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our Lord's two, are but bastard sacraments, not the badges of Christ, but of Antichrist. These are, confirmation, penance, orders, marriage, and extreme unction.
Confirmation is the bishop's anointing of the baptised with chrism in the forehead, in the form of a cross, with this form of words, I sign thee with the sign of the cross, and confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.' This has no manner of divine institution, nor is it at all to be found in the scriptures; and derogates from the sacrament of baptism.
Penance is repentance, discovering itself by external evidences. The matter of this pretended sacrament, they say, lies in contrition of heart, auricular confession, and satisfaction; the form of it in absolution by the priest, as a judge, pardoning their sin, not ministerially, only declaring it. But here is no visible sign at all, necessary to contradistinguish the sacramental signs from the word. No sign at all is administered to the penitent; no promise annexed to a sensible sign here: therefore no sacrament. Besides, auricular confession is not instituted at all by the Lord. And judicial pardon is blasphemous, ministerial declaration of pardon being only competent to ministers, John xx. 23.
Orders is the ordination of church-officers; which is instituted, but not to be a sacrament, it having no promise of saving grace annexed to it. 1 Tim. iv. 14. speaks not of saving grace, but of the official gift, viz. authority to preach.
Matrimony has nothing of a sacrament in it, since it has no visible sign appointed by Christ, no promise of saving grace annexed to it, and is common to all the world as well as the church. It is misgrounded on Eph. v. 32. where their corrupt translation reads a great sacrament.
Extreme unction is the priest's anointing the eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands, reins, and feet of a person thought to be at the point of death, with olive-oil, consecrated by a bishop, using these words, By this holy oil, and his ten'der mercy, God forgive thee all thy sins.' It is built on Jam. v. 14. where the miraculous cure of diseases is spoke of.
3. See the bent of corrupt nature in meddling with
God's institutions, the abominations of Popery, and the great mercy of our deliverance from it. We can never be enough thankful to God for the reformation from that grand apostasy, idolatry, and superstition. We ought to hold firmly what we have attained, and stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, that we be not again entangled with any yoke of bondage. Let us stedfastly adhere to all the ordinances and institutions of our Lord Jesus Christ, and vigorously oppose, in our respective stations and places, all deviations from the same, from whatever quarter they may come, or under whatever specious pretexts they may be introduced or recommended. To the law and to the testimony let us bring them; and receive and practise nothing in the worship and service of God, but what is enforced with a Thus saith the Lord. And let us ever remember the extreme danger of all usages and innovations not contained in or authorised by the written word; and therefore let us from the heart abhor them.
In the second text we have the institution of baptism. And herein consider,
1. The ordinance itself; baptising in the name of the holy blessed Trinity. This is expressly instituted by Jesus Christ: Go ye therefore, and baptise, &c,
2. The administrators of baptism; ye apostles, and your successors, in teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded. And lo I am with you alway even to the end of the world.'
3. The subjects of baptism; all nations which are taught Gr. discipled, made disciples of Christ. First, they are to be discipled, and then baptised.
The doctrine of the text is,
DOCT. The sacrament of baptism is instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ.'
To open the nature of this sacrament, let us consider
I. The signifying thing in it.
II. The signifying action,
III. The particular uses and ends of baptism.
IV. The subjects of baptism, or those to whom it is to be administered.
y. The efficacy of it.
VI. The necessity of it,
I. Let us consider the signifying thing in this sacrament, There is a fourfold baptism spoke of in scripture. (1.) The baptism of light, which is taken for the doctrine, Acts xviii. 25. (2.) The baptism of blood, which is martyrdom, Matth. xx, 22, 23. (3.) The baptism of the Spirit, which is the pouring out of the Spirit, Matth. iii. 11, (4.) The baptism of water, which is baptism properly so called. So
The signifying thing in baptism is water, Acts viii. 38, 39. Eph. v. 26. And there is no matter, as to the water, whether it be fountain water, or river-water, providing only it be pure clean water, Heb. x. 22. And it is an abominable practice of the Papists to add oil, salt, and spittle, to the water in baptism.
Here I shall shew,
1. What is signified by the water in baptism.
2. What is the resemblance betwixt water and the thing signified by it,
First, What is signified by the water in baptism? 1. The blood of Jesus Christ, Rev. i. 5,
2. The Spirit of Jesus Christ, Tit. iii. 5. Isa. xliv. 3.
Secondly, What is the resemblance betwixt these? There is a sweet resemblance betwixt water, and the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ; the due consideration whereof shews the excellency of the grace exhibited in baptism.
1. Water is a common thing, to be had freely by all those who will take it: it is what the poor as well as the rich have access to. So the blood and Spirit of Christ are free to all who will receive the same offered in the gospel, Isa. lv. 1. Christ is not a sealed and closed, but an opened fountain, for souls to wash in, Zech. xiii. 1. Cant. ii. 1. And however unclean one be, he is welcome to this water, 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10, 11.
2. Water is a cleansing thing, taking out spots, stains, and defilement, The blood of Christ cleanses the defiled
conscience, Heb. ix. 14. The Spirit of Christ purifies the soul, removing filthy lusts that defile the soul, and so renewing and sanctifying it, Tit. iii. 5. And unless we be thus washed, we have no part in Christ.
3. Water is a refreshing thing, when one is thirsty, or scorched with heat. So is the blood of Christ, and the out-pouring of his Spirit, to the thirsty soul, scorched under the flames of wrath, John vi. 35.
4. Water is a fructifying virtue. So is Christ's blood and Spirit, making the barren soul fruitful in the fruits of holiness, Isa. xliv. 3, 4. The soul lies naturally, under the curse, and so can bring forth nothing but the briers and thorns of wickedness. But the blood of Christ sprinkled on the soul, changes the nature of the soul. The soul is naturally dead, and therefore must wither: the Spirit of Christ brings life, and makes the wilderness to blossom as the rose.
5. Water is most necessary, so necessary that we cannot live without it: so the blood and Spirit of Christ are absolutely necessary for our salvation, Heb. ix. 23. John
6. Lastly, Water must be applied ere it can have its effect: so we must partake of Christ's blood and Spirit, ere our souls can be changed thereby, 1 Cor. i. 30.
II. Let us consider the signifying action in baptism. It is washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Here I shall shew,
1. How this washing with water is to be performed.
2. By whom it is to be performed, according to Christ's institution.
3. What is the meaning of the form of words used in baptism.
First, I am to shew how this washing with water is to be performed. The dipping of the person into the water is not necessary but baptism is rightly administered by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person. The unlawfulness of dipping is not to be pretended, since it is not improbable that it was used by John Matth. iii. 6. and Philip, Acts viii. 38; but seems to have been used in the ancient
church, and in some places is used to this day. But baptism is rightly administered by pouring or sprinkling water, as we do. (1.) Because the apostles, at least sometimes, seem to have baptised that way; as when three thousand were baptised in one day, Acts ii. 41; which can hardly be imagined to be done in so short a space of time by dipping; and when some were baptised in the night, as in the case of the Philippian jailor and his family, Acts xvi. 33. (2.) Because baptising in scripture is used for washing by infusion or sprinkling, as well as immersion, Mark vii. 4. Luke xi. 38. (3.) Because the thing signified by baptism is called sprinkling, and is represented thereby sufficiently, Heb. xii. 24. 1 Pet. i. 2. It is true, we are said to be buried in baptism, Rom. vi. 4; but even the sprinkling of the water, as well as dipping, represents that, according to the ancient way of burying, wherein they were not sunk into the earth, but laid on the ground, and the mold cast over them. Be. sides that in some cases dipping might endanger the life of the baptised, especially in our cold countries.
Secondly, I shall shew by whom baptism isto be performed, according to Christ's institution. By a minister of the gos pel lawfully called thereto. For to them only belongs the administration of baptism, to whom it belongs to preach the word, our Lord Jesus having knit these together in the institution, Matth. xxviii. 19. They are the stewards of the mysteries of God, 1 Cor. iv. 1; into which office none can thrust himself with a good conscience, who is not called thereto. And it is the perverse opinion of the absolute necessity of baptism, that makes the Papists and others admit others, even women to baptise in case of necessity.
Thirdly, I shall next shew what is the meaning of the form of words used in baptism. It denotes baptism to be administered by virtue of the authority of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but especially that one is baptised into the profession, faith, and obedience of the holy Trinity, for the Greek en signifies into the name. And it is name, not names. to shew the Unity of the Godhead in the Trinity of persons.
III. I proceed to shew what are the particular uses and ends of baptism. Besides the general uses and ends of the