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might abound; he thought it sufficient to say, “ this can never be, for we have been baptised, and so we are dead to sin and alive to GOD." “ Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid : how shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein ? Know ye not that so many of us as were baptised into Jesus Christ, were baptised into his death? therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death : that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life; for if we have been in baptism planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. For sin shall not have dominion over you ; for ye are not under law, but under grace.” Rom. vi. 1-14. Which proves, that in baptism they professed a compliance with Christianity itself, and not with Mr. M.'s external graceless covenant, with which a man may comply, while under the dominion of sin.
And indeed, for inen to come to the apostles to be baptised in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, could consistently mean nothing less than a public practical declaration of a present compliance with what the Gospel reveals concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and an engagement to act accordingly in all future rime; in which the whole of Christianity consists. To believe wbat the Gospel reveals concerning the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to receive God for our Father, and Christ for our inediator, and the Holy Ghost for our enlightener and sanctifier; and to be affected and act accordingly, is the whole of Christianity. But to be active in offering ourselves to be baptised in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and in the very act to refuse in our hearts, and in the sight of God, to have God for our Father, or Christ for our Saviour, or the Holy Ghost for our sanctifier, is to contradict ourselves in the sight of God. It is to lie to the Holy Ghost. It is to renounce Christianiig in heart, at the very monient when we embrace it in our visible conduct. But such wicked dissimulation is not an appointed means of grace.
As to the Lord's supper, our Saviour teacheih us, that it is the seal of the new covenant, in which remission of sins. is offered through the blood of Christ. Mat. xxvi. 28. For this is my blood of the Nero Testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins. Which is essentially different from Mr. M.'s external covenant, by which no remission of sins can be obtained.
At the Lord's table, Christ, by the mouth of his minister, says, this is my body, take ye, eat ye all of it. This is my blood, take ye,
drink ye all of it. Hereby sealing to the truth contained in the "written instrument.” But it is therein written in so many words, “I am the living bread, which caine down from heaven ; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever : and the bread that I will give him is my Hesh, which I give for the lise of the world. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I io him." John vi 51.56. Thus it is written, and thus it is sealed on Christ's part. On the other band the communicant, by his practice, declares, “I take his flesh, and eat it. I take his blood, and driok it," and seals the covenant on his part ; and thus the “ written instrument” is externally and visibly sealed, ratified, and confirmed on both sides, with as much formality as any“ written instrument” is mutually sealed by the parties in any covenant among men. And now if both parties are sincere in the covenant thus sealed; and if both abide by and act according to it, the communicant will be säved. For salvation is promised in the "written instrument" to those who eat his flesh and drink his blood. Joha vi. 51. This promise is sealed by Christ at the Lord's table. The condition of it is externally complied with, in the sacramental actions, by the communicant, who visibly cats his flesh and drinks his blood. And if the exercises of his heart answer to his external actions, the covenant is on his part complied with, sealed, ratified, and confirmed. And if the Gospel is true, he will be saved.
But if the communicant's heart does not answer to his external sacramental actions; but on the contrary, if when he visibly and sacramentally eats his flesh and drinks his blood, even at that very time, in his heart and in the sight of God,
he rejects bis flesh and his blood, his atonement, and all the blessings purchased by his death, his visible actions are a lie : and lying is not a converting ordinance.
An impenitent sinner under legal terrors may forsake bad company, lay aside the practice of uncleanness, of drunkenness, of backbiting, of lying and cheating, &c. he may make restitution to those whom he has injured in name and estate : he may spend much time in hearing and reading the word of God, in meditating on death and judgment, heaven and hell, in comparing his thoughts, words, and actions, with the law of God, and with the gospel of Christ: and he may spend much time in secret prayer, and in trying to get his heart deeply affected with eternal things, &c. &c. without lying. And thus reforming his life, and attending these means, may be useful to promote a conviction of his sinful, guilty, helpless, ruined state: But lying tends to sear his conscience and hearden his heart in sin. To make a profession of a compliance with the covenant of grace with his mouth, when he knows he does not comply with it in his heart; and to renew this covenant at the table of the Lord in vis tions, while he continues to reject it in his heart, and knows this to be the case with him, is wilful lying, and tends directly to the eternal ruin of the sinner's immortal soul.
Object. By my sacramental actions I mean to acknowledge, that the gospel is true; but not to profess a compliance with it. p. 41.
Answ. Should your neighbour treat you thus, in any covedant depending between you ; should he say, " I own the things contained in it are true, but I do not mean to bind myself to fulfil the covenant, by signing and sealing it before evidence;" you, and all the world, would look upon him as a dishonest quibbler.
OBJ. But I mean to have the truth of the Gospel deeply impressed upon my heart by the ordinance.” p. 41.
Answ. This end might be as well obtained, if you tarried as a spectator. Those who stand by as witnesses, when a bond is signed and sealed, may know what is done, as well as those who are parties, and who bind themselves. Men that mean not to bind themselves should not sign and seal the
bond. No one seals a bond, unless he means to bind himself to fulfil it. Should a man offer to sign and seal a bond, which he did not mean to bind himself to fulfil, in order to get his heart affected with what is contained in it, his neighbours would think hiin delirious.
OBJ. But I mean to bind myself to “endeavour" to fulfil it; i. e. to “ endeavour to conform my practice to the rules of it.” p. 21. Ans. Should you offer your house and farm to your neigh
the most reasonable terms, which if he had a heart he might fulfil with ease and pleasure, Mat. xi. 28, 29. Prov. iii. 17.; and should he plainly tell you, that at present he could not find it in his heart to comply with your offer; nor could he promise that he ever should comply ; but however he was willing to bind himself to " endeavour" to comply, and no more; you would doubtless think best to put off the bargain till you should find him of another temper. And what our Saviour thinks best in the present case, is most plainly expressed in Luke xiv. 25–33.
It cannot be determined that Mr. M.'s external covenant re
quires, and wherein a real compliance with it doth consist, so that any man can ever know that he has complied with il.
NEGATIVELY, Mr. M. has determined with great exactness, what it does not require, and what is not necessary in order to a perfect compliance with it: viz. holiness. For it requires no holiness at all: no, not the least spark of true grace. So that, if we could know what it did require, it might be perfectly complied with by one who is quite dead in sin. This is very plain.
Positively he has not determined what it does require, 80 that any man can ever know that he has complied with it; nor can it be determined by him, or by any other. For it
cannot be determined from scripture, for the scripture knows nothing about such a covenant, either name or thing. And it cannot be determined from reason ; for it is supposed to be a matter of pure revelation.
Indeed, Mr. M. has attempted to settle this matter : he says, p. 21.“ I will allow, that none but such as profess the Christian religion, and will endeavour to conforni his practice to the rules of it, ought to be admitted into the church." Upon which it may be observed, 1. That Abraham made no profession at all of any
faith, but of a saving faith. He believed in the Lord, and it was counted to him for righteousness. And if Abraham is to be our pattern, as Mr. M. insists, then we must make a profession of this faith, or of none. To set aside Abraham's faith, which was, as James asserts, a living faith ; and to introduce into its room a dead faith, which James calls the faith of devils ; and to substitute this in the stead of the faith of Abraham, and to put God's seal, which belongs to God's covenant, to this new invented covenant of human device, is not
to conform our practice to the rules" of God's word; nor so much as lo “endeavour" it. Besides,
2. Mr. M. says, p. 7. “ That by which ANY ONE was to enter into this" external «
covenant, was an external mark in the flesh.” But faith, although a dead faith, is an internal thing, and is as much invisible, as any other mental qualification whatsoever : and therefore is not necessary on bis scheme to be in the heart of the professor : nor need be profess it to be in his heart. For “ to require more of the person to be admitted into the church, ihan is made necessary by the covenant on which it is framed, is really absurd.” p. 22. For to imitate his manner of reasoning, it may be said, " to set this matter in the clearest light, an infidel, or an atheist, with a fair profession of the external covenant, when he is received into the visible church, on Mr. M.'s scheme, is in the sight of God either a member of it, or he is not. If he is a member, then the faith of devils is not necessary. If he is not, then on Mr. M.'s scheme there can be no visible church.” This is Mr. M.'s manner of reasoning,