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prayer of inine for you all making request with joy. For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day uintil now; being confident of this very thing, that be which hath begun a good work in you, will perform until the day of Jesus Christ; even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as in my bonils, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
Nothing can be penned more expressive of Paul's confidence in their piety, and no words could more espressly embrace thein all. Yet it is nevertheless true that, St. Paul did not intend to include all professors of christianity in the church at Philippi.--For we find him before the close of the Epistle, speaking most strongly of many, and warning the truly pious against them. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ve lave us for ensample. (For many walk oi' whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven."*
And in his Epistle to the Thessalonians, are these remarkable passages :
ye are all the children of light, and children of the day; we are not of night nor of darkness :" nevertheless there were among them those who walked in darkness, though he thus spake. “ Now we exhort you, brethren, waru them that are unruly.”t. And precisely to the same effect do we find him writing again in his Second Epistle. “ We are bound to thank God always
• Phil. iii, 17--19. t i Thes, v. 5, 14.
for you, brethren, as it is mect, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth."* Yet this does not forbid his making exceptions, and censuring some of them. “ For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly."
Now upon Dr. M.'s mode of interpretation, how could this language be reconciled? I am persuaded it could not be reconciled at all. Yet it is quite as reconcileable as his language is upon the subject of baptismal regeneration. He argues (35) “ that all christians, all persons who have been baptised, are indiscriminately said to be regenerated. 1:1 the passages already cited froin several epistles of St. Paul, it will have appeared that he applies the terin to large societies of believers;" " whilst St. Peter and St. John, each in a catholic epistle, addressed to immense societies of Christians scattered throughout the east, describe the persons who.n they address as “sons of God” “ begotten and born again.”+ Bat wherefore, he adds, “ unless their regeneration was the effect of an ordinance of which all christians in general partake ? And if so, of what ordinance but of baptism?"
This reasoning is very remarkable. Do all christians, let me ask, partake of nothing in common, but of baptism? St. Peter would liave inforıncd Dr. M. that these persons were “ born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” Why should Dr, M. overlook this information, to ask the question, wherefore address them as born again, unless by baptism? Why not, as St. Peter says, by
* 2 Thes. i. 3. t 1 Peter i. 3, 23. John iii. 2.
the word of God ?” I should here be glad to see Dr. M.'s solution of this difficulty. How can persons be “ born again” of the “ word of God” who are “ exclusively" bora again in baptism?
To make Dr. M.'s argument good, whatever these churches are said to possess
“ indiscriminately, must be effected in “ baptism," of which all partake. But they are equally described as “ elect, sanctified, obedient," having a lively hope, faith, and love; as having overcome the world, and “ as sinning not." Do all these graces and conquests, then, spring from baptism? That they do from regeneration, or are evideuced by it, these same sacred writers inform us in the texts above quoted; but if regeneration is effected or proved by baptism, then these other spiriiual operations must be so likewise. But this idea would destroy Dr. M.'s whole system, as we shall fully prove hereafter, under evidences of regeneration.
These extracts from scripture abundantly prove, what we have brought them to prove, namely, that the most universal terms, and the strongest possible language, may be used of churches, or bodies of people in a collective capacity, without including; or even intending to include all and each of them individually. Then why, I would request to know, may not our church, with such examples before her, form a service extremely comprehensive and charitable, without including, or even intending to include in its blessings, each individual who uses it ?
We are now come to this conclusion; we have seen that it is not the doctrine of the church, that all persons are regenerate in baptism. We have sewn from the church herself, that regeneration may be without baptism; and that baptism may be rightly administered without regeneration. We have also accounted for the use of such strong language in the baptismal office, (without supposing it to teach that all baptised persons are regenerate ;) by a brief collation, and comparison with her other services, and with the scriptures. We have further proved, I hope demonstrably, that she teaches regeneration in no shape whatever in baptism, but upon supposition of fuit, repentance, and plighted obedience. Our work then, so far as the entire overthrow of Dr. M.'s position of universal and exclusive" regeneration by baptism is concerned, is, I trust, adequately and completely finished; though there is abundautly more evidence which might nevertheless be produced to the same effect.
# 1 Peter i. 2-8.
1 Johu V. 4, 18.
The Clergy of the Establishment justified in
preaching Regeneration to Persons who have been buptised.
DR. M. as welnavs already notice:1, makes this a very serious charge. He observes, respecting some clergymen in the church, that "regeneration is as it were inscribed on their banners, and is one of the watchwords of their sect." He imputės this conduct to them not mereiy as an error, but as a crime; and adds, that it will be heard not“ without surprise, mingled perhaps with some degree of indignation." (23).
But why should Dr. M. or any one else, be indignant at these inen, for preaching only what they conceive themselves bound in duty to do? I for one, have certainly taken some pains to know what I ought to preach; and have done this with a sincere desire to be found right, and to teach others also what is right; and I can assure Dr. M. that I am most conscientiously convinced, that I should be very awfully betraying my trust, and endangering the souls committed to my charge, if I did not preach to all (who do not exhibit scriptural marks of being already regenerate) in the words of my Lord and Master, “verily, verily I say unto you ---Ye. must be born again.)* If in doing this however, I was, as a churchman running counter to a fundamental doctrine tanglıt by her, I ought certainly to pause before I rashly proceeded to do this within her walls : and I hope I should thank Dr. M. or any other gentleman for setting me right.
But if on the other hand, I can demonstrate, both from the scriptures, and the church herself, that regeneration is not possessed by numbers who have been baptized; then, as no one can be saved without being“ born again," I must be allowed, so far, to endeavour to be “pure from the blood of all men ;"4
and to urge upon my own conscience the language · of St. Paul, “Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel.”!
The subject before us will entirely turn upon this consideration; namely,---- Is there any evidence of