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4. Another extraordinary method Mr. M. has taken, is to insinuate, that the sacramental controversy turns on these absurd doctrines. Whereas, in truth, he cannot produce an instance of any one writer, on our side of the question, who ever believed these absurd doctrines, much less ever built his arguments on them. Let him read Mr. Richard Baxter, Dr. Watts, Dr. Guise, Dr. Doddridge, Mr. Henry, Mr. Flavel, and look through the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, and read over President Edwards, Mr. Green, and others in these parts of the world, who have written on the subject, and he will not find a syllable to countenance bim in such an insinuation. Nay, the chief of the argunents used, by writers' on our side of the question, are conclusive, to prove that baptism and the Lord's supper are seals of the covenant of grace, and of no other covenant, without entering into any dispute about the perfection of the divine law, total depravity, regeneration, &c. &c. The point is so clear and plain, that Calvinists, Arminians, Neonomians, Arians, &c. have agreed in this, while they have differed in almost every thing else. If we may believe Dr. Increase Mather, it was, in his day, the common doctrine of protestants in opposition to papists, 'that it is a justifying faith only which giveth right to baptism before God,' how much soever they differed in other matters. And as to all the orthodox, the celebrated Dr. Van Mastricht, in his Treatise on Regeneration, says, ' As to the baptism of adults, that, if rightly administered, doth by the consent of all the orthudor, certainly presuppose regeneration as already effected. But this leads me to observe,
5. Another very extraordinary method Mr. M. takes la keep himself in countenance, is by misrepresenting that plan, unanimously agreed to by the synod at Saybrook, and on which the churches in New-England, in general, were formed at the first settling of the country, which alone I was endeavouring to justify, as a very groundless and unreasonable notion of the Anabaptists, in which Dr. Bellamy and a few others have joined with thein. p. 66. And at the same time. claiming the Westminster assembly, Mr. Shepard, Mr. Jonathan Dickinson, and Mr. Peter Clark, as friends to his exter
nal covenant. So that one would think, that scarce any are on our side of the question, but the Anabaptists. Now this is very extraordinary in Mr. M. 1. Because, in his former book be speaks a very different language, well knowing how the matter really stands. (p. 59.)- Shall I then prevail with them, to lay aside all prejudice, all attachment to received marims, all veneration for great names.' For he had before him the sentiments of the protestant world, collected by the late learned Mr. Foxcroft, in an appendix to president Edwards' Inquiry, &c. And he well knew that received marims and great names, stood in the way of his new scheme. 2. It is very extraordinary that he should say, that his external covenant is included in the covenant of grace, described by the assembly of divines at Westminster, (p. 61.) when, as bas been before shown, the doctrines of the perfection of the divine law, and of total depravity, as held by that assembly, are inconsistent with the existence of his external coverunt. And in their Confession of Paith, (chap. 29.) they, say'all ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with hin, so are they unworthy of the Lord's table, and cannot, without great sin against Christ, while they continue such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereto. Whereas, the very professed design of his external covenant is to open a door, that ungodly men, as such, should be admitted to partake of these holy mysteries. And, 3. It is equally extraordinary that he should pretend that Mr. Jonathan Dickinson was a friend to his external covenant, when, in bis Dialogue on the Divine right of Infant Baptism, he proves that the covenant with Abraham, Gen. xvii. was the covenant of grace itself, in opposition to the Anabaptists, who, with Mr. M. maintain the covenant with Abraham, Gen. xvii, was not the covenant of grace. And, having proved that covenant to be the covenant of grace, then proceeds, on this hypothesis, to prove
the divine right of infant baptism. Dr. Gill wrote an answer to this piece of Mr. Dickinson's : Mr. Peter Clark wrote a reply to Dr. Gill, in which he spends above a hundred pages in proving the covenant in Gen. xvii. to be a pure covenant of grace,' in answering Dr. Gill's objections, which are the same for substance with Mr. M.'s Five Arguments, in
bis first book, (p. 7, 8.) and in establishing infant baptism on this foundation. And he expressly affirms, (p. 208.) ' Ercept a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Avd if, without regeneration, no man can enter into the kingdom of God, then surely not into covenant with God.' But the unregenerate, as such, can enter into covenant with God, on the plan of Mr. M.'s external covenant. And yet Mr. M. pretends that there is ‘no material difference between these authors and his scheme. But, 4. It is more extraordinary still, that Mr. M. should bring in Mr. Shepard as a friend to his external covenant, when the piece he refers to, (p. 61.) is not wrote on Mr. M.'s scheme, but on a scheme essentially different; and when Mr. Shepard, in his sermons on the parable of the ten virgins bas so plainly declared his mind. These are his very words : attend to them, candid reader, and say, was Mr. Shepard in Mr. M.'s scheme?
'We may see hence one just ground of that diligent and narrow search and trial, churches here do or should make of all those whom they receive to be fellow-members. The Lord Jesus will make a very strict search and examination of wise and foolislı, when he comes, and will put a difference between them then.
May not men nor churches imitate the Lord Jesus according to their light now? If indeed all the congregation of the baptised were holy, then, as Korah said, they take too much upon them. If Christ at his coming, would make neither examination, nor separation, not only of people baptised at large, but of professors, and glorious professors of his truth and name; if churches were not set to discern between harlots and virgins, foolish virgins and wise, as much as in them lies, that so some of the glory of Christ may be seen in his churches here, as well as at the last day; then the
gale might be opened wide, and flung off the hinges too, for all comers; and you might call the churches of Christ the inn and tavern of Christ to receive all strangers, if they will
pay for what they call for, and bear scot and lot in the town, and not the house and temple of Christ only to entertain his friends. But, (beloved,) the church hath the keys of the kingdom of heaven ; and what they bind and loose, following the example and rule of Christ, is bound and loosed in
heaven, and they judge in the room of Christ. 1 Cor. v. 4, 5. 2 Cor. ii. 11. Whom the church casts out, and bids depart to satan, Christ dotb. Whom the church receives to itself, Christ doth. We should receive in none but such as have visible right to Christ, and communion of saints. None hase a right to Christ in his ordinances, but such as shall have communion with Christ at bis coming to judge the world. Hence, if we could be so eagle-eyed as to discern them now that are hypocrites, we should exclude them now, as Christ will, because they have no right. But that we cannot do ; the Lord will therefore do it for his churches. But yet let the churches learn from this to do what they can for the Lord pow.-The apostle gives a sad charge, Heb. xii. 15. Look diligently, lest a root of bitterness grow up. The apostle doth not say, it is no matter what roots you set in Christ's garden; only when they spring up, and begin to seed and infect others, then have a care of them : but look there be not a root there.--Look diligently to it.-- It is ill counsel 10 the gala dener to say, Have a care to weed your garden ; but it is no matter, God looks not that you should be careful of your seed, so long as it be seed. Nay, the Lord that forbids me to suffer weeds to grow, forbids my carelessness in sowing what seeds I please. It is the judgment of some divines, that the first sin of Adam and his wife, was in suffering the serpent 10 enter into the garden, uncalled for. The ruin of a church
be the letting in of some one ill member. • Objection. But the primitive church never received in any with such strict confessions, and large examination ; three thousand in a day were admitted.
• Ans. I remember a godly divine, in answering an objection of late repentance from the example of the thief; bava ing whipt it with many other rods, at the last lasheth it with this, it is an extraordinary case ; and hence not to be brought in for an ordinary example. Hence he speaks thus ; when therefore the time comes that Christ shall come and be crucified again, and thou one of the thieves to be crucified with him, and it fall out that thou be the best of the two, then shalt thou be saved by Christ, that despising Christ now, puts off thy repentance till then ; so I say here, there is somewhat
imitable and ordinary in the apostle's example, in admitting
and therefore that I would say, when the time comes, that the spirit is poured out on all flesh; and that time is known to be the spring-tide, and large measure of the Spirit, when ministers are so honoured as to convert many thousands at a sermon; and so God and reason call for quickness; when elders of churches are as sharpsighted as the apostles, when the conversion of men also shall be most eminent, and that in such places where it is death, or half hanging, to profess the Lord Jesus ; as that they shall be pricked at their hearts, gladly receive the word, lay down their necks on the block, cast down all their estates at the church's feet, out of love to God's ordinances; when men shall not have Christian education, the example and crowd of Christians, from the teeth outwardly, to press them to the door of the church, as those times had not; then, for my part, if three hundred thousand were converted, I should receive them as gladly, and as manifestly, as they receive Christ. But truly there is such little takings now, that we have leisure enough to look upon our money, and the hypocrisy of the world gives us good reason to stay and see.' Mr. Shepard's sermons on the parable, &c. part 2. p. 184, &c. This sermon was preached at Cambridge, near Boston, about the year 1640, and so about 130 years ago, ten years after they began to settle Boston, by one of the most godly and most celebrated ministers then in the country, a few years before his death. And this passage shows us the spirit of the godly in New-England, in those early days. And to all godly people in the country, the name of Mr. Shepard is precious to this day, and Mr. M. knew it; and therefore, to keep bimself in countenance, thinks fit to bring in him as a friend to his external covenunt. But is not this an extraordinary method ?
To omit the rest, we will mention but one instance more.
6. Another extraordinary method Mr. M. takes to support his scheme, is to bring arguments against us, built on principles which he himself does not believe to be true; and which, if they were true, would infallibly overtbrow his own