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unction, signifying the collation of that healing and cheering Spirit to the baptized person; that which St. Paul may seem to respect, when he saith, 2 Cor. i. 21. He that establisheth (or confirmeth) us with you into Christ, and who hath anointed us, is God; who also hath sealed us, and hath given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
3. With those gifts is connected the benefit of regeneration, implying our entrance into a new state and course of life; being endowed with new faculties, dispositions, and capacities of souls; becoming Eph. ii. 22, new creatures and new men, as it were, renewed Col. iii. 10. after the likeness of God in righteousness and 2 Cor. v.17. true holiness; our being sanctified in our hearts and
καὶ ἐμπλή. σασα γά
lives, being mortified to fleshly lusts and worldly affections, being quickened to a spiritual life and heavenly conversation: in short, becoming, in relation and in disposition of mind, the children of God. This the matter and the action of baptism do set Ezek. xvi. out for as children new born, (for cleansing them vara from impurities adherent from the womb,) both among the Jews and other people, were wont to be washed; so are we in baptism, signifying our purification from natural and worldly defilements: the mersion also in water, and the emersion thence, doth figure our death to the former, and receiving to a new life. Whence baptism is by St. Paul called Tit. iii. 5. the laver of regeneration; and our Lord saith, that John iii. 5. if a man be not born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God; that is, every one becoming a Christian is by baptism regenerated, or put into a new state of life, getteth new dispositions of soul, and new relations to God; Gal. iii. 26. Ye are all, saith St. Paul, the children of God
Col. ii. 12.
by faith in Christ Jesus; that is, by embracing his doctrine, and submitting to his law professedly in baptism: and, We, saith St. Paul again, are bu- Rom. vi. 4. ried with Christ through baptism unto death; that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so also we should walk in newness of life.
4. With these benefits is conjoined that of being inserted into God's church, his family, the number of his chosen people, the mystical body of Christ, whereby we become entitled to the privileges and immunities of that heavenly corporation. We, saith 1 Cor. xii. St. Paul, have been all baptized in one Spirit into one body, the mystical body of Christ: and, So Gal. iii. 27. many of you, saith he again, as have been baptized into Christ, (into Christ mystical, or the church,) have put on Christ; and ye are, adds he, all one in Christ Jesus. As proselytes among the Jews by baptism were admitted unto the communion and privileges of the Jewish, so thereby are we received into the like communion and privileges of the Christian, far more excellent, society.
5. In consequence of these things, there is with baptism conferred a capacity of, a title unto, an assurance (under condition of persevering in faith and obedience to our Lord) of, eternal life and salvation. We are therein, in St. Peter's words, regenerated 1 Pet. i. 2. unto a lively hope of an incorruptible inheritance, by that resurrection of Christ, which is represented to us in this action; and so therein applied, as to beget in us a title and a hope to rise again in like manner to a blissful life; whence we are said therein to rise with him; Being, saith St. Paul, buried Col. ii. 12. with him in baptism, wherein also we were raised
again: whence by the two great apostles baptism
For as this holy rite signifieth and sealeth God's
renouncing all erroneous principles, all vicious inclinations, and all other engagements whatever, entirely to devote ourselves to the faith and obedience of God the Father, our glorious and good Maker; of God the Son, our gracious Redeemer; of God the Holy Ghost, our blessed Guide, Assistant, Advocate, and Comforter: these are the duties antecedent unto, and concomitant of, our baptism, (immediately and formally required of those who are capable of performing them, mediately and virtually of them who are not,) the which are signfied by our being baptized in the name of the holy Trinity.
These duties the scripture commonly expresseth by the word, faith and repentance; sometimes singly, sometimes conjunctly: If, said Philip to the eunuch, Actsviii.37. thou believest with thy heart, it is lawful (for thee to be baptized;) faith was an indispensable condition prerequisite thereto: and, Repent, saith St.Peter, and let every one of you be baptized; repentance also Acts ii. 38. was necessary to precede it: indeed both these (as they are meant in this case) do in effect signify the same; each importeth a being renewed in mind, in judgment, in will, in affection; a serious embracing of Acts xxvi. Christ's doctrine, and a stedfast resolution to adhere 14. V. 31. thereto in practice. Hence are those effects or con- xxvi. 20. iii. 19. xvii. 30. sequences attributed to faith, justifying us, reconcil-Rom. v. ing and bringing us near to God, saving us; because ii. it is the necessary condition required by God, and 8. by him accepted, that we may be capable of those Heb. x. 39. benefits conferred in baptism; the same being also iii. 12. referred to that repentance, or change of mind, which 13. must accompany our entrance into Christianity; that good conscience with which we stipulate a perpetual Matt. ix.13. devotion and obedience to God; the which therefore
1, 2. iii. 25.
Gal. ji. 16.
Eph. ii. 8.
2 Thess. ii.
2 Tim. ii.
2 Pet. iii. 9.
Rom. vi. 3, 4, &c.
Luke xxiv. doth, as St. Peter telleth us, save us; it contributMark ii.17.ing to our salvation, as a duty necessarily required in order thereto. This is that death to sin, and resurrection to righteousness, that being buried with Christ, and rising again with him, so as to walk in newness of life, which the baptismal action signifies, and which we then really undertake to perform.
And as such are the duties preceding or accompanying baptism; so making good the engagements they contain, constantly persisting in them, maintaining and improving them, are duties necessarily Heb. x. 23. consequent thereupon; Having, saith the apostle, had our bodies washed with pure water, let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering. We should indeed continually remember, frequently and seriously consider, what in so solemn a manner we (upon so valuable considerations) did then undertake, promise, and vow to God, diligently striving to perform it; for violating our part of the covenant and stipulation then made, by apostasy in profession or practice from God and goodness, we certainly must forfeit those inestimable benefits which God otherwise hath tied himself to bestow; the pardon of our sins, the favour of God, the being members of Christ, the grace, guidance, assistance, and comfort of the Holy Spirit; the right unto, and hope of, salvation. We so doing, shall not only simply disobey and offend God; but add the highest breach of fidelity to our disobedience, together with the most heinous ingratitude, abusing the greatest grace that Heb. x. 26, could be vouchsafed us; If we wilfully sin after we have taken the acknowledgment of the truth, (saith the apostle, meaning that solemn profession of our faith in baptism,) we trample under foot the Son