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same holy views, and holy affections, which they themselves had; which led Peter to say, God bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. This is the plain and natural sense.


Baptism and the Lord's Supper, are seals of the covenant of

grace, and of no other covenant. MR. Mather says, p. 36, “ Seals are rites of confirmation. Nothing is confirmed by the seal, but what is expressed in the written instrument to which it is annexed. And thus, God confirms and ratifies nothing by the sacraments, but what is contained in the declarations of his word." - And p 37. These seals, with respect to us, confirin the profession which we make, and the engagements we come under.” So that if the “ written instrument,” is the covenant of grace, God, by affixing his seal, ratifies his promise to save those that comply with it; and this, on God's part, is the import of the action of sealing. And, if the" written instrument" is the covenant of grace; the professor, by actively receiving the seal, declares, on his part, that he does comply with that covenant, and ratifies his engagements to live up to it. For, thus it is in all mutual covenants among men, where both parties seal, they do by sealing declare a present compliance with the bargain, and mutually oblige themselves to act up to it for the future. To thie bargain, I say, as contained in the written instrument; to that, and to nothing else. So that when once it is determined what is contained in the written instrument, it is at the same time determined, what is sealed and what is the import of the act of sealing. But Mr. M. says, “ the sealing ordinances, by which the external covenant is sealed and confirmed, do equally seal and confirm the covenant of grace.” p. 36. Upon which it may be observed that, to be consistent, it will follow, VOL. III.


1. That when a graceless man seals the external graceless covenant, binding himself to perform all the graceless duties which it requires; he does at the same time equally seal the covenant of grace, and equally bind himself to perform all the gracious duties which this requires. And whereas these two covenants require religious exercises of a contrary nature, even as contrary as graceless and gracious, which, in other words, are as contrary as sin and holiness ; so Mr. M.'s unconverted covenanter, in the act of sealing these two contrary covenants, binds himself to perform all religious duties in these two contrary manners ; and that at the same time; for he binds himnself by sealing both covenants at once, to perform every duty as both covenants require, from day to day, as long as he lives; and every time he comes to the Lord's table, he binds himself afresh. But our Saviour says, No man can serve two masters. Besides, on this plan, the door of the visible church is shut against all who know themselves to be graceless. For they cannot make a profession of a compliance with the covenant of grace; and so the end and design of Mr. M.'s whole scheme is frustrated.

2. It will also follow from Mr. M.'s own words, that when a godly man, Abraham, for ivstance, sealed the external covenant and the covenant of grace, both at once, he equally bound himself through life to perform all religious duties, both in a gracious and ungracious manner, at the same time. But how could Abraham, at the same time, serve these two contra. ry masters, requiring things as contrary as sin and holiness? Or how could he, being a godly man, with a good con: science, bind himself by covenant to perform all religious duties in an unholy manner ? Surely he could not do it! and so on Mr. M.'s plan the door of the visible church is shut against both the godly and the wicked. The godly cannot conie to sacraments, because they are seals of an unholy covenant, binding them to live in a course of unholy duties; and the ungodly, knowing themselves to be such, cannot come, because they are seals of a holy covenant, binding them to live in a course of holy duties. Therefore,

| Mr. M. thinks, that there “ was a manifest propriety in choosing Abraham, a man of eminent holiness," to be the head of this graceless covenant, p. 9.-But

3. Mr. M. must give up the common notion of a seal, as declaring a present compliance with, and binding both parties to act up to, what is contained in the written instrument, or else he must honestly leave the covenant of grace out of the written instrument, or he must give up his scheme as wholly inconsistent. To solve this difficulty he says, "in their primary reference they may be seals of the external com venant'; and yet, consistently in their ultimate reference, may be seals of the covenant of grace.” p. 36.-But if they in fact really seal both covenants, then the man who comes to the sacraments, does in fact really bind himself to fulfil both covenants. For, let him ask any lawyer on the continent, and he will be told that by sealing a "written instrument," if it contains two or ten covenants, we oblige ourselves either to fulfil all of them, or none of them. The truth is, Mr. M. had proposed this objection against his scheme, viz. “ The preceding discourse represents the sealing ordinances of the Gospel, not as seals of the covenant of grace, but of the external covenanı with the visible church.” And he had no way to get rid of it, according to his scheme, but to run into these inconsistencies, or roundly to deny the received doctrine of the Christian church, that baptism and the Lord's supper are seals of the covenant of grace. He has denied it implicitly : but he did not choose to deny it expressly ; but seems to own it; and so runs himself into these inconsistencies,

But if we turn our eyes off froin Mr. M.'s inconsistent scheme, to the New Testament, which was designedly adapted to the capacities of common people, we shall see not the least appearance of two covenants, of which baptism and the Lord's supper are the appointed seals; we shall find no covenant but the covenant of grace; no Gospel, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which promises pardon and eternal salvation to the penitent believer; and baptism and the Lord's supper are I am of our Saviour's mind, Matt. xii. 33. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt. Let holy Abraham be at the head of a holy covenant; but let some graceless professor be at the head of Mr. M.'s external graceless covenant. For it was contrary to the Jewish law to yoke an ox and an uss together. And, saith the apostle Paul, What fellowship hath righteousness with wnrighteousness ?

represented as seals to no other covenant but this._-For, to use Mr. M.'s phrase,

In the “ written instrument” God promises salvation to the true believer. Mark xvi. 16. Therefore, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest be active in receiving the seal of the covenant, said Philip, divinely inspired. Acts viii. 37.

Again. In the “ written instrument" God promises remission of sins to the true penitent through Jesus Christ, Luke xxiv. 47. Therefore, repent and be baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of sins, Acts ii. 38. (that is, comply with the covenant, and then be active in receiving the seal ;) was the language of a divinely inspired apostle.–And another divinely inspired minister of Christ, already knowing the man to be a true penitent, and so prepared to be active in receiving the seal of the covenant, said, arise, and be baptised, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts xxii. 16.-Thus we see what covenant is ratified and confirmed by this seal, on God's part.

And because the apostolic professors, in offering themselves to baptism, and in being active in receiving the seal of the covenant, did on their part thereby bind themselves to live according to all things contained in it, therefore Paul said, Gal. iii. 27. As many of you as have been baptised into Christ, have put on Christ; not put on the external covenant ; but put on Christ, i. e. put on Christianity; so as to be entitled to the heavenly Canaan, granting their hearts to answer to their external conduct; for he adds, ver. 29. And if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abrahum's seed, and heirs according to promise. Heirs to what? To all the blessings of the covenant; partieularly to the heavenly Canaan, of which the earthly Canaan was a type, and which Paul had just said, was given to Abraham by promise, ver. 18.

And because in baptism, in the apostolic age, men professed a cordial compliance with the covenant of grace, and bound themselves in all things to be affected and act accordingly ; therefore, when it was objected that Paul's doctrine of justification by faith without works, tended to make men licentious, and to encourage them to live in sin, thạt grace

might abound; he thought it sufficient to say, " this can never be, for we have been baptised, and so we are dead to sin and alive to GOD." “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound ? God forbid : how shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein ? Know ye not that so many of us as were baptised into Jesus Christ, were baptised into bis 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 in baptism planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.-For sin shall not have dominion over you ; for ye are not under law, but under grace.” Rom. vi. 1-14. Which proves, that in baptism they professed a compliance with Christianity itself, and not with Mr. M.'s external graceless covenant, with which a man may comply, while under the dominion of sin.

And indeed, for men to come to the apostles to be bapsised in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, could consistently mean nothing less than a public practical declaration of a present compliance with what the Gospel reveals concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and an engagement to act accordingly in all future time; in which the whole of Christianity consists. To believe what the Gospel reveals concerning the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to receive God for our Father, and Christ for our mediator, and the Holy Ghost for our enlightener and sanctifier; and to be affected and act accordingly, is the whole of Christianity. But to be active in offering ourselves to be baptised in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and in the very act to refuse in our hearts, and in the sight of God, to have God for our Father, or Christ for our Saviour, or the Holy Ghost for our sanctifier, is to contradict ourselves in the sight of God. It is to lie to the Holy Ghost. It is to renounce Christianity in heart, at the very moment when we embrace it in our visible conduct. But such wicked dissimulation is not an appointed means of grace.

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