« PreviousContinue »
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."
The words of the late Mr. George Whitefield upon this passage are remarkable, and much in favour of our practice : - It is certain that in the words of our text (Rom. vi. 3, 4.) there is an allusion to the manner of baptism, which was by immersion; which our own church allows, and insists upon it that children shall be immersed in water, unless those that bring the children to be baptized assure the minister that they cannot bear the plunging"-Eighteen Sermons, p. 297.
The propriety of this concession, with reference to the Church of England, will appear to every one who consults the Common Prayer Book; where it is exprefly enjoined" That the priest fhall take the child into his hands, and shall say to the godfathers and godmothers, Name this child: then naming it after them, (if they thall certify him that the child may well endure it), he shall dip it in the water
discreetly and warily, saying, &c."-[Pub- . lic Baptism of Infants.]
Hence it appears, that in the Established Church, pouring was only admissible under certain circumstances; and as for sprinkling, I believe there is not a word faid concerning it in the whole service.
Thus, my dear friends, I have spoken to you on the present occasion: I have appealed to the sacred oracles ; and have introduced several short quotations from the writings of many wise, learned, and godly men, who were Pædobaptists, in order to shew that the remarks which I have made are not forced, but natural, reasonable, and scriptural : I have endeavoured to speak with seriousnels and affection : I will once more add, in the words of the text - Judge ye what I say.
To conclude : Permit me, my dear hearers, to caution each of you against resting satisfied with a mere form of godliness. Persons may afsent to all the precious doctrines of grace, and embrace the ordinances which Christ has appointed ;
but what will that avail, if they are not born of the Spirit of God ? If they are habitually under the dominion of pride and covetousness ; if they are destitute of an experimental knowledge of Christ-of genuine faith in his atonement and righteousness-of sincere unfeigned love to his person and government—and of a real desire to glorify his precious name ; if, after all their profession, they die in such a state, they will be lost for ever.
To you who know the joyful sound, who rejoice in the Redeemer's name, and have followed the Lamb in the way which he has appointed; I would say-Hold fast the truth in love. Instead of exhorting you to be shy of your christian brethren who may conscientiously differ from you, I would say--Endeavour to convince them that, while you revere the authority of Jesus, you have tasted his dying love, and live under its constraining power. Unite, as far as possibile, with all those that love the adorable Immanuel, in oppofing sin and error, and in endeavouring instru