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To the Reader.


To the careless finner, and to the indolent and erroneous faint, I appear a fool; and the prefent controverfy, efpecially on my fide, to be needlefs and without profit. But it will be foon known, that more is depending on it than are all the treafures of the Indies, or than the pleasures of time. It has been Satan's fubtilty, from the beginning, to lead men from God's inftitutions. A compliance with this fubtilty was the fin of our first parents, and ruined our race. A compli ance with this provoked God to caft the ten tribes as out of bis fight. A neglect of the Lord's ordinances carried the Jews into the Babylonish captivity for seventy years. For the fame profanation of the Lord's ordinances, they are now a taunt, a bye-word, and a curfe, among all nations. A compliance with the fame device of Satan produced Antichrift, and fill upholds him.

The devil is the fame deceiver now that he was nearly fix thousand years ago. He then reprefented fin as a pleasant thing, and the way to wisdom. Just so now. Thofe, who in any and every age have confidered the pofitive inftitutions of the Lord to be of very facred importance, have been called by perhaps every name which the malice of Satan could invent. Thefe ill names and reproaches are fill the lot of fuch as keep the ordinances as Chrift delivered them. What falsehoods have been wickedly circulated against the Author of thefe pages! How many, from whom we might have expected better things, have faid, Report, and we will report it!

Kind reader, I know but one thing which the public can lay to my charge, and it is this :-I am jealous for the honour of Jefus, the King of the Gentiles as well as Jews. I plead for obedience to his inftitutions and ordinances. I plead against thofe who would and do corrupt them. I plead against the prieft and people who disobey my King. I plead with argu

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ments fo plain, that a child may underfland. I plead the plain word, the open word, the unadulterated word of "God, as my defence. I have injured no man in this matter, otherwife than I have charged guilt upon the corrupters of God's word. My opponents defpife me, but the Lord will rebuke them. It is his caufe which I defend. He will one day plead my caufe, and put my enemies to fame. I have, and do fill, willingly bear reproach for Jefus fake. I heartily commiferate the cafe of those who are on the oppofite fide. I fee their end coming: it may not be far off.

Reader, Ifrael's defpifing Elijah did not fave them; Judah's fetting Jeremiah at nought did not fave them; nor will it avail the oppofers to fet at nought the baptized church, with their leaders..

Reader, if I be a real Chriftian, I am a real Baptift, and the Lord hath made me both. If I be a Chriftian, then in the fincerity of my heart, I beseech thee to inquire for the order of Chriff's houfe, as for thy life, for it is for thy life; for others will foon receive of the plagues of Antichrift. "When you fall fee, in the following pages, with what falfe arguments, miflakes, and errors, Mr. A. hath laboured to defend his fide, I pray thee afk thyself this question,-Can the cause of truth thus labour, and need fuch means of defence,. in the hands of an able difputant? The reason why Mr. A. hath fo committed himself, is not because he is unable to argue well in a good cause, but on account of his having undertaken: to defend a bad one.

I now commit the matter to God and to the reader's beft judgment, praying the Father of Lights to fend forth light and truth, and Speedily fubdue the world unto himself.

With good will to all men,

I am the reader's friend,




Second Expofition, &c.

We appeal to the Bible, to stubborn facts, and to common fenfe.



My public writings are still attended with a

series of pain and pleasure. It is painful to me to contradict men of education, talents, and respectability, and to be contradicted by them, as has been the cafe, and probably will be for the prefent. But it is pleasing, that God, who feparated me from my mother's womb, hath called me, not only to the knowledge of his word generally, but to know the order of his house, and to defend it.

I am very little disappointed at the reception which my writings receive: for when God taught me to discover the blindness and errors in which I and my brethren were, I faw directly that my repentance and reformation would bring an army of oppofers: for the moment in which I condemned myself, I condemned them; and when I forfook my evil practices, I practically condemned those who continued in them.

My Lord and Master was called Beelzebub, and his first apoftles were faid to be mad. I calculated to partake of fome of the fame kind of usage. That many of the wicked oppose me, is not ftrange; that hypocritical fcribes and pharifees oppose me, is no caufe of wonder; that good men, who have not light and refolution fufficient to renounce their educational prejudices, fhould oppofe me, is nothing more than might have been expected, nor is this different from what was expected; but that good men


fhould use the artillery of the wicked, and defend their errors by fophiftry, and I might almoft fay by deception, is not what I fo fully expected as I find to be true. Nor was I fully apprised, that good men would treat me with all that contempt with which the men of Succoth did Gideon, and Nabal the fervants of David. But I find fome are difpofed much the fame way. I have no difpofition to teach them, with the thorns and briars of the wilderness, nor with the fword of fteel: but I truft in the God of Ifrael, that the day is not far off, when they fhall be taught by the fword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; and when they shall be willing to hear, and shall treat with more respect and much less rudeness, such as would inftruct them.

Mr. Samuel Austin I confider to be one of these good men. He is impatient of contradiction, and has informed the world that he hath clofed his public correspondence with me; yet my pen must expose his errors, and the public must hear it. At the fame time, I pray the Lord that not a fentence may escape my pen, which fhall give either him or his brethren needlefs pain. It is alfo my defire, that I may never withhold a truth which the cause of Chrift fhall require me to make public. It is truth, plain truth, on which I depend, for the fupport of Christ's cause; which I hope is my cause. I fhall not ridicule Mr. A., nor shall I attempt to despise him, or spare him out of pity;* nor do I afk him ever to fpare me again, because he fo pities my weakness that he will not fully expofe the nakedness of the land. I ask no favour, in this way, from Mr. A., nor from any other man. Let truth be defended, let truth be thoroughly defended, though I appear a fool.

I can with fome degree of fincerity fay, I pity Mr. A.; yet I pity the fuffering caufe of truth more. It is my fettled judgment, that he thinketh himself to be doing God fervice, in his oppofition to the cause of the Son of God. It will, no doubt, wound his feelings, when I fhall prove him guilty of fophiftry, and mistakes, and mifreprefentations, in his zealous labours for the cause of error; but I must confider his feelings as he alfo may foon confider them, of very little worth, when they are to be wounded or truth given up.

I fhall not mention every mistake and error which are found in his Letters; but shall endeavour to give fuch an account of them generally, that the reader may not, unless

* See Mr. Außftin's Letters, p. 20, 4, 3,

he loves darkness rather than light, be ftumbled in them. It might not be neceffary to make any reply, were it not that in his title page he promised to do fomething, and fome of his readers might take it for granted that he had, unless his false arguments, his weak arguments, his mistakes, mifrepresentations, &c. were expofed. This I fhall now do. But previously, it may be well to note, that Mr. A. is on the retreat; for he concedes,

1. That sprinkling is not baptifm; or, that he is unable to prove it to be fo. His words are, page 8, "Neither have I faid that fprinkling is baptifm. Here, again, is unfairness. Where is quotation ?" I will furnith him with more than one. Says Mr. A. in his first pamphlet to me, page 46, "Why may it (external baptifm) not as well be by affufion or Sprinkling ?" Again, page 100, fays he, "We deny that immerfion is any more baptifm than Sprinkling or` pouring." My observation upon this is, When a good man hath repeatedly advocated a certain tenet, and afterwards, when charged with it, denies his having fpoken in its favour, he must have forgotten it; and if he be honeft, he must be disposed to relinquith it, when he charges his opponent with unfairness for placing it to his account.

2. He concedes, that pædobaptifm hath no martyrs to witness for it. Page 15, he fays, "By confeffors, you mean fuch as have fuffered martyrdom for the doctrine of pædobaptifm. I never pretended we had any. What the reasons are that we have none, I may not be able to affign." The reafons are very plain. Pædobaptifm was appointed by men, not by the Lord; and it was appointed for men, not for the Lord; for worldly, fuperftitious men too, and for fuperftitious purposes. These are reafons enough why God never fuffered any of his friends to die in the defence of it.

The public fhall now be prefented with a few famples of Mr. A.'s falfe argumentations or fophifms.

1. Says he, pages 10, 11," Peter, influenced by his carnal prejudices, thought he muft by no means come unto one of another nation, because they were not of the circumcifion; but it was told him, What God hath cleanfed that call not thou commón. The character of Cornelius, if we are to be governed by the decifion of God, was a full warrant for Peter to hold communion with him; and it would feem, though he had this ground only for it, he hav ing not yet been baptized, had he refufed he would have withstood God: for he fays, Forafmuch then, as God

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