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his power, or his spirit.

Thus, " in my name shall they cast out devils *;" and "by

what power, or by what

this t?"

name, have ye done

From the interpretation which has now been given of the meaning of several of the words in the verses that have been quoted from St. Matthew, the sense of the commission, according to the Quakers, will stand thus : "All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. In virtue of the power which I have, I will give you power also. I will confer upon you the gift of the Holy Spirit. When you have received it, go into different and distant lands. Go to the Gentiles, who live in ignorance, darkness, and idolatry, and make them proselytes to my new dispensation, so purifying their hearts, or burning the chaff of their corrupt affections, by the active fire of the Holy Ghost, which shall accompany your preaching, that they may be made partakers of the divine nature, and walk in newness of life. And lest this should appear to be too great a work for your faith, I, who have the power, promise

* Mark xvi. 17.

† Acts iv. 7.


to be with you, with this my Spirit in the work, till the end of the world."

The Quakers contend, that this is the true interpretation of this commission, because it exactly coincides with the meaning of the same commission, as described by St. Luke and St. Mark, and of that also which was given to St. Paul.

St. Luke states the commission given to the Apostles to have been, "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem *.". The meaning therefore of the commission, as stated by St. Luke, is precisely the same as that stated by St. Matthew. For, first, all nations are included in it. Secondly, purification of heart, or conversion from sin, is insisted upon to be the object of it. And thirdly, this object is to be effected, not by the baptism of water (for baptism is no where mentioned), but by preaching, in which is included the idea of the baptism of the Spirit.

St. Mark also states the commission to be the same in the following words: "And he

* Luke xxiv. 47.

said unto them, Gó ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved *" Here all nations, and the preach

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ing of the Gospel, are mentioned again. But baptism is now added. But the baptism that was to go with this preaching, the Quakers contend to be the baptism of the Spirit. For, first, the baptism here mentioned is connected with salvation. But the baptism according to St. Peter, "which doth also now save us, is not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ," or the baptism of the Spirit. Secondly, the nature of the baptism here mentioned is explained by the verse that follows it. Thus, "He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved. And these signs shall follow them that believe: They shall speak with new tongues." This therefore is the same baptism as that which St. Paul conferred upon some of his disciples, by the laying on of his hands: “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy

*Mark xvi. 15.


Ghost came on them, and they spake with tongues, and prophesied *." Thus, again, it is demonstrated to be the baptism of the Spirit.

The commission also, which has been handed down to us by St Matthew, will be found, as it has been now explained, to coincide in its object with that which was given to Paul, as we find by his confession to Agrippa. For he declared he was sent as a minister to the Gentiles †, "to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they might receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith in Christ." But what was this, the Quakers say, but to baptize them into the life and spirit of a new and divine nature, or with the baptism of Christ?

And as we have thus obtained a knowledge from St. Paul of what his own commission contained, so we have, from the same authority, a knowledge of what it did not contain; for he positively declares, in

Acts xix. 6. + Acts xxvi. 17, 18.


his first Epistle to the Corinthians, that "Christ sent him not to baptize (evidently ́ alluding to the baptism by water), but to preach the Gospel." It is clear, therefore, that St. Paul did not understand his commission to refer to water; and who was bet ter qualified to understand it than himself?

It is also stated by the Quakers, as another argument to the same point, that if the baptism in the commission had been that of water only, the Apostles could have easily administered it of themselves, or without any supernatural assistance; but in order that they might be enabled to execute that baptism which the commission pointed to, they were desired to wait for divine help. Jesus Christ said, "I send the promise of my Father upon you. But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high; for John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence*.' Now the Quakers ask, If baptism by water had been the baptism contained in the great commission, why could not the Apostles have

* Luke xxiv. 49.


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