thereof. Jo

But then as a piece of Flesh that is united to the Body, is not a living, but only a dead Member, unless it receives nourishment from the Body; so also a Man that is united to Christ's Church by Water-baptism, is not a living, but only an outward dead Member thereof, unless he partake of those Celestial influences, which flow from Christ the Head, and nourish all the Members that are vitally united to him. Wherefore bare Water-baptism is sufficient to make a Man an outward Member of Christ's Church : but that he may be a living Member thereof, ʼtis necessary that he partake of that Sap and Virtue, which Christ the true Vine communicates to all such Branches as are qualifyed to receive it.

Thirdly, I must desire the Reader to observe also, that those who have not had the Gospel outwardly preached to them, are not Members of Christ's Church. That they are not outward Members, is plain; because they are not united thereto by Water-baptism, which' (as I shall afterwards shew) is the bond of Union. And as for their being living Members by receiving heavenly influences from Christ, tho' I will not say that God cannot in an extraordinary manner supply the defect of the external Union, yet I affirm that we have


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no ground to believe, and consequently must not who acknowledge, those to be Members, who are not outwardly united.

I know how zealous our Adversaries are to make those persons, to whom the Gospel has not been outwardly preached, Members of the Church of TID Christ; but till they can prove what they affirm concerning them, I must take leave to assert the el contrary. If they think, it will follow from thence, that all those who have not had the Gospel outwardly preached to them, are in a State of Damna

ido tion; I am not obliged to grant or deny the Con. sequence. I know of no Salvation but by Christ it, alone : nor do I know of any way of attainingen Salvation by Christ, but by becoming a living Member of his Body the Church; and in these particulars I agree with our Adversaries. But then I find, that the way which God has appointed for Mer to become living Members of his Son's Body, wit, is by their external Union to it by Water-baptism, with and their vital Union with Christ the Head by che Gracious influences of the Holy Ghost. Whofo

If ever therefore is thus united to Christ's Body, shall Red be saved: but as for others, I dare not say, they are in a State of Salvation. If this Sentence feem harsh, I answer, that 'tis not harsh, but safe and prudent. I assert as much as the Scriptures warfant; but dare not venture farther than I have them for my guide. I do not say, that those who have not heard of the Gospel, are in a State of Damnation ; because I know not what State they are in : but I say, that I dare not affirm them to be in a State of Salvation; because the Word of God has not declared it to me.

I profess my felf therefore ignorant of their condition; and think

my obliged to leave them to the mercy of that God,


mere ly Chri

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who knows far better what Sentence to passon them, than mortal Man does, tho' never fo Wise in his own conceit. In like manner I dare not affirm, that the Holy Spirit does strive with them in order to save them; because I do not read in the Holy Scriptures, that the influences of the Holy Ghoit are given to those persons, who have not the Gospel preached to them. If our Adverfaries think otherwise, they may give me leave to dissent from them, or at least to suspend my Judgment. For I do not see the Neceflity of a Christians determining these disputes. For what shall I be the better, for knowing how God will deal with such as are not Members of his Church? Will such knowledge make me ever theWiser unto Salvation? Let us therefore consider, that the only way (to be sure) by which we can be saved, is by being Good Christians; and that God, who is gracious and just, will deal after the best and wifeit manner with all others, tho we be not at present acquainted therewith.

If what has been said, be duly observed, the Reader will readily perceive the Errors contained in that large Passage transcribed from Mr. Bar. clay, and containing the Onaker Notion of a Church; and therefore I shall not give either him or my self the trouble of a particular Examination of it.

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