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spiritual birth-is in scripture connected with baptism,' that "baptism is the instrument of the new birth, in a way that no other cause but God himself is,"-that "baptism is not a mere initiatory rite, but an appointed means for conveying the Holy Spirit,"-that "the Holy Spirit is there first pledged, and imparted to us,"that" in baptism, all their old sins had been forgiven, and they themselves re-born from the dead, and been made partakers of the life of CHRIST, quickened with him,"-that "Baptism is a sacrament; and that if so, it must convey the blessings annexed to it," when not obstructed,-that " sacraments are not bare signs, but convey that also which they signify," that "the benefits of Holy Baptism are, by virtue of the sacrament itself, and of the Divine institution imparted," and that "Zuingle's notions on the meaning of a sacrament, were derived originally, not from scripture, but from classical usage." Pages 12, 13. 37. 83, 84.92.

Secondly, The Professor considers that "the initiatory sacrament of the New Testament," rises essentially above the initiatory rite of the Old,-that "the comparison of baptism" with "circumcision," tends to bring down baptism, from a sacrament of Christ to the character of the signs of the older dispensation," and that "St. Paul speaks of circumcision as a sign and seal only." Pages 131, 139. St. Paul's instruction, we shall fully examine in a future number.

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In these two classes of extracts, the following statements are made. We are told-1. That Christian baptism conveys the Holy Spirit.-2. That sacraments ordained by Christ, convey what they signify, and that baptism does this by virtue of the Divine institution.-3. But that old Testament rites were only signs or seals. It is manifest that the above three points, are all involved in the notion entertained of baptismal regeneration. Besides, these notions of baptismal regeneration, are not to be called in question from any lack of evidence, or from defect of morality in persons who have been baptised. Bishop Bethell, and Mr. Dodsworth, both join Dr. Pusey, in esteeming them "subjects of faith," (p. 161,) as truly as the divinity of Christ is :-Opposition to them is called "unbelief." (p. 144.) And we are solemnly invited to attend to the "words of Christ." In his preface, he


"I wish to recall men to their Saviour's feet, and to induce them to think, apart from modern systems, what his words, teachably considered, lead to--what the words of the Holy Scripture must mean, in his mouth who spake them." p. 3, 4.

It is certainly a fair proposition, that we should seek our Saviour's INSTITUTIONS in his own word. We can however conceive of only two ways in which baptism could become an ordinance of His appointment, and the blessings annexed to it become properly known; -1. If Christ originally, in the first instance, ordained and instituted it;-or, 2. If He appointed its adoption from any existing institution ;-and, If when he instituted it, he specified its privileges; or, if when he adopted it, he particularly explained what he omitted, or what he added. Thus he would make it expressly his own sacrament, with all its altered and additional privileges, provided any change was made; but if not, then we must receive it as it stood in its original shape.

We acknowledge, indeed, that if we find our Lord or his disciples by his order, practising a rite, and directing it to be perpetuated in his church, that would satisfy us respecting its fitness, and our obligation. But a rite only, thus sanctioned, would leave the Professor's system without a shadow of evidence; because his system assumes, that baptism is Christ's own institution; and, moreover, that it greatly exceeds in privileges and effect, the rites that preceded it: Hence we are compelled to seek for either an original and primary ordinance, instituted by Christ himself, independent of all Old Testament customs;—or else, an ordinance adopted from previous rites, with additional privileges annexed to it by Christ himself.

But observe, when we enquire after the ORIGINAL INSTITUTION, or the original ADOPTION of Christ's baptism, we are not to be beguiled by "Fathers, creeds, and expositions." For be it remembered, that we are not now asking for the meaning and explanation of baptism, but for its origin and original establishment by our Saviour. For as the Professor insists so much on "Christ's ordinances, Christ's institution," and on the vast superiority of Christ's sacrament above that of the Old Testament, we must learn in what documentary instruction of the New Testament, such a sacrament, so supremely

endowed, is found. We must demand, as every prudent man, even in temporal affairs, would do; the original document respecting the institution, or the real testamentary grant, by which our regeneration in baptism, and our eternal inheritance are specifically conveyed. It is true we are referred by the Professor to John iii. 5, where our Lord speaks of water and the Spirit." But this certainly is not the institution of baptism.

We are enquiring for our Lord's INSTITUTION of the ordinance. He did not institute it on this occasion. For it is not so much as mentioned in plain language. If it be said that our Saviour alluded, by anticipation, to an ordinance hereafter to be appointed; we ask again, when was that appointment made, and what were the words of its institution? Our Lord, we know, after his resurrection, commanded his disciples to "go and teach all nations, and baptise them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." This was certainly investing the apostles with authority to baptise, and instructing them in the very language in which it was to be performed. But this is not an original record of the institution; on the contrary, it clearly implies that baptism already existed.

Suppose, then, we trace the matter back through the various stages of our Lord's ministry, till we come to the early part of it, recorded in the fourth chapter of St. John. There we read, that "Jesus made and baptised more disciples than John," (though Jesus himself baptised not, but his disciples). Here, however, we have again only the ministration of baptism, and not its institution. In John iii. 22, (earlier still,) we are told that "Jesus tarried with his disciples, and baptised." And this, perhaps, is the first intimation in the Gospel, that he ever did so. But even here, there is no original appointment, nor any reference made to it.-Hence, then, it appears that baptism did not originate with our Lord, nor did he appoint it, independently of what had been. formerly practised, under the ancient dispensation, nor did he disregard former rites as unsuitable to his purpose. But further,

It seems evident, that had nothing been said or known respecting baptism, before what is said by our Saviour respecting it, that no certain idea of it could be collected.

The incidental mention of the word "water," in John iii. 5, could not possibly convey any correct notion of baptism, had it been wholly unknown before;-1. Because baptism is not mentioned in this text, nor are the words "born of water," explained. And as water was used by the Jews in numerous external washings, and applied also in the Old Testament to designate spiritual blessings, and is necessary to our existence as a support of life,-it would seem impossible, unless more were known, that Nicodemus, or any one else, could understand what being "born of water" could mean. -2. Because when our Saviour ordained the continuance of baptism in his church, he did not say so much as one word about "water." Matt. xxviii. 19.-Mark xvi. 16. As in John iii. 5, he never mentions baptism, so in his last directions, he does not mention "water.'

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It appears, therefore, quite clear, that had not baptism been practically known to the disciples or to the Jews before, the few words spoken by our Saviour, in the Gospels, could not have afforded them any clear and undoubted exposition of its nature. But baptism was a thing quite familiar to the Jews: and Nicodemus, therefore, would readily understand what meaning the words, "born of water," were intended to convey.

We find, indeed, in the Old Testament, a Divine institution respecting "the water of separation," Num. xix. 2. 17, to which St. Paul alludes in Heb. ix. 13. It was necessary that this water should be sprinkled on every "unclean" person, whether Jew or Gentile, before he could be received into the congregation. Hence we must infer, that no Gentile convert could be admitted into the Jewish church without being baptised or sprinkled with this "water of separation." This baptism, and other washings connected with it, in addition to circumcision, were necessary before any Gentile proselyte could gain admission into the Jewish Church. This is proved by historic facts.

The passage alluded to above, in the book of Numbers, was probably what our Saviour referred to in his conversation with Nicodemus. And as our Saviour speaks of "water," as necessary in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven, we may reasonably conclude, that he intended Nicodemus to understand that it must, in some shape, be

used for that purpose. In what shape we shall hereafter examine. But as he said nothing about a NEW institution, Nicodemus must have concluded (and so must we), that our Lord intended to adopt this part of the Old Testament rites, as an introductory ordinance into his own kingdom.

Therefore, under the ADOPTION of baptism, it becomes of essential importance to inquire what alteration our Lord made respecting the use of water, when he adopted. it as an ordinance in his kingdom. It is well known that the Jews made use of water in various kinds of washings: but it is not probable that our Saviour would adopt any ceremony that was not either of a Divine original, or of essentially the same character, and used for the same intention. The only analogous rite, which seems to have been of sufficient importance to warrant the conclusion, that our Lord transferred it from the Jewish church into his own, was the introduction of proselytes into that church by baptism.

But it will be necessary to the very existence of the Professor's system, who ascribes so much superiority to baptism, to show what alterations, if any, our Lord made in baptism, and what additional privileges he "annexed" to it when he adopted it as his own ordinance. But here again there is an entire want of evidence. As we find no record whatever of any primary appointment by our Saviour, or of his original adoption of baptism, so we have no account whatever of any alterations made, or of any enlarged privileges appended to it. And the Professor has given us no reference to Scripture in confirmation of his statements, that the benefits imparted (including regeneration and remission of sins), were imparted by virtue of our Saviour's institution, or of "his words of blessing," and that they are not to be ascribed to "the counsel of God giving effect to the outward ordinance, when and to whom he will."-pp. 145, 146. We find that baptism was practised by our Lord's disciples, John iii. 22; but there is nothing said about its original adoption, nor about the time, manner, and place when it was adopted. And yet, according to the Professor, the blessings imparted come by virtue of its institution! by which, of course, he must mean that some especial promises were made when it was instituted. But, as we hear nothing of the institution itself, how can we know what blessings

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