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mentioned is an univerfal and perpetual Baptifm; and confequently it must be Water-Baptifm, which alone is fuch. Now the Baptifm here mentioned is required as a condition of Salvation; and confequently we are faved by it. And if fo, then we are faved or put into a state of Salvation by Water-Baptifm.
Once more, the Apostle faies, The like figure whereunto even Baptifm doth now fave us, not the putting away of the filth of the Flesh, but the answer of a good Confcience towards God, I Pet. 3.21. In thefe words 'tis plainly afferted, that Baptifm doth now fave us. And this Baptifm must be WaterBaptifm; because I have already fhewn, that Water-Baptifm does fave us. Befides this Baptifm is an univerfal and perpetual Baptifm, fuch as Water-Baptifm is, but the 'Baptifm with the Spirit is
But 'tis objected, that the Baptifm, which in this Text is faid to fave us, is not the putting away the filth of the Flesh, but the anfier of a good Confcience towards God. Now (fay they) Water-baptifm is the putting away the filth of the Flesh; and therefore Water-Baptifm is not here meant, but the inward Baptifm of the Spirit, which is the anfwer of a good Confcience towards God. This objection our Adverfaries lay great stress upon; and therefore I fhall endevor to make my answer to it extremely plain.
In order to this I muft obferve, that the words not, and but, do in Scripture-phrafe very frequently fignify not only, and but alfo or but principally. This I fhall makeappear by fuch manifest instances, as cannot be evaded.
Jofeph faies to his Brethren, It was not you that fent me hither, but God, Gen. 45.8. Now the Scrip
ture tells us exprefly, that Jofeph's Brethren fate
Again, tho' 'tis exprefly faid, Exod. 19. 2. that the whole Congregation murmured against Mofes and Aaron; yet we find Mofes and Aaron faying to the Congregation, v.8. Your Murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord; that is, your Murmurings are not only against us, but also against the Lord.
Thus alfo, our Savior faies, whoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that fent me, Mark 9.37. But what? Can a Man receive Chrift, and yet not receive him at the fame time? No furely. His Words therefore are to be understood thus, Whofoever shall receive me, receiveth not only me, but alfo him that fent me.
And accordingly, our Savior faies, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that fent me, John 12.43. that is, he believeth not only on me, but alfo on him that fent me.
And St. Peter faies to Ananias, tho' he did at that very time moft certainly lye to Men, Thou baft not lied unto Men, but unto God, A&ts §. 44.
that is, thou haft not only lied unto Men, but also unto God.
Again, we are often commanded to be indu ftrious in our feveral Callings, and thereby to provide our felves bodily Suftenance, which in Scripture-phrafe is called the Meat that perifies; and yet our Savior faies, Labor not for the Meat that peribes, but for that Meat which endures to everlafting Life, John 6. 27. Our Lord therefore means, that we should labor not only for the Meat that perifhes, but also or principally for that which endures to everlafting Life.
Thus alfo, tho' St. Paul faies exprefly, that unbelievers are convinced by prophecying, 1 Cor. 14. 24. yet he faics, v. 22. that prophecying ferveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe i that is,prophecying ferveth not only for them that believe not, but alfo or principally for them that believe,
Once more; tho' nothing is more plain from Scripture, than that we are bound to wrestle against Flesh and Bloud; yet St. Paul faies, Eph. 6. 12. that we wreftle not against Flesh and Blond, but against Principalities, against Powers, against the Rulers of the darkness of this World, against Spirituaḥ wickedness in high Places; that is, we wreille not only against the one, but also or principally against the other. I could produce numberleis other Texts of the fame nature; but thofe already given are abundantly plain and fufficient.
Now as the Words not and but must be underflood in the Texts above-mentioned, fo may they be underflood in the Text now under Confideration. And then St. Peter's meaning will be, that the Baptifm which now faves us, is not only that outward Baptifm or walking with Water, which is a putting away the filth of the Flesh';
but alfo or principally the anfwer of a good Confci ence towards God, without which the externalCeremony is not available to Salvation. And fince St. Pe ter's words may be thus understood, we are certainly bound fo to understand them. Because then they are perfectly confiftent with, and a farther Confirmation of, thofe commands of Water-Baptifm which I have produced; whereas in that fenfe which our Adverfaries put upon them, they. flatly contradict thofe Commands.
From what has been faid, I think, it appears very plainly, that that Baptifm which St. Peter faies, doth now fave us, is Water-Baptifm.
4. By Water-Baptifm we put on Chrift; that is, when we are baptized with Water, we do folemnly profefs our felves to be Chrift's Difciples, and oblige our felves to lead good Lives by a ftrict obfervation of his Laws. For that holiness of Life is meant by putting on Chrift, appears from Rom. 13, 14. But put ye on the Lord Jefus Chrift; and make not provision for the Flesh, to fulfil the lufts thereof. Now that we do thus put on Chrift by Water-Baptism, is evident, if it be confidered, that by Water-Baptifm (as has been fhewn) we are baptized into Chrift, that is, admitted into the pumber of his Difciples. For the Apostle exprefly faies, So many of you as have been baptized into Chrift, have put on Chrift, Gal. 2, 27.
If it be objected, that all who are baptized with Water do not lead good Lives, and confequently do not put on Chrift; I answer, that the Apoftle fuppofes the Perfons that are baptized into Chrift, to have been duly qualified; and thofe who are fo baptized with Water, do repent of their Sins, and engage themselves to holinefs of Life, But the evil practice of the Profeffors of Christianity, is no √ 4
Argument against the benefit or effect of the Cere➡ mony of their Initiation, when rightly adminiftred. But farther, it appears from what has been faid, that that wherewith Men are baptized into Chrift, is Water, and not the Spirit; and confequently the Apostle affures us, that fo many as are by Warer baptized into Chrift, have put on Chrift. And therefore what our Adverfaries object, if it has any ftrength at all, is an Argument against the Apoftle, and not against me. And if they will venture to contradict St. Paul's plain Affertion, I cannot help it.
5. We obtain remiffion of Sins by Water Baptifm. For St. Peter faics, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jefus Chrift, for the remiffion of Sins, Acts 2. 38. Now it has been hewn, that thofe who are baptized in the Name Christ, are baptized into it with Water; and 'tis plain, that this Baptifm in the Name of Chrift, that is, Baptifm with Water, is a Baptifm for the remiffion of Sins. Befides, the Baptifm here mentioned is an univerfal and perpetual Baptism, which that with the Holy Ghoft is not; and confequently the Baptifmhere mentioned must be Water-Baptifm. Nay farther, when the Apoftle had faid, Be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jefus Chrift, for the remiffion of Sins, he adds in the very next words, and ye shall receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. For (as he proceeds) the promife is to you, &c. v. 39. Now the Gift of the Holy Ghoft there mentioned, and faid to be promifed, is the Baptifm with the Holy Ghoft, as appears from the Context. And therefore the Baptifm in the Name of Christ for the remiffion of Sins, after which, and in confequence of which, they were to receive the Gift of (that is, the Baptifm with) the Holy Ghoft, muft be Water-Baptifm.