Robert Smith.

The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

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in the sea represents the baptism of the Holy
Ghost, which while it destroys our spiritual
enemies, saves our souls.

5. Moses, unto whom the Israelites were
baptized, was the law giver of Israel, who
gave them the law written on tables of stone,
and was the representative of Jesus Christ,
who is the Christian lawgiver, and who writes
his law on the fleshly tables of the heart, 2
Cor. iii. 3, and thus they became the children
of God by faith in Christ Jesus, " for as many
as have been baptized into Christ, have put
on Christ."

2d. That the apostle did not intend water
baptism in the thing figured, is further evi-
dent from his immediately adding that it was
" not the putting away of the filth of the flesh,
but the answer of a good conscience toward
God." Now a washing with water is a put-
ting away of the filth of the flesh, and it re-
quires something more efficacious to give the
answer of a good conscience. Paul in the
ninth chapter of Hebrews, makes this subject
luminous as the beams of day : he there shows
that the rituals of the Jewish tabernacle,
which stood in meats and drinks and divers
washings, (or baptisms,) which were only a
shadosv of good things to come, could there-
fore never make the comers thereunto (or
performers of those rites) perfect, as pertain-
inn- to the conscience ; that nothing short of
the blood of Christ applied by the eternal Spi-
rit, through which he oflered himself without
spot to God, could purge the conscience from
dead works to serve the living God. This,
and only this, could the apostle have had in
view by the answer of a good conscience.
This will appear still more apparent from the
consideration that the apostle calls it a saving
baptism. Now those who contend that it was
water baptism that was pre-figured, are placed
in the following dilemma, they must eilher
hold water baptism to be a saving ordinance,
or admit that the baptism which the apostle
says now saves us, is the baptism of the Holy

This view of the subject, is further strength-
ened from the following consideration : — wafer
baptism has no relation whatever to man's
moral condition as a sinner, only as a figure
to convey the idea of a spiritual washing.
Should a man be polluted all over with natu-
ral filth, the application of water would have
a fit relation to his condition, as a means of
purification or cleansing the body ; but the
idea of immersing a man in water, for the
purpose of cleansing the soul from moral pol-
lution, is too absurd ever to have entered into
any enlightened mind.

From the above considerations, we con-
clude, that the baptism to which the apostle's
fif'uro alluded, is the baptism of the Holy

Ghost, as no other baptism :

iig in its

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The habitual neglect of attendance at meet-
ings for Divine worship, would seem to indi-
cate on the part of any who are in this habit,
a very iniperlect view of happiness in this
life, superadded to the want of a deep interest
in their own spiritual welfare.

To those whose minds have been awakened
to feel their weakness, and the need they have
of daily support in the varied pursuits of this
life, it IS a high privilege to assemble at slated
periods, and njingle together in social worship.

The peace that flows from this humble
offering, if it spring from faith in the heart,
feeble as it may seem to them, is an evidence
that it is acceptable in the sight of our Hea-
venly Father.

These seasons of retirement, of solemn in-
troversion of thought and prostration of soul
before our Maker, are often fraught with deep
instruction, and may become the means, in
condescending mercy, of our preservation
from many of the temptations that surround

Spiritual worship, the peculiar privilege of
the Christian, is essential to preserve the mind
in a stale of watchful dependence upon the
Father of all our sure mercies.

Although not confined to time or place, yet
inditference or neglect of public worship is a
sure indication, that the heart is becoming
estranged from the power of true reli

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 77 of 154)