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sought for, for they have only to speak out that which the Spirit speaks in them.* As they have received FREELY, they FREELY give, saying, "come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk WITHOUT MONEY AND WITHOUT PRICE.
HAVING been something lengthy in my Plea, tho' short as my subject would admit, I now come to a close by way of a recapitulation, and with the addition of a few remarks.
1. Touching baptism, I have placed it among the types, and as the typical law was given to man in consequence of the fall, I consider all types done away in man's restoration to the "image of God," which image is produced through the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit. We have seen that John preached the kingdom of God to comeChrist and his disciples taught previous to the suffering of Christ, that the kingdom of God was yet to come-we have seen that the order of the tabernacle, with all the law rites and ceremonies continued until Christ suffered on the cross, and that Christ suffered, and brought in that dispensation, which is the
* Human learning is not to be despised, but God is to be thanked for. that, as well as every other worldly privilege, which he has made us capable of attaining to; but it is not to be accounted indispensibly neces sary for a gospel minister. It never should be received as grace, nor put in the place of the Spirit. We, ourselves, may have much learning, but in every respect it should be subject and give place to the Spirit. We never should use worldly wisdom of words in delivering the truth, but speak to the capacity of a child and all will understand.
proper christian dispensation, or "the kingdom of God" at the very time, and according to the divine prediction of Daniel; and as we have seen the impropriety of drawing the dividing line between the legislation of Moses, and Christ's Spiritual legislation, by the term gospel, or gospel dispensation, and [that the term "kingdom of God," or "kingdom of heaven," is the most proper; it follows as a natural consequence that baptism with all. other rituals, previous to the suffering of Christ, were all under the law of Moses.
Again, we have noticed the commission. mentioned, Matt. xxviii. 19, and putting that with the account given by the other evangelists of the commission, we have shown that the commission should not be taken to mean the baptism of water, but Christ's own baptism of the Spirit, a baptism which was to attend the word preached by virtue of the Spirit.- -I have shown, that there is probably but one instance where the Gentiles received water baptism, and I have endeavored to account for this one instance, and show that the apostles considered the right as belonging to the Jews. I have also shown, that John did not preach water baptism, but that he prepared the people for the Lord by preaching to them the baptism of repentance, and that he baptized with water none but Jews, and whenever water baptism was used by the apostles it was among Jews only, but in the instance already accounted for.
We have seen that in the epistles of the apostles, many passages quoted by baptizers in support of water baptism, not one have reference to the baptism of water, but to the baptism of the Spirit, as a perfecting grace to the church.
2. Touching the sacrament (so called,) we have submitted to an impartial investigation, and find by scripture adjustment, that the said sacrament is not mentioned in the scriptures. The scriptures only mention "the feast of unleavened bread" with the Jews' passover-supper. It appears that when Christ ate the passover with his disciples,he only Spiritualized the passover without instituting any new institution.
We have noticed every instance where the breaking of bread is mentioned in the new testament records, and I think it is clear that such breaking of bread only took place at Jewish feasts, or at a common family meal; so no sacramental eating was intended.
3. As to what I have said concerning the scriptures, and on ordination, little. need be said by way of recapitulation, since it is the last before us. Touching the scripture, I have given my opinion that they are to be considered as touching history and divine revelation. They were written by men favored of God and stand not only as a circumstantial, but as an incontestible proof of Spiritual and revealed religion. The historical part of the scriptures were written for our learning, and
such scripture as touch upon revelation were written, not only for confirmation by showing us a chain of corresponding prophecies down to the coming of Christ, but they were written for our comfort, and so it is, that such scripture as describe the movings and operations of that Spirit, (which christians must have previously received to know it, when it is described,) they are comforting and like writings touching the inward witness, written by good men, in this our day they will be read with joy and thanksgiving. I have shown what I believe of the scriptures, and would avoid the evil that will come in consequence of receiving them for more or less than they are.
Touching ordination, I believe that it is Christ's prerogative to qualify his own ministers, and though they may receive letters of commendation from their friends, these only can respect a moral character, for they cannot qualify or disqualify.
What I have written, I have written without regard to any who may be pleased, or displeased. I have used plainness, because as with other sentiments, so it is with mine, there is a point or place to which every man's sentiments naturally leads, and he who keeps back in speaking or in writing and does not come plainly to the point, for fear of displeasing or to please cannot be honest. If for believing that the sacraments, so called, are without scripture foundation, and if
for believing as the scriptures say, that the Spirit is the rule for christian faith and practice, and if for believing it is Christ's by his Spirit to qualify his ministers to preach his gospel-if for this I be called an enthusiast, or an heretic, so be it. To be censured is not a sure mark of criminality. It was said of Christ, that he was an agent to beelzebub, or that he cast out devils by beelzebub, the prince of devils-he was called a deceiver, a mad man, and a blasphemer; so be it with me. as it may be, it is enough for the servant to be as his master. Now as in former days, it is not unfrequent that good men, though their life may shine with every grace which characterizes the most godly, if they do not believe in this, that, or the other notion, which the tradition of men (rather than scripture or reason,) hath made orthodox, they are counted among heretics, and reckoned to be the deceivers foretold of, to come in the last days.
I have before told what I believe of tenets, by the similitude of colors. I will here add that men may be more properly called heretics for their conduct, than for their particular tenets-to judge of a man's christianity or heresy by his particular tenet, is rash judging, and it is like putting to the torture for looks, without a regard to the disposition.
It is justly chargeable upon the ministers of the people, that they are spoilers of the flock. No doubt, many who call themselves preachers of the gospel will proclaim loudly against what I have written, because their