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"Ye must be born again." Whence I infer, without fear of refutation, that whatever is meant by being "born again;" no man can possibly, without being born again, either be a true christian on earth, or inherit the kingdom of God in heaven: and consequently he must live and die in his sins, and finally perish. Now is his Lordship prepared to admit in its full extent, this consequence concerning baptism? Will he exclude from the possibility of salvation the whole body of the Quakers, and all those children of Antipodobaptists, who die without receiving adult baptism; and all those, who are Antipodobaptists in principle; yet never receive either infant or adult baptism? Do all these perish without hope? Will he maintain, that no misapprehension, and no outward situation, in which baptism could not be procured, will make any exceptions? Are all the children of christians, who die unbaptized, excluded from the kingdom of God? Not to speak of the children of Jews, and heathens, and Mohammedans, who die before the commission of actual sin; but die unbaptized? I am far from believing, that his Lordship, and others, who hold that baptism is regeneration, are prepared to admit these consequences; which would be more re. pugnant to all our ideas of the divine mercy; than any thing, that either the most zealous opposers of Calvinism, have charged upon their system: or the most rigid and wild enthusiast; who disgraced the name of Calvinist, ever advanced on the subject. Yet if baptism be regeneration, and regeneration baptism, and nothing more; most assuredly all unbaptized persons must be excluded from heaven. "Verily, verily, I say "unto thee, Except a man be baptized, he cannot see, "he cannot enter, the kingdom of God." Our Lord's most solemn and repeated asseveration; and his energet.

ick language, show that the proposition was universal, and admitted of no exception. This should induce a hesitation, concerning a sentiment, which is inevitably clogged with such a consequence. "He that believ"eth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believ"eth not shall be damned." In the the second ' clause, baptism is omitted: because it is not simply the 'want of baptism, but the contemptuous neglect of it, 'which makes men guilty of damnation: otherwise in'fants might be damned for the mistakes, or pro'faneness of their parents.'* Infants, being incapable of believing, or disbelieving, may be saved without faith; but they are capable of receiving baptism: therefore, supposing regeneration and baptism to be synonymous words, they cannot be saved without baptism. If, however, regeneration mean a change of nature from carnal to spiritual, by the new creating power of the Holy Spirit; infants are as capable of it, as adults; and neither the one or the other, can be saved without it. But God can renew the heart and nature of all, who die in infancy, if he see good; as John Baptist was "filled with the Holy Ghost from his mo"ther's womb." Whether, however, he does this, or in what instances, he has not seen good to inform us. Only he says to the believer, "I will be a God to thee, "and to thy seed:" and his children, who die in infancy, whether baptized or not, do nothing to forfeit the covenanted blessing.

P. lxxxv. l. 17. Baptism conveys, &c.'† In what part of the scripture is baptism said to convey the promise to those that receive it? Or, what are the privileges

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Whitby on Mark xvi. 16.

† 'Baptism conveys the promise of those privileges and blessings which God has been graciously pleased to annex to the profession of christian 'faith, and as "he is faithful that promised, &c."

and blessings, which God has been graciously pleas'ed to annex to the profession of christian faith?" "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and "with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."* But if the confession with the mouth, be without faith in the heart; or with only a dead faith; it is mere formality or hypocrisy. "He that believeth and is baptized, "shall be saved." But if he be only baptized and do not believe, will he be saved?" He that believeth not "shall be damned;" whether he be baptized or no. The promise is continually made to those who believe, without any mention of baptism. It is true, St. Peter says, "The like figure, whereunto, even baptism doth "6 now save us:" but he takes care to add, "not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer "of a good conscience towards God." This accords to the instruction of John Baptist. "Now also the axe "is laid unto the root of the trees, therefore every tree, "which bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down "and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with wa "ter unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is "mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and "with fire."¶

P. lxxxvi, 1. 2.

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Those, &c.' The apostles never

† Mark xvi. 16.

# John iii. 15, 16. 36. v. 24.

Rom. x. 10. $1 Pet. iii. 21.

¶ Matt. iii, 10, 11.

"

Those christians, who, in the primitive age, had fallen into error or relapsed into wickedness, are never in the New Testament exhorted to ' regenerate themselves, or taught to wait in a passive state for regeneration 'by the Holy Ghost. They are called upon to be renewed, “Be renewed "in the spirit of your mind;" "Be ye transformed by the renewing of 66 your mind;" "The inward man is rencwed day by day," which ind.. 'cates a progressive improvement, and not a sudden conversion. The restoring those who had departed from the truth as it is in Jesus, is not called

' regenerating them, but " renewing them again unto repentance." St. John

in the Revelation, commands the churches, which held unsound doctrine,

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For were guilty of immoral practices, not to be regenerated, but to "repent."

called on the unbaptized Jews or Gentiles to regenerate themselves; any more than professed christians, who had acted contrary to their profession. And I apprehend few quotations can be brought from the writings of Calvinists, in which either baptized or unbaptized persons are addressed in this language. Indeed many of them are rather too apt to shun the use of some scriptural terms to this effect: such as "Make you a new heart, "and a new spirit, for why will ye die, O house of Is"rael."* "Make the tree good and his fruit good."+ They, who attempt exactness in discrimination, consider regeneration as the immediate work of God alone, and conversion as the subsequent effect: the regenerate person, who had been dead in sin, being now made partaker of "divine life, repents, and is converted;" by the assistance of divine grace he turns from sin, to God and holiness, through faith in Jesus Christ; and in this he is active and voluntary. They who do not approve, or attend to, such exactness; are almost always led to call on sinners "to repent and be converted;" to "repent " and believe the gospel," "and do works meet for repentance," and not to regenerate themselves; and they address unbaptized persons exactly in the same way. St. James addresses those to whom he wrote in this manner: "Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and pu"rify your hearts, ye double-minded;" without intimating any distinction between professed christians, and such Jews or others, as might see his epistle.-It is not meant, that no exhortations respecting regeneration should be used. Parents should not only be exhorted, to present their children for outward baptism; but also earnestly to pray, and diligently to use every means, that they may have the inward and spiritual grace of

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Matt. xii. 33.

+ Jam. iv. 8.

Ez. xviii. 31.

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baptism; even a death unto sin, and a new-birth unto ' righteousness:' and, in like manner, there are many duties incumbent on teachers, ministers, and others, in this respect. Nay, such persons as are convinced, by suitable instruction, that regeneration is needful, should be exhorted to read the scriptures, to attend on the preaching of the gospel, and to pray to God to "create "in them a clean heart." Indeed exhortations to this effect should be given to all persons without exception: none should be taught to wait in a passive state for regeneration by the Holy Ghost.'-"The inward man "is renewed day by day." This is certainly progres. sive; but it had a beginning, which we call regeneration; and without supposing the complete change meant by conversion, and much less the progressive renewal unto holiness, till perfected in heaven, to be sudden; we may fairly think, that the "passing from death unto "life," is sudden; since there must be a moment, in which we cease to "be dead in sin," and become alive "unto God;" though the effects of the principle of divine life, may be produced far more rapidly in one case, than in another; and, in general, not so rapidly in modern times, as in those of the apostles.

If baptism do indeed succeed, as the initiatory sacrament of the New Testament church, to circumcision, the initiatory sacrament of the Old Testament: all the exhortations, both of the prophets and of John Baptist, and of our Lord and his apostles, before the publick establishment of christianity, were addressed to persons, precisely in the same situation, as nominal christians are. Indeed his Lordship has conceded, even more than this: for his words include also the Gentiles, to whom the gospel was first preached.'* Nor is it easy to assign

• See on p. 59. Refutation.

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