Слике страница
PDF
ePub

It belongs to you, Sir, would you fully make your pretenfions good, to inform the public, where they may find a much larger number of men of talents, piety, character and learning, of your denomination, than you will, perhaps, be able readily to do; if you can do this, you certainly ought, for otherwise you may lay under fome not very agreeable imputations. We excufe you in part, on account of your miftaking the Pædobaptifts and your denomination to be one.

You cannot take it unkindly to have one flip, at least, of your pen corrected. In your lift of worthies which you mention, that the Baptifts might feel their own comparative fmallnefs, you, for want of accurate information or correct attention, place John Bunyan, a noted and celebrated Baptist, at the head.

Should you ever write against the Baptifts in future, you will certainly run your account much lower, or give more facts and take lefs for granted, or else not take it unkindly should your demands be re-examined. You fay, page 14, "The light of truth has been an hundred, perhaps a thousand, fold greater in the Pædobaptist churches than in the Baptist.

[ocr errors]

By Pædobaptifts, you here mean those who fprinkle children. The fame miftake is alfo made in the following paffages.

Page 25. "Now you (i. e. the Baptifts) believe, that the moft numerous, the moft eminent, and moft fuccefsful preachers of the gospel bave been, and are of the Pædobaptift fentiment."" Compare the Pædobaptift divines with the Baptift divines as to their num

bers, talents, weight of character, and fuccefs in writing and preaching the gofpel; behold, examine, estimate the vast difference in favour of the former !!!"

Now, Sir, it gives me a degree of pain, on your account, that, seeing your mind hath been fo highly gratified with exalted ideas of your own denomination, I have been obliged to reduce your claims fo much already, and fhall be obliged to reduce them ftill lower in fome of my future letters; but be affured my intention is to allow you, before I leave the fubject, every honourable and good thing, which you can in the spirit of meekness defire. I will not defignedly raise the Baptifts at your expenfe, nor can I fee them oppreffed, degraded and harshly ufed, without poffeffing a wifh to have truth appear. You know, Sir, that all good men have love for the truth, and are willing to have it believed; that it would please them well to fee truth profper, at the expenfe of every error: but to have the spirit and love of truth fo inwrought in our fouls, as to take joyfully the fpoiling of our errors, together with our goods, cafe, and a momentary good name, is not fo common among Chriftians as it must be, before they will come into the unity of the Spirit and general bond of peace. We muft poffefs a readinefs to be conquered by truth. Should your publication, by plaufible arguments, gain upon the tender feelings, and even upon the judg ment of many, or fhould mine obtain admirers in the fame way, yet, if the cause of fubftantial truth be not promoted, our labour will be of little worth, we had better have done nothing.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

LETTER V.

Open Communion to all who keep the Ordinances as Chrift delivered them to the Saints, but Clofe Communion to all others.

MY DEAR SIR,

I HAVE here, that our understanding and our faith might be affifted by our fight, fet to view a picturefque and hieroglyphical representation of the church, which is, by her faith and practice, the pillar and ground of the truth.

We may not erafe old infcriptions from this pillar, nor may we infert new ones at our pleasure.

The infcriptions upon this pillar, and by the fides of it, we may read with reverence, and we certainly should be careful how we reject them. We have, doubtlefs, liberty to examine by the written word of God, every infcription which we here find; but the examination fhould be with pious candour, and with much prayerful deliberation.

Several of the most important facts which relate to the prefent controverfy, and which the church, the pillar and ground of the truth, hath held, in the different ages of Chriftianity, are fet to view in the plate.

As you have profeffedly made this pillar and ground of the truth, the ground-work of your oppofition against the Baptifts, fo I purpose to

C

make it fomewhat the ground-work of my refutation of your arguments, and the fupport of mine; but the law and the teftimony of Jefus Chrift, are the preferable ground for both. I am both pained and pleased with your arguments againft clofe communion.

I am pained, that you should employ fo much honeft labour in oppofition to what you probably believe yourself, and in oppofition to what, I prefume, nine-tenths of your own denomination believe; and in oppofition to what the church, which is the pillar and ground of the truth, hath always, taken collectively, believed, namely, that baptifm is a divinely appointed pre-requifite to communion at the Lord's table.

I am pleased, that you could find no argument to justify your oppofition; and that the truth on which you purposely ground your firft argument, and take as the principle or ftrength of all the reft, reproves your oppofi- . tion and justifies the Baptifts.

Your firft argument, when reduced to logi

cal form, is,

The church is the pillar and ground of the truth.

The church holds to open communion.. Therefore,

The clofe communion of the Baptifts is a departure from the truth, and ought to be oppofed by all good Chriftians.'

In this argument the major propofition is true, the minor falfe, therefore the conclufion is erroneous.

« ПретходнаНастави »