Page images
[ocr errors]

fie and cleanse it with the washing of Water by the Word, that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it hould be Holy and without Blemish; and nothing doth thus purifie the Church, till it be without spot, wrinkie or blemish, and till it be perfectly Holy, but the Baptism of the Spirit. And therefore, tho' the Baptism of John was administred but once, yet the Baptism of Christ is a continued Baptism; for as long as Corruption is in the Flesh, the Baptism of the Spirit is in use : So that the Nature and Life of a Christian are under a constant and continual Baptism, God every Day pouring forth his Spirit upon a Believer, for the Purifying and Sančtifying of him, and making him meet for the immediate - Presence of God, whither no unclean thing comes, nor the least uncleaness in any thing.

8. Spirit-Baptism saves: Whatever in us is washed with the Spirit, is saved as well as sanctified; and how much any one hath received of the Spirit, so much is he alrcady laved : Tit. 3. 5. According 10 his Mercy he hath saved us by the washing of Regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he Shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour: Where the Apostle teaches us how God faves, and that is not by John's Baptisne, or Water-washing, but by the Laver of Regeneration, which is the renewing of the Holy Spirit, poured on us abundantly thro’ Christ; so that he calls the Baptism of the Spirit, the Laver of Regeneration, such a Laver that renews the old Nature ; yea, and begets a new One; so that a Man thro’ this Baptism is whol. ly changed, not in a few good Works, but in his whole Nature; and from his Newness of Nature flows Newness of Life; so that he is no more as he was, but is, and lives, and loves, and thinks, and speaks, and acts otherwise than he was wont; and this cannot be the work of Water in any measure, but wholly of the Spirit ; for where Men are destitute of the Spirit, tho' washed with Water a Thousand times, there is no change of Nature in them; but the Change of Nature, wrought by Spirit-Baptism, is so much present Salvation, even in this present World. There is another Scripture witnesses the same thing, and it is, i Pet.


3. 20, 21. A few ( that is, Eight Souls ) were saved by Water, to which Figure, Bap- . tism answering, doth now also save us, not that whereby the Filth of the Flesh is cast away, but whereby a good Conscience answers well to God, by the Resurrection of Jesus Chrift. Peter having said, that Baptism answers to the Flood, and saves the Church now, as the Flood did the Church then ; yea, faith he, but I mean not the outward Baptism, or the washing away of the Filth of the Body, but the answer of a good Conscience towards God, by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ : Which place is difficult ; but I thus conceive it, The Efficacy of Christ's Resurrection is the Gift of the Spirit ; and the Spirit of

Christ, in a Believer, rectifies his Con. - science, and makes it good, so that it

can return a sweet answer to God upon

every word of his; for the work of the i Spirit in the Heart answers every Word

of Faith spoken from God ; particularly. it can say to God, I was indeed Filthy. and Unclean throughout, but I am now Washed, and Justified, and Sanctified in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of my God; and this Spirit-Baptism.


[ocr errors]

is that that saves, and not the Water, which puts away the Filth of the Flesh only, but leaves the Filth of the Spirit as much as ever.

So that, in this place, Peter puts an end to Baptism in the Flesh, as Paul, Rom.2.28. puts an end to Circumcision in the Flesh, saying, He is not a Jew that is one outwardly, that Circumcision which is ontward in the Flesh; but he is a Jew that is one inwardly, and Circumcision is that of the Heart in the Spirit, and not in the Letter, whose Praise is not of Men, but of God: That is, faith Parl, in the Kingdom of Christ,where all things are Spiritual: Circumcision in the Spirit puts an end to Circumcision in the Flesh: And in the same Kingdom of Christ, faith Peter, Baptism in The Spirit puts an end to Baptism in the Flesh; for he is not a Chriftian who is one outwardly,neither is that Baptism which is outward in the Flesh; but he is a Christian who is one inwardly, and Baptism is that of the Heart in the Spirit, and not in the Letter, whofe Praise also is not of Men, but of God. For under the Gospel, which is the Ministration of the Spirit (as ye have been oft minded) we can find nothing among all outward things, thro’ the use and exercife whereof we may attain the Cleanness and Purity of Righteoulness in our Natures; and therefore Chrift hath put an end to all Outward, carnal and earthly Things of the first Testament,by the Inward, and Spiritual, and Heavenly Things


of a second and better Testament : And by his own Death and Resurrection only, not without us, but within us, thro' the Power and Efficacy of his Spirit, all the Baptism of the New Testament is fully and perfe&ly Performed.

And thus, in all these particulars, you see the Infinite Excellency and Glory of the Spirit-Baptism above Water-Baptism, and this only is sufficient in the Days of the Gospel, as. being the true and proper Baptism of the New. Testament : For as Christ himself only is suffi:

cient to the Faithful without John, tho’John fi were of ufe in this Season to Point out Chrift; so the Baptism of Christ only is fufficient to the Faithful,without the Baptism of John, tho'. the Baptism of John were of use in its Season, to point out the Baptism of Christ, and the Baptist himself was of this Judgment, who said to Christ, I have need to be Baptized of thee;

which he means not of Water-Baptism (for so | Christ himself, as you have heard, did not Baproze) bus with the Baptism of the Spirit, and so the Baptist himself, who was never Baptized with Water, neither by Christ nor the Apostles, nor any Body else, yet was Baptized with the Spirit; and the Baptism of the Spirit was sufficient for the Baptist, without any Water-Baptism; and so Christ's SpiritBaptism,by the Word, is sufficient for all the Faithful now, without John's Water-Baptism; for he that is truly Washed from all Filthi


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »