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make them, for instance, noble personages, and heirs to vast estates; and should succeed in persuading them that the change was real and the title good; for that lie never performed this sacred art vithout effect: What could any person, on Dr. M.'s principles, say, in answer to all this? He could not pretend to say, where are your qualifications and evidence of title? He could it say, you have neither the character of noblemen, nor any proof of right of inheritance by birth, adoption, or otherwise. They might reply, there needs no proof. The case admits of none; the effect is sufficiently clear from the operation of the cause.

This would be much like the ground upon which Dr. M. stands with respect to the doctrine of the regeneration of all who are baptised: except that he may plead a divine rite as the cause; the effect is precisely as unintelligible and void of evidence. And can any thing which Dr. M. wishes to avoi! under the terms “ feelings” and “ imagination," be more truly void of any thing but vision and imagination than this?

V. It tends to distress and uncertainty.

Dr. M. in page 24, speaks of a joy and peace to be had under the consideration of our baving a knowledge that we are born again ; that we may, he says, be “filled with all joy and peace in believing “ that we partake of it, if, as we apprehend it is, conferred by the sacrament of baptism;" and certainly if this ground of joy were just, a greater blessing could not well be afforded. The scriptures speak largely and constantly of the comfort of the saints.* Nor is there any gronnd for joy equal to

• Coloss. ii. 2. iv, 8. 2 Cor. iv. 6.

that of knowing that our names are written in heaven.” But there are two very serious objections to our taking consolation from Dr. M.'s ideas upon this subject. The first is, that a benefit which is common to all, cannot afford peculiar satisfaction to any. An enquirer may say, if indeed our names, being written in the parish register at baptism, (I speak with awful seriousness) were tantamount to our name being written in heaven, it would, indeed, be the cause of exultation. But, Sir, you tell us that all the baptised are rejenerate. Then, Sir, the thief and the murderer, the traitor and blasphemer, are regenerate as well as I am, I can take no confort, then, and have no peace till you satisfy this enquiry. Pray, will all these persous be saved ? Or can you inform me how I shall have joy and peace in pose sessing that which may nevertheless go to hell with ine!!

A second very painful dilliculty arises from Dr. M.'s notions to tiie serious enquirer after truth and salvation. You tell us, Sir, he may aild, that all who are baptised are regenerated; and though you have no where told us correctly what you mean by regeneration, yet having been baptiscd, I seemed satisfied. But all my comfort is again at stake, og perceiving that you only speak of those persons as regenerate and saved, " to whom baptism is rightly administered. (11, 40.) But I feel here worse off than before ; you have not so much as given us the least assistance to judge when it an. when it is not “ rightly administered." Very possibly, after all, then, I may bave received no regeneration by it. And as there is no way of knowing whether we are regenerate but by proving our baptism, my

perplexity is at its utmost height. I understand that the christian world is quite divided on this subject. I learn that the early christians allowed that to be valid baptism which was performed by laymen and midwives; but that Cyprian held that no minister could rightly baptise, who was not himself “ endued with the Holy Ghost." That the Papists allow no baptism good which is performed out of their own church. And that many in the church or England think that episcopal ordination is necessary to the validity of baptism ; whilst others in the church have suspended those who refused christian burial to persons baptised only by dissenters. Some, again, esteem infant baptism to be right; while others assure us, that none are rightly baptised who are not of age to answer for themselves. There are many who consider sprinkling a sufficient baptism ; while others are very confident that no person is “ rightly, baptised, unloss by immersion. Thus, Sir, my perplexity and alfliction are occrwhelming, and zo possible way is found of these difficulties being removed.

Here Dr, M. has puzzled and confounded the serious mind, by making something essential to salvation, which he has not so much as attempted to explain. Yet this unknown something, which constitutes the right administration of baptism, is the very nodus of all Dr. Mi's claims to regeneration and salvation in the baptised. Did Mr. Whitfield, whom Dr. M. ridicules for teaching a “ mysterious regeneration,” at any time hold out, as essential to salvation, a more mysterious something than this; and which he never so much as pretended to describe ? This cbjection to Dr, M.'s theory of baptism,“ rightly

administered,” as necessary to regeneration, is quite suliicient to prove, that it is not of God. Every true Protestant acknowledges, that whatever is necessary to salvation, is plainly rerealet in scripture, and easily understood by an honest mind. But Dr. M. has made something necessary to salvation, which has long divided the christian world; and; which pious and learned men are no nearer to an agreement in, than the ignorant and profane. Had this gentleman well considered the unfathomalie abyss of his own systein, when he declares, that is "regeneration is not effected by baptism, it is almost impossible for any sober man to say, when and by what means it is.” He surely never considered that he had reduced his followers to such an awful dilemma ; and to use his own words, “ to a situation of doubt, suspense, and anxiety, with regard to our eternal welfare, to which it is reasonable to believe that with such a revelation of his will as christianity professes to be, the Father of Mercies, and God of all Comfort, would not expose his humble creatures." (25.)

Besides, does Dr. M. mean, by “ rightly admiristered," administered according to the order of our church? Doubtless, we allow that it is rightly administered, when it is so performed. But are we to understand that no person, not of her communion, can administer a sacrament in its essential character? Then, no dissenters, or person baptised by them, can be saved. Then such, whatever be their character, must perish. Then must we say, that such men as Bishop Secker, and all of course baptised and ordained by him, who was himself only baptised by a dissenter, are everlastingly miserable ? The

church, of course, allows only priests of her own order to baptise; but whether she makes this officer (in addition to the water and the words of our Lord in the name of Father, Son, aud Holy Ghost,) esa sential to this ordinance, does not exactly appear. But this does appear, that whatever she makes essential to baptism, she does not make baptism essential to salvation, nor necessarily effective of it.

As Dr. M.'s scheme is infinitely perplexing as to the "right administration of baptism : so it is attended with absolute uncertainty as to any marks of salvation. I hold it impossible, on his principles, so much as to describe and point out, at all, the true boundary line between those who are in the way to salvation, and those who are not. Dr. M. may perhaps think this charge strange; but if he 'do, I should be glad to be better informed. I beg to know, what are the genuine marks which bound the way of life? Baptism and regeneration, hare seen, are no sure signs of a state of salvation; unless all persons baptised will be saved " whatever be their character.” Is morality then a sure evidence of salvation ? Not unless all moral persons will be saved whatever le their principles. (Art. 18.) But it will be said, that those are in a state of salvation, who “grow up in faith and obedience;" (20) and who continue to “act in a manner worthy of of their adoption.” 45. Trce: but then such only must be in the way of salvation; or else faith and obedience are not lines of demarkation and distinction. But this cannot be allowed to Dr. M. For then no adult persons would be entitled “to eternal life" [42] by baptism, unless they possessed "faith and obedience." Then this again would


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