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authority against all other schemes, how plausible soever in their configuration, how apparently suitable soever in their application? The writer has not been favoured with any vision on this matter; moreover, as he deems it unnecessary, he, of course, does not expect any. And surely if his plan be authorised by the example of God himself—by the Lord Jesus Christ—by the Holy Spirit, in his method of presenting the truth to all men in the Scriptures; if the Apostles taught the truth on this plan, and if missionaries in teaching idolators feel themselves forced to the adoption of it; then there is no need of angel or vision. The path of duty is before us, and we ought to pursue it. What shall we say of the present Babel-like confusion among those calling themselves teachers of Christianity? The champions of each sect forming schemes for themselves of teaching as chance, or whim, or interest directs, and all employing themselves in confirming certain factional dogmas, -in making merchandise of the people-or in propagating damnable heresies. Timothy had known the Holy Scriptures from a child, and the Apostle assured him that they alone were able to make him wise unto salvation ; that they were profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness; conjuring him at the same time, as he hoped to account for his conduct before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to be instant in season and out of season in teaching the word of God; asserting for it as a reason, that the time was approaching when the professors of the religion, having itching ears, would, after their own lusts, (the love of novelty and of eloquence,) become disgusted with the Scriptures, and make for themselves teachers who would turn away people's ears from the truth and entertain them with fables.
Passing by, for the present, the various stupid schemes, all different and all wrong, pursued by Roman Catholics, Socinians, Arians, Covenanters, Seceders, Presbyterians, High Churchmen, Baptists, Independents, and so forth, let us attend to the plan of teaching the truth pursued by God—by the Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, in presenting it to all men in the Scriptures, and by the Apostles and all who first preached it-a plan founded in the very nature of the saving truth itself, and into which ignorant missionaries feel themselves driven when every human scheme has failed. But what is the truth? Times out of number we are told in Scripture that the grand saving truth is, that “ Jesus is the Christ.” This is the bond of union among Christians—the essence
the spirit of all revelation. All the Scriptures testify and confirm this simple truth, that " he that believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” 1 John v. 2. For he who believeth it sets to his seal that God is true. Such a one, John says, loveth God, and Christ, and the brethren, keepeth his commands, and is purified from all his sins, and overcometh the world, and shall be saved. - Christ declared when departing into Heaven, that he that believeth not shall be damned. The grand truth, then, being that “ Jesus is the Christ,” let us attend to those Scriptures which are written for the express purpose of establishing this proposition; these are the writings of the four Evangelists, which at once show us in what manner God would have us to learn this truth; in what manner the Lord Jesus taught it; how the Holy Spirit has been pleased to present it to mankind; how the Apostles wrote of it, and, of course, taught it to the world. This is the beginning of the plan authorised of Heaven; and every teacher of the Christian religion should commence by unfolding to his hearers the matter of the four Evangelists. These things, says John, are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ; and that believing, ye might have life through his name. Now what definition soever the Holy Scripture has given by one Evangelist, that is the definition of them all; for all of them contain a history of that marvellous evidence by which Jesus proved that he was the Christ; by which his pretensions to the Messiahship were so amply confirmed among the Jews.
The perfection of Christian intelligence is a knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and no Christian is intelligent butas he knows the Scriptures. The desideratum, then, is a plan for teaching them to the people. By commencing with the four Evangelists, and abiding by them until they are relished and understood, we learn, chief of all things, that Jesus is the Christ; and while the number, magnitude, variety, sublimity, and benignity of his miracles delight,
astonish, and instruct us, they at the same time carry irresistible conviction to the heart, purge it, elevate it, and fix our faith in the mighty power of God. By-andbye, as we become familiarised to the miraculous evidence, we become reconciled, and even strongly attached to it; losing all suspicion of its reality, and, of course, of the reality of our holy religion; because we come to perceive that these things were not done in a corner, but in public, and under the inspection of men who were both able and forward to decide upon their truth and certainty ; men who, in point of intellect, reason, and character, might have vied with the choicest of our modern sceptics; men, in short, whose abilities to detect were equalled only by their readiness to pervert. In the writings of the Evangelists we behold that Power which created man and all things, exerting itself with all possible unaffected pomp and majesty—tempering, uniting, and clothing itself with all goodness and philanthropy; and so entirely at the will of the Holy One, that it accompanies those who accompany him. It sparkles, it flashes, it shines, it heals, it renovates, it creates, it controls, it rests, it leaps, it flies, it kindly raises up the bowed down, or pushes into silence the swelling and reluctant storm ; it flies forth with the breath of his mouth, it operates at the tuft of his mantle, at the tip of his finger, or at the distance of a hundred leagues ; now it is in the air with a voice like thunder; it shakes open the nodding tombs, or it rends the crashing mountains around Jerusalem; always marvellous, it is always harmless, and mostly benevolent. True, there is nothing conciliating or winning in power abstractedly considered ; apart from goodness, we always choose to inspect it at a distance; but if joined with malevolence, we fly from it with horror and affright. Power is formidable and even terrifying in the tiger, because in him it is a mere instrument of cruelty ; but the same power becomes amiable in the horse, because all the thunder of his neck, all the glory of his nostrils, the strength of his limbs, and the fierceness of his attitude, are continually held in check by that beautiful docility which so eminently characterises this noble animal, and by which his very will is identified with that of his rider. În the Evangelists we behold the ever
lasting, the unexpended power itself, revealed in the form of a servant, and with more than a servant's humility-the strength of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and harmlessness of the Lamb, dwelling together in the same one.
In short, we see that the Lord our Saviour is unweariedly and everlastingly employed in supplying, comforting, and saving the unfortunate creatures whom he had originally made upright.
ON BAPTISM. From the New York Epistolary Correspondence.] It is not intended, in this article, to discuss the import of the term Baptism, as that term is well known to mean, in the New Testament, when used literally, nothing else than immersion in water. But the intention is, to ascertain what this immersion signifies, and what are the uses and purposes
for which it was appointed. This can only be done by observing well what is said concerning it in the Holy Scriptures.
One of the first things that strike our attention in this inquiry, is, that the Lord Jesus entered upon his ministry by Baptism; and that it was at that Baptism, as he arose out of the water, that he was first publicly acknowledged from Heaven to be the Son of God, Matt. iii. 16, 17. This is very remarkable, and should be well remembered.
The Baptism of John is spoken of thus: “John did Baptise in the wilderness, and preach the Baptism of repentance, for the remission of sins.” And of those who came to his Baptism, it is said, they “were all Baptised of him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins," Mark i. 4, 5.
John himself seems to connect this Baptism with an escape from the divine wrath ; for, “when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his Baptism, he said unto them, () generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come,” Matt. iïi. 7.
"The Lord Jesus discoursing with Nicodemus respecting the nature of his kingdom, and giving him to understand that no Jew would be taken into it in virtue of his having
been born a descendant of Abraham, observed, that “ cept a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God, John ïïi. 5.
In the account given by Mark of the gracious message delivered to the Apostles, and to be by them conveyed to all nations, it would seem, at first view, as if Baptism was connected with salvation : “ He that believeth and is Baptised shall be saved,” Mark xvi. 16.
To the same effect was Baptism spoken of in the discourse of the Apostle Peter to the Jews, on the day of Pentecost. He seems to have viewed it as connected with the forgiveness of sins. * Repent,” said he, “and be Baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins," Acts ii. 38.
Paul, relating to the Jews how he had been brought to confess the Lord Jesus, and speaking of what had occurred after he went into Damascus, described Ananias as coming into his lodging, and, among other things, saying to him, “And now why tarriest thou ? arise, and be Baptised, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord," Acts xxii. 16.
The same Apostle, writing to the Church at Rome, and pointing out the efficiency of the doctrine of Christ, and the powerful motives which that doctrine furnished for enabling the believers of it to walk in holiness and righteousness of life, speaks of Baptism in the following manner : “ Know ye not that so many of us as were Baptised into Jesus Christ, were Baptised into his death? Therefore, we are buried with him by Baptism into death ; 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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection : knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now, if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon