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lem.” So that in the institution of the church there is
mercy towards singers. “Xow why tarrat thou, arise and be baptized and wash away thy siny, clung un the name of the Lord.” This was spoken prat only v the repentant, but converted Paul, who not having cum ferred with flesh and blood, but surrendered himself on the moment when God revealed his on in hin, awi yang himself to his Saviour's service. This couvertul obient man, was still treated as an unwashed peruan till be submit ted to the right of baptist. Now if we compare this with the 2nd chap. of Acts, and the Beth verse, we find it. Herr in the same manner connecting the washing a way of H111* with an admission into the church by baptism,
" then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized), every one of you, in the of Jesus Christ, for the reinigion of sins, and
the gift of the Holy Cbist."
for in him we live, and move, and have our being." Here therefore we have not only God giving us food and gladness, but God in us, that we may feel after him and find him; and that not merely in the converted man, or in the baptized or circumcised man, but in the heathen. Amongst all men, that we may feel after him and find him, for in him we live and move, and have our being. Comparing thus the grace of God's moral dealing as we have it in the Book of Jonah, in the 7th chap. and the 8th to the 10th verses, we find that the heathen king of Nineveh trusted in the goodness and mercy of God, and he says there, “Let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God, ye let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands who can tell of God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger that we perish not, and God saw their works, that they turned away from their evil way, and God repented of the evil that he had said that he would do unto them, and he did it not." If there be in the natural works of God then the manifestation of his pardoning mercies, of his goodness and kindness towards the whole world, we have it more especially in the institution and constitution of the Christian Church. Here is a great institution so constituted as to admit within it all men without exception, without scrutiny, the evil and the good, the child and the aged. The message that is sent into the world is to go into the high ways and hedges, and invite all without exception to come in, and that message of Christ, as it in the 24th chap. of St. Luke's Gospel, and the 47th verse, is a message of God's pardon to the whole world, “That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." So that in the institution of the church there is the proclamation of God's pardon to the whole world, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations. Now in admission into the church by the act of baptism, Christ has set apart a body of men inclusive, not exclusive, admitting all who choose to come, but including those who do. come : giving them admission into membership, in that church, by the most expressive and blessed sacrament of baptism. In being baptized, the acceptance is declared on the part of the sinner, all that which had been proclaimed on the part of the preacher. The Apostles went and preached repentance and forgiveness of sins. Those whose hearts inclined to repentance accepted forgiveness, and expressed their acceptance by the divinely appointed rite of baptism. We find in the 22nd chap. of the Acts of the Apostles, in the 16th verse, that there is a declaration of what baptism was intended to teach with regard to God's mercy towards sinners. Now why tarriest thou, arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” This was spoken not only to the repentant, but converted Paul, who not having conferred with flesh and blood, but surrendered himself on the moment when God revealed his son in him, and gave himself to his Saviour's service. This converted obedient man, was still treated as an unwashed person till he submitted to the right of baptism. Now if we compare this with the 2nd chap. of Acts, and the 38th verse, we find St. Peter in the same manner connecting the washing away of sins with an admission into the church by baptism, “then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Whatever sense therefore we may put on these words, there can be no doubt in the mind of any one who believes his bible, that in some sense the washing away of sins, and the remission of sins, is connected with submission to baptism. “Be baptized for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” That that was but a probationary washing, we may learn from the 2nd Epistle, Ist chap., and 9th verse of Peter, “he that lacketh these things is blind and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." Being baptized he was admitted into the church. His sins were purged and yet what did he lack? Virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, love; he that lacketh these things hath forgotten the very purpose for which he was baptized; he hath fogotten that he was purged from his old sins, and he is but blind and useless, as far as concerns the real power and truth of this Holy Ordinance. We may explain this baptismal pardon by the parallel condition of the Jews in the old dispensation, by the language which is employed to express that condition of a sinner towards the Redeemer. If we look at the 1st chap. of the Gospel of St. Mark, we may read in the 42nd verse, that, soon as Jesus had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.” Now here was the leper made truly clean by the Lord Jesus Christ; and yet in the 44th verse, “Jesus saith unto him, see thou say nothing to any man, but go thy way, and show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded for a testimony unto them.” Here we see that the word to cleanse does not always mean to make clean, but to pronounce clean.
With regard to the truth of the purification of his body from
leprosy, it was not this word of the priest that made him clean, but the previous power of Jesus. But with regard to the admission to the privileges of the church, it was the word of the priest that made him clean. He could not be present at a sacrifice, he could not be at any of their feasts, he could not even sit at their social meals, until, having been a leper, the priest pronounced him clean, and so the priest was said to cleanse him.
Here is a plain ecclesiastical use of spiritual terms in which the same thing that is said really with regard to the power of Christ, is said ecclesi. astically with regard to the power of the priest; having no real reference to God except a remote one, but a real reference to the church as a human society. Now if we compare this with the 13th chap. of Leviticus, we have the same language used there under the same circum stances, with regard to the man who having had a leprosy was cleansed from it: throughout that chapter the verb is rendered to pronounce clean, as in the 6th verse, The priest shall look on him again the seventh day, and behold if the plague shall be somewhat dark, and the plague spread not in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean, it is but a scab. And he shall wash his clothes and be clean." Now it was not the priest that examined and pronounced him clean, that made him clean. And so throughout that long chapter wherever the word occurs it is rendered 'to pronounce clean.' Yet in the 16th chap. and the 30th verse, (Leviticus,) we have the same word used, “For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that
ye ay be clean from all your sins before the Lord.” Here therefore, that which is, with regard to the priest, in one place said to be, to pronounce clean, is