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that immersion is not properly a mode of baptism, but baptism itself.
Thus the English and most foreign Baptists consider a per. sonal profession of faith, and an immersion in water, as essential to baptism. The profession of faith is generally made before the congregation, at a church-meeting. On these occasions some have a creed, to which they expect the candidate to assent, and to give a circumstantial account of his conversion ; but others require only a profession of his faith as a Christian. The former generally consider baptism as an ordinance, which initiates persons into a particular church ; and they say that, without breach of Christian liberty, they have a right to expect an agreement in articles of faith in their own societies. The latter think that baptism initiates merely into a profession of the Christian religion, and therefore say, that they have no right to require an assent to their creed from such as do not intend to join their communion ; and in support of their opinion, they quote the baptism of the eunuch in the eighth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.
Some, both of the General and the Particular Baptists, object to free or mixed communion, and do not allow persons, who have been baptized in their infancy, to join with them in the celebration of the Lord's Supper ; because they consider such as not having been baptized, and consequently, inadmissible to the other ordinance. Others, however, of both classes of Baptists, suppose that this ought to be no objection ; that such as think themselves really baptized, though in infancy, and such as are partakers of grace, belong to the true church of Christ, and are truly devoted to God, ought not to be rejected on account of a different opinion respecting this particular ordinance. Some of these also, without referring to a man's persuasion that he has been baptized, think that he ought to be received into the fellowship of the church. If, therefore, he should doubt the perpetuity of baptism, or that it is a perpetual ordinance, as it respects the descendants of Christians, though it may be properly administered to proselytes from other religions, he might be admitted as a communicant at the Lord's Supper.
Some of both classes of Baptists are, at the same time, Sab batarians, and, with the Jews, observe the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. This has been adopted by them, froin a persuasion that all the ten commandments are in their nature strictly moral, and that the observance of the seventh day was never abrogated or repealed by our Saviour or his apostles.
In church-government the Baptists differ little from the Independents, except that, in some of their churches, the Baptists have three distinct orders of ministers, who are separately ordained, and to the highest of whom they give the name of messengers, to the second that of elders, and to the third that of deacons. With respect to the excommunication, they seem closely to follow our Saviour's directions, in the eighteenth
chapter of St. Matthew's gospel, which they apply to differences between individuals ; and if any man be guilty of scandalous immorality, they exclude him from the brotherhood or fel. lowship of the church. Like the other Protestant dissenters, the Baptists receive the Lord's Supper, sitting at a communion table, and giving the elements one to another.
The Baptists in Great Britain, Ireland, Holland, Germany, the United States of America, Upper Canada, &c. are divided, as has been already observed, into two distinct classes, or soci. eties, the Particular or Calvinistic, and the General or Arminian Baptists. The former are said to be much more numerous than the latter. This class of Baptists ordain in almost the same manner as the Independents.
The father of the General Baptists was a Mr. Smith, who was at first a clergyman of the Church of England ; but resigning his living, he went over to Holland, where his Baptist principles were warmly opposed. He afterwards adopted the Arminian doctrines; and, in 1611, the General Baptists pub. lished a Confession of Faith, which diverges much farther from Calvinism, than those who are now called Arminians would approve.
In 1793, the Particular Baptists formed a missionary society ; and Messrs. John Thomas and William Carey were sent out to India, as missionaries. These have been followed by others : and the knowledge of Christianity, as understood and professed by the Baptists, has been zealously and assiduously propagated. The Baptists in the United States have a society for Foreign Missions, and maintain Missionaries in Asia, in connexion with those from England.
OF THE FRIENDS, OR QUAKERS. This sect first made its appearance about the year 1647, or 1648, through the ministry of a person of the name of George Fox, a native of Drayton, in Leicestershire, and by trade a grazier and a shepherd, at least in his early years. Observing the licentiousness of many persons professing the Christian name, he boldly went forth, and preached with much animation, though not always, perhaps, with sufficient prudence, against injustice, drunkenness, and other vices ; at the same time inveighing bitterly against the established modes of worship, and a separate hired ministry ; which he conceived to be contrary to divine authority. This he did in the public market-places, in courts, fairs, and sometimes in the churches themselves. This conduct naturally procured him the attention of the magistrates, who, in the year 1649, sent him to prison at Nottingham. His persecutions on some occasions were extremely rigorous and severe.
After Fox, there sprung up a succession of men who adhered to his doctrines, with a zeal and constancy truly laudable, through persecutions and oppressions of the severest nature; and which nothing but a consciousness of duty-an unshaken piety, and an unconquerable spirit of Christian fortitude, could have enabled them to sustain ; and now, truly may it be said of this body of Christians, “ they have overcome the world," they have survived the fire of persecution—they have subdued the virulence of bigotry-they have silenced the tongues of gainsayers—they have conquered" the world's dread laugh" they have lived to command the respect to extort even from the most profane the meed of applause, and to merit, in many respects, the approbation of the whole Christian world; so that it is now as honourable, and as creditable, to an individual to be known as a steady member of the Quakers' Society, as of most other religious denominations.
The appellation of Quakers was given by way of contempt : some say on account of the tremblings under the impression of divine things which appeared in their public assemblies ; but they themselves say it was first given them by one of the magis. trates who committed George Fox to prison, on account of his bidding him and those about him to tremble at the word of the Lord. Whatever was the origin of the name, it became their usual denomination, though they themselves adopted the appel. lation of Friends.
1. They believe that God is one, and there is none other beside him ; and that this one God is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
2. They believe that Christ is both God and Man in wonderful union ; God uncreated, and Man conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary.
3. They believe the scriptures to be of divine authority, given by the inspiration of God through holy men : that they are a declaration of those things most surely believed by the primitive Christians ; and that they contain the inind and will of God, and are his commands to us ; in that respect they are his declaratory word, and therefore are obligatory on us. Nevertheless, (says Penn) because they are only a declaration of the fountain, and not the fountain itself, they are not to be esteemed the principal ground of all truth and knowledge, nor the primary rule of faith and manners ; yet, hecause they are, a true and faithful testimony of the first foundation, they are and may be esteemed a secondary rule, subordinate to the Spirit, from whom they have all their excellence and certainty,
" They object to calling the scriptures the word of God, as being a name applied to Christ, the eternal Word, by the sacred svriters themselves.
"4. On the doctrine of original sin, it appears, from the writings of Penn and others, that they hold nearly similar opinions to other orthodox Christians.
« 5. Respecting the doctrines of sanctification and justifica.. tion, Penn says, “I shall first speak negatively what we do not own : we cannot believe that Christ is the cause, but the effect of God's love, according to the testimony of the beloved disciple : 'God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' We cannot say the death and sufferings of Christ were a strict and rigid satisfaction for that eternal death and misery due to man for sin and transgression ; for such a notion were to make God's mercy little concerned in man's salvation : and as Christ died for sin, so we must die to sin, or we cannot be saved by the death and sufferings of Christ, or be thoroughly justified and accepted with God. Now positively what we own as to justification : we believe that Jesus Christ was our holy sacrifice, atonement, and propitiation—that he bore our iniquities, and that by his stripes we are healed of the wounds Adam gave us in his fall-that God is just in forgiving true penitents upon the credit of that holy offering Christ inade of himself to God for us--that what he did and suffered satisfied and pleased Gd, and was for the sake of fallen man, who had displeased him that through the eternal Spirit, he hath for ever perfected them (in all times) who were sanctified, who walked not after the Aesh, but after the Spirit.
“ 6. They believe that the saving, certain, and necessary knowledge of God, can only be acquired by the inward, immediate revelation of God's Spirit.
" 7. They say that “ God hath given to every man a measure of the light of his own Son-that God by this light invites, calls, and strives with every man, in order to save him ; which, as it is received or not resisted, works the salvation of all, even of those who are ignorant of the death and sufferings of Christ, and of Adam's fall.
“ 8. They say that as many as do not resist this light, become holy and spiritual ; bringing forth all those blessed fruits which are acceptable to God : and by this holy birth, to wit, Jesus Christ formed within us, and working in us, the body of death and sin is crucified and removed, and our hearts subjected to the truth, so as not to obey any of the suggestions and temptations of the evil one ; but are freed from actually transgressing the law of God..
“ 3. Being persuaded that man, without the Spirit of Christ, inwardly revealed, can do nothing to the glory of God, or towards his own salvation, they think this influence especially necessary to the performance of the highest act of which the human mind is capable ; even the worship of the Father of lights and spirits. Therefore they consider as obstructions to pure worship, all forins which divert the a:tention of the mind from the secret influence of this unction from the Holy One. Though there be not a word spoken, yet is the true spiritual worship performed, and the body of Christ edified.
- It does not follow, because nothing is said, that God is not worshipped. The Quakers, on the other hand, contend, that their silent meetings forın the sublimest part of their worship. The soul, they say, can have intercourse with God; it can feel refreshment, joy, and comfort in him ; it can praise and adore him, and all this, without the intervention of a word.” They apprehend it their duty to be diligent in assembling themselves together for the worship of God; when such as are duly prepared, by being gathered into a composed awful frame of mind, are enabled, under the influence of divine grace, to worship in solemn silence ; or, if moved thereto, to pray or preach as the Spirit giveth them utterance.
“ 10. As by the light, or gift of God, all true knowledge in things spiritual is received and revealed, so by the same, as it is manifested and received in the heart, every true minister of the gospel is ordained and prepared for the work of the ministry ; and by the leading, moving, and drawing thereof, ought every evangelist, and Christian pastor to be led and ordered in his labour and work of the gospel, both as to the place where, the persons to whom, and the time in which he is to minister.
" And as they dare not encourage any ministry but that which they believe to spring from the influence of the Holy Spirit, so neither dare they attempt to restrain this influence to the male sex alone, or to persons of any condition in life ; but whether male or female, whether bond or free, as they are all one in Christ, they equally allow such of them as they believe to be endued with a right qualification for the ministry, to exercise their gifts for the general edification of the church.
“ 11. Baptism, they say, is a pure and spiritual thing ; to wit, the baptism of the Spirit and fire, by which we are buried with Christ, that being washed and purged from our sins, we may walk in newness of life ; of which the baptism of John was a figure, commanded for a time, and not to continue for ever.
With respect to the other rite, termed the Lord's Supper, they believe that the communion of the body and blood of Christ is spiritual, which is the participation of his flesh and blood, and by which the inward man is daily nourished in the hearts of those in whom Christ dwells. But this cannot be understood of outward eating of outward bread : and as by this the soul must have fellowship with God, so also, so far as all the saints are partakers of this one body and one blood, they have a joint communion.
" 12. They believe the resurrection, according to the scrin. ture, not only from sin, but also from death and the grave.
“On oaths and war.—With respect to the former of these, they abide literally by these words of our Saviour : ' Again, ye have heard that it laih beep said of them of old time, thou shalt not forswear thyself, &c. But I say unto you, swear not at all ; neither by heaven, &c., but let your communication be yea, yea, nay, nay ; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.' As also the words of the apostle James : ' But above all things,